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Category: Post Car Society

Predicting the Jump to Electromobility

An article in The Guardian states:

Solar power and clean cars are ‘gamechangers’ consistently underestimated by big energy, says Imperial College and Carbon Tracker report. […]

Big energy companies are seriously underestimating the low-carbon transition by sticking to their “business as usual” scenarios which expect continued growth of fossil fuels, and could see their assets “stranded”, the study claims.

They are seeing a worldwide halt in growth in demand for oil and coal by 2020.


Solar plus Storage in Australia

In the 2016 South Australia Blackout, a storm lead to a cascading failure, with in turn left 1/6 of the continent without electricity. Fortunately, this is not a densely populated area even for australian circumstances, so it affected some 1.5 mio people (out of 20 mio total for all of Australia) – still quite a lot of people.

The news of a 73-year-old Tesla Powerwall owner powering through this outage without even noticing made the headlines in the aftermath, and in consequence demand for PV + Battery combination surged. In total, more than 50GWh have been installed in 2016 alone, and demand is climbing.

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The Energiewende Dashboard

LichtBlick and the WWF have a new, common website, (Website in German, literally “acclerating the Energy turnaround”).

The dashboard shows the currently installed capacity in Renewables compared to Fossil energy sources (100GW vs. 90GW), the current energy mix and the CO2 output of Germany.

The site is a good overview of what works, and what needs more work done. For example, while electricity in Germany is on track towards renewables, electrification of mobility is lagging.


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Upcoming restrictions for Diesel Car

The German Environment Help (Deutsche Umwelthilfe, DUH) apparently won a lawsuit, so the state of Bavaria will need to establish driving restrictions for Diesel cars in the Munich city center once the weather conditions will will produce a sufficient number of days where the air quality limits are being violated. EU rules require this when a certain number of days per year have happened.

München: Kommt das Fahrverbot für Dieselautos?


An Energy Storage Market develops

Renewable Energy World reports in an article titled “Energy Storage Market Outlook 2017” on exactly this subject.

Currently there is not overly much available in terms of capacity in an Energy Storage Market, but what is there is growing very fast, with a forcast of 30GW new installation through the year of 2020, and a compount annual growth rate of 60%.

For the near future, the dominant form of energy storage, pumped hydropower, is sure to remain the principal method of storing energy, occupying a global market share of over 95 percent. Aside from pumped hydro, a plethora of energy storage technologies exist with a growing number of new solutions being tried, tested and installed on a commercial basis. An even larger number reside anywhere between blueprint designs and various levels of research and development.
Going forward, battery storage — of the lithium-ion variety — is expected to retain its majority market share, according to Roberts.

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Solar Cell manufacturing yield

The MIT is reporting on its own research, trying to explain why certain high-efficiency solar modules are losing efficiency after a few months of operation The difference seems to be in the manufacturing process, in which lower temperatures during firing and keeping out certain impurities seems to reflect favourably on the stability of the produced cells.

Getting higher yield and better long-term stability is key to achieving cheaper solar modules, which will in turn lead to cheaper electricity from sustainable sources.

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Daimler to convert engine production to electric in Untertürkheim

Elektrek reports:Daimler to convert engine production to electric at its largest factory, fewer workers required causing labor issues

According to that, the Untertürkheim Plant is going to be the place where Daimler will be developing and building their electric motors. Currently 19k people are working there, specialised in ICE building and construction. Electric motors are simpler, have less parts and are easier to construct, so less people will be needed.

The transition will be challenging and structurally transformative for the whole region.


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Opel: Giving up or going all in?

GM is considering one of two strategies: Giving up and selling the Opel Brand to Peugot, or going all-in electric cars, with the sell-off being more likely.

Selling off Opel would likely kill the Ampera, though.

Being deep into the red for many years, Opel does not have the resources to do both, develop electric cars and new models with ICE, says CEO Karl-Thomas Neumann in an article in Automotive News.

The purported end-date for ICE cars at Opel is weird, though, because they speak about 2030. That’s actually quite late, considering that Smart is ending ICE variants in North America and Norway this year.


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