General overview
China is both the world’s biggest clean energy investor and the world’s largest CO2 emitter. It is on track to becoming the world’s renewable energy superpower: China is the world’s largest producer, exporter and installer of solar panels, wind turbines, batteries and electric vehicles.

Even though renewable energy investments declined from $122 billion in 2017 to $86 billion in 2018, China still has by far the largest capacity. It also has a clear lead in terms of the underlying technology, with well over 150,000 renewable energy patents as of 2016, 29% of the global total. The next closest country is the U.S., which had a little over 100,000 patents, with Japan and the E.U. having close to 75,000 patents each.

The share of non-fossil fuels in China’s total electricity mix is on course to hit 32-34% in 2020. With increasing demand, China added about 40 GW of solar and 40 GW of coal in 2019. There is a lot of room for renewable energy, since coal’s share in China’s primary energy mix was still 58% in 2018 and electricity demand keeps growing. Weiterlesen

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The Ministerial Plenary Session on Hydropower, held at the 10th General Assembly (GA) of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) on 12 January 2020, was a key success for the Swiss delegation. Switzerland, together with the International Hydropower Association (IHA), the World Bank, Norway and other IRENA member countries, co-organized the Ministerial Plenary Session. It built on the first ever IRENA Hydropower Event, which was initiated by Switzerland and took place at the 9th GA in January 2019. Weiterlesen

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In Switzerland, there are three regions under discussion for the construction of deep geological repositories for radioactive waste: Jura Ost (AG), Nördlich Lägern (AG, ZH) and Zurich Nordost (TG, ZH). The places where the repositories will be built in the end should, according to current opinion, remain recognizable over a very long period of time and knowledge about the deep geological repositories should be passed on over thousands of generations. Weiterlesen

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India is on it’s way to creating a strong, emergent economy defined by high quality research, tech advancements, a robust digital infrastructure, and a young, tech savvy generation with an entrepreneurial mindset. Weiterlesen

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The transformation of the electricity market is in full swing: Large amounts of renewable, decentralized energy sources are being developed and consumers are becoming more and more prosumers, who «optimize» themselves. Weiterlesen

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Every year, up to 60 young students and researchers applying from across the world are selected to attend the IEAGHG Summer School on Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS), where they can get to know experts in the field, listen to their presentations and interrogate them in open discussions. Weiterlesen

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The ReFlex project aims at developing a replicability guideline for the deployment of technologically feasible, market based and user-friendly solutions for smart grids with a high level of flexibility. The focus was put on smart grid pilot projects with high level of renewable energy production, which are effectively and efficiently used locally through mixes of measures from voltage regulation, demand response, energy management and storage. Drawing on the learning experience among ReFlex partners, replicability-guidelines were elaborated to support the demo regions and the wider group of European smart grid stakeholders in deploying and advancing their smart grid initiatives. The project released the ReFlex Guidebook, a document that includes guidelines for the replicability of solutions for flexible smart grids. Weiterlesen

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Worldwide Living Labs are increasingly adopted to address urban challenges. They are projects or experiments devised to design, test and learn from innovative socio-technical practices (i.e. “new ways of doing something”), with a diversity of stakeholders and in real-life conditions. However, they tend to focus on small-scale performance tests or technology-user interactions, and are mostly neglecting the larger social-institutional context that surrounds them. Weiterlesen

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With the current developments in energy policy and climate change, there is an urgent need to increase both electricity production and storage capacities from renewables in Switzerland. The ongoing glacier retreat offers opportunities for new storage lakes and corresponding new hydropower schemes in the Alps (Figure 1). The hydropower potential of such new reservoirs in locations which are expected to become ice-free has been systematically examined in a recent research project in the scope of the National Research Programme 70 of the Swiss National Science Foundation. Weiterlesen

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The Swiss company Insolight is taking a whole new approach to creating high-efficiency solar modules for the rooftop market. Its patented optical system concentrates light onto an array of tiny spacegrade multi-junction photovoltaic cells. While today’s rooftop standard modules typically show an efficiency of 17-19%, Insolight’s pre-production module has been validated at an impressive 29% by the Universidad Politécinica de Madrid (IES-UPM), two years after a first record on a lab prototype. The company based at the EPFL Innovation Park has taken a decisive step towards industrialization with its first pre-production full-size series, cost-effective and compatible with existing assembly equipment.

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