Can the boiling of water be done more efficiently? If so, a wide range of processes can save energy, not least the standard use of steam turbines in electricity generators. David Chandler at MIT describes research there that modifies the surface of the heating element. A combination of microscale dents and nanoscale bumps and ridges on the surface, and pillars that allow the “wicking” of water by capillary action, improves the efficiency of … [Read more...]
Event summary: “45% RES by 2030: EU’s latest investment challenge to DSOs”
Sara Stefanini provides a written summary of our panel discussion held on Thursday June 30th 2022. It’s a full summary of the 90 minute discussion (including audience questions), but it begins conveniently with a summary of the highlights. Investment in and the modernisation of the electricity distribution grid is one the biggest challenges the EU has to overcome in the next decade. It’s a €400bn investment challenge by 2050 says Eurelectric, an … [Read more...]
If Russia cuts its gas supplies to Germany, what happens next?
Replacing Russian pipeline gas to Europe in the short term is much more difficult than finding alternative sources for coal and oil. It’s why the EU hasn’t banned Russian gas. But what if Russia cuts off the supply? Benjamin Wehrmann at Clean Energy Wire looks at what the consequences and options are for Germany. Though Germany aims to wean itself off Russian supplies almost entirely by 2024, a sudden cut would have serious consequences. Storage … [Read more...]
Hydrogen is also a greenhouse gas, so leaks must be minimised
Even leaked hydrogen can warm the climate. How serious is it as a greenhouse gas? How easy is it to minimise leaks? Thomas Koch Blank, Raghav Muralidharan, Kaitlyn Ramirez, Alexandra Wall and Tessa Weiss at RMI answer these important questions as the hydrogen ramp up begins. The first observation is that hydrogen is much less damaging than natural gas, even with minimal hydrogen leakage regulation. Nevertheless, the roll-out of this new energy … [Read more...]
Biologically produced Ethylene for plastics can become a carbon capture leader
Ethylene is a key component of the world’s vast appetite for plastics. But it’s normally made using fossils as a feedstock, and is energy-intensive to produce. So the chemicals industry has long sought a way to biologically manufacture ethylene. It would be a double-win for clean energy: it would capture CO2 and displace the fossil-based feedstocks. Connor O’Neil at NREL describes new research that makes ethylene in a “one-step” process fuelled … [Read more...]
Rotterdam’s World Hydrogen 2022 Summit & Exhibition: 3,000+ attendees, 120+ businesses, 9-11 May
The World Hydrogen 2022 Summit & Exhibition will open its doors to over 3,500 industry professionals on 9-11 May in Rotterdam where more than 120 leading hydrogen companies will be showcasing their technologies, applications and solutions at the city’s largest arena, the Rotterdam Ahoy. The anticipated meeting is the first large-scale hydrogen-focused event to take place following the pandemic in Rotterdam, a city recognised for its advances … [Read more...]
Could nano-scale filters for isolating CO2, Hydrogen and Biogas accelerate the energy transition?
Nano-scale filters have been developed to separate out molecules like CO2 and hydrogen from gaseous streams. The research, led by MIT, could open a new door to raising the efficiency of carbon capture, isolating hydrogen for fuel use, and the purification of biogas fuel from waste. David Chandler at MIT explains how it would replace century-old methods of separating gaseous molecules that use energy-intensive and hard-to-electrify high … [Read more...]
Germany’s electrification ambitions: TSOs scenario for 91% Renewables by 2045
The German TSOs submitted in January scenarios for their grid to 2037, making projections for increasing electrification. In addition, and for the first time, they included an ambitious and long term scenario to 2045. By pure chance, the Russian invasion of Ukraine and Germany’s response – to consider a reduction in its serious dependence on Russian energy imports – should make eyes turn sharply towards that 2045 scenario. Simon Göss at cr.hub, … [Read more...]
Will this be the decade of Carbon Capture or another false start?
Ten years ago there was a major drive to get carbon capture off the ground. But only 30% of the earmarked $8.5bn worldwide was ever spent. Spending timescales were too short, deadlines were missed, projects were too focussed and too complex, and long-term liability was poorly understood and managed. This time it can be different, says Samantha McCulloch at the IEA who compares that faltering history with the plans now being put in place. New … [Read more...]
Industry’s large on-site batteries can profitably help stabilise the grid
Energy-intensive industries that invest in their own large on-site batteries will provide multiple benefits to themselves as well as to grid stability, says a new study by the Joint Institute for Strategic Energy (JISEA) in partnership with NREL and others. It matters because future power systems will need to be highly flexible due to the variability of wind and solar. The study assessed two established energy-intensive industries (chlor-alkali … [Read more...]
Will Wind & Solar confront its 10 challenges? If not, we need Nuclear, CCS, and more
Wind and solar’s impressive cost declines have seen its welcome and rapid emergence. But currently they account for a mere 2–4% of global energy. So these variable renewable energy sources (VREs) must now address 10 big challenges if they are to dominate the energy sector, explains Schalk Cloete in this data-led review. Their cost declines will be confronted and even cancelled by new costs they’ve not yet faced during their low-hanging-fruit … [Read more...]
How much Carbon Capture will Germany need? Both nature-based and technological
Yet more studies have been published that show Germany needs carbon removal to meet its emissions targets. Simon Göss and Hendrik Schuldt at cr.hub add two, from the German Energy Agency and the Ariadne report (funded by the German Ministry of Education and Research), to those that already exist to shine more light on a carbon capture pathway. The main observation is that nature-based solutions (LULUCF: land use, land use change and forestry) … [Read more...]
Modelling Hydrogen’s role in high penetration Wind + Solar grids
A hydrogen ramp-up is going to be expensive and asset-heavy. So, a whole-system analysis is needed to ensure its deployment is done cost-effectively today and meets long term goals. This is what all nations committing to hydrogen are struggling with. Kelley Travers at MIT describes their modelling, in collaboration with Shell, that looks at the optimisation of hydrogen deployment in grids where variable renewables (VREs) like wind and solar are … [Read more...]
Only Carbon Removal can make Germany’s new climate goal a reality
Germany can’t hit its emissions targets without significant carbon dioxide removal (CRD), explain Simon Göss and Hendrik Schuldt at cr.hub. Clean energy and energy efficiency won’t do it alone. Policymakers have grasped that hard-to-abate sectors (industry, agriculture, buildings, transport) will struggle to deliver the reductions needed. Meanwhile, the climate disasters (floods, wildfires, etc.) that have cost lives this year are piling on … [Read more...]
Renewable Hydrogen: what policy instruments are needed to reach the new targets?
A comprehensive mix of policy instruments is needed to ensure that the EU meets its ambitious hydrogen targets. What should they look like? Pia Kerres, Matthias Schimmel and Corinna Klessmann at Guidehouse quote their study, done in collaboration with Agora Energiewende, for the answers. Industry and long-haul transport should be the main customers for hydrogen. The big challenge is to cut the cost of hydrogen production; it’s too expensive and … [Read more...]
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