Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Alternative Clean Energy Roundup: 3 July 2013

Mexico aims to cut home energy use with green loan plan
27 Jun 2013 - Since the 1980s, the Mexican government has subsidised massive tract-housing projects around the country, filling them with hundreds of thousands of concrete-block, brick and mortar structures that have no insulation or other comfort control features.

This response to intense pressure for affordable urban housing is to blame for widespread urban sprawl in Mexico over the last 30 years – and increases in climate-changing emissions, experts say. Homes now use 16 percent of the country’s energy and account for 3 percent of direct greenhouse gas emissions, as well as a variety of indirect ones, according to the country’s Social Development Ministry. read more>>>

IRENA sets plans in motion for African Clean Energy Corridor
26 June 2013 - The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) convened a major international strategy session on 22 and 23 June to discuss the prospects for a Clean Energy Corridor (CEC) to serve the rapidly growing power demand across East and Southern Africa.

The Africa CEC brings together more than 20 countries in a coordinated effort to build the foundation for a substantial shift to renewable energy technologies for power generation. read more>>>

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Organic Electronics: Imaging Defects in Solar Cells
une 27, 2013 — Researchers at LMU have developed a new method for visualizing material defects in thin-film solar cells.

An LMU research team led by Bert Nickel has, for the first time, succeeded in functionally characterizing the active layer in organic thin-film solar cells using laser light for localized excitation of the material. The findings are reported in the scientific journal "Advanced Materials." "We have developed a method in which the material is raster-scanned with a laser, while the focused beam is modulated in different ways, by means of a rotating attenuator for instance. This enables us to map directly the spatial distribution of defects in organic thin films, a feat which has not previously been achieved," explains Christian Westermeier, who is first author of the new study. read more>>>

Kazakhstan to go green
Country's goal of producing more than 50% of its energy through renewable sources by 2050 is praised, but experts see challenges in achieving it.

2013-06-27 - The concept of a green economy has won support at the highest state level, Environment Protection Minister Nurlan Kapparov said at a Central Communications Service for the President of Kazakhstan briefing earlier this month, soon after Kazakhstani President Nursultan Nazarbayev May 30 signed a decree affirming the country's strategy for switching to a green economy. read more>>>

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Opening of solar panel factory is crucial path toward a green energy economy
June 27, 2013 - The success of the US$1.5 million solar panel manufacturing plant on the C. A. Paul Southwell Industrial Park hinges on the training programme of the workers and the quality of the finished product, St. Kitts and Nevis’ Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas said.

“Training, is now the number one priority of Speedtech Energy, because the productivity, the efficiency, and indeed the overall success of this important venture will hinge so assuredly on the quality of skills possessed by those who will work here, and on the efficient application of these skills,” Dr. Douglas said at the opening ceremony. read more>>>

MicroGrids and Distributed Generation Will Change Our Energy Futures
Jun 27, 2013 - The old top-down utility infrastructure model will increasingly come under pressure as new technologies become a disruptive force in electricity infrastructure. Renewable energy, microgrids, and distributed generation will change the way we manage our electricity forever.

Microgrids are smaller, self-contained electricity grids with their own sources of power. The sources of power vary, but they often utilize renewable energy such as solar or wind. read more>>>

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Microgrids and Energy Security: The Business Case
June 27, 2013 - The following is an excerpt from an Energy Solutions Forum Industry Brief.

In an increasingly technology-dependent society with growing energy needs as we seek a higher quality of life, disturbances in electricity supply and quality can have severe implications daily. They can cause significant losses of information, efficiency and productivity as interruptions crash computers and the critical services reliant upon them, such as life support systems, or cause automated equipment to shut down completely. read more>>>

Portugal to face EU court for energy efficiency failures
28 June 2013 - The European Commission has referred Portugal to the Court of Justice for failing to transpose the European Union's energy efficiency of buildings directive.

Under this directive, Member States must establish and apply minimum energy performance requirements for all buildings, ensure the certification of buildings' energy performance and require the regular inspection of heating and air conditioning systems. read more>>>

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DOE and NREL open new smart grid research centre
28 June 2013 - The new Energy Systems Integration Facility (ESIF) is America’s first facility to help both public and private sector researchers scale-up promising clean energy technologies.

The US Department of Energy (DOE) and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have announced the creation of a new research centre focused on exploring smart grid technology. The Energy Systems Integration Facility (ESIF) is located on the NREL campus in Golden, Colorado, and is the latest DOE facility and the only one in the US to focus on utility-scale clean energy grid integration. The facility’s first industry partner, Colorado-based Advanced Energy Industries, has already signed on to start work at the centre in order to develop lower-cost, improved performance solar power inverters. read more>>>

Duke Energy Expands Position In Downstream Distributed Solar Space
6/28/2013 - Earlier this week, Duke Energy DUK -0.27%, the largest electric power holding company in the U.S. based in Charlotte, NC, became the most recent mega-utility company to invest in distributed generation.

More specifically, Duke became an equity investor in San Francisco, CA CA +0.24%-based Clean Power Finance (CPF), which manages half a billion dollars of project financing for third-party investors in distributed solar projects.

“Duke’s investment is a vote of confidence in our business and the future of distributed solar,” said Nat Kreamer, chief executive officer of CPF. read more>>>

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