Sunday, February 24, 2013

Alternative Clean Energy Roundup: 24 February 2013

Wind Energy Records Fall in Washington, Texas, Colorado
February 20, 2013 - Wind’s growing role as a U.S. electricity producer is made clear with record-setting performances in three disparate states.

Exactly 16,593 megawatt-hours -- that’s how much electricity flowed from three Puget Sound Energy wind farms in eastern Washington from midnight Monday to midnight Tuesday to the company’s 1.1 million customers on the west side of the Cascade Range.

That was 23.5 percent of the electricity used that day, the company said, and it was a record -- another in a spate of wind-power records set in recent weeks across the country. read more>>>

Boulder exploring "utility of the future"
February 22, 2013 - Research from the City of Boulder indicates that the creation of an unregulated municipal utility could mean lower average rates for 20 years, greenhouse gas reductions and solid reliability.The city looked at several options for meeting is future energy needs, using the Xcel model in existence today (without changes) as the baseline.

The research results identify several forms a new utility could take without compromising its desire for cleaner and greener energy with rates and reliability comparable to or better than those provided by Xcel Energy without a loss of local control and decision-making. read more>>>

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Lighting Controls: Finding The Perfect Solution For Your Business
February 18, 2013 - Unless your building is lit with LED lighting, leaving the lights on even for a few minutes can be a drain on both the life of the bulb and resources. When that energy expenditure is multiplied by the cost of a general or peak period, the savings from keeping the lights off can be substantial. In the case of incandescent lighting, the majority of the energy expenditure is heat, not light, which raises the temperature of the room. Leaving the lights on in summer months can trigger the air conditioner, resulting in an even higher power bill.

Turning the lights off is good advice, but it’s a hard habit to follow. That’s where automated lighting comes in handy. Every time a person enters a room, the lights will turn on. Once there are no occupants, the lights will turn off. Automated lights can even sense the amount of natural light in the room, turning off when sunlight offers enough illumination and turning back on when it gets dark. read more>>>

US agency predicts increase in renewables power production
The Energy Information Administration predicts total electricity generation across all sectors in the United States will increase by 0.5 percent in 2013 and 0.8 percent in 2014, with biomass accounting for a sizable portion of the bump, but solar and other renewables also starting to heat up.

According to the agency's Short-Term Energy Outlook, wood biomass accounted for 103,000 MWh per day of electrical generation in 2012. In 2013, power from wood biomass is expected to increase to an average of 106,000 MWh per day, and 110,000 MWh per day in 2014.

Approximately 54,000 MWh of electricity per day was generated from waste biomass in 2012. That is expected to increase to 56,000 MWh per day in 2013, and be maintained at that level through 2014. read more>>>

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Australia's CSIRO to lead solar thermal research initiative
18 February 2013 - Australia's CSIRO is partnering with six Australian universities and the United States’ Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Sandia National Laboratories and Arizona State University on an eight-year solar thermal research initiative, which aims to lower the cost of solar thermal power from 25 to around 10 cents a kilowatt hour.

According to the Australian government, the collaboration, formally known as the "Australian Solar Institute" and a contribution of over $36 million (in US dollars) of the total $89.7 million (in US dollars), will ensure the nation "remains at the leading edge of global solar research".

CSIRO’s Energy Transformed Flagship Director, Dr Alex Wonhas, said the funding provides CSIRO with the opportunity to work with the world’s best and fully develop solar thermal technology. read more>>>

Expert team assembled to develop Lake Erie offshore wind farm
20 February 2013 - The Lake Erie Energy Development Corporation (LEEDCo) has assembled a team of local experts and world class partners to develop America’s first freshwater offshore wind farm.

The ‘Icebreaker’ project is to receive $4 million of Department of Energy (DOE) funding in order to develop an advanced technology demonstration programme consisting of five to nine wind turbines seven miles off the coast of Cleveland in Lake Erie. The project is one of seven such schemes to receive federal funding and the only one in the Great Lakes region. LEEDCo’s private partners have also given an additional $1 million in cost share.

The team of experts consists of around a dozen partner organizations from Northeast Ohio and from other locations in the US and in Europe where the wind sector is already a $200 billion industry. read more>>>

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