DOE Doles Out More Dough for Clean Energy // Popular Opinion Sea Change for Nuclear in Europe // South Korea and UAE to Expand Cooperation
DOE Doles Out More Dough for Clean Energy
The Department of Energy is putting up $52 million in funding for clean manufacturing R&D.
"The new funding opportunity will focus on three key areas — next generation materials and manufacturing, sustainable materials and energy technology manufacturing," reports Utility Dive. "Next generation funding, supported in part by the Office of Electricity, will focus on improving materials and processes that can maintain high performance and conductivity under extreme conditions."
The funding for sustainable materials will be directed towards research, development, and demonstrations to establish a circular economy. This will include research in material and product design, recycling technology, and logistics in reverse supply chains. Plus, funding for energy technology manufacturing will aim to enhance the efficiency of clean energy production technologies.
The funding period is expected to be two to three years, with the deadline for applications starting April 7th with awards expected to be announced in August.
Popular Opinion Sea Change for Nuclear in Europe
The energy crisis appears to have caused major shift in favor of nuclear energy in Europe according to new research from the Századvég Foundation's Project Europe.
"In six years, the proportion of those supporting and opposing nuclear energy have reversed: while in 2016, 41 percent rejected and 15 percent supported the technology, the proportion of those in favour of nuclear power has now increased to 40 percent, and that of those against nuclear power has decreased to 15 percent," reports Századvég. "Interestingly, the proportion of those who have taken a moderate stance can be considered stable over time: in 2016 it was 36 percent, and in 2021 and 2022 it was 35 percent."
Of course, favorable opinions of nuclear energy differ from country to country. Austria remains remarkably hardened in its opposition to nuclear. But the differences between countries that favor and those that oppose nuclear are beginning to narrow. "Some of the anti-nuclear member states continue to maintain their relative position in country rankings, however, the degree of rejection in these countries has also decreased significantly over the last twelve months: In Austria from 57 to 47 percent, in Cyprus from 41 to 37 percent, in Greece from 45 to 30 percent, and in Portugal from 46 to 29 percent," reports Századvég.
Perhaps the most shocking part of the report is this one.
Austria will likely always be a pokey little puppy when it comes to adopting nuclear. But the fact that Germany has seen its rejection of nuclear plummet shows just what an impact the energy crisis has had on the country--and what a disaster the Energiewende has been. Perhaps public opinion will help keep their remaining plants online.
South Korea and UAE to Expand Cooperation
South Korean President Yoon met with UAE leader Al-Nahyan last week on a state visit to the United Arab Emirates, the first such visit since diplomatic ties were established between the two countries forty years ago.
Yoon and Al-Nahyan agreed to deepen and further develop the Special Strategic Partnership between the two countries, with a focus on strategic cooperation in four key areas: conventional and clean energy, peaceful nuclear energy, economy and investment, and defense and defense technology.
"South Korea and the United Arab Emirates have agreed to 'deepen and accelerate collaboration in the peaceful nuclear energy sector.' Several memorandums of understanding (MoUs) were signed during a meeting between Korean President Yoon Seok-yeol and UAE President Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nayhan," reports World Nuclear News.
The leaders signed thirteen cooperation agreements. One of the agreements involved a Net-Zero Acceleration Strategic Cooperation MoU between Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power and the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation. The two organizations are to create a consultative body that would focus on expanding practical cooperation in developing export markets for nuclear power plants and joint procurement of business finance. Also, Nuclear Safety and Security Commission of Korea signed an administrative agreement with the UAE's Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation to simplify the nuclear export permit procedure between the two countries.
"Recognising the importance of nuclear power plants as a critical source of energy security and an important element for the growth of the clean economy, and given the existing deep level of cooperation achieved in this area, the two leaders expressed their determination to deepen and accelerate collaboration in the peaceful nuclear energy sector, both by successfully completing the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant project and by jointly pursuing additional nuclear projects, whether in the UAE or third countries," a joint statement released by the leaders said. The statement also said that the two countries will explore the possibility of building advanced small module reactors.
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- Kazakhstan will transport oil to Germany using a Russian pipeline. "Kazakhstan has secured approval from Russia to use its pipeline infrastructure to transport 300,000 tons of oil to buyers in Germany in the first quarter of this year, a state-run company announced on January 13," reports Oilprice.com. "Kaztransoil, a state-owned oil transportation company, said in its statement that oil sourced from the Karachaganak field in western Kazakhstan will be pumped through Russia’s Druzhba pipeline and be delivered to Poland via Belarus before reaching Germany."
- Nordstream can be fixed, but does Germany still want Russian gas? "The damaged Nord Stream pipelines can be fixed in around six months to a year, the boss of bailed out German gas trader Uniper said on Tuesday, adding that it still remained unclear whether Germany wants the supply relationship to continue," reports Reuters. "'The first question that needs answering: what's the political will on a European level and in Berlin to bring Russian gas to Germany?' outgoing UniperCEO Klaus-Dieter Maubach told the annual Handelsblatt Energy summit."
- China's crude steel output has fallen for the second year in a row. "China's crude steel output in 2022 fell by 2.1%, or 21.73 million mt, from 2021 to 1.013 billion mt, marking a second-successive annual decline, data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed Jan. 17. Some mill sources said China would continue to contain its steel production growth in 2023, which would lend support to the steel market as demand is unlikely to improve substantially in 2023," reports S&P Global. "China's crude steel output in December fell 9.8% on the year to 77.89 million mt. On a daily basis, crude steel production increased by 1.1% on the month, to 2.513 million mt, according to S&P Global Commodity Insights calculations."