AI could shine a light on better materials for batteries and flexible solar panels

Institution of Mechanical Engineers | January 30, 2019

A new AI system could “seriously accelerate” the development of materials for technologies ranging from batteries to flexible solar panels, researchers have claimed. Researchers at Aalto University in Finland and the Technical University of Denmark developed Artist to speed up spectroscopy, a technique that will be vital for the creation of ‘designer materials’ for future technology. Spectroscopy probes the internal properties of materials by observing their response to electromagnetic radiation such as light. It has led to the development of countless everyday technologies, but existing experimental and computational spectroscopy approaches can be incredibly costly, the researchers said.

Spotlight

This section summarizes the context, principal finding, and recommendations of the 2013 American Physical Society Panel on Public Affairs study on renewing licenses for operation of U.S. nuclear power plants beyond their current regulatory limit of 60 years. The conduct of the study is described in an Appendix of this report. The United States has greater than 100 nuclear reactors with licenses that can be renewed to allow operation up to 60 years.

Spotlight

This section summarizes the context, principal finding, and recommendations of the 2013 American Physical Society Panel on Public Affairs study on renewing licenses for operation of U.S. nuclear power plants beyond their current regulatory limit of 60 years. The conduct of the study is described in an Appendix of this report. The United States has greater than 100 nuclear reactors with licenses that can be renewed to allow operation up to 60 years.

Related News

ENERGY

SoCalGas and Bloom Energy Showcase Technology to Power Hydrogen Economy with Gas Blending Project

SoCalGas | December 15, 2021

Southern California Gas Co., the nation's largest natural gas distribution utility, and Bloom Energy announced a project to showcase the future of the hydrogen economy and the technologies needed to help California reach carbon neutrality. The companies will collaborate to generate and then blend hydrogen into a university customer’s existing natural gas network to demonstrate how the natural gas infrastructure can be decarbonized, while balancing future energy supply and demand. The project is set to launch next year on the campus of the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in Pasadena. California has ambitious climate goals, and a successful energy transition will require companies to collaborate and implement innovative projects.This unique demonstration could help our state transition to a carbon neutral future.” California State Assembly member Chris Holden The collaboration will utilize Bloom Energy’s solid oxide, high temperature electrolyzer to generate hydrogen, which will then be injected into Caltech’s natural gas infrastructure. The resulting 10 percent hydrogen blend will be converted into electricity without combustion through existing Bloom Energy fuel cells downstream of the SoCalGas meter, producing electricity for a portion of the university. For the purpose of this project, the electrolyzer is designed to generate hydrogen from grid electricity. At scale, the electrolyzer and fuel cell combination could enable long duration clean energy storage and low-carbon distributed power generation through the gas network for businesses, residential neighborhoods, and dense urban areas. When configured as a microgrid, it could also provide resilient power when and where energy is needed most, protecting businesses, campuses or neighborhoods from widespread power outages. Bloom’s high-temperature electrolyzer produces hydrogen more efficiently than low-temperature PEM and alkaline electrolyzers. Because it operates at high temperatures, the Bloom Electrolyzer requires less energy to break up water molecules and produce hydrogen. Electricity accounts for nearly 80 percent of the cost of hydrogen from electrolysis. By using less electricity, hydrogen production becomes more economical and will accelerate adoption. The Bloom Electrolyzer is also designed to produce green hydrogen from 100 percent renewable power. A new economy-wide technical analysis released by SoCalGas revealed that fuel cell technology, powered by clean fuels like hydrogen, can provide additional reliability and resiliency that will be in increasing demand as California moves towards its decarbonization goals. Today, SoCalGas is actively engaged in more than 10 pilot projects related to hydrogen, including its award-winning H2 Hydrogen Home. SoCalGas is also evaluating the potential to use existing infrastructure for transporting hydrogen through testing and demonstration at its engineering analysis center and is collaborating with California's other gas utilities and research institutions to develop a hydrogen blending standard for regulatory review. Bloom Energy is engaged with industry leaders to accelerate the global hydrogen economy, including projects related to producing low-cost, green hydrogen and utilizing nuclear energy to create clean hydrogen. About SoCalGas Headquartered in Los Angeles, SoCalGas® is the largest gas distribution utility in the United States. SoCalGas delivers affordable, reliable, and increasingly renewable gas service to 21.8 million consumers across 24,000 square miles of Central and Southern California. Gas delivered through the company's pipelines will continue to play a key role in California’s clean energy transition—providing electric grid reliability and supporting wind and solar energy deployment. SoCalGas' mission is to build the cleanest, safest and most innovative energy company in America. In support of that mission, SoCalGas is committed to the goal of achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions in its operations and delivery of energy by 2045 and to replacing 20 percent of its traditional natural gas supply to core customers with renewable natural gas (RNG) by 2030. Renewable natural gas is made from waste created by dairy farms, landfills, and wastewater treatment plants. SoCalGas is also committed to investing in its gas delivery infrastructure while keeping bills affordable for customers. SoCalGas is a subsidiary of Sempra, an energy services holding company based in San Diego. About Bloom Energy Bloom Energy’s mission is to make clean, reliable energy affordable for everyone in the world. Bloom’s product, the Bloom Energy Server, delivers highly reliable and resilient, always-on electric power that is clean, cost-effective, and ideal for microgrid applications. Bloom’s customers include many Fortune 100 companies and leaders in manufacturing, data centers, healthcare, retail, higher education, utilities, and other industries.

Read More

SUSTAINABILITY

Canadian Solar Signs Power Purchase Agreement Total of 862 MWp in Solar PPA with BTG and Auction with Furnas in Brazil

Canadian Solar | November 23, 2020

Canadian Solar Inc. one of the world's biggest sunlight based force organizations, reported that it as of late consented to a force buy arrangement ("PPA") with BTG Pactual ("BTG", B3: BPAC11) and that it was granted with two ventures in a private sale by Furnas Centrais Eletricas ("Furnas") for a sum of 862 MWp in sun oriented force ventures in Brazil. For the 12-year PPA with BTG, Canadian Solar will flexibly sun based energy from a 170 MWp bunch of ventures situated in the State of Minas Gerais. The ventures will begin development in 2021 and are relied upon to accomplish business activity before the finish of 2022. BTG is one of the principle speculation banks in Latin America and runs one of the biggest energy exchanging organizations Brazil. Furnas will buy sun powered energy from two Canadian Solar ventures through a 15-year PPA. Canadian Solar will create and manufacture both Furnas ventures totalling 692 MWp. One of them, will be situated in the State of Ceará and will have a limit of 260 MWp. The subsequent undertaking is situated in the State of Piuaí and will have a limit of 432 MWp. The two tasks will begin development in 2022 and are required to arrive at business activity before the finish of 2023. Furnas is a majority-controlled subsidiary of Centrais Elétricas Brasileiras S.A. – Eletrobras ("Eletrobras",NYSE: EBR). Furnas' business is mainly in energy generation, transmission and sales. It operates in 16 Brazilian states and is the owner of 21 hydro plants, 2 thermal plants, 1 wind farm and 30,000 kilometers of transmission lines. Dr. Shawn Qu, Chairman and CEO of Canadian Solar, commented, "We are pleased to partner with BTG and Furnas to deliver clean solar energy to Brazilian consumers. I am also proud of our team's great work in expanding our leadership position in the solar project development market in Brazil. After the 274 MWp in corporate PPAs that we signed earlier in June, the volume of projects secured in this PPA and auction is the largest in Canadian Solar's history, and it increases our backlog of solar projects in Brazil with PPAs (or equivalent) to almost 2.2 GWp." "We are also making good progress on our project monetization strategy in Brazil, where we are in the process of forming a Brazilian Participation Fund for Infrastructure projects, or FIP-IE, which is on track to launch in 2021. This will help accelerate our growth in the Brazilian market as we optimize our capital allocation. More updates to come."

Read More

SOLAR+STORAGE

Duke Energy reaches deal with renewable organizations to modernize rooftop solar policy in North Carolina

Duke Energy | December 02, 2021

Duke Energy has filed an agreement with the North Carolina Utilities Commission (NCUC) that will align solar adopter compensation to utility system benefits and create long-term stability for the residential solar industry in North Carolina. The net metering agreement was crafted by Duke Energy and the N.C. Sustainable Energy Association; the Southern Environmental Law Center on behalf of Vote Solar and the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy; Sunrun Inc. and the Solar Energy Industries Association. It must be approved by the NCUC. "Duke Energy is committed to finding collaborative paths forward to help with the clean-energy transition and carbon-reduction goals in the Carolinas," said Stephen De May, Duke Energy's North Carolina president. "This deal ensures fair and reasonable treatment for all customers whether they choose to install solar or not." Duke Energy has encouraged private solar ownership over the past three years with its $62 million solar rebate program, which is expected to continue into 2023. Currently, 24,000 North Carolina customers have private solar systems compared to 6,000 at the beginning of 2018. The agreement modernizes rooftop solar economics and unlocks benefits for all customers. Net metering has been a contentious issue around the nation, but our stakeholder partners worked together to craft a fair solution that brings financial sustainability to rooftop solar in North Carolina." Lon Huber, Duke Energy's Vice President of Strategic Solutions The agreement follows a similar net metering agreement in South Carolina from September 2020. The filing: Allows for new net metering tariffs to go into effect for customers submitting applications on or after Jan. 1, 2023. Will create innovative pricing and incentives for residential solar customers. Features rate design mechanisms to properly collect costs of the grid infrastructure needed to serve solar customers. Will include cutting-edge retail rates that vary based on the time of day and when the utility is experiencing peak demand. About Duke Energy Duke Energy, a Fortune 150 company headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., is one of America's largest energy holding companies. Its electric utilities serve 7.9 million customers in North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky, and collectively own 51,000 megawatts of energy capacity. Its natural gas unit serves 1.6 million customers in North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Ohio and Kentucky. The company employs 27,500 people. Duke Energy is executing an aggressive clean energy strategy to create a smarter energy future for its customers and communities – with goals of at least a 50% carbon reduction by 2030 and net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. The company is a top U.S. renewable energy provider, on track to own or purchase 16,000 megawatts of renewable energy capacity by 2025. The company also is investing in major electric grid upgrades and expanded battery storage, and exploring zero-emitting power generation technologies such as hydrogen and advanced nuclear. Duke Energy was named to Fortune's 2021 "World's Most Admired Companies" list and Forbes' "America's Best Employers" list. More information is available at duke-energy.com. The Duke Energy News Center contains news releases, fact sheets, photos and videos. Duke Energy's illumination features stories about people, innovations, community topics and environmental issues.

Read More