An investor tool examining the coal fleets of major global power companies has offered up analysis which flies in the face of arguments solar and wind generation could help turn around the debt-saddled South African utility.
Scientists at Russia’s Skoltech Institute of Science and Technology have demonstrated a solar cell with record high radiation stability. The scientists say the cells, based on an organic polymer compound, could be a strong candidate to meet the requirements of powering satellites in lower earth orbit.
Three projects with generation capacities of 5.6-6 MW were pre qualified for a 5.6 MW capacity procurement and Finnish utility Fortum secured the only PV project selected. The capex figure offered by solar developers was lower than that for 71 MW of wind power allocated and lower than for previous PV projects.
A Russian research team believes that the addition of rare-earth ions into the structure of photonic nanoparticles could help to increase the efficiency of industrial solar cells to 25–30%. However, they also said that further research is necessary.
Researchers at the University of California, San Diego – with the help of the university’s Comet supercomputer – modelled thousands of halide compounds to come up with a shortlist of 13 materials that could be candidates for the efficient solar cell materials of the future.
The superpower has always been seen as a fortress for oil and gas but positive signs are emerging from its renewable energy sector.
In the latest of our interviews about renewable energy and geopolitics, Indra Øverland – head of the Center for Energy Research – discusses the difficult relationship between Russia and renewable energy. Despite a belief the gas and oil superpower will have little interest in clean energy, Overland believes the world’s most extensive nation will use renewables to improve its domestic power supply, especially in remote regions. Russia has a highly continental climate, with lots of sunshine – more than most of Western Europe, Overland says. Whether it can take advantage of that potential, however, is unclear.
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