Electrify America is investing $2 million in solar-powered electric vehicle (EV) charging stations in rural California that are not tied to the electrical grid. The investment will expand access to sustainable EV charging to drivers in rural areas, including the Central, Coachella, and Imperial Valleys. Electrify America is sourcing the... Read more → Researchers led by Prof. WANG Feng at the Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics (DICP) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences have reported that photocatalytic decarboxylation is an efficient alternate pathway for converting biomass-derived fatty acids into alkanes under mild conditions of ambient temperature and pressure. This finding was published in... Read more → ## Researchers develop organic semiconductor photocatalyst with enhanced hydrogen evolution ##### 21 February 2020 Currently, most hydrogen evolution photocatalysts (HEPs) are made from single-component inorganic semiconductors. These can only absorb light at ultraviolet wavelengths—constituting less than 5% of the solar spectrum—which limits their efficiency. However, photocatalysts formed from a single organic semiconductor typically suffer from inefficient intrinsic charge generation, which leads to low photocatalytic... Read more → The US Department of Energy (DOE) plans to provide up to$100 million over five years for research on artificial photosynthesis for the production of fuels from sunlight. (DE-FOA-0002254) The funding will support the establishment of one large or possibly two smaller DOE Energy Innovation Hubs: integrated multidisciplinary, multi-institutional research... Read more →

Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) have demonstrated the first visible-light photoelectrochemical system for water splitting using TiO2 enhanced with cobalt. The proposed approach is simple and represents a stepping stone in the quest to achieve affordable water splitting to produce hydrogen. A study on their work is... 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 →

Researchers in Israel have designed a separate-cell photoelectrochemical (PEC) water-splitting system with decoupled hydrogen and oxygen cells for centralized hydrogen production. A paper describing their system is publishedin the journal Joule. Photovoltaic-powered water splitting (PV-electrolysis) systems that couple commercially-available photovoltaic and water electrolysis technologies have already been demonstrated in several... Read more →

## Graphene Flagship team develops powerful graphene-titania photocatalyst to reduce NOx

##### 08 December 2019

Graphene Flagship partners the University of Bologna, Politecnico di Milano, CNR, NEST, Italcementi HeidelbergCement Group, the Israel Institute of Technology, Eindhoven University of Technology, and the University of Cambridge have developed a graphene-titania photocatalyst that degrades up to 70% more atmospheric nitrogen oxides (NOx) than standard titania nanoparticles in tests... Read more →

Researchers from Huazhong University of Science and Technology in China and George Washington University in the US report in a new paper in the ACS journal Accounts of Chemical Research that a range of important carbon nanomaterials can be produced at high yield by molten carbonate electrolysis. In the Solar... Read more →

Heliogen, a company that is transforming sunlight to create and replace fuels, recently announced its launch and also said that it has—for the first time commercially—concentrated solar energy to exceed temperatures greater than 1,000 degrees Celsius. At that temperature, Heliogen can replace the use of fossil fuels in critical industrial... Read more →

Researchers at the University of Cambridge have demonstrated an “artificial leaf” that uses only sunlight, carbon dioxide and water to produce syngas. As a a result, unlike the current industrial processes for producing syngas, the leaf does not release any additional carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. The results are reported... Read more →

Engineers at Lehigh University are the first to utilize a single enzyme biomineralization process to create a quantum confined CdS/reduced graphene oxide (CdS/rGO) catalyst that uses the energy of captured sunlight to split water molecules to produce hydrogen. The synthesis process—catalyzed by the single enzyme cystathionine γ-lyase (CSE)—is performed at... Read more →

Wärtsilä, Japanese ship builder Oshima Shipbuilding, and the classification society DNV GL have delivered the first results of their joint industry development project. At the recent Nor-Shipping exhibition held in Norway, the project partners announced a next-generation 62,000 dwt Ultramax Bulk Carrier design that is optimized according to actual operating... Read more →

Japan’s NEDO, Sharp Corporation, and Toyota Motor Corporation plan to begin public road trials of electrified vehicles equipped with high-efficiency solar batteries from late July 2019. The trials aim to assess the effectiveness of improvements in cruising range and fuel efficiency of electrified vehicles equipped with high-efficiency solar batteries. To... Read more →

## DOE announces $130M for early-stage solar research ##### 27 March 2019 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 →

Bioscience engineers at KU Leuven have created a solar panel that produces hydrogen gas from moisture in the air. After ten years of development, the panel can now produce 250 liters per day—a world record, according to the researchers. Twenty of these solar panels could provide electricity and heat for... Read more →

Together with E.ON, Audi is building a solar energy park on the roofs of the two logistics centers of its plant in Győr covering about 160,000 square meters. This will create Europe’s largest photovoltaic system installed on a building at the Audi Hungaria plant in Győr. The system will have... Read more →

## Toyota and DIFFER partner on direct solar production of hydrogen from humid air, rather than water

##### 13 February 2019

The Dutch Institute for Fundamental Energy Research (DIFFER) is partnering with Toyota Motor Europe (TME) to develop a device that absorbs water vapor, and splits it into hydrogen and oxygen directly using solar energy. The LIFT (Launchpad for Innovative Future Technology) research proposal has now been rewarded a grant from... Read more →

A team at Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR) has successfully integrated solar heat into a solid oxide electrolyzer. The experimental setup of the prototype system consisted of a solar simulator, a solar steam generator, a steam accumulator and a solid oxide electrolyzer. Experimental setup of the solar heated... Read more →

Researchers from Japan’s NIMS (National Institute for Materials Science), the University of Tokyo and Hiroshima University have jointly conducted a techno-economic analysis for hydrogen production from photovoltaic power generation (PV) utilizing a battery-assisted electrolyzer. The results from this study suggested a cost of hydrogen as low as ¥17 to ¥27/Nm3... Read more →

Amprius, Inc., a manufacturer and developer of high energy and high capacity lithium-ion batteries, announced that the company is supplying advanced lithium-ion cells to the Airbus Defence and Space Zephyr Program. Using Amprius’ cells, which contain a 100% silicon anode, the Zephyr S flew more than 25 days, setting a... Read more →

A research team led by Daegu Gyeongbuk Institute Of Science And Technology (DGIST) Professor Jong-Sung Yu in Korea, with colleagues at UC Berkeley and Xi’an Jiaotong University in China, has successfully developed a new catalyst synthesis method that can efficiently decompose water into oxygen and hydrogen using solar light. A... Read more →

In the quest to realize artificial photosynthesis to convert sunlight, water, and carbon dioxide into fuel—just as plants do—researchers need to not only identify materials to efficiently perform photoelectrochemical water splitting, but also to understand why a certain material may or may not work. Now scientists at Lawrence Berkeley National... Read more →

Scientists in Japan have shown that an oxyfluoride is capable of visible light-driven photocatalysis—i.e., converting solar energy to fuel energy using visible-light-absorbing semiconductor materials. The finding opens new doors for designing materials for artificial photosynthesis and solar energy research. Pb2Ti2O5.4F1.2. The inset (on the right) shows a photograph of Pb2Ti2O5.4F1.2,... Read more →

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

##### 19 June 2018

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 →

## SoCalGas introduces STARS solar hydrogen generation system at California Air Resources Board Symposium

##### 18 May 2018

Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) introduced an innovative new solar-powered hydrogen generation system during the California Air Resources Board Technology Expo and Symposium at the University of California, Riverside. The project is a partnership between SoCalGas, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) and the STARS Corporation. The generation system uses sunlight... Read more →

Moving to cut energy use in new homes by more than 50%, the California Energy Commission (CEC) has adopted building standards that require solar photovoltaic systems starting in 2020. The building energy efficiency standards, which are the first in the nation to require solar, will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by... Read more →

The German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR), together with international project partners, has inaugurated the largest solar-chemical installation yet for the production of hydrogen. For the HYDROSOL-Plant (thermochemical HYDROgen product in a SOLar monolithic reactor) project, scientists and companies further developed the process of direct hydrogen... Read more →

A team led by researchers at the US Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory has developed a new way to produce solar fuels by using completely synthetic bionano machinery to harvest light without the need for a living cell. The researchers’ device, reported in the journal ACS Nano as a... Read more →

Scientists at the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have harnessed the power of photosynthesis to convert carbon dioxide into fuels and alcohols at efficiencies far greater than plants. The achievement marks a significant milestone in the effort to move toward sustainable sources of fuel. Many systems... Read more →

In conjunction with the annual Solar Power International conference, the US Department of Energy (DOE) released new research showing that the solar industry has achieved the 2020 utility-scale solar cost target set by the SunShot Initiative. Largely due to rapid cost declines in solar photovoltaic (PV) hardware, the average price... 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 →

## French team finds light-driven algal enzyme that converts fatty acids to hydrocarbons

##### 01 September 2017

A team of researchers in France has discovered an algal photoenzyme that catalyzes the decarboxylation of free fatty acids to n-alkanes or -alkenes in response to blue light. In a paper in the journal Science, the researchers suggest that the photoenzyme, which they named fatty acid photodecarboxylase, may be useful... Read more →

Researchers led by a team from KAUST have found a more sustainable route to hydrogen fuel production using chaotic, light-trapping materials that mimic natural photosynthetic water splitting. In a paper in the journal Advanced Materials, the researchers report a new photocatalyst for hydrogen evolution based on metal epsilon-near-zero (ENZ) metamaterials.... Read more →

## NREL, Swiss scientists create silicon-based multijunction solar cells that reach nearly 36% efficiency

##### 26 August 2017

Researchers at the US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), the Swiss Center for Electronics and Microtechnology (CSEM), and the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) have created tandem solar cells with record efficiencies of converting sunlight into electricity under 1-sun illumination. Their paper appears in the new... Read more →

Audi and Alta Devices, a wholly-owned US subsidiary of the Chinese solar-cell specialist Hanergy, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Strategic Cooperation in thin film solar cell technology. Through this cooperation, the partners aim to generate solar energy to increase the range of electric vehicles. The first prototype is... Read more →

According to a new study led by a team at Duke University, airborne particulate matter and dust are cutting solar photovoltaic energy output by more than 25% in certain parts of the world, with roughly equal contributions from ambient PM and PM deposited on photovoltaic surfaces. The regions hardest hit... Read more →

## Osaka team develops new solar-to-hydrogen catalyst that uses broader spectrum of light

##### 26 June 2017

A team at Osaka University in Japan has developed a new material based on gold and black phosphorus to harvest a broader spectrum of sunlight for water-splitting to produce hydrogen. The three-part composite maximizes both absorbing light and its efficiency for water splitting. The core is a traditional semiconductor—lanthanum titanium... Read more →

A group of Japanese researchers has developed a novel photocatalyst for increased hydrogen production. The strontium titanate mesocrystal exhibits three times the efficiency for hydrogen evolution compared to conventional disordered systems in alkaline aqueous solution. The mesocrystal also exhibits a high quantum yield of 6.7% at 360 nm in overall... Read more →

Scientists at the US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have developed a proof-of-principle photoelectrochemical cell (PEC) capable of capturing excess photon energy normally lost to generating heat. Using quantum dots (QD) and a process called Multiple Exciton Generation (MEG), the NREL researchers were able to push the... Read more →

Scientists at the US Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) recaptured the record for highest efficiency in solar hydrogen production via a photoelectrochemical (PEC) water-splitting process. The new solar-to-hydrogen (STH) efficiency record is 16.2%, topping a reported 14% efficiency in 2015 by an international team made up... Read more →

A team of scientists at the University of Cambridge has reported the light-driven photoreforming of cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin to H2 using semiconducting cadmium sulfide quantum dots in alkaline aqueous solution. The system operates under visible light, is stable beyond six days and is even able to reform unprocessed lignocellulose,... Read more →

## NREL shows graded catalytic-protective layer boosts longevity of high-efficiency photocathodes for renewable hydrogen

##### 09 January 2017

Researchers at the US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have developed a method which boosts the longevity of high-efficiency photocathodes in photoelectrochemical water-splitting devices. Their works demonstrates the potential of utilizing a hybridized, heterogeneous surface layer as a cost-effective catalytic and protective interface for solar hydrogen production.... Read more →

Tesla and Panasonic finalized an agreement to begin the manufacturing of photovoltaic (PV) cells and modules at the Buffalo, NY factory. These high-efficiency PV cells and modules will be used to produce solar panels in the non-solar roof products. When production of the solar roof begins, Tesla will also incorporate... Read more →

## On the road to solar fuels and chemicals

##### 27 December 2016

In a new paper in the journal Nature Materials (in an edition focused on materials for sustainable energy), a team from Stanford University and SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory has reviewed milestones in the progress of solid-state photoelectrocatalytic technologies toward delivering solar fuels and chemistry. Noting the “important advances” in solar... Read more →

## Hydrogen from sunlight, but as a dark reaction; time-delayed photocatalytic H2 production

##### 09 December 2016

A team at the Max Planck Institute for Solid State Research, Germany, and collaborators at ETH Zurich and the University of Cambridge, have developed a system that enables time-delayed photocatalytic hydrogen generation—essentially, an artificial photosynthesis system that can operate in the dark. A paper on their work is published in... Read more →

## Nissan and Eaton broaden xStorage Home energy storage portfolio; 10-year xStorage Buildings deal with Amsterdam ArenA

##### 30 November 2016

Nissan and power management leader Eaton are broadening their portfolio of xStorage Home residential energy storage solutions—which can use second-life EV batteries—by introducing a range of six product configurations, giving consumers greater choice to meet their energy needs. This announcement comes as pre-orders of xStorage Home begin today in the... Read more →

BMW i is expanding its engagement in electric mobility with the new BMW Digital Charging Service (DCS)—an intelligent service for predictive, convenient, cost-effective and green power-optimized charging. The Digital Charging Service optimizes charging technology for BMW i and BMW iPerformance vehicles and will be extended in a later phase to... Read more →

Researchers at Stanford University have demonstrated solar water splitting by photovoltaic-electrolysis with a solar-to-hydrogen (STH) efficiency of more than 30%—a new record. The prior record was 24.4%. An open-access paper on their work is published in the journal Nature Communications. The system consists of two polymer electrolyte membrane electrolyzers in... Read more →