Western Europe

Fraunhofer IKTS unveils alternative for PV home storage based on sodium-nickel-chloride

At an energy storage fair in Dusseldorf, researchers will present a ceramic high-temperature battery. Storage costs using sodium-nickel-chloride battery cells are said to be 50% lower than those of lithium-ion.

Volkswagen is all set to become a green energy supplier

The German car giant has created Elli, a subsidiary that will provide green power and charging solutions for the EV sector. Volkswagen – still haunted by the diesel emissions scandal – says it wants to make mobility sustainable.

Sonnen to provide primary balancing power to German grid from networked home storage

After months of preliminary work, the time has come: With its PV+home storage network, sonnen GmbH has received prequalification from TenneT to participate in Germany’s primary control energy market. While it is currently allowed to deliver 1 MW, the goal is to supply 100 MW.

Greenpeace Energy wants to buy Germany’s RWE coal business, and to replace it with 8.2 GW of renewables

Greenpeace operates a renewables-powered electricity retailer in Germany, in a Hamburg-based operation. It has proposed purchasing giant utility RWE’s coal power plants and replace them with 8.2 GW of wind and solar power plants. Approximately €7 billion will be invested in the new facilities, which could be built without subsidies – Greenpeace Energy claims.

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France’s decision to delay nuclear phaseout by a decade jeopardizes PV plans

The French government has devised three possible scenarios for the planned phasing out of part of its nuclear power generation assets. Even under the most optimistic scenario, the target to reduce the share of nuclear power from around 75% to 50% by 2025, which had been set by the previous government, will only be reached in 2035. The most pessimistic scenario envisages the construction of four new nuclear reactors by 2040.

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German scientists develop new process for stable perovskites

A team of researchers from Germany’s Martin Luther University Halle Wittenberg has developed a new approach to perovskite cell production, which they say could result in better stability and longer lifetimes. The team also made detailed observation of the perovskite’s formation and decay, which could help to inform further research into high performance solar cells.

Europe’s largest commercial and industrial PV storage testbed launched

Testing lithium-ion, redox flow, and sodium-sulfur technologies, EPC provider CMI Energy wants to establish which types of system, or which combinations, are most suitable for different applications using the 4.2 MWh facility.

Ensuring quality or ‘how to avoid the race-to-the-bottom’

What problems are being encountered and how to avoid them by learning from past mistakes? With booming installation rates across all segments of the Australian solar market, quality issues have been pushed into the forefront, and quality assurance has become instrumental in shaping further uptake.

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Banks turn their back on coal amid emissions concerns

While global coal mining companies are enjoying the highest prices in years on the back of strong Asian demand, banks and financiers are increasingly ending their support for coal power. London-based Standard Chartered the latest to stop financing new coal-fired stations.

Solar panels replaced tarmac on a motorway – here are the results

Four years ago a viral campaign wooed the world with a promise of fighting climate change and jump-starting the economy by replacing tarmac on the world’s roads with solar panels. The bold idea has undergone some road testing since then. The first results from preliminary studies have recently come out, and they’re a bit underwhelming.

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