A new report shows that global offshore wind capacity could reach 400 GW by 2045, Germany gets the world’s first hydrogen powered, emission-free train, and the U.S. Department of Transportation announces a new plan that will help drivers with electric vehicles power up across the country. Read these stories and more in this week’s renewable energy news roundup.
Offshore Wind Capacity Could Surge 3000 Percent by 2045
Global offshore wind capacity could leap from 13 gigawatts (GW) in 2015 to 400 GW in 2045, according to a new report from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). The report, entitled “Innovation Outlook: Offshore Wind,” predicts that the next three decades would see offshore wind move from being a new commercial technology to “an industrialized and important component” of the global energy mix. Advances in technology have helped to cut costs and drive market expansion for wind power, IRENA said, with onshore wind reaching cost competitiveness with “conventional” generation technologies.
World’s First Zero-Emission Hydrogen Train to Begin Operations in Germany
The world’s first hydrogen powered, emission-free train is set to go into service in Germany — a ground-breaking innovation that could signal the phasing out of heavily polluting, diesel-powered trains. The first “hydrail” will begin transporting passengers on the Buxtehude-Bremervörde-Bremerhaven-Cuxhaven line in Lower Saxony, in northern Germany, in December 2017. Although the first train in operation will only run a short, 60-mile route, four German states have signed an agreement with Alstom, the French company that builds the trains, for the purchase of up to 60 additional locomotives, if they are judged a success.
Canadian Government Will Shift to 100% Renewables, Energy Minister Says
Canadian Environment Minister Catherine McKenna has pledged to power 100 percent of the federal government’s operations using renewables by 2025. “The government needs to be a key player to support the acceleration of clean growth — not only through policy, but by investing and showing leadership,” McKenna said. The Canadian government plans to buy renewable electricity for federal facilities such as military bases.
U.S. Department of Transportation Unveils National Electric Vehicle Charging Network
Moving to support the electrification of the transportation sector and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the federal government announced 55 routes that will serve as the basis for a national network of “alternative fuel” corridors spanning 35 states. Corridors where alternative fuel stations are already in operation will be eligible for new signs alerting drivers to refueling opportunities. The network will include fuel for electric, hydrogen, propane and natural gas vehicles.