Friday, April 18, 2014

Alternative Clean Energy Roundup: 18 April 2014

The world's dumbest idea: Taxing solar energy
17 April 2014 - In a setback for the renewable energy movement, the state House in Oklahoma this week passed a bill that would levy a new fee on those who generate their own energy through solar equipment or wind turbines on their property. The measure, which sailed to passage on a near unanimous vote after no debate, is likely to be signed into law by Republican Gov. Mary Fallin.

The bill, known as S.B. 1456, will specifically target those who install power generation systems on their property and sell the excess energy back to the grid. However, those who already have such renewable systems installed will not be affected. read more>>>

Well you Oklahomans, and every other state, know what you need to do as those seeking to represent? you are laying out their resumes, that's a joke {resumes?}, for the jobs sought! Not only in state but federal as well, and not only on the special interests issues, so called conservatives bought and fully owned, being blocked in their favor and certainly not yours or your communities, while you also pay for their every needs!

On alternative energy sources they've been doing so for some forty years now, not only blocking the products but the innovative advances in as well as R&D into new source abilities!!

PUD's innovative hydropower plan
April 16, 2014 - The Snohomish Public Utility District (PUD) has developed an innovative plan for a proposed hydropower project -- the Sunset Fish Passage & Energy Project -- which requires no dam, weir or river barriers, ultimately saving $10 million in construction costs.

The PUD's updated design modifies the water intake area and fish screens to cut excavation needs in half. It also reduces construction time by an estimated six months. In addition, more efficient turbines at a proposed powerhouse would increase annual energy production.

The no-dam design is possible due to the unique geography of the South Fork Skykomish River. Upstream from Sunset Falls, the river turns sharply -- a complete 180 degrees -- creating a deep pool of water, which can accommodate an underwater intake structure. read more>>>

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DOE's roadmap to energy security, prosperity
April 16, 2014 - The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has released a comprehensive blueprint to guide the agency's core mission of ensuring America's security and prosperity by addressing its energy, environmental, and nuclear challenges through transformative science and technology solutions. The 2014 Strategic Plan provides a roadmap for achieving these goals.

"Following this roadmap, the Department will continue building a cleaner energy environment, strengthening our economy, creating jobs, and fostering innovation in the process," said Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz in a statement. "The priorities outlined in this plan are critical to advancing the nation's energy security and providing for a more secure and prosperous country for future generations." read more>>>

Wind and energy storage a winning combination for ERCOT
April 16, 2014 - The Texas Energy Storage Alliance (TESA) and the Energy Storage Association (ESA) are working together to assist in the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) stakeholder driven market redesign process. ESA is the organization under which proposed rules enabling the advancement of utility scale energy storage technologies will be ensured. As energy storage technologies are commercialized and the energy storage industry grows nationwide, this Texas-based effort will benefit greatly from the leadership by ESA.

"Texas is an important market for energy storage, and ERCOT is leading a stakeholder process that could become a model for other system operators," said Darrell Hayslip, ESA's chairman of the board. "Energy storage is uniquely positioned to provide immense value in the ancillary services market." read more>>>

ThermoSoft International Corporation

DOE conducting smart grid cybersecurity research
April 16, 2014 - The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is calling on federally funded research and development centers to apply for research grants. The DOE's National Energy Technology Laboratory, on behalf of the Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability, is seeking applications to conduct research, development and demonstrations leading to next-generation tools and technologies that will become widely adopted to enhance and accelerate deployment of cybersecurity capabilities for the U.S energy infrastructure, including cyber secure integration of smart grid technologies.

The research will concentrate on enhancing the cybersecurity of energy delivery control systems, including electricity generation, transmission and distribution, as well as the production, refining, storage and distribution of oil and gas. read more>>>

Microgrids becoming mainstream
April 15, 2014 - Driven by growth in distributed generation and a greater desire of consumers and businesses for greater energy independence, the microgrid concept has moved steadily toward the mainstream. Microgrid deployments are happening worldwide, with some new subsegments heating up -- with grid-tied utility distribution microgrids (UDM) and direct current (DC) microgrids attracting increased attention, according to Navigant research.

"The pace of microgrid deployments has accelerated rapidly around the world, in a variety of application segments," said Peter Asmus, principal research analyst with Navigant Research. "In the United States, in particular, the increasing frequency of severe weather is prompting utilities to reconsider their historic opposition to customer-owned microgrids that can disconnect from the larger grid and continue to function, allowing critical mission functions to stay up and running." read more>>>

Clemson researchers work on future of nation’s electrical grid
April 15, 2014 - With the help of power company money, Clemson University professors are helping develop smart grid technologies. Keith Corzine is working on securing the nation’s flow of electricity, a challenge he says was underscored in April 2013 when gunmen attacked a Silicon Valley substation.

“This kind of attack at multiple locations around the country could take out the grid,” said Corzine, who works on the main campus as the Warren H. Owen-Duke Energy distinguished professor of electrical and computer engineering.

Researchers are looking for ways to keep the grid secure, help drive down the cost of renewable energy and make the system more reliable and efficient. read more>>>

US$45B from green economy?
April 16, 2014 - Kenya's transition to a green economy could produce major economic benefits -- equivalent to an estimated US$45 billion by 2030 — as well as greater food security, a cleaner environment and higher productivity of natural resources, according to a new study launched yesterday by the Government of Kenya and the UN Environment Programme (UNEP).

Titled the Green Economy Assessment Report: Kenya, the study finds that the transition to an inclusive, low emission, resource efficient green economy will result in stronger economic growth and increased wealth-creation opportunities by 2021. read more>>>

Solaire Generation and IRC Install First Long Span 360 Solar Carports at Danversport Yacht Club
April 15, 2014 /PRNewswire-iReach/ -- Solaire Generation's first Long Span 360 solar carport system was recently commissioned at the Danversport Yacht Club, bringing 253 kW more renewable energy to the Bay State. The Long Span 360, Solaire's latest patent pending solar carport design, is a unique architectural solar structure that optimizes a parking lot's generating capacity by spanning two parallel parking rows as well as the internal drive aisle. The Long Span's customizable design increases a parking lot's solar capacity by 25% versus a traditional solar parking canopy, and can be built up to 110' wide with up to 70' column spacing.

Industrial Roofing Companies (IRC) of Lewiston, Maine, who served as EPC and project developer, sought out Solaire, headquartered in New York City, due to Solaire's proven track record and unique design expertise. Solaire and IRC worked closely to offer the Danversport Yacht Club a custom solution that fit the goals of the project. Solaire designed, fabricated and installed the canopies, completing the foundations and steel erection on time despite harsh winter conditions. read more>>>

Scientists come up with method of reducing solar panel glare
April 15, 2014 - The glare from solar farms could be a thing of the past, thanks to scientists at Loughborough University. Researchers have developed a multi-layer anti-reflection (AR) coating for glass surfaces, which reduces the sun's reflection from photovoltaic panels while at the same time improving their efficiency.

The coating was developed by researchers at the Centre for Renewable Energy and Sustainable Technology (CREST) who believe it will be attractive to solar panel manufacturers.

It is applied using the same technology as that used for depositing anti-reflection coatings on eye glasses. read more>>>

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Alternative Clean Energy Roundup: 17 April 2014

Nanogrids are sneaking up fast. Has your utility figured out its strategy?
Apr 9, 2014 - At its essence, a nanogrid is simply a small microgrid, typically serving a single building or a single load. Nanogrids, however, have the ability to fill increasingly important niches within the larger power sector, serving as modular building blocks for energy services that support applications ranging from emergency power for commercial buildings to the provision of basic electricity services for people living in extreme poverty. According to a new report from Navigant Research, worldwide vendor revenue from nanogrids will grow from $37.8 billion annually in 2014 to $59.5 billion in 2023.

“Though smaller in size than microgrids, nanogrids represent a larger market opportunity because they are, generally speaking, less challenging to the status quo and less subject to the technological challenges facing larger distribution networks that assimilate diverse distributed energy resources,” says Peter Asmus, principal research analyst with Navigant Research. read more>>>

Africa: Urbanization Provides Unprecedented Opportunities to Transition to a Green Economy, Says New Report
9 April 2014 - As Consumers of Over 75% of Natural Resources, Cities Are Uniquely Placed to Contribute to Efficiency and Sustainability.

With over half of the global population now living in urban areas, cities are increasingly facing the challenge of ensuring decent standards of living for their inhabitants. Demand for a higher quality of life is increasing despite growing pressures on natural resources and ecosystems.

In this context, a new report launched jointly today by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and Cities Alliance at the 2014 World Urban Forum finds that the rapid pace of urbanization represents an opportunity to build more sustainable, innovative and equitable towns and cities, and to use the world's natural resources more efficiently. read more>>>

How will the climate be impacted by future changes to the Arctic`s sea ice and snow cover?
Apr. 9, 2014 - This is a key issue in a newly established research project that will examine climate change in the Arctic over the next 30 years. The study will show how the reduced amounts of sea ice and snow in the Arctic are interacting with climate change.

Extreme weather events such as cold snaps in the winter and heat waves in the summer have been linked to the reduction of sea ice and warming in the Arctic. The proportion of the observed extreme events that is due to the reduction of sea ice in the Arctic is still an unanswered question. read more>>>

Win-win situation: Growing crops on photovoltaic farms
April 9, 2014 - Growing agave and other carefully chosen plants amid photovoltaic panels could allow solar farms not only to collect sunlight for electricity but also to produce crops for biofuels, according to new computer models by Stanford scientists.

This co-location approach could prove especially useful in sunny, arid regions such as the southwestern United States where water is scarce, said Sujith Ravi, who is conducting postdoctoral research with professors David Lobell and Chris Field, both on faculty in environmental Earth system science and senior fellows at the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment. "Co-located solar-biofuel systems could be a novel strategy for generating two forms of energy from uncultivable lands: electricity from solar infrastructure and easily transportable liquid fuel from biofuel cultivation," said Ravi, the lead author of a new study published in a recent issue of the journal Environmental Science & Technology that details the idea. read more>>>

Hanwha Q CELLS Completes United States’ First Solar Farm on a Superfund Site
April 09, 2014 - Hanwha Q CELLS, an international solar developer, manufacturer and solutions provider, commemorated the historic completion of the first utility scale solar project constructed on an active EPA Superfund site. Hanwha Q CELLS was joined by project partners including the US EPA, Vertellus Specialties Inc., Indiana Department of Environmental Management, Indiana Power & Light (NYSE: AES), PNC Bank, August Mack Environmental Consulting, URS Corporation, US Utilities and Solar FlexRack.

The 10.86MWdc Maywood Solar Farm, located on 43 acres of the Reilly Tar & Chemical Superfund site in Indianapolis, was completed under the 2012 Indianapolis Power & Light (IPL) Rate-REP program. read more>>>

The green home of tomorrow
An enterprising team of Stanford students has designed a low-cost, solar-powered home that could lead the home-building industry to a more sustainable future and guide homeowners toward greener behavior.

I n 2010, residential homes in the United States accounted for 22 percent of the country’s carbon dioxide emissions, and roughly the same percentage of total energy consumption. At a time when market and federal pressures are steering the automobile industry toward a greener future, the places we lay our heads each night deserve a careful look as well.

The home-building industry represents a ripe opportunity for green innovation, and Stanford’s Start.Home hits the mark with a clever interdisciplinary blend of civil engineering, computer science and behavioral design. Conceived, designed and built by a team of undergraduate and graduate students, the solar-powered Start.Home aims to leverage technology to make inexpensive, sustainable living available to the masses. read more>>>

Without communication infrastructure, there is no smart city
April 9, 2014 - By their very definition, smart cities are connected cities. But these cities rely on the availability of universal communication services to connect energy, transportation and public services in order to become a reality. Thus far, the smart city communications layer has largely been taken for granted and become somewhat of an afterthought, with the main focus on the higher IT and data management layers. But the trend of the Internet of Things will require cities to move beyond just connecting people and businesses, to objects and sensors, toward more integrated smart city solutions and improving the interoperability, security, data privacy, and scalability of communication networks.

These cities appear to be ramping up as worldwide revenue from communication nodes for smart cities -- and the infrastructure and services to support them -- is forecast by Navigant Research to grow from $2 billion in 2014 to $3.55 billion in 2020. Further, Navigant predicts that global shipments of smart city communication nodes will grow from 17 million in 2013 to 55 million in 2020. read more>>>

Renewables making smart grid a top priority
In recent years, China has emerged as the largest smart grid market in the world in recent years, given the fact that the State Grid Corp. -- the utility responsible for the majority of the country's grid network -- plans to invest more than $200 billion to upgrade its existing grid infrastructure, according to Kuick Research.

The Chinese government has had the foresight to consider the needs of the country's grid development, supporting smart grid projects with favorable policies that embrace change and the implementation of new technology. read more>>>

Barnes & Noble

TEP reducing coal generation, increasing renewables
April 9, 2014 - According to its recently filed 2014 Integrated Resource Plan (IRP), Tucson Electric Power (TEP) will meet customers' energy needs through 2028 by reducing its coal generation capacity by one-third; acquiring new cost-effective natural gas-fired resources; and continuing its expansion of renewable power and energy efficiency programs. The IRP has been filed with the Arizona Corporation Commission.

The company expects to add more than 50,000 customers over the next 10 years based on current projections. Peak demand is projected to grow annually by about 1 to 1.5 percent. To meet this demand requires a long-term portfolio diversification strategy that will reduce the company's overall coal capacity by 492 MW, or about 32 percent, over the next five years. read more>>>

Remote Microgrids Continue to be the Most Numerous Category of Microgrid Projects, Finds Navigant Research
Community/utility microgrids now lead the market in terms of total capacity, report concludes

April 8, 2014 - Although most microgrids are technically retrofit projects, microgrids have begun to move into the mainstream. Around the world, new vendors continue to enter this space with new projects and approaches. These systems, which can operate in isolation from (or in the absence of) the wider power grid, are particularly well-suited for remote communities in the developing world, where regional and national power grids are often weak or nonexistent. Click to tweet: According to a new tracker report from Navigant Research, there are now more than 388 remote microgrid projects in operation, under development, or proposed worldwide – almost as many as all other segments combined. read more>>>