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Archive for the ‘energy’ category

Aug 7, 2022

Switzerland’s new energy asset: hydro plant with capacity to charge 400,000 car batteries

Posted by in categories: energy, transportation

FINHAUT, Switzerland — Switzerland is adding a much needed cog in the wheel to its energy supply with an underground hydropower plant that says it has capacity to store enough electricity to charge 400,000 car batteries simultaneously.

Developers of the 2.2 billion Swiss franc ($2.30 billion) Nant de Drance plant in the canton of Valais, which came online in July, say the facility operates like a giant battery.

Its six turbines tucked in a cavern 600 metres below ground between the Emosson and Vieux Emosson reservoirs have capacity of 900 MW, making it one of the most powerful pumped storage plants in Europe.

Aug 6, 2022

Next-gen heat pump could cut energy bills and carbon emissions

Posted by in categories: energy, government

Researchers from the University of Glasgow have developed a new type of heat pump, a flexible heat pump technology, which could help households save on their energy bills and contribute towards net-zero emissions goals.

Heat pumps are a low-carbon alternative to gas boilers. They draw energy from external low temperature sources, most commonly outdoor air, in order to indoor spaces. When powered by renewable sources of power, they are significantly more environmentally friendly than conventional gas boilers.

Around the world, about 40% of carbon emissions come from heating powered by . The U.K. Government has set a target for 600,000 heat pump installations per year by 2028 in order to reduce the country’s carbon footprint.

Aug 6, 2022

The U.S. Power Grid Added 15 GW of Capacity in 1st Half of 2022

Posted by in category: energy

The US power grid is growing! According to our latest inventory of electric generators, 15 gigawatts (GW) of new utility-scale electric generating capacity came online in the United States during the first half of 2022. Based on the most recently reported plans, developers could add another 29 GW of capacity in the second half of the year.

Our Preliminary Monthly Electric Generator Inventory compiles information on all U.S. utility-scale power plants (plants with a nameplate capacity of at least 1 megawatt [MW]) that are currently operating, planning to come online, or retired. The inventory includes all utility-scale plants that have retired since 2002.

We update this inventory once a month with preliminary data and then finalize that data annually with a survey that provides additional information about the power plants. Our Preliminary Monthly Electric Generator Inventory includes information through the preceding month; for example, the inventory published in July includes information through June.

Continue reading “The U.S. Power Grid Added 15 GW of Capacity in 1st Half of 2022” »

Aug 5, 2022

Some of Taiwan’s 7-Eleven outlets said an ‘unknown source’ hacked their store TVs to display the message ‘Warmonger Pelosi get out of Taiwan’

Posted by in categories: cybercrime/malcode, energy

Meanwhile, Taiwan’s Presidential Palace said cyberattack traffic on its website spiked by 200 times hours before Nancy Pelosi’s arrival in Taipei.


Bill Gates-founded Breakthrough Energy Ventures co-led a $44 million funding round for a startup that aims to accelerate solar far construction.

Aug 5, 2022

Graphene oxide membranes reveal unusual behaviour of water at the nanoscale

Posted by in categories: chemistry, energy, nanotechnology

Do more pores in a sieve allow more liquid to flow through it? As material scientists have uncovered, this seemingly simple question may have an unexpected answer at the nanoscale—and it could have important implications in the development of water filtration, energy storage and hydrogen production.

Researchers from UNSW Sydney, University of Duisburg-Essen (Germany), GANIL (France) and Toyota Technological Institute (Japan) experimenting with Graphene Oxide (GO) membranes have discovered the opposite can occur at the nanoscopic level. The research, published in Nano Letters, shows the chemical environment of the sieve and the of the liquid play a surprisingly important role in permeability.

The researchers observed that a density of pores doesn’t necessarily lead to higher permeability—in other words, having more tiny holes doesn’t always allow water to flow through at the nanoscale. The study, supported by the European Union and Humboldt Research Foundation funding, shines new light on the mechanisms that govern water flow through GO membranes.

Aug 5, 2022

Here’s how gas stations can be transformed into superfast EV charging stations

Posted by in categories: energy, government, transportation

Are gas stations doomed in the long run, or is there an opportunity to reinvent them as a fast-charging destination stop for EV drivers?

Germany-based global ultrafast EV charging technology company ADS-TEC Energy sees the rise of EVs as a new opportunity for gas stations. Electrek spoke with John Tuccillo, global head of corporate and government affairs for ADS-TEC Energy, about what the reinvention of gas stations into superfast EV charging stations would look like and what it would take to make that happen.

Electrek: As we move to vehicle electrification, what do you think will happen to gas stations, and what are the challenges that gas stations face?

Aug 4, 2022

This Gates-Backed Startup Builds Modular Homes Out of Energy-Efficient Panels

Posted by in categories: energy, finance, sustainability

Companies specializing in cutting-edge construction techniques are aiming to make a difference by churning out high-quality homes at a lower cost than traditional industry standards. Among these are 3D printed homes, “foldable” homes, and homes that ship in kits then are assembled like Ikea furniture.

Now a new player is joining the list, and it just got a serious financial boost. Vantem Global has already helped construct a total of over three million square feet of living space in six different countries, and earlier this month closed a Series A funding round co-led by Breakthrough Energy Ventures (Breakthrough was founded by Bill Gates in 2015 to invest in sustainable energy and emissions-reduction technologies).

Continue reading “This Gates-Backed Startup Builds Modular Homes Out of Energy-Efficient Panels” »

Aug 4, 2022

What Are States Planning To Do With Federal EV Charging Funds?

Posted by in categories: economics, energy, law, sustainability, transportation

State plans for the National EV Charging Infrastructure (NEVI) Formula Program were due to the Joint Office of Energy and Transportation this week, and many states released a draft plan for feedback in the last couple of months. The NEVI Program is one of two programs in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law that provide funding for publicly-accessible electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure. Program funds can be used to plan for, install, operate, and maintain EV charging stations along travel corridors, with a focus on designated Alternative Fuel Corridors. Funding under the NEVI program totals $5 billion from 2022 through 2026. Funds will be allocated to states each year for implementation based on a pre-established formula, provided the departments of transportation in those states submit a satisfactory EV charging plan to the Joint Office, with updates to the plan required annually.

So what’s in the draft plans?

I pulled a few draft plans to look at as a starting point, aiming for a cross section of states in different regions, with different politics, with different economic stakes in the EV transition, at different places in EV adoption, with different weather. I couldn’t get quite the representative cross section I wanted because there are still big gaps in which states have released a draft plan. I decided to start with Alabama, California, Texas, and Wyoming.

Continue reading “What Are States Planning To Do With Federal EV Charging Funds?” »

Aug 3, 2022

Net zero carbon in the concrete industry will require not just changes in manufacturing standards

Posted by in categories: economics, energy, sustainability, transportation

The concrete industry is just one of many looking at new manufacturing methods to reduce its carbon footprint. These efforts are essential to fulfilling the Paris Agreement, which asks each of its signees to achieve a net-zero carbon economy by 2050. However, a new study from researchers in Japan and Belgium and focusing exclusively on Japan concludes that improved manufacturing technologies will only get the industry within 80% of its goal. Using a dynamic material flows analysis model, the study claim that the other 20% will have to come from changes in how concrete is consumed and managed, putting expectations on the buyer as well as the seller.

Electric cars, fluorescent lights, water-saving shower heads, these are all examples of efforts to lower our . However, the are made from the supply side, with companies developing new technologies that reduce the amount of energy consumed for the same amount of use. Notably, they put little demand on the user, who can use the product no differently than before.

The same holds true for concrete, the most consumed human-made material in the world. Many studies have shown the potential for making the concrete industry more energy efficient through esoteric efforts like “clinker-to-cement ratio reduction,” “cement substitution with alternative binders,” and “ capture and utilization.” The problem, explains Dr. Takuma Watari, a researcher at the Japan National Institute for Environmental Studies and lead of the new study, is that supply-side efforts are not enough if nations are serious about achieving net-zero carbon emissions.

Aug 3, 2022

Researchers propose affordable and sustainable alternative to lithium-ion batteries

Posted by in categories: chemistry, energy, sustainability

Concerns regarding scarcity, high prices, and safety regarding the long-term use of lithium-ion batteries has prompted a team of researchers from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute to propose a greener, more efficient, and less expensive energy storage alternative.

In research published recently in Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (PNAS), corresponding author Nikhil Koratkar, the John A. Clark and Edward T. Crossan Professor of Engineering at Rensselaer, and his team, assert that could be used as an alternative to lithium-ions in batteries because of its abundance and low cost.

“The vast majority of rechargeable battery products are based on lithium-ion technology, which is the gold standard in terms of performance,” said Dr. Koratkar. “However, the Achilles’ heel for lithium-ion technology is cost. Lithium is a limited resource on the planet, and its price has increased drastically in recent years. We are working on an inexpensive, abundant, safe, and sustainable battery chemistry that uses ions in an aqueous, water-based electrolyte.”

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