Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Alternative Clean Energy Roundup: 18 December 2013

The Key to Green-Powered Microgrids
December 11, 2013 - Modern grids rely on many different resources to stabilize the electricity they carry. But in simple terms, let’s separate them into two main types: those that have “inertia” and those that don’t.

Spinning resources like turbines and generators have inertia, meaning that they slow down and speed up in ways that directly interact with and improve the stability of the electrical system. Solar and wind power inverters lack inertia, and while they can be programmed or controlled to perform certain grid-balancing tasks, they just don’t provide the same stability as spinning metal, magnets and wire. read more>>>

Con Edison bringing smart grid to Wall Street
December 11, 2013 - With one of the highest load densities in the world, Con Edison's smart grid demonstration project encompasses a complex and diverse test bed, including critical organizations such as Wall Street, the Federal Reserve, major medical facilities, and hubs for national and global communications.

The objective of the Secure Interoperable Open Smart Grid Demonstration Project is to build a scalable smart grid prototype that promotes cyber security, reduces electric demand, increases reliability and energy efficiency, and is cost effective. In addition, the system will enable greater use of renewable energy, other distributed resources, electric vehicle charging and greater consumer participation in the energy mix. read more>>>


Global CPV to grow 750% by next decade
December 11, 2013 - After years of slow progress, the global market for concentrated photovoltaic (CPV) systems is entering a phase of explosive growth, following years of slow progress, with worldwide installations set to increase by 750 percent from 2013 to the end of 2020, according to IHS Inc. CPV installations will rise to 1,362 MW in 2020, up from 160 MW in 2013, with installations expanding at percentages in the double-digits every year through 2020, IHS predicts.

CPV technology employs lenses or mirrors to focus sunlight onto solar cells. But while this allows for more efficient PV energy generation, the use of additional optics for focusing sunlight has also driven up the cost of CPV compared to conventional PV installations, limiting the acceptance of concentrated solar solutions. Nonetheless, the situation is changing rapidly as advancements in CPV technology reduce costs. read more>>>

Sherrod Brown, others talk green industrial revolution
December 10 2013 - During a Dec. 10 press teleconference call, Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, joined leaders in discussing how the U.S. economy and labor movement might be bolstered by advancements in renewable energy. Together, they released a report titled The Green Industrial Revolution and the United States: In the Clean Energy Race, is the United States a Leader or a Luddite? It proposes utilizing the country's national strengths and ability to innovate at local levels, to drive leadership in clean energy manufacturing. read more>>>

wind turbines

Freshkills to Big Solar
December 10, 2013 - The Big Apple knows how to do big. Freshkills Park in Staten Island, formerly the world’s largest landfill, is slowly but surely being transformed into New York City’s largest park. It will provide reaction and aesthetic value, but the new park will also become the city’s largest solar farm.

47 of Freshkills Park’s 2,200 acres are slated for solarization, as the land has been leased for 20 years by SunEdison, a California based solar power plant operator and energy provider. When the installation is complete,the electricity from SunEdison’s panels will channel into the city’s ConEdison electrical grid, and the site has the potential to generate 10 megawatts of power, or the amount needed to power around 2,000 homes. Freshkills Park also has the capacity to boost New York City’s renewable energy generation by a whopping 50%. read more>>>

Africa: 'Green Economies' for Africa's Sustainable Development
9 December 2013 - Africa can achieve sustainable development by scaling up "green economy" initiatives. What is needed is increased allocations from within national budgets supplemented by donor funding, claim experts.

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) defines a green economy initiative as one that results in "improved human well-being and social equity, while significantly reducing environmental risks and ecological scarcities". In its simplest expression, a green economy is low-carbon, resource efficient, and socially inclusive - according to UNEP.

And now, experts say that embracing this initiative through a concept known as Low-Carbon Climate Resilient Development - meaning engaging in projects that will help reduce greenhouse gas emission, help adapt to climate change while boosting income, will help Africa move towards sustainable development read more>>>

NRDC power plant proposal cuts carbon pollution at low cost with major benefits
Dec. 5, 2013 - A pioneering plan proposed by the Natural Resources Defense Council would reduce carbon pollution from America’s existing power plants by at least 20 percent this decade while delivering more than $20 billion in public health and environmental benefits, according to Dan Lashof, director of the Clean Air and Climate program at NRDC.

The plan would cut dangerous carbon pollution with a cost-effective system that would promote investment in energy efficiency and actually save some consumers money. It also offers flexibility to states and a fair approach for states with a high percentage of coal-fired plants so that they can meet the new requirements in an affordable manner. read more>>>

Students build careers at Cabrillo's Solari Green Technology Center in Watsonville
12/11/2013 - Monica Ramirez, 16, thought about a career in construction after helping her father build stables.

After a visit to the Solari Green Technology Center at the Cabrillo College campus in downtown Watsonville on Wednesday, the high school junior is even more convinced it's the right path for her.

"Looking at this building, I'm getting inspired to do construction," she said.

The Solari center, a building filled with natural light and constructed to the highest environmental standards, opened in Fall 2012. Cabrillo officials hosted an open house at the center Wednesday to highlight the facility and courses available within its walls. The spring semester starts Jan. 27, and registration is underway. read more>>>

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IRENA Demystifies Renewable Energy Costs
Dec. 10, 2013 - On the occasion of the sixth meeting of its Council in Abu Dhabi, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) yesterday launched a unique web portal dedicated to renewable energy cost analysis ( The portal provides access to IRENA’s data and analysis at no cost to users.

“IRENA has developed the most current and comprehensive global database of renewable energy project costs available to the public. Our new portal makes this resource available for policy makers, businesses and the renewable energy community worldwide,” said Dolf Gielen, Director of the IRENA Innovation and Technology Centre in Bonn, Germany, and project leader for this initiative. read more>>>

DOE investment to drive solar manufacturing
December 12, 2013 - The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has announced more than $13 million for five projects to strengthen domestic solar manufacturing and speed commercialization of efficient, affordable photovoltaic and concentrating solar power technologies. As part of the SunShot Initiative, these awards will help lower the cost of solar electricity, support a growing U.S. solar workforce and increase U.S. competitiveness in the global clean energy market.

The Energy Department investment will help drive affordable, efficient solar power in the United States and help industry partners meet the SunShot Initiative's goal of making solar energy fully cost-competitive with traditional energy sources by the end of the decade. These awards also support the Department's broader Clean Energy Manufacturing Initiative to increase the efficiency of the U.S. manufacturing sector and ensure that clean energy technologies continue to be made in America. read more>>>

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