Sunday, October 27, 2013

Alternative Clean Energy Roundup: 27 October 2013

Independence Through Microgrids: When The Power Goes Out, Some Are Just Going Off The Grid
October 21, 2013 - Besides the Seaside Heights roller coaster laying mangled in the ocean, and the New York skyline half blacked out, one of the most iconic images from Superstorm Sandy’s collision with the East coast were the jerry-rigged charging stations created by the fortunate few who had power, for the millions who didn’t.

In Hoboken, NJ where the National Guard had to be called in to rescue people trapped in their apartments by streets turned into rivers, one block kept the power on throughout it all, and residents helpfully dangled extension cords out their windows for those who were desperate to charge phones. read more>>>

Zimbabwe: Steps Towards a Green Economy
21 October 2013 - THE concept of the green economy has now become inseparable with sustainable development in a time of climate change.

But, how does the green economy work? Before attempting a response to this question, it is important to first understand what it is that makes an economy green.

The green economy, as defined by the UN Environment Programme, is one which results in improved human well-being and social equity while significantly reducing environmental risks and ecological scarcities. read more>>>

Earthquake Kits

Green Economy: Balancing Jobs, Environment
October 21, 2013 - The nation's largest labor unions are ready and willing to help fight global warming, but are cautioning environmentalists that workers need new clean-energy jobs before existing industries are shut down.

The four-day Power Shift conference in Pittsburgh is training young people to stop coal mining, fracking for oil and gas, and nuclear power, but organizers also want workers to join the battle against climate change.

Union leaders say their workers want to help build a new, green economy. read more>>>

Residential solar more mainstream than you think
October 22, 2013 - Interest in residential solar installations is stronger and broader than expected among American consumers, even when those consumers are educated on associated costs, according to E2 (Energy + Environment) research from Market Strategies International. The interest is generally strong across all age and income groups with few exceptions.

In fact, 61 percent of survey respondents are either "somewhat" or "very interested" in purchasing and installing a home solar system. read more>>>

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Wind PPA would double OPPD renewable energy generation
October 22, 2013 - With wind prices at historic lows, the Omaha Public Power District (OPPD) has received approval from its Board of Directors for a long-term power purchase agreement (PPA) to buy up to 400 MW of wind generated electricity from Grande Prairie Wind Farm.

The 20-year power purchase agreement will be OPPD's largest wind power purchase to date and allows OPPD to strategically plan for the future in order to provide affordable, reliable and environmentally sensitive energy services to its customers. Acting now also allows the District to take advantage of Federal Production Tax Credits. read more>>>

Green Insurance Market: Competitive and Growing
October 21, 2013 - The green insurance market is a good market in every sense of the word. The green building industry is growing. The insurance market for green buildings — both residential and commercial property coverage — is also growing. And for a new and emerging industry, the claims history for green insurance coverage has so far proven to be what was expected.

“The green building market is very strong,” says Steve Bushnell, a senior director at Novato Calif., based-Fireman’s Fund Insurance Co. “New construction and renovation took a little bit of a hit in 2008-2012 but it’s rebounding well.” Bushnell believes that green building is the future. “Green buildings will be the way buildings are built or renovated in the future.” read more>>>

Holiday Sale

Solar Technology: Unique Material Far Cheaper to Produce and Almost as Efficient
Oct. 21, 2013 — In the near future, solar panels will not only be more efficient but also a lot cheaper and affordable for everyone, thanks to research by Nanyang Technological University (NTU) scientists.

This next generation solar cell, made from organic-inorganic hybrid perovskite materials, is about five times cheaper than current thin-film solar cells, due to a simpler solution-based manufacturing process.

Perovskite is known to be a remarkable solar cell material as it can convert up to 15 per cent of sunlight to electricity, close to the efficiency of the current solar cells, but scientists did not know why or how, until now. read more>>>

Predicting the Life Expectancy of Solar Modules
Oct. 22, 2013 — Solar modules are exposed to many environmental influences that cause material to fatigue over the years. Researchers have developed a procedure to calculate effects of these influences over the long term. This allows reliable lifespan predictions.

People who invest in their own solar panels for the roof would like as a rule to profit from them over the long term -- but how long will this technology actually last for? While most manufacturers guarantee a lifetime of up to 25 years to their customers, the manufacturers themselves cannot make reliable predictions about the expected operating life. The modules must fulfill certain standards, of course, to be approved for operation. read more>>>

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Amping Up Solar in the Snowy North
Oct. 22, 2013 — Solar farms are a no-brainer in warm and sunny places, but what about in northern climes where snow can cover and even shut down the panels?

Michigan Technological University's Keweenaw Research Center (KRC) is now part of a two-year study that will help answer that question. The aims are to gauge how snow affects solar panels' power generation and determine the best ways to overcome any losses.

The international engineering firm DNV GL, which specializes in large energy- and sustainability-related projects, has built an array of solar photovoltaic panels behind KRC, each set at a different angle, from 0 degrees (flat) to 45 degrees. read more>>>

CA adopts game-changing energy storage targets
October 23, 2013 - The California Public Utilities Commission (PUC) has unanimously passed a decision to build high-tech energy storage systems that will further enable California's renewable energy future and move the state closer to building a modern, sustainable power grid, establishing an energy storage target of 1,325 MW for Pacific Gas and Electric Company, Southern California Edison, and San Diego Gas & Electric by 2020, with installations required no later than the end of 2024.

The guiding principles of the decision are 1) the optimization of the grid, including peak reduction, contribution to reliability needs, or deferment of transmission and distribution upgrade investments; 2) the integration of renewable energy; and, 3) the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions to 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050, per California's goals. read more>>>

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