Using Industry 4.0 Know-how, North German Region is Going 100% Renewable: Test Run for the Energy Transition
As of 1 December 2016, an energy system of the future will be developed in Northern Germany as part of the large-scale project NEW 4.0. From 2035, around 4.5 million residents in the federal states of Hamburg and Schleswig-Holstein will be provided with power by renewable energy sources alone. Applying Industry 4.0 systems, the project will demonstrate how imbalances in production and consumption can be offset based on renewable energies.
Northern Germany is playing an important role in Germany's energy transition: Schleswig-Holstein as an energy supplier with an ever increasing number of onshore and offshore wind farms, and the city state of Hamburg as a location for industry and large power consumers. As part of the NEW 4.0 project, the states of Hamburg and Schleswig-Holstein have been merged into one consistent energy region. The overall objective is to serve as a showcase for Germany and to demonstrate within a European context that the energy transition is indeed feasible: NEW 4.0 will showcase how a region with 4.5 million residents can be supplied with regenerative energy as early as 2035 using 100% safe, affordable, eco-friendly and socially acceptable energy sources that can lead to a reduction in CO2 emissions by 50 to 70%. Full Press Release:
Jocelyn Timperley for BusinessGreen: A new energy storage technology currently under development by Siemens is set to see excess wind energy converted to heat rocks, allowing the energy to be stored using an insulated cover.
The system consists of a fan that uses an electrically-heated air flow to heat the stones to high temperatures, with the thermal energy then converted back to electricity when needed using a steam turbine.
The simple principle of the set-up promises to deliver a low-cost way of storing energy, Siemens said, with the only limit to the concept being the space required for the rock-filled insulated container. Cont'd...
Derek Markham for TreeHugger: This startup is reinventing the solar panel, and aims to cut the cost of integrating clean power and energy storage to homes by half.
Home solar has the potential to reduce, and even eliminate, electricity costs for many people, but even with the rapid advancements we're seeing in solar technology, there are still weak points that can be addressed and overcome, such as energy storage and 'smart' home integration. But a newcomer to the residential solar scene believes it has the answer, in the form of a standalone solar and battery unit which can be used singly or connected in an array, and which may be able to lower the overall costs considerably.
SunCulture's SolPad solar device integrates solid state batteries directly into the solar panels themselves, offering its users the ability to not only generate their own clean electricity, but to also store if for use after dark or during peak demand times, when electricity costs are higher. The SolPad units also incorporate an inverter, which converts the electricity from the DC generated and stored by the device to the AC required by most household appliances, and includes "intelligent software" that communicates with both the users and with their home's systems, allowing for granular control over which rooms or devices will receive the solar power. Cont'd...
Robert Ferris for CNBC: Elon Musk tweeted on Thursday that he hopes to unveil a Tesla/SolarCity solar roof with a new integrated battery pack and Tesla car charger on Oct. 28.
Musk first began teasing the next generation Powerwall at an event for Tesla owners in Paris earlier this year, according to Electrek. At the time, he had said the company would roll out the new battery in "July or August."
SolarCity's merger with Tesla has aroused skepticism and even ire from some investors and analysts, even after Musk outlined his reasons for combining the two companies in his second installment of his "Master Plan" in late July. Cont'd...
Jon LeSage for HybridCars: Tesla’s energy storage division just won a very large contract with a major California utility to stabilize power outages.
While the acquisition cost hasn’t been announced, Tesla Energy will supply 20 megawatts of energy storage to Southern California Edison – enough to power about 2,500 homes for a full day. It’s part of SCE’s efforts to prevent blackouts by fossil-fuel electricity generation with lithium-ion batteries. Investment in Tesla’s product, called Powerpacks, is thought to be worth tens of millions of dollars, and is expected to be operational by the end of this year.
The deal ties into Tesla’s plans to broaden its base beyond manufacturing and selling electric cars, similar to its recent investment in SolarCity. It also signifies advancements being made in energy storage, which is reaching a much faster pace – months instead of years, according to an analyst. Cont'd...
Katie Fehrenbacher for Fortune: Solar panel maker and farm developer SunPower is embracing the latest in computing technology to help lower the cost of its solar panel farms while minimizing the impact that the farms have on land.
The Richmond, Calif.-based company on Tuesday announced an array of new technology that it’s using to design, build, operate, and monitor big solar panel farms that are built to sell energy to utilities and large companies. Cont'd...
Katherine Tweed for GreenTechMedia: In many parts of the world, wind power is cheap. That is particularly true in the U.S., where onshore wind already rivals the cost of natural gas in some regions.
But wind power will likely get even cheaper, according to new research from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory published in Nature Energy, with contributions from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, University of Massachusetts, and participants in the International Energy Agency Wind Technology Collaboration Program.
The study surveyed more than 160 wind experts across the globe. Many had deep expertise in very specific regions, but the overall findings were similar: The cost of wind will continue to come down through 2030.
There are significant variations in the current costs for wind by region, but researchers "found a considerable amount of agreement” in overall reductions as a percentage of that total cost, said lead author Ryan Wiser, a senior scientist at Berkeley Lab. Cont'd...
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