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Sunday read: the ‘other side’ of batteries

Graphite’s pivotal role in electric-vehicle battery technology is coming under increasing scrutiny. Graphite is almost exclusively produced in China, and while the processing of the mineral poses serious environmental issues, the alternatives appear costly. Ian Morse looks at what’s next for critical graphite supplies.

‘Hydrogen as a universal climate solution might be a bit of false promise’

Hydrogen and hydrogen-based fuels will not be able to move forward fast enough to replace fossil fuels and tackle climate change, according to a German-Swiss research team that claims direct electrification alternatives are cheaper and easier to implement. The scientists cite too-high prices, short-term scarcity and long-term uncertainty, as the main reasons for their skepticism, which has caused a stir in academic circles.

New stack design for cheaper redox flow batteries

German scientists have proposed a new design for stacks used in redox flow batteries. Through a powder-to-roll process, a device that weighs 80% less than a conventional stack was fabricated.

German researchers overcome main challenge for perovskite PV modules

Researchers in Germany claim to have overcome the primary hurdle in the development of large-area perovskite PV modules – scaling up from the cell to the module level. They achieved an efficiency of up to 16.6% on a module surface of ​​more than 50 centimetres squared, and 18% on a module with an area of 4 centimetres squared.

Europe moves on green hydrogen, developing offshore pipeline as Germany adds electrolysis capacity

Germany’s first offshore hydrogen pipeline is being planned by multiple partnering companies and is expected to be commissioned in 2035. Meanwhile, Siemens is planning hydrogen projects in a 5 MW to 50 MW range for industrial applications and a consortium of conglomerates is maintaining pressure on EU to develop green hydrogen.

Global database for PV system performance

The database brings together photovoltaic performance data and meteorological values from PV systems located in all climate zones. It is being built by an international consortium including the Fraunhofer Centre for Silicon Photovoltaics CSP, and the Anhalt University of Applied Sciences.

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Sunday read: Strong growth ahead for storage

Annual battery storage installations will exceed 10 GW/28 GWh in 2021, following a particularly strong year in 2020, despite the challenges created by the global pandemic, writes IHS Markit analyst Mike Longson. Combined solar and storage will be a core focus for new deployment in 2021, as the front-of-the-meter and behind-the-meter energy storage markets are both expected to grow significantly in the months ahead.

Companies and ports lined up for Australian green hydrogen export to Germany

The joint feasibility study between Australia and Germany, HySupply, to determine the viability of a renewable energy-based hydrogen supply chain between the two countries, has progressed again after global firm RWE Supply & Trading and Australian-based The Hydrogen Utility signed a Memorandum of Understanding which could see green ammonia exports from South Australia to Germany’s LNG Terminal in Brunsbüttel.

Space PV technology company acquired to ‘unlock notable market potential’

The company being acquired, Azur Space, produces triple-junction space solar cells with an average efficiency of up to 30% and is planning to develop ultra-thin solar cells with up to 35%.

Fraunhofer ISE sets record efficiency for front/back solar cell

The cell reached 26.0% efficiency and showed open-circuit voltage values of up to 732 mV. It was fabricated with a back junction (BJ) design with a full-area p-n-junction at the back surface.

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