There is a lot of buzz around clean technology, distributed energy resources (DERs), microgrids, and other technological innovations in the renewable energy and clean transport industries and how these developments can contribute to solving longstanding environmental justice issues. As these innovations develop, energy markets will undergo substantial changes to which consumers and industry participants alike will need to adapt and leverage. Every other week, K&L Gates’ The Energizer will highlight emerging issues or stories relating to the use of DERs, energy storage, emerging technologies, hydrogen, and other innovations driving the energy industry forward. To subscribe to The Energizer newsletter, please click here.
BP Furthers its Bioenergy Efforts by Acquiring Archaea Energy
On 17 October 2022, British Petroleum Ltd. (BP) announced it would purchase U.S. based renewable natural gas (RNG) giant Archaea Energy for US$ 4.1 billion. This acquisition by BP is the largest RNG acquisition in history.
BP’s acquisition of Archaea Energy is part of the oil giant’s efforts to accelerate its growth in the bioenergy sector. Archaea Energy’s 50 RNG and landfill gas-to-energy facilities across the United States generate nearly 30,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boed), which will quadruple BP’s current production of around 11,000 boed. This move by BP furthers the company’s goal of reducing its carbon intensity to net zero by 2050.
Department of Energy Announces US$2.8 Billion in Funding to Expand Domestic Manufacturing of Batteries for Electric Vehicles and Electric Grid
On 19 October 2022, the U.S. Department of Energy announced US$ 2.8 billion in funding to help expand domestic manufacturing of batteries for electric vehicles (EVs) and the electrical grid. This funding is the first phase of a US$ 7 billion outlay promised by the 2021 Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to help manufacturers access minerals and other components necessary to scale up domestic battery production.
Twenty companies will receive funding to build and expand commercial-scale facilities in 12 states. Funding will support, among other things, the extraction, development, and production of battery-grade lithium, graphite, and nickel; the installation of large-scale commercial lithium electrolyte salt production facilities and the creation of domestic silicon oxide production facilities to supply anode materials for an estimated 600,000 EV batteries annually.
This increase in domestic battery production is tied to the Inflation Reduction Act, which authorized up to US$ 7,500 in tax credits and rebates for qualified consumers purchasing EVs but set strict battery component and sourcing requirements.
Brookfield Renewable Partners and Cameco Corporation Acquire Nuclear Services Business
On 11 October 2022, Brookfield Renewable Partners (Brookfield) and Cameco Corporation (Cameco) announced the acquisition of Westinghouse Electric Company (Westinghouse). Brookfield Renewables is one of the largest investors in clean energy assets, owning approximately 125,000 MW of operating and development capacity worldwide. Cameco is one of the largest suppliers of uranium fuel worldwide. And, Westinghouse is one of the world’s largest service providers for the nuclear power generation sector. Cameco and Brookfield expect that the acquisition will create an opportunity for growth across the nuclear value chain.
Brookfield is leveraging the Brookfield Global Transition Fund I to finance the acquisition. The Brookfield Global Transition Fund I is one of the world’s largest funds focused on the energy transition.
Brookfield maintains that every credible net-zero pathway will rely on significant growth in nuclear power and capacity. Brookfield and Cameco aim to advance the growth of nuclear power to meet the needs for the clean energy transition.