Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Alternative Clean Energy Roundup: 24 December 2013

Energy Department Releases Grid Energy Storage Report
Dec. 12, 2013 - As part of the Obama Administration’s commitment to a cleaner, more secure energy future, Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz released the Energy Department’s Grid Energy Storage report to the members of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. The report was commissioned at the request of Senator Ron Wyden, Committee Chairman. The report identifies the benefits of grid energy storage, the challenges that must be addressed to enable broader use, and the efforts of the Energy Department, in conjunction with industry and other government organizations, to meet those challenges.

“Energy storage is a vital component of a more resilient, reliable and efficient electric grid,” said Secretary Moniz. “We must continue developing innovative energy storage technologies and finding new ways to ensure wider adoption to help move the nation closer to the grid of the future.” read more>>>

Environment experts call for more green buildings
18 December 2013 - Green buildings are still rare in Viet Nam though the country is among the 10 most vulnerable in the world to climate change and sea level rise.

Environmental and construction experts told a conference on energy-efficient construction held yesterday by the Viet Nam Green Building Council and the HCM City Institute for Development Studies that green construction is still restricted to slogans.

Buildings use a lot of energy and this put huge pressure on both the environment and house owners, especially in the last decade.

With fuel bills headed in only one direction in the foreseeable future and given the economic situation, Viet Nam needs to put energy efficiency on the front burner. read more>>>

Survey shows EVs could be viable for majority of Americans
65 percent see EVs as essential to nation's energy future

December 19, 2013 - While less than 1 percent of the country are currently driving electric vehicles (EV), a new survey has found that four out of 10 households could use an electric vehicle with little or no change to their driving habits and vehicle needs. The national Union of Concerned Scientists/Consumers Union survey found that 42 percent of respondents with cars -- equivalent to 45 million households across the country -- meet the basic criteria for using plug-in hybrid electric vehicles.

Survey respondents met the basic criteria for using a typical plug-in hybrid EV if they have access to parking and an electrical outlet at home or work, need to carry less than five occupants, and do not need hauling or towing capability. read more>>>

Smart glass for improving building energy performance
December 19, 2013 - The design trend in buildings is for greater use of glass. Yet, building regulations and voluntary measures are pushing for improvements in energy performance. Smart glass can satisfy both the design aspirations for increased glazing and the push toward lower energy consumption. Currently, smart glass prices are at least double those of static, high-performance window glazing, and have slowed adoption of these energy-saving materials, but that will change over the next 10 years as the cost of electrochromic and suspended particle smart glass glazing units falls by more than 50 percent, according to Navigant Research.

Smart glass provides dynamic glare, light, and heat control based on ambient conditions or manual controls. As buildings become glassier, building codes are becoming stricter and energy performance is growing in importance to building owners. read more>>>

Wind and Weather

Solar Power has Natural Gas in its Crosshairs
Dec 19th 2013 - There may be rainy days ahead for natural gas. The nation's newest cheap fuel is getting more expensive, and a new report predicts that solar (yes, solar) will be cost competitive with natural gas by 2025. But the news isn't all bad for natural gas investors. Here's what you need to know.

According to Lux Research, unsubsidized utility-scale solar power will give natural gas a run for its money by 2025. In 10 different regions around the globe (including the United States), solar electricity prices will drop enough over the next 12 years to make the renewable energy as cheap as natural gas. read more>>>

Combustible ice exploration in China offers new green energy source
2013-12-19 - At a time when the global economy is exploring all kinds of alternative energy sources, China has announced that combustible ice — frozen methane and water — may replace traditional energy sources such as oil, with commercial development of the new resource in China likely around 2030, the state-run China News Service reports.

On Dec. 17, the Ministry of Land and Resources held a press briefing to announce the results of exploration of combustible ice in Chinese waters in 2013.

Methane hydrate is an ice-like substance that is sometimes called combustible ice since it can literally be set alight and burned as fuel, however, rather than dig up the substance as is, excavators would likely melt the ice underground first and then extract the methane. Researchers are still investigating the most appropriate way to extract the fuel for commercialization. read more>>>

UConn microgrid to open in fall
December 19, 2013 - Microgrid at UConn's Depot campus in Mansfield is on schedule to be operational in fall after receiving $2.1 million in funding.

Designed for emergency outages, the proposed microgrid is powered by a 400 kilowatt fuel cell and a 6.6 kilowatt solar array to provide uninterrupted electricity.

This will allow for public amenities and emergency services including outlets for charging electronics, public kitchens, bathrooms, and even charging stations for electric cars. read more>>>

OCI Solar Power Completes Texas' Largest Solar Farm
Dec. 18, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The first phase of Texas' 400MW solar project is now operating in San Antonio. The 41MW Alamo I solar farm is phase one of a 400MW development, which is expected to make Texas one of the top solar producing states when complete.

Alamo I will generate energy for 6,600 homes powered by CPS Energy and reduce hazardous carbon dioxide emissions by 57,000 tons - the equivalent of taking 9,500 cars off the road in Greater San Antonio. More than 167,000 solar panels cover the 450-acre solar farm.

"By 2020, 65 percent of our community's electricity will come from resources that are low- or no-carbon emitting — reducing emissions in an amount that's equal to removing more than a million cars from local roads," said CPS Energy CEO Doyle Beneby. read more>>>

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REC provides Peak Energy solar panels for Australian rooftop installation
18 December 2013 - Global solar energy company REC has provided its Peak Energy Series solar panels for Australia’s largest privately funded rooftop solar installation

The new plant is owned and operated by Australian data centre company NEXTDC and is located at the company’s Port Melbourne facility. The plant incorporates 1,575 high performing REC 255 Peak Energy solar panels covering almost 3,000 square metres of rooftop space and was constructed by Energy Matters, an REC Platinum Partner company. The project is the first such installation within the Australian data centre industry but could point the way forward for other players in the sector. read more>>>

First Solar modules selected for French power projects
18 December 2013 - Advanced thin-film photovoltaic (PV) modules manufactured by First Solar will power four solar energy plants in France, with a combined capacity of 48 megawatts (MW)

The projects have been developed and are owned by the French renewable energy company Photosol and are being constructed in France’s Auvergne and Midi-Pyrénées regions. Three of the plants, with a total capacity of 37MW, are located in the communes of Dompierre sur Bresbe, Gennetines and Marmanhac. A fourth plant, with a capacity of 11MW, is being built in Sarrazac. The engineering company Jayme da Costa Energie, which has been a longstanding partner with Photosol since 2011, is providing Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) services for all four projects. read more>>>


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