Lazard's latest cost analysis of renewables and storage is a mixed bag.

An Australian team is looking to commercialize a large-scale sodium battery technology, despite the chemistry’s long and checkered history. 

Researchers at the University of Wollongong (UOW), New South Wales, are developing a 5-kilowatt-hour sodium-ion battery pack that can be used for stationary storage applications, according to the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA).

A 30-kilowatt-hour battery system is due to be tested alongside solar panels at a Sydney Water sewage pumping station in 2019, said ARENA, which has put AUD $2.7 million (USD $2.1 million) into developing the technology. 

Before then, a single 5-kilowatt-hour battery will debut in a UOW sustainable home showcase called the Illawarra Flame

Between 2006 and 2016, China evolved from a bit player in solar panel manufacturing to a behemoth. In the process, it sparked a global boom in renewable energy and created a huge domestic industry.

India now finds itself in a position to do something similar for renewable energy minigrids  --  if the government seizes the opportunity.

The microgrid market has massive potential. According to various estimates, it is expected to double by 2022, reaching between $23 billion to $39 billion, depending on the source. Similarly, minigrids (basically smaller-capacity microgrids) are gaining traction in growth economies in Africa and Asia, and are expected to play a major role in

Batteries are hot. But venture funding for battery technologies has cooled.

In a recent paper, researchers documented the difficulties faced by battery startups. Of the 36 battery startups since 2000 that have received $500,000 or more of venture funding, only half achieved early commercialization, as evidenced by pilot-scale manufacturing or corporate partnerships. 

The study’s authors found that only two companies had returned investor capital -- a reason why so many venture capitalists have lost interest in materials, chemicals and process startups.

Source: MRS Energy & Sustainability

The barriers to success ware many: high upfront capital requirements, intellectual property claims, stringent

What Grid Regulation Could Learn From the Food Sector

A new report on possible reforms to the U.K.'s electricity sector draws inspiration from an unusual source: the food industry.

ReShaping Regulation, a study by policy expert Laura Sandys, in partnership with Professor Richard Green and Senior Research Fellow Jeff Hardy from Imperial College, London, aims to show how energy consumption could become as flexible as supermarket shopping given the right regulatory framework.

“We wanted to start with a blank sheet of paper and say: ‘How did other sectors go from a clunky utility model to a distributed, energetic, entrepreneurial and innovative model?’,” said Sandys, an energy policy adviser who is also deputy chair of

Beginning in January, developers will have to include rooftop gardens on new buildings larger than 25,000 square feet

Neither the city's mayor nor the Chamber of Commerce liked the idea, but Denver voters on Tuesday approved a measure that will require developers of buildings larger than 25,000 square feet to include rooftop gardens in their plans.

The Denver Green RoofRoof system in which living plants are maintained in a growing medium using a membrane and drainage system. Green roofs can reduce storm-water runoff, moderate temperatures in and around the building (by providing insulation and reducing heat island effect), as well as provide a habitat for wildlife and recreational space for humans. When properly constructed, green roofs can increase roof durability because the roof assembly’s air and water barriers are buffered from temperature fluctuations and UV exposure. Initiative, appearing on the ballot as Initiated Ordinance 300, passed by a narrow margin in early returns — a little more than 4,000 votes or 4 percentage points — but the gap appeared to be holding. Backers of the grassroots effort to get the measure before voters said it looked as though they would eke out a win.

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Zuckerberg's law has made it to the energy industry.

In 2008, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg told the Web 2.0 Summit, “I would expect that next year, people will share twice as much information as they share this year, and the next year, they will be sharing twice as much as they did the year before.”

Coming from the 24-year-old founder of a nascent startup, this claim might have seemed ridiculous. But it had a ring to it. The media declared it "Zuckerberg’s law" based on its similarity to Moore’s law -- Intel co-founder Gordon Moore’s theory of the predictable doubling of processing power over

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We are a privately-owned Qatari company established in June 2011 and operating from Doha, Qatar.

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