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14 March 2017

SmartReFlex: three years boosting renewable energy in district energy networks

Last 28th February the SmartReFlex project reached its goals after three years of active collaboration between partners of the consortium, increasing the diffusion of district heating and cooling, with high share of renewable energy sources and efficient technologies in European cities.The results of the project and main conclusions were presented in a regional meeting in Catalonia, hosted by one of the partners, INCASÒL (Catalan Land Institute, Catalan Government). The most relevant goals reached are the following:

  • Case studies have been developed in each region to demonstrate that the use of renewable energy sources in district heating and cooling networks (such as biomass, solar or geothermal) are competitive solutions.
  • Task force meetings, where shared experiences to identify barriers and discuss about solutions to overcome them,.have contributed to create a community between DHC companies, ESCOs, public bodies, technicians, lawmakers, financing institutions, associations, etc.
  • Connection to other EU projects in the same thematic to enhance impact of all of them, i.e.: Celsius, Stratego, SDHplus, progRESsHeat, HotMaps, heatroadmapeurope, Flexinets, Coolheating.


 
 
04 January 2017

IREC and Repsol develop an artificial photosynthesis program to obtain sustainable solar fuels

Based on different patents, developed jointly between IREC and Repsol, the LUXHOR project has been started. This project will focus on the development of a disruptive electrochemical cell that will be used as a reactor for the direct transformation of solar energy into chemical one. For the electrodes, innovative materials and new structures are used achieving a very high efficiency, comparable to the best one from the photovoltaic field. This new technological route using new materials and catalysts allow the competitive industrial production of hydrogen without carbon footprint as well as the production of different chemical products from CO2 reduction, such as synthesis gas, methanol or formic acid, giving rise to a technology with very high potential for the reduction of CO2 emissions.

 
 
02 January 2017

IREC and renewable energies for a circular CO2 economy

IREC will organize in Barcelona during 2017 the second European Meeting "Energy Storage Technologies by Power to Fuels and Chemicals”, which will analyze the circular economy of CO2 based on the combination of renewable energies, CO2 capture and utilization from emissions of either fossil or biological origin. The workshop will focus on the various production systems of hydrogen, biomethane, methanol, DME or other added value chemicals having CO2 as a feedstock. CO2 capture systems will be essential to promote a circular economy based on CO2 and a key aspect to imminently reduce the CO2 emissions required in global agreements to mitigate climate change.

 
 
19 December 2016

Kesterite solar cell research connects around the globe

Dr. Paul Pistor has recently visited the group of Dr. Xiaojing Hao at the University of New South Wales (UNSW), Australia, which constitutes one of the leading world centers in sulphide kesterite PV materials and technologies. Paul Pistor joined the IREC solar energy materials and system group at the beginning of 2015 with a Marie-Curie IEF fellowship and works on sustainable next generation thin film solar cells. He was invited to visit the group at UNSW to present the recent achievements made in Barcelona and evaluate and prepare sample exchanges and future collaborations.