Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Alternative Clean Energy Roundup: 7 May 2013

Climate change may bring drought to temperate areas, study says
4 May 2013 - 'Wet areas will get wetter and dry areas will get drier,' says a scientist, describing the findings of a NASA-led study on rainfall trends. Drought-prone places include the Southwestern United States.

Climate change may increase the risk of extreme rainfall in the tropics and drought in the world's temperate zones, according to a new study led by NASA. read more>>>

Think tank argues radical innovations are needed to cope with climate change
May 3, 2013 - It's hard to make predictions, especially about the future. But policymakers have to do just that as they craft rules that improve the economy, protect energy supplies and mitigate climate change.

To solve these problems, think tanks and lobbying groups are pushing for ideas ranging from emissions regulations to building solar arrays to leaving energy entirely to the free market, forcing wind turbines to go toe to toe with natural gas generators without subsidies. read more>>>

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Minnesota solar power gets new boost from lawmakers
May 6, 2013 - Minnesota could soon take another step ahead in the transition to renewable energy.

Minnesota utilities already are replacing coal-fired power plants with windmills, prompted by the state's landmark 2007 Next Generation Energy Act. Partly as a result, the state has a healthy wind power industry.

To continue the renewable energy effort, state legislators have introduced bills in the House and Senate that would increase the use of solar systems in homes and businesses. read more>>>

MD PSC Pushed to Begin Transition to Microgrid Power Distribution
May 4, 2013 - Remember my experience at the WV PSC last fall? Following their investigation of one of the biggest distribution system failures in WV in recent memory, the WV PSC completely ignored any suggestions that they begin investigating microgrid technology, even in a very limited way, to build a genuinely strong electrical system in WV.

Well, on March 5, Roger Berliner, Chairman of the Montgomery, MD County Council’s Transportation, Infrastructure, Energy and Environment Committee filed a petition with the MD PSC to develop a new plan for rebuilding MD’s electrical distribution system: read more>>>

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The greening of spent nuclear waste
May 6, 2013 - Despite decades of discussion, the issue of nuclear waste has not seen a viable solution. Most recently in 2010, federal authorities scrapped a plan to create a nuclear waste dump at Yucca Mountain in Nevada to store the nationwide spent nuclear fuel capacity that now stands at 65,000 tons.

Texas A&M University is developing the technology that is capable of destroying radiotoxic spent nuclear waste while at the same time potentially providing safe nuclear power for thousands of years to come. read more>>>

Research institute invests in fuel cell tech
May 6, 2013 - The Institute for the Commercialization of Public Research, formed in 2007 by the Florida Legislature, has finalized a funding agreement with fuel cell innovator Bing Energy International.

The Institute believes the company's fuel cell innovations will lead to power generation that is lower cost, more efficient and cleaner for the environment, while bringing increased stability to the electric grid. read more>>>

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A Giant Leap to Commercialization of Polymer Solar Cell Technology
May 6, 2013 — Researchers from Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST) demonstrated high-performance polymer solar cells (PSCs) with power conversion efficiency (PCE) of 8.92% which is the highest values reported to date for plasmonic PSCs using metal nanoparticles (NPs).

A polymer solar cell is a type of thin film solar cells made with polymers that produce electricity from sunlight by the photovoltaic effect. Most current commercial solar cells are made from a highly purified silicon crystal. The high cost of these silicon solar cells and their complex production process has generated interest in developing alternative photovoltaic technologies. read more>>>

Solar Panels Help Prevent Malaria in Kenya
May 6th, 2013 - Rusinga Island, located in the eastern part of Lake Victoria in Kenya, is having solar panels installed on homes to not only provide electricity but to aid in the fight against malaria. Malaria kills an estimated 1.2 million people per year and is a big problem for the 30,000 inhabitants of Rusinga Island. If fitting homes with solar panels that power insecticide-free mosquito traps proves successful in combating malaria, this project could be replicated in other remote areas of the world plagued by this disease. read more>>>

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