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China’s cheap electricity crowds out foreign polysilicon




Imports from South Korea and the U.S. dwindled, year-on-year, ensuring Germany’s Wacker and the Malysian unit of Korean company OCI will supply the bulk of the world’s non-Chinese solar polysilicon this year.

From pv magazine Global

Polysilicon market analyst Johannes Bernreuter said that China imported around 30% less polysilicon in 2020 and cornered 80% of the global market for its domestic manufacturers, fueled by low electricity prices.

Chinese imports of U.S.-made polysilicon slumped in 2020, largely due to heavy customs duties. The 9,227 MT of product moved across the Pacific in 2019 fell to 2,659 MT last year, reflecting the 2019 shuttering of the Moses Lake facility in Washington state owned by Norwegian business REC Silicon.

Johannes Bernreuter

“South Korea’s polysilicon industry was out-competed by Chinese producers who enjoy extremely low and subsidized electricity rates from coal-fired power plants in the western regions of Xinjiang and Inner Mongolia,” said Bernreuter. He said that Korean players OCI and Hanwha exited the market a year ago, citing electricity prices.

That decision prompted the volume of South Korean polysilicon imported by China to fall from 48,881 metric tons (MT) in 2019 to 15,331 MT last year, according to the analyst. Korean poly had made up more than 70,000 MT of imports by China in 2016 and 2017, before the nation’s third largest manufacturer of the commodity–Hancook Silicon–became insolvent in 2018.

OCI is still supplying the product to China, however, via its Malaysian manufacturing operation, which supplied 23% of Chinese polysilicon imports last year, according to Bernreuter.

With German manufacturer Wacker supplying 50,061 MT of polysilicon to China in 2020–despite running production at 70% capacity from May to July–Bernreuter estimated that German and Malaysian-made product will account for almost 90% of China’s poly imports this year. The amount of polysilicon shipped by Wacker to China slipped last year, from 52,667 MT in 2019.

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Enerkon Solar International (ENKS) Chairman Files with USG FARA Office in Support of Large National Projects




New York, March 5, 2021 – OTC PR WIRE – Enerkon Solar International (OTC PINK: ENKS) announces today that Chairman Files with USG FARA Office as Lobby in Support of Large National Projects between ENKS, its companies and the Government of Ukraine.

ENKS Chairman Benjamin Ballout Stated: “We are pleased announce that we have signed our MOU with the Government of Ukraine Partners, via our new holding company the AMERICAN UKRAINE Green Energy and Telecommunications Holdings Inc., supporting transactions previously mentioned in the news and in compliance with Federal Regulations associated with representation or Lobby for Foreign Government or officials, we have filed as Official Lobby with the United States Government Department of Justice FARA Department in support of  our joint cooperation with the Government of the Ukraine and Others in relation to the large projects recently reported in the news”.

“Supported by our signed MOU – we are awarded, the ChNPP Solar Powered, Steam Boiler Turbine, CO-Generation facility which will produce up to 3 Gigawatts when completed and in addition, we are awarded the Hydrogen Electrophoresis Plant to produce industrial volume tonnage of Green Hydrogen for sale to the EU Market for which we already have Off take Purchase Guarantees from Germany and as to our award in the Telecommunications sphere, we have been awarded the National 5G network whereby our  partner,  is the state owned “UkrDorSvyaz” – The Ukrainian Road Telecommunication Systems Company –  for which ENKS will invite Major EPC Partners in  to complete the Network, in cooperation with the Government of Ukraine and our financial partners.”

“ENKS via Diplomatic Trade Ltd. (another of our companies) shall be organizing meetings for the Vice Prime Minister of Ukraine Oleg Urusky with SpaceX in relation to the Telecommunications segment of his trip to the United States on March 15-30th whereby he will discuss the signing of cooperation already ongoing with Spacex and his (Ukraine) design bureau, as to their small Communications Satellite already built and ready to launch.”

The meetings will be related to Ukraine Government signing a final contract with Spacex related to this matter which supports the 5G national network.

Links associates with the Telecommunications, Satellite deployment cooperation, ongoing with SpaceX and the Government of Ukraine Design Bureau and others are below for reference:


“In relation to the terrestrial segment of the project, ENKS via Diplomatic Trade, (for which I am also Chairman) shall organize meetings with companies such as Cisco Systems, Nokia, Erickson, and others as potential EPC partners with our AMERICAN UKRAINE Energy and Telecom Holding Company and in the Hydrogen Production Technology space, we shall contact several companies in support our Hydrogen Production Plant award in the Special Exclusion zone (ChNPP) in Ukraine as well”.

“The American Ukraine Green Energy and Telecom Holdings LLC SPV is the controlling legal entity of our ENKS projects in UKRAINE and our partner in this new company (registered in Wyoming) is the Director of the JSC Ukrainian Capital Bank Mr. Ryazantsev Anatoly CEO Kiev, Ukraine and Mr. Michael Vishmidt our Balkans Expert and Joint Venture Partner in the projects implementation as mentioned earlier and our now signed MOU gives us great optimism and motivation towards the final EPC contract Agreements and engagements.”

“ENKS are also today, in final talks to purchase Coviklear Intl Holdings Ltd. (UK) who owns the distribution rights to a new COVID 19 Test Device produced by Graphene Leaders Canada and KrowdX which is a rapid (15 seconds) Test Device Produced by Graphene Leaders Canada”.

“ENKS since last year diversified into new technology acquisitions as a holding and investment company and since then we have acquired several important Trademarks and Patents related to the Pharmaceutical and Renewable Energy Markets as well as Law Enforcement technologies and others and the envisioned acquisition of Coviklear this next week will be another great addition to our growing ENKS Family of companies and diversified activities.”

“We have already identified a number of potential purchasers of this new device currently under approval application with the HC, FDA and WHO authorities via Graphene Leaders Canada and are optimistic that this will become a new and additional source of revenue to add to our already significant revenue and net profitability.”

Once the Coviklear acquisition has been signed next week, we shall post details on our new website  release additional news to the general public.

Mr. Ballout also stated that ENKS will work with the GULF MENA International Hydrogen Association who is in cooperation with the intergovernmental organization the AREC (Arab Renewable Energy Commission headed Mr. Secretary General Mohammed Thanni and its Chairman who is the current  Minister of Energy and environment Morocco  –  (AREC is founded by Prince Asem Bin Nayef – Jordan) –   – to support our new work in the  Green Hydrogen Industry and our global transition promotion efforts raising awareness globally as to Hydrogen being the new LNG and a replacement for LNG over the next period Globally.

Mr. Ballout continue that “Due to the Market Conditions, we will accelerate our Up-List Plans to NASDAQ and our Required 2 years Audit in compliance therewith as soon as we are able early this year and once listed on NASDAQ, we believe that the market will reflect a more realistic value for ENKS.”

“ENKS plans other positive reorganization steps in the near future, which shall include the sale of some performing assets owned by the company to foreign investors and other acquisitions and reorganization activities within the company, for further consolidation of value, as a benefit to our loyal shareholders”.

“Loyal ENKS Shareholders are the ‘ENKS ARMY’, and we will always support their best interests.”

The foregoing statements are forward-looking statements, and as such, they may or may not reflect the results which could transpire in the future which should be negative or not transpire at all due to circumstances or other reasons and investors, shareholders, or others should not rely on these forward-looking statements to ascertain any value if any of ENKS or to make any investment decisions and to take note that this is not an offer to buy or sell securities or an endorsement of ENKS for investment purposes as all investment carry a risk of loss sometimes a total loss of your investment in Micro cap shares markets or any market and therefore such statements or plans should not be relied upon for any business decisions of any kind – Approval and permissions required by federal regulations may or may not be approved and if not approved may result in the loss of all value and all investments in products requiring such regulatory permissions to market and sell. These statements are made as forward-looking statements for educational purposes only in accordance with the rules and regulations which pertain to the same.

Enerkon Solar International Inc.

New HQ Address in New York at:

Enerkon Solar International Inc

477 Madison Avenue

New York, NY 10022 USA

Tel. +1 (877) 573-7797

Tel. +1 (718) 709-7889

Tel. +1 5614317762

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The future of renewable energy infrastructure investing remains bright despite Covid challenges




Despite challenges brought on by the global coronavirus pandemic, the future of renewable energy infrastructure still lo

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BlocPower Raises $8M to Empower Building Owners to Make Their Properties More Sustainable




Buildings generate 80% of New York City’s greenhouse gas emissions. Improving energy efficiency isn’t only important to the environment but it also reduces costs, making housing more affordable in the long run.  BlocPower is an energy technology startup that combines technology with structured finance solutions to encourage business owners to abandon their existing, obsolete heating and cooling solutions and replace them with sustainable alternatives.  The company leverages machine learning to identify the buildings that will benefit the most from energy savings. For building owners, there is no upfront cost and repayment comes directly from energy savings. The company has already retrofitted 1000+ buildings in NYC and is expanding its efforts nationwide with projects in progress in 24 cities.

AlleyWatch caught up with CEO and cofounder Donnel Baird to learn more about the company, how his work with the Obama administration sparked the idea for the business, the company’s future plans, recent round of funding, which brings the total equity funding raised to $13M, and much, much more.

Who were your investors and how much did you raise?

We just announced a Series A round for $63 million, which included $55 million in debt and $8 million in equity. The round was led by American Family Insurance Institute for Corporate and Social Impact (AmFam), AccelR8, and The Goldman Sachs Urban Investment Group, with participation from Kapor Capital, Elemental Excelerator, CityRock Venture Partners, The Schmidt Family Foundation, and Salesforce Ventures. To date, the company has raised $68 million from early anchor investors, including Kapor Capital, Andreessen Horowitz, MaC Venture Capital, Exelon, New York Ventures of the Empire State Development Corporation, Echoing Green, and The Schmidt Family Foundation. The funding will enable us to expand and scale our inner-city energy sustainability projects across the U.S., create green jobs, improve quality of life for urban residents and help save the planet.

Tell us about the product or service that Blocpower offers.

BlocPower is a Brooklyn-based climate tech startup that is focused on providing affordable sustainability upgrades to millions of buildings in underserved communities, to help turn buildings into Teslas. Through a combination of advanced technology and structured finance, we enable building owners in low- to moderate-income neighborhoods to upgrade their aging, inefficient heating and cooling systems with more modern, efficient “green” technologies, which improves property values, lowers or eliminates fossil fuel use, reduces energy consumption, helps the environment, improves the quality of life for tenants and lowers their utility bills.

What inspired the start of Blocpower?

When I was a child growing up in Brooklyn, our building had no functioning heating system and my family was forced to heat the apartment using our gas stove and vent the carbon monoxide out the open windows. During college, I was a community activist and also became much more aware of the close relationship between climate change and other social justice issues, such as health, education, and unemployment. After college, I worked on the Obama campaign, and after he won, I was offered a position as a consultant with the Department of Energy on the Green Jobs initiative – part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act — which was designed to spend more than $7 billion in federal subsidies and potentially $90 billion in pension fund investments to train union workers to green American buildings. While this was initially successful, it ultimately failed when the subsidies ran out because the projects were incredibly expensive, not scalable, and not profitable for investors. I went to Columbia Business School to figure out if and how we could achieve success in the model and met with top execs in banking and finance, technology, utilities, and other industries. Through these interactions, I realized that through the right combination of technologies and structured finance we could succeed where the Obama initiative failed. While still pursuing my MBA, I applied for and won a $2 million contract from the federal government. The caveat was that I had to raise an equal amount of money from the private sector, so I went out to Silicon Valley. That’s how BlocPower was born.

How is Blocpower different?

There are many great sustainability companies doing great things to help save the environment. However, green energy upgrades in buildings are extraordinarily complex and expensive, which puts them out of reach of most building owners in low- to moderate-income neighborhoods who don’t have access to capital or technical expertise to make improvements. BlocPower focuses specifically on these neighborhoods and market segments–because there are 35 million buildings across American that are a part of this segment. We use machine learning to partner with utilities, government agencies, and community organizations to identify neighborhoods and buildings to retrofit. We leverage advanced hardware and software technologies to determine which retrofits will produce the most energy savings at scale, and to dramatically lower the project costs. We use structured finance to make these projects affordable for building owners – with zero up-front investment and repayment coming entirely from the building’s energy savings. And finally, we only partner with contractors who hire and train workers from within their local communities. In short, BlocPower turns aging, inefficient buildings into Teslas, making them smarter, healthier, and more profitable by getting them off of fossil fuels, and creating highly-skilled, well-paying jobs in the process.

What market does Blocpower target and how big is it?

To give you a sense, aging, inefficient buildings produce 30% of America’s greenhouse gasses – that’s more than the entire US transportation sector. There are over 50 million aging, inefficient buildings in cities across America and 120 million buildings need upgrades. So far, we have greened more than 1,000 in New York City, with projects underway in 24 cities including Philadelphia, Oakland, Milwaukee, and others.

To give you a sense, aging, inefficient buildings produce 30% of America’s greenhouse gasses – that’s more than the entire US transportation sector. There are over 50 million aging, inefficient buildings in cities across America and 120 million buildings need upgrades. So far, we have greened more than 1,000 in New York City, with projects underway in 24 cities including Philadelphia, Oakland, Milwaukee, and others.

What’s your business model?

We partner with governments, utility companies, and building owners, and lenders.

How has COVID-19 impacted the business?

Naturally, COVID has slowed some projects down, as we have to be sensitive to the health and safety of our workers and the building tenants. That said, other projects have ramped up, such as our work to install free WiFi networks in underserved communities. We do this to address social justice issues, such as enabling families who cannot afford high-speed access to work or educate their children from home, but it also improves our ability to monitor energy use from buildings within those communities.

What was the funding process like?


What are the biggest challenges that you faced while raising capital?

Venture Capital historically invests less than 3% of its deployed capital into companies led by women and founders of color.

What factors about your business led your investors to write the check?

We are going to build a huge business, and we have the best investors in the world involved. There were several factors. The fact that BlocPower solved the challenges that caused Obama’s green initiative to fail – scalability, affordability and profitability – through the use of technology and structured finance. Also, because we are a technology and financing company, and not focused on the actual equipment, which makes us much more stable and attractive to our investors. Another factor is the market potential and our target market, which is woefully underserved. And finally, because we had proven that greening buildings can be done in 1,000 urban buildings, and that the process was replicable across the country.

What are the milestones you plan to achieve in the next six months?

Expanding to ten new cities.

What advice can you offer companies in New York that do not have a fresh injection of capital in the bank?

Focus on meeting your customers’ needs during this difficult time.

Where do you see the company going now over the near term?

IPO then save the planet.

What’s your favorite outdoor dining restaurant in NYC

Farm at Adderly on Cortelyou in Ditmas, near our home in Brooklyn.

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Wave Energy To Gild The Floating Wind Turbine Lily In Ireland




Floating wind turbine technology is just starting to get off the ground, and now suddenly wave energy is coming around to turbo-boost the industry. If all goes according to plan, a new floating wind-plus-wave project off the coast of Ireland will demonstrate how nations with a coastline can accelerate the clean energy transition and meet their 2050 net zero carbon goals just in time to thwart catastrophic climate change. You listening, USA?

The Rise Of The Floating Wind Turbine

Floating wind turbines aim at harvesting wind power from offshore sites that are too deep for fixed-platform structures. Attach a tether to something that floats, and you could put a wind turbine just about anywhere.

That greatly expands the opportunities for coastal nations like the US, which is already on track to festoon the relatively shallow waters of the Atlantic coast with offshore wind farms but has yet to dip a toe into the deeper waters of the Pacific (the Gulf of Mexico is a whole ‘nother kettle of fish, more on that later).

Just a few years ago, floating turbine technology seemed to be drifting around in the doldrums, but much R&D has been taking place under the radar and now the pace is picking up.

The floating wind turbine project in Ireland is part of the Western Star project proposed by Ireland’s Simply Blue Group. As one indicator of the commercial-ready status of the technology, earlier this year Simply Blue hooked up with Shell for another proposed floating wind turbine project called Emerald.

The Emerald project is located in the Cork region and is aimed at 300 megawatts of wind power initially, with the potential for 1 gigawatt eventually.

Clean Power Twofer: Wind Turbine + Wave Energy Device

The Western Star project ramps things up a notch with the addition of wave energy.

The wind turbine part is dubbed Project Ilen. It aims at 1.1 gigawatts for a site about 35 kilometers off the coast of County Clare.

For those of you keeping score at home, the name Ilen refers to the last-built ship among Ireland’s fleet of wooden sailboats. That would be 1926. Ilen has been restored and assigned as flagship to a Limerick-based sailing school and network.

The wave energy part is a much smaller, 5-megawatt array called Project Saoirse, which refers to a sister vessel to Ilen.

Project Saoirse will be located much closer to shore, at about 4-6 kilometers. The basic idea seems to be that wave energy devices can share undersea cable and other transmission infrastructure with floating wind turbines. Partly due to their high profile, floating wind turbines need to be sited far offshore in order to keep from running afoul of the local tourist industry and other stakeholders. That leaves a lot of empty space between the offshore farm and the coast. With a much lower profile, wave energy devices could monetize some of that space without ruffling feathers onshore.

How Far Along Is Wave Energy, Really?

Wave energy devices work by converting the mechanical up-and-down motion of waves into an electrical current. That sounds simple enough, especially considering the 24/7 availability of an endless supply of waves in the ocean.

However, the devil is in the details. Wave energy developers have been hammering away on a number of key issues including the ability to withstand salt water and stormy weather. Despite the obstacles, wave energy R&D has soldiered on, and it looks like all that hard work is paying off.

Project Saoirse is set to deploy wave energy devices engineered by the firm CorPower Ocean, a Swedish startup that sailed across the CleanTechnica radar in 2014.

“The technology for this new wave power device was invented by Dr. Stig Lundbäck, a medical doctor from Sweden who has spent his life studying the pumping principles of the human heart – and has used this knowledge to design a giant buoy that gently oscillates in resonance with the waves of the sea,” was the pitch. “The new device, which is now being further developed together with Spanish energy giant Iberdrola, promises to be five times more efficient than competing technologies at a third of the cost.”

Money Talks

Interesting! Ibderola is partnering with CorPower on the HiWave wave energy project in Portugal, which has not previously crossed the CleanTechnica radar though it has been in the works since 2013. Last month CorPower announced that HiWave is moving forward, with a 7.3 million-Euro lift from public and private partners.

“The investment supported by the European Union is provided through the NORTE 2020 Program operated by aicep Portugal Global (Portuguese Trade & Investment Agency) and CCDR-N (Norte Portugal Regional Coordination and Development Commission),” enthused CorPower.

The project is aiming at a bankability goal of 2024 to demonstrate the “survivability, performance and economics of a grid-connected array of Wave Energy Converters,” with the pilot wave energy farm to be located in Aguçadoura.

Fingers crossed! Agucadoura was the site of the ill-fated Pelamis wave energy project, but that was more than 10 years ago and many lessons have been learned since then.

Simply Blue, for one, is already convinced. So is the EU clean tech accelerator EIT Innoenergy, which has been all over CorPower like white on rice since 2012.

Last July EIT Innoenergy, ​ALMI Invest Greentech, and private investors joined in a €9 million round of funding led by Midroc New Technology.

“CorPower Ocean is a global leader in wave energy technology,” cheered EIT Innoenergy. “Its new generation of high-efficiency WECs (Wave Energy Converters) is inspired by the pumping principles of the human heart. Advanced control technology allows large amounts of energy to be harvested using small, low-cost devices.”

In that announcement EIT Innoenergy listed Sweden, Portugal, Scotland, and Norway on CorPower’s list of targeted sites, so it looks like the list is due for an update now that Ireland is on board.

Wind Turbines & Wave Energy, Perfect Together

The ability to piggyback a wave energy converter onto a wind turbine could have huge implications for the US, where tourism, recreation, and landowner stakeholders dictate that offshore wind turbines be kept out of sight from shore.

It’s possible that US offshore wind energy developers are already eyeballing CorPower and other wave energy firms, so don’t be surprised if a Saoirse-type project pops up around here these parts.

Hawaii is a good bet. Though it is blessed with an abundance of offshore wind resources, the state’s ability to find suitable sites for offshore wind farms is constrained by its tourism industry and other factors. A wave power array could enable it to suck more juice out of any available sites.

Hawaii also happens to be the site of a top notch wave energy test bed, and it is also a long stone’s throw from a planned state-of-the-art wave energy test site on the Oregon coast.

As for that thing about the Gulf of Mexico, offshore wind resources in the Gulf are less than optimal. Nevertheless, the Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory has assessed the situation and has come up with scenarios under which an offshore wind turbine or two (or more) would make sense from a bottom line point of view.

We were guessing green hydrogen would come into the feasibility picture eventually, given some interesting activity in the ammonia industry in the Gulf state of Louisiana. It’s also possible that the wave energy piggyback angle could support the bottom line case for offshore wind in the Gulf of Mexico, so stay tuned for more on that.

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Photo: CorPower wave energy device with floating wind turbine in background courtesy of Simply Blue Energy.



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