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Daily Shorts: China's plan to cut methane, US to spend $440 mn on solar + battery in Puerto Rico, and more

Nikola has received non-binding orders for 277 trucks. Image: Nikola

China could unveil a plan to cut down methane emissions before the start of COP28 in Dubai, but might not set specific targets for reduction, media reports said. The plan is likely to focus on emissions from coal mine seams and agriculture – among the largest emitters. The Middle Kingdom is the world's largest emitter of methane, accounting for some 14 percent of global exhaust. The country has stayed away from the Global Methane Pledge signed by 150 countries (including by the US), which calls for members to reduce output 30 percent by 2030.

The US government plans to award $440 million for rooftop solar + battery installations in Puerto Rico to help rebuild the hurricane-hit territory's shattered power grid. The money is part of a $1 billion fund created to help Puerto Rico become a 100 percent renewable energy zone by 2050. Puerto Rico's grid was severely damaged by hurricanes in 2017 and 2022, with some isolated spots without power for 11 months. The US has begun talks with Generac Power Systems, Sunnova Energy, and Sunrun, as well as non-profits such as Barrio Electrico and the Environmental Defense Fund.

Hydrogen fuel-cell truck maker Nikola announced it had secured orders for 277 trucks, offering manufacturing visibility for the next few quarters. The beleaguered US company, which is combating negative fallout of battery fires in its vehicles and even at its plant, said trucks ordered now would only be delivered in the second quarter of next year. Nikola said its cash balance at September-end stood at $362.9 million, buffeted by $250 million raised in the third quarter.

Unionization could be returning to American carmakers. The United Auto Workers, which recently sought and received one of its best deals in years from the US Big 3: General Motors, Ford and Chrysler (now part of Stellantis), signaled that the next step of its campaign would be to launch union organizing drives non-union auto factories such as Toyota and Tesla. UAW President Shawn Fain has said that "When we return to the bargaining table in 2028, it won't just be with the Big Three, but with the Big Five or Big Six." 

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