Tag Archives: storage

New energy storage facilities in high demand in Germany | Business | Economic and financial news from a German perspective | DW | Instant News

In Germany, 42% of total electricity generation comes from renewable sources. Nuclear energy accounts for just over 12% of the mix, with 28% of the total coming from coal-fired power plants.

As the country’s energy transition begins, The coal-fired station will close by 2038 at the latest. This is the power plant that has so far reliably balanced all fluctuations in the power grid.

However, wind and solar power plants are not always able to provide the required amount of electricity all the time due to weather and seasonal conditions.

But when renewables provide more than enough power at any given time, it ideally needs to be saved for rainy days. To do that, many companies rely on large battery facilities using old or new batteries from electric vehicles. Three such facilities are located in the western German state of North Rhine-Westphalia.

The Smart III battery is suitable for creating power storage facilities

Termination of employment can be fatal

Even a drop in the frequency of a small line from 50 hertz to 47 hertz could have serious consequences for the German power grid and potentially lead to blackouts. They can occur during periods of prolonged weak winds and cloudy skies in the winter months, This means that there is not enough power coming from solar and wind power generation while demand remains high.

This is why high capacity battery storage facilities are seen as a critical component of a successful energy transition that leads to greater use of renewable energy. “Such storage technology has huge potential,” Alexa Velten of the EnergyAgency.NRW service provider told DW.

Cheap electricity – electricity is expensive

It’s a technology that benefits the operator. Excessive electricity from renewable energy can be bought relatively cheaply and sold on demand at a good profit.

Velten said it took no more than an hour to get 12 megawatt-hours of capacity. It can be put on the grid as fast as and almost nothing is lost in between. “The self-discharge rate from such a storage facility is only around 4% to 5% per month.”

Systems developer from Munich

Munich-based systems developer The Mobility House (THM) is heavily involved in such a storage project. At Werdohl-Elvering, on an abandoned coal-fired power plant site, THM and partners such as Daimler combine 2,000 lithium-ion modules from 600 Smart electric cars to create a power storage plant with a capacity of 10 megawatt-hours.

Combined wind and solar power generation in Germany

Energy from renewable sources needs to be stored in an efficient manner

A disabled power plant provides infrastructure required a very large power storage facility, on top of all existing power lines. North Rhine-Westphalia has many such sites and therefore suitable for storage facilities.

German utility company RWE has taken advantage of Herdecke’s existing power line infrastructure, which was previously home to pumped storage power plants. Meanwhile, the company is installing a 7 megawatt-hour battery array.

Batteries from Tesla

Yet another storage site is in Lünen where waste management company Remondis is helping build 13 megawatt-hours of capacity from 1,000 used car batteries.

Here they use a battery from Tesla, the so-called second-use battery, which the automaker originally made for the first E-Smart. Alexa Velten says the use of these old batteries in storage facilities “extends their life by up to 10 years.” Only then do they have to be recycled.

But they will have to be recycled at some point, explaining Remondis’ interest in the project – batteries contains valuable amounts of rare earths.

Whether first use or second use – both are capable of storing power from renewable energy. Their demand is sure to soar as more and more coal-fired power plants are disconnected from the grid in Germany.

At the same time, the search for alternative feedstocks for battery production continues, according to Velten. This is because the rare earths needed today to manufacture lithium-ion batteries are not only rare but also very expensive.

This article is adapted from German.


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Police oversee Billy TK’s controversial ‘freedom rally’ outside the beehive | Instant News

Police and security were on standby this afternoon, as nearly 100 protesters gathered outside Parliament for a “demonstration of freedom,” led by controversial political figure Billy Te Kahika.

Te Kahika is flanked by her personal security, which she brings to the protest.

Among the many signs – the most critical of the Government, the lockdown and the United Nations – are Donald Trump’s flags.

One of the protesters said he was "love Trump" and the rally was on a number of issues.  Photo / wall of Jason
One of the protesters said he “loves Trump” and the rally was about a number of issues. Photo / wall of Jason

One protester told the Herald this morning that they “love Trump” – which appears to be a sentiment shared among a number of gathered.

Others at the protest carried the pink “Women for Trump” flag.

Before the protests began, Māori board chairman Matthew Tukaki labeled it an “alt-right, this is pro-Trump” event that had nothing to do with freedom.

Nonetheless, neither Te Kahika nor any of the speakers mentioned Trump, impeachment or anything to do with US politics.

Their comments were mostly aimed at the Government – objecting to the lockdown and questioning the effectiveness of the Covid-19 vaccine.

Clinical trials for vaccines are underway – medical officials around the world have urged people to get Covid-19 vaccinated to protect against the spread of the virus.

Te Kahika co-chairs the Advance NZ party, which won 1 percent of the total votes in the 2020 elections.

In light of last week’s raid of the US Capitol and the arrest of someone who broke a window in the New Zealand Parliament with an ax yesterday, there has been increased security at the protest.

Protesters started gathering outside Parliament for a 'freedom rally' this afternoon.  Photo / Jason Walls
Protesters started gathering outside Parliament for a ‘freedom rally’ this afternoon. Photo / Jason Walls

Parliamentary security is enforced and there are police officers scattered around the Parliament grounds.

A police spokesman said they had been informed of the planned protest at the beehive, and were in contact with protest organizers.

“The role of the police is to ensure security and enforce the law, while recognizing the legal right to protest.”

They added that the police would recognize the legal right to protest, but were “ready to respond to any issues that arise”.

But Te Kahika brought his own security following him as he spoke to his supporters, and stood by as he spoke.

The protests were peaceful and non-violent – but speakers made a number of comments about Covid-19 that have been widely debunked.

After a few speeches their microphone battery ran out of power so they had to use megaphones a lot.

This is not the first rally organized by Te Kahika – his supporters did so in Auckland earlier this week.

Like today’s Wellington rally, there are a number of Trump flags.

Protests outside the New Zealand Parliament are ongoing.  Photo / Jason Walls
Protests outside the New Zealand Parliament are ongoing. Photo / Jason Walls

That’s why Tukaki labeled the rally: “alt-right, pro-Trump, with nothing to do with freedom.”

“New Zealand is a country that stands out around the world today, we have freedom of movement in the face of the global pandemic, we can move freely across our countries.

“You can still go to the tangi and the funeral, you can still go see your moko who was just born in the hospital. You can still celebrate the 70th birthday.

“So what exactly are they talking about?”

In a Facebook post, Te Kahika asked his supporters to: “Stand together and fight a dangerous, unnecessary and illegal lockdown”.


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Mortgage war: Westpac lowered the one-year interest rate to 2.29 percent | Instant News


Frances Cook and OneRoof’s Need to Know series set an immediate record for the home loan process.

Westpac is pressing its competitors with the lowest interest rates ever.

The bank today announced a mortgage rate of 2.29 percent – the lowest currently offered by any of the four major banks.

However, there is a limitation that special rates are only available for a fixed period of one year for customers with 20 percent equity in the owner’s occupied home.

Westpac NZ wealth and consumer banking general manager Gina Dellabarca noted how this rate compares to previous years.

“Two years ago the same special home loan rate for the same period was 4.15 percent,” he said.

“It costs $ 1,119 two weeks to pay off a $ 500,000 mortgage over 30 years. Now, a lower interest rate means the same payment would be $ 885 two weeks – a savings of $ 6084 over the year.”

Dellabarca said the one-year rate is currently the bank’s most popular rate.

“We helped first-home buyers to more than 5300 new homes in the 12 months to September 2020, a 7 percent increase from the previous year with many accessing their Kiwisaver first home buyer withdrawal option to assist them with their deposits.”

Although the 2.29 percent rate is the lowest among the big banks, it is not the lowest when smaller players are also considered.

Heartland Bank currently offers a one-year interest rate at 1.99 percent. This, New Zealand’s first sub-2 percent tariff, was first released in October last year and is only available to customers who refinance or purchase a self-contained home in one share, have a deposit or equity of at least 20 percent – and intend to stay home.

With a fixed one-year rate currently at 2.25 percent, HSBC is also offering better rates than the one released by Westpac today.

While low interest rates can be attractive, homeowners are advised to first check with their bank or mortgage broker to see if the associated break costs make the savings worthwhile.

The low rates currently on the market come at a time of growing concern about the state of the property market in New Zealand.

REINZ data shows the average Auckland house price hit $ 1 million for the first time in October last year, and the national average jumped 19.8 percent from $ 605,000 last year to $ 725,000.

And the high price didn’t dampen the enthusiasm of the buyers much because in November the highest number of houses had been sold since March 2007.

one stop

Economists now estimate that house prices could increase by as much as 13 to 16 percent in the coming months.

This will only put further pressure on the many Kiwis currently locked out of the housing market with home ownership rates at the lowest levels since 1951.

Rapidly rising house prices also have an impact on those on the property ladder, with data from credit agency Centrix showing that nearly one in five over 65 years still has a mortgage.


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Hot houses: How do you keep your place cool this summer? | Instant News

Many homes in New Zealand are deeply saddened by the scorching heat of the summer. Photo / 123RF

Whether it’s see-through curtains or cool sheets, the Kiwi has long had its own tricks for cooling a hot home without air conditioning – now a researcher wants to hear more about it.

Many homes in New Zealand are deeply saddened by the scorching heat of the summer.

A recent NZ Stats survey of the 6,700 homes found 36 percent sat at 25C or more during the summer – and sometimes even above 30C – compared to a comfortable room range of 20C to 25C.

A third is also colder than 18C during winter – or below World Health Organization standards – something related to people renting less isolated homes and struggling to pay for their daily needs.

This winter’s “energy poverty” and its broad public health impacts have been a major focus of Dr Kimberley O’Sullivan’s research at the University of Otago.

“Much of that means we’re focusing on whether people can get warm enough in winter – but actually it means it’s pretty cool in summer too.”

He pointed out that six of New Zealand’s 10 warmest years have occurred in the past decade, and the country is experiencing more frequent and severe hot days, which come with their own implications for health and energy use.

“Over the last 20 years we also have fast absorption heat pumps, and more than half of New Zealand households with heat pumps have reported using them for cooling in the summer,” he said.

“So now households have a mechanism for active cooling – and a greater need to reduce home temperatures in the summer.”

In a recently launched study, supported by the Marsden Fund, he seeks to answer how not only the Kiwis regulate the flow of summer heat through their homes, but also how this changes over time.

“I’m specifically looking for the kind of knowledge that’s sometimes called knowledge – or what people know from experience,” he said, adding that it includes how Kiwis use sizes ranging from curtains to heat pumps.

“This year, I’m going to start with a postal survey of areas with more extreme summer weather to get initial answers to questions like how comfortable people are to find their home in the summer, if they try to adjust the temperature, does it change over time, and whether they think they know enough about the matter. “

He is eager to hear from several generations of the same family, and what advice has been passed down.

“I also want to make sure that we include Māori whānau, Māori have lived in Aotearoa the longest and will have wisdom to offer.”

Finally, this three-year project will collect temperature and relative humidity records using a data logger on a sample of homes, and how people use energy throughout the day of the week.

“As far as I know, these approaches have never been combined like this before to look at these questions – and they certainly haven’t been used like this in New Zealand,” he said.

“One thing that would be quite challenging in my opinion would be to usefully weave all the data back together to make one big story or image, integrating it all at the end in such a way that the number is greater than the parts.

“The sections as an individual study would all be useful, but I hope to do something extra by combining them.

“If we have a very good picture of what people know and do, as well as what they need to manage summer at home, then we may be able to adapt various suggestions and policies where they are needed.

“The aim is that it will help increase our resilience to climate change and improve public health and well-being.”

Three tips for keeping the house cool

Easy fix: Avoid the sun by covering the curtains and blinds. Open doors and windows in different rooms to circulate air through your home. Adjust the safety lock to keep the windows open when you go out.

Make a shadow: Plant deciduous trees to shade your home in the summer. They will let the sun in when they lose their leaves in winter. Install external window blinds – such as blinds, awnings or grilles. The roof or roof hanging over the north facing window blocks out the summer sunshine.

Use a fan: The fans on the table, floor and ceiling use significantly less energy than air conditioning. If you have a heat pump, try setting the fan alone with the window open.

– Source: GenLess


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The Karachi couple won the internet for feeding the poor in Valima | Instant News

A husband and wife feed a poor person somewhere in Karachi after getting married. Photo: Twitter

KARACHI: A newlywed couple makes it simple by feeding the poor for their Valima ceremony. Needless to say, they won the internet for their charity act.

The photo of a married couple feeding the poor to celebrate their wedding went viral on social media, where they were seen offering biryani of a large size. daigs to the needy.

“A newly married couple wanted to organize Daawat e Walima in dastarkhua form too. And they did it this way !,” tweeted one user named Azhar Khan.

In one of the three photos tweeted, the husband is seen staring at the camera as his wife is busy serving biryani. In another picture, many people can be seen sitting on the “dastarkhwan”, waiting for food.

The couple received much praise and adulation on Twitter for their charity work.

Some on Twitter appreciated how the couple chose to celebrate their wedding in a modest way rather than opting for a relatively lavish wedding.

Others are happy that the teachings of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) were applied in feeding the poor and needy at weddings.

Weddings in Pakistan are usually an expensive affair, with many people spending millions on wedding dresses, wedding halls and meals.


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