Renewable Energy Analytics

Renewable Energy Analytics

There’s a new wind blowing in energy markets. Renewable supply sources, long considered a noble yet uneconomic cause when compared to traditional hydrocarbon markets, have now taken the forefront in new project development. Gone are the days when environmental impacts could be disregarded. In today’s world, companies’ outlooks are increasingly tied to their prospects for participating in the market’s green evolution, and those that don’t adapt will struggle to attract the capital needed for growth.  

Renewable Energy Analytics (REA) has been developed by RBN to address the need for information in this burgeoning space. We cut through the noise and biased opinions to deliver the straight scoop on what actually works in renewable energy markets — and we’ll back it up with the economic and infrastructure fundamentals that underlie RBN’s foundational market analysis. The REA initiative is a vehicle for leveraging our expertise and knowledge of traditional hydrocarbons — oil, gas, and NGLs — into renewable sources like solar, wind, hydro-electric, and foremost in our new suite of analytics, hydrogen. 

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Renewables Blogs

The Biden administration has placed some big bets on clean hydrogen, seeing it as a replacement fuel for some hard-to-abate industries and putting it at the heart of its long-term decarbonization efforts. All of these bets are backed by a brand-new tax credit. But the goal isn’t just to drive production of more hydrogen — it’s also to make hydrogen in a specific way, with measurable decreases in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. That means producing hydrogen that qualifies for the tax credit is going to be a lot easier said than done. The proposed rules include a concept called deliverability — one of the “three pillars” of clean hydrogen — that adds further challenges to producers hoping to cash in on the tax credit and puts into further peril any number of potential projects. In today’s RBN blog, we’ll explain how deliverability works, how it fits into the proposed rules, and the challenges it will pose for hydrogen producers and power generators alike. 

If the U.S. is to significantly grow its production of electric vehicles (EVs), it’s going to need a robust domestic supply chain that includes critical metals and minerals. The Biden administration has previously provided billions in funding made available through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA, also known as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law) to help establish new clean-energy industries, an approach it is repeating with EV battery manufacturing and its goal of having EVs account for half of all new-car sales by 2030. In today’s RBN blog, we look at the $3.5 billion set aside to fund investments in the EV battery supply chain and increase domestic manufacturing. 

Discussions and debates around the carbon-capture industry have been everywhere in recent years, from the federal incentives designed to spur its growth and the role it might play in decarbonization efforts to the technical challenges and economic headwinds that add uncertainty to its long-term outlook. And while all of those are important topics worthy of future conversation, none of those potential projects are going to happen without somewhere to put all that carbon dioxide (CO2). The wells used for permanent CO2 sequestration are largely approved at the federal level by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) but a few states have gained control — aka “primacy” — over the permitting process. In today’s RBN blog, we explain what it means to have primacy, why it has become an increasingly important goal in recent years, and the potential benefits that come with it. 

The long-delayed rules around the federal government’s Hydrogen Production Tax Credit (PTC), also known as 45V, have been the subject of heated debate (and lobbying) since passage of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) in August 2022. While some industry groups argued for looser guidelines around the PTC that would allow the low-carbon hydrogen industry to grow quickly, others called for a stricter set of rules from the start, arguing that an approach that was too lax would lead to an increase in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. In today’s RBN blog, we’ll look at how those newly published rules rely on the so-called “three pillars” of clean hydrogen, how they prioritize production of green hydrogen at the expense of its blue and pink varieties, and explain the rules around temporal matching and why it might be hard to hit the administration’s 2028 target date for implementation. 

It’s been a tough couple of months for developers of large-scale, multi-state carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) projects, which have been stung by widespread public opposition and often hamstrung by state and local regulations. But while those factors helped lead one developer to pull the plug on its project and another to push back its schedule by a couple of years, that’s not to say there isn’t a path forward for some projects. In today’s RBN blog, we examine why Wolf Carbon Solutions’ targeted approach and a pipeline conversion by Tallgrass Energy could be the most likely CCS projects to reach operational status. 

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