International researchers have analyzed the potential of sodium-based energy storage and found recent technical advances have arrived faster than those for the lithium-ion batteries which have been studied for three decades. Issues remain, however, before sodium constitutes a complementary option to lithium.
But Israeli inverter company Solaredge and Indian engineering, procurement and construction services provider Sterling and Wilson have both offered hope of a recovery in Europe as Chinese glass producer Xinyi said it kept the furnaces going throughout the worst of the pandemic.
The Norwegian company mothballed its Washington State facility more than a year ago and is now reliant on semiconductor-grade poly and silane gas produced at its fab in Butte, Montana – a facility for which the business says it has received plenty of interest from potential purchasers.
In a little over ten years, Northvolt aims to pour 150 GWh of batteries onto the European market, annually. The company is also working to source end-of-life batteries for half its raw materials.
Plus, there was plenty of hope in predictions made by Norwegian institute DNV GL but U.S. households are facing hefty energy bills just as data from Delhi showed the link between industrial shutdowns and cleaner skies.
In an update to a report it published earlier this year, Norway-headquartered consultancy DNV GL outlined the role it sees for both seasonal heat storage and pumped hydro to help manage the 1.4 TW of variable renewable energy capacity it forecasts to be connected to European electricity grids by 2050. DNV GL maintains the original report’s conclusion that where seasonal storage is concerned, hydrogen will be the first option.
A study into the clean energy tech innovation rate required to keep global heating under control may suggest concepts such as lithium-air could yet keep us to the mid-century ambition, but it is also starting to contemplate the temperature rise to be expected if we only achieve net-zero by 2070.
The EU-funded Nextbase project aims to manufacture heterojunction, interdigitated back-contact solar modules for less than €0.275/W. Solar panels featuring the Nextbase cell tech are expected to have a conversion efficiency of 23.2%, according to the European Commission.
Industry body SolarPower Europe is trying to stay bullish about the lingering effects as the continent starts to come out of lockdown and one analyst has predicted a healthy large scale solar market will carry the US through the crisis.
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