In today’s Electrek Green Energy Brief (EGEB):

  • South Korea’s pandemic stimulus plan is anchored in electric vehicle and hydrogen car investment.
  • Joe Biden announced his climate crisis plan that boosts green energy and infrastructure.
  • Biden vs. Trump: Where they stand on climate change and green energy issues.

The Electrek Green Energy Brief (EGEB): A daily technical, financial, and political review/analysis of important green energy news.

South Korea’s EV plan

South Korea outlined its plan yesterday to spend 114.1 trillion won ($95 billion) on a stimulus plan to help its economy recover from the pandemic and create jobs. Investment in electric vehicles and hydrogen cars plays a major part in that plan.

It also aims to cut heavy reliance on fossil fuels. As Reuters reports:

The plan set ambitious goals of net-zero emissions by 2050, an end to funding of overseas coal plants, and introduction of a carbon tax.

South Korea aims to have 1.13 million electric vehicles and 200,000 hydrogen cars on the roads by 2025, up from 91,000 and 5,000 each by the end of 2019.

Hyundai Motor Group leader Euisun Chung said flagship Hyundai Motor and sibling Kia Motors aim to sell 1 million EVs in 2025, together targeting more than a tenth of global market share.

Seoul, the capital, is planning to have 4,000 EV charging stations and 65 for hydrogen-powered cars by 2035, up from 1,090 EV stations and the four for hydrogen cars it has now.

Shares of Hyundai Motor (005380.KS) jumped nearly 8% today in response to yesterday’s announcements. Kia Motors (000270.KS) rose 4.1%.

However, some environmental groups feel not enough is being done. Their full statement can be found here on what is missing from the South Korean plan, but when it comes to ICE cars, Greenpeace Korea said:

Although the central government’s support policy to increase the supply of eco-friendly vehicles is welcome, it is regrettable that the road map for discontinuing the sale of internal combustion [vehicles] is not included.

Biden’s green energy plan

On July 9, Electrek reported that Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden’s unity task force proposed broad environmental recommendations to aid his presidential bid. Yesterday, Biden announced his climate crisis plan, with specific and aggressive targets, which boosts green energy and infrastructure as part of his “Build Back Better” agenda.

Biden said he would spend $2 trillion over four years on clean energy initiatives. His previous plan called for spending $1.7 trillion on clean energy over 10 years.

The task force recommended installing 500 million solar panels and manufacturing 60,000 wind turbines. It also recommended the adoption of “strong standards” for clean cars and trucks and the transition of all school buses to American-made, zero-emission alternatives within five years. (It does not, however, ban fracking or phase out fossil fuels, and Biden is in favor of nuclear power.)

The New York Times writes:

Mr. Biden’s plan outlines specific and aggressive targets, including achieving an emissions-free power sector by 2035 and upgrading 4 million buildings over four years to meet the highest standards for energy efficiency.

The plan also calls for establishing an office of environmental and climate justice at the Justice Department and developing a broad set of tools to address how ‘environmental policy decisions of the past have failed communities of color.’

Biden’s aides said he would pay for it in part by undoing Trump’s tax cuts, raising taxes on wealthy Americans, and increasing the corporate tax rate to 28%. They said more details will come in the weeks ahead after he unveils other economic proposals.

Biden vs. Trump on sustainability

Reuters put together a quick comparison on how Joe Biden and Donald Trump compare when it comes to climate and green energy. They summed up the difference in their headline: Biden is pushing a green revolution, and Trump wants to cut red tape. Here are the four categories Reuters compared, and Electrek summarizes and annotates their findings below:

Climate change

  • Biden: $2 trillion in spending over four years and aims to achieve 100% green energy by 2035. See above for details.
  • Trump: His website doesn’t have a climate-change plan. It instead has an energy and environment section (including “Expanding Green Engergy” [sic]) that focuses on unraveling Obama-era regulations and promoting fossil fuels. He supports nuclear, as does Biden. There is not one mention of green energy.

Auto emissions

  • Biden: Wants to strengthen auto emission standards, “has also proposed incentives for auto manufacturers to produce zero-emission cars, a federal procurement program for clean vehicles, and set a goal for all new American-built buses to be zero-emissions by 2030.”
  • Trump: Weakened auto emissions standards in March.

Energy workers

  • Biden: Biden won’t impose a nationwide ban on fracking, but also wants to create millions of green energy jobs as part of the pandemic stimulus plan, and thus offering alternatives to mining work in coal communities.
  • Trump: Slashed air and water regulations to protect coal jobs. However, “Coal-fired electricity output fell 18% last year to the lowest level since 1975.” The coal industry has seen a number of bankruptcies and lost jobs.

Climate diplomacy

  • Biden: Will rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement and rejoin international dialogue. Intends to pressure China to stop financing coal plants.
  • Trump: Pulled the US from the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement. As Electrek reported, US Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette attended the International Energy Agency’s virtual summit on July 9 and criticized the majority’s approach of linking climate efforts to coronavirus recovery. He then boasted about the US’ fossil-fuel production.

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