United Kingdom

An optimistic – but realistic – perspective for sodium batteries

International researchers have analysed the potential of sodium-based energy storage and found recent technical advances have arrived faster than those for the lithium-ion batteries which have been studied for three decades. Issues remain, however, before sodium constitutes a complementary option to lithium.

‘Nuclear power is now the most expensive form of generation, except for gas peaking plants’

The latest edition of the World Nuclear Industry Status Report indicates the stagnation of the sector continues. Just 2.4 GW of new nuclear generation capacity came online last year, compared to 98 GW of solar. The world’s operational nuclear power capacity had declined by 2.1%, to 362 GW, at the end of June.

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John Laing continues to bleed red ink with its Australian solar projects stuck in the slow lane

In its H1 2020 report, the UK-based infrastructure investor revealed it had suffered substantial losses, mainly due to performance issues on its renewable energy projects. Two of the company’s Australian solar farms were particularly badly hit by transmission and equipment issues.

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Energy storage investment to approach $10bn in 2025

Analyst IHS Markit has predicted storage will rebound this year following its first year-on-year decline in 2019. The technology is being rolled out at pace despite Covid-19 with state-level policies set to keep the US the global capital for the next five years.

A ‘just transition’ just about the only transition worth having

A team of international researchers featuring ANU’s Prof Frank Jotzo has published a study on the ‘just transition’ from coal to renewable sources of energy. The paper looks at comparative examples of transitioning economies, taking account of political realities, and ultimately shows that a ‘just transition’ is just about the only transition worth having.

Solar could hold advantage in post-pandemic global energy sector

The International Energy Agency has acknowledged dramatic falls in energy investment caused by the Covid-19 crisis but said renewables, including PV, offered an attractive proposition to investors as the dust settled, given their enticing economics and short turnaround times.

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“How’s the serenity?” electric leisure boating to go full-throttle

German electric boating company Torqueedo’s 100,000th sale highlights a shift in leisure and small commuter boating towards the electric.

Swansea University to install Redflow battery at its solar classroom

The British university will use Redflow zinc-bromine flow batteries at its Active Building demonstrator – an award-winning classroom that generates, stores and releases solar energy at the point of use.

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The inner workings of a lithium battery

An international group of scientists has developed a comprehensive method to track the microscopic processes at work in lithium batteries. Employing a ‘virtual unrolling’ model developed for ancient manuscripts too sensitive to be opened, the group peeked inside the layers of a commercial battery to gain a better understanding of the processes at work and the degradation mechanisms affecting them. Their findings, the group says, could provide a benchmark for battery characterization.

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How much can you wash a wearable PV device?

UK researchers claim to have proved the viability wearable photovoltaic devices as an integral part of regular clothing. A solar-powered fabric textile was created by embedding micro crystalline silicon solar cells within the fibers of a textile through very thin copper wires. The scientists claim that the novel device can maintain its performance even after 15 domestic machine wash cycles, 25 hand wash cycles, and 6000 abrasion cycles.

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