By Stefan Nicola, Bloomberg:
For Michael Specht, the solution to Germany’s future energy needs lies in a rectangular framework of steel pipes and valves the size of a VW campervan parked on the outskirts of Stuttgart.
“We’ll need this technology if we want to make Germany’s energy switch a success,” Specht, a head of department at the ZSW Center for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research, said last month on a tour of the facility where the energy-storing device is based. “The question isn’t if it’ll be deployed, but when.”
Specht is one of an army of researchers working to overcome the technological challenges posed by Chancellor Angela Merkel’s decision to abandon nuclear power and shift to renewables in the biggest energy-infrastructure overhaul since World War II. Their task is to fill the energy gap when atomic plants that accounted for about 20 percent of Germany’s power early last year go offline within a decade… Read more