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Daily Shorts: Singapore’s Sembcorp eyes 25 GW RE capacity by 2028, Orsted cancels projects due to ship shortage, and more

Image courtesy: Sembcorp

Danish wind developer Orsted has cancelled two offshore projects off the coast of New Jersey, but that had less to do with margin squeeze and more to do with supply side bottlenecks: company CEO Mads Nipper told analysts one reason for cancellation of the Ocean Wind farms was Orsted's inability to secure a ship for the project, which "would implicate a multi-year delay". Orsted had earlier approached the state of New York – along with other developers – to renegotiate tariffs on awarded projects, a request denied by the Empire State.

Sembcorp Industries, Singapore's energy and urban solutions company, announced plans to halve carbon emissions by 2028. The company said it would invest about $7.76 billion, or 75 percent of its total investments over 2024-2028, to grow its gross installed renewables capacity to 25 GW, and will also evaluate production and consumption of hydrogen and its derivatives. Sembcorp, whose energy portfolio now comprises 60 percent renewable assets, also said it was on track to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050, having achieved its 2025 target ahead of schedule.

Half the world's 2,000 biggest publicly-listed companies want to achieve net zero by 2050, but fewer than four percent are in line with UN guidelines. According to independent data group Net Zero Tracker, some 1,003 of the Forbes2000 index companies – just over 50 percent – have issued corporate targets as of October 2023. Of those, just 37 percent have included Scope 3 emissions, and just 13 percent have standards for using carbon offsets. Only four percent meet norms issued by the UN's Race to Zero campaign, which requires companies to cover all emissions, act on reductions immediately, and offer annual progress updates. 

The World Bank will play host to the first global 'loss and damage' fund to compensate regions affected by climate change. The institution will be a temporary trustee and hold charge for a period of four years. The decision to create such a fund – taken at COP27 last year – was hailed as a breakthrough for developing countries, but negotiators have struggled over the past 11 months to agree on details such as who will pay into the fund, and who will run it. World Bank President Ajay Banga has been vocal about the need to shift to clean energy and bolster climate change finance.

South Africa will speed up plans to set up 3 GW of gas-fired power generation capacity to tide over constant power cuts, its electricity minister announced. The African country is going through rolling blackouts, with power cut almost daily because of breakdowns at old coal-fired power plants that rich nations want to shut down, and officials say the country needs 6 GW of new capacity to overcome the energy deficit. South Africa is scheduled to onboard more than 5.5 GW of renewable capacity, but that is only expected to occur by 2026.  

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