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Lux Take on News: Weekly Round-Up May 6, 2022

Lux Research
May 6, 2022

Every day our researchers read through the top innovation headlines and provide their expert opinions on important developments and industry news. Our analysts then evaluate news based on potential importance ranking the developments from Truly Disruptive to Ignore.

On Fridays we highlight our Lux Take on the top news for the week. Check out our thoughts on the latest emerging technology and innovation news for the past week below. 

EDF Energy Group plans to develop multiple projects to produce low-carbon hydrogen by 2030

Juan Cortes, Research Associate, Lux Research

Juan Cortes, Research Associate
Lux Take: Very Important

 

"EDF Energy Group is planning to invest between EUR 2 billion and EUR 3 billion to develop multiple low-carbon hydrogen projects by 2030 worldwide. The investments represent the cost of the hydrogen production facilities. This plan is in line with EDF's strategy by specifically targeting the transportation and industry sectors; some of their already-announced projects include the development of a 1-MW electrolyzer powered by Luminus wind turbines and TerraNova's solar power plants by 2023, the expansion of the AuxHYGen project from 1 MW to 3 MW by 2025, advancements in the HyNoVi project for low-carbon methanol production by 2026, and the deployment of 2-GW electrolysis capacity by 2030 within the Hyscale100 project."

European Commission proposes blanket ban on over 12,000 chemicals of concern by 2030

Matilde della Fontana, Research Associate, Lux Research

Matilde della Fontana, Research Associate
Lux Take: Very Important

 

"The European Commission released a "Restriction Roadmap," a political commitment to ban most toxic chemicals, as part of the zero-pollution goal in the EU Green Deal. Specifically, the ban aims to outlaw all flame retardants, bisphenols, per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), and all polyvinyl chloride chemicals. In the last few years, some EU countries have formally announced the intention to submit a restriction proposal for PFAS, and this blanket ban represents a rapid first step in the EU chemical strategy. Certain industries have already raised strong opposition and tried to water down early drafts of the plan, as the ban will affect over 12,000 chemicals present in 74% of consumer and professional products. If implemented, the ban will be the largest regulatory removal of authorized chemicals."

A 25% efficient perovskite solar cell (PSC) with 98% efficiency retention outperforms the current PSC record holder

Juan Cortes, Research Associate, Lux Research

Juan Cortes, Research Associate
Lux Take: Very Important

 

"The City University of Hong Kong and Imperial College London claimed to achieve a 25% efficient PSC, retaining more than 98% of its efficiency after 1,500 hours under standard test conditions (STC) and 1,000 hours under the damp heat test, which replicates accelerated environmental aging of the cell. The cell was fabricated by implementing an inverted architecture structure. The key difference with other PSCs is the implementation of a ferrocene compound at the interface between the perovskite and electron transport layers. According to the researchers, this compound increases efficiency and enhances stability by reducing the reactivity of the perovskite surface. Compared with the current record-holding PSC, this development shows similar electrical performance, but is stable for more than 1,000 hours under STC. This finding will help develop the implementation of PSCs as the principal issue this technology faces is rapid degradation."

Download the executive summary of the Lux Foresight 2022 report

EPFL's 29.2% efficient perovskite-silicon tandem device sits closer to the current record of 29.8% held by HZB

Karthik Subramanian

Karthik Subramanian, Research Associate

 

Juan Cortes, Research Associate, Lux Research

Juan Cortes, Research Associate
Lux Take: Very Important

 

"The École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) hit a conversion efficiency of 29.2% by depositing a perovskite material on top of a "fully textured" silicon surface, which was certified by the Fraunhofer Institute. In addition to the textured surface implemented to reduce light reflection, the researchers claimed that the performance was obtained thanks to an "enhanced crystallization" of the perovskite cell and the implementation of transparent buffer layers to reduce parasitic light absorption. The current record obtained by Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) implements a "nanostructured" silicon surface and a dielectric reflector on the back part of the solar cell; EPFL claims that the efficiency they have recorded is a world record. While we cannot comment on which technology has better performance metrics, we continue to observe constant improvements in perovskite efficiencies. Expect lab-scale samples to surpass the 30% mark, but commercialization will depend on the development of suitable manufacturing techniques."

8 Rivers launches Calcite, a direct air capture technology using calcium hydroxide

Mukunda Kaushik, Senior Research Associate, Lux Research

Mukunda Kaushik, Senior Research Associate
Lux Take: Average Importance

 

"To obtain its taxi permit, Pony.ai had to display 24 months of testing with at least one million testing miles, out of which at least 200,000 had to be in Guangzhou's test area, and with zero liability in active traffic incidents. The company can operate 100 autonomous vehicles as taxis in Nansha, Guangzhou, which is about 800 km2. The vehicles, with safety drivers, will operate from 8:30 to 22:30 and cost the same as standard Guangzhou taxi rides. Pony.ai also has a commercialization permit in Beijing and is targeting Shanghai and Shenzen next. While this represents progress, clients should note that the removal of safety drivers will likely take longer than anticipated and that widespread deployment of autonomous vehicles is still a long way off."

Mobileye begins autonomous vehicle testing in Miami and Stuttgart

Anirudh Bhoopalam, Analyst, Lux Research

Anirudh Bhoopalam, Analyst
Lux Take: Average Importance

 

"Miami and Stuttgart join Detroit, New York, Paris, Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Munich, Tokyo, and Shanghai in Mobileye's testing program. The company claims that the testing experience in these cities allowed its vehicles to navigate Miami streets within two weeks of arrival. The company uses mapping data from the millions of on-road vehicles that use its chip. Mobileye's extensive testing program and its recent IPO activity makes it a front runner in the crowded autonomous vehicle chip space, which also includes Qualcomm and Nvidia."

Lux Research - Newsletter Research

Tate & Lyle moves to acquire chickpea producer Nutriati

Abby Terrio, Senior Research Associate, Lux Research

Abby Terrio, Senior Research Associate
Lux Take: Average Importance

 

"Tate & Lyle announced the acquisition of chickpea ingredient producer Nutriati following its distribution agreement with the startup in 2021. This news is not surprising given the rising popularity of chickpea as an alternative protein ingredient. Other major players like Ingredion made an equity investment in chickpea producer InnovoPro earlier this year. The war in Ukraine's effect on the availability of common plant proteins like soy and wheat spurred interest in alternatives. Watch for Israeli company ChickP to also accept investments or a partnership from one of the major ingredient companies. There may also be investment or acquisition activity involving fava bean, lupin, and pea ingredient producers on the horizon."

 

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