This week in clean tech and renewable energy news, Europe introduces competition to Elon Musk’s gigafactories, advances are made in energy conservation, capturing wind energy is no longer confined to just turbines, utilities team up with corporations, and Massachusetts continues to lead the way in clean energy adoption!
What news have you been reading this week? Share with us @GreentownLabs!
- Tesla competitor, Northvolt, just received a $62.9 million loan to begin building a lithium ion battery factory in Sweden. The factory will be the largest in Europe if completed by 2023, with the ability to produce 32 gigawatt-hours of storage per year.
“Northvolt’s factory could provide the continent with a local source of batteries while also driving down global costs. Currently, batteries account for 30 to 50 percent of the price of an EV, but if more competitors enter the space, that figure could drop dramatically, helping speed up EV adoption.”
CleanTechnica – Taming Turbulence Could Slash Global Energy Usage
- Every year, 10 percent of electricity is consumed in the process of overcoming turbulence in pipes. However, recent research has indicated a way to reduce turbulence caused friction by up to 90 percent, which has the potential to translate into massive energy savings worldwide.
“Less friction translates directly into less energy needed to move stuff through pipes. You don’t have to be a scientist with a slide rule permanently grafted to your hip to understand why that could be a very big deal.”
- Tech startup Moya Power is taking on a pilot project that will use use lamellae-covered plastic sheets on London’s Crossrail to generate electricity. The startup is researching piezo-electric textiles that can absorb energy from movement, meaning wind power would no longer be confined to just traditional turbines.
“In the future, Slingsby’s invention could hang on skyscrapers, in tunnels or on bridges – capturing power in the windiest parts of the city.”
The Independent – BBC to ban all single-use plastics by 2020
- Inspired by Blue Planet II, BBC has announced plans to eliminate all single-use plastics by 2020, as a response to all the unnecessary harm it causes marine life and the surrounding environment.
“Like millions of people watching Blue Planet II, I was shocked to see the avoidable waste and harm created by single-use plastic. We all need to do our bit to tackle this problem, and I want the BBC to lead the way.”
Greentech Media – Why Solar Is on a Path to Dominance
- By 2022, solar is expected to be the dominant source of electricity in the U.S. due to widespread public support, rapid technological advancement that will drive costs down and increase efficiency, and increasing support from investors.
“In the next year, the solar industry will develop, construct, and finance $25 billion to $30 billion in solar assets. It will build 20 to 25 percent of the country’s new electricity capacity, and will continue to employ hundreds of thousands of people.”
- General Motors considers utility companies some of their most important allies moving forward, as reaching their goal of zero emissions requires accelerated adoption of EV charging infrastructure.
“Utilities will help GM and other automakers navigate the transition. Not only do they have expertise in installing and maintaining electric infrastructure, they’ve got the sort of ongoing customer relationships that car companies crave. Plus, the not-so-dirty truth is that most EV owners wince at the notion that they’re keeping them charged with dirty power.”
- Massachusetts is seeing more and more solar adoption by municipalities and nonprofits, largely because of the attraction of power purchase agreements (PPA) that do not require upfront investments and have the potential to save the customers up to $20 million over 20 years.
“What makes a PPA so attractive for cities, towns, and schools is they can leverage the request for proposal (RFP) Solect won with PowerOptions, and avoid the cost, time and expertise needed to conduct their own RFP.”
- A bill proposed in the Massachusetts State Senate proposes the goal of reaching 100 percent reliance on renewable energy by 2050. The proposal bans new natural gas infrastructure, sets new emission reduction targets, and points to market based forces to curb fossil fuel consumption.
“Sen. Marc Pacheco, the chair of Senate’s Committee on Global Warming and Climate Change, said the legislation would put Massachusetts on track to exceed the goals of the Paris climate accord and be competitive with states like New Jersey and New York, which are aggressively moving into the wind power market.”