Description: If the international aviation sector was a country, its emission would place it amongst the top 10 biggest polluters (Fern Institute).
Due to international treaties and the complexity surrounding airlines carbon emissions, the aviation sector aren’t included during negotiations at the COP and therefore no specific targets were set.
Wright Electric is building a plane that would be powered by a battery. Because their technology is depending on the advances in term of energy storage, their plan is to have a fully autonomous plane in the next 10 years (or a hybrid motor if it can’t be fully battery-powered).
The technology would be used for short-haul trips and could potentially reduce personal emissions by 75%. For airlines, this would also lower drastically their costs since the need for fuel and maintenance would be greatly reduced.
Technology: A long-term solar energy harvesting and storage solution used by USC scientists is a cobalt-based metal-organic framework. It has been discovered that they are able to conduct electricity in the same way metals do. Thermal energy storage has been making new waves and is a promising addition for the future of solar power. This porous storage is highly concentrated: 1 gram of surface area = thousands of square feet in light and compact storage. The earth gets more energy from 1 hour of sunlight than is consumed in 1 year by the entire planet, but conservation of this energy for usage is the greatest battle.
This is a self-sufficient and decentralized step towards creating a smart grid that is reliable locally during a power outage. It does not create tension between energy generators and suppliers, grid operators, and consumers and service providers. Diving a larger central grid into smaller fragments makes it more effectively utilized. CSGriP shows potential for underserved areas, particularly in developing countries and is a great solution for incorporating renewables into the grid. I would be interested in the costs of scaling this project.
1. Sustainability problem: the contribution of the electric sector to climate change
Climate change is one of the most urgent issues of our time. The electric sector is a key culprit in driving this path as the economic sector contributing more to climate change than any other sector in the U.S. More specifically, the sector accounts for approximately 30% of the U.S. Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions. Decarbonizing the electricity sector, while also making the aging power grid more modern, smart, and resilient is a prime challenge and opportunity.
This article discusses a growth company called eMotorWerks, which provides electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSEs) – a.k.a. charging stations — and aggregates these distributed loads into an IoT platform called JuiceNet
The technology not only allows for the chargers to be remotely controlled and charge EVs at the most cost effective times, but it also connects all of the EVSEs into a network of storage capacity that can respond to information from the grid and provide demand response services to utilities
For EV owners, using eMotorWerks’ solution can lower the cost of ownership as participation in demand response can provide them with additional revenue streams
This kind of demand response platform will be increasingly valuable in balancing the grid as more intermittent renewable energy enters the system
The platform also helps create a more resilient and distributed grid and system of resources
This technology has a variety of different stakeholders. Residential EV owners can buy eMotorWerks’ EVSEs for their own homes. Commercial owners of EV fleets and/or charging infrastructure can also buy these EVSEs, use the software, and participate in the platform. Another key stakeholder is the utility, which can take advantage of the demand response services provided by the JuiceNet charging network. Last, other OEMs are stakeholders because eMotorWerks’ technology can be used in white-label deals.
Integrate eMotorWerks’ solution with Enel (utility that just acquired them) to maximize the value of the demand management services
Continue forging relationships with OEMs to grow the size of the network
Build stronger relationships with potential commercial customers to ensure wide public availability of charging infrastructure
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I commented on “Clean Meat and the Future of Food”
The clean meat industry has already received quite a bit of attention from established investors. Memphis Meat has raised $22 M from investors including Bill Gates, Richard Branson, Cargill (agriculture firm), DFJ (VC firm), and other VC firms and angel investors. These investments have been attracted by the potential that this technology has to disrupt the trillion-dollar meat industry which will only grow as emerging markets develop and consume more meat.
Solar PV is a great low-carbon solution to provide power. The biggest drawback is the inability to have power when the sun is not shining. Advances in energy storage is helping that, but there still needs to be effective communication between the two systems to make it work as efficiently as possible.
ABB’s Ability platform aims to optimize the communication among the generating Solar PV, the energy storage system, and distribution system. The platform allows communities, which typically cannot rely on Solar PV, access to electricity produced from Solar Panels. The system is built to withstand extreme environments and requires no operational know-how and little maintenance.
Solar PV is often implemented in places where fossil fuels (kerosene, propane) have a history of providing cheap, reliable energy. Ensuring the selection of sites where Solar PV makes more economic sense than fossil fuels is key to have success. Additionally, there has to be a need in these areas for electricity.
On “Just When you Thought it Couldn’t Get Better… HomeBioGas 2.0”
Interesting idea. Seems like the big drawback is the 20 degree-C limit. How many people on Earth live in a climate where it doesn’t get below 20 degree-C for an extended period of time (night time)? I’m guessing that would cut out every where outside the tropics and most of the tropic region, too.
1) Sustainability problem: Battery storage capacity. Area: Energy
Existing electrical grids struggle with renewable energy, a vexing problem that’s driving demand for new storage methods.
Solar panels and wind farms churn out energy around midday and at night when demand lulls.
This forces utilities to discard it in favor of more predictable oil and coal plants and more controllable natural gas “peaker” plants.
Alphabet Inc.’s project named Malta, is working on a molten salt storage system. The system consists of two tanks that are filled with salt, and two are filled with antifreeze or a hydrocarbon liquid. The system takes in energy in the form of electricity and turns it into separate streams of hot and cold air.
The hot air heats up the salt, while the cold air cools the antifreeze. By the flip of a switch the process can be reversed and hot and cold air rush toward each other, creating powerful gusts that spin a turbine and spit out electricity when the grid needs it.
Salt maintains its temperature well, so the system can store energy for many hours, and even days, depending on how insulated the tanks are.
Sustainability Problem: Rising energy demand and the need for incorporating more renewable energy in the electric grid is increasing the need for higher performing and safer energy storage devices. Category: Energy, Safety and Health
A group of researchers from Drexel University have created new fabric-like material electrode, intended to help energy storage devices such as cell phone batteries have better performance and reduce their inherent health and safety risks associated with the toxic and flammable electrolyte fluid they contain.
To get rid of this dangerous liquid, the team designed an energy storage device that consists of a thick ion-rich gel electrolyte absorbed in a fabric-like material made of carbon nanofibers, thus eliminating the risk of the device exploding or catching fire (as was recently demonstrated in Samsung Galaxy Note devices).
The technology also allows for lighter, more durable, and better performing energy storage devices, due to the lack of binding agents needed and ability to operate safely at extremely high temperatures (up to 300 degrees Celsius).
If the energy storage device created by the scientist team from Drexel University can be proven effective on a larger scale, not just in mobile device batteries, it can potentially help solve the fire safety issues of battery storage in buildings and support proliferation of renewable energy in the built environment.
Stakeholders: Renewable energy companies, local government bodies regulating energy and buildings (i.e. NYSERDA, NYC DOT, FDNY), Building owners.
Research applicability of large-scale of liquid-free energy storage technology and develop energy storage devices using the technology.
Update building and fire codes to allow for the deployment of these devices in the built environment.
Provide subsidies for large scale liquid-free batteries to building owners and builders.
Comment on post by js5079 – How Internet-of-Things technology can assist with Urban Rainfall and Stormwater Management Systems:
The sensors can also trace chemicals present in stormwater, and help determine how well the existing green infrastructure is performing. For example, if rainwater is prevented from entering the sewer system, or which green infrastructure designs are more appropriate for which types of precipitation (heavy vs. light rain, etc.).
“Reliable Power Day and Night,” that’s what a Tesla Energy residential energy battery storage solution promises. For better and worse, the Tesla Powerwall is no longer just for the few seeking off-grid energy storage systems and want to mitigate against utility outages. In fact, smart energy offerings such as this are well beyond the top branded Tesla Energy. Sunrun launched their BrightBox solar-plus-storage product offering, Orison audaciously funded a home storage product through a Kickstarter campaign, and even the old school engineering firms such as Lockheed Martin have taken a foray into the energy management and storage market.
From a citywide sustainability perspective these solutions support the growing public desires to reduce dependency on fossil fuel burning energy sources so we should be pleased these technologies have emerged. Thing is, their capacities to deliver beyond green washing are vast and actually executing this at scale requires sophisticated regulatory and infrastructure coordination, not to mention a whole other set of technologies for load balancing. Scaling such offering at a citywide level, well, that’s even more complicated. Yes, this is what a smart cities should be doing to ride the wave of consumer demand that has gone beyond the need to build a bug out shelter for the next Zombie Apocalypse but integrating solar or renewable energy systems such as wind with battery storage is unfortunately a wicked problem. In executing these CO2 reducing and intelligent energy management solutions there are significant secondary outcomes. At the top of the list is the challenge of dealing with the historically denoted “consumer,” that in the process become a producer. Hands together now, let’s welcome the prosumer to the stage; the true problem child for energy utilities!
How does an electric utility (one only ever known to sell energy) deal with this new bread called a prosumer? If all producers install off-grid energy storage systems, what is the new role and responsibility for an electric utility? In this position, can they garner sufficient income to pay for the maintenance of wires and poles?
To solve these challenges there must be significant regulatory involvement in advance of the transition. Equipment manufacturers and system integrators also need to find ways to make commercially viable solutions that capitalize on consumer demand, but do so in a way so as to not send out a cry and in turn initiate a utility death spiral; ultimately leaving those without an ability to participate in this new energy marketplace footing the bill for the the entire delivery system. Lastly, through smaller scale pilot projects all the stakeholders can work out best in class methodologies that will take us from where we are to where we clearly are going.
Thankfully, innovative energy marketplaces and regulators are seeing themselves as critical catalysts and the stakeholders in this new world of distributed energy resources (DERs) are stepping up on a global scale. Pilot projects have begun and successes through public-private partnerships are happening. The 2016 Southern California Edison and Tesla unveiling of the world’s largest energy storage facility and the New York City program called NY REV have led the way. Each is but a portion of larger deployment plans for grid-connected storage batteries and both seek to reduce fossil-fuel reliance. Comprehensive energy strategies initiated in this way will be a win-win for the utilities that want to defray the costs of replacing peakers plants reaching retirement age and for the prosumer wanting to help reduce CO2 emitting fuel in the energy mix.
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