Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Alternative Clean Energy Roundup: 16 January 2013

Global Atlas to improve analysis of renewable energy potential
January 15, 2013 - The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) has launched the world's first open access Global Atlas of renewable energy resources -- the largest initiative ever to help countries assess their renewable energy potential and invest in new markets.

The Atlas charts solar and wind resources and brings together data and resource maps from leading technical institutes and private companies worldwide. It also provides tools for evaluating the technical potential of renewable energy.

Traditional databases focus mainly on specific attributes, such as physical information on insulation or wind speed, while others feature economic and policy frameworks such as support mechanisms for renewable energies. read more>>>

* * * Open Access Renewable Energy Atlas * * *

Big US Wave Energy Test Center Going To Newport, Oregon
click on graphic for larger view

January 15, 2013 - The U.S. intends to get serious about wave energy development in Newport, Oregon.

The seaside town of 10,000, an hour’s drive over the Coast Range from Corvallis (home to wave energy leader Oregon State University), was selected to be the site of the Pacific Marine Energy Center {OregonWaveEnergyTrust site}

The test center would provide companies a patch of water and the infrastructure to test their devices, a necessity in the infant industry’s quest to prove it can be a contributor to U.S. electrical grids. read more>>>

US Solar LCOE Edging Closer to Retail Rates
click on graphic for larger view

January 16, 2013 - Across the U.S., installed system cost declines have also led to PV-generated power coming closer to matching retail rates in both the residential and commercial sectors. In fact, solar PV systems in Hawaii are already able to produce power at levels below retail. The graphic below clearly indicates the progress being made in these markets with respect to PV systems approaching power generation costs close to retail rates.

It is also clear that commercial systems greatly benefit in LCOE calculations from their lower installed costs, which in turn lowers their power generation rate equivalent. In the past year, systems in every market have benefitted from the decline in PV component – and thus total installed system – pricing. As such, LCOE rates have declined in each market, often by double-digits. read more>>>

The Global Green Economy Index
January 15, 2013 - Which countries are leading the effort to create strong economies that also reduce their degradation of the environment? Are these countries perceived internationally as having the “most-green economies”? These are the very questions addressed by a new index that evaluates the sustainability of economies throughout the world.

Scope: International

Intended Audience: Government, Businesses and Investors

Project by: Dual Citizen, a consulting firm based in the United States

Issue Addressed: The Global Green Economy Index evaluates the efforts of countries to create environmentally sustainable economies, focusing on efforts to invest in clean energy technology, sustainable forms of tourism, and improved domestic environmental quality. It also seeks to capture how the performance of these countries is perceived internationally.

Select Results: The Global Green Economy Index may prove to be a valuable tool for investors seeking to make green investments internationally. Countries may also utilize the index to harness opportunities to improve how they are perceived internationally by fixing instances in which their actual green economy performance surpasses its international reputation.

Summary:

Why Military Microgrids’ Influence Exceeds Their Market Share
January 15, 2013 - Glaring evidence of the electrical grid’s vulnerability to severe storms on the East Coast has increased interest in microgrids, which can provide continuous power in the event of a utility service blackout. As documented in Pike Research’s recent report, Military Microgrids, the U.S. military, the largest consumer of energy in the world, is one of the strongest proponents of this technology.

The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) microgrid that carries the greatest implications for the larger commercial market is located at Twentynine Palms, the large U.S. Marine Corps base, near Joshua Tree National Park in Southern California. Some 10,000 Marines train here at a site that stretches over 932 square miles, an area larger than the state of Connecticut. With a capacity of approximately 13 megawatts (MW), and a generation portfolio featuring solar photovoltaics (PV), combined heat and power (CHP), and a new advanced metal halide energy storage system, this stationary base microgrid is clearly the showcase for General Electric’s microgrid solution for DOD. read more>>>

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