EU Clean investment plan

The EU is unveiling a new plan for investing in renewable energy, to the tune of 21 billion euros. The thought is that it is hoped to spur private investment. Not sure if the 15:1 ratio they're hoping for is realistic though - European investors will need a little more risk tolerance for that to happen. At the center of the new investment plan is the €21 billion (£16.5 billion) European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) — which will see money provided to “higher-risk projects” that could possibly fuel growth and aid in the creation of new jobs. read more

Graphene for Fuel Cells

So apparently single protons (hydrogen minus the electron) can pass through graphene, previously thought to be impermeable. So far graphene has really lacked a "killer" application - maybe fuel cells could be it? Fuel cells, used in some modern cars, use oxygen and hydrogen as fuel and convert the input chemical energy into electricity. But a major problem is that the fuels leak across the existing proton membranes, "poisoning" the process and reducing the cells' efficiency -- something Geim said could be overcome using graphene. read more

Energy Storage excitement in Texas

A Texas company has recently announced a huge energy storage project, planning almost 5,000MW of power around the state. If successful, this would increase energy storage capacity by an order of magnitude, all while being on the same state grid. This could be an interesting model for the UK. Texas is one of the few places in the US where transmission/distribution and generation are legally mandated to be separate. However, that model is ubiquitous in the UK. The business incentives proposed to make such a storage project economically feasible would make an interesting proposal for the UK as well. read more