EV Sales In Denmark In 2017 Were A Joke — 698 Total

While Norway can be the proud of record-breaking 21% all-electric new car sales, Denmark is falling shamefully behind. One political blunder after the other has killed the EV market in the country, like the recent lowering of taxes on fossil fuel cars.

Numbers are in on car sales in 2017, and according to the association of car owners, FDM, the electric car market share of the year was 0.3% — half of what it was in 2016. Depressing to say the least.

That’s 698 EVs out of a total sale of 221,818 vehicles (the second highest number in history — only 1,100 cars fewer than 2016.)

The second worst selling brand was Tesla, with 98 units, with only South Korean SsangYong lower, with 21 units sold. The best-selling brand, despite being the prime focus of a recent diesel emissions scandal that rocked the industry, was Volkswagen, with 29,564 units sold — yikes! Hope at least a few of them are e-Golfs…

In fact, the Danes love German cars. Based on nationality, the cars sold ranking went like this:

German: 35.2%
French: 22.2%
Japanese: 21.2%
Korean: 8.3
and 12.9% divided among the rest.

Well, this is all very strange for a country boasting about its environmental friendly policies, so I guess all we can do is hope it won’t get any worse. I wish I knew how many first-day Tesla Model 3 reservations were put down by Danish customers, because if it’s just 100 units — and Tesla keeps its promise — 2018 will be the turning point for EV sales in the country!

The World’s Largest Water Reserve Is Being Built Under a Desert

The United Arab Emirates consumes about 6 billion liters of water every day. As one might imagine, maintaining that supply in the middle of a desert is no easy feat. Luckily, in order to ensure that its residents never go thirsty, the UAE has tapped into the same kind of architectural initiative that’s turned Dubai into perhaps the global capital of grandiose construction projects. Just in time for 2018’s International Water Summit (which runs this week in Abu Dhabi), the Abu Dhabi Water & Electricity Authority (ADWEA) completed the biggest artificially desalinated water reserve on the planet. And where is it located? Roughly 262 feet under the Liwa desert and approximately 100 miles from a coastal desalination plant. Composed of 315 wells, it will take 26 months to fill up its capacity of 26 billion liters of water and will be able to provide locals with 100 million liters (which is about 26.5 million gallons) of water per day.

The $450 million water security measure was a long time coming. First envisioned in 2002, the Herculean hydration project required years of scientific feasibility studies and strategic planning through a collaboration of the ADWEA, its subsidiary organization TRANSCO, and the Environment Agency-Abu Dhabi. As a result, ADWEA head Saif Saleh Al Seairi said in a statement that it’s prepared for contingencies like “storms, a malfunction, a random sea raft, and even the red-tide phenomenon which has been exacerbated by climate change” that can shut down other such desalination plants.

South Australia planning to build the world’s largest thermal solar plant

Following the success of the world’s largest battery, South Australia is aiming to build the world’s largest thermal solar plant.

SolarReserve’s $650 million, 150 megawatt Aurora solar thermal plant has received state development approval.

Construction of the facility will begin this year.

South Australian acting energy minister Chris Picton called the project a welcome development for the state.

“It’s fantastic that SolarReserve has received development approval to move forward with this world-leading project that will deliver clean, dispatchable renewable energy to supply our electrified rail, hospitals and schools,” Mr Picton said

“South Australia is fast becoming a global centre for the development of renewable energy with storage, with a range of other projects set to come online over the next few years.”

Commenting on the latest approvals, SolarReserve chief executive Kevin Smith said it is a major milestone.

“It is a significant step in the development of the Aurora solar thermal power station, which will bring clean power generation technology to South Australia,” Mr Smith said.

The Clean Energy Council executive general manager Natalie Collard told Fairfax Media, “the price that the government will pay for power is remarkably low, considering solar thermal is a very young technology in Australia.

“The state has taken a series of positive steps towards greater energy independence which are really starting to pay off. And it has already met its target of 50 per cent renewable energy almost a decade early,” she said.

“South Australia is providing the rest of the country a glimpse of a renewable energy future. Our electricity system is rapidly moving towards one which will be smarter and cleaner, with a range of technologies providing high-tech, reliable, lower-cost power.”

The power plant will be able to generate 500-gigawatt hours of energy annually, providing power to around 90,000 homes, with eight hours of full load storage.

Once constructed, the facility will be the world’s largest single-tower solar thermal power plant.

It works by using multiple heliostats – which are in essence turning mirrors – to focus solar energy onto a single central tower.

This tower uses molten salt technology to store this heat, which it can later use to create steam to turn a turbine and generate electricity when needed.

The plant will displace the equivalent of 200,000 tonnes of CO2 annually.

AGL has a small 9.3-megawatt facility built to support its Liddell coal-fired power plant in NSW, although it is not a single-tower style of thermal solar plant.

South Australia drew international focus late last year when, in a partnership with Tesla, it installed the world’s largest single battery unit, capable of powering 30,000 homes.

The new plant will be located 30 kilometres north of Port Augusta, in South Australia.

Tesla says it’s started making solar roof tiles in Buffalo

Tesla said on Tuesday it began manufacturing its premium solar roof tiles at the company’s Buffalo, NY, factory last month and has started surveying the homes of customers who made a deposit of $1,000 to reserve the product last year.

The solar roof, which generates electricity without the need for traditional rooftop panels, is a cornerstone of the electric vehicle maker’s strategy to sell a fossil-fuel-free lifestyle under the luxury Tesla brand.

Tesla unveiled the product in October 2016 as it sought to acquire solar installer SolarCity.

At that time, Tesla said the product could be rolled out as soon as the summer of 2017. In November, Tesla founder Elon Musk said the product was going through a six-month testing process, saying “it just takes a little while to get this behemoth rolling.”

More than a dozen Tesla employees, including Musk and Chief Technical Officer JB Straubel, had the solar roofs installed on their homes last year as part of an initial pilot program.

Tesla started taking orders for the solar roof tiles in May by asking homeowners to put down a $1,000 deposit via its website. Tesla would not disclose how many reservations it had received for the solar roof. The product will be installed on some customer rooftops in the coming months.

The company has said its solar roofs would cost between 10 and 15 percent less than an ordinary new roof plus traditional solar panels.

Tesla is collaborating with its longstanding battery partner, Japan’s Panasonic Corp, to manufacture solar products at the Buffalo factory. There are about 500 employees working at the site currently, Tesla said.

The companies began production of traditional solar panels at the site last year, but they have not yet been installed on rooftops. The company said it will achieve more than 1 gigawatt of cell and module production in Buffalo, and possibly as much as double that, but gave no timeline for meeting the target.

Tesla said its primary focus is increasing production of its Model 3 sedan. The company said last week it would likely build about 2,500 Model 3s a week by the end of the first quarter, half the number it had earlier promised.