Morning Brief: EV startup Nikola CEO out after SEC fraud claims, China mulls stronger clean energy goals


China mulls stronger clean energy goals for next five years: China is considering proposals to accelerate its adoption of clean energy as part of its next five-year plan that begins in 2021, as the world’s biggest polluter takes steps to reduce its emissions of greenhouse gases. China’s current goal is to derive as much as 20% of its primary energy use from non-fossil fuels by 2030. One option under consideration is to bring forward that target, according to people familiar with the discussions who asked not to be identified, possibly to 2025. Another proposal is to cut the share of coal in the energy mix to 52% by 2025, from the 57.5% planned for the end of this year, one of the people said. Chinese renewable energy stocks have been on a tear on speculation that Beijing could increase its requirements for solar and wind. Source: Bloomberg

Two Maui solar and battery storage projects, slated to charge among the lowest rates for renewable energy on Maui, have been submitted to the state PUC for review and approval. Pulehu Solar by Longroad Development is a 40-MW solar/160-MW-hour battery project to be developed on 363 acres of land owned by Haleakala Ranch. Pulehu Solar has agreed to sell its power to Hawaiian Electric at 9.2 cents per kWh. Kahana Solar by Canadian-based Innergex Renewable Energy is a 20-MW solar/80-MWh battery storage project to be built on 220 acres of Maui Land & Pineapple land with power sold to the utility at 8.9 cents per kWh. Hawaiian Electric said the Maui projects will help enable the retirement of the 72-year-old 38-MW oil-fired Kahului plant in 2024. Source: The Maui News

New solar energy and battery facility coming to Colorado Springs Utilities: Colorado Springs Utilities, a city-owned utility, announced plans for a 175-MW solar farm to be coupled with a 25 MW battery storage system, all built and installed by Boulder-based juwi. The additional power will broaden the community’s renewable energy production to roughly 27% of Colorado Springs Utilities’ energy portfolio. It will also help to meet the new state-mandated 80% carbon reduction by the year 2030. In late June, the CSU Board passed an updated Integrated Energy Resource Plan that will speed up the decommissioning of the coal-fired Martin Drake power plant in downtown. Source: KOAA News

Nikola probed by SEC, DOJ over fraud claims: The share price of EV startup Nikola has been on a tear since May, resulting in the company’s market cap growing billions (bigger than even Ford’s) despite none of Nikola’s promised vehicles actually reaching sale. But on September 10, a company by the name of Hindenburg Research published a report alleging deception and fraud surrounding the credibility of Nikola’s technology. The allegations were serious enough to prompt the Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission to probe Nikola. Source: Motor Authority

Breaking news: Trevor Milton out of Nikola Motors : Sources close to the embattled fuel cell truck manufacturer are reporting that founder Trevor Milton has resigned as Executive Chairman of Nikola Motors and has departed the company effective immediately. Source: FreightWaves

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