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) calculate 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 →


ARPA-E to award up to $30M for fusion energy R&D

The US Department of Energy announced up to $30 million in funding for a new Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) program, Breakthroughs Enabling THermonuclear-fusion Energy (BETHE). BETHE projects will support the development of timely, commercially viable fusion energy, aiming to increase the number and performance levels of lower-cost fusion concepts.... Read more →


Researchers in the Penn State Department of Mechanical Engineering have been awarded more than a combined $3.3 million to support advancements in the performance and efficiency of combustion turbines and turbine-based power cycles in fossil fuel power generation. The US Department of Energy (DOE) has funded these projects through the... Read more →


A research team led by Professor Wei-Hsin Liao from the Department of Mechanical and Automation Engineering, The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) has developed a lightweight (307 g) smart-materials-based energy harvester for scavenging energy from human motion, generating an inexhaustible and sustainable power supply just from walking. Specifically, the... Read more →


DOE announces selections for up to $24.9M to advance hydropower and water technologies

The US Department of Energy (DOE) announced selections for up to $24.9 million in funding to drive innovative, industry-led technology solutions to advance the marine and hydrokinetics industry and increase hydropower’s ability to serve as a flexible grid resource. Projects were selected across four Areas of Interest (AOI): Hydropower Operational... Read more →


The US Department of Energy (DOE) and US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to share technical expertise and computing resources to speed up the deployment of advanced nuclear technologies. The MOU centers on DOE’s new National Reactor Innovation Center (NRIC) initiative which was authorized by... Read more →


Honda secures auto industry’s largest renewable energy purchase; 60% reduction in CO2 from N.A. manufacturing operations

Seeking to slash CO2 emissions from its North American manufacturing operations, Honda has entered into long-term virtual power purchase agreements (VPPAs) for renewable wind and solar power that will cover more than 60% of the electricity that Honda uses in North America. These VPPAs will enable Honda to fully offset... Read more →


Toyota Motor Corporation has developed a stationary fuel cell generator (FC generator) that makes use of the fuel cell system (FC system) equipped in the Mirai Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV). The FC generator has been installed within the Honsha plant grounds in Toyota City, Aichi Prefecture, and verification tests... Read more →


DOE awards $15.2M to three projects for advanced nuclear technology

The US Department of Energy (DOE) announced funding selectees for multiple domestic advanced nuclear technology projects. Three projects in three states will receive varying amounts for a total of approximately $15 million in funding. The projects are cost-shared and will allow industry-led teams, including participants from federal agencies, public and... Read more →


Sumitomo Rubber Industries, Ltd. and Kansai University have developed a new technology to generate electric power from the rotation of a tire. The Energy Harvester takes advantage of the build up of static electricity—known as frictional charging—to produce power efficiently as the tire turns. Inside the Energy Harvester are two... Read more →


Carbon nanotube films created at Rice University enable method to recycle waste heat

Rice University scientists are designing arrays of aligned single-wall carbon nanotubes to channel mid-infrared radiation—i.e., heat—and greatly raise the efficiency of solar energy systems. Gururaj Naik and Junichiro Kono of Rice’s Brown School of Engineering introduced their technology in a paper in ACS Photonics. A Rice University simulation shows an... Read more →


Study finds shifts to renewable energy can drive up energy poverty

Efforts to shift away from fossil fuels and replace oil and coal with renewable energy sources can help reduce carbon emissions but do so at the expense of increased inequality, according to a new study by researchers at Portland State University (PSU) and Vanderbilt University. Julius McGee, assistant professor of... Read more →


Bloom Energy, a developer of solid oxide fuel cell power generators, announced the ability of its Energy Servers to operate on renewable hydrogen. Current Bloom Energy Servers generate electricity using natural gas or biogas as fuel. At peak times, some US states and countries already have more renewable power than... Read more →


A new study published in Nature Communications by researchers from IIASA, Boston University, and the Ca’ Foscari University of Venice found that by mid-century, climate change will increase the demand for energy globally, even with modest warming. The world is dependent on energy both for human wellbeing and society’s continued... Read more →


Deep declines in wind, solar and battery technology costs will result in a grid nearly half-powered by the two fast-growing renewable energy sources by 2050, according to the latest projections from BloombergNEF (BNEF). In its New Energy Outlook 2019 (NEO), BNEF sees these technologies ensuring that—at least until 2030—the power... Read more →


BP: world on unsustainable path; growing divergence between demands for climate change action and pace of progress

BP released the 68th annual edition of the BP Statistical Review of World Energy (BP Stats Review), a comprehensive collection and analysis of global energy data. This year’s edition highlights the growing divergence between demands for action on climate change and the actual pace of progress on reducing carbon emissions.... Read more →


LevelTen Energy raises $20.5M in Series B; expanding renewable energy procurement platform

LevelTen Energy, a renewable energy procurement platform, closed a $20.5-million Series B funding round led by Prelude Ventures, with participation from Constellation Technology Ventures, the venture investing arm of Exelon Corporation, Equinor Energy Ventures, Total Ventures and participants from LevelTen’s Series A funding, including Avista Development, Element 8 Fund, Founders’... Read more →


With nuclear power facing an uncertain future in many countries, the world risks a steep decline in its use in advanced economies that could result in billions of tonnes of additional carbon emissions, according to a new report by the International Energy Agency. Nuclear is the second-largest low-carbon power source... Read more →


Audi has opened Germany’s largest multi-use battery energy storage unit on the EUREF Campus in Berlin. The 13.6-acre EUREF campus serves as a site for pilot projects for the transition to sustainable energy and networked mobility. The Audi storage unit has a capacity of 1.9 MWh and uses used lithium-ion... Read more →


DOE awards $5.5M to apply machine learning to geothermal exploration

The US Department of Energy (DOE) announced up to $5.5 million for 10 new projects to apply machine learning techniques to geothermal exploration and production. Machine learning—the use of advanced algorithms to identify patterns in and make inferences from data—could assist in finding and developing new geothermal resources. If applied... Read more →


Porsche has launched two new cogeneration plants in Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen to enhance its environmentally friendly energy mix and close the remaining gap to CO2 neutral production of the fully electric Taycan in Zuffenhausen. The heat and power plants, each of which has an output of around two megawatts, run exclusively on... Read more →


EPIC: state-level renewable electricity mandates increase electricity prices up to 17% over 12 years; cost more expensive than benefit

As states take the lead in confronting climate change, a flagship policy is often Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS). RPS programs, which require that a certain percentage of the state’s electricity come from renewable sources, currently cover 64 percent of the electricity sold in the United States. A new study analyzing... Read more →


DOE to award up to $100M for future coal plants in Coal FIRST initiative

The US Department of Energy (DOE) intends to provide up to $100 million in awards (DE-FOA-0002116) for the Coal FIRST (Flexible, Innovative, Resilient, Small, and Transformative) initiative (announced in November 2018), which aims to develop coal plants of the future that will provide secure, stable, reliable power with near-zero emissions.... Read more →


DOE awards $19M to four advanced nuclear energy technology projects

The US Department of Energy (DOE) announced funding selectees for multiple domestic advanced nuclear technology projects. Four projects in two states will receive varying amounts for a total of approximately $19 million in funding. The projects are cost-shared and will allow industry-led teams, including participants from federal agencies, public and... Read more →


DOE announces $130M for early-stage solar research

The US Department of Energy (DOE) announced up to $130 million for new research to advance early-stage solar technologies (DE-FOA-0002064). This funding program targets five research areas: photovoltaics (PV); concentrating solar-thermal power (CSP); soft costs reduction; innovations in manufacturing; and solar systems integration. These projects are intended to make solar... Read more →


ARPA-E announces $36M for high-temperature materials projects

The US Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency - Energy (ARPA-E) announced $36 million in awards for 18 projects as part of the High Intensity Thermal Exchange through Materials and Manufacturing Processes (HITEMMP) program, as well as the final OPEN+ Cohort, High Temperature Devices. These project teams seek to... Read more →


Carbon dioxide emissions from S energy consumption will remain near current levels through 2050, according to projections in EIA’s Annual Energy Outlook 2019. The AEO2019 Reference case, which reflects no changes to current laws and regulations and extends current trends in technology, projects that US energy-related CO2 emissions will be... Read more →


Although Germany, the UK, US, Canada and Ukraine are phasing out domestic coal production capacity, expansion of production capacity in countries such as India and Indonesia is predicted to generate modest annual growth of 1.3% in coal production over the next four years, with output reaching 7.6 billion tonnes in... Read more →


Reciprocating internal combustion engines (piston engines), which are typically used for backup, standby, or emergency power, are now becoming increasingly popular for larger utility-scale power generation applications, especially in areas with high levels of electricity generation from intermittent sources such as wind and solar, according to the US Energy Information... Read more →


Transmission system operator TenneT and Daimler AG, through its wholly owned subsidiary Mercedes-Benz Energy GmbH, have researched and tested the feasibility of innovative system services in the transmission grid as part of a joint development partnership. The project partners have shown in the Kamenz test lab that automobile battery storage... Read more →


Volkswagen subsidiary Elli offering Naturstrom CO2-free power throughout Germany with immediate effect

The Volkswagen Group’s new subsidiary, Elli Group GmbH (earlier post), is offering an eco-power tariff that is available throughout Germany with immediate effect. The first product from Elli is called “Volkswagen Naturstrom” (nature power), comes from 100% renewable sources and is intended for private households and small businesses. The new... Read more →


US electric power sector CO2 emissions have declined 28% since 2005 because of slower electricity demand growth and changes in the mix of fuels used to generate electricity, according to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA). EIA calculated that CO2 emissions from the electric power sector totaled 1,744 million metric... Read more →


The US Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) and Capstone Turbine have received $380,000 from the DOE Technology Commercialization Fund (TCF) to refine Argonne’s high-efficiency, fast charging/discharging latent heat thermal energy storage system (TESS) for use in building applications and process/manufacturing industries. The TESS is a ​“thermal battery”... Read more →


Global spending on energy, as proportion of economic output, is set to slow sharply because the world’s energy demand will decline from 2035 onwards, according to DNV GL’s Energy Transition Outlook. The historically significant change in energy needs is largely down to rapid electrification and its inherent efficiency. The decarbonization... Read more →


In Denmark, Air Liquide inaugurated HyBalance, a pilot site for the production of carbon-free hydrogen. The facility uses electrolysis technology to balance the electricity grid and to store surplus electricity in the form of hydrogen that will be used in industry and transportation. This project, initiated in 2016, is led... Read more →


California legislature passes SB 100: 100% renewable and zero-carbon energy by 2045

The California Assembly has passed Senate Bill 100—a bill to move California to 100% renewable and zero-carbon energy by 2045. This bill—known as The 100 Percent Clean Energy Act of 2018—increases the Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS) requirement from 50% by 2030 to 60% and creates the policy of planning to... Read more →


Bosch entering strategic partnership with SOFC company Ceres Power; to make £9M investment

Bosch is entering a strategic partnership with solid-oxide fuel-cell (SOFC) specialist Ceres Power. Bosch also plans to make a £9-million (US$11.5 million) strategic equity investment in Ceres for an approximate 4.4% equity stake. The two companies signed a collaboration and license agreement, for the further development of technology, and establishment... Read more →