2012 THE INTERNATIONAL YEAR OF SUSTAINABLE ENERGY FOR ALL
In recognising the importance of energy access for sustainable economic development and supporting the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals, the United Nations General Assembly has marked 2012 as the International Year of Sustainable Energy for All. Speakers talking at the annual Africa Energy Indaba taking place at the Sandton Convention Centre from February 21 to 23, 2012 discussed topics such as: Which renewable technologies are the real options for Africa, To what extent is energy regulation hindering or enabling African development and How do we ensure and prioritise energy security for economic development amongst other related topics.
“The International Year of Sustainable Energy for All reminds us that sustainable energy is closely related to sustainable development. Africa’s millennium development goals have placed the end of hunger and poverty as well as environmental sustainability high on the agenda. As such we have to continuously remind ourselves that access to sustainable energy is a basic human right that can be attained in our lifetime. We need to think out of the box and take advantage of our renewable energy sources that are abundant on the continent in order to reach these goals,” says Africa Energy Indaba Managing Director Liz Hart.
About three billion people globally still rely on wood, coal, charcoal or animal waste for cooking and heating. In our current global economy this is unsustainable.
Poverty continues to plague many of Africa’s nations yet access to sustainable electricity can go a long way in improving the living conditions of the majority of the world’s population. Governments and the private sector have to realise the urgency of increasing their investments in sustainable energy technology as part of a larger effort to combat climate change.
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Christoph Frei, Secretary General of the World Energy Council added: “The World Energy Council formally supports the UN “Year of Sustainable Energy For All”. We are working closely with the UN to promote the energy access agenda and have agreed a way forward with the Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon. Secure, affordable and clean energy is a fundamental enabler to deliver sustainable development and WEC is playing a tangible role by involving its network of over 3000 organizations from the public and private sector in this agenda. The World Energy Congress in 2013 and regional meetings like the Africa Energy Indaba are important platforms for dialogue and cooperation to achieve a sustainable energy future for all.”
South Africa has made remarkable progress in widening access to electricity. Prior to 1990, less than a third of the country’s households had access. A decade later that proportion has doubled however, more needs to be done in order to meet the initial targets set by government.
General Assembly’s Resolution 65/151 has called on UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to organise and coordinate activities that will take place during the course of the year. This is all an attempt to increase awareness and stress the importance of addressing energy issues as well as access to - and sustainability of - affordable energy and energy efficiency at local, national, regional and international levels.
The Sustainable Energy for All initiative will mobilise action from governments, the private sector, and civil society partners globally. The Secretary-General has set three inter-linked objectives namely including universal access to modern energy services, improved rates of energy efficiency, and expanded use of renewable energy sources.
This he hopes will provide a vital advocacy platform for raising awareness of the global energy challenge.
Edited by Carin Hall
Issued by: Siyenza Management
Sakuu Corporation creates 3D printer for EV batteries
Sakuu Corporation has announced a new industrial-grade 3D printer for e-mobility batteries which it claims will unlock the mainstream adoption of electric vehicles.
Offering an industrial scale ‘local’ battery production capability, Sakuu believes the technology will provide increased manufacturer and consumer confidence. Sakuu’s Alpha Platform for its initial hardware offering will be available in Q4.
Backed by Japanese automotive parts supplier to major OEMs, Musashi Seimitsu, Sakuu is set to enable fast and high-volume production of 3D printed solid-state batteries (SSBs) that, compared with lithium-ion batteries, have the same capacity yet are half the size and almost a third lighter.
The company’s KeraCel-branded SSBs will also use around 30%-50% fewer materials – which can be sourced locally – to achieve the same energy levels as lithium-ion options, significantly reducing production costs. Sakuu anticipates the 3D printer’s attributes being easily transferable to a host of different applications in other industry sectors.
"For the e-mobility markets specifically, we believe this to be a landmark achievement, and one that could transform consumer adoption of electric vehicles,” said Robert Bagheri, Founder, CEO and chairman, Sakuu Corporation. “SSBs are a holy grail technology, but they are both very difficult and expensive to make. By harnessing the flexibility and efficiency-enhancing capabilities of our unique and scalable AM process, we’re enabling battery manufacturers and EV companies to overcome these fundamental pain points."
The ability to provide on-demand, localised production will create more efficient manufacturing operations and shorter supply chains, he added.
Sakuu will initially focus on the two-, three- and smaller four-wheel electric vehicle market for whom the company’s SSB proposition delivers an obvious and desirable combination of small form factor, low weight and improved capacity benefits. The agility of Sakuu’s AM process also means that customers can easily switch production to different battery types and sizes, as necessary, for example to achieve double the energy in the same space or the same energy in half the space.
Beyond energy storage, Sakuu’s development of print capability opens complex end device markets previously closed off to current 3D printing platforms. These include active components like sensors and electric motors for aerospace and automotive; power banks and heatsinks for consumer electronics; PH, temperature and pressure sensors within IoT; and pathogen detectors and microfluidic devices for medical, to name a few.
"As a cheaper, faster, local, customisable and more sustainable method of producing SSBs – which as a product deliver much higher performance attributes than currently available alternatives – the potential of our new platform offers tremendous opportunities to users within energy, as well as a multitude of other markets," said Bagheri.
Ongoing research and new funding collaborations
Omega Seiki, a part of Anglian Omega Group of companies, has partnered with New York-based company C4V to introduce SSBs for EVs and the renewable sector in India. As part of an MoU, the two companies are also looking at the manufacturing of SSBs in the country, according to reports.
Solid Power, which produces solid-state batteries for electric vehicles, recently announced a $130 million Series B investment round led by the BMW Group, Ford Motor Company and Volta Energy Technologies. Ford and the BMW Group have also expanded existing joint development agreements with Solid Power to secure all solid-state batteries for future EVs. Solid Power plans to begin producing automotive-scale batteries on the company's pilot production line in early 2022.
"Solid-state battery technology is important to the future of electric vehicles, and that's why we're investing directly," said Ted Miller, Ford's manager of Electrification Subsystems and Power Supply Research. "By simplifying the design of solid-state versus lithium-ion batteries, we'll be able to increase vehicle range, improve interior space and cargo volume, deliver lower costs and better value for customers and more efficiently integrate this kind of solid-state battery cell technology into existing lithium-ion cell production processes."
A subsidiary of Vingroup, Vietnam’s largest private company, Vinfast has signed an MoU with SSB manufacturer ProLogium - which picked up a bronze award at the recent Edison Awards - to accelerate commercialisation of batteries for EVs (click here).
Xin Li, Associate Professor of Materials Science, Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, is designing an SSB for ultra-high performance EV applications. The ultimate goal is to design a battery "that outperforms internal combustion engines so electrical vehicles accelerate the transition from fossil-fuel-based energy to renewable energy," according to The Harvard Gazette.
The dramatic increase in EV numbers means that the potential battery market is huge. McKinsey projects that by 2040 battery demand from EVs produced in Europe will reach a total of 1,200GWh per year, which is enough for 80 gigafactories with an average capacity of 15GWh per year.