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Татьяна Лукьянова

How green energy in Ukraine suffered due to the war with Russia

On February 24, 2022, Russian troops launched a full-scale offensive against Ukraine. During the 2 months of the war, the country suffered huge losses. Some of them are related to the destruction of green energy enterprises.

Before the invasion of the aggressor, Ukraine confidently entered the TOP-10 leading countries in terms of the speed of development of the industry. In 2020 Ukraine was recognized as one of the 5 countries most actively developing alternative energy in Europe. Military aggression did not just stop the work of enterprises. It caused the destruction of many of them and the bankruptcy of the owners of the surviving industries.

Solar power during the war

More than 60% of solar power plants are located in the south and east of Ukraine. It is on this territory that the occupiers are most active. As of the end of April 2022, about 40% of industrial power plants located in the region have already suffered from their actions. The total installed capacity of the enterprises is 1500 MW. The greatest losses in the industry were noted in the Nikolaev energy center. Some of them were damaged by shelling, the others cannot be connected due to violations of the integrity of the power lines. Destroyed 100% of solar power plants around Kharkov.

The capacities functioning today do not work with full capabilities. Generation limits have been introduced to maintain system stability.

Wind power during the war

Solar power plants are not the only renewable energy infrastructure affected. the wind power industry suffered no less losses. The largest Ukrainian wind farms are located in the regions of Odessa, Nikolaev, Zaporozhye, Lvov. Today, the work of more than ⅔ of windmills has been stopped, some of them are out of order. Only 372.5 MW of capacities remain in operation, which are installed in the Odessa and Lvov regions.

Bioenergy industry

In general, the installed capacity of bioelectric power plants in Ukraine before the start of the war was more than 220 MW. These are facilities that receive energy from biomass and biogas, located near large agricultural enterprises. More than 10% of the capacities were damaged by the military actions of the aggressor.

Ways to solve the problem and the prospects of the industry

The restoration of Ukraine will require serious investments. But already now, several steps can be taken that can minimize the impact of the current situation on the energy industry of Ukraine:

  • open damaged energy facilities access to the Fund formed by the European Energy Community;
  • provide support – tax holidays, waiver of rent for 5 years, land taxes, which will allow the construction of new green energy facilities;
  • provide incentives for the access of renewable energy enterprises to the electricity market, which will reduce the burden of paying “green tariff”;
  • increase the level of loyalty of the Ukrainian energy system through the construction of new energy storage facilities.

It is also necessary to create special conditions for the operation of green energy facilities operating on renewable hydrogen and synthetic methane. This approach will help support the industry during the difficult period of the war and prevent the bankruptcy of enterprises.

The Ukrainian energy system remains stable despite losses. Since March 16, 2022, the grids of Ukraine have been synchronized with the European power grid.

New solar energy storage facilities will be able to store collected resources for up to 18 years

Solar energy – is one of the cleanest energy resources that can replace traditional power sources without loss. It’s endless, available at any time and doesn’t require complex transformations. People have long learned to capture the energy of the sun and transform it according to their own needs. The development of alternative energy is constantly and everywhere. Every year there are more and more discoveries and relevant solutions.

Chalmers University of Technology (Sweden) and the University of Shanghai, today. Scientists are developing a project for a new system. It’s capable of not only collecting solar energy and converting it. The main purpose of this installation is the accumulation and storage of solar energy. Shelf life – 18 years. You can use it at any time and in any required amount.

The goal is to create self-charging electronics

The team of scientists has previously extracted thermal energy from the energy of the sun. But now the laboratory has managed to achieve new results. Scientists have created a system capable of producing electricity when connected to a thermoelectric generator. Such success will allow continued research, the main purpose of which is the development of electrical appliances self-charging from solar sources.

This method is a fundamentally new development. Thanks to the discovery of Swedish and Chinese scientists, it was possible to use solar energy regardless of weather conditions, time of day and other external factors. The closed system will function day and night anywhere in the world. This will prevent the release of carbon dioxide into the environment.

The basis for the development was the MOST technology (Molecular Solar Thermal Energy Storage Systems). It was developed by employees from Sweden. The technology is based on a molecule that changes its shape when interacting with the sun’s rays.

“Swedish sun” made of smart molecules

After confirming their assumptions and creating a molecule capable of holding a charge of solar energy, scientists at the Swedish University shared their findings with colleagues from the University of Shanghai. It was here that the solar energy was subsequently released from the molecule and converted into electric current. To achieve the result, Chinese scientists created a special generator. We can say that the “Swedish sun” molecule went to the other end of the Earth to receive a new status – converting it into electricity.

The generator, created by Chinese specialists, is a very thin chip. It can be built into various electrical appliances, including:

  • compact headphones;
  • smart watch;
  • smartphones, etc.

The first experiments showed that the idea really works. The development will allow the creation of renewable energy without emissions harmful to the environment.

The project has been almost completely finalized and today there are already implemented systems for storing solar energy with its possible batch release for charging gadgets. The researchers plan to create stable systems that can be used to heat houses and solve other energy problems. Work is underway to optimize the system, increase energy capacity and increase the profitability of such solar batteries.

Replenishment in the family of electric cars: Mercedes introduced a new flagship crossover

The world saw a novelty from the eminent automaker back in April 2021. Mercedes introduced the flagship of the electric car line – the EQS liftback. A year later, the auto industry leader surprised fans yet again by showing off the EQS in crossover format. It is expected that the flagship novelty will go on sale at the end of 2022.

EQS is not the most original name for the flagship of the Mercedes electric car line. The design of the novelty does not stand out too much – it is almost identical to the prototype (author’s note – the EQS liftback), but it has been transformed into a new format. The abbreviation SUV was added to the name of the car.

New car – new opportunities

The advent of the new electric vehicle brings the green age one step closer. A practical and functional electric car promises to become a faithful assistant to the owner. The manufacturer has taken care of its comfort and convenience:

  • for the novelty, a Hyperscreen with a diagonal of 56 inches and three displays is available – a dashboard, a central multimedia and a passenger screen;
  • in the configuration of the new Mercedes EQS SUV – a fully controlled chassis, air suspension with an adaptive damping system;
  • the manufacturer provides adaptive cruise control, endowed with a wide range of tracking functions.

Mercedes EQS SUV is a car with artificial intelligence MBUX, one of the attractive features of which is the ability to self-learn. A simple example – with regular calls from one subscriber, MBUX will begin to warn about the incoming signal in advance. In this case, when changing the driver of the car, the warning will not be turned on. The system uses fingerprint scanning to recognize the driver’s identity. Up to 7 profiles can be activated in this way, which allows several people to drive a car with the same comfort.

What’s under the hood

There are two options for the power plant in the Mercedes EQS SUV. The first one is basic. This is the EQS 450+, which is equipped with a 359 horsepower engine. The unit is located on the rear axle and has a torque of 568 Nm.

The second version – EQS 580 4Matic provides a total engine power of 544 horsepower and 858 Nm of torque. These versions of the car are equipped with two power units. For comparison, the similar characteristics of the liftback in a comparable version are much smaller – 333 and 523 horsepower, respectively.

The battery of both versions of the electric car pleasantly surprises with its capacity. It is the same for the EQS 450+ and EQS 580 4Matic and is 107.8 kWh.

The power reserve of the crossover, for obvious reasons, is less than that of the liftback. At the moment, the manufacturer calls the figure up to 600 km with a liftback power reserve of 770 km. More accurate information about the distance will appear after the final tests and the release of the crossover on the world market.

Charging time is one of the most pressing issues for electric car owners. Tests show that the EQS SUV will be ready to cover 300 km after just 15 minutes of charging from a DC terminal. In half an hour, the charge level can be raised from 10% to 80%. When using AC sources, it will take 12 hours to fully replenish the expended energy.

The cost of the crossover has not yet been determined, but it will definitely not be lower than the price of the liftback (from $102,000).

Solar energy development in Asia reaches a new level: Total Energies and ENEOS plans for 2022

The Japanese company ENEOS and Total Energies presented a new project for the development of alternative energy in Asia. As a result of negotiations between the two largest representatives of the industry, an agreement was drawn up and signed on the organization of a joint venture, the main purpose of which is the development of SES. For the implementation of the project, the companies have determined a period of 5 years, during which the joint venture plans to achieve all the goals.

The final signing of the documents and the completion of the transaction are planned to be carried out in the second quarter of 2022, when the final preparation of all necessary documentation will be carried out and permits for activities will be received from the relevant authorities.

Distribution energy – the concept of the future

The basis of the new agreement between the companies was the desire to develop distribution energy in Asia. We are talking about the construction of small energy sources, including their mobile versions. The construction of such distribution networks will allow owners not only to receive energy for personal needs, but also to send its surplus to the general network. The implementation of this project will help achieve a high level of carbon neutrality. Total Energies plans to increase the resources already available in the company’s assets to 100 GW by 2030. At the end of 2021, according to official data, the total capacity of Total Energies was a little over 10 GW.

Total energy goals and plans for 2022-2030

Total Energies is not in vain considered one of the world leaders in the renewable energy industry. Developing the concept of RES development for the next decade, the company relied on its real capabilities and global trends. The result of the work of the analysts was a selection of key goals, including:

  • increasing energy resources by 2025 to 35 GW;
  • achieving 100 GW by 2030;
  • getting into the world’s TOP-5 energy producers using alternative energy sources in 2030.

To develop the business and optimize the work of the joint venture, it is planned to use the ENEOS client base. The company successfully operates in the Japanese market and has all the necessary resources to achieve its goals, including:

  • successfully manages 22 solar power stations located on the territory of the country;
  • is actively developing renewable energy sources in the United States, Vietnam, and Australia.

The collaboration between Total Energies and ENEOS to create a joint venture was the first foreign renewable energy project for a Japanese company.

Cooperation with KGHM is another step towards the global development of renewable energy

Total Energies doesn’t limit its work on the development of renewable energy networks to activities in Asia. In addition to cooperation with ENEOS, the company plans to start joint work with the Polish mining group KGHM. Representatives of Total Energies announced the conclusion of an agreement between the parties on April 12, 2022. The main goal of cooperation is the joint development of the wind energy industry in Poland. Such work will allow them to take part in the tender announced by the Polish government. The result of the agreement should be the creation of new jobs in Poland, the supply of green energy at competitive prices, and the stimulation of the development of local industry.

How successful the new joint ventures will be will become known in the near future.

Energy takeoff 2022: US pledges 46.1 GW of new generation capacity

The use of alternative energy has become a salvation for the world. An environmentally friendly resource, available in an unlimited amount, is the optimal solution for power supply of both small appliances and large objects. Every year the number of clean energy generating capacities is increasing and 2022 should be no exception.

According to analysts’ forecasts, in 2022 the United States plans to commission 46.1 GW of new generators. Almost 50% of them are solar-powered (21.5 GW of total solar power).

In addition to solar energy, attention was paid to other options for alternative power sources. Thus, the share of wind turbines in the planned volume of new capacities will be 17% (7.6 GW), and systems operating on natural gas – 21% (9.6 GW).

Future plans

According to experts’ calculations, the total increase in US energy storage capacity will be 84%. Such results will be achieved, among other things, thanks to the construction of two new power units in the state of Georgia. These power units are capable of providing a 5% increase in the country’s electric capacity in 2022.

The US Department of Energy announces a full transition to clean energy by 2035. Given the pace of development of the “green” energy industry, it is quite possible to achieve such results. The Department of Energy has allocated $130 million for new solar energy development projects in the United States in 2020. These funds will be used to finance 67 projects aimed at introducing artificial intelligence into energy production and reducing the cost of energy from solar power plants.

Wall Street Predictions: Investments that pay off

Among investors from all over the world, the purchase of shares in companies specializing in the production and operation of renewable energy sources is becoming an increasingly popular solution. Both the solar and geothermal energy sectors are developing at a rapid pace, which has a positive effect on the overall growth of investment in these industries.

What to buy?

The rapid development of the industry is an excellent period for investment and profit. Analysts recommend paying attention to several major companies whose shares may go gold in the coming years:

  • ChargePoint (CHPT) is one of the largest networks of electric car charging stations located around the world;
  • Clearway Energy (CWEN) is a conventional power generation company specializing in the creation of renewable energy sources;
  • Darling Ingredients (DAR) is one of the world leaders in the production of environmentally friendly products for the pharmaceutical, food, feed and fuel industries;
  • Ormat Technologies (ORA) is the owner of the largest geothermal assets in Nevada.
  • It is worth paying attention to such companies as First Solar (FSLR), SPDR S&P Kensho Clean Power ETF (CNRG), Sunrun (RUN).

Acquiring assets on the US stock exchange requires a serious understanding of market trends. But given the global transition to clean energy and the plans of one of the world’s largest economies for the coming years, investing in renewable energy stocks will definitely be profitable.

Non-standard solutions: rain as a source of energy

In search of free and endless clean energy, humanity has thoroughly explored the possibilities of many resources. The energy of the sun, wind, water, earth is actively used in many countries of the world, which indicates the success of developments and implemented projects. But the search for new sources of energy doesn’t stop. In 2020 a group of scientists from the US and China developed a unique project that involves generating energy using raindrops. Yes, yes, energy from the rain! Such a solution can be a real find for regions where the sun is a rare guest.

It was also discussed earlier about obtaining energy through the use of rain. But all the methods proposed by scientists and adventurers and the prototypes of the installations presented did not make it possible to recoup the costs and make the installation profitable.

The head of the scientific group from China, Wang Quankai, presented an improved project to the world. According to the scientist, one drop of rain falling from a height of 15 cm is capable of generating an electrical voltage of more than 140 volts. The power of an installation operating on such an energy source is capable of feeding more than a hundred small LEDs. The creation of such an energy converter can solve the problem of power supply for small devices, for example, sensors in various devices. Such converters will be an excellent alternative to the already familiar solar panels, which are almost useless in cloudy weather.

It was possible to achieve a significant increase in the efficiency of rain generators by making changes to the design of the devices. Scientists have proposed covering them with polytetrafluoroethylene (PVDF) – a thin membrane of material that can accumulate a charge when raindrops hit it. The accumulation of the surface charge continues until it reaches its maximum. In this case, the drops act as resistors, and the membrane acts as a capacitor.

Work on the practical creation of the first rain generators is already underway. Its result can be special umbrellas with built-in chargers for gadgets, rain batteries for use in regions prone to heavy seasonal rainfall.

The effectiveness of such installations is also evidenced by the work of the French team of scientists led by Thomas Jaeger. Together with colleagues, he managed to assemble a similar transducer using PVDF membrane 25 micrometers thick. When drops hit the surface of the membrane, small oscillations occur on it and generate a current.

More is better

Scientists have deduced the dependence of the efficiency (efficiency) of the device on the size and force of the fall of raindrops. Thus, large drops falling from a greater height and at a lower speed are capable of transferring an energy equivalent to 12 milliwatts to the plate. Thus, a plate with an area of ​​only 3 cm2 is capable of generating a current of up to 15 milliwatts. At a high speed of falling drops, a large amount of energy is spent even in flight and during the fall, because splashing occurs.

French scientists managed to calculate the energy efficiency of rains passing over France. According to them, each square meter of land that falls under the rain is capable of generating up to 1 watt of electricity per year.

Rain energy will become a popular alternative to solar converters in the near future will be known very soon. In the meantime, scientists continue to develop the most effective installations that can prove to the world that energy surrounds us from all sides. Including – in rainy weather.