Clean Transport & Energy News Roundup (Molten Silicon, BMW Electric Motorcycle, Plug-N-Play Microgrids…)

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In this edition of the clean transport and energy news roundup, we’ve got stories about molten silicon as energy storage medium, the first utility-scale solar installation on Native American land, the largest solar install in New Mexico, a plug-and-play containerized microgrid system, the “two-wheeled tour de force” BMW Motorrad Vision Next 100, and more.

[CleanTechnica isn’t the only Important Media site to cover clean energy & transport news, and if you’re looking for more stories on electric mobility, bicycles, solar and wind energy, and other related issues, we’ve got them at sites such as Solar Love, CleanTechies, Planetsave, Bikocity, Gas2, and EV Obsession. We also host a large cleantech group on LinkedIn, called CleanTechies Around The World.]

Researchers in Spain are exploring the possibility of using molten silicon as an energy storage medium:

Researchers at the Solar Energy Institute of the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid are working on technology they say that molten silicon is far more efficient than molten salt. It is able to store 1 MWh of energy per cubic meter — 10 times the capacity of molten salt. The researchers say molten silicon is more abundant and less expensive than molten salt.

The Public Utility Authority (PUA) of Israel has announced it plans to issue more than 1GW of a new solar tender following a two-year hiatus from any new solar development.

Moapa Band of Paiute Indians is first US tribe to get utility-scale solar:

The first ever utility-scale solar project on Native American Indian trust lands was approved in 2012. Now nearing completion, the 250-megawatt (MW) Moapa Southern Paiute Solar photovoltaic (PV) facility will produce enough power to supply 100,000 homes. The power will serve customers of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power under a 25-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA).

A 140 MW New Mexico solar project was dedicated, making it the largest in the state.

Denmark and Germany are cooperating on a cross-border auction for ground-mounted photovoltaic installations:

This cross-border auction is based on an agreement signed in July this year between Germany and Denmark on the mutual opening up of auctions for ground-mounted photovoltaic installations operating under the aegis of the Cross-border Renewable Energy Ordinance. Denmark is planning an auction for ground-mounted photovoltaic installations this year in which bids from sites in Germany can also participate.

In the UK, data has been transmitted over the national electrical grid for the first time ever.

Taiwan VP is committed to target of generating 20% of the nation’s electricity from renewable sources by 2025:

To achieve its target, the government plans a substantial investment of NT$1.2 trillion (US$38 billion). The investment target is increasing the nation’s solar power capacity to 20 gigawatts, or 250 billion kilowatt-hours.

New plug-and-play containerized microgrid systems announced by ABB:

The containerized systems can be delivered quickly and efficiently to any location where a microgrid is needed. Each includes a battery for energy storage, power inverter, and ABB’s dedicated Microgrid Plus control system. The entire package can be managed wireless via a cloud based control system.

EDF Energies Nouvelles & Canadian Solar begin 191.5 MW solar farm in Brazil

Will nuclear subsidies help kill UK solar?:

Is the UK solar industry dying due to the ramping up of nuclear subsidies in the country? Finally giving the green light to the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station, the UK Government has ended months of uncertainty surrounding this controversial new project. In spite of wide evidence that renewable energy will be cheaper, cleaner, less dangerous, and more reliable, British taxpayers will now be forced to buy Hinkley Point’s nuclear energy (if and when it comes online) at a guaranteed price of a whopping £92.50 per megawatt hour for a full 35 years, no matter how much the wholesale price of power declines during that term.

The 2017 Mercedes S550e will come equipped with wireless charging.

Will the next-generation Beetle be electric and feature a rear-mounted drivetrain?:

Interestingly, Volkswagen used rear motors in many models until the late 1960s — the original Beetle used one, for instance. Will Volkswagen be shifting back to use of rear motors/drivetrains?

It’s “Batman meets Mad Max,” in an electric BMW motorcycle:

Earlier this year is presented its Vision Next 100 sedan concept, a car meant to commemorate the company’s first 100 years in business and offer a glimpse at what the future of transportation might look like. Now BMW has applied the same treatment to motorcycles. The result is the Motorrad Vision Next 100, a two wheeled tour de force that looks like it is leaping toward a distant apex while standing still.

The self-driving vehicle solutions firm Clearpath Robotics has announced the successful completion of a new $30 million round of investment, in order to expand its industrial division.

Robert Murray, of Murray Energy, tries to take a swing at Elon. Oops:

On Monday, Murray appeared on CNBC’s Squak Box and lambasted Elon Musk and Tesla for taking $2 billion from taxpayers without earning “a penny yet in cash flow.” He ended his rant by declaring that “Tesla is a fraud.” Elon Musk is not one to suffer such insults lightly. Shortly after Murray made his remarks, Musk took to Twitter to poke Murray in the eye for his rapaciousness and stupidity.

A new report looks at 50 world cities and tries to predict how the switch to electric cars, use of car sharing services, and the arrival of driverless vehicles will impact the quality of life in urban areas in the future.

Christopher DeMorro is back.

And ICYMI, Jo is back.

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Derek Markham

Derek lives in southwestern New Mexico and digs bicycles, simple living, fungi, organic gardening, sustainable lifestyle design, bouldering, and permaculture. He loves fresh roasted chiles, peanut butter on everything, and buckets of coffee.

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