Europe

‘The world has no chance of beating climate change if natural gas is part of the mix’

A report by Germany’s Energy Watch Group thinktank has said we would be better off sticking to coal and oil than switching to gas because emissions of methane, the most potent greenhouse gas, caused by gas extraction render any related carbon savings irrelevant.

EU approves Eon’s bid to take over Innogy

It took a while, but now the energy giants can finalize the mega deal. Rival energy companies have criticized approval of the deal amid fears Eon could dominate the German market.

SMA: We can’t be credible if we’re not sustainable

Credibility comes not just from offering products that generate clean electricity, but also from the way in which those products are manufactured, says SMA Solar Technology CEO Jürgen Reinert. Here, transparency and sustainability are key. That’s why one of the world’s largest PV inverter producers has partnered with pv magazine’s UP sustainability initiative. In the following Q&A, Reinert lays out what SMA is doing to step UP its green game.

Solar pioneer Pierre Verlinden: The big problem is apathy

On the first day of this year’s EU PVSEC conference, Adelaide-based veteran solar researcher Pierre J Verlinden won the Becquerel Prize for Outstanding Merits in Photovoltaics. The award recognized more than 40 years as a leading PV researcher in academia and at leading companies including Sunpower and Trina Solar. Its recipient, now a board member of Australian solar technology provider BT Imaging, spoke to pv magazine about what is needed from solar to stave off catastrophic climate change.

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French start-up launches solar engine

The invention converts the energy produced by PV cells directly into mechanical motion without the need for batteries or power electronics. Its developers claim the robustness of the solar motor can drive water pumps and ventilation turbines for more than 20 years without the need for maintenance.

Thermal battery producer heats up storage market

An Australian thermal energy storage company has reached in principle agreements to pilot thermal batteries in the telecommunication and eco-housing industries.

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RES battery prevented complete blackout in the UK

On August 9, a thunderstorm caused 1.5 GW of generation capacity to go offline within seconds in the U.K. The incident caused millions of households to temporarily lose power but the situation could have been considerably worse if not for the country’s battery storage reserves.

ABB called out by UK Solar Trade Association over quality and customer support

The STA has warned Italian company Fimer, which is set to acquire Swiss company ABB’s inverter business, it will have to honor customer service commitments made to its British members, and voiced fears related to historic quality issues with ABB inverters.

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Hydrogen-powered bicycles offer new electromobility concept

With the 200 hydrogen bikes offered to journalists and world leaders at the G7 summit in Biarritz, France proving popular, manufacturer Pragma Industries has received an order for 1,000 of them from Chilean president Sebastian Pinera. The company’s founder, Pierre Forté, wants the bike to have a societal impact in developing countries.

Space age solar solution moves toward production

A consortium of European research institutes has received €10.6 million in EU funding to establish pilot production of a high efficiency module concept developed by Swiss startup Insolight. The module combines high efficiency multijunction cells with a solar concentrator lens and has previously demonstrated 29% efficiency.

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