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Bonn born: The International Renewable Energy Agency launches billion dollar accelerator fund

From its Dubai headquarters in the United Arab Emirates, the intergovernmental organization engages with over 180 member nations in a global effort to speed a sustainable energy transition. Founded in Bonn, Germany, this year IRENA’s Innovation and Technology Centre (IITC) is celebrating its tenth anniversary there. Lead blogger and podcaster, Michael Buchsbaum interviews the IITC director, Dolf Gielen and reviews some of IRENA’s world changing initiatives.

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Romanian Power Move: Building Uncle Sam’s Nukes

During COP26 in Glasgow, Romania’s caretaker government announced a surprise new partnership with the United States to develop a fleet of so-far unlicensed Small Modular Nuclear Reactors (SMRs) to help replace it’s aging coal-fired infrastructure. The announcement builds upon the €8 billion deal the two nations signed over the summer of 2021 to refurbish one reactor at Romania’s only nuclear plant, while constructing two more on site. Michael Buchsbaum reviews Bucharest’s nuclear ambitions in this installment of the ongoing Romanian Power Move series.

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Setting sail renewable energy technologies from Berlin to Bamako and beyond

In an earlier series on articles of the Paris Agreement, Michael Davies-Venn analysed policy options to implement Article 6. Focus here is on Article 10, which provides a technology development and transfer framework premised on the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change’s (UNFCCC) Technology Mechanism. Developed countries promised to “promote, facilitate and finance, as appropriate, the transfer of, or access to, environmentally sound technologies” to particularly developing countries, to help reduce global emissions. But what does this actually mean and how does it tangibly translate in developing countries in dire need of such technologies?

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Would a circular economy help us deal with used lithium-Ion batteries?

In contrast to the linear economic model that has existed since industrialization, the concept of the circular economy aims to reduce negative environmental impacts. Amid the growing debate about the compatibility of increasing consumption with the Earth’s finite resources, calls are getting louder for a system that minimizes losses. This concept is of great interest for lithium-ion batteries (LIBs), not least as production of the batteries is expected to increase exponentially, given its key role transforming the mobility sector. To date, there is no established business model showing what to do with LIBs that have reached the end of their useful life. This blog post wants to explore the potential of of circular economy models for lithium-ion batteries, looking in particular at its current use in Germany. Philip Emmerich has the details.

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