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electrical power

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The overall renewable power capacity in Brazil is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6% from 31 GW in 2018 to 60.8GW in 2030, according to GlobalData.

GlobalData’s latest report: “Brazil Power Market Outlook to 2030, Update 2019 – Market Trends, Regulations, and Competitive Landscape” reveals that increased renewable energy auctions, promotion of hybrid renewable energy projects and other government initiatives such as tax incentives, smart metering, renewable energy targets and favorable grid access policies for renewable energy are likely to result in renewable expansion by 2030.

Between 2019 and 2030, solar PV and onshore wind segments are expected to grow at CAGRs of 14% and 6%, respectively. The significant rise in these two technologies will result in renewable energy being the second largest contributor to the country’s energy mix by 2030.

The connection of over 25,000 power systems, mostly solar PV systems to the Brazilian grid in mid-2018 under the net metering scheme, further underpins the renewable growth pattern over the forecast period.

The main challenges for Brazil’s power sector are its overdependence on cheap hydropower for base-load capacity and lack of a robust power grid infrastructure. In 2018, hydropower accounted for 62.7% of the country’s total installed capacity. In case of a drought, depletion of dam reservoirs could result in power shortages and switching over to costly thermal power which will increase the electricity prices.

In the long term, hydropower capacity is expected to decline and be compensated with increased renewable power capacity. On the other hand, thermal and renewable capacities are slated to increase and contribute 28% and 18%, respectively of the installed capacity in 2030.

Brazil is moving towards a balanced energy mix as it prepares to double its non-hydro renewable power capacity by 2030. With an almost 10GW increase in thermal power capacity by 2030 compared to 2018, the country is on course to better manage peak demand, reduce dependence on hydropower and maintain a healthy grid.

Source: Globaldata

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In a world first, Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy (SGRE) has today begun operation of its electric thermal energy storage system (ETES). During the opening ceremony, Energy State Secretary Andreas Feicht, Hamburg’s First Mayor Peter Tschentscher, Siemens Gamesa CEO Markus Tacke and project partners Hamburg Energie GmbH and Hamburg University of Technology (TUHH) welcomed the achievement of this milestone. The innovative storage technology makes it possible to store large quantities of energy cost-effectively and thus decouple electricity generation and use.

The heat storage facility, which was ceremonially opened today in Hamburg-Altenwerder, contains around 1,000 tonnes of volcanic rock as an energy storage medium. It is fed with electrical energy converted into hot air by means of a resistance heater and a blower that heats the rock to 750°C. When demand peaks, ETES uses a steam turbine for the re-electrification of the stored energy. The ETES pilot plant can thus store up to 130 MWh of thermal energy for a week. In addition, the storage capacity of the system remains constant throughout the charging cycles.

The aim of the pilot plant is to deliver system evidence of the storage on the grid and to test the heat storage extensively. In a next step, Siemens Gamesa plans to use its storage technology in commercial projects and scale up the storage capacity and power. The goal is to store energy in the range of several gigawatt hours (GWh) in the near future. One gigawatt hour is the equivalent to the daily electricity consumption of around 50,000 households.

The Institute for Engineering Thermodynamics at Hamburg University of Technology and the local utility company Hamburg Energie are partners in the innovative Future Energy Solutions project, which is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy within the “6. Energieforschungsprogramm” research programme. TU Hamburg carries out research into the thermodynamic fundamentals of the solid bulk technology used.

By using standard components, it is possible to convert decommissioned conventional power plants into green storage facilities (second-life option). Hamburg Energie is responsible for marketing the stored energy on the electricity market. The energy provider is developing highly flexible digital control system platforms for virtual power plants. Connected to such an IT platform, ETES can optimally store renewable energy at maximum yield.

Source: Siemens Gamesa

The International Energy Agency’s latest and most comprehensive assessment of clean energy transition finds that the vast majority of technologies and sectors are failing to keep pace with long-term goals. Of the 45 energy technologies and sectors assessed in the IEA’s latest Tracking Clean Energy Progress (TCEP), only 7 are on track with the IEA’s Sustainable Development Scenario (SDS). The SDS represents a pathway to reach the goals of the Paris Agreement on climate change, deliver universal energy access and significantly reduce air pollution.

These latest findings follow an IEA assessment published in March showing that energy-related CO2 emissions worldwide rose by 1.7% in 2018 to a historic high of 33 billion tonnes.

Some clean energy technologies showed major progress last year, according to the new TCEP analysis. Energy storage is now “on track” as new installations doubled, led by Korea, China, the United States and Germany. Electric vehicles had another record year, with global sales hitting 2 million in 2018. China accounted for more than half of total sales.

Solar PV remains on track with a 31% increase in generation – representing the largest absolute growth in generation among renewable sources. But annual capacity additions of solar PV and renewable power as a whole levelled off in 2018, raising concerns about meeting long-term climate goals.

This year’s analysis expands coverage to include flaring and methane emissions from oil and gas operations, which are responsible for around 7% of the energy sector’s greenhouse gas emissions worldwide. Despite some positive developments over the past year, current technology deployment rates, policy ambition and industry efforts are still falling well short.

The buildings sector also remains off track, with emissions rising again in 2018 to an all-time high. This was the result of several factors, including extreme weather that raised energy demand for heating and cooling. Another concerning development was the slowdown in fuel economy improvements around the world as car buyers continued to purchase bigger vehicles.

Given the urgency and scale of actions needed for clean energy transitions around the world, this year’s TCEP features much greater emphasis on recommended actions for governments, industry and other key actors in the global energy system. The analysis also includes in-depth analysis on how to address more than 100 key innovation gaps across all sectors and technologies.

TCEP provides a comprehensive, rigorous and up-to-date expert analysis of clean energy transitions across a full range of technologies and sectors. It draws on the IEA’s unique understanding of markets, modelling and energy statistics to track and assess progress on technology deployment and performance, investment, policy, and innovation. It also draws on the IEA’s extensive global technology network, totalling 6,000 researchers across nearly 40 Technology Collaboration Programmes.

TCEP is part of the IEA’s broader efforts on tracking energy transitions and key indicators to help inform decision makers on where to focus innovation, investment and policy attention to achieve climate and sustainable development goals.

Source: IEA

Acciona will supply Telefónica with an estimated volume of renewable electricity of 345 GWh, i.e. 58% of the high-voltage energy measured with telemetry that the technology multinational will consume in Spain this year, and 23% of its total electricity consumption.

According to the contract awarded to Acciona, the company will supply 72 points located in large-scale data processing facilities, offices and other centres of Telefónica in Spain. It is the second successive contract for the sale of electricity to Telefónica awarded to Acciona, following the one signed for 2018.

Like all the energy marketed by Acciona, the electricity supplied to Telefónica will be certified 100% renewable by the Spanish National Markets and Competition Commission (CNMC). The use of clean energy will avoid the emission of 107,000 tonnes of CO2 to the atmosphere, based on the energy mix of Spain.

Teléfonica: Also 100% renewable in other markets

The multinational is already fully renewable in other markets such as Germany, Brazil and the UK. This means that it is making progress towards its objective of 100% in all countries by 2030, which will mean a saving of around 6% on its energy bill, equivalent to 1.4% of its present revenues.

Worldwide, more than 50% of the electricity Telefónica uses is clean. It has stabilized its consumption despite a growth in traffic of 107% in the last three years, improving energy efficiency by 52% in the process, and this has been achieved two years before the target dates. In other words, the company is more efficient and consumes greener energy every year. This has led to Telefónica being part of “Lista A” del CDP, an organism that selects leading companies in the management of climate change.

Acciona: The biggest marketer of exclusively renewable energy

Through this contract, Acciona strengthens its business of the sale of energy to large clients in the Iberian Peninsula market, where is it already the biggest supplier of exclusively renewable energy with over 500 clients and 2,700 supply points. The associated volume of energy was 5,900 GWh in 2018, 11.3% up on the previous year.

Among Acciona’s renewable energy clients in the Iberian market are, as well as Telefónica, reference companies in a range of sectors such as Unilever, Bosch, Adif, Inditex, Basf, RTVE, Kellogs, Merck, Bimbo, Roca, Aena, Heinz, Asics, BT, Agrolimen, Volkswagen and the Prado, Reina Sofía and Thyssen-Bornemisza museums.

Source: Acciona

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A combination of high electricity tariffs, falling PV prices and a lack of reliability in the grid is spurring sales of on-site solar to business customers in Sub-Saharan Africa. This is the conclusion of a new report by research company BloombergNEF (BNEF), commissioned by responsAbility Investments AG, assessing the potential of commercial and industrial solar opportunities in the region.

The report entitled “Solar for Businesses in Sub-Saharan Africa” finds that the commercial and industrial (C&I) solar sector in Sub-Saharan Africa is growing not because of regulatory support – as has been the case in many developed economies – but because of economics. On-site solar power is cheaper than the electricity tariffs paid by commercial or industrial clients in 7 out of 15 markets in Sub-Saharan Africa (excluding South Africa) studied by BNEF.

While the market is still small, it has great potential. An immense energy deficit and crumbling infrastructure makes Sub-Saharan Africa fertile ground for solar. As of November 2018, developers built a record number of 74 MW serving business customers directly, offering them cheaper power than the grid. Kenya, Nigeria, and Ghana installed 15 MW, 20 MW, and 7 MW respectively as of November 2018.

BNEF_AFRICA

According to the authors, the financial sector has yet to take on a major role in providing funding for C&I solar systems. So far, most business customers have bought systems for cash, without using third-party finance. There are, however, big opportunities for specialized financiers in the region to do more.

responsAbility-managed funds have financed the off-grid solar sector in Sub-Saharan Africa for five years, focusing primarily on residential customers. The company expects solar to be increasingly deployed on C&I sites, where it often complements diesel power generation.

Electricity outages are commonplace across most of Sub-Saharan Africa. When the grid is out, customers must either shoulder high opportunity costs from lost sales or manufacturing output, or resort to much costlier backup power, usually from diesel. This is where financing solar installations can contribute to climate change mitigation by replacing fossil fuel.

responsAbility, in cooperation with the dedicated climate fund it manages, and the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), commissioned BNEF to identify and assess potential target markets for C&I solar in Sub-Saharan Africa. Following a desk-based regional study that identified three high-priority markets, BNEF conducted interviews with 36 stakeholders in those markets. Overall, stakeholders are optimistic about the future and BNEF expects 2019 to be a record year for the C&I industry.

Source: BloombergNEF

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Antonio Rodríguez Osuna, Mayor of Merida, and Luis Cid, OPDEnergy’s CEO, presented the details surrounding the PV plant denominated “La Fernandina”, whose construction shall start in the next few weeks in the municipality of Merida.

The PV plant will occupy an area of 100 hectares nearby the motorway of Alange and achieve a total power capacity of 50 MWp. The construction of La Fernandina will last for 9 months and require a total investment of 30 M€.

When in operation and connected to the grid at the end of 2019, La Fernandina will produce enough renewable energy to supply the equivalent of 26,000 households with electricity. According to parameters estimated and released by the Spanish Office for Climate Change (Oficina Española de Cambio Climático – OECC), such production will contribute to avoid the annual emission of 40,000 tons of CO2 into the atmosphere.

During the press conference from the city hall of Merida, the Mayor Antonio Rodríguez Osuna thanked the company for having chosen Mérida “for such important project that supposes a large investment and creation of employment, in addition the activity will generate an important economic return for the city in the future”.

Luis Cid Suárez, the CEO of OPDEnergy, which is specialized developing renewable energy assets in all stages (development, financing, construction and operation & maintenance), has publicly acknowledged the commitment deployed by the local authorities towards the production of renewable energy, “a commitment that made possible the project we are proud to present today”.

According to Cid, the construction of the plant will result in the creation of 200 new jobs at its peak. In addition, during the construction phase, the company will subcontract supporting services from local companies and the local community. In the Spanish Autonomous Community of Extremadura, OPDEnergy developed and built 8 solar photovoltaic plants with a total capacity of 32 MWp throughout its 13 years of activities.

Moreover, the company has projects to develop and invest in 4 new renewable assets in the region, amounting to over 500 MWp of capacity.

300 MWp in Spain in 2019

La Fernandina is one of the seven solar PV assets that OPDEnergy foresees to construct in 2019 in Spain. In total, these assets shall achieve a total capacity of 300 MWp. Therefore, besides the project presented in Merida, the international power company will bring to life 100 MWp in Andalusia – a 50 MWp plant in Puerto Real, Cadiz, and another 50 MWp plant in Alcalá de Guadaira, Sevilla –and 148 MWp in Aragon – through four assets amounting to 61 MWp in Zaragoza and 87 MWp in Teruel.

Outside Spain, the company will develop and construct a substantial amount of renewable energy projects across Mexico, Chile and the US, achieving the construction of a total of 500 MWp by the end of the year. Finally, and in line with its strategic focused on portfolio diversification, the company has under its pipeline the development of 5,000 MW (5 GW).

Source: OPDEnergy

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Acciona has been awarded the contract to supply electricity to the Bosch Group in Spain and Portugal for 2019−2021 (inclusive) for a volume of over 480 gigawatt-hours (GWh) for the entire period.

Under the contract, one of the biggest for the sale of energy to corporate clients signed to date by Acciona, the company will supply energy with a 100% renewable guarantee to all the centres of the Bosch Group in the Iberian Peninsula, where the technology and services multinational has more than 20 facilities and around 13,000 employees.

The use of the renewable energy arising from the contract will avoid the emission of more than 460,000 tonnes of CO2 to the atmosphere from coal-fired power stations, the main cause of the greenhouse effect and associated global warming.

“It is great news that the Bosch Group has renewed its faith in Acciona as a supplier of renewable energy by extending the scope of our cooperation to Portugal. We are delighted to contribute to its objectives of sustainability and bringing stability to its energy costs”, said Acciona Energía Energy Management Director Santiago Gómez Ramos.

6 TWh in Spain and Portugal

The operation strengthens Acciona’s growth in the marketing of renewable energy to corporate clients, in line with global trends in the sector.

Acciona supplies (or has supplied) renewable energy to more than five hundred companies and institutions from a wide range of sectors in Spain and Portugal, among them Telefónica, Unilever, Adif, Navantia, RTVE, Agrolimen, Freixenet, Bimbo, Merck and Basf, plus the El Prado, Reina Sofía and Thyssen-Bornemisza museums. The company expects to reach 6 terawatt-hours (TWh) this year, contracted with major clients in the Iberian market.

Its consolidated business in the Spanish market, where it is the first marketer of exclusively renewable energy and the leader in absolute terms after the conventional utilities, has been added to since 2015 through expansion into Portugal, with clients such as Vidrala, Repsol Polímeros, Volkswagen, Roca, Danone, Philip Morris or Hutchinson.

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Ingeteam has announced that a recent in-house R&D study allowed them to work out the optimal electrical power conversion designs for offshore wind turbines up to 15 MW. The research, taking into account the complex set of parameters at play in LCoE, enabled the company to develop a Medium Voltage Power Converter based on the parallelization of several conversion lines (core product) reaching up to the 15 MW power range. Ingeteam claims that its new design is the ideal solution for scaling up offshore turbine platforms and will present its converter and the associated research at the Global Wind Summit in Hamburg next month.

Ingeteam’s R&D study assessed the complex relationship between the cost of the power conversion stage and its reliability and maintainability metrics (MTBF and MTTR respectively[1]) to determine the lowest LCoE. Based on the study findings, Ingeteam found that the optimal solution for the offshore wind market is a Medium Voltage Power Converter based on the parallelization of several conversion lines (core product) reaching up to the 15 MW power range. The power conversion line designed by Ingeteam offers the best investment/availability ratio, with efficient operation, easy maintenance and improved reliability.

With current technologies, as well as the expected progress in materials and engineering integration, we think that offshore wind turbines will continue to rapidly increase their power capacity. Therefore, a robust medium voltage power converter has been developed focusing on a market that demands a low Levelized Cost of Energy (LCoE) without compromising quality or performance in wind turbine platforms that are continuously scaling up“, commented Ana Goyen, Director of Ingeteam Wind Energy.

Ingeteam’s new core product is capable of reaching the 15 MW power range and has been conceived considering the modularity of the system as a key feature. It therefore allows multiple solutions depending on customer requirements regarding the integration in the wind turbine. The design of the converter offers maintenance friendly characteristics with front access and withdrawable main components that directly contribute to minimize the OPEX related to the service of the wind turbine.

This medium voltage converter has been specially designed for the offshore market with fully enclosed cabinet and a liquid cooling system that guarantees the safe operation of the converter even in harsh environments. With efficiencies higher than >98% at rated operating conditions, the proposed solution contributes significantly to minimize the production losses of the wind turbine.

Ingeteam has developed the control algorithms of its full power converters to guarantee the fulfillment of the most demanding grid codes, such as, German EON-2006 and Indian CERC-CEA. Additionally, country-specific power quality requirements are fulfilled by applying advanced modulation strategies. Ingeteam’s medium voltage converter solution is able to control the torque of different types of generators (IG, PMG or EESG) with the highest performance dynamics but always remaining within winding and bearing limits. Finally, the control algorithms can be adapted to operate with single and multiphase stator generators in order to optimize the whole wind turbine solution.

[1] The availability depends on two metrics: Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF) and Mean Time Between Repair (MTTR). It grows with higher values of MTBF and lower values of MTTR. But there is also a direct relationship with costs as higher investments allow better materials or even the additions of redundancies, more advanced tools and optimal maintenance programmes.

Source: Ingeteam

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The European Investment Bank (EIB) is financing the innovation and development strategy that Velatia will drive forward in the electrical energy sector. EIB Vice-President Emma Navarro and Velatia’s CEO, Javier Ormazabal, today signed a EUR 32.5 million finance agreement that will enable the firm to incorporate new digital technologies into the products that it develops for electricity networks. The EU bank is providing this loan under the Investment Plan for Europe, known as the Juncker Plan.

Velatia is an industrial group that operates in two main areas: electricity distribution networks, via the firm Ormazabal, and telecommunications, headed by Ikusi. The EIB loan will enable the company, which is headquartered in Bilbao and has a presence in 19 countries, to improve its competitiveness in the face of the changes taking place in the energy sector. Ormazabal will drive forward projects in the areas of the automisation and digitisation of power grids, as well as the development of patents and products that enable it to enter new markets and gain new customers.

This EIB support for Ormazabal’s RDI programme will also have environmental benefits, helping to achieve the EU’s goal of decarbonising the energy system. Specifically, the project will make it possible to adapt the electricity distribution networks to a renewable and well-distributed energy mix and the electrification of transport. These aims will be achieved by developing technologies incorporating new electromechanical equipment and electronic hardware, communications systems provided with new cyber-security solutions and innovative power grid management software.

This agreement will help to safeguard quality employment and create new jobs in the firm’s RDI division. The loan is backed by the Investment Plan for Europe, which enables the EIB to finance projects that have particular value added and a higher risk profile owing to their structure or nature.

This loan makes clear the EIB’s firm commitment to supporting innovation by firms operating in highly competitive sectors that consequently need heavy investment to secure their future” said EIB Vice-President Emma Navarro at the signing ceremony. “We are therefore delighted to be signing an agreement that will benefit both the Spanish and the European economy by facilitating the development of new power sector products that will boost competitiveness and contribute to climate action”.

Our commitment to RDI is part of Velatia and of course Ormazabal’s DNA. We are facing different challenges that at the same time represent opportunities, and this is why we are committed to digitisation and sustainability as marks of our identity. The working areas in which Ormazabal is engaged are therefore energy efficiency and the development of technologies that enable achievement of the decarbonisation objectives set for Europe”, said Javier Ormazabal, Velatia’s CEO.

RDI financing

Innovation and skills development are fundamental ingredients for ensuring sustainable growth and quality job creation. Both play a key role in achieving long-term competitiveness. Financing innovation is therefore one of the EIB’s top priorities. In 2017, the EU bank provided EUR 13.8 billion for financing different RDI projects.

In Spain alone, last year the EIB supported the innovation projects of Spanish businesses with loans worth EUR 1.446 billion. This figure represents a 67% increase on its lending in this sector the previous year. Overall, the EIB Group dedicated 13% of its financing in Spain to promoting corporate RDI.

Source: European Investment Bank (EIB)

Cars equipped with electric engines or other alternative drives are making major inroads. Scientists at the Centre for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research Baden-Württemberg (ZSW) set out to develop a suitable filling station for these vehicles. Launched in mid-February 2018, this project goes to create a fuel ‘pump’ for the future. This dispenser is to deliver renewable electrical power, hydrogen and methane in the most efficient, cost-effective and purpose-driven way possible. The Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy is funding this project with around €1.3 million. It will run for five years as part QUARREE 100, an initiative to test an urban quarter’s fully renewable power supply.

Vehicular mobility is sure to change markedly in the years ahead. Far more cars running on electricity sourced from wind and the sun will soon be out on the road. The same goes for fuel cell vehicles powered with renewable hydrogen and natural gas vehicles that run on methane, another climate-friendly fuel produced using solar power. The network of charging points and hydrogen filling stations is expanding on a massive scale. Some stations furnish both electricity and hydrogen, but none dispenses electrical power, hydrogen and methane. ZSW aims to change that with this project.

Tiered use of renewable energy

What the Stuttgart-based scientists have in mind is to develop a multi-energy dispenser. The idea is to use the grid to charge electric cars’ batteries with renewable electricity sourced from wind power plants and the like. A large stationary battery will store unused power when supply is greater than demand, and dispense it when demand is greater than supply. “If the battery is full and recharging electric cars cannot deplete it, this green electricity will be converted into hydrogen in a second step,” says ZSW’s Dr. Ulrich Zuberbühler by way of explanation. Fuel cell vehicles run on this type of energy. And if hydrogen production exceeds demand, the surplus gas goes into a storage tank.

Tomorrow’s filling station will include third stage to produce methane when the hydrogen storage tank is full and demand from fuel cell cars is low. Carbon dioxide will then be added to the hydrogen to convert into methane. Both gases react to a catalyst to form methane. This fuel is the main component of natural gas, so natural gas cars can readily use it. If refueling cars do not deplete the methane supply, the surplus gas is stored and then piped into the natural gas grid when the storage tank fills up.

With our project, the coupling of the electrical grid with mobility will not be limited to electric cars,” explains Zuberbühler. “The other alternative drives will also benefit from it.”

ZSW’s researchers are talking about tiered use of renewable energy. Their priority is to make the most of resources by minimizing energy losses. Stage one is the first choice and remains so until its potential is exhausted. The most efficient use of regenerative electricity is to power electric motors. None of the energy is lost in translation, and battery storage loss amounts to no more than ten percent. Stages two and three—conversion to hydrogen and then methanation—are only an option once demand for electrical power has been met. Electrical power can be converted to hydrogen at around 75 percent efficiency; the figure for methane is roughly 60 percent. These gases are long-term, zero-loss stores of energy. Efficiency increases by a few percentage points when the waste heat generated during the conversion process is put to use.

zsw-2

Efforts to enhance components

With this project, ZSW aims to improve the efficiency, service life and cost-effectiveness of the two main components, a high-pressure alkaline electrolyzer and a plate methanation reactor. Scientists want to advance the state of the art for both on a 100-kilowatt scale. Electrolysis and methane synthesis will have to take place separately, which requires some form of hydrogen buffer or intermediate storage facility. The institute will develop a concept for this and assess its safety.

The researchers have three years to develop the technology, work out a safety concept and clarify all the details for approval. The results will be tested at an on-site demo facility starting in 2020.

Stepping up ‘sector coupling’

Green electricity accounts for around a third of the power in Germany’ grid, and its share is growing. This figure expected to rise to 65 percent by 2030. Off-grid use—for example, in electric cars and as an alternative fuel—would help make the transportation sector more climate-friendly. Little progress has been made on this front. The alternative fuels hydrogen and methane also have great advantages. They can serve as chemical media for long-term, loss-free energy storage. On top of that, they can be fed into Germany’s natural gas grid and used to heat buildings without leaving a carbon footprint. The term coined to describe this convergence of electricity, fuel and heating across industries is sector coupling.

The funding for this project is part of a joint initiative of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research and the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs to promote solar in building projects and energy-efficient urban development.

The Zentrum für Sonnenenergie- und Wasserstoff-Forschung Baden-Württemberg (Centre for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research Baden-Württemberg, ZSW) is one of the leading institutes for applied research in the areas of photovoltaics, renewable fuels, battery technology, fuel cells and energy system analysis. There are currently around 235 scientists, engineers and technicians employed at ZSW’s three locations in Stuttgart, Ulm and Widderstall. In addition, there are 90 research and student assistants.

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