EU policy: Juncker puts a Spaniard in the works

How will European energy policy be affected by Miguel Arias Cañete, European Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy designate. We analyse the background of Junker's proposed candidate from Spain. Photo credit: European Commission

How will European energy policy be affected by Miguel Arias Cañete, European Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy designate? Photo: European Commission

In July we cautiously predicted Jean-Claude Juncker’s election as European Commission (EC) president might be good news for energy storage. Now we are not so sure. His choice of energy commissioner appears dubious, to say the very least.

A brief survey of the credentials for Miguel Arias Cañete, Juncker’s proposed EC Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy, reveals the veteran Spanish politician is possibly the last person you would want running a low-carbon, green energy agenda.

Cañete, who until recently was Spain’s Minister of Agriculture, Food and Environment, has been roundly slammed by environmental groups for having deep links to the fossil fuel industry.

A keen vintage car collector, he formerly ran two petroleum storage businesses and until recently retained 2.5% shares in both of them. This week it was confirmed that he has hurriedly sold the shares off.

But it will be less easy to shake off the fact that during his tenure in the Spanish administration he opened the door to hydraulic fracturing by including it as one of the processes that would be admitted for environmental permitting under a new law.
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Energy storage news: 17.09.14

A supercapacitor made of hemp fibres is as good as a graphene supercapacitor for energy storage, according to Dr David Mitlin of the University of Alberta, Canada.

A supercapacitor made of hemp is as good as a graphene supercapacitor for energy storage, says Dr David Mitlin of the University of Alberta, Canada. Photo credit: Vote Hemp

The energy storage news headlines from our Twitter feed this week.

  • The Strati, the first 3D-printed electric car, was printed in 44 hours at the International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago on 13 September.
  • The NY-BEST conference and exhibition for the New York energy storage industry has been reviewed by Democrat & Chronicle.

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Tesla Gigafactory: nothing but good news for energy storage

As Reno wins the jackpot to be the location of the Tesla Gigafactory, we look at what it means for Tesla, Nevada and the energy storage industry.

As Reno wins the jackpot to be the Tesla Gigafactory location, we look at what it means for Tesla, Nevada and the energy storage industry. Photo credit: Michael Ocampo

The waiting is finally over. And surprise, surprise, Nevada, the state that never missed an opportunity to bend over backwards for big business (an attitude Bugsy Siegel may have appreciated), has scooped Tesla’s Gigafactory for a mere USD$1.25bn in subsidies over the next two decades.

Okay, let’s park the cynicism over the vast sums corporations squeeze out of the tax-payer and look at the positives of what will be a real game-changer in energy storage, not just for electric vehicles and their drivers, as well as providing a bit of background.
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Energy storage news: 10.09.14

The process of lithium plating taking place during the charging of lithium-ion batteries has been observed by scientists at Technische Universität München, Germany.

The process of lithium plating taking place while lithium-ion batteries charge has been observed at Technische Universität München, Germany. Photo: Andreas Heddergott/TUM

This week’s energy storage news headlines from our Twitter feed.

  • NEC Energy Solutions will supply a large utility in California with a 3.9MWh lithium-ion battery-based grid energy storage system.
  • ABB and BYD have announced a global energy storage collaboration, which will focus on electric vehicle charging, on- and off-grid renewable energy storage, batteries and marine energy storage.
  • WiTriCity plans to dramatically increase its electric vehicle wireless charging power transfer potential.

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The utilities wanting energy storage now

As interest in energy storage soars within European utilities, European Utility Week 2014 has a three-day track dedicated to utility-scale energy storage.

As interest in energy storage soars within European utilities, European Utility Week 2014 has a three-day track dedicated to utility-scale energy storage. Photo credit: Siemens

Interest in energy storage is spiking within European utilities as they look to follow the USA’s lead, say sources close to the sector. Elly Kreijkes, global director for renewable energy and energy storage at Synergy Events, who manages the European Utility Week energy storage track, says: “The reluctance we have seen before is being replaced with ‘this is the way to go’.

“Worldwide, there is a clear increase in energy storage project developments, driven by the development of smart-grid infrastructure and constant technological advancements in the energy storage industry.

“The European Commission has announced a list of more than 140 electricity projects that have been fast-tracked, and eStorage has been awarded a €13.3m grant to develop a solution for cost-effective integration of intermittent renewable energy generation.”

She adds: “Advances in next-generation pumped storage, compressed air energy storage and advanced batteries have multiplied the technology options available.”
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Energy storage news: 03.09.14

Valhalla Energía is planning to build Chile's first hydroelectric pumped storage plant, Espejo de Tarapacá, for solar energy storage. Photo credit: Fundación Chile.

Valhalla Energía is planning to build Chile’s first hydroelectric pumped storage plant, Espejo de Tarapacá, for solar energy storage. Photo credit: Fundación Chile

Some of the energy storage news headlines from last week. Follow us on Twitter for more.

  • Highpower International’s electric vehicle lithium-ion batteries have been approved by China’s National Quality Control and Inspection Center for Buses.
  • The Massachusetts Institute of Technology has come out with a proposal to make solar panels from old car battery materials.

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