Google reveals urban energy plan

July 6, 2015 Google has revealed plans to transform urban living by incubating breakthrough technologies. Aimed at addressing city-living issues such as transport, housing and energy supply, its new company Sidewalk Labs will lead the initiative to “develop technology at the intersection of the physical and digital worlds.” Headed by Dan Doctoroff – former CEO of … [Read more...]

Carbon standstill: renewables role flagged

July 6, 2015 Despite rising energy use, for the first time in four decades global carbon emissions associated with energy consumption remained stable in 2014, according to a new report. The Renewables 2015 Global Status Report from REN21, a policy-making network, attributes the falling carbon intensity to increased penetration of renewable energy and to improvements in … [Read more...]

White House plan spurs clean tech investor surge

July 1, 2015 More than US$4 billion of private investment into clean tech research and development has been committed on the back of a US White House plan to boost support in this area. Recent commitments by institutional investors such as Goldman Sachs have far exceeded the government’s initial goal of stimulating $2 billion of investment under its Clean Energy … [Read more...]

UCLA shines light on low cost solar

June 25, 2015 A materials breakthrough by scientists at UCLA in California could boost the intrinsic energy storage capabilities of solar power. The discovery could also prompt a radical change in the design concept for cheap solar panels, with plastic used instead of silicon. This alternative to currently dominant silicon wafer technologies offers another … [Read more...]

Swedish trial set to drive massive electric car growth

June 19, 2015 A major new trial of wireless charging technology for electric vehicles is underway which could soon lead to the emergence of industry-wide standards – a key precursor to widespread adoption of the cars. Experts believe the trial – the first of its kind in Europe – will allow important questions relating to the technology and its patterns of use to be … [Read more...]

Rare earth discovery could reduce light bulb costs

June 17, 2015 Low-energy light bulbs and fluorescent lamps could become cheaper thanks to a new technique for recycling rare earth elements. Rare earth elements are widely used in clean energy technologies such as low energy lighting, but are difficult and costly to source, and are in limited supply. Now researchers from the Department of Chemical Engineering at … [Read more...]

New low-cost biomass replacement for industrial chemicals

June 16, 2015 A Finnish company claims to have found a new, significantly lower cost way to use biomass materials as a direct replacement for crude oil-based industrial chemicals. Demand has grown rapidly in recent years for chemicals generated from renewable sources for ethical and climate change reasons, in particular, chemicals commonly used in the production of … [Read more...]

Biofuels producers explore alternate markets

June 15, 2015 Low oil prices will leave many biofuels producers unscathed, according to a new report by the US consultancy Lux Research. Evaluating 25 alternative fuel producers, Lux concludes that renewable diesel producers Neste Oil and Diamond Green Diesel, gasification specialist Red Rock Biofuels, and Edeniq, which makes cellulosic ethanol, are among 13 alternative … [Read more...]

Floating solar powers ahead in Japan

June 12, 2015 Completion of several large-scale demonstration projects for floating solar power plants in Japan marks a significant advance towards commercialisation of the technology. The projects have a combined capacity of more than 5 MW and are among the largest examples of floating solar technology to have been built to date. Built in Hyogo Prefecture by … [Read more...]

Door opens to cars powered by clean hydrogen

June 2, 2015 A development in materials science looks set to open the door to clean hydrogen fuel – making it possible to separate renewable energy production from its time of use. The breakthrough concerns catalysts that can increase the efficiency of the hydrogen production process known as electrolysis. Electrolysis – using electricity to split water into its … [Read more...]

Cleaning up fracking with carbon

May 5, 2015 New techniques to reduce the environmental impact of fracking have been advanced by a partnership of GE Oil & Gas and Norwegian oil major Statoil. In a move aimed at reducing the volumes of water required in oil and gas production, Statoil has contracted Denver-based Ferus LP to supply liquefied carbon dioxide for use in a test well. The liquid CO2 will … [Read more...]

IEA calls for tripling of clean energy technology R&D

May 5, 2015 Despite some recent success stories, progress in developing clean-energy technologies is falling well short of levels needed to prevent severe global warming. This is the key conclusion of the latest Energy Technology Perspectives report from the International Energy Agency (IEA) in calling for a concerted push to boost energy R&D. Clean-energy … [Read more...]

Organic Glass Breakthrough

April 23, 2015 New research points to an easily reproducible and low-cost manufacturing process that could offer significant efficiency gains for new solar PV materials and lower energy costs for businesses and consumers worldwide. A simple way to control the arrangement of molecules during glass manufacturing presents a breakthrough route to improve both the efficiency … [Read more...]

Explosion in energy storage capacity set to boost renewables

April 23, 2015 An explosion in the use of energy storage systems over the next few years is being forecast – creating another potential boost to the competitiveness of renewable energies. Electricity storage helps to maximise the use of variable output renewable energy technologies, such as wind and solar, by more closely matching supply with demand. Growth in the … [Read more...]

Clean tech investment springs back

April 8, 2015 New figures revealing a significant increase in global investment into the clean energy tech sector represent a step-change in the maturity of the sector, experts believe. Clean energy tech investment (excluding large hydroelectric projects) reached more than $270 billion in 2014, a 17% increase on 2013, and reversing three years of decline. The new … [Read more...]

Wireless energy transmission breakthrough

April 8, 2015 High power long-distance wireless energy transmission has been demonstrated by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, the company claims. The transmission distance and power load seems to mark a new milestone in the development of wireless power transmission. In the ground demonstration test at MHI’s plant in Kobe, Japan, 10 kW of power was sent from a … [Read more...]

Grid parity revolution for solar photovoltaic energy economics

April 8, 2015 Two new reports have highlighted the revolution in solar photovoltaic energy economics with “grid parity” breakthroughs forecast across many more energy markets in the near future. Grid parity is the point at which unsubsidised renewable energy electricity generating technologies can compete on the open market with other forms of energy. The reports add to … [Read more...]

Securing the electricity system from cyber-terrorism

March 24, 2015 The global electricity system is on the cusp of a radical transformation to smart architecture – but this also opens up significant threats from cyber terrorism and espionage. As a result, the issue is gaining increasing focus from policy makers, operators and system designers in many countries to build in safeguards. One example is the electricity … [Read more...]

Knowledge is power

March 24, 2015 The Copenhagen Big Data project is underway, with an ambition to deliver the first platform on which data collection, integration and sharing is centralised for an entire city. The aim of the project is that advanced analytics will support green infrastructure planning, better traffic management and more efficient energy usage. Data from multiple … [Read more...]