Thursday, August 22, 2013

Alternative Clean Energy Roundup: 22 August 2013

Recovery Act projects demonstrating smart grid value of PMUs
August 14, 2013 - Having a network of phasor measurement units (PMU) is a necessary step to improving the efficiency, reliability, and resiliency of grid operations but actually using the synchrophasor data produced by PMUs requires new capabilities that need to be developed and integrated within established planning and operating procedures, according to research from the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability's Smart Grid Investment Grant program based on an analysis by the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. The report focuses on the 12 Recovery Act synchrophasor projects being carried out under SGIG and the Smart Grid Demonstration programs. read more>>>

Smart building, smart grid integration
August 14, 2013 - The integration of smart buildings with the smart grid could play a vital role in maximizing energy conservation in buildings while generating income and reducing operating costs, according to research from Memoori. One of the main drivers for interfacing and integrating smart grid with smart buildings is to take advantage of distributed energy available in many hundreds of thousands of smart buildings and industrial sites globally.

In the United States and United Kingdom alone, there are some 100,000 buildings suitable to integrate with smart grid, which today accounts for around 30 percent of the total world population of buildings, according to Memoori. Further, in the United States, 90,000 of those are in commercial and industrial sector. read more>>>

New Solar Mounting System Pushes System Efficiency to Near 100%
August 14, 2013 - Schletter, a global manufacturer of solar mounting systems, announces the release of the PvMini, a lightweight, ballasted ground mount system for landfills, brownfields, and areas with rocky terrain. The system’s triangle supports and proprietary new ProfiPlus XT™ rail design allows for longer spans and decreased ballast weight.

The ProfiPlus XT rail is engineered to allow for more lightweight components and increased spans between foundations, thereby optimizing system efficiency—to near 100% in most instances. The new system is designed specifically for single-row vertical or two-row horizontal module configurations and arrives partially pre-assembled for fast installation with no heavy machinery required. read more>>>

Plastic Solar Cells' New Design Promises Bright Future
Aug. 14, 2013 — Energy consumption is growing rapidly in the 21st century, with rising energy costs and sustainability issues greatly impacting the quality of human life. Harvesting energy directly from sunlight to generate electricity using photovoltaic technologies is considered to be one of the most promising opportunities to produce electricity in an environmentally benign fashion.

Among the various photovoltaic technologies, polymer (plastic) solar cells offer unique attractions and opportunities. These solar cells contain Earth-abundant and environmentally benign materials, can be made flexible and lightweight, and can be fabricated using roll-to-roll technologies similar to how newspapers are printed. But the challenge has been improving the cells' power-conversion efficiency. read more>>>

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Iowa Will Add 1.05GW New Wind Energy Capacity By 2015
owa will add 1.05 gigawatts of new wind energy capacity by 2015, thanks to the Iowa Utilities Board’s approval of a $1.9 billion proposal from MidAmerican Energy.

Regulatory approval of the Wind VII project paves the way for construction to start as soon as September 2013. The wind farm sites have already secured development and grid interconnection rights, and will bring hundreds of green jobs and millions in revenue to landowners and the government.

MidAmerican’s proposal, first announced in May 2013, will build 448 new wind turbines across Madison, Marshall, Grundy, O’Brien, and Webster counties without any increase in customer rates or any state funding. read more>>>

Solar Wind Energy Tower, Inc. files key patent
13 August 2013 - Solar Wind Energy Tower, Inc., the inventor of a large Solar Wind Downdraft Tower structure it believes is capable of producing abundant, inexpensive electricity, has filed a new patent application titled "Atmospheric Energy Extraction Devices and Methods."

The application was filed with request for prioritized examination.

In a written statement, the company said the objectives of the new patent application are significant. read more>>>

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Five Surprising Environmental Careers
August 13, 2013 - Environmental policy is always a hot-button topic not only on Capitol Hill, but just about everywhere else as well. Some politicians and pundits fear that increased environmental regulations could hurt job growth, while others believe that environmental protection policies could create more jobs overall, even if some positions may be lost due to regulations.

The debate rages on, but the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported the number of green goods and services (GGS) jobs increased by 157,746 in 2011. read more>>>

Solar, wind power gain over nuclear power in China, says German official
German official says solar and wind generation is reaching the market faster than nuclear power under Beijing's latest five-year plan

08 July, 2013 - China's thinking has shifted increasingly towards renewable energy, which is reaching the market faster than nuclear power, a German environment official has said.

"If you analyse the last 10 years, the thinking in China has shifted more and more towards renewables. I see that renewables are getting to the markets quicker than expected and nuclear energy is getting to the markets slower than expected," said Karsten Sach, deputy director general for European and international environment policy at the German Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety. He was speaking to the South China Morning Post in Berlin. read more>>>

Court Forces Yucca Mtn. Decision on U.S. Nuclear Regulators
August 13, 2013 - A federal appeals court ruled today that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission can no longer delay a decision on whether or not to grant a permit to the stalled nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada.

In a 2-1 decision, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ordered the NRC to make up its mind promptly. “The Nuclear Regulatory Commission must promptly continue with the legally mandated licensing process,” wrote Judge Brett Kavanaugh for the majority of two.

“The Commission is simply flouting the law,” ruled Kavanaugh. read more>>>

Ghana’s green economy to thrive with ‘Impact Investing’
August 15, 2013 - The future of business investments in Ghana should move in the direction of ventures that add value to the local eco-system, says the Venture Capital Trust Fund (VCTF).

The Fund is at the forefront of promoting ‘impact investing’, a concept that accommodate a strategy for creating positive social and environmental impact beyond financial return. read more>>>

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