Observing the renewable energy transition from a European perspective

Inertial Confinement Fusion

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The Problem With Lasers And Nuclear Fusion. Some major news broke recently about net positive energy gain using lasers for nuclear fusion ignition. As exciting as that news is, there was some nuance to the fusion ignition announcement that got lost in the media hype machine, but it does raise questions about how lasers and Inertial confinement fusion (ICF) work. And what other companies are doing in that area to make it a viable path toward fusion energy. Let’s take a closer look at why that fusion announcement is exciting (with some major caveats) and why laser-based fusion may, or may not be, the future of energy generation.

Form Energy 2 GWh Iron-Air Long Term Storage

Form Energy and Xcel Energy agreed to build 2 x 1 GWh iron-air batteries, on two differenties locations in the US. Both systems are expected to come online in 2025 and can deliver seasonal storage. Charging the battery takes 100 hour. Charging-discharging evolves around metalic iron, iron rust and back to metallic iron.

On board are Bill Gates, Luxembourg steel giant ArcelorMittal and many others.

Form energy has claimed in the past that its storage technology will be 10 x cheaper then lithium and that the company is aiming at $20/kWh.

If this is achieved, a small and energy efficient household of 2,000 kWh/year (without e-vehicle) would need to invest ca. $5,000,- for solar panels and perhaps 600 kWh storage for $12,000 or $17,000 in total, to achieve full seasonal private electricity autonomy (back of an envelope calculation).

[] – Form Energy Partners with Xcel on Two Energy Storage Projects.
[] – Form Energy Partners with Xcel Energy on Two Multi-day Energy Storage Projects
[] – Form Energy’s ultra-cheap iron-air batteries to get $760M factory
[] – Form Energy sluit deal voor 2 GWh langetermijnopslag

LightYear Solar Car Went Bust

Extremely sad news. The Dutch student-developed solar car LightYear just went bust, everybody loses their job. So far, 10 cars have been produced. The management is looking for a solution to somehow survive. The goal is to develop a affordable solar car for 40,000 € by 2025, rather than the 250,000 € price tags for the current LightYear One.

[] – Dochterbedrijf Lightyear failliet
[deepresource] – Our LightYear posts

How A Brick & Rock Battery Is Changing Energy Storage

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Grid-scale lithium ion batteries are our current go-to chemical energy storage solution, but they present their own challenges in safety, sustainability, cost, and longevity. However, the competition is … heating up. New forms of thermal energy storage systems built using abundant, cheap materials are on the rise. One company is aiming to sidestep the complications that come with chemical batteries…with a brick battery. And another company’s weapon of choice is a crushed volcanic rock battery. Talk about going back to basics to store massive amounts of energy. But is simple really best?

Will Airborne Wind Replace Conventional Wind?

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Are we about to be carried away by the power of Airborne Wind Energy? This is a technology that promises to open up access to better wind resources than traditional wind can, at a lower cost, with lower environmental impact. The technology has been around for decades now… but why hasn’t it quite taken off yet?

Airborne wind energy involves a kite or tethered glider or possibly a blimp that captures wind energy high above the ground where wind speeds are much faster and therefore more power is available. In addition to being able to access a better wind resource, material requirements can be much lower than standard wind turbines because there’s no need for a tower or a foundation. And the faster wind speeds mean a smaller device can deliver the same power. So, less materials and more power. That must mean cheaper energy, right? So why are we still bothering with normal wind turbines then?

Well, airborne wind is quite a lot more complicated than ground-based turbines and none have come close to reaching the promised potential yet. In this video I’m going talk about the different kinds of airborne wind technology and then look into a few of the challenges that remain to be solved before airborne wind can go from the possibility of cheaper energy to the reality.

Toyota Hydrogen Fuel Cell Production

Gradient Heatpump Quicky

US company Gradient is preparing the marketintroduction of an easy-to-install window pane heat pump. Price tag $2000,- Specifically designed for sash-windows, especially popular in the US. The unit is said to be rather silent.

[] – Corporate site
[] – Gradient Heat Pump AC Window Unit
[] – Beautiful, Innovative, Climate-Friendly HVAC Solutions
[] – Is Nederland klaar voor een (tijdelijke) vensterbank-warmtepomp?

Home Batteries with Matt Ferrell

Netherlands 2021 Most Solar Capacity per Capita

[] – Solar power by country

Thorium Reactors Explained

[] – Molten Salt Reactor Experiment—Alvin Weinberg’s magnum opus

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