December 6, 2013 - A trio of House Democrats yesterday introduced legislation to require utilities to generate 25 percent of their electricity from renewable sources by 2025.
Reps. Jared Polis (Colo.), Ben Ray Luján (N.M.) and Ann McLane Kuster (N.H.) say the bill would create jobs and promote the growth of wind, solar and other renewable energy sources. It would apply the renewable energy standard concept — already in place in 29 states — to the entire country. read more>>>
09 December 2013 - The European Investment Bank (EIB) has made its largest equity investment in clean energy this year, with a €50 million (US$68.5 million) investment into the second Glennmont Fund.
The €50 million investment will go directly to Glennmont Partner’s second clean energy infrastructure fund, a third of which is expected to go towards PV projects in Europe.
Glennmont Partners is a European clean energy investment fund manager; it raised €200 million towards the second clean energy fund in August. read more>>>
4 December 2013 - At a forum last week, Singapore’s Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Vivian Balakrishnan delivered a reality check to business and government leaders about the United Nations climate talks that recently concluded in Warsaw.
Lack of political will and the issue of fairness continue to plague the talks, he said. “I’m not sure at what point that disasters at a global level will be so severe that public and political opinion will change fundamentally.”
His comments at the Responsible Business Forum on Sustainable Development set a sobering but urgent tone, because it made clear that it is up to individual governments and companies to collaborate as drivers of economic change in the coming decades. read more>>>
December 3rd, 2013 - According to a new report released by the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), soft costs accounted for 63.5% of total costs of residential solar installations, 56.7% for small commercial systems ( < 250kW) and 52% for large commercial systems ( ≥ 250kW) in 2012. The report, entitled, Benchmarking Non-Hardware Balance-of-System (Soft) Costs for U.S. Photovoltaic Systems, Using a Bottom-Up Approach and Installer Survey, broke down soft costs into the following categories: sales tax, supply chain costs, installer/developer profit, indirect corporate costs, transaction costs, customer acquisition, permit fee, PII labor, and installation labor.
The results of this new report should come as no surprise given the decline in solar PV hardware costs in recent years. The report noted that residential solar PV prices have dropped from approximately $3.30/W in 2010 to $1.83/W in 2012. read more>>>
Dec. 3, 2013 — Renewable energy sources such as wind-powered generators can be more reliable and efficient by better controlling the process of getting electricity onto the power grid, according to a United States patent based on research by Dr. Shuhui Li, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering at The University of Alabama.
Li, with assistance from Dr. Tim Haskew, professor and head of the electrical engineering department, found in their research that wind turbines often stop sending electricity to the grid because of competing processes in converting electricity into a form usable for power distribution. The patent, granted in November to UA, claims an algorithm that when programmed into the turbine's power electronics better controls the electric conversion. read more>>>
December 4, 2013 - New areas of growth will be front and center in the global energy and environment market in 2014, according to Frost & Sullivan. Based on a '2013 Search for Growth' survey of 1835 executives in more than 40 countries, Frost & Sullivan sees new areas of growth, including urbanization and smart cities, the changing dynamics of unconventional gas, and opportunities generated from increased environmental awareness and legislation, as key topics in 2014 and beyond.
According to the Frost & Sullivan, a growing percentage of the global population will be living in cities and urban areas in the coming decades creating myriad challenges. For example, urban populations will be higher income, and the growing middle class will consume more goods, resources, energy, and water, and create more waste and pollution. read more>>>
December 11th 2013 - Government plans to improve take-up of its Green Deal scheme, are inadequate, say construction industry lobbyists.
Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC) announced changes to the Green Deal scheme yesterday aimed at streamlining and simplifying its underperforming energy-efficiency scheme.
However, the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) says that these changes do not go far enough. The FMB says that the government needs to cut VAT on renovation and repair work and fund a high-profile communications campaign to market the scheme. read more>>>
December 4, 2013 - The adoption of smart grid is contributing to the growth of the global smart housing market and the availability of self-help smart home applications, according to Infinity Research.
Smart grids include the integration of various smart technologies at the consumer end to the power grid, including smart housing equipment like smart meters, photovoltaic, small wind generator systems, energy storage systems, and home energy management systems.
"Companies that provide smart housing equipment solutions are nowadays increasingly introducing user-friendly programming platforms that are used to deploy several self-help applications," an analyst on the report said. read more>>>
Project allows mid-Atlantic island to boost wind capacity, incorporate renewable energy and maintain the stability of grid
Dec. 4, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- ABB, the leading global power and automation technology group and a key developer of power grid solutions, has delivered and commissioned a microgrid control solution that enables the island of Faial in the Atlantic ocean to add more wind energy to its power mix without destabilizing the network.
Faial is one of nine volcanic islands in the Azores, a Portuguese archipelago located midway between Europe and North America, about 1,500 kilometers from the mainland. The island of 15,000 inhabitants has an electricity network which operates as a self-contained microgrid, powered by six oil-fired generators that produce up to 17 megawatts (MW) of electric power. read more>>>
4 December 2013 - South Africa has made progress in reducing the carbon, energy and material intensities of its economy and in managing its natural asset base, including water, biodiversity and mineral resources.
This is according to a country review compiled by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
The environmental performance review, which was released in Pretoria on Tuesday, noted that South Africa has made progress in the transition to a low-carbon, energy- and resource-efficient economy, managing the natural asset base as well as improving the environmental quality of life. read more>>>