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    1. Germany's Residential Battery Storage Subsidy A Success — 4000 New Systems In 1st Year

      Germany's Residential Battery Storage Subsidy A Success — 4000 New Systems In 1st Year

      It’s been just a year since Germany began offering a subsidy for residential lithium-ion battery systems. In that time, already more than 4,000 new solar+battery systems have been installed. The figures — which show the subsidy to be a success — were recently released by Germany’s Federal Solar Industry Association (BSW Solar). Along with the figures, BSW Solar also noted that it expects demand to climb even higher this year. Other interesting stats include the fact that nearly €66 million (US$90.82 million) in low-interest loans were distributed by the development bank over the course of the year, and that about €10 million (US$13.76 million) was given out in grants.

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      Mentions: Germany
    2. Up To 200 MW Of Energy Storage Proposed For Hawaii

      Up To 200 MW Of Energy Storage Proposed For Hawaii

      60 to 200 megawatts — that’s the size of proposed energy storage development for the Hawaiian island of Oahu, according to a recent announcement from the Hawaiian Electric Company (HECO). “We want someone to do the whole project, from design to testing to commissioning. Beyond that, we could own it, we could turnkey it, we could do it on a provider basis. We’re trying to cast as wide a net as possible,” explained HECO spokesperson Peter Rossegg said in a Monday interview.

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      Mentions: HI
    3. SunPower Says Australia Could Lead In Local Energy Generation

      SunPower Says Australia Could Lead In Local Energy Generation

      The head of US-based solar giant SunPower says Australia has the potential to be at the cutting edge of the global shift towards decentralised, or local, energy generation, as solar costs continue to fall and battery storage is deployed to balance supply and demand. Tom Werner, the CEO of the California-based SunPower, one of the two biggest solar manufacturers and project developers in the US with a market capitalisation of $US4 billion, says the combination of good sun, open spaces, and high electricity costs make Australia one of the most attractive markets in the world for solar. But he warns that constant shifting on policies will cause costs to rise, rather than fall.




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    4. Floodgates Open For Vanadium Flow Batteries

      Floodgates Open For Vanadium Flow Batteries

      Vanadium flow batteries offer the kind of low cost, high capacity energy storage solutions that will help transform the wind and the sun into power sources that rival fossil fuel plants for stability and reliability, but as always there are a couple of catches: where to get the silvery transition metal vanadium, and how to keep the price down? CleanTechnica has been following one company, American Vanadium, that is solving the US vanadium problem by developing the nation’s only vanadium mine. Located in Nevada, the mine will deploy some low cost operating strategies to keep the price of vanadium down. Putting its money where its mouth is, American Vanadium will also power the mining operations partly by a solar array/vanadium flow battery combo.

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    5. “Revolutionary” Advanced Battery Leaps Theoretical Maximum Boundary

      “Revolutionary” Advanced Battery Leaps Theoretical Maximum Boundary

      Just when you thought you knew everything about the theoretical maximum capacity of batteries, along comes the Oak Ridge National Laboratory to throw you for a loop. A team of researchers at ORNL has developed a pathway for “unprecedented energy density” in a battery that has already demonstrated a 26 percent increase over its theoretical maximum. The ORNL team tested its concept on a lithium-carbon fluoride battery, which is considered “one of the best” batteries in the single-use (non-rechargeable) class for its high energy density.

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    6. “Exceptional Step Forward” For Energy Storage In New York City

      “Exceptional Step Forward” For Energy Storage In New York City

      New York City’s Metropolitan Transit Authority is one of the largest single users of energy in the US, and today the agency is officially launching a next-generation energy storage system that is bound to turn heads. MTA has installed three CellCube vanadium flow batteries on the 25th floor setback of its lower Manhattan headquarters to demonstrate how small footprint, high volume on site energy storage systems can shave down peak electricity use and turn a “smart” building into a brilliant one.

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    7. California's Net Zero Energy Building Mandate To Reshape US Construction Industry

      California's Net Zero Energy Building Mandate To Reshape US Construction Industry

      California’s recent revisions to Title 24 put in place ambitious performance goals: all residential buildings must be Zero Net Energy (ZNE) by 2020, and all commercial buildings must follow suit by 2030. The code also applies to retrofit projects that pass certain thresholds. (A ZNE building produces as much energy on-site as it consumes on an annual basis.) These changes promise to reshape the construction industry in significant ways — and not just in California.

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      Mentions: CA
    8. First 3-D Nanoscale Observations Of Structural Changes In Rechargeable Battery Material During Operation

      First 3-D Nanoscale Observations Of Structural Changes In Rechargeable Battery Material During Operation

      The first 3-D nanoscale observations of the structural changes that occur in the anode of a lithium-ion battery during operation (discharging and recharging) were recently achieved by researchers at the US Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory.  This achievement is expected to lead to a much greater understanding of such processes, and, as a result, to the creation of new ways of engineering battery materials to increase the capacity and lifetime of rechargeable batteries.

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      Mentions: DoE Brookhaven
    9. Germany Solar Storage Sector Set To Skyrocket

      Germany Solar Storage Sector Set To Skyrocket

      Sales of residential solar storage systems in Germany are tipped to boom, with new figures projecting roughly 20-fold growth over the next four years. A study by research outfit EuPD, commissioned by investment body Germany Trade & Invest (GTI), has predicted a nationwide market of 100,000 units by 2018, up from 6,000 last year, citing falling PV prices as the “most significant reason” for this “monumental” commercial growth.

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      Mentions: Germany
    10. Next-Gen High-Energy-Density Batteries Moving Closer — Uniform Antimony Nanocrystals Produced For First Time

      Next-Gen High-Energy-Density Batteries Moving Closer — Uniform Antimony Nanocrystals Produced For First Time

      Uniform antimony nanocrystals — capable of storing a great quantity of both lithium and sodium ions — have been created for the first time by researchers at ETH Zurich and Empa.  Such uniform nanocrystals could be of great use in the creation of potential super-high-density batteries thanks to the previously mentioned storage abilities, and a number of other notable qualities.

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    11. The Next Wave Of Utility Innovation

      The Next Wave Of Utility Innovation

      The next energy storage breakthrough will be in efficiency, rather than time. During high-peak-demand times, utilities charge commercial customers a premium (per kW) called “demand charges.” These charges often make up 40% of the total electricity bill and have, on occasion even been as much as 70%. Green Charge Networks developed a demand charge reduction system called GreenStationTM that uses a sophisticated combination of energy storage and software algorithms to predict and counteract power peaks second-by-second. It can shave 15% or more off the average building’s energy bill.

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    12. Port Of Honolulu Will Soon Be Home To State-Of-The-Art Hydrogen Fuel Cell Technology

      Port Of Honolulu Will Soon Be Home To State-Of-The-Art Hydrogen Fuel Cell Technology

      The Port of Honolulu will soon be home a state-of-the-art hydrogen fuel cell auxiliary power system — providing clean low-emissions power to docked and/or anchored ships. The current plan — which follows up on last year’s pre-pilot study and analysis — is for a highly portable, self-contained hydrogen fuel cell unit to be deployed to the dock in 2015. The fuel cell unit will be able to provide power whether floating on a barge or sitting on a dock, and will be easily transportable to wherever power is needed.

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    13. Tesla Gigafactory: Here’s The Plan

      Tesla Gigafactory: Here’s The Plan

      Tesla has released some preliminary plans. The rumours about it looking at sites in New Mexico and Nevada were correct. There are also potential locations in Arizona and Texas. Tesla is making a final site selection and hopes to start construction on the Gigafactory this year. By 2020, it hopes to be producing 500,000 vehicles a year, with its batteries coming from its Gigafactory.

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      Mentions: New Mexico NV TX
    14. NREL To Test Cutting Edge Vanadium Flow Battery

      NREL To Test Cutting Edge Vanadium Flow Battery

      For those of you who know your vanadium, the real question about vanadium flow batteries is: where’s the vanadium going to come from? But for now, let’s start with the company American Vanadium, which has announced that the new commercially available CellCube vanadium-based flow battery is now undergoing tests at NREL, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Colorado.

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      Mentions: DoE CO NREL
    15. Where Will Telsa Build Its Gigafactory?

      Where Will Telsa Build Its Gigafactory?

      This week’s Tesla Teaser is the Gigafactory. Everybody’s talking about it. Batteries are the most expensive part of an electric vehicle (EV) and this could be the key that makes Teslas affordable for the masses. “It’s the future of the company,” said Craig Irwin, analyst with Wedbush Securities. “They need to cut the cost of the battery in half in order to make a half-million cars. This is how they are going to do it.”

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    16. Giant Solar Battery Made Of Salt (Almost) Ready To Charge Up

      Giant Solar Battery Made Of Salt (Almost) Ready To Charge Up

      It basically runs on salt but nevertheless Crescent Dunes, the new 110 megawatt solar power and energy storage facility near Tonopah, Nevada, is billed as the “most advanced solar plant in the world” on top of laying claim to being the largest facility of its kind in the world. Now that construction is complete, the commissioning phase is under way so this is a good time to catch up and see what all the excitement is about.

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      Mentions: DoE NV SolarReserve
    17. Goldman Sachs Declares The Renewable Sector One Of The Most Compelling

      Goldman Sachs Declares The Renewable Sector One Of The Most Compelling

      Investment banking giant Goldman Sachs has declared the renewable energy sector to be one of the most compelling and attractive markets – and is backing up its talk with $US40 billion ($A46 billion) of made and planned investments. Goldman Sachs is not the first big bank to talk up the renewable energy sector, or even “sustainable” investments. But it is one of the first to put real money behind it.

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      Mentions: CA Japan India
    18. Costs For Small Scale Battery Storage To Drop

      Costs For Small Scale Battery Storage To Drop

      Overcoming the challenge posed by the intermittent nature of renewable energy continues to be a major roadblock to high levels of renewable penetration and a stick with which doubters of clean energy can attempt to hit the sector. Battery and storage technologies are an obvious solution to this, but high prices have seen uptake and projects remain limited.

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      Mentions: Germany Tesla
    19. 110 MW Concentrated Solar Energy Power Plant Being Developed In Chile

      110 MW Concentrated Solar Energy Power Plant Being Developed In Chile

      The noted renewable-energy technology developer Abengoa recently announced its intent to construct a 110 MW concentrated solar power (CSP) plant in the South American country of Chile. The project — which represents the first CSP development in the country — recently received the go-ahead from Chile’s Ministry of Energy and government agency for entrepreneurship (COFO) when Abengoa was awarded the tender for the 110 MW molten salt power technology plant.

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    20. Alstom To Build Israeli Hydro Storage Power Plant

      Alstom To Build Israeli Hydro Storage Power Plant

      Alstom announced on Thursday that it had signed two separate contracts to supply two pump-turbines for the 300 MW Gilboa pumped storage power plant in Israel. The company will provide two 150 MW pump-turbines “with the associated balance of plant equipment” as well as Alstom’s Distributed Control System, alongside an 18 year operation & maintenance agreement. The power station will be located 60 kilometres east of Haifa, and is expected to be commissioned in 2018. Upon completion, the power plant will increase the country’s installed power generating capacity by 2.5%.

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      Mentions: Israel
    21. DoE Energy Storage Report Praised By ESA

      DoE Energy Storage Report Praised By ESA

      The US Department of Energy has released their Grid Energy Storage report to the members of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, identifying the benefits of grid energy storage, the challenges to be addressed, and the current efforts being made to meet those selfsame challenges. In response, the Electricity Storage Association has publicly praised the report, “nothing that it affirms that wide-scale deployment of storage technologies in the U.S. and around the world is critical to maintaining a resilient, cost-effective electric grid.”

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      Mentions: DoE U.S. GE
    22. All-in-One Container-Type Energy Storage System From Hitachi Unveiled

      All-in-One Container-Type Energy Storage System From Hitachi Unveiled

      Hitachi, a large, Tokyo-based global electronics company, has unveiled an energy storage system aimed at complementing solar and wind power developments — “CrystEna” (Crystal+Energy). CrystEna incorporates a wide range of electricity grid technologies from Hitachi. It isn’t yet ready for the commercial market, however. Plans are to implement a demonstration project in the United States to evaluate its commercial competitiveness.

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