Apr. 11, 2013 — Natural gas power plants can use about 20 percent less fuel when the sun is shining by injecting solar energy into natural gas with a new system being developed by the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. The system converts natural gas and sunlight into a more energy-rich fuel called syngas, which power plants can burn to make electricity.
"Our system will enable power plants to use less natural gas to produce the same amount of electricity they already make," said PNNL engineer Bob Wegeng, who is leading the project. "At the same time, the system lowers a power plant's greenhouse gas emissions at a cost that's competitive with traditional fossil fuel power." read more>>>
04/11/13 - There’s a common belief that even as solar power takes off, utility companies will retain their hold on energy markets as the need for standard electrical grids remain. But a report from the Edison Electrical Institute (EEI), a trade group of US utilities, doesn’t have a particularly optimistic outlook for their own long-established business model. They predict solar-based off-grid power usage to take off, which could cause rates for conventional utilities to skyrocket. Ostensibly, they fear the demise of their industry.
The report, written about in Grist, outlines the “disruptive challenges” facing US utilities, including several major impacts that solar power could have on their business model, and straight-forwardly their ability to sell power. read more>>>
Apr. 11, 2013 — Researchers at the UPNA/NUP-Public University of Navarre have produced a prototype of a self-cooling thermoelectric device that achieves "free" cooling of over 30ºC in devices that give off heat. It is a piece of equipment that acts as a traditional cooler but which consumes no electricity because it obtains the energy it needs to function from the very heat that has to be dissipated.
The researchers want to apply this system to power converters and transformers present in power stations that produce renewable electrical power employing, for example, wind, solar photovoltaic, solar thermoelectric and hydraulic energy. read more>>>
April 10, 2013 - To strengthen and coordinate efforts to improve air quality, California Governor Jerry Brown today signed the first agreement of its kind between a subnational entity and the Government of China.
“Reducing pollution takes great political struggle,” said Governor Brown in a meeting with China’s Minister of Environmental Protection Zhou Shengxian. “We know in America it’s not easy, so it won’t be easy in Beijing. But to the extent that we can help, we would like to help.”
The two-year agreement establishes collaboration to enhance pollution control strategies for industrial sectors and the transportation sector. read more>>>
10 April 2013 - TetraSun is a solar PV startup that has developed a breakthrough cell architecture capable of conversion efficiencies exceeding 21 percent.
First Solar Inc has announced that it will be acquiring TetraSun, a solar PV startup that has developed a breakthrough cell architecture capable of reaching efficiencies in excess of 21 percent at a cost comparable to conventional multicrystalline silicon solar cells. read more>>>
08 April 2013 - Grupotec has successfully connected 46 MW of solar photovoltaics to the UK grid, completing multiple PV projects in record time, despite confronting what Britain's National Weather Service has described as the coldest winter on record.
The firm completed the development of twelve different projects across the Southwest of England, in just nine weeks, commencing construction on 15 January and connecting the facilities to the grid on 31 March. read more>>>
April 12, 2013 - Kazakhstan should become a regional hub for advanced technology exchange between Europe and Asia, Minister of Environmental Protection Nurlan Kaparov stated at the conference "Building a green economy in Kazakhstan" on Friday.
"We want Astana to be considered a regional center of technological, scientific and cultural exchange between Asia and Europe," Kaparov said.
According to him, at present Kazakhstan is developing a strategy for transition to a "green" economy that will solve many economic and environmental problems. read more>>>
April 13th, 2013 - NV Energy unveiled its new NVision Plan last week, a policy initiative that proposes shutting down coal plants and investing in new renewable energy and natural gas generation. On the surface, that sounds great – shuttering coal plants, reducing carbon emissions, increasing investment in renewable energy and creating jobs. All good things, right?
But as the old adage goes, if it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is. The company’s NVision plan is no exception – dig a little deeper, and it doesn’t look so good.
First, and most troubling, NV Energy is attempting to bypass the Public Utilities Commission by going straight to the legislature with this plan. read more>>>