Bloomberg NEF forecasts falling battery prices enabling surge in wind and solar to 50% of global generation by 2050

Wind and solar power generation will surge to almost 50% of world generation by 2050 (“50 by 50”), supported by precipitous reductions in cost, and the advent of cheaper and cheaper batteries that will enable electricity to be stored and discharged to meet shifts in demand and supply, according to... Read more →

A methanation plant expansion to the existing power-to-gas (PtG) facility in Falkenhagen, Germany has officially opened as part of the international €28-million (US$33.5-million) STORE&GO research project. Construction on the methanation plant began in July 2017. While the current facility feeds pure hydrogen (“WindGas”) directly into the gas grid, the new... Read more →

BP selects Tesla batteries for pilot storage project at US wind farm

BP Wind Energy, through its wholly-owned subsidiary Rolling Thunder I Power Partners LLC, has signed a purchase agreement to install a high-storage battery at its Titan 1 Wind Farm in South Dakota. The project is the first of its kind in BP’s US-operated wind business and a potential step forward... Read more →

New analysis based on big data analysis by Lux Research suggests that innovation interest in renewables is declining, after peaking about four years ago. Without continued innovation momentum, the market research firm noted, long-term success driven by further clean energy technology improvements is thrown into question. The Lux Tech Signal... Read more →

A Japanese partnership, consisting of the Kanagawa Prefectural Government, the municipal governments of the cities of Yokohama and Kawasaki, Iwatani Corporation, Toshiba Corporation, Toyota Motor Corporation, Toyota Industries Corporation, Toyota Turbine and Systems, Inc., and Japan Environment Systems Co., Ltd. announced that all facilities to be used in the FY2015... Read more →

Vattenfall contracts with BMW for up to 1,000 new 33 kWh Li-ion batteries this year for storage projects in wind farms

Vattenfall and the BMW Group have signed a contract for the delivery of up to 1,000 lithium-ion batteries this year. The batteries—each with a capacity of 33 kWh—are equipped with a BMW-owned battery management system and are also used by the car manufacturer in the BMW i3. Vattenfall will purchase... Read more →

Scientists at Rice University, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the University of Chile are proposing that quantum-controlled motion of nuclei, starting from the nanometer-size ground state of a molecule, can potentially overcome some of the difficulties of thermonuclear fusion by compression of a fuel pellet or in a... Read more →

Norsepower Oy Ltd., a provider of low- maintenance, software-operated, and data-verified auxiliary wind propulsion systems, signed an agreement with Finnish shipping company Viking Line to install its Rotor Sail Solution onboard the M/S Viking Grace, an LNG-fueled cruise ferry. The 57,565 GT M/S Viking Grace currently operates in the archipelago... Read more →

CarboSax: new joint venture for more sustainable carbon fiber production forms in Germany

PD Glasseiden, a Germany-based producer of fiberglass; European Carbon Fiber GmbH; and the ForschungsCampus Open Hybrid LabFactory e.V., established under the auspices of the Lower Saxony Research Centre for Vehicle Technology at the TU Braunschweig and Volkswagen AG have formed a joint venture—CarboSax GmbH—to pursue developing, manufacturing and distributing more... Read more →

A Japanese partnership comprising the Kanagawa Prefectural Government; the municipal governments of the cities of Yokohama and Kawasaki; Toyota; Toshiba; and Iwatani announced the forthcoming start of a four-year project to implement and evaluate an end-to-end low-carbon hydrogen supply chain which will use hydrogen produced from renewable energy to power... Read more →

New German ecoPtG project seeks to make power-to-gas commercially viable with help of automotive technology

In collaboration with engineering partner IAV, the Zentrum für Sonnenenergie- und Wasserstoff-Forschung Baden-Württemberg (Centre for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research Baden-Württemberg, ZSW); the Reiner Lemoine Institut (RLI); and Wasserelektrolyse Hydrotechnik (HT) are researching cost-effective methods of producing hydrogen with the help of automotive technology. In the ecoPtG project, the researchers... Read more →

Major corporate and public sector partners in Japan are launching an effort to test a full carbon-neutral hydrogen supply chain powered by renewable wind energy. The trials are planned to take place near the cities of Yokohama and Kawasaki in the Keihin coastal region. On the public sector side, the... Read more →

2010 and 2015 LCOE ranges for solar and wind technologies. Source: IEA/NEA. Click to enlarge. The cost of producing electricity from renewable sources such as wind and solar has been falling for several years. A new report, a joint project by the International Energy Agency and the Nuclear Energy Agency,... Read more →

Global investment in renewable power and fuels (excluding large hydro-electric projects) was $270.2 billion in 2014, nearly 17% higher than the previous year, according to the latest edition of an annual report commissioned by the United Nations Environment Program’s (UNEP) Division of Technology, Industry and Economic (DTIE) in cooperation with... Read more →

The cost of generating power from renewable energy sources has reached parity or dropped below the cost of fossil fuels for many technologies in many parts of the world, according to a new report released by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). The report, “Renewable Power Generation Costs in 2014”,... Read more →

Up to 30 electric vehicles at a time can recharge in Fraunhofer IAO’s parking garage. Click to enlarge. A team from Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering IAO, together with Daimler AG and the Institute for Human Factors and Technology Management at the University of Stuttgart, is developing both the charging... Read more →

M5BAT 5MW storage system integrates multiple battery technologies

The E.ON Energy Research Center at RWTH Aachen University, E.ON electric utility company, battery manufacturers Exide and beta-motion and inverter manufacturer SMA Solar Technology AG (SMA) have joined forces to build the first multi-technology, modular large-scale 5MW battery storage system. The unique feature of the M5BAT (Modular Multimegawatt, Multitechnology Medium-Voltage... Read more →

Cell schematic. Discharge mode is shown; the arrows are reversed for electrolytic/charge mode. AQDSH2 refers to the reduced form of AQDS. Huskinson et al. Click to enlarge. Researchers at Harvard have demonstrated a metal-free organic–inorganic aqueous flow battery—a quinone–bromide flow battery (QBFB)—as an example of a class of energy storage... Read more →

Clariant supplying SNG catalyst for methanation unit in Audi’s new “Power-to-Gas” plant

Clariant, a global provider of specialty chemicals, has supplied a proprietary CO2-SNG (synthetic natural gas) catalyst for the methanation unit of Audi’s new power-to-gas facility in Werlte, Germany. (Earlier post.) The “e-gas plant” was started up in June this year and is part of Audi’s sustainability initiative. The plant, which... Read more →

A new Energy Department study conducted by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) indicates that by 2025 wind and solar power electricity generation could become cost-competitive without federal subsidies, if new renewable energy development occurs in the most productive locations. The cost of generation includes any needed transmission and integration... Read more →

Transition of flow to turbulence on a wind-turbine airfoil; isosurfaces of vorticity from a Large Eddy Simulation (LES). Credit: GE Global Research. Click to enlarge. GE Global Research, the technology development arm of the General Electric Company, recently completed a research project in partnership with Sandia National Laboratories that could... Read more →

Project Volt Gas Volt is based on a long-term financing plan and the use of existing technologies for the large-scale conversion of surplus renewable electricity to methane, with subsequent reuse. Diagram: Isabelle Plat. Click to enlarge. Corinne Lepage, Member of the European Parliament (and former French Minister of the Environment)... Read more →

German researchers improve catalyst for steam reforming of methanol with salt coating; enabler for renewable energy storage systems

Researchers at the University of Erlangen-Nürnberg (Germany) report in the journal Angewandte Chemie their development of an enhanced platinum catalyst for the steam reforming of methanol to release hydrogen. A central problem of renewable energy technology lies in the great variation of energy generated (i.e., intermittency). One proposed solution is... Read more →

A plot of ESOI for 7 potential grid-scale energy storage technologies. Credit: Barnhart and Benson, 2013. Click to enlarge. A new study by Charles J. Barnhart and Sally M. Benson from Stanford University and Stanford’s Global Climate and Energy Project (GCEP) has quantified the energetic costs of 7 different grid-scale... Read more →

Reference scenario impact indicator values by eight components and nine stressor sources. Components: WT = wind turbine; Fnd = foundation; EC = electrical connections, including substation; Inst = installation; IOo = input-output, other; Mnt = Maintenance, excluding replacement parts; RP = replacement parts; EOL = end-of-life. Credit: ACS, Arvesen et... Read more →

Honda Transmission contracts with Juhl Wind for two utility-scale wind turbines at Ohio plant; up to 10% of electricity for operations

Honda Transmission Mfg. of America, Inc. announced an agreement with Juhl Wind, Inc. to develop, install, and operate two utility-scale wind turbines (each rated at about 2MW) to generate electricity for the plant’s operations. The plant manufactures automatic transmissions, gears and four-wheel-drive systems, including the next-generation Earth Dreams transmission technology.... Read more →

Senate version of “Fiscal Cliff” legislation includes 12 energy tax extenders; boost for algae

Among the many extensions specified in the amended version of a House bill (H.R.8) passed by the US Senate on New Year’s Day by a vote of 89 - 8 to avoid the across-the-board increase in taxes currently called for by the “fiscal cliff” are a number for energy tax... Read more →

Components of the e-gas plant. Click to enlarge. Audi is celebrating progress on its e-gas plant under construction in Werlte, Germany with a topping-out ceremony. End products from the plant will be hydrogen and synthetic methane (Audi e-gas), to be used as fuel for vehicles such as the new Audi... Read more →

The Pew survey found a 10 percentage point shift in favor of expanded fossil fuel production from March 2011 to March 2012. Data: Pew Research Center. Click to enlarge. As fuel prices rise, a new Pew Research Center survey has found that 52% of Americans now say the more important... Read more →

Comparison of demand projections for REE (total summed). Credit: ACS, Alonso et al. Click to enlarge. A large-scale shift from coal-fired electric power plants and gasoline-fueled cars to wind turbines and electric vehicles could increase demand for two already-scarce rare earth elements (REE)—dysprosium and neodymium, available almost exclusively in China—by... Read more →

Percentage of consumers having extremely or very favorable views of 13 clean energy technologies, 2009-2011. Data: Pike Research. Click to enlarge. According to a new survey from Pike Research, general consumer support for clean energy concepts—ranging from renewable energy to alternative fuel vehicles to smart grid technologies—has eroded in the... Read more →

New nanoparticle copper compound cathode could enable low-cost, long-life and high-power potassium-ion batteries for grid storage

A team at Stanford led by Prof. Yi Cui has developed nanoparticle copper hexacyanoferrate (CuHCF) battery cathode materials that demonstrate long cycle life and high power for use in grid storage applications. In a paper in Nature Communications, they report that after 40,000 deep discharge cycles at a 17 C rate,... Read more →

Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) or battery electric vehicles (BEVs) have the potential to serve as a resource—under certain market scenarios and penetration levels—to meet the significant energy imbalances on the power grid that can be created by the integration of large amounts of wind generation (which can be highly... Read more →

A123 Systems to supply Li-ion energy storage system to Dongfang Electric Corporation for evaluation for wind power solutions

Li-ion battery manufacturer A123 Systems will supply a 500kW Li-ion energy storage solution to Dongfang Electric Corporation (DEC), the third largest manufacturer of wind turbines in the People’s Republic of China and the country’s largest exporter of power equipment. Expected to be installed at DEC’s manufacturing facility in Hangzhou city,... Read more →

Dabiri suggests using optimized arrays of smaller vertical-axis wind turbines to increase the power density and reduce the cost, and visual, acoustic, radar and environmental impacts, of wind farms using giant horizontal-axis turbines. Source: Dabiri 2010. Click to enlarge. Research by Prof. John Dabiri at Caltech suggests that using counter-rotating... Read more →

Audi A3 TCNG for e-gas project. Click to enlarge. Starting in 2013, Audi will begin series production of TCNG models whose engines—derived from TFSI units—will be powered by e-gas: synthetic methane produced via the methanation of hydrogen produced by electrolysis using renewable electricity. Audi’s newly unveiled e-gas project is a... Read more →

KPMG survey finds majority of energy execs see oil over $121/barrel this year; shale expected to have transformative impact, investment in alternatives increasing

Energy executives expect continued volatility in the price-per-barrel of oil for the remainder of the year, with 64% predicting crude prices to exceed $121 per barrel. The executives also foresee shale oil and gas having a transformative effect on helping to meet the world’s energy needs, according to the results... Read more →

Ranges of global technical potentials of renewable energy sources derived from studies analyzed in SRREN report. Biomass and solar are shown as primary energy due to their multiple uses. Note that the figure is presented in logarithmic scale due to the wide range of assessed data. Source: SRREN. Click to... Read more →

BCG’s analysis finds that cellulosic ethanol is on the verge of becoming cost-competitive with gasoline at $3/gal US. Click to enlarge. Advanced biofuels, concentrated solar power (CSP), and solar photovoltaic power (PV) will see accelerating adoption and growth and are on track to change the global energy mix far earlier... Read more →

AMSC Power Electronics Support Nearly 10% of Global Wind-Generated Electricity

American Superconductor Corporation (AMSC), a global power technologies company, announced in conjunction with Global Wind Day 2010 on 15 June that it has achieved a significant milestone by supporting the production of more than 15,000 megawatts (MW) of wind power worldwide with its proprietary power electronic solutions. This amount of... Read more →

SOEC cells with a proton-conducting electrolyte can operate at lower temperatures and can be used to produce different kinds of synthetic fuels. Cells with an oxide ion-conducting electrolyte require a high operating temperature which will cause the synthetic fuels to split. This type can therefore only be used to produce... Read more →

US MMS Moves Forward With Alternative Energy Leases on the Outer Continental Shelf

The US Minerals Management Service (MMS) is proceeding with the consultation and analyses necessary to move toward the issuance of limited leases under its interim policy for authorizing alternative energy data collection and technology testing activities on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS). MMS announced its interim policy in November 2007... Read more →

Gore’s Challenge to the US: 100% Zero-Carbon Electricity in 10 Years

In a major speech given today at the DAR Constitution Hall in Washington DC, former Vice President Al Gore challenged the US to end its reliance on carbon-based fuels and to “commit to producing 100 percent of our electricity from renewable energy and truly clean carbon-free sources within 10 years.”... Read more →

StatoilHydro to Build First Full-Scale Floating Wind Turbine

The HyWind floating turbine. Click to enlarge. StatoilHydro will build the world’s first full-scale floating wind turbine, Hywind, and test it over a two-year period offshore Karmøy, Norway. (Earlier post.) The company is investing approximately 400 million NOK (US$80 million) in the project, and plans to have the floating turbine... Read more →

BP Reinforces Commitment to China With Series of Agreements; Coal Conversion, Wind, Acetic Acid

BP has signed a series of agreements in China involving the strategic integration and commercialization of coal conversion technologies; wind power generation; and world-class acetic acid production. The British Prime Minister, the Rt. Hon. Gordon Brown and the Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, as well as officials from both the British... Read more →

Beluga Shipping Launches MV Beluga SkySails

The MV Beluga Skysails at christening. Click to enlarge. Beluga Shipping GmbH has launched the 140m MV Beluga Skysails, the world’s first application of the SkySails towing kite auxiliary propulsion system on a cargo vessel. (Earlier post.) The MV Beluga SkySails is equipped with a towing kite measuring 160 square... Read more →

Babcock & Brown to Buy Bluewater Wind

Proposed location (hatched red) for the Delaware Offshore Wind Park. The red dots represent locations for which Bluewater developed visualizations of the wind farm. Click to enlarge. Babcock & Brown is buying Bluewater Wind, the developer of a proposed 150-turbine, 450MW wind farm to be located 11 miles off the... Read more →

Johnson Controls Expands Into Solar, Geothermal, Wind, Biomass and Other Renewables

Johnson Controls, Inc. is expanding its business into designing, installing and servicing geothermal, solar, biomass, wind and other renewable sources as energy supply options for customers. Johnson Controls is a global leader in interior experience, building efficiency and power solutions. Johnson Controls provides batteries for automobiles and hybrid electric vehicles,... Read more →

UK Approves Construction of 1.3GW of Offshore Wind Power Capacity

The UK has given the green light for the construction of the world’s largest wind farm—the London Array—to be built in the Thames estuary off the Kent coast. The consent gives the go-ahead for the offshore sections of the 1,000MW wind farm which, if built, will displace nearly 2 million... Read more →

Xcel and NREL Unveil Wind2H2 Project

The Wind2H2 project. Click to enlarge. Xcel Energy and the US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) unveiled a pilot facility that uses electricity from wind turbines to power electrolyzers to produce hydrogen, which is then compressed and stored at 3,500 psi. The Wind2H2 project is designed to... Read more →