Dutch battery company to build 1.6 billion euro plant in China

Lithium Werks BV, a startup founded by Dutch entrepreneur Kees Koolen, said on Tuesday it had signed a 1.6 billion euro ($1.85 billion) deal to build a new storage battery plant in China.

Koolen told Reuters the agreement included project financing of 15-30 percent by Chinese or regional financing sources, 50 percent from development banks, and the remainder by Lithium Werks and its equity investors.

The factory will be able to produce batteries with 500 GWh storage capacity per year by 2030.

"There's a big appetite from investors for such projects and such companies, so we have a lot of people interested to make sure we have enough equity," Koolen said in a telephone interview.

The agreement is one of several commercial deals announced as Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang met on Tuesday in the Hague. 

Koolen has invested 41 million euros into Lithium Werks and currently holds a 50 ...

Oct. 17, 2018

Bioenergy set to grow fast in next five years

About 40% of the global energy consumption growth in the next five years will be met by renewables and it will account for almost one-third of the global electricity generation by 2023, the market forecast said. India, after China and the US, is the third largest growth market for solar PV capacity addition.

“Modern bioenergy’s “share in the world’s total renewables consumption is about 50% today, in other words as much as hydro, wind, solar and all other renewables combined,” said Fatih Birol, the IEA’s executive director. “We expect modern bioenergy will continue to lead the field, and has huge prospects for further growth. But right policies and rigorous sustainability regulations will be essential to meet its full potential,” he said.

Untapped potential of bioenergy in cement, sugar and ethanol industries is significant. Bioenergy growth in the industry, transport and electricity sectors combined could be as considerable as that of other renewables ...

Oct. 13, 2018

Honda Invests 2.75 Billion into GM's Cruise

General Motors Co. and Honda Motors Co. have teamed up to develop a new self-driving car. Honda will make a $750 million equity investment in GM Cruise LLC in a deal that values the GM unit at $14.6 billion plus spend $2 billion over 12 years toward deploying autonomous vehicles.

The partnership will advance the global scale of GM’s self driving car technology and accelerate the deployment of autonomous vehicles for Honda. The two companies will develop a self-driving model that will be deployed in a Cruise autonomous network. Cruise plans to launch an autonomous taxi network in 2019.

“With the backing of General Motors, SoftBank and now Honda, Cruise is deeply resourced to accomplish our mission to safely deploy autonomous technology across the globe,” Cruise Chief Executive Officer Kyle Vogt said in the statement.


Oct. 10, 2018

Saudi shelves $200 bln SoftBank Solar project

Saudi Arabia has shelved a $200 billion plan with SoftBank Group Corp to build the world's biggest solar-power-generation project, the Wall Street journal reported on Sunday, citing Saudi government officials.

No one is actively working on the project, and instead, the Saudi kingdom is working up a broader, more practical strategy to boost renewable energy, to be announced in late October, the WSJ reported.

SoftBank Chief Executive Masayoshi Son had announced in March a plan to invest in creating the world's biggest solar power project in Saudi Arabia, a project expected to have the capacity to produce up to 200 gigawatts (GW) by 2030.

/Source: Energy World/

Oct. 6, 2018

Renault is creating a “smart island” in France

Renault plans to develop a smart electric ecosystem for the French island of Belle-Île-en-Mer, turning it into France’s first “smart island”.

The automaker unveiled its new project in partnership with a number of energy companies, with its aim being the facilitation of energy transition on the French island.

The project will also involve a fleet of Renault Zoe and Kangoo vehicles running on a ride-sharing service.

These vehicles will be charged by EV chargers, which in turn will be powered by solar panels placed on the roofs of buildings.

Renault plans to implement these initial renewable energy measures and scale up its solution as it improves in the field, potentially granting it the knowledge to address mainland challenges with a similar approach.

/Source: Afrihost/

Oct. 2, 2018

EU wants to spend €1bn on supercomputers

The European Union is planning to spend one billion euros on supercomputers to help with research into creating artificial intelligence and fighting climate change.

Brussels officials said Europe was “lagging behind” on supercomputers, noting that none of the world’s top ten most powerful machines were in the EU.

The European Commission is proposing that the sum be allocated for the systems in the upcoming EU budget, with the aim of building two “world class” “pre-exascale” machines capable of 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 calculations per second, and another two mid-range machines in development.

/Source: Independent/

Sept. 26, 2018

Nestlé agrees to sell Gerber Life Insurance Co. to Western & Southern Financial Group

Nestlé today announced that it agreed to sell the Gerber Life Insurance Company ("Gerber Life"), to Western & Southern Financial Group for USD 1.55 billion in cash. Gerber Life is a highly recognized and trusted leader in the juvenile and family life insurance market, with statutory capital and surplus of approximately USD 285 million (as of June 30, 2018). The business had sales of USD 856 million in 2017.

The deal allows Western & Southern Financial Group to market insurance products under the Gerber Life brand. The transaction does not include Nestlé’s Gerber Products business, a household brand in baby food and baby care, which Nestlé will continue to develop.

Nestlé CEO Mark Schneider said: "We are delighted to have found an outstanding new home for Gerber Life at Western & Southern, where it will flourish as part of a larger financial services organization. This move is part of the ongoing evolution ...

Sept. 20, 2018

Qualcomm to repurchase $16 billion of its shares from banks

Qualcomm is buying back $16 billion of its own stock as part of a broader goal of repurchasing up to $30 billion of its shares.

Shares of Qualcomm Inc. rose $1.45, or 2 percent, to $73.20, before the opening bell Thursday. The stock is up about 10 percent this year.

The telecommunications equipment company, based in San Diego, said it expects to buy back an initial 178 million shares from Bank of America, Citibank, and Morgan Stanley & Co. The final figure will be determined during the transaction.

The company said it is on track to complete the majority of its broader repurchase program by the end of fiscal 2019.


Sept. 17, 2018

Bulgaria’s Euroins Insurance Group Acquired a Georgian Insurer

Bulgaria’s Euroins Insurance Group (EIG) has acquired IC Group, one of the leading insurers in Georgia. The company itself stated this on its website. EIG will own over 50% of the Georgian insurer. The new investor is expected to increase the capital of the Georgian company by about EUR 1 million, Capital reported.

In July 2018 the financial regulator in Ukraine gave a nod to EIG to acquire ERV Ukraine, the travel insurance business of Germany-based ERGO and the shares are expected to be transferred till the end of the third quarter of the year. The Group aims to expand its operations in Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States.

In the last couple of years, the Group acquired: Germany-based Talanx Group’s subsidiaries in Bulgaria and Ukraine, Dutch insurer Achmea’s insurance business in Bulgaria, as well as Australian group QBE’s operations in Romania and Bulgaria. The company also acquired a significant ...

Sept. 13, 2018

Israel plans to set up 2,560 charging stations for electric vehicles

The Israeli authorities on Monday announced plans to invest 25 million new shekels (6.83 million U.S. dollars) in setting up charging stations nationwide for electric vehicles.

Four tenders will be put out in October to set up a total of 2,560 charging stations across Israel, the energy ministry said.

A total of 60 fast charging stations will be built along the interurban roads, while 2,500 slow charging spots will be installed in the cities, it added.

The government will cover 50 percent to 75 percent of the entire costs, according to the tenders.

At the speed chargers, it will be possible to charge 60 percent to 80 percent of the battery within half an hour, while the slow charging is designed to last 8 hours and serve two cars at the same time.

The winning bidders are expected to sign contracts by January 2019, and to complete the project in two to three years.

According to ...

Sept. 5, 2018