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Western Europe

Altech lands German site for battery materials project

Western Australia-based Altech Chemicals’ plan to develop a high-grade alumina coating plant for lithium-ion batteries in Germany has taken a crucial step forward with the acquisition of an industrial site that could potentially house the facility.

Quantum dot layer pushes perovskite solar cell efficiency up to 25.7%

Researchers in Switzerland have replaced the electron transport layers in perovskite solar cells with a thin layer of quantum dots. On an area of 0.08cm2, they achieved a record efficiency of 25.7% and high operational stability.

Fortescue acquires Williams Advanced Engineering in drive to win race to net zero

Fortescue Future Industries has acquired Williams Advanced Engineering for $310 million as it looks to capitalise on its critical battery technology to cut emissions from its mining vehicles. An offshoot of the Williams Formula 1 Team, Williams Advanced Engineering has already helped to develop an electric mining haul truck for Fortescue in 2021.

TOPCon vs PERC

TOPCon solar cells are on their way to fully compete with PERC solar products, according to recent research from Germany’s Fraunhofer ISE. Efficiency gains for the TOPCon concept, however, are necessary to help it capture more market share, as production costs remain higher than those for PERC tech. A series of cost-driven strategies to make TOPCon modules advance were outlined in the study.

Fortescue partners with German raw materials giant Covestro in landmark green hydrogen supply deal

Fortescue Future Industries has taken another step toward its global green hydrogen ambitions with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with Germany polymer company Covestro for the equivalent of 100,000 tonnes of solar-sourced green hydrogen and its derivatives annually, starting as early as 2024.

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Green hydrogen could disrupt global trade, bilateral energy relations

While there are still many uncertainties as to the way in which hydrogen trade might evolve and change economic ties and political dynamics between countries, experts agree that green hydrogen can bring winds of change to the global energy arena. According to the International Renewable Energy Agency, significant geoeconomic and geopolitical shifts are just around the corner.

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Utility scale ocean battery, a bedfellow for floating PV

A new underwater battery storage technology is coming from Netherlands-based Ocean Grazer to address the issue of offshore long-duration storage. The company’s Ocean Battery is touted as innovative yet simple, based on existing technology, and capable of enhancing marine life along the way.

Korea Zinc invests in gravity storage developer Energy Vault

Korea Zinc, non-ferrous metal smelting company, has agreed to invest $50 million in Energy Vault, a Switzerland-based gravity storage specialist, in order to use its tech to decarbonise its refining and smelting operations in Australia.

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Electrolyser tech to produce hydrogen from seawater

With a new start-up and a consortium in the Netherlands, German automotive supplier Schaeffler wants to significantly reduce the costs of green hydrogen.

Storing hydrogen with ‘nano-chocolates’

German scientists have developed a novel hydrogen storage method that relies on nanostructures – tiny nanoparticles made of the precious metal palladium – instead of high pressure and lower temperatures.

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