Saturday, July 13, 2013

Alternative Clean Energy Roundup: 13 July 2013

Green economy would highlight full value of forests
10 July, 2013 – As more developing countries plan to make the transition to a green economy—defined as “low carbon, resource efficient and socially inclusive”—the spotlight is turning on the “true” value of forests.

And it’s clear that they’re worth a lot more than the price of timber.

“A green economy is about being more efficient in how you use your resources,” said Grace Wong, a scientist at the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) who is also a member of a U.N. Environment Programme (UNEP) working group on REDD+ in a green economy. read more>>>

REA welcomes opening of biofuels plant as boost to green economy
09 July 2013 - The REA has welcomed the opening of Vivergo's bioethanol plant at Saltend, near Hull. The plant has already created and supported over 1,000 jobs, and will result in 80 full-time, highly skilled jobs.

As well as producing 420 million litres of renewable transport fuel every year, the £350m plant aims to become the UK's largest single source supplier of animal feed, generating 500,000 tonnes of animal feed co-products annually for use by UK livestock farmers.

REA head of renewable transport Clare Wenne, said: “This is a very exciting day for the UK green economy. The biofuels developed here in the UK are among the most sustainable in the world in terms of greenhouse gas savings. read more>>>

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NRG looking at solar-based micro grids in Australia
10 July 2013 - NRG Energy, the largest privately owned power generation company in the US, says it is looking at entering the Australian market with off-grid and micro-grid solutions that will be based around solar and storage.

The offering comes as the company – which has a portfolio of generating assets including nuclear, coal, gas and solar amounting to 46GW (nearly the size of Australia’s National Electricity Market) – looks to expand offshore. It is also targeting markets in Mexico and the Carribean where fossil fuel costs are high. read more>>>

Solar-Powered OnBeat Headphones Charge Your Phone as You Listen to Music
07/09/13 - Listening to music can be a drain on your smartphone or iPod battery, and stopping to charge up restricts your mobility. But with the OnBeat solar headphones, you can listen to music and watch videos on your phone or tablet continuously without stopping to recharge. The headphones are wrapped with a flexible solar panel that generates energy whenever you’re out in the sun.

The solar panel that wraps around the top of the OnBeat headphones feeds into a rechargeable battery that can be used to charge mobile gadgets. The solar cell has a surface area of 55cm3 with a charge capacity of approximately 0.55W, according to the OnBeat team, but it’s unclear how much energy it can produce. read more>>>

Phoenix Solar and Silicon Ranch to construct ‘largest’ solar plant in Georgia
10 July 2013 - PV system integrator, Phoenix Solar, has signed a contract with solar developer Silicon Ranch for a 38.6MW solar plant near Atlanta, Georgia.

The companies said the plant would be the largest utility-scale system in Georgia, and will be named ‘Simon Solar farm’ – as the plant is recycling land formerly used as the 1930s Simon cotton farm.

It will also be the largest installation to date in the 14-year history of Pheonix Solar, the US subsidiary of Germany-based Pheonix Solar AG. read more>>>

Germany Sets 23.9 GW Solar Power Generation Record!
07/08/13 - Despite the long and dark winter, solar panels keep lining Germany’s residential rooftops. According to SMA Solar Technology, the country has just set another world record in solar energy production. Its solar power output climbed from already impressive record of 22.4 GW in June to a whopping 23.9 GW during peak times yesterday. The data is based on the output of thousands of SMA solar power system spread across the country.

SMA’s interactive PV performance monitoring tool shows that Germany’s photovoltaic electricity production hit a record 23.4 GW on June 6 and with a full 0.5 GW increase peaked yesterday at 23.9 GW. The massive solar electricity output is attributed to approximately 1.3-1.4 million solar power systems installed across the country, with about 8.5 million people living in buildings which incorporate solar systems to produce electricity. read more>>>

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Australia to Build First CO2 Capture for Algae Biofuel
July 5, 2013 - In a world’s first, Algae.Tec has signed a deal with Australia’s largest power company to site an algae carbon capture and biofuels production facility beside a big coal-fired power station near Sydney.

Owned by the New South Wales government, Macquarie Generation has signed an agreement to site the Algae.Tec facility next to the 2,640 megawatt Bayswater coal-fired power station in the Hunter Valley in New South Wales. read more>>>

Microgrids booming as Grid crumbles
2013/07/08 - What is a microgrid? In simple terms, it is a local network of diverse power sources, featuring a mixture of renewable energy, fossil fuels and batteries that can operate as a unified system for a relatively small network of consumers. they mitt be the only power in a community, but more likely they are running in parallel with the Grid, bestowing resilience on its owners, who might be selling their surplus to the Grid and buying from the Grid during times of greater demand.

If the wider utility grid goes down, these microgrids can create a little island of power, making sure the most vital operations for a business, utility or community stay powered up during major storms or other power outages. read more>>>

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British Sun-Tracking Vehicle to Race 1800 Miles Across Australia Fueled by Solar Power
07/10/13 - With their solar vehicle Resolution, a team of engineering students from Cambridge are set for a sun-tracking adventure which will take them all the way across Australia. Their solar car will travel 3,000 km (1,864 miles) in the attempt to win the World Solar Challenge—a biennial solar-powered car race through the Australian Outback. The lightweight car can achieve a top speed of 140 km/h (87 mph) using as little energy as a hair dryer.

The car features moving solar panels that track the path of the sun across the sky, much like mirrors at concentrated solar power plants. The solar panels are embedded within an aft-facing tracking plant and are predicted to provide the car with 20 percent more power than it would if they were mounted on a conventional way. read more>>>

NASA's Solar-Powered Polar Explorer Passes Sub-Zero Field Tests in Greenland
07/10/13 - NASA‘s autonomous polar rover, the GROVER, has completed its initial tests in Greenland, coping with some of the harshest environments on the planet. GROVER, which stands for both Greenland Rover and Goddard Remotely Operated Vehicle for Exploration and Research, was able to cope with 30 mph winds and temperatures of below minus 22 F.

The rover was designed by student teams who attended engineering boot camps at Goddard in the summers of 2010 and 2011. GROVER, which is hoped to be used in planetary exploration, was built to carry a ground-penetrating radar which is able to analyze layers of snow and ice. read more>>>

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