Technology

Reporting significant scientific advances and innovative technology solutions

12 min
23/November/2022

Corporates seek to match generation with demand

Corporate attempts to match every hour of consumption with renewable production could pave the way for grid decarbonisation
5 min
04/November/2022

Consumers’ role in flexibility is built on trust

The energy transition requires more flexible grids, but this flexibility can deliver benefits to consumers and grid operators. FORESIGHT spoke to Devrim Celal, chief executive at Octopus Energy’s flexibility platform provider KrakenFlex, about these developments and wider business model innovations in the energy sector
14 min
13/October/2022

The strange case of small modular reactors

A small but bullish band of researchers are developing small modular nuclear reactors (SMRs) to provide firm low-carbon electricity in a decentralised, flexible power system. But time to make an impact on the energy transition is running out
10 min
06/October/2022

The forgotten power of water

The share of hydroelectric power in electricity generation is set to decrease as solar and wind come to dominate. Yet, hydropower has a crucial role to play in providing flexibility and storage for grids increasingly running on variable renewable energy resources
14 min
08/September/2022

The dawn of the second-hand market for batteries

As the first generation of EVs begins to reach the end of its operational life, the car market is examining what to do with the batteries held within. With the demand for batteries set to increase in transport and other sectors, experts are examining how recycling and reusing old batteries can continue to support the energy transition
12 min
01/September/2022

Lithium supply challenges reinforce the hunt for storage alternatives

Europe will need considerable amounts of energy storage to add resilience to the grid as renewable penetration increases and to support a significant increase in the number of electric vehicles on the road. But recent commodity price rises are affecting costs for lithium-ion battery systems, creating opportunities for a raft of novel storage options

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Supporting the focus on reporting significant scientific advances and innovative technology solutions

11 min
28/July/2022

Shipping on a voyage to low-carbon fuel options

As with other hard-to-abate sectors, the shipping industry is facing many challenges to decarbonise sufficiently by 2050. Currently, the alternative fuel of choice for many is liquified natural gas (LNG) but the short-term gains negate the persistent long-term emissions. There are genuine low-carbon alternatives at hand if shipping can adjust its outlook
13 min
21/July/2022

Inertia’s new frontier

As the amount of traditional inertia on our grid systems decreases with the shift to inverter-based resources like wind and solar photovoltaics (PV), system operators are increasingly seeking carbon-free alternatives for stabilising frequency
8 min
24/June/2022

Hydrogen sector targets production boost

Energy losses in the production process contribute to making hydrogen produced with renewable energy expensive. Companies and researchers are working to improve the efficiency of electrolyser technology and scale it up, bringing down the green hydrogen price tag at the same time
6 min
22/June/2022

Double up on land use to maximise resources

For years, farmers had to decide to stick with their traditional produce or twist and turnover their land for renewables projects. Until recently, it has not been a financially viable option for agriculture and solar panels to live side by side. But new techniques are providing a chance to use increasingly scarce land more efficiently
14 min
07/June/2022

An efficient transition

The energy transition is not simply a matter of replacing fossil fuels with zero-carbon alternatives. It will also be marked by a radical change in our relationship with energy and the spread of technologies like heat pumps and electric vehicles that can yield significant efficiency gains even before traditional energy savings measures come into play
10 min
03/June/2022

Circularity in solar stalled by costs

The solar industry is growing exponentially but with that growth comes an increased risk of environmental damage. Companies are starting to change their ways but halting that change comes at a cost
10 min
18/March/2022

Pretty in pink: Low-carbon hydrogen from nuclear power

The nuclear sector wants to cash in on the emerging demand for low-carbon energy by powering hydrogen electrolysis, but not everyone is convinced the industry’s arguments stack up
10 min
11/March/2022

Denmark rolls the dice on CCS

For heavy emitters of carbon, capturing the particle before it hits the atmosphere offers a route to meeting climate change targets. The Danish government is hoping significant investment in the questionable technology will help its hard-to-abate sectors to fulfil ambitions
12 min
21/January/2022

A different X factor

Using the electricity from renewables and converting it to another energy carrier is nothing new. While many in the energy industry focus on green hydrogen, other researchers are examining the possibility of storing that power as molten salt to help high-temperature processes to decarbonise
10 min
14/January/2022

Smart software platforms for smart grids

The expansion of distributed energy resources has precipitated the rise of advanced software platforms to manage them. Virtual power plants and distributed energy resource management systems can help integrate renewables and low-carbon assets more smoothly while allowing value from the flexibility that resources like rooftop solar, battery storage, electric vehicles and heat pumps can also provide to be extracted
3 min
12/January/2022

Our top ten from 2021

Take a read of our most popular articles from 2021
12 min
15/December/2021

The energy transition is at risk by hydrogen’s perceived simplicity

Low-carbon hydrogen will almost certainly be needed to cut emissions across a range of hard-to-abate sectors. However, if it is used to solve too many problems, it could end up delaying the energy transition and putting urgent decarbonisation plans in jeopardy
12 min
07/December/2021

Market collaborates to accelerate electric truck rollout

Advancements in technology and increased, though uneven, political support have set the market for electric heavy-duty vehicles in motion. Prices are falling and battery performance is improving but infrastructure remains a barrier
11 min
03/December/2021

All aboard

Cities are increasingly buying electric buses to decarbonise public transport services, a key element in many decarbonisation plans that also reduces air and noise pollution. For an effective transition, municipalities must work with transport firms, bus and charging infrastructure providers and energy suppliers to make sure the switch to a sustainable fleet is achieved without too many bumps in the road
8 min
26/November/2021

Decarbonising heat at city scale

Cities are taking the lead on the decarbonisation of district heating and cooling networks, with the use of heat pumps on the rise
12 min
23/November/2021

Cities battle to beat the heat

Cities are feeling the heat more than outlying areas. The increased use of vegetation, reflective surfaces, building codes promoting ambitious energy efficiency standards and district cooling are being employed to provide heat relief and facilitate sustainable cooling for urban dwellers
10 min
05/October/2021

Grid operators target next-generation weather forecasts

New technologies and faster computers are allowing improvements in weather forecasting. Understanding short-term weather patterns are helping grid operators cut costs and carbon emissions while keeping the lights on
12 min
09/September/2021

Europe’s start-ups dig into battery recycling

Increasing the amount of recycled battery material available in Europe is encouraging new companies to examine different ways to maximise the extraction of the essential metals
4 min
14/July/2021

Sound business case needed for viable microgrids

CASE STUDY: Technologically, microgrids are relatively simple to establish. It is the business case that is complex and can make or break a project
4 min
08/July/2021

Blockchain finds a purpose in tracking energy unit origins

Case study: The breathless furore around blockchain has died down but in some ways, the technology is still supporting the energy transition. Carbon-conscious buyers and sellers can use a distributed ledger to track where the electricity they use comes from
4 min
01/July/2021

Turbocharge the process using digital tools

CASE STUDY: A new market service rolled out by the UK's electricity network operator in autumn 2020 invites fast-response injections of power or withdrawals of load from generators, electricity storage owners and consumers to help it contain frequency deviations that would otherwise destabilise the power system
4 min
24/June/2021

South Australian rooftop PV exports on trial

Case study: As renewable energy, particularly rooftop solar, continues to be rapidly adopted across Australia, power system operators are having to find new ways of managing electricity generation and supply as the level of complexity increases. Digital solutions are coming into their own
9 min
11/June/2021

The time and place for geoengineering projects

Geoengineering efforts offer a science fiction-style get-out option as the effort to avert catastrophic climate change comes down to the wire. Interest and investment in such projects shift resources away from the mainstream energy transition but some suggest the value of the research lies in a worst-case scenario
9 min.
27/May/2021

On the hunt for low-carbon aluminium

Recycling existing aluminium has significant carbon benefits compared to producing brand new material. However, the limited resources cannot keep up with the growing demand. The industry is looking to reduce carbon intensity while maintaining aluminium’s benefits
8 min.
07/May/2021

How to sink the cost of floating offshore wind

Floating platforms could open up swathes of the ocean with water depths beyond 60 metres to the offshore wind sector. To tap into those areas, though, floating offshore wind first needs to become less expensive. A European research project is looking to secure some of those price gains to make the technology finally competitive
10 min.
16/April/2021

Wind turbines in a race to become even cleaner

The growth of wind power capacity is accelerating globally, with 2020 a record year for new installations. But with the expansion comes a growing mass of production waste, emissions from manufacturing and transport, and discarded components from retired machines. The industry’s turbine makers are facing up to the problem but proposed solutions remain commercially immature
8 min
09/April/2021

Italy’s dreams of a green hydrogen future rest on its renewables plan

Italy is putting many eggs in the hydrogen basket to decarbonise its heavy industry, including its prized steel sector. Authorities dream of converted hydrogen steel plants and “hydrogen valleys” dotted across the country. But while attention is focussed on whether hydrogen can solve Italy’s problems, other key ingredients to make the hydrogen green are being ignored
10 min
02/April/2021

Concentrated solar power faces existential threat

It cannot easily compete with wind and solar PV for daytime electricity generation but in countries with high levels of direct solar irradiation concentrated solar power could play a vital role in decarbonising energy systems thanks to its ability to act as a thermal battery for overnight production. But few markets are rewarding dispatchable overnight renewable energy, putting the future of the industry at risk
7 min.
26/March/2021

Battery powered transportation is not yet as green as it should be

While electric vehicles have proved to be better for the environment than those running on fossil fuel, their production leaves a bigger carbon footprint than making an internal combustion engine equivalent. How batteries for EVs are produced and for how long they last are decisive for making the shift to electric transport as carbon light as possible
9 min.
12/March/2021

Flexibility experiments work to cut the system costs of solar and wind

Network operators tasked with managing the steadily bigger swings in demand and supply that accompany greater uptake of solar and wind energy have had to choose between constraining clean generation, which adds to operating cost, or increasing grid capacity requiring capital expenditure. A less costly way is to buy system flexibility in a competitive but carefully coordinated process. Trials in areas of Britain challenged by grid constraints are producing encouraging results 
8 min.
19/February/2021

Battery supply chains the oil pipelines of tomorrow

For savvy investors, upstream opportunities in the EV battery market are opening up, driven by forecasts of soaring demand. Raw materials are plentiful, but mining and refining capacity of the minerals needed for high-grade vehicle batteries is under pressure, say market researchers
14 min.
13/January/2021

Why hydrogen trains are tracking hot

Hydrogen suffers from an abundance of hype, particularly about what it can be used for in the energy transition. Wild claims for the application of hydrogen, with little basis in current science and commercial reality, have worked to obscure the realistic opportunities for putting truly clean hydrogen to work here and now
10 min.
17/December/2020

Decarbonised heat within a decade in Denmark

Denmark has led the way on decarbonisation of heating, with a rapid transition away from fossil fuels aided by its large scale adoption of heating networks over the past 40 years. Instead of exchanging individual heating appliances in every home and commercial building, the Danes are centrally converting their heat networks to renewable energy, saving citizens a pile of money in the process
10 min.
17/December/2020

How to decarbonise the building stock in Britain

Decarbonisation of heating requires switching from systems and appliances that combust fossil fuels to those that rely on renewable energy. Nowhere is the switch more challenging to achieve for existing building stock than in the UK. If it can be done there, it can be done anywhere
6 min.
11/December/2020

A blueprint for transmission design

A new transmission line across the Baltic Sea shows that a more integrated European power network is not only steadily evolving, but that innovative approaches to infrastructure design can bring down the cost of the energy transition.
8 min.
22/October/2020

Electrification of road haulage will be battery driven and is headed for delivery earlier than expected

Decarbonisation of haulage fleets within cities and on highways is reaching a tipping point as technology improves
13 min.
Natural gas has not yet reached its peak in the US, but the summit is in view17/September/2020

Fossil gas is losing its grip in America too

Natural gas has not yet reached its peak in the US, but the summit is in view
4 min.
20/July/2020

Carrots not sticks created Norway’s electric vehicle paradise

Norway has a high penetration of electric vehicles achieved by tax breaks and investment instead of restrictions
8 min.
13/July/2020

Danish tradition of collaboration a strength in energy transition

The head of the new Energy Cluster Denmark body, Glenda Napier, discusses the next steps for the country’s energy transition and how innovation and collaboration will remain crucial to its success
11 min.
06/July/2020

Trump will delay but not destroy an electric car future for America

The United States, the home of the car, has yet to make the kind of market impact with electric vehicles (EVs) as it did with the internal combustion engine
6 min.
16/April/2020

Decarbonising data

Information and communication technology accounts for more than 2% of global greenhouse emissions, as much as all air traffic
7 min.
09/April/2020

EU prepares to throw weight behind electric trucks

Electric cars as the best lower carbon replacement for the internal combustion engine is a done deal for many, but how to decarbonise the haulage sector is an ongoing debate. Increasingly, policy makers and truck manufacturers in Europe seem ready to embrace electric solutions for trucks as well as smaller vehicles
7 min.
20/February/2020

Denmark gets visionary about offshore wind and hydrogen

The huge scale of offshore wind farms being built in northern Europe is bringing a new understanding of how much electricity can be gleaned from the wind on land and at sea
11 min.
20/January/2020

Carbon removal enters mainstream climate debate

Much as in the energy transition debate, the big question is who pays for carbon removal
6 min.
12/January/2020

Open source software to speed up energy transition

Open source software can facilitate sector coupling through vehicle-to-grid or building-to-grid technology
9 min.
05/November/2019

E-fuels the next big idea for aviation and trucking

Enthusiasm for e-fuels is growing, but it is still unclear where the renewable energy will come from to produce them
5 min.
Solar skins for zero energy buildings29/August/2019

Solar skins for zero energy buildings

Inspiring architects to make buildings green and good looking
6 min.
15/August/2019

Down on the solar farm

Cost benefit proved for combined solar and arable
5 min.
Weather forecasts can bring down the cost and financial risks associated with new renewable energy infrastructure projects01/August/2019

Accurate weather forecasting for an affordable energy transition

Weather forecasts can bring down the cost and financial risks associated with new renewable energy infrastructure projects
6 min.
The cement industry is one of the largest industrial emitters of greenhouse gases. Denmark’s Aalborg Portland, part of the international Cementir Group, is gearing up to bring a new type of cement to the market, which could cut the industry's emissions by up to 30%. The product is expected to be commercial by the end of 202024/June/2019

Cement industry takes steps to atone for massive carbon sins

Significant investment is needed at the development and commercialisation stages
6 min.
Standards and regulation creating a “closed loop supply chain” could help the wind industry better manage questions around recycling and reuse10/June/2019

Help to make end-of-life decisions for wind turbines

Standards and regulation creating a “closed loop supply chain” could help the wind industry better manage questions around recycling and reuse
7 min.
29/April/2019

Crushed hot rocks to store wind energy

The bulk storage of electricity as a flexibility tool will become economically viable with the growing availability of large volumes of low-cost renewable energy. Crushed hot rocks could provide a cheap storage solution
3 min.
24/April/2019

Naked Energy

A UK start-up believes its rooftop solar photovoltaic thermal technology can help decarbonise buildings
5 min.
12/April/2019

Parisian radiators with brains

Qarnot, a small company based outside Paris, France, is developing computing products that generate heat close to the end user
5 min.
Researchers in Germany are looking at further developing molten salt technology as a means to store heat and produce electricity29/March/2019

Molten salt heat storage

Researchers in Germany are looking at further developing molten salt technology as a means to store heat and produce electricity
5 min.
Germany is testing whether a nitrate salt thermal storage system could aid the provision of process steam for industry while earning subsidies for capturing emissions of methane, a potent greenhouse gas, and combusting it for energy supply27/March/2019

Methane sequestered and waste heat put to work

Germany is testing whether a nitrate salt thermal storage system could aid the provision of process steam for industry while earning subsidies for capturing emissions of methane, a potent greenhouse gas, and combusting it for energy supply
5-6 min.
21/December/2018

Seagrass beats rainforests as carbon sink

Pollution is causing seagrass growing on our ocean floors to retreat. Scientists believe the habitat could be an important carbon sink and are working to restore it
11-12 min.
As emissions from global aviation rise, companies are beginning to look closely at the idea of using electric planes for short-haul flights as a potential solution21/November/2018

Electric flight prepares for takeoff

As emissions from global aviation rise, companies are beginning to look closely at the idea of using electric planes for short-haul flights as a potential solution
5-6 min.
While solutions are being found to many of the technological issues that have challenged wave power, the industry is still struggling to justify the investment required compared to the potential electricity generated09/November/2018

Wave power struggles to prove its viability

While solutions are being found to many of the technological issues that have challenged wave power, the industry is still struggling to justify the investment required compared to the potential electricity generated
8-9 min.
The potential to power planes with clean synthetic fuels28/September/2018

The potential to power planes with clean synthetic fuels

Reducing emissions from the ever growing aviation sector is no easy task. Renewables-based synthetic kerosene production is one solution currently being explored
7-8 min.
03/September/2018

Wind industry faces up to the inevitable

Blades are posing the biggest waste challenge as increasing numbers of wind turbines reach the end of their useful life
8-9 min.
The offshore renewables sector is beginning to use robots in similar ways to the offshore oil and gas industries in an effort to cut costs22/June/2018

Offshore renewables reach for robotics

The offshore renewables sector is beginning to use robots in similar ways to the offshore oil and gas industries in an effort to cut costs
10-11 min.
The rapid uptake of electric vehicles in California brings with it an increase in electricity storage capacity that perhaps calls into question the need to invest separately in batteries to support the bulk supply of electricity11/June/2018

Battery bravado

The rapid uptake of electric vehicles in California brings with it an increase in electricity storage capacity that perhaps calls into question the need to invest separately in batteries to support the bulk supply of electricity
6-7 min.
Blockchain literally links, or chains together, blocks of data, such as information regarding a specific power generator and a specific consumer.25/April/2018

New kid on the block

Blockchain is regularly touted in the media as a tool to revolutionise business, but the jury is still out on whether it can help speed up the transition to renewables
2-3 min.
EcoGrid 2.0 will increase demand response through heat pumps26/March/2018

Heating and heat pumps help balance the grid

Research demonstrates that demand management can create value for private customers and the power system
4-5 min.
14/November/2017

In Brief

Elon Musk’s Australian banter about batteries; battery challenge from wind; low cost pumped hydro storage; IEA wants stronger signals for new grid flexibility; facts and figures indicate limited role for battery storage in the big picture
4-5 min.
07/July/2017

Homes wanted for power hungry data centres

Countries with cool climates and reliable supplies of green electricity are favoured locations for these beating hearts of the digital age
3-4 min.
07/July/2017

In brief

Two-thirds of the business potential in energy efficiency remains untapped; sales figures for plug-in electric cars; cheaper by half to cut emissions with energy saving than green electricity; renewables push coal off the UK grid for a day; BP data reveals green energy trends; wind power supply not that susceptible to still winter weather; fuelish energy subsidies persist
5-6 min.
17/March/2017

Wave tries to hitch a lift with wind

Combining untried wave power with well proved wind on a floating platform may forge a path to commercialisation of a hybrid solution to harnessing the energy of the seas.
4-5 min.
17/March/2017

In brief

Chinese CO2 emissions under control; EU fossil fuel dependency rises; conventional power bleeds billions of value; German Energiewende not a blueprint for the world; bank washes o dirty coal; o shore wind lull before the next storm
5-6 min.
11/October/2016

The invisible made visible

Seeing is believing: step change in 3D wind imaging advances the science of wind turbine engineering
2-3 min.
11/October/2016

To burn or not to burn

Incineration of waste to recover energy must create environmental value to be a better choice than landfill
3-4 min.
11/October/2016

Force of man

Geologists claim man is taking over as a force of nature in new epoch
11/October/2016

In brief

The circular house, King Coal weakening, Delivering on Paris, Black and green utilities, G20 changing course, Greener energy investment
4-5 min.
11/July/2016

Making biofuels from sunlight

A new discovery may leapfrog over many existing technologies and speed the transition from fossil fuels
4-5 min.
30/June/2016

In brief

Electricity storage faces many challenges; Flow-battery uses salt; Satellite mapping can aid climate change adaptation; Ocean tankers on methanol
29/June/2016

Typically Danish

Tendencies, quirks and innovations unique to Denmark