The world is set to experience a massive expansion in the role of electricity, according to a major new forecast released today. But despite a coming surge in the use of batteries and renewables the expected pace of change across the energy industry is still not sufficient to meet global climate targets.
The new forecast, the second in an annual series from Norwegian risk management giant DNV GL, predicts electricity’s share of global energy demand will almost double to 45 per cent by 2050, driven by a sharp rise in electric car ownership around the world.
John GoodenoughJohn Bannister Goodenough was born in 1922, served in WWII, and obtained his PhD in physics from the University of Chicago (1952). Throughout his career, Goodenough established himself as an internationally prominent solid state scientist, widely recognized for his role in the development of the rechargeable Li-ion battery.
Currently, he holds the Virginia H. Cockrell Centennial Chair of Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin, where he studies orbital ordering and crossover from localized to itinerant d electrons in solids and continues with development of components for electrochemical technologies.
Goodenough is a member of the U.S. National Academies of Science and Engineering, as well as a foreign member of the Royal Society, England, and the National Societies of France, Spain, and India. Among other awards, he has received the Japan Prize (2001), the Presidential Enrico Fermi Award (2009), the National Medal of Science (2012), and the Stark Draper Prize of the National Academy of Engineering (2014).
Some of the UK’s largest companies will today send a signal to auto manufacturers that the market is ready for electric vans, pledging to invest £40m in rolling out zero emission models over the next two years as part of plans to replace 18,000 diesel vans over the next decade.
Sixteen of the UK’s largest fleet operators are to formally launch the Clean Van Commitment ahead of the government’s hosting of the inaugural international Zero Emission Vehicle Summit in Birmingham next week.
The energy storage sector has been growing robustly, despite some concerns about the global supply chain for one key material, lithium. Well, that question could soon be moot. The California-based startup Lilac Solutions has just received a major financial boost for an innovative, low-impact method for extracting lithium from abundant brines around the globe.
Diversifying the global supply chain could help alleviate one source of anxiety for US energy policymakers. Currently, the top lithium producers are concentrated in a relatively small number of countries overseas, and uncertainty over President Trump’s trade policy has layered another layer of complexity onto an already fraught situation.
Last Saturday afternoon, lighting strikes in Australia temporarily interrupted transmission lines that interconnect the electrical grids in the eastern part of the country. For a time, the grids in Queensland and South Australia were turned into energy islands, cut off from the national grid infrastructure. The Australian Energy Market Operator termed the incident a “power system emergency.”
Customers in New South Wales and Victoria experienced widespread power outages while those in in Queensland and South Australia noticed little more than a momentary flicker of their lights. In Queensland, that happy circumstance was due to an abundance of renewable energy available to meet that state’s energy needs. Some of the excess was being shared with NSW before the transmission line between the two was put out of commission.
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Scientists say a new liquid battery could mean electric vehicles can be charged in seconds rather than hours.
Chemists from the University of Glasgow claim to have developed a flow battery system using nano-molecules to store energy, which can be released as either electric power and hydrogen gas.
Concentrating the nano-molecules into a liquid means the amount of energy it can store is increased nearly tenfold – high energy density means it offers longer range for vehicles and more resilience for battery systems.
Meeting Britain’s 2050 climate goals will require the nation to wean itself off using natural gas for heating, but the nation’s electricity system probably won’t cope unless thermal storage technology improves.
Reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the heating sector is “one of the toughest challenges the country faces in its low-carbon transition,” according to a report published Friday by the U.K. Energy Research Centre, a body that advises the public and private sector on sustainable energy.