Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Alternative Clean Energy Roundup: 14 August 2013

10 Years After the Great Blackout, the Grid Is Stronger — but Vulnerable to Extreme Weather
More than 50 million people throughout the Northeast lost power in the great blackout of 2003. Could it happen again to the grid?

Aug. 13, 2013 - It wasn’t the tree’s fault — or least, not just the tree’s fault. Nearly 10 years ago, on Aug. 14, 2003, the electricity grid in the U.S. Northeast was stressed close to the limit. This wasn’t unusual; summer is a period of high demand in the Northeast, as air conditioners run overtime to compensate for the heat, and a number of older power plants were already offline for maintenance. As power lines became overloaded, they began sagging because of the high temperatures, until one line south of Cleveland touched an overgrown tree limb and short-circuited. What followed was a cascade of disaster due to a mix of human error and equipment failure, until by 4:10 p.m. E.T. that day more than 50 million people had lost power in parts of Ontario and eight U.S. states. read more>>>

Microgrid growth forecast: Good but not great
Aug 13, 2013 - To provide tailored, efficient, and reliable energy services to the end users, microgrid employs and integrates a wide range of distributed energy technologies such as generation, storage and advanced controls, metering and communications into a controlled system that manages energy generation, transmission, distribution, and usage on a small scale as compared to the conventional macrogrid.

The report analyzes the global microgrid market and presents detailed insights of the market by technology, by characteristics, by application, and by geography. Besides, detailed discussion on the drivers, restraints, and opportunities of the market is also presented. read more>>>

Wind and Weather

Chart: 2/3rds of Global Solar PV Has Been Installed in the Last 2.5 Years
And capacity will nearly double in the next 2.5 years.

August 13, 2013 - If you want to understand why people so often compare deployment trends in solar photovoltaics (PV) to Moore's law in computing, consider this statistic: two-thirds of all solar PV capacity in place worldwide has been installed since January 2011.

Let's put that into perspective. It took nearly four decades to install 50 gigawatts of PV capacity worldwide. But in the last 2 1/2 years, the industry jumped from 50 gigawatts of PV capacity to just over 100 gigawatts. At the same time, global module prices have fallen 62 percent since January 2011. read more>>>

Department of Energy Commits to Unleashing Delayed Efficiency Standards
August 12, 2013 - A coalition of ten states and the City of New York just announced that the Department of Energy has committed to push forward four delayed energy efficiency standards that could save utility customers more than $3.8 billion annually once in full effect -- and save enough electricity to power almost 4 million homes.

Clearing the roadblocks for these long-overdue energy savings standards will help the environment, the economy, and our wallets -- all the while supporting President Obama’s climate plan to reduce carbon dioxide pollution. read more>>>

wind turbines

Timing a Rise in Sea Level
August 12, 2013 - Thirty-five years ago, a scientist named John H. Mercer issued a warning. By then it was already becoming clear that human emissions would warm the earth, and Dr. Mercer had begun thinking deeply about the consequences.

His paper, in the journal Nature, was titled “West Antarctic Ice Sheet and CO2 Greenhouse Effect: A Threat of Disaster.” In it, Dr. Mercer pointed out the unusual topography of the ice sheet sitting over the western part of Antarctica. read more>>>

Fighting Climate Change Denial: Climate Disruption in Perspective
31 July 2013 - Oxford Research Group’s work on ‘sustainable security’ is centred on four trends that are likely to influence international and intra-national conflict in the coming decades – climate change, socio-economic divisions, resource scarcities and militarisation. It addresses a dysfunctional security paradigm that is centred on responding to threats rather than concentrating on and preventing the underlying causes. The first of these, the issue of climate change, is one that has overwhelming scientific support, yet arouses very strong and determined opposition. The recent report from the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) on global climate weather trends from 2001-2010, published on 3 July 2013, may help tip the balance in favour of responding in time to the risks of climate disruption. read more>>>

Get Started With Green Energy at

More of America’s wind turbines are actually being built in America
13 Aug 2013 - The equipment that’s powering America’s wind energy boom is increasingly being made right at home.

In 2007, just 25 percent of turbine components used in new wind farms in the U.S. were produced domestically. By last year, that figure had risen to 72 percent, according to a new report from the U.S. Department of Energy. And exports of such equipment rose to $388 million last year, up from $16 million in 2007. read more>>>

Moniz on energy loans: ‘What is there to be defensive about?’
08/13/13 - Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz is touting federal green energy loans that have drawn strong criticism from Republicans over the collapse of the solar panel company Solyndra.

Moniz, speaking at a green energy summit in Nevada, said that the overall program, which supports low emissions energy projects and automakers, has been a major success.

“My view is, what is there to be defensive about?” Moniz said of the loan and loan guarantee programs. read more>>>

High-speed monitors keep watch over today's 'much more complicated' grid
August 13, 2013 - By the end of next year, more than 1,000 new ultra-high-speed monitoring devices will be in place across the United States and Canadian electric power network.

Called phasor measurement units (PMUs), the tools provide time-stamped measures of grid conditions in milliseconds to reveal threats to the grid's stability that would be hidden from standard, slower monitors.

Had synchrophasor data been available 10 years ago, the massive Aug. 14, 2003, Northeast blackout probably could have been averted, said Alison Silverstein, one of three staff directors of the U.S.-Canada task force that investigated the outage. read more>>>

Clarinda school district considers wind power
August 13, 2013 - Leaders of a southwest Iowa school district are considering an alternative energy source to help power its biggest campus. Clarinda’s school board is weighing the benefits of putting up a wind turbine to provide electricity at Clarinda High School. Superintendent Paul Honnold says the turbine would greatly offset power bills.

“The one turbine can provide more than $16,000 in electrical savings annually which represents about half of the annual cost of the high school facility,” Honnold says. read more>>>

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