Organic Electronic Technologies-OET is a small start-up company, which is developing in Greece the first mass production machine for flexible photovoltaic systems at the Nanotechnology Laboratory of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. These photovoltaics are the first attempt to develop new high-performance solar energy systems that are easy to use within the Flex2Energy research program.
These are third generation photovoltaics that are made of flexible, organic, material, transparent plastic that will be able to be placed on roofs, windows, cars, greenhouses and even clothes, and generate electricity wherever there is sunshine. In this way, their producers will be able to reach widespread use instead of always checking if there is a roof or a farm to start.
Together with carbon capture and storage technology, they create new fields of renewable energy sources that are the basis of investment plans for many small and large Greek companies. The global variable PV market is estimated to grow from 2 GW in 2020 to 100 GW in 2027.
This is a large scale and a variety of uses in greenhouses, where it will be possible to provide food and energy at the same time, in high-rise office buildings, which will be able to replace glass with new materials that change and produce. more energy than they use, but also in electric vehicles.
The factory is scheduled to be ready by the end of 2025 and produce 1,000,000 square meters of printed materials and is based on active semiconductors. It is more modern and lighter, only 400 grams per square meter, while the 1st generation reaches 22 kg. The proposal of the Laboratory of Nanotechnology and 15 partners participating in the program is funded by the European financial instrument Horizon. In addition to the development of a fully automated production machine through Flex2Energy, three pilot projects in greenhouses, buildings and vehicles are also planned. As the creators have said, this is a multi-year effort since the first machine was created in 2015, but the organic voltaics it produced were less efficient.
In recent years there has been great progress and great improvements have been made, and as a result today the efficiency reaches 65% so that this machine can change and be able to meet the increased needs of the market.
New carbon technologies
As climate change approaches net zero by 2050, businesses and industries around the world are investing billions in carbon capture and storage technology.
Also, international and Greek companies are turning almost in abundance to compatible technologies to defeat the enemy of global climate change and the economic and environmental impacts it causes. Interest in the new carbon technology (Carbon Capture & Storage- CCS) is shown by large Greek groups, such as Mytilineos, which is in discussions of international cooperation in this field with the Japanese Mitsubishi, Helleniq Energy (EL.PE.) but and MotorOil.
The first major CO2 capture and storage project has been launched by Energean, with the creation of an underwater reservoir in the Prinos basin in Kavala, an investment of around 1 billion dollars.
Such an effort is taken by the cement industry TITAN, which participated in the RECODE research project, investigating for the first time in Greece, solutions for the reuse of carbon allocated to the cement production industry. However, Energean is launching the first major project to capture and store CO2, by creating an underwater warehouse in the Prinos basin in Kavala.
What are the factors that cause the investment “spring”? The use of renewable energy sources and energy conservation is not enough to achieve the main goal of climate neutrality. This is why carbon and hydrogen capture technologies are being used as promising alternatives to provide solutions, despite the fact that technological research is ongoing. Recently, Mitsubishi Corporation signed a memorandum of understanding with ExxonMobil and Nippon Steel Corporation to jointly study carbon capture and storage.
The MoU envisages that the three companies will explore the possibility of sequestering CO2 emissions from Nippon Steel’s domestic steel mills and assess the necessary infrastructure improvements, with a view to establishing CCS value chains in the Asia-Pacific region.
Through CCS, CO2, according to CES, is captured directly in industrial facilities where it is produced, and then compressed, liquid and transported (via pipelines, trucks, trains or ships) and extracted into offshore geological formations, where it is stored . underground at a depth of more than 2 km.
To ensure, as the same source notes, that underground CO2 storage is working as intended and that CO2 remains locked up in the subsoil, the movement of CO2 within geological formations must be monitored over time. The Energean carbon capture and storage project is an investment of 1 billion dollars, for which our country has already received the basic approval for its financing from the European Recovery and Resilience Fund (RRF). The project aims to capture, transport and store CO2 in the vents of the Prinos basin.
The area, based on the evaluations of the Hellenic Hydrocarbons and Energy Resources Management Company (EDEYEP), which also has the authority to issue permits for relevant projects, is considered to be the best area to store CO2 in a very safe condition, according to the reserve. a geological structure that ensures the avoidance of leaks, such as hydrocarbons, Energean insists, which have been in the basin for millions of years now without leaking on the surface and in depth, as the storage of CO2 requires at least 800 meters. deep and the Prinos reservoir is located a distance of more than 2 km. EDEYEP has granted the company a planned license to further explore the Prinos storage prospect with a validity of 22 months from 1/10/2022.
According to Energean, the benefits of implementing the project are both environmental and financial. According to a study prepared on its behalf, the American giant Halliburton, in the first phase, it will be possible to store about 1 million tons of CO2 per year in Prino, starting from the end of 2025. This capacity can increase to 3. – 4 million tons per year years two later. It is typical that domestic industry emits about 9 million tons of CO2 per year (and electricity production about 25 million tons), while the cost of CO2 emission rights carried by industrial companies is in the order of 80 euros per ton. Well, the local industry will be able to save resources of about 100 million per year from CO2 storage, with clear benefits for the environment;
Qualified company sources emphasize that the new project will give new life to industrial activities in the Gulf of Kavala, showing a new role for the declining Prinos field, ensuring neutral environmental conditions for the special complex, as well as creating new jobs and know-how – how pioneering for the Mediterranean region as a whole. Of course, the key to the implementation of the project is to get money and it is typical that in the Northern European countries where the projects are already being developed, the states themselves provide large subsidies, to ensure their financial capacity.
According to information, Energean is already in contact with local industries that can be customers of the storage complex, transferring the CO2 produced by them to Prinos.
Strong interest in carbon capture and storage technology has also been proven at the scientific level. In Western Macedonia, especially in the areas of Pentalofos and Eptachori, large geological formations are underground, at a depth of more than 850 meters, suitable for absorbing CO2, according to the results of the European program “CCUS Strategy” on capture, storage. and CO2 consumption. In the National Center for Research and Development of Technology (EKETA), which is one of the partners of the program, there were significant indications from existing geological data and from preliminary seismic surveys and test excavations in the area.
But new seismic surveys and excavations are needed to confirm the initial scientific findings. At the same time, the HySTORIES project is being developed, the first in Greece to explore underground hydrogen storage in all possible types of geological formations. Objectives, the creation of a database integrated with the available geological data for hydrogen reservoirs, the evaluation of the relevant control system and the structure of the European Energy System, the connection of hydrogen production and storage sites, as well as the study of the distance of the storage areas hydrogen and wind and solar farms.
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