Electric vehicles (EVs) will be a major disruptor for the US electric power sector, with the number of EVs in the US projected to increase from 1.5 million in 2020 to 10–35 million by 2030. A new study released by economists at The Brattle Group concludes that an investment in... Read more →

Toshiba Energy Systems & Solutions Corporation (Toshiba ESS) announced that its hydrogen-based autonomous energy supply system H2One, which Toshiba ESS delivered and installed on the rooftop of Toranomon Hills Business Tower (Minato-ku, Tokyo), has started full-scale operation with the opening of commercial facilities. H2One is an integrated system that provides... Read more →

DOE invests $65M at national laboratories and US universities to advance nuclear technology

The US Department of Energy (DOE) announced more than $65 million in nuclear energy research, cross-cutting technology development, facility access, and infrastructure awards for 93 advanced nuclear technology projects in 28 states. The awards fall under DOE’s nuclear energy programs called the Nuclear Energy University Program (NEUP), the Nuclear Energy... Read more →

Tokuyama Corporation and Toyota Motor Corporation (Toyota) have commenced verification tests, using by-product hydrogen, of a stationary fuel cell generator (FC generator) that makes use of the fuel cell system (FC system) installed in the Mirai Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV). The FC generator has been set up within the... Read more →

PowerCell Sweden AB has signed a memorandum of understanding with ABB Power Grids regarding a collaboration around fuel cell based zero emissions stationary power solutions. The aim of the cooperation is to leverage the companies’ existing technologies to jointly develop a complete solution for the market. A final agreement is... Read more →

The Volvo Cars manufacturing plant in Chengdu, the company’s largest in China, is now powered by 100% renewable electricity, taking the company’s global renewable electricity mix in its manufacturing network to 80%. The 100% renewable electricity mix in Chengdu is the result of a newly signed supply contract and will... Read more →

ITER, the world’s largest international scientific collaboration, is beginning assembly of the fusion reactor tokamak that will include 12 different essential hardware systems provided by US ITER, which is managed by Oak Ridge National Laboratory. The soup-bowl-shaped base of the ITER cryostat was gradually lifted from its frame, carried across... Read more →

A consortium comprising Engie Solutions, Siemens Gas and Power, Centrax, Arttic, German Aerospace Center (DLR) and four European universities is implementing the HYFLEXPOWER project funded by the European Commission under the Horizon 2020 Framework Program for Research and Innovation (Grant Agreement 884229). The implementation of this project, the first industrial-scale... Read more →

The COVID-19 pandemic has set in motion the largest drop in global energy investment in history, with spending expected to plunge in every major sector this year—from fossil fuels to renewables and efficiency—the International Energy Agency said in a new report. Energy investment is set to fall by one-fifth in... Read more →

DOE to award $30M to develop small-scale solid oxide fuel cell systems and hybrid energy systems

The US Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Office of Fossil Energy (FE) has announced up to $30 million in federal funding for cost-shared research and development projects under a funding opportunity announcement (DE-FOA-0002300) for Small-Scale Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Systems and Hybrid Energy Systems. This FOA seeks to develop advanced technologies... Read more →

Northvolt and Vattenfall have launched of a new battery energy storage solution, Voltpack Mobile System—a rugged, highly modular lithium-ion battery system envisioned as a zero-emission alternative to replace diesel generators. Voltpack Mobile System delivers up to 250 kW with a scalable capacity from 245 to 1225 kWh of available energy.... Read more →

HydroWing, in partnership with Tocardo, introduced the THyPSO (Tidal Hydrogen production, Storage and Offtake), a concept that creates green hydrogen from the sea, contributing to the wider global decarbonization of energy systems. THyPSO is a floating platform, housing 1 – 6 conventional bi-directional tidal turbines that convert tidal flows into... Read more →

US DOE launches $230M Advanced Reactor Demonstration Program

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has launched the Advanced Reactor Demonstration Program (ARDP) within the Office of Nuclear Energy (NE). ARDP is designed to help domestic private industry demonstrate advanced nuclear reactors in the United States. For the Fiscal Year 2020 budget, Congress appropriated $230 million to start a... Read more →

High-tech mobility innovator Lightyear and Royal DSM will jointly scale the commercialization of Lightyear’s unique solar-powered roof for the electric vehicle market. With this solution, both companies aim to accelerate the global adoption of a broad range of Electric Vehicles (EVs). Specifically, the partnership aims to integrate solar-powered roofs in... Read more →

Researchers at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) are evaluating the use of blockchain for transactive energy using hardware in the laboratory’s Energy Systems Integration Facility (ESIF). Distributing grid operational decision-making is revolutionary. It’s really like somebody in the 1980s expounding on the economic opportunity of the Internet. Everyone would... Read more →

General Motors expects its Spring Hill Manufacturing plant will be powered by 100% solar energy beginning in late 2022. A green tariff agreement with the Tennessee Valley Authority is expected to supply up to 100 megawatts of solar energy per year, or the amount of electricity consumed by 18,000 United... Read more →

The US Department of Energy announced $27 million in funding for 9 projects as part of the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy’s (ARPA-E) Generating Electricity Managed by Intelligent Nuclear Assets (GEMINA) program. GEMINA’s goal is to reduce fixed operations and maintenance (O&M) costs from ~13 $/MWh in the current fleet to... Read more →

Researchers at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory are refining their design of a 3D-printed nuclear reactor core, scaling up the additive manufacturing process necessary to build it, and developing methods to confirm the consistency and reliability of its printed components. The Transformational Challenge Reactor Demonstration Program’s approach... Read more →

The Department of the Interior (Department) and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) have approved a proposal to construct and operate the largest solar project in United States history. US Secretary of the Interior David L. Bernhardt signed the Record of Decision (ROD) for Solar Partners XI, LLC to construct... Read more →

DOE to provide $6M for research to develop energy storage technologies for deployment with fossil assets

The US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy (FE) has announced up to $6 million in federal funding for cost-shared research and development projects under the funding opportunity announcement (FOA) DE-FOA-0002332, Energy Storage for Fossil Power Generation. The FOA seeks applications to (1) advance near-term, system-integrated, energy storage... Read more →

by Michael Sivak, Sivak Applied Research. Battery electric vehicles are only as clean as the energy source used to generate the electricity that powers them. The calculated relative amounts of well-to-wheels emissions of greenhouse gases from eight different energy sources are shown in the table below. (The calculations were based... Read more →

VTT and partners to assess bio- and waste-based oils suitable for power plants and ships; BioFlex project

In a three-year Business Finland BioFlex project, VTT—the Finnish state-owned research agency—and partners are exploring how suitable fuel oils made from biomass and waste plastics are for power plants and ship diesel engines. The aim is to determine the most ecologically and economically sustainable way to replace fossil fuels. We... Read more →

The University of Tennessee (UT) and the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) signed a memorandum of understanding to evaluate the development of a new generation of cost-effective, advanced nuclear reactors, such as small modular reactors (SMRs), at TVA’s 935-acre Clinch River Nuclear (CRN) site in Roane County. TVA has not made... Read more →

ARPA-E announced up to $38 million in funding for a new program—Submarine Hydrokinetic And Riverine Kilo-megawatt Systems (SHARKS)—to design economically attractive Hydrokinetic Turbines (HKT) for tidal and riverine currents. (DE-FOA-0002334) Tidal and riverine energy resources are renewable, have the advantage of being highly reliable and predictable, and are often co-located... Read more →

The US Department of Energy announced the winners of $32 million in funding for 15 projects as part of the ARPA-E Breakthroughs Enabling THermonuclear-fusion Energy (BETHE) program. (Earlier post.) These projects will work to develop timely, commercially viable fusion energy, with the goal to increase the number and performance levels... Read more →

Toyota establishes Toyota Green Energy to conduct renewable energy power generation business

Toyota Motor Corporation, Chubu Electric Power Co., Inc., and Toyota Tsusho Corporation agreed to establish Toyota Green Energy LLP for the purposes of obtaining and managing renewable energy sources in Japan and supplying electric power from renewable energy sources to the Toyota Group in the future. Under Toyota Environmental Challenge... Read more →

Nuclear power plants play an important role in US electricity generation, consistently providing about 20% of total annual generation. Of the 30 US states with operating commercial nuclear power plants, 12 states generated more than 30% of their electricity from nuclear power, according to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA).... Read more →

A software package, 10 years in the making, that can predict the behavior of nuclear reactors’ cores with stunning accuracy has been licensed commercially for the first time. The nonprofit Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) is the first to hold a commercial license for the Virtual Environment for Reactor Applications... Read more →

The Intermountain Power Agency (IPA) has awarded Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems (MHPS) a contract for two M501JAC power trains for the Intermountain Power Plant (IPP) in Delta, Utah. (Earlier post.) This award marks the first Advanced Class Gas Turbines in the industry specifically designed and purchased as part of a... Read more →

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) Executive Officer has certified the 2020 annual update to the carbon intensities (CI) of the lookup table pathways for a) California Average Grid Electricity Used as a Transportation Fuel in California and b) Electricity Supplied under the Smart Charging or Smart Electrolysis Provision. The... Read more →

DEME Concessions and Omani partners are partnering to develop a world-leading, green hydrogen plant in Duqm, Oman. The facility will significantly contribute to the decarbonization of the regional chemical industry in Oman, as well as providing green hydrogen and/or derivatives (such as green methanol or ammonia) to international customers in... Read more →

Rio Tinto approved a $98-million investment in a new solar plant at the new Koodaideri mine in the Pilbara, Australia, as well as a lithium-ion battery energy storage system to help power its entire Pilbara power network. The $2.6-billion Koodaideri mine was approved in November last year with construction commencing... Read more →

More than half of all air-quality-related early deaths in the United States are a result of emissions originating outside of the state in which those deaths occur, MIT researchers report in a paper in the journal Nature. The study focuses on the period between 2005 and 2018 and tracks combustion... Read more →

The US Department of Energy (DOE) announced up to $30 million in funding to support innovative R&D for a range of enabling technologies required for commercially attractive fusion energy. (DE-FOA-0002288) The funding effort, Galvanizing Advances in Market-aligned fusion for an Overabundance of Watts (GAMOW, pronounced gamma), is run jointly by... Read more →

Dominion Energy sets new goal of net zero emissions by 2050 for both power generation, natural gas operations

Dominion Energy announced a significant expansion of the company's greenhouse gas emissions-reduction goals, establishing a new commitment to achieve net zero emissions by 2050. The goal covers carbon dioxide and methane emissions, the dominant greenhouse gases, from both electricity generation and gas infrastructure operations. The company had previously committed to... Read more →

DOE announces $64M for research into future coal power plants

The US Department of Energy (DOE) announced up to $64 million in federal funding for cost-shared research and development (R&D) projects under the funding opportunity announcement (DE-FOA-0002057), “Critical Components for Coal FIRST Power Plants of the Future.” DOE’s Coal FIRST (Flexible, Innovative, Resilient, Small, Transformative) initiative is intended to develop... Read more →

Researchers calculate social cost of German nuclear phase-out at $12B/year; 70% from increased mortality risk

In a working paper for the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), a team from UC Berkeley, UC Santa Barbara and Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) calculates that the social cost of the phase out of nuclear electricity production in Germany is approximately $12 billion per year. More than 70% of... Read more →

Rolls-Royce now holds a 73.1% majority stake in Berlin-based electricity storage specialist Qinous GmbH. The Group acquired the shareholdings of all other current financial investors, including that of investment holdings company IBB Beteiligungsgesellschaft mbH (Berlin). The founding shareholders will continue to hold shares in the company and will retain their... Read more →

DOE awards $25M to improve natural gas operations

The US. Department of Energy (DOE) selected 16 projects to receive nearly $25 million in federal funding for cost-shared projects to advance natural gas infrastructure technology development. DOE’s Office of Fossil Energy will provide federal funding for these projects. These projects aim to develop tools, methods, and technologies to enhance... Read more →

California Energy Commission to award up to $11M for non-Li-ion energy storage projects

The California Energy Commission (CEC) has released a solicitation (GFO-19-305) to fund innovative, non-Li-ion energy storage research projects, including green electrolytic hydrogen systems. The Commission notes that the state’s statutory requirements (SB-350, SB-100) for low-GHG electricity cannot be met with currently fielded technologies alone, because those technologies do not have... Read more →

Oklo Inc.—a small company based in Sunnyvale, CA, developing a compact fast reactor—has received a Site Use Permit from the US Department of Energy (DOE) to build its Aurora plant at Idaho National Laboratory (INL). The site use permit makes a site available to Oklo to build its Aurora plant,... Read more →

Highview Power Storage, Inc., a provider of long duration energy storage solutions, and Encore Renewable Energy, a developer of renewable energy generation and storage projects, jointly announced plans to develop the United States’ first long-duration, liquid-air energy storage system. This facility will be a minimum of 50MW, provide in excess... Read more →

Ballard Power Systems has signed a product development agreement with Hydrogene de France (HDF Energy), an independent power producer dedicated to renewable power generation, for the development and integration of a multi-megawatt (MW) scale fuel cell system into HDF Energy’s Renewstable power plant designed for stationary power applications. HDF Energy’s... Read more →

Hydro-Québec operates some 60 hydroelectric generating stations, making it one of the largest hydroelectricity producers in the world. Decarbonizing the economy to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions is one of the company’s priorities. In addition to having access to Québec’s vast water resources to generate green, renewable power at competitive... Read more →

Lab1886, the innovation unit for business models within Mercedes-Benz AG, is now supporting drive and energy system provider Rolls-Royce Power Systems AG in a pilot project in the field of stationary energy supply systems. Over the coming months, Rolls-Royce will develop a holistic concept for future sustainable and independent emergency... Read more →

Ontario, New Brunswick and Saskatchewan to work together on small modular reactors

Ontario, Saskatchewan and New Brunswick have agreed to work together to explore new technology in nuclear power generation to provide carbon-free, affordable, reliable, and safe energy, while helping unlock economic potential across Canada, including rural and remote regions. Ontario Premier Doug Ford, New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs and Saskatchewan Premier... Read more →

New investment in wind, solar, and other clean energy projects in developing nations dropped sharply in 2018, largely due to a slowdown in China. While the number of new clean power-generating plants completed stayed flat year-to-year, the volume of power derived from coal surged to a new high, according to... Read more →

CEC funds $11M project to fast-track commercialization of clean energy technologies: CalTestBed

The California Energy Commission (CEC) has launched a new funded program to help speed the commercialization of clean energy technologies. The California Test Bed (CalTestBed) initiative is designed to reduce the stumbling blocks of time, cost, and bureaucracy most entrepreneurs face when trying to bring breakthrough concepts to market. The... Read more →

Study finds climate impact of hydropower varies widely

Although hydropower is broadly considered to be much more environmentally friendly than electricity generated from fossil fuels (e.g., earlier post), a new study by a team at Environmental Defense Fund finds that the climate impact of hydropower facilities varies widely throughout the world and over time, with some facilities emitting... Read more →

ExxonMobil and FuelCell Energy, Inc. signed a new, two-year expanded joint-development agreement to further enhance carbonate fuel cell technology for the purpose of capturing carbon dioxide from industrial facilities. The agreement, worth up to $60 million, will focus efforts on optimizing the core technology, overall process integration and large-scale deployment... Read more →