WiTTRA Launches Market-Ready Solution for Sustainable Energy Management
Worldwide Launch of the Epishine OneCell, Brings Design and Market-Leading Performance Together
ELEO Introduces its New Generation of Battery Systems at CONEXPO
Trive Capital, with Sidekick Operators, forms OWL Services
Powering Ubiquitous Electronics with Perovskite Photovoltaics
The EU grants 25 MSEK to Epishine’s Sunrise project
Solutions to California’s Power Problems
Going Beyond Silicon’s Limitations: IDTechEx Discuss the Rise of Thin Film Photovoltaics
Mainstream Renewable Power and Ocean Winds win 1.8GW ScotWind site off Shetland
Netherlands has ambition to lead Europe in the fight against climate change
GreenSpur Wind and Niron Magnetics Collaborate to Develop New Rare Earth-free Generator Solution for the Offshore Wind Market
GreenSpur Wind, the company who has developed a new generator for the global offshore wind market, and Niron Magnetics, the company pioneering the world’s first high-performance, rare earth-free permanent magnets, today announced a milestone in developing a new, lighter, and highly efficient rare earth-free generator solution for the offshore wind market. The findings have been verified by ORE Catapult, the UK’s leading technology innovation and research center for offshore renewable energy. According to the Ocean Renewable Energy Action Coalition (OREAC), offshore wind is forecast to reach 1,400GW by 2050 and will be a crucial component in the transition to net-zero emissions. However, the industry’s reliance on expensive, supply-constrained rare earth magnets, historically considered essential components in generators for wind turbines, has created a barrier to rapid progress. “Existing turbines use radial-flux generators, and the current designs are reliant on rare earth magnets,” said Andrew Hine, Commercial Director at GreenSpur Wind. “However, we employ a unique and highly innovative axial-flux architecture that makes the use of rare-earth free magnets possible. Our patented concept can eliminate the risks associated with supply chain constraints and volatile pricing.” Past iterations of the GreenSpur generator had attracted interest, but there were concerns about its mass. Keeping generator mass within the same range as existing machines is important, as adding weight requires more structural support, which increases cost. By designing with Niron’s Generation 1 Clean Earth Magnet™, which offers significantly stronger magnetic performance than the ferrites used in its earlier generator designs, GreenSpur developed a new 15MW generator. Based upon initial non-optimized results, the new generator delivers a significant 56% reduction in mass. “Our Clean Earth Magnet™ technology helps eliminate reliance on expensive, supply constrained, rare earth-based magnets, without compromising on performance,” said Andy Blackburn, CEO of Niron Magnetics. “Device designers and manufacturers take our technology and realize its impact. By working with GreenSpur, we have been able to demonstrate what can be achieved with our Generation 1 technology in wind applications, with innovative materials and innovative device design coming together to enable a potentially transformative solution for the offshore market.” Supported by an Innovate UK grant, the new 15MW generator design was reviewed by ORE Catapult, the UK’s leading technology innovation and research center for offshore renewable energy. The review confirmed that GreenSpur’s 15MW generator design is now able to meet the mass and efficiency targets required by the market. “We have worked with GreenSpur in support of their hugely innovative and disruptive technology for several years. Although there was interest in a rare earth-free solution, there were concerns that their generator would be too heavy,” said Tony Quinn, Director of Technology Development at ORE Catapult. “However, with Niron’s novel rare earth-free magnet, GreenSpur is able to show attractive mass and efficiency targets and a credible solution for consideration within a next generation turbine. We are now helping GreenSpur and Niron to present this opportunity to OEMs, developers, and strategic investors. The aim is to create an industry consortium with the right combination of players to bring this offering to market”. Work to form the consortium is underway. For more information on this effort, please reach out to Andrew Hine at GreenSpur. In Hine’s words, “The risk that the rare earth magnet supply chain poses to international offshore wind is existential. For the first time, we have a path that takes this risk out of the equation.”
SmartViz Building Energy Solution Is Now Powered by iTwin
SmartViz, an intuitive digital twin platform that creates a virtual representation of indoor spaces, enabling building managers to optimize energy efficiency and space usage, is now integrated with the Bentley iTwin platform. The SmartViz platform, which saved Vodafone $40m in excess property and energy costs and has empowered several organisations to successfully implement hybrid working, is now providing even greater value to property owners and managers. SmartViz is also a Premier Partner of the iTwin Partner Program. The partnership means that the Bentley iTwin platform provides the essential building blocks of an online operational “twin” of the building, enabling SmartViz to add a cognitive layer that empowers property owners and managers with access to data and insights about how their building is used in real time. As well as identifying where energy is being wasted, SmartViz allows predictive modelling, which enables building owners or managers to see how different scenarios, such as weather conditions or occupancy rates, would impact energy usage, allowing a much higher degree of control over costs. Now powered by iTwin, SmartViz offers users a comprehensive digital twin that records, monitors, tracks, instantly alerts and optimises asset performance. With advanced 3D visualisations, real-time data analytics, predictive day-in-the-life simulation and scenario planning, users can optimise their buildings, assets, and create a more productive and energy-efficient building for all. “The majority of buildings over 1000 square metres in the UK were built in an era when energy consumption was not a major concern,” said Dr Shrikant Sharma, founder and CEO of SmartViz. “But with the Government’s net zero strategy demanding decisive action from businesses, and the current fuel crisis impacting every supply chain, the need to optimise how we use energy in our commercial, educational and retail spaces has become a key issue. The data and insights SmartViz provides makes that possible.” Building on over 20 years of experience, SmartViz has been used across all building types, including educational estates, cultural places, transport hubs, and workplaces. As well as the financial impact of energy wastage, poor use of space is also an unnecessary burden for business owners, which not only impacts the bottom line directly, but affects the wellbeing and productivity of the space users – a factor which the Scottish government is currently addressing by using SmartViz to improve the performance of school buildings. The data and insight that SmartViz generates for them will provide the capability to predict, scenario plan, and optimise the learning environment for Scottish schoolchildren. Said Dr. Sharma: “Our partnership with Bentley Systems and the Bentley Powered by iTwin program is a big boost to the SmartViz mission to tackle the core challenges of space efficiency, net zero compliance and user experience. The Bentley iTwin platform is instrumental in helping us achieve this for our customers.” Sheena Gaynes, Director of business development, iTwin platform, added: “We are delighted to have SmartViz add their SmartViz building performance platform to the Powered by iTwin program. In doing so, SmartViz joins a growing ecosystem of developers building digital twin solutions with the Bentley iTwin platform. The SmartViz platform is a great example of how digital twin technologies can be combined to help facilities managers and owner-operators harness the power of data to optimize building performance and user experience.”
Epishine is building a new solar cell factory in Linköping with its aim set at exceptional capacity
In the autumn of 2018, Epishine based its groundbreaking production on decades of research in organic electronics and photovoltaics, and in the fall of 2018 began production of their organic solar cells that Epishine has developed all the way from the research stage to industrial production. “It has provided us with a perfect space for growth as well as excellent conditions to develop, launch and scale our first products. Now we see the need to increase the volume and expand our production further" says Anna Björklou, CEO of Epishine. In our increasingly digitalized world, small electronics powered by batteries are used in very high volumes. This development comes from wanting to collect data on everything from temperature, air quality, and the number of people who use premises to which doors and windows are open or closed. Three years ago, electronics manufacturers had not realized that there are limits to how many batteries, for example a real estate group think it is reasonable to replace. They had not even thought of other ways to supply power and when we were around at sales meetings, they were surprised that it was actually possible to use the natural indoor light to power this type of device. Demand has now increased enormously in connection with an increasing awareness that disposable batteries are not a sustainable solution from either a maintenance or environmental perspective. Epishine’s unique manufacturing method involves printing solar cells roll-to-roll, similar to newspaper printing production, which is an exceptionally scalable and energy-efficient process compared to how traditional solar cells are manufactured. The capability of a solar cell printer with a bandwidth of 2.5 meters and speed of 1 meter per second is 70 million square meters of solar cells per year - that is new green solar energy equivalent to the output of a nuclear power reactor every month. Epishine's long-term vision is to become the world's largest solar cell manufacturer, which is why the expansion potential has been key in choosing the new premises. Epishine's new location is developed together with the real estate company Corem. “Corem's vision is to manage and develop properties for the future and we are excited to be able to be a part of Epishine's continued progress and for a more sustainable future”, says Mikael Forkner, Regional Manager at Corem. Epishine’s first initiative is to scale up the production of indoor modules: A sensor series that is powered by Epishine's solar cells easily goes up in volumes of millions. "We need larger premises already for the higher demand we see in 2023, but it has also been important to build a facility with the possibility to increase capacity for billions of solar modules per year when really big projects take off”, says Mattias Josephson, co-founder of Epishine . Beyond the possibility to double the building’s existing production capacity, another advantage of the new location is that additional facilities can be built on the same property, allowing Epishine to scale very quickly without having to move the entire business time after time. "We are really looking forward to this expansion. We want to meet the needs of more and more and larger and larger customers with the most climate-friendly solar cell we know.” concludes Anna Björklou.
IDTechEx Discuss Unlocking the Power of Perovskite Photovoltaics
Perovskite photovoltaics (PV) is a very young field, only emerging in 2009. Since then, research into the field has catapulted leading to the fastest acceleration in record efficiency of any PV technology. IDTechEx’s new report, “Perovskite Photovoltaics 2023-2033”, explores the diverse range of opportunities presented by perovskite PV, including gaps in demand, supply chain innovation, and emerging applications. [Remarkably rapid efficiency gains] Perovskite photovoltaics have demonstrated remarkable efficiencies, with new applications enabled by their low cost, thin film architecture, and tuneable absorption. Record efficiencies are already on par with those of silicon PV, a technology with decades of research behind it. Additionally, perovskite PV does not use toxic or rare materials, and the manufacturing is well-suited to scalable solution-based deposition methods. This gives perovskite PV an edge over the existing dominant thin film alternatives such as cadmium telluride (CdTe) and copper indium gallium selenide (CIGS), which suffer from expensive synthesis and material scarcity. Despite the demonstration of high-efficiency perovskite solar cells, commercial adoption is limited by concerns over long-term stability. Perovskites are well-known to degrade following exposure to environmental factors such as heat, air, humidity, and UV light. Encapsulation techniques and material engineering are crucial to preventing degradation of the perovskite film – solving these high-value problems is a compelling commercial opportunity. [Enabling emerging applications] Perovskite PV is very versatile. It can be used in mainstream applications such as in solar farms and rooftops. Since the weight of a perovskite module can be at least 90 % lighter than a silicon module, it is particularly well-suited to novel applications as well such as vertical building integration and structures with low weight tolerance. These are applications that mainstream silicon-based PV is not compatible with and therefore provide a niche opportunity for perovskite PV. Flexible solar modules are another exciting recent development in photovoltaics. Thin film perovskite PV is naturally well-suited to flexible designs. Conformality allows for greater practicality and aesthetic control when integrating into building facades as well as electronic devices. With the emergence of Internet of Things (IoT), perovskite PV could also be a very suitable choice for self-powered smart electronics. Batteries are typically used to power small appliances. Where hundreds or thousands of individual electronics are in use, replacing batteries can be unsustainable both in terms of labor costs and number of disposable batteries. Employing low-cost PV powered devices with lifespans of 10 years could be far more economical. There is already very early-stage commercialization of self-powered electronics using organic PV. This market is still very small and there is plenty of room for new entrants. Perovskite PV promises higher efficiencies and simpler synthesis than organics, and potentially longer lifespans. Applications enabled by perovskite PV explored in the new IDTechEx report “Perovskite Photovoltaics 2023-2033”. Source: IDTechEx [Outlook] The future appears optimistic for perovskite PV, since the technology has advanced much more rapidly than any other photovoltaic technology. Unlike CdTe and CIGS active layers, perovskites do not require rare or expensive raw materials. The synthesis is straightforward and deposition can be carried out without the need for a vacuum or high temperatures. The possibility of creating flexible devices also opens up new applications that mainstream silicon PV cannot target due to their bulk, weight, and rigidity. Despite the promising advantages, concerns surrounding the lifespan of perovskite solar cells remain at the forefront of the discussion. This report, “Perovskite Photovoltaics 2023-2033”, gives 10-year market forecasts, key player analysis, technology benchmarking, and identification of core application areas. It examines the current status and latest trends in photovoltaic technology, supply chain, and manufacturing know-how. It also identifies the key challenges, competition, and innovation opportunities facing perovskite PV. Technical analysis and emerging trends are based on cutting-edge research and primary information with key and emerging players. This report focuses primarily on photovoltaic applications of perovskites and also provides an overview of alternative (non-photovoltaic) applications.
FRX Innovations’ Nofia Sustainable Green Flame Retardants Outperforms Legacy Flame Retardants in High Growth Lithium-Ion Battery Application
FRX Innovations (TSXV:FRXI) is pleased to announce that its Nofia® flame retardant has been selected for its high performance level as well as its sustainability attributes in lithium-ion battery casings. Notoxicom® products, powered by Nofia®, were developed by Polymer Compounders Ltd of the UK and chosen by battery producer Super B of the Netherlands, for its new category of lithium-ion batteries. Nofia® has recently received green certifications from the ChemForward, Green Screen and TCO organizations, which provide customers and brand owners alike, the assurance that they need not compromise on environmental safety to achieve fire safety, all the while achieving performance levels not previously possible with legacy flame retardants. The parties involved in this groundbreaking innovation provided additional details as follows: (1) Super B, part of the clean energy conglomerate Koolen Industries, announced that its new lithium iron phosphate battery uses the recently launched Notoxicom® grade of FR PC/ABS developed by Polymer Compounders Limited (UK). (2) Marten Zilvold, Product Manager at Super B, explained that, “This new development of our already successful battery range will add further to its green credentials and contribute to the continuing growth in applications such as power sports, marine, industrial and other recreational.” The new Super B battery cases have been developed with partners Kedu Polymers Industries BV, Klein Mechaniek BV (Toolmaker/Moulder) and Super B (OEM) utilizing the Moldex flow simulation software. The software was fed with measured data characterizing the excellent processing performance of Notoxicom®, and the design was then optimized for the best characteristics of Notoxicom®, i.e. broad temperature processing range in combination with excellent flow. The resulting lower pressures in the tool allowed the use of only one hot runner, whereas two hot runners were needed with standard FR PC/ABS. Stephen Blair, Technical Manager at Polymer Compounders Limited, explained that this was precisely the type of sustainability-focused application that Notoxicom® is targeted at, “We could not be more excited at this development. Notoxicom® advances the design space where non-Halogen FR PC/ABS or FR PC/ASA can be used. Its HDT is typically 25C to 30C higher than comparable grades of FR PC/ABS, and it is firmly targeted at existing applications of ABS containing brominated flame retardants, which are being threatened in some uses by new EcoDesign regulations soon to be implemented across the EU and in other examples being deselected by ESG focused OEMs.” Further information about Notoxicom® can be found here: https://polymer-compounders.com/en/notoxicom-product-family/ Marc Lebel, CEO of FRX Innovations said, “This development is fully aligned with our strategy of disrupting segments of the flame retardant polymer industry sensitive to the sustainability demands of OEM’s, regulatory bodies and Green NGOs, all the while delivering performance levels not possible with legacy flame retardant products.” These include applications in electric vehicles, medical equipment, and consumer electronics. All FRX’s flame retardants are polymers and contain no halogens.
Yanmar Powers India Engine Plant with Renewable Energy
Yanmar Engine Manufacturing India (hereafter “Yanmar Engine India”), a leading Japanese engine manufacturer based in Tamil Nadu, India has installed a 1 MWp rooftop solar photovoltaic generation system to its industrial engine production facility in India. The system will power about 30% of the facility’s energy needs with green power. The addition of the more than 2,200 module PV system will generate around 1,500 Gigawatt-hours (GWh) of renewable electricity annually, realizing significant cost savings for Yanmar Engine India and reducing the company’s carbon footprint by an estimated 1,200 tons of CO2 emissions annually. The engine plant, located in Tamil Nadu, India, will produce 80,000 units of 15kW to 37kW class industrial engines per year. The engines will be supplied to India, Europe, the United States, Asia and other regions where demand for industrial engines is strong. “The installation of this solar photovoltaic generation system underscores Yanmar’s longstanding commitment to sustainable operations,” said Yanmar Engine India Managing Director, Varun Khanna. “With this investment, we continue Yanmar’s goal to realize a sustainable future with access to powerful, highly efficient, and affordable engine technologies as well as implementing systems that can make optimal use of diverse energy sources to reduce the burden on the environment.”
ASCA and Epishine sign their first licensing agreement for printed OPV
Epishine, a key player in the development and production of printed organic solar cells and current global leader on indoor OPV is partnering with ASCA – an ARMOR Group company and the organic photovoltaics (OPV) global leader, to strengthen and further develop the world-wide OPV market. ASCA recently acquired the most relevant intellectual property (IP) portfolio on printed OPV and the companies have signed a licensing agreement to share it beginning of April. The contract will enable the Swedish-based manufacturer Epishine to further improve its organic indoor light energy harvesting solar modules. “ASCA is an innovation-driven company that took patents on printed OPV production and technology from the chemical company Merck KGaA at the end of 2021. From the beginning, Epishine, as a key player in the OPV industry, has been actively involved in the discussion of making the IP regarding printed OPV available to the market. “We are pleased to sign our first licensing agreement with Epishine. This partnership is a logical follow-up and part of our commitment to support the growth of the organic photovoltaic market”, ASCA´s Vice President for Key Accounts Nicolas Vannieuwenhuyse says. - Maximize the potential of solar energy Epishine is currently focusing on indoor light energy harvesting for sensors, beacons, displays and other small electronics, with the ambition to further develop both indoor and outdoor OPV applications. “We are manufacturing a printed organic solar cell with very good performance at low light. As one of the key actors that are taking printed organic solar cells to the global mass market, ASCA’s IP related to printed OPV is off course essential to us,” says Anna Björklou, CEO at Epishine. ASCA´s aesthetic OPV-solutions offer an unlimited potential to support the expansion of solar energy from building and vehicle-integrated photovoltaics to energy-harvesting electronic devices for the IoT world. ASCA is the only manufacturer to provide tailor-made solutions in terms of shapes and dimensions to meet the requirements of all use cases. Through licensing agreements with other actors of the OPV industry, ASCA wants to tear down market adoption barriers and to increase the competitiveness of OPV. “As a lightweight and flexible solution, OPV enables to maximize the potential of solar energy as we can easily equip new surfaces”, says Vannieuwenhuyse. As OPV has a low carbon footprint and no rare earths are used it is an even greener option than conventional solar modules.
Toray Head Office to Effectively Employ 100% Renewable Electricity
Toray Industries, Inc., announced today that it has concluded a green energy supply service agreement with Mitsui Fudosan Co., Ltd. This accord covers electricity consumption at Toray’s head office in the Nihonbashi Mitsui Tower, which Mitsui Fudosan owns. That company’s service for tenants and joint business owners uses power greening, effectively delivering renewables-based electricity by employing non-fossil fuel energy certificates. Through Mitsui Fudosan, Toray will tap the environmental value of wind power facilities that Electric Power Development Co., Ltd., operates. Toray’s head office will thus effectively use 100% renewable energy from April 2022. Based on a globally accepted standard, the projected annual greenhouse gas emissions reduction would be around 1,500 tons-CO2. Toray aims to help realizing a carbon neutral world while becoming carbon-neutral in our business operations by 2050 in keeping with the Toray Group Sustainability Vision, which it formulated in 2018. The company will continue to step up initiatives to conserve electricity and other energy, accelerating internal carbon neutrality efforts by switching to fuels with lower greenhouse gas emissions and using more renewable energy sources. References Toray Group climate change initiatives https://www.toray.co.jp/sustainability/tcfd/
Is China Becoming a Green Colussus? New Solar and Wind Park to Produce 240% More Energy Than All Renewables in Germany combined
China wants to build a huge solar and wind park in the Gobi Desert, which is planned to have a total capacity of 450 gigawatts. To put this into perspective: the total capacity of all renewable energy sources in Germany is 132.3 gigawatts. The planned park in the Middle Kingdom would thus even have a higher total output than all wind energy and PV plants in the European Union combined, as shown in a new infographic by Block-Builders.de. In the European Union, for example, the total capacity of wind energy is 220 gigawatts, with PV systems responsible for 165 gigawatts. Wind and solar energy play an almost equal role in Germany, whereas other renewable energies such as biomass, hydropower and others are declining in significance. Comparing the most prominent countries in terms of installed capacity of wind turbines, China is already in undisputed first place - even without the giant park currently being planned in the Gobi Desert. In 2020, China generated 273 gigawatts with onshore wind turbines alone. The United States of America comes in second place with 118 gigawatts, followed by Germany with 54 gigawatts. Of the 10 largest manufacturers of onshore wind turbines (in terms of new installations), 7 are from China. China is constantly pushing for a green turnaround and aims to be climate-neutral by 2060. In absolute terms, the most populous country still has the highest CO₂ emissions on earth - but in relative terms, this is far from the case. In 2020, China emitted an average of 8.2 tonnes of carbon dioxide per inhabitant, while countries such as Saudi Arabia (17 tonnes), Australia (15.2 tonnes), Canada (14.4 tonnes) and the United States of America (13.7 tonnes) emit considerably more. Although China is making rapid progress, other countries are also increasingly focusing on renewable energies. The Ukraine war has also made it painfully clear to German players how strongly dependent they still are on fossil fuels. Investors stand to profit considerably from the green turnaround - yet the corresponding securities have been rather quiet recently, as a look at the performance of the Global Clean Energy ETF makes clear. The 3-month review shows a gain of 3.3%, although it has lost almost 3.3% of its value in the last six months.
Impact of Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) on biofuels production shown in study
Capturing the interactions between biofuels and agricultural industries and their connections with other economic activities was key to a first-of-its kind study. “This is the first comprehensive examination of market factors and policies on the expansion of biofuels production in the U.S. to examine the economic impact of these individual drivers separately,” said Farzad Taheripour, the Purdue University agricultural economist who led the study. “We found that RFS played a critical role in reducing uncertainties in commodity markets, and its most significant impact was to help farmers use their resources more efficiently. With producing more corn and soybeans, over time the farmers were able to bring fallow land that had been unused back to production, and U.S. annual farm incomes increased by $8.3 billion between 2004 and 2011, with an extra additional annual income of $2.3 billion between 2011 and 2016.” Over the past 15 years, production and consumption of biofuels have increased in the U.S. due to various factors including market forces and biofuel policies, he said. The Renewable Fuel Standard, or RFS, policy requires transportation fuel sold in the United States to contain a minimum volume of renewable fuels. Examples of renewable fuels include the biofuels ethanol, most often made in the U.S. from corn; and biodiesel, most often made from soybeans. The policy was established in 2005, and was expanded and extended by the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. The economic study looked at both short- and long-term price impacts of policies and other market forces on the expansion of the biofuels industry and was able to identify the impact of each individual market driver. A paper detailing the team’s work is available in the journal Frontiers in Energy Research. “A hybrid of models is needed to accurately assess the situation – one model can’t capture it all,” said Taheripour, a research professor of agricultural economics and member of Purdue’s Center for Global Trade Analysis or GTAP. “An introduction of a new policy shocks the market, but only for the short term. In the long run, people adjust, things stabilize and the true impact can be seen. For example, we are experiencing a shock now in crude oil. People are reacting to the war in Ukraine and to uncertainty, but we don’t yet know how it will impact the market on a scale of years or decades.” The team developed economic analyses using both partial and general equilibrium models, which are the best modeling frameworks for short- and long-term analysis, respectively, he said. Through this work the team was able to differentiate the economic impacts of the RFS from other drivers that helped biofuels production grow and to evaluate the short- and long-run price impacts of RFS, as well as the contributions of the policy to improvements in farm incomes and use of agricultural resources. A key model used by the team was Purdue’s GTAP-BIO computational general equilibrium model for land use analyses related to the environmental, agricultural, energy, trade, and biofuel policies and actions. The model separates oil crops, vegetable oils, and meals into several categories. In addition to the standard commodities and services, the model includes the production and consumption of biofuels - corn ethanol, sugarcane ethanol, and biodiesel - and their by-products of dried distiller grains, commonly referred to as DDGS, and meals. “The model takes into account the use of commodity feed stocks for food and fuel, and the competition or trade-offs between those and other market uses,” Taheripour said. “It also traces land use and handles intensification in crop production due to technological progress, multicropping and conversion of unused cropland to crop production. This is the first biofuels study to be able to piece out all of these factors individually and to combine that information with short-term models to capture finer and shorter-term impacts.” Taheripour collaborated with Harry Baumes, a member of the National Center for Food and Agriculture Policy in Washington, D.C., and Wallace E. Tyner, the late James and Lois Ackerman Professor of Agricultural Economics at Purdue. “When we analyze policy implications, we need to look comprehensively and have a broad perspective,” Taheripour said. “The goal of my research is to guide policy makers to the best and most informed decisions that are safe and benefit us all.”
IDTechEx Analyzes if Oil Can be Climate Compatible
The recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report warned us over the threat global warming is posing, with consequences already being felt and accelerating rapidly. At the same time, the price of oil is at its highest since 2008 and is likely to continue to soar. Although prices at these levels are largely war-driven, both oil and gas prices were already climbing as economies reopened last year. These events have just shown how energy vulnerable and dependent on fossil fuels the global economy still is. Despite exceptional performance in 2021, the oil and gas (O&G) sector continues to be slowly investment-starved as pressure to decarbonize grows stronger from institutional investors, stakeholders, creditors, and governments with rising climate commitments. If the O&G industry is to remain relevant in the short- to medium-term and drastically reduce its climate impact, how can the sector adapt to meet seemly conflicting goals? While some major oil companies are divesting oil assets and replacing them with green power generation, others are keeping hydrocarbon businesses and focusing on limiting or offsetting their emissions. Offsetting targets have driven investments in carbon capture utilization and storage (CCUS), which has seen more than 100 new facilities announced in 2021 alone, and it is on track to quadruple in capture capacity based on pledged projects. To find out more about CCUS, see the IDTechEx report “Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Storage (CCUS) 2021-2040”. CO2-enhanced oil recovery (CO2-EOR) in particular - where CO2 is injected into the subsurface to boost oil production - currently represents the most developed and economically attractive end-use of captured CO2 and there is enthusiasm in the industry. The CEO of Occidental Petroleum, Vicki Hollub, stated in an interview with the Financial Times that “[the world’s last] barrel of oil has to be from CO2-enhanced oil recovery because that’s the lowest emission barrel possible”. The company is the leading CO2-EOR operator in the United States, and it is betting on the world’s largest direct air capture (DAC) facility to pull 1 million metric tons of CO2 per year from the air for EOR in the Permian Basin. Indeed, under specific conditions, CO2-EOR can be a useful tool to reduce emissions from fossil-fuel consumption until the world completes the transition to a clean energy mix. If a closed-loop is achieved, nearly all the CO2 used in EOR remains sequestered deep in the subsurface. Injecting CO2 underground to produce more hydrocarbons releases new CO2 into the atmosphere when the oil is burned, but net emissions can be neutral or even negative if the CO2 is injected in sufficient quantities (i.e., enough to offset the oil usage emissions), its permanent geological storage is guaranteed, and, better still, the CO2 is sourced from the air or from biomass. It is estimated that CO2-EOR can produce carbon neutral oil as long as no more than 2 barrels of oil (bbl) are recovered per metric ton of CO2 injected (tCO2). Current practices yield an average recovery ratio of around 3.3 bbl/tCO2. Thus far, CO2-EOR represents only 0.5% of the world’s total oil production and its main bottleneck is the availability of captured, industrial CO2, which requires an extensive CO2 network linking capture sites to carbon sinks. But even with uncertainties around costs and technical complexities - mostly related to capturing and transporting the CO2 from capture points - CO2-EOR is actionable today and can mitigate emissions as other decarbonization options develop and become economically feasible. Given CO2-EOR is one of the few uses of CO2 that can be profitable without carbon prices or other government interventions, IDTechEx sees the technique continuing to dominate the CCUS realm in the first half of this decade. Today CO2-EOR uses nearly 70% of the anthropogenic CO2 captured globally. But ass energy production shifts towards renewables and carbon pricing and tax incentives are put into force, dedicated geological storage (CCS) as a waste management service will eventually outpace CO2-EOR as the main endpoint for captured CO2. This is contingent to infrastructure development, which needs to happen accordingly to lessen the cost burden of geological storage. IDTechEx forecasts the share of CO2-EOR decreasing to around 38% of the world’s CO2 capture capacity by 2030, but the sector would still grow at a CAGR of 14% (2021-2030). For more details, see IDTechEx’s market report “Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Storage (CCUS) 2021-2040”. Critics will justifiably say that more ambitious action is needed to address climate risks and CCUS is still a drop in the ocean relative to the sheer scale of global emissions. But recognition of the value of CCUS as a climate mitigation technology is clear in growing investments and policies, and the industry is certainly leveraging them. IDTechEx has been tracking technology innovations for over 20 years, with in-depth, independent analysis across a broad range of topics including Green Technology, Electric Vehicles, Energy Storage, Energy Harvesting & Off Grid, Food & AgTech, and Smart Cities. Our full portfolio of research can be found at www.IDTechEx.com
ELSYS is launching ERS Eco, a battery-free sensor line powered by Epishine’s indoor solar cells
Industry leading LoRaWAN sensor provider ELSYS is launching their first battery-free products using Epishine’s indoor light energy harvesting solution. The environmentally friendly sensor line is launching two sensor types called ERS Eco and ERS Eco CO2. They are entirely powered by Epishine’s indoor solar cells and are made from biodegradable materials. “We are incredibly excited to release a new product line powered by indoor light and made of more durable materials. Combining a great solar cell with new technology and sustainable materials is completely in line with how we at ELSYS want our product development to be. We are proud to present a new product that will simplify installation and maintenance while reducing the CO2 footprint.” says Peter Björk, CEO at ELSYS. The ERS ECO series enables customers to have complete control over their air quality and indoor environment. This in itself saves money and reduces its CO2 footprint, and its battery-free operation reduces the CO2 footprint even further. ELSYS’ vision of making an environmentally friendly sensor, demanded battery-free operation, and a more sustainable enclosure design. The solution was a cooperation between ELSYS and Epishine which resulted in a sensor that is powered solely by indoor solar cells as well as an enclosure made from biodegradable materials. ”ELSYS has taken sustainability to a new level within IoT and building automation sensors with the new ERS Eco sensor line. We are proud to be their partner, supplying our light energy harvesting modules. Epishine’s organic solar cells are perfectly optimized for the ERS Eco sensors with their market-leading performance in indoor light conditions.” says Jonas Palmér, Sales and Business Development at Epishine. Sensors powered with Epishine’s indoor light energy harvesting modules do not only function uninterrupted when ambient light is available, but also function continuously for up to seven days in the dark. This results in a solution with very low or no maintenance and with no need to ever change batteries again. “This combination of energy harvesting from indoor light, battery-free operation, and a biodegradable enclosure is an IoT industry first. I believe that we at ELSYS, with ongoing support from Epishine, have developed a truly unique and ground-breaking product.” says David Skånehult, Hardware Engineer at ELSYS.
Hitachi Energy selected as technology partner for the world’s longest AC power-from-shore project in Norway
Hitachi Energy, the global technology and market leader in power grids, announced today that it has been selected by Aker BP, the Norwegian oil and gas exploration and production company, as technology partner for the NOAKA power-from-shore project off the Norwegian coast. The entire project will be powered by up to 150 megawatts of power from the mainland grid – making it the world’s longest power-from-shore AC connection at around 250 km. Hitachi Energy will perform detailed front-end engineering and design (FEED) studies for a power quality solution that will enable the Aker BP operated NOA Fulla field and the Equinor operated Krafla field in the North Sea to be powered from the mainland. The contract awarded to Hitachi Energy includes an option to deliver the power quality solution when the FEED studies are completed. By using power from the mainland grid, which is mainly renewable hydropower, minimizes NOAKA’s carbon footprint. To ensure the smooth, reliable and safe transmission of electricity to the offshore platforms, Hitachi Energy’s solution combines two power quality technologies that have never been used before for this type of application: a high-performance STATCOM, called SVC Light®, and thyristor-controlled series capacitors. The MACH™ control and protection system, will enable the two technologies to work in harmony as a single synchronized solution. This will be made possible by leveraging Hitachi Energy’s extensive and unique know-how in power quality solutions as well as its domain integration capabilities. “We are delighted that Aker BP has selected our pioneering power quality solution, enabling this vital energy project to be powered with emission-free renewable energy,” says Niklas Persson, Managing Director of Hitachi Energy’s Grid Integration business. “This world-first solution will also enable progress toward mega-scale offshore renewable power installations, offering viable alternative pathways for connecting power from shore with AC over long distances.” “Our ambition is to develop the NOAKA area with a minimum carbon footprint and a prerequisite for this is that the fields are supplied with power-from-shore,” says Lars Høier, Senior Vice President and Asset Manager for NOAKA at Aker BP. “We selected Hitachi Energy as our trusted technology partner to provide a reliable and flexible grid connection and power quality solution to secure high reliability in our operations.” Hitachi Energy’s proposed solution comprises a new grid connection to house the STATCOM, thyristor-controlled series capacitors, shunt reactors and gas-insulated switchgear. The solution will also increase the transmission capacity of an existing 420 kV mainland grid connection with new gas-insulated switchgear and a power transformer. These are all technologies made by Hitachi Energy to secure exceptional levels of grid availability and reliability. - Hitachi Energy: proven track record in long-distance power-from-shore Hitachi Energy supplied the world’s first long-distance power-from-shore installation in Norway in 2005 using its HVDC Light® high-voltage direct current technology. Since then, Hitachi Energy has supplied four of the five HVDC power-from-shore installations, all of which supply platforms off the Norwegian coast. In December 2021, Hitachi Energy won a contract to supply the most powerful power-from-shore solution in the Middle East and North Africa. The solution will deliver 3,200 MW of low-carbon power to two offshore production clusters, reducing the clusters’ emissions by up to 35 percent.
EU project brings together the next “Energy Game Changers”
The European-Commission-funded SMAGRINET project has just announced the launch of its final conference “Energy Game Changers 2022”. The event takes place on March 17 and will be broadcasted live from the Proto Invention Factory, in Tallinn, Estonia. The current situation in the European energy market has proved that the European strategies regarding renewable energy have met the crucible of transition. Although the capacity of European interconnections has been evaluated as sufficient since their commissioning, energy prices reaching as high as 1000 EUR/MWh have shown that immense improvement is yet to be done in the European grid. Luckily, homeowners were not affected by the biggest atrocities, as grids were able to find some form of flexibility thanks to industry consumers. Countries across the globe have been implementing smart grids to achieve reductions in emissions, increased grid efficiency, utilisation of renewable energy sources and consumer control over their energy consumption. Now, security of supply also comes into focus. The functionalities, possibilities and boundaries of smart grids are not universally and uniformly understood by all people working in the energy field or in the related or even unrelated sectors. This in turn means that the potential of current grids and expectations regarding benefits of smart grids can be under- and overestimated: postponing or misplanning the future energy transition makes it overly expensive. This is the reason why educating current students and workforce is immensely important. There is a need to provide people with knowledge about the full scope of smart grids and understanding of where the borders between investments into smart automation and dumb copper or aluminium are drawn. Implementation of smart grids requires not only significant investments for replacing the current electrical grids with smart grids, but also training of a next generation of electrical engineers, who must be capable of applying new technologies and managing them effectively in the future. Currently, there is a shortage of qualified electrical engineers in many EU countries, hindering the transition from traditional electric grids to more efficient and environmentally friendly smart grids. According to the Energy Roadmap 2050 and Fit for 55, the share of renewable energy in the EU will rise substantially in the near future, achieving at least 55 % in the gross final primary energy consumption in 2050, which is an increment of 45 percentage points from today's level at around 10 %. Such an all-embracing transformation will affect employment and jobs, requiring education and training and a more vigorous social dialogue. The conference “Energy Game Changers 2022” will be organized as part of the Horizon 2020 project SMAGRINET that is coordinated by Tallinn University of Technology. Jointly with Technical University of Berlin, Dresden University of Technology, Kaunas University of Technology, University of Lorraine, University of Ljubljana, LOBA.cx, CIVITTA and Elektriliit, as well as industry representatives, university modules have been worked out to educate the next generation of engineers and power the smart grid expertise in Europe. The event is targeted mainly to: university representatives, teaching staff from academic institutions, industry representatives, and the general interested public. https://www.smagrinet.eu/newsflash/events/energy-game-changers-2022/
EU project brings together the next “Energy Game Changers”
The current situation in the European energy market has proved that the European strategies regarding renewable energy have met the crucible of transition. Although the capacity of European interconnections has been evaluated as sufficient since their commissioning, energy prices reaching as high as 1000 EUR/MWh have shown that immense improvement is yet to be done in the European grid. Luckily, homeowners were not affected by the biggest atrocities, as grids were able to find some form of flexibility thanks to industry consumers. Countries across the globe have been implementing smart grids to achieve reductions in emissions, increased grid efficiency, utilisation of renewable energy sources and consumer control over their energy consumption. Now, security of supply also comes into focus. The functionalities, possibilities and boundaries of smart grids are not universally and uniformly understood by all people working in the energy field or in the related or even unrelated sectors. This in turn means that the potential of current grids and expectations regarding benefits of smart grids can be under- and overestimated: postponing or misplanning the future energy transition makes it overly expensive. This is the reason why educating current students and workforce is immensely important. There is a need to provide people with knowledge about the full scope of smart grids and understanding of where the borders between investments into smart automation and dumb copper or aluminium are drawn. Implementation of smart grids requires not only significant investments for replacing the current electrical grids with smart grids, but also training of a next generation of electrical engineers, who must be capable of applying new technologies and managing them effectively in the future. Currently, there is a shortage of qualified electrical engineers in many EU countries, hindering the transition from traditional electric grids to more efficient and environmentally friendly smart grids. According to the Energy Roadmap 2050 and Fit for 55, the share of renewable energy in the EU will rise substantially in the near future, achieving at least 55 % in the gross final primary energy consumption in 2050, which is an increment of 45 percentage points from today's level at around 10 %. Such an all-embracing transformation will affect employment and jobs, requiring education and training and a more vigorous social dialogue. The conference “Energy Game Changers 2022” will be organized as part of the Horizon 2020 project SMAGRINET that is coordinated by Tallinn University of Technology. Jointly with Technical University of Berlin, Dresden University of Technology, Kaunas University of Technology, University of Lorraine, University of Ljubljana, LOBA.cx, CIVITTA and Elektriliit, as well as industry representatives, university modules have been worked out to educate the next generation of engineers and power the smart grid expertise in Europe. The event is targeted mainly to: university representatives, teaching staff from academic institutions, industry representatives, and the general interested public. Check the programme and register to the event here https://www.agilitypr.com/love-your-email-pitch/
Eurocell is in advanced discussions with major property developers and energy companies to supply batteries to store energy
Eurocell, the Anglo-Korean next-generation battery company, is primed to take advantage of the rapidly-growing energy storage market, predicted to be worth $30BN by 2030. The company’s proven batteries, which are now ready for scaled-up manufacturing, are perfectly suited to energy storage. They last over 10 times longer than conventional lithium-ion technologies, reducing virtually all ‘end of life’ issues. A wide range of operating temperatures also makes them ideally suited to areas with extreme weather and for off-grid solutions. Eurocell’s batteries are also safer than conventional batteries, with a vastly reduced risk of thermal runaways and fire risks in buildings. Eurocell is now in advanced discussions with European customers including: 1) Next-generation housing companies and property developers, where its batteries will be used to harness energy created from wind and solar sources to power future homes. 2) A world-leading off-grid plant hire business wanting advanced, high-tech lighting solutions and generators to silently power outdoor events with zero-emission energy. 3) A major energy company needing high performance and long-lasting battery storage solutions to balance the grid – providing affordable and stable energy at times of peak demand. Recardo Bruins, CEO Eurocell EMEA, commented: “Quite rightly, a lot of the debate so far has been about the electrification of vehicles but we think it’s time to discuss the wider electrification of society. That’s not just about how we electrify our cars, but how we will charge them while providing renewable off grid solutions and powering our industry and homes. “This is why Eurocell’s market leading batteries, which we will start producing next year, are so crucial. Their performance, safety and longevity make them ideal for ‘smart’ homes and offices where you can store renewable energy, or energy from the grid at the cheapest tariff and then deploy it when you want to. If we want to meet Net Zero targets and live in a clean and sustainable carbon-free world, then it’s essential we urgently find ways to electrify all aspects of our lives from renewable sources, and Eurocell will be a key enabler of this.” Eurocell is now firmly on track with plans to build its first European Gigafactory, producing proven ‘production ready’ technologies in just 12 months, with full capacity coming as early as 2025. The company will mass-produce and export its market-leading technologies from one of three key markets, the UK, the Netherlands or Spain. It is already actively looking at sites and the final choice is heavily dependent on the right combination of local support measures, strategic benefits and site infrastructure. With some governments moving faster than others it’s likely that the most advanced proposal will be the final location. The host country selected will benefit from the creation of hundreds of direct and indirect jobs, transferring vital skills from South Korean battery experts and boosting the economy in a strategic sector crucial to achieving Europe’s Net Zero ambitions.
Eurocell Building a European Gigafactory to supply World-Leading ‘PRODUCTION READY’ Batteries in just 12 Months
Eurocell, the Anglo-Korean next-generation battery company, is set to build its first European Gigafactory, producing proven ‘production ready’ technologies in just 12 months, far faster than other Gigafactories. This is possible as Eurocell has a proven battery product which is ready for scaled-up manufacturing. With an initial £600 million investment planned over two phases, it intends to supply European energy storage, automotive, and e-mobility applications. Full capacity will be reached as early as 2025. The company will mass-produce and export its market-leading technologies from one of three key markets, the UK, the Netherlands or Spain. It is already actively looking at sites and the final choice is heavily dependent on gaining the right level of central government support and investment. The host country selected will benefit from the creation of hundreds of direct and indirect jobs, transferring vital skills from Korean battery experts and boosting the economy in a strategic sector crucial to achieving Europe’s net zero ambitions. Eurocell’s batteries, developed in Korea, also have a considerable technical advantage, lasting over ten times longer than conventional lithium-ion cells, making them far more sustainable, with no ‘end of life’ issues and perfect for ESS applications given its 100% safe and high performance. Their wide range of operating temperatures also makes them ideally suited to areas with extreme weather and without an existing grid network. Recardo Bruins, CEO Eurocell EMEA “Eurocell in the UK is a new company, led by a highly experienced UK team and backed by our South Korean partner with decades of experience in electro-chemistry, making batteries at mass-scale and building the Gigafactories to produce them. Now we are planning to rapidly expand in Europe, supplying the energy storage and automotive industries with our market-leading technologies that last longer, perform better and are 100% safe. These products can be on the market in months, not years. “To fulfil our mission, we are actively seeking a European manufacturing base and are in advanced discussions with sites in the UK, Netherlands and Spain. With the right level of central engagement and support we are keen to take advantage of the rapidly growing European market as quickly as possible.” Eurocell intends to construct its new Gigafactory in two phases. The first phase will begin producing advanced battery cells at scale by early 2023 for existing customers. In parallel a bespoke facility will be constructed on the same site, capable of producing in excess of 40 million cells per year by 2025.