If the three record-busting low solar price tariffs recorded in the Middle East in the past 18 months are to be believed, renewables-powered hydrogen in prime sites in the region could already compete with gas-plus-CCS production, according to IRENA. Has the Gulf discovered the new petrol?
David Riester of Lacuna Sustainable Investments, looks at how, on the journey from concept to monetized power plant, renewables and energy storage projects tend to get tugged toward ‘zero’ margin, from either direction. The further the rubber band is stretched, the stronger the pull back toward zero.
Scientists led by MIT have suggested chitin, a carbon and nitrogen-rich material made from waste shrimp shells, could produce sustainable electrodes for vanadium redox flow batteries and other energy storage technologies.
MIT scientists have suggested used electric vehicle batteries could offer a more viable business case than purpose-built systems for the storage of grid scale solar power in California. Such ‘second life’ EV batteries, may cost only 60% of their original purchase price to deploy and can be effectively aggregated for industrial scale storage even if they have declined to 80% of their original capacity.
MIT scientists have taken a deep dive into solar technology markets in search of an economically sustainable path to commercialization for perovskites. The group estimates $1 billion of capital expenditure would be required to achieve the economies of scale necessary to compete with rival solar module technologies. However, several alternative suggestions for scaling up with lower investment costs were also considered.
MIT scientists have developed a solar desalinator which transports heat from the sun through a ten-stage process of evaporation and condensation. The group estimates a $100 device employing their innovation could provide the daily drinking water needs of a family.
Solar module manufacturers should begin testing new technologies in higher-value niche markets, say scientists at the U.S. institution. For example, bringing perovskite technology directly to the mainstream market remains prohibitive in terms of initial investment but segments such as building-integrated PV or microelectronics devices may offer better routes to commercial maturity.
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