Energy storage in California is about to get much cleaner – Here’s how

California recently joined other leading states, provinces, cities, and corporations around the world by setting an ambitious 100 percent carbon-free electricity target. It’s a landmark, not because California was the first, but because it is the biggest. The state ranks as the fifth-largest economy in the world.

Achieving 100 percent carbon-free electricity means lots of wind and solar. Alongside more-flexible demand, balancing such renewable energy will involve bringing more energy storage onto California’s grid, to store surplus clean generation, which is where the state’s Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP) comes in.

Full article here.

Who’s Ahead in the Battery Race?

In the race for the next generation battery, lithium-ion technology has made huge leaps in recent years. But the power packs continue to have drawbacks: they use raw material mined in unstable countries, they’re dangerous if they break and they could pack more power.

Solving those conundrums is the focus of hundreds of companies and thousands of scientists all over the world. And in that crowded field, Tesla Inc., a French billionaire and a startup in Massachusetts are pulling ahead.

Full article here.

Carbon fibre can act as a structural battery component in vehicle bodies

Structural batteries have been under consideration for electric vehicles for some years. For example, Lord Paul Drayson’s record-breaking electric racing cars incorporated prototypes of these components. Put simply, structural batteries are energy storage devices which form part of the overall structure of the vehicle: this could be the bodywork or chassis of an electric car, or part of the fuselage or skin or the underlying supporting framework of an aircraft. In theory, performing “double duty” as both part of the structure and the energy storage capability of the vehicle is a method of reducing weight. However, previous prototypes of structural battery systems have been found wanting in both capacities.

Full article here.

Lithium batteries simply the cheaper choice for UK businesses’ energy needs

The UK’s government has shied away from supporting large volumes of solar and other distributed energy technologies through subsidies, but commercial and industrial energy storage and solar-plus-storage could be a huge market opportunity in Britain and abroad.

This morning (16th October), on the opening day of the annual Solar and Storage Live exhibition and conference in Birmingham, England, Lord Deben, Chairman of the government’s own Committee on Climate Change launched a scathing attack on the current administration’s lack of ambition on the issue of climate change and supporting decarbonisation.

However, the solar industry pushes on nonetheless, albeit in a diminished form from the days of feed-in tariffs (FiTs) and other incentive schemes and programmes such as the Renewable Obligation Certificates (ROCs) for larger-scale wind and solar. However, energy storage is now bringing economic viability to various types of distributed energy solution.

Full article here.

How Amsterdam’s canal boats are going electric – at a cost

As we glide silently up Amsterdam’s busy waterways on an unseasonably warm autumn morning, boat company owner Rik Kooij, 38, admits that “canal water runs in my veins”.

Ever since his mechanically-minded grandfather renovated a bicycle, then a motorbike, then a boat back in the 1920s, Mr Kooij’s family has been at the heart of Amsterdam’s tourist canal boat business.

The Prinses Irene, which once took Winston Churchill up the canals, is silent because it’s electric. All you hear is the swoosh of the water being churned up by the propeller. And there are no acrid diesel fumes to spoil the experience.

When Mr Kooij had to take the helm of the family business following the sudden death of his father in 2013, he wasn’t daunted because he’d been working the canals since he was a boy.
Image caption The Prinses Irene was one of the first boats to be converted to electric

Now the Reederij Kooij boat company he runs with his wife Daniela is one of the largest plying Amsterdam’s famous canals. It owns 32 boats out of about 150 catering to the city’s many tourists.

But when the municipality of Amsterdam stipulated that all boats would have to switch from diesel to electric power by 2025, in an effort to reduce pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, boat companies were faced with a huge – and expensive – challenge.

Full article here.

£36m for Swansea research on power-generating buildings

Swansea University will receive £36m to develop building materials which generate power, Chancellor Philip Hammond has announced.

The technology, using heat and light to make electricity, could replace conventional walls, roofs and windows.

The power could be used in homes, workplaces, schools and hospitals, with the energy stored and released by “smart energy systems”.

Mr Hammond said the aim was to cut energy bills and carbon emissions.

Excess power could be sold back to the National Grid.

Full article here.

EU countries agree to explore hydrogen as energy source

BRUSSELS, Sept 18 (Reuters) – European Union energy ministers agreed on Tuesday to pool efforts to increase the use of hydrogen in transport and power as part of the bloc’s attempt to cut carbon emissions by 40 percent by 2030.

The non-binding initiative, seen by Reuters and endorsed by 25 EU nations, calls for governments to increase cooperation on research into the potential for hydrogen use in energy storage, transport, power and heating.

Full article here.

UK announces £25m EV battery challenge

Businesses with innovative projects to develop batteries for future electric vehicles (EVs) are being invited to bid for a share of £25 million.

It is part of the £246 million Faraday Battery Challenge, which aims to develop high-performance, lightweight batteries that are cost-effective, durable, safe and recyclable for the next generation of EVs.

There are two opportunities to apply for funding: up to £23 million is available for industrial research and development and up to £2 million for feasibility studies.

Full article here.

Flow storage firm RedT lands place on £300m NHS framework

Flow storage company RedT has earned a place on Essentia’s battery storage framework. It means the firm has the green light to supply its systems to the NHS and potentially other public sector organisations, such as local authorities and education providers.

The other companies on the framework are: Bouygues UK, Centrica, EDF Energy, Powerstar and Veolia ES Resource Efficiency.

Essentia is a subsidiary of Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust. It announced the framework, alongside an LED framework earlier this year. It said the storage framework aims to enable organisations to reduce Triad charges, DUoS charges, Capacity Market Charges and utilise grid incentives such as Firm Frequency Response.

Full article here.