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Western Europe

European Commission could call in Australian investor Macquarie’s bid for French developer

Australia’s Macquarie is leading a consortium that has reportedly tabled a €2.5 billion ($3.65 billion) bid for a clean energy business formed by French private equity houses InfraVia and Eurazeo.

Molecular thermal energy system can store solar energy for 18 years

Developed by a Chinese-Swedish research group, the device is an ultra-thin chip that could be integrated into electronics such as headphones, smartwatches and telephones. It combines a Molecular Solar Thermal Energy Storage System (MOST) with a micro-fabricated system that includes a thermoelectric generator (TEG) with a low-dimensional material-based microelectromechanical system (MEMS).

Reinhart-backed WA company to supply Germany with geothermal heat before turning to lithium extraction

West Australian company Vulcan Energy Resources, backed by mining magnate Gina Rinehart, has signed a geothermal heat energy offtake agreement with a major German energy supplier, MVV Energie. Vulcan is planning to eventually secure a lithium supply from the same deep brine source in the Upper Rhine Valley, Germany.

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CO2 battery long-duration energy storage technology wins BNEF Pioneers 2022 competition

Energy Dome’s emission-free energy storage method uses carbon dioxide in a closed loop charge/discharge cycle that can store and dispatch renewable energy onto the grid over periods from four to 24 hours.

UK government warns of global warming risks related to hydrogen leaks

The UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has published new research showing that hydrogen leaks could have an indirect climate-warming impact, partly offsetting efforts to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

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Bosch unveils hydrogen-compatible stationary fuel cell system

Bosch’s new solid oxide fuel cell prototype has an electrical efficiency of more than 60% and an overall efficiency above 85%. It also has a targeted power output of 10 kW and can produce up to 3 kW of thermal energy.

Lightweight solar for agricultural water reservoirs

The Genap Energy Cover uses HyET Solar Powerfoil thin-film solar modules, rated at 12.0% efficiency, for agricultural water storage and reservoirs, with an initial focus on the greenhouse and horticulture markets in the Netherlands. Genap said a 12kWp test setup had a generation density of 60W/m2, rising to 120W/m2 within a year, with an eventual target of 165W/m2.

New technologies, new opportunities

UK-based analyst Exawatt and Germany’s Nexwafe published a white paper this week that takes a close look at the current state of PV manufacturing worldwide, and how Nexwafe’s innovative wafer production tech might fit into it. They said that if the potential of its Epiwafer can be realised, the PV industry may yet see “another revolution in wafer manufacturing.”

Stimulus for green hydrogen demand crucial for the energy transition

The Berlin Energy Transition Dialogue 2022 event has shown the centrality of renewables and green hydrogen in the world’s future energy landscape. pv magazine spoke with the General Director of the International Renewable Energy Agency, Francesco La Camera, about the difficulties of creating a hydrogen economy in the absence of demand. According to him, public support and policies will be crucial to overcoming this challenge.

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French consortium develops self-cleaning solar module coating

French chemical company Axcentive and solar module manufacturer Photowatt have developed a PV panel coating based on photoactive nanotechnology. The coating relies on a super-hydrophilic surface that makes the water spread out on the module surface immediately, thus avoiding light scattering effects upon rain.

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