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[Due to the increasing size of the archives, each topic page now contains only the prior 365 days of content. Access to older stories is now solely through the Monthly Archive pages or the site search function.]

Lux analysis points to fall off in innovation interest in renewables and energy storage

September 11, 2017

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 works by algorithmically doing high-throughput parallel analysis of various large and complex datasets about innovation, resulting in a revealing picture about any technology’s progress. Lux says that the method has proven successful in uncovering predictive data about emerging innovation such as artificial intelligence, health sensors, and other digital transformation topics, as well as tracking declining innovation like diesel engines and the rise of tight oil, electric vehicles, and quinoa, to give just a few examples.

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Toyota and partners begin full-scale operation of showcase project to supply low-carbon H2 to fuel cell forklifts

July 13, 2017

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 Regional Cooperation and Low-carbon Hydrogen Technology Demonstration Project commissioned by the Ministry of the Environment have been completed, and full-scale operations have commenced.

The goal of the project is to implement and evaluate a low-carbon hydrogen supply chain which will utilize hydrogen produced from renewable energy in facilities along Tokyo Bay (in Yokohama and Kawasaki) to power 12 fuel cell forklifts. The project aims to construct a low-carbon hydrogen supply chain that can reduce overall CO2 emissions by at least 80% when compared with conventional approaches.

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

March 28, 2017

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 the new batteries from the BMW plant in Dingolfing and use them in all storage projects. The first energy storage from the BMW-i3 batteries is being built at the 122 MW onshore wind farm “Princess Alexia” near Amsterdam. With a capacity of 3.2 megawatts (MW), it is Vattenfall’s first large storage project in the Netherlands.

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Scientists suggest quantum control of atoms may make fusion energy production more efficient

March 03, 2017

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 bulk plasma.

Their report on quantum-controlled fusion suggests that rather than heating atoms to temperatures found inside the sun or smashing them in a collider, it might be possible to nudge them close enough to fuse by using shaped laser pulses: ultrashort, tuned bursts of coherent light.

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Viking Grace LNG ferry to install rotor sail; first LNG/wind electric propulsion hybrid ship

January 26, 2017

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 between Turku (Finland) and Stockholm (Sweden), and is already one of the most environmentally-friendly cruise ferries in the global maritime industry. With the addition of Norsepower’s technology, the vessel will further reduce its emissions, fuel burn and fuel costs; reducing carbon emissions by around 900 tonnes annually; equivalent to cutting 300 tonnes of LNG fuel per year.

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

October 13, 2016

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 sustainable carbon fibers in Germany.

In the first step at a location in Chemnitz, Saxony, CarboSax will build a pilot line for the sustainable production of carbon fibers. The objective of this carbon fiber pilot line production is a significant reduction in production costs by 30% over currently available commercial carbon fibers. This cost reduction is required to further enable the use of carbon fiber in mass production in the automotive industry, mechanical engineering and wind power. An equal objective is a reduction of at least 50% in CO2 emissions from carbon fiber production.

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