Top stories of the week of September 23, 2022 from the World Economic Forum:
Video timeline: 0:15 Could These Solar Panel Windows Be The Future Of Green Energy? – If deployed on a large scale, Ubiquitous Energy says the windows could transform solar capacity worldwide. 01:33 What Would A Post-Economic Growth World Look Like? – ‘What is the type of growth that the world needs? And what is the type of de-growth we need?’ asks Tariq Al-Olaimy, Social Entrepreneur and Global Shapers Alumni. 04:41 Clean energy jobs boom – Green energy jobs in wind and solar are more available than fossil fuel jobs for the first time 05:57 Is your smartphone making you less smart? – Not according to scientists
The ocean’s waves are immensely powerful. Harnessing that energy for grid-scale electricity production would be a major boon to the clean energy industry, but building durable, powerful, and cost-effective wave energy converters has proven difficult.
Chapters:1:46 The challenges 4:05 Wave energy in the U.S. 4:49 (Subchapter) CalWave 6:05 (Subchapter) Oscilla Power 7:34 (Subchapter) C-Power 9:00 Wave energy in Europe 11:51 The future
Now though, an influx of federal funding is helping many U.S. companies gear up to test their latest wave energy technologies, giving many in the industry hope that wave power will see massive growth over the next few decades.
CNBC Marathon revisits General Motors’ shift into the electric vehicle market. GM is one of the largest automakers in the world with a range of models falling under its four brands, Chevy, Buick, Cadillac, and GMC.
Chapters: 00:00 Why GM’s all-electric future is a big gamble (Published September 2021) 15:17 The rise of electric boats (Published April 2022) 27:13 Why GM says its Ultium platform will drive EV dominance (Published May 2022)
The automaker made its name selling gas burning cars but in January 2021, it made a stunning announcement. The company said it “aspires to eliminate tailpipe emissions from new light-duty vehicles by 2035.” This means that GM intends to stop selling gas-burning cars. General Motors says it wants to lead electric vehicle sales in North America by 2025, and vows that its new Ultium battery platform will drive that dominance.
Not only are cars going electric but so are boats. General Motors recently invested $150 million in one start-up, Pure Watercraft, to build an electric pontoon boat. And several others are working to bring their own battery-powered offerings to market. CNBC Marathon brings together the best of CNBC on YouTube.
Space launch costs are dropping rapidly. Solar panels are cheaper than ever. Could space-based solar power soon be price-competitive with nuclear? Promoted as a zero-carbon solution, classified military space planes have also been conducting experiments into wireless power transmission. The FT’s Peggy Hollinger looks at whether space-based solar power can move beyond science fiction.
The system could be one answer to slashing Earth’s carbon emissions. A Swiss startup has created a giant vacuum cleaner to capture carbon dioxide from the air, helping companies offset their emissions. WSJ visits the facility to see how it traps the gas for sale to clients like Coca-Cola, which uses it in fizzy drinks. Composite: Clément Bürge.
Energy usage by large, old buildings like the Empire State Building represents a huge obstacle to cities’ dreams of carbon neutrality. New York City’s buildings account for 70% of its carbon emissions, for example, and half of those emissions are produced by the largest 5% of its structures. But retrofitting old buildings to make them more energy efficient represents a formidable challenge, both from an engineering perspective and in terms of convincing owners that doing so is in their financial interest.
As Tesla looks to expand to new markets, rumors are circulating that India could be next. While the 5th largest auto market could be big for the ev manufacturer, it’s filled with challenges and increasing competition.
There is an electric vehicle revolution sweeping the world, but India is lagging behind. Elon Musk has said that Tesla will enter India this year, but it’s not clear if that will actually happen. On January 8th, Tesla took its first step towards launching in the country, registering Tesla Motors India and Energy Private Limited in Bengaluru.
But when Tesla does eventually come to India, it won’t be easy. The electric vehicle industry is in its infant stages there, lacking much of the infrastructure needed for widespread adoption. And the most popular vehicles are motorcycles, rickshaws and budget passenger cars. Watch the video to find out what Tesla will be up against in India.
The 2021 Toyota Mirai is the second generation of zero emission hydrogen fuel cell electric sedan.
One of the principal aims for the new 2021 Mirai has been to give the car a stronger emotional appeal, making it a car that people will be attracted to by its looks and the way it drives, as well its eco-performance. The new GA-L platform and Toyota’s advances in FCEV technologies have made this possible. Toyota’s new fuel cell stack and fuel cell power converter (FCPC) have been developed specifically for use with the GA-L platform.
The designers have been able to bring all the elements together in the stack frame (including the water pumps, intercooler, air conditioning and air compressors and the hydrogen recirculation pump) with each part made smaller and lighter, while at the same time improving performance. The stack case itself has been made smaller by using Friction Stir Welding, reducing the gap between the fuel cell and casing.
The new Mirai is equipped with lithium-ion high-voltage battery in place of the current model’s nickel-metal hydride unit. Although smaller in size, it is more energy-dense, giving higher output and superior environmental performance. Containing 84 cells, it has a 310.8 rated voltage compared to 244.8, and a 4.0 Ah capacity, versus 6.5 Ah. Overall weight has been reduced from 46.9 to 44.6 kg. The output has improved from 25.5 kW x 10 seconds to 31.5 kW x 10 seconds.
The battery’s smaller dimensions have allowed it to be positioned behind the rear seats, avoiding intrusion in the load compartment. An optimised air-cooling path has been designed, with discreet inlets either side of the rear seats. The environmental benefit of driving the Toyota Mirai go beyond zero emissions to “negative emissions” – the car effectively cleans the air as it moves. A Toyota innovation, a catalyst-type filter is incorporated in the air intake.
As air is drawn into the vehicle to supply the fuel cell, an electric charge on the non-woven fabric filter element captures microscopic particles of pollutants, including sulphur dioxide (SO2), nitrous oxides (NOx) and PM 2.5 particulates. The system is effective in removing 90 to 100% of particles between 0 and 2.5 microns in diameter from the air as it passes into the fuel cell system.