THE DAILY ROUNDUP – Wednesday

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Hi! Here is your daily dose of useful articles related to renewable energy and technology. Stay safe!


The need for South Africa to diversify its energy supply chain is exposed

GRI Towers South Africa, South Africa’s operational producer of wind towers, says that government has achieved positive momentum in the past few months by taking decisive steps towards implementing a new independent energy procurement round and that this is a good sign for foreign companies that have invested in South…

The plant has the capacity to manufacture over 150 wind towers per year – this is the equivalent of supplying 400MW in new-build wind farms per annum. However, until the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement (REIPPP) round 5 procurement is implemented, wind projects cannot move forward, and it is becoming increasingly difficult to motivate our international shareholders to wait it out.

Daniel Erasun

5 SMART CITY TRENDS TO WATCH FOR IN 2020

Can you guess how many people move to a city every week? Not hundreds. Not thousands. But more than a million. Globally, there are 1.3 million people moving to cities every single week. What does this convey? Intensive urbanization and industrialization. The bright side? Better living standards, higher incomes, improved social and cultural…


Testing reveals what matters in batteries

So often we get asked this seemingly simple question: What is the best battery? But before we go into the answer, let’s discuss the origins of the question itself. In recent years there has been a surge in interest in battery storage, from residential to utility-scale. In Australia in particular, this interest has been driven by increasing electricity prices as…


Finland’s first geothermal local heating network planned for Finnoo, Espoo

In Espoo’s Finnoo new residential area, heating may in the future be sourced from a depth of two kilometers. The plans for the new district include the construction of Finland’s first geothermal local heating network, which would enable the realization of a residential area with zero emissions from heating and cooling…

The realization of a geothermal energy network in Finnoo would support the realization of Espoo’s carbon neutrality objectives. Finnoo is also hoped to become an example area of sustainable development for testing innovative energy solutions.

Project Manager Kimmo Leivo from the City of Espoo

China Reveals First Provincial Blockchain Alliance with IBM, Huawei and Alibaba

More than 100 blockchain companies alongside Inspur, Ziguang, Huawei, IBM, Tencent, Alibaba, and Baidu have created the very first in China provincial alliance called the Chongqing Blockchain Application Innovation Industry Alliance. According to a local news outlet ChinaNews, the alliance aims to aggregate the potential energy of the…


Flexible Electrolyte Sheet Breakthrough for Advanced Lithium Metal Batteries

Researchers at Tokyo Metropolitan University have developed a new method to make ceramic-based flexible electrolyte sheets for lithium metal batteries. They combined a garnet-type ceramic, a polymer binder, and an ionic liquid, producing a quasi-solid-state sheet electrolyte. The synthesis is carried out at room temperature, requiring significantly…


AFRICA: universal electrification needs solar off-grid mini-grids

According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), 320 million people have gained access to electricity between 2010 and 2018. However, the global population’s growth implies that more and more people have no access to electricity in Africa. They were 590 million at the end of 2018. Three main solutions exist to power sustainably those…


China is forging ahead with national crypto project: leaked screenshots

If you’ve been in the Bitcoin market for any period of time, you likely know that China has long been a hub for crypto assets as a whole. Yes, the trading of BTC and other cryptocurrencies is vehemently banned and restricted, but the Beijing government has continued to maintain heavy involvement in the broader space, accentuated by a…

Resilient and accessible central bank operated payment infrastructures could quickly become more prominent, including retail central bank digital currencies (CBDCs). The pandemic may hence put calls for CBDCs into sharper focus, highlighting the value of having access to diverse means of payments, and the need for any means of payments to be resilient against a broad range of threats.

Bank of International Settlements, BIS

Can hydrogen reconcile energy demand with climate concerns?

As the world grapples with climate change, sectors that have struggled with electrification are searching for new technological solutions to ensure a smooth transition and help them make progress toward goals outlined in the Paris Agreement. Hydrogen technology represents a promising, multifaceted pathway that could offer many industries…


US Scientists Create New Solar Cell That Blows Past Theoretical Limit, But Why?

The National Renewable Laboratory just nailed down bragging rights to the world’s most efficient solar cell to date. The new PV device sails past the theoretical limit of 33% and gets pretty close to the 50% range, clocking in at an impressive 47.1%. The downside is that high-performance devices like these have an irritating tendency to price…

One way to reduce cost is to reduce the required area, and you can do that by using a mirror to capture the light and focus the light down to a point.

NREL scientist Ryan France

‘Super-peak’ firming contracts open up new opportunities for battery storage

A new ‘super-peak’ contract that is designed to cover demand during the high-priced morning and evening shoulder periods, when solar output is low, has been hailed a new era for renewables, opening up multiple opportunities for on-demand energy resources. The growth in these new kinds of financial products is expected to…

This new hedge contract enables market participants to manage the risk of very high prices during these periods. Importantly, it also gives renewable energy generators like Snowy Hydro access to new markets, and encourages new forms of supply into the grid to improve energy security.

Halliwell

Chinese giants Huawei and Tencent join national group on blockchain after Xi’s backing for the tech

China’s major technology giants are among a group of organizations that have joined a national committee focused on creating standards for blockchain technology. The move is part of major push by the world’s second-largest economy to become a leader in the nascent space after President Xi Jinping last year urged the country to “seize the…


Duke warns solar producers it may cut power purchases

For roughly two hours late Friday morning, Duke Energy Progress took four solar projects, putting out 92 MW at the time, off the grid, citing exceptionally low demand and operational risk mitigation. The four projects are all owned by Duke, have a nameplate capacity of 150 MW at peak generation and were off-line from 9:45 a.m. to 11:30 a.m…

If it got severe enough you could get to that. Obviously we have to keep some spinning reserves available all the time for North American Electric Reliability Corporation compliance. You could get to that point, but solar is the largest intermittent resource that we have around here, so it tends to be a solar story more than anything else…

Duke Energy Communications Manager Randy Wheeless

RESEARCH & COMMENTARY: MINING EXPANSION NECESSARY FOR “GREEN NEW DEAL” WOULD DEVASTATE THE GLOBAL ENVIRONMENT

A new Heartland Institute Policy Brief details how the expansion of mining operations for the rare earth minerals needed to scale up “renewable” energy sources to meet the goals of the “Green New Deal” (GND) would cause significant global environmental devastation. In “How the Green New Deal’s Renewable Energy Mining Would Harm Humans and…

To dramatically ramp up wind and solar electricity generation to this extent would necessitate an unprecedented worldwide expansion in mining. And those mining operations would rely primarily on fossil-fuel-powered heavy equipment, since battery-powered equipment for enormous industrial operations does not exist.

Paul Driessen

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