Friday, March 15, 2013

Alternative Clean Energy Roundup: 15 March 2013

Obama to announce plans to fund alternative fuel research
March 15, 2013 - President Obama plans to announce Friday that he will ask Congress to create an energy security trust to fund research into alternatives to gasoline, according to senior White House officials.

The $2-billion fund to be disbursed over 10 years would come from increased revenue the administration expects from streamlining the permitting process for drilling, and from higher oil and gas production in the Gulf of Mexico, the officials said.

The role of the trust, which will be in the president's budget proposal, would be to support cutting-edge research into fuels that would eventually replace gasoline, a prospect that the officials conceded was years away. read more>>>

Two new solar power plants approved for federal land in California
March 13, 2013 - The Obama administration continued its push to ramp up renewable energy projects on public land, approving three new projects on Wednesday, including what would become the largest solar power plant in the world.

Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced the approvals in San Francisco alongside Gov. Jerry Brown. The bulk of the coming renewables rush is happening in the state -- since 2009, more than 15 gigawatts of wind, solar, geothermal and transmission projects have been approved on federal land in California. read more>>>

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Young people want green skills to get green jobs
15/03/2013 - More than half (59 percent) of the UK’s young people (19-25) say they would be interested in working in the green economy, yet 38 percent say they don’t have the skills required to do so.

This is according to new research released recently by British Gas, which also found a quarter of young people (26 percent) don’t feel the training and job opportunities currently available sufficiently develop skills that can be used in a career.

It also revealed that young people see the green economy as a route into secure, long-term employment. Over three-quarters (78 percent) say they recognise the importance of the green economy to UK growth over the next decade. read more>>>

Energy’s Latest Buzzword: Microgrid
March 5, 2013 - If you’re new to the energy world, the term microgrid may not have crossed your mind recently, if ever. But within the industry, it’s becoming a very popular buzzword of late.

Your Energy Blog first addressed the microgrid back in January, speaking of the growing level of popularity within the college and hospital industries, among others. But before going any further, it’s important to all get on the same page about what a microgrid is and why it’s becoming such a popular entity.

So what’s a microgrid?

New arrivals from

SolarWorld Introduces Glass-Glass Solar Panel Featuring 30-Year Linear Guarantee
March 14, 2013 - SolarWorld, the largest U.S. solar manufacturer for more than 35 years, today introduced its Sunmodule Protect glass-glass solar panel. No heavier than a standard glass-film panel, the innovative new product is protected by one of the industry’s highest-value performance guarantees.

In Sunmodule Protect solar panels, SolarWorld substitutes a panel’s conventional backsheet with lightweight glass to better shield energy-producing solar cells from the elements. This advance enables SolarWorld to extend its linear performance guarantee to 30 years, up from 25 years, offering only 0.35 percentage points in lower performance protection over each of the 30 years – one of the best performance guarantees available in the world solar market. Sunmodule Protect solar panels debut in the second half of 2013 through SolarWorld’s network of preferred distributors and authorized installers. read more>>>

New Bio-Solar Panels Are Made from Cotton and Castor Beans
03/14/13 - A new type of solar panel component, developed by California-based solar company BioSolar, is made from a material derived from cotton and castor beans. Called BioSolar Backsheets, these products are non-toxic, more durable and less expensive to make than their petroleum-based counterparts. Bio-based solar backsheets won USDA BioPreferred Certification and are now available for commercial purchase.

The top layer of a solar cell is usually made from glass and non bio-based polymers. The new backsheet is a transparent bio-based composite meant to replace this layer and reduce the production cost of solar modules. Cotton is used to provide tough cellulosic fibers, while castor beans contribute resin, which is further processed to create a polyamide similar to nylon. The result is a material that is cheaper to manufacture and is free of toxic industrial solvents. The bio-backsheets have a high degree of thermal conductivity — a quality that helps extend the lifespan of solar panels. read more>>>

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