Thursday, November 14, 2013

Alternative Clean Energy Roundup: 14 November 2013

Microsoft enters 20-year deal for Texas wind power
Nov. 4, 2013 - It takes a lot of energy to store all the data 1 billion people and 20 million businesses plug into their computers, phones, tablets and gadgets. So as part of an effort to become carbon neutral, Microsoft Corp. has entered a 20-year deal to buy power from a new wind farm in Texas, the first time the tech giant is directly purchasing electricity from a specific source.

The deal announced Monday between Microsoft and RES Americas is being funded in part by money collected from a 'carbon fee,' an internal tax of sorts that the company has been charging its departments for every ton of carbon produced. Microsoft also hopes the deal will be a model for other parts of its global operations, said Brian Janous, Microsoft's director of energy strategy. read more>>>

£5 million boost for energy storage innovation
Two British entrepreneurs have been awarded a share of over £5million to spur on innovation in energy storage, Energy and Climate Change Minister Baroness Verma announced today.

Contracts have been awarded to REDT UK Ltd and Moixa Technology Ltd, as part of the Department of Energy and Climate Change’s innovation competition to support energy storage research and demonstration.

REDT UK Ltd has developed a technology to store electricity from wind turbines, and Moixa Energy Ltd has developed small battery-based storage units which could be installed directly into people’s homes to store power and re-use it at times of peak demand. read more>>>

Creative Kidstuff

Dairy digester to turn cow waste into valuable electricity
Nov. 5, 2013 - The small city of Galt on Sacramento County’s southern edge was founded by farmers, ranchers and dairymen like Arlin Van Groningen, a third-generation dairy farmer who continues the family tradition on a 90-acre plot off Harvey Road just north of town.

“We concentrate on cows,” he said. “Our goal is to produce a clean milk product.”

And his 1,200 head of dairy cattle do that every day at New Hope Dairy, the operation he owns with fellow dairyman Arlan Van Leeuwen. read more>>>

Brazil could be Latin America's wind hub
November 6, 2013 - Although wind plant construction across Latin America is modest compared to more established markets, such as South and East Asia, North America, and Europe, the region's wind power industry is taking off at a rapid pace, according to Navigant Research. In fact, Navigant predicts that annual wind power installations in Latin America will roughly double in terms of capacity over the next 10 years --growing from nearly 2.2 GW in 2013 to 4.3 GW by 2022.

Latin America has become the hottest growth market for the wind energy industry at a time when growth rates in other markets are flat due to a variety of policy and macroeconomic challenges. read more>>>

Green jobs and innovation in regions is key to future growth
November 08, 2013 - THE HUMBER region was flagged up by Shadow Minister for Energy and Climate Change, Julie Elliott MP, as she pledged Labour's support for job creation in the fast-growing rene wable energy sector.

Opposition leader Ed Miliband is himself a former Energy Secretary and a staunch supporter of offshore wind, having been a speaker at an event that saw Able Marine Energy Park first publicly championed to industry.

Ms Elliott said: "Long-term sustainable economic growth is built on innovation, green jobs and a low carbon economy. read more>>>

Wireless Device Converts 'Lost' Energy Into Electric Power: Metamaterial Cells Provide Electric Power as Efficiently as Solar Panels
Nov. 7, 2013 — Using inexpensive materials configured and tuned to capture microwave signals, researchers at Duke University's Pratt School of Engineering have designed a power-harvesting device with efficiency similar to that of modern solar panels.

The device wirelessly converts the microwave signal to direct current voltage capable of recharging a cell phone battery or other small electronic device, according to a report appearing in the journal Applied Physics Letters in December 2013.

It operates on a similar principle to solar panels, which convert light energy into electrical current. But this versatile energy harvester could be tuned to harvest the signal from other energy sources, including satellite signals, sound signals or Wi-Fi signals, the researchers say. read more>>>

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Solar Energy: Improved Data Mining Tool for Hourly Solar Radiation
Nov. 7, 2013 — Solar energy is free, clean, and usually available in abundance. However, solar radiation is also less predictable than many kinds of fossilfuel. Researchers at the Institute of Networked and Embedded Systems have developed a model that allows a more accurate prediction of hourly solar radiation.

“The harnessing and use of solar energy will continue to gain relevance, particularly when viewed against the background of the elevated cost of fossil fuels and their negative impact upon the environment”, Tamer Khatib (Institute of Networked and Embedded Systems) explains. Together with his colleague Wilfried Elmenreich he has developed a new approach for improved data mining for hourly solar radiation. read more>>>

Home is where the green is
Energy-efficient construction gains popularity amid challenges

November 8, 2013 - As energy prices continue to rise, "green" construction is moving to the forefront of builders' — and buyers' — minds in the Lehigh Valley. Long the realm of environmentalists, green building is quickly becoming a mainstream issue — and one that experts say builders and real estate agents ignore at their own peril.

"There's absolutely more and more people starting to see the value in it," says Brian Baker, president of Lehigh Valley Green Builders, a nonprofit organization that aims to promote green building and renewable energy. "At the end of the day, what makes sense is saving money on your home, long-term, and the best way to do that is to build a high-performance green home." read more>>>

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One in five Italian companies invests in green economy
Eco-companies hired 3 million workers, GreenItaly report says

November 6 2013 - The green economy can help recession-hit Italy recover, according to the annual 'GreenItaly' report published on Monday by Unioncamere, the association of the nation's chambers of commerce, and think tank Symbola Foundation. 'GreenItaly 2013. Nourishing the future' showed that since the beginning of the global economic crisis in 2008, one in five Italian companies has invested in the green economy as a successful strategy to confront the longest and most profound recession in over two decades. The green economy currently employs 3 million workers and can potentially employ another 3.7 million, generating added-value of 100,8 billion euros, about 10.6% of the total, the report said. An estimated 328,000 companies - 22% of the total - have invested in the green economy since 2008 with an eye on the environment and another on saving up energy, said GreenItaly 2013. read more>>>

Clegg: 'This Coalition will not turn its back on the environment'
07 Nov 2013 - Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg will today seek to reassert the Lib Dem's commitment to the green agenda, arguing that it would be a "huge mistake" for the coalition to cave in to attacks on the green economy led by senior figures in the Conservative Party.

Clegg is to deliver a lecture at the RSA hosted by the Green Alliance think tank in which he will respond publicly for the first time to what he will describe as the "falling away" of the political consensus between the three main parties on the importance of the green economy and action on climate change.

With Prime Minister David Cameron recently promising a roll back of some "green levies" and Conservative Ministers and backbenchers emboldened in their attacks on green policies, Clegg will stress that the junior coalition partner will not dilute its support for the green economy. read more>>>

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