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Energy trends and scope is your weekly brief of some of the major happenings within the battery and energy storage ecosystem, covering the EU and Beyond.

This issue brings you highlights from the European sustainable energy week, energy communities and hydrogen trains and as well Toyota's move towards Solid-state Batteries

Energy storage key to sustainable electricity future

Stakeholders at the European sustainable energy week. Europe's biggest event on renewable and efficient energy storage in Europe. Has highlighted the importance of energy storage technology in ensuring the much-needed flexibility, stability and reliability of the energy systems of the future.

At the end of its 3-day event, stakeholders concluded on the need for systems flexibility in the EU's electricity system, according to the keynote speaker: Beatriz Sinobas the team leader for energy security and electricity at the European Commission, DG Energy

The energy system of the future, which delivers on targets for climate neutrality, is a system that is going to have new needs, special needs. It’s a system that is going to need stability, flexibility and reliability in a different manner than the system that we know.

Sinobas reiterated, that there is going to be a significant increase, “ if we are to have a higher penetration of variable renewables, for which we have very ambitious targets. There are studies that suggest the need for flexibility increases exponentially as the penetration of renewables passes 74%.”

It further revealed that systems flexibility is inevitable in the EU's electricity system, with renewable energy expected to reach around 67% growth by 2030 and 80% by 2050.

Energy Communities, Hydrogen Trains and Photosynthesis

Finnish energy distributor Caruna has launched a two-year pilot programme in Joensuu, in partnership with Karelia University of Applied Sciences and North Karelian Sähkö, to create a virtual energy community.

The pilot will connect two student residences, with one fitted with solar panels and energy generated shared between the two. Current legislation only allows energy communities for properties located at the same address and with the same electricity connection, however, this pilot will test the possibility of virtual energy communities with sites located at different addresses, potentially opening up their potential even further. Caruna aims to encourage the acquisition of renewable energy sources to achieve Finland’s climate goals.

Hydrogen Train in Quebec

Quebec rail operator Réseau Charlevoix has launched North America's first green hydrogen-powered train, the Coradia iLint from Alstom. The two-carriage train runs from Parc de la Chute Montmorency in Quebec City to Baie-St-Paul, a distance of approximately two hours along the St Lawrence River. The initiative, which has the support of the Quebec government, is aimed at assessing the commercial operation of the train and developing an ecosystem for hydrogen propulsion technology in the North American market. The Coradia iLint has a top speed of 140 km/hr and has the acceleration and braking performance of a standard regional diesel train but without noise and emissions.

Photosynthesis for Life Support in Outer Space

Scientists from the University of Warwick and Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne have evaluated the performance of semiconductor-based artificial intelligence systems for hydrogen production using photosynthesis in lunar and Martian conditions. The research found that tandem-junction photo absorber cells are the most effective configurations for these environments when examining realistic long-term solar-to-chemical conversion efficiencies. The technology could provide ample oxygen production and carbon dioxide recycling on both the Moon and Mars, potentially contributing to the realization of human space exploration. However, there are many challenges to overcome before deployment in these harsh environments, and the potential research environment is the polar regions on Earth...

Toyota Breakthrough in Solid-state battery technology

Japanese Automaker Toyota, announced at the start of the week that it has simplified the production of the material used to make solid-state Batteries, with claims that its new breakthrough is capable of cutting the charging time of Electric Vehicles and improving the driving range on a single charge

Speaking Further, Its spokesperson, Keiji Kaita, president of the Toyota Research and development centre for carbon neutrality. that For both our liquid and our solid-state batteries, they are aiming to drastically change the situation where current batteries are too big, heavy and expensive. In terms of potential, we will aim to halve all of these factors.”

He added that his company has developed ways to make batteries more durable, and believed it could now make a solid-state battery with a range of 1,200 km (745 miles) that could charge in 10 minutes or less and would be simpler to manufacture than a conventional lithium-ion battery.

Many in the sector have been critical of Toyota's reluctance to make a concrete effort into transitioning into electric vehicle manufacturing, but just last month, Toyota announced that “its next-generation battery EVs will adopt new batteries, through which they are determined to become a world leader in battery EV energy consumption.

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