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  • Yoon Attacks Moon's Solar Projects // Octopus Grips UK, German Wind // Germany Turns On Rosneft

Yoon Attacks Moon's Solar Projects // Octopus Grips UK, German Wind // Germany Turns On Rosneft

Yoon Attacks Moon's Solar Projects

Current President of the Republic of Korea, Yoon, is putting the screws to former president Moon's solar projects. 

"On Tuesday, the anti-corruption taskforce under the Prime Minister’s Office did a sample survey of 12 local governments out of 226, which found that 261.6 billion won ($187.8 million) of subsidies paid out in 2,267 cases were given in violation of regulations in a recent review," reports the Korea Herald. "The survey looked at 2.1 trillion won out of the 12 trillion won power industry."

Yoon described the alleged violations in solar contracts as "deplorable." "The people’s taxes should be used for those in difficulty, welfare, and support, but (taxes were) used for this kind of cartel of private interests," he said.

The task force will expand its scope to look at solar subsidies dispensed by 226 local governments. ROK's ruling party, to which Yoon belongs, declared its full-throated support for the investigations. 

“It must be clearly revealed whether miscalculation of policy led to corruption, or whether bad projects were drawn up to create (room for) corruption, and whether political pressure was involved in the process,” People Power Party floor leader Rep. Kweon Seong-dong said last Wednesday.

This turn of events follows from the staunchly pro-nuclear and anti-renewable platform Yoon ran on. The president has reversed Korea's nuclear plant closure and has committed the country to more nuclear plants in the future. 

Octopus Grips UK, German Wind

Octopus, one of Europe's largest renewables investors, has expanded its wind portfolio with on and offshore wind investment in Germany and the UK.

"The asset manager today announced it has acquired an additional 7.75 percent stake in the Lincs offshore wind farm, while also buying the Leeskow facility in Brandenburg, north-east Germany," reports Oilprice.com. Lincs, which has been operational since 2013, represents about 16% of Octopus's portfolio and sits off England's east coast. 

"Octopus initially bought a stake in Lincs in May, while another fund managed by Octopus’ asset manager Octopus Energy Generation has acquired a further 7.75 percent indirect stake," reports Oilprice.com. 

The German facility, Leeskow, represents 8% of Octopus's portfolio. 

“Wind energy is a vital pillar of both the UK and the EU’s energy systems,” said chairman Phil Austin. 

“Today’s investment in the Lincs Offshore Wind Farm takes ORIT’s position in this significant operational offshore wind farm asset to 15.5 percent and our commitment to Leeskow marks our first investment into German onshore wind.”

Octopus is pushing hard for the energy transition. It is currently dumping tons of money into early-stage renewable energy projects. Last month, it took a 24% stake in Exagen, a company bent on rapidly expanding battery storage in the UK.

Germany Turns On Rosneft

Last week, Germany seized oil assets owned by the Russian oil giant Rosneft. The company isn't happy. 

"Germany’s government took control of Rosneft’s assets, including three oil refineries, as Berlin moved to take sweeping control of its energy industry to secure supplies and sever decades of deep dependence on Moscow," reports Bloomberg.

Rosneft claims the seizure amounts to a $4.6 billion expropriation of refining investments. The company told investors it will “consider all possible measures to protect its shareholders, including legal action.”

Does that mean Rosneft is done doing business with Germany? Not at all. The company also said it was “ready to discuss possible parameters of a new contract on condition of guarantees for payment for raw materials supplied.”

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz's administration decided to seize the assets to ensure refineries within its borders were free from Russian interference going into a winter without either Russian gas or Russian crude. 

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  1. European Parliament has just settled on a new goal for the EU: to make renewables account for 45% of total energy consumption by 2030. "According to the current legislation, the EU is obliged to cover at least 32% of its energy needs from renewable sources by 2030. With the 45% target, the MEPs go beyond the 40% mark decided by the member states in June. The next step is negotiations on the renewables target with the member states," PV Mag reports.

  2. La Republica, an Italian newspaper, reported that the French government recently informed Italy that it was potentially halting power exports for the next two years. An Italian official verified receiving the French communique. But France denies it issued any such notice. France's energy transition minister said that France “reaffirms its commitment to reciprocal solidarity regarding gas and electricity with all our European neighbors. Fully functioning electric interconnections are a priority for collective supply security.” Last week, "French network operator RTE said in its winter outlook report that in an extreme situation, it may need to halt an interconnector to Italy, as well as one to the UK, a move that would stop exports," reports Bloomberg.

  3. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Chair Richard Glick is the keystone to Biden's $369 billion climate law. The FERC Chair sees aiding the energy transition as part of his mandate. But Glick's might be shown the door this year. "Glick’s fate will be decided by the divided Senate, where West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin leads the committee that oversees FERC and vets its nominees. Glick and Manchin don’t see eye to eye," reports Politico. 

Crom's Blessing