Weekly Report – Week 7

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Tesla. Powerwall. Solarcity. A powerful trio. One man, one mission. Wouldn’t normally just hype a single person and his endeavors so much, but this particular person is doing a tad more than most on the field. His EV’s are boasting impressive numbers (not just sales) and the rest of the market will have to make drastic changes, and quickly, to even try and stay in the market. Like many times said before, competition is good. It drives the market and innovation forward, faster. The only thing stopping Elon Musk and his companies (and his grand vision for the better future of our entire species) is the fact that there is much more demand than he can supply. Just for example, according to solar array installers, more than one in three customers are also interested in storage but only 12% of the installers are able to supply Tesla’s home battery pack. This is a result of some sacrifices in the stationary storage lines in order to keep up with the demand in the vehicle battery lines. It’s not a bad thing overall though, once you factor in the total impact of Elon’s companies in the energy market. For additional fun factor, here are a couple articles on what Elon thinks about Bitcoin vs. paper money and some speculation about the Bitcoin mining costs and solar.

While talking about batteries, it’s worth a mention that electronics giant Siemens is entering the field with the Junelight Smart Battery.

“China wants to build a solar farm in space!” That’s a pretty bold headline. It makes total sense though: 24/7 power generation. The only problem (I assume there is a ton of issues before this is reality) is to transfer the generated power down to earth. The Chinese think that they have a solution and estimate a small-scale orbital prototype before 2025 (source).

After talking about beaming down energy from space, it makes total sense to talk about what it would take (battery storage) to keep a 100% Renewable Energy Grid operational. During the deep freeze in the U.S. last month, nearly every power plant in the Eastern and Central U.S. was running. Energy analysts did calculations based on the huge power demand and how a grid based on half solar half wind would do. “You would need a lot more batteries in a lot more places,” said Wade Schauer, a research director for Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables, who co-wrote the report. Batteries are not the only solution since there will be days when the wind is not blowing and the sun is not shining. Energy storage is an issue but there is a solution to every problem. The transition to carbon-free grids is not going to happen overnight either. Full report here.

For more blockchain related news, we start with the article above. LO3 is one of the most active ones at the moment. The technology we are discussing here is borderless and that’s why it’s no wonder why the New York-based LO3 can partner up with Marubeni Corporation, the fifth-largest general trading company in Japan, to use blockchain technology in an energy pilot project. Yoshiaki Yokota, Chief Operating Officer of the Marubeni Power Business Division, said that the way they produce and consume energy in Japan is changing radically, and the company wants to be at the forefront of that change, which is why they are partnering with LO3 Energy for this project.

Italy is slowly adapting and at the moment research shows that about 5% of Italian companies use Blockchain Tech in Energy Sector (source). Commerzbank, Siemens and Continental Complete Blockchain Money Market Pilot in Germany. The aforementioned parties “for the first time” conducted a blockchain-based money market security transaction worth 100,000 euro ($113,340) within a pilot project in January, where Continental acted as the issuer of the security, Commerzbank provided R3’s Corda-based blockchain platform, while Siemens subscribed to the money market security as an investor (source). In Switzerland, there is a pilot project involving 377 households and a retirement home. Solar power is bought and sold on a blockchain-based marketplace for solar power in Walenstadt, near St. Gallen (source).

Africa continues to deliver and above you can read a quite extensive report about different companies, countries and governments adopting and adapting to blockchain technology. IRENA, The International Renewable Energy Agency, presents a crash course in adopting renewables (source) and Thailand is well-positioned as a front-runner in the energy sector amongst the ten ASEAN partners (source).

Climate change, green energy, politics, governments and the fossil fuel industry. It’s all connected and we should all fight for the same goal. Sadly this is not the case. Something could be happening though as a new wave of lawsuits is trying to hold powerful institutions accountable for their harm and contribution to global warming. It’s a long article but worth the read (source).

This wraps up the weekly report. See you again soon!

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