Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Alternative Clean Energy Roundup: 29 January 2013

Solar Power: A Catalyst for Microgrids
January 27, 2013 - Solar power is becoming increasingly affordable and easier to install. Because of this, many areas are using them to create their own Microgrids. This article focuses on how solar panels encourage Microgrid creation and discusses what the future holds for solar energy in the residential arena.

A Brief Overview

Microgrids are a new way to make energy services available to communities and areas that are currently off-grid. The Worldwide figures are staggering when you consider that about one and a half billion people lack any sort of electricity supply and the numbers are understandably much higher in rural areas than in cities, although there are still 21 million people in cities without an electricity supply. Microgrids are considered to be a practical and relatively inexpensive way to supply areas with a reliable power source.

The Role of Microgrids

The Greenbatteries Store offers great prices on rechargeable batteries, battery chargers, battery cases and holders

Europe Sets Common Standard for Electric Vehicle Charging
January 28, 2013 - The “Type 2″ plug developed by the German company Mennekes will be the common standard for charging electrified vehicles across the European Union, the European Commission has announced.

Long sought by EU automakers, the common standard was announced Thursday as part of a set measures to build alternative fuel stations across Europe with common standards for their design and use.

Clean fuel that helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions is being held back by three main barriers, the Commission said – the high cost of vehicles, a low level of consumer acceptance, and the lack of recharging and refueling stations. read more>>>

Governments Strike First Global Mercury Control Treaty
January 26, 2013 - A worldwide ban on the manufacture, export and import of batteries and other products that contain mercury will be in place by 2020 under the provisions of the world’s first treaty agreed by 147 governments at a United Nations forum in Geneva.

Mercury and most of its compounds are highly toxic to humans, animals and ecosystems. High doses can be fatal to humans, but even relatively low doses can seriously affect the nervous system and have been linked with possible harmful effects on the cardiovascular, immune and reproductive systems.

In the presence of bacteria, mercury can change into methylmercury, its most toxic form. Methylmercury easily passes through both the placenta and the blood-brain barrier, so exposure of women of child-bearing age and of children, is of greatest concern. read more>>>

Chelsea Green Publishing

Nuclear to play second fiddle to renewables in western Europe
24. January 2013 - With the UK government under fire as opponents of its Energy Bill claim it is biased towards nuclear and gas at the expense of renewables, new research could make interesting reading for Tory Chancellor George Osborne.

In a week which saw UK solar installers announce their intention to sue the coalition government over the drastic reductions applied to solar FiT payments, new research claims nuclear is being phased out across the top 10 western European power markets – including the UK – in favor of renewables.

A report from 'business intelligence providers' GBI Research predicts that the UK, along with the likes of Germany, Spain and Sweden, will see a reduction in nuclear installed generating capacity whilst renewables capacity will rise. read more>>>

SCE spurring growth of California Green Communities
January 27, 2013 - In 2009, Southern California Edison (SCE) helped launch a community-based challenge encouraging cities to adopt innovative, individually-designed and tailored environmental practices with the goal of a sustainable future through activities like adopting more energy-efficient technologies for facilities. Today, some major players are throwing their support behind this push for a green economy.

Currently, the focus of the California Green Communities (CGC) program is on helping Southern California cities achieve their goals for a sustainable future but the added support of companies like Toyota and Radisson Hotels could spur the rollout of a similar program across the country, according to Hal Conklin, chair of the USA Green Communities Board of Directors. read more>>>

Quake Kare, Inc.

Building Integrated Photovoltaics Set for Huge Comeback
02 January 2013 - Despite current weak conditions, the global market for Building Integrated Photovoltaics (BIPV) is set for huge long-term growth, with beneficiaries including both the solar industry and the construction industry, a new report says.

In its Building Integrated Photovoltaics report, clean energy research provider Pike Research says current market conditions for BIPV systems – photovoltaic materials which are used in place of conventional building materials in parts of the building envelope such as the roof, skylight or facade – are being constrained by weak global construction and the withdrawal in many countries of subsidies for solar power.

Pike says, however, that long-term growth prospects are excellent. Between now and 2017, Pike expects overall annual generating capacity of BIPV systems around the world to grow from just over 400 megawatts (MW) to 2,250 MW. read more>>>

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