Sunday, December 8, 2013

Alternative Clean Energy Roundup: 8 December 2013

Batteries included: The 'grid of the future' takes shape
November 21, 2013 - The end of October marked the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Sandy, whose electrical system aftermath continues to drive calls for an updated and more resilient energy infrastructure nationwide. Earlier in August, the Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force released its full strategy, chock full of references to “smarter” and “more flexible” energy infrastructure. Recent reports and initiatives from NREL and the Department of Homeland Security echoed those sentiments.

Clearly, the importance of resiliency is part of the national-level conversation, and it seems that more communities are taking notice. "Islandable," renewable, resilient microgrids are a promising strategy, yet their widespread implementation in commercial applications is still mostly conceptual. read more>>>

Power Boosting Self-Cleaning Solar Panels
Nov. 21, 2013 — High-power, self-cleaning solar panels might be coming soon to a roof near you. There are two obvious problems with photovoltaic cells, solar panels. First, they are very shiny and so a lot of the incident sunlight is simply reflected back into the sky rather than being converted into electricity. Secondly, they get dirty with dust and debris caught on the wind and residues left behind by rain and birds.

Now, research published in the International Journal of Nanomanufacturing suggests that it might be possible to add a nanoscopic relief pattern to the surface of solar cells that makes them non-reflective significantly boosting efficiency and at the same time making them highly non-stick and self-cleaning. read more>>>

Solar Surge: Report Shows Solar Patents in Top Spot
November 21, 2013 - The Clean Energy Patent Growth Index (CEPGI) recently released its Second Quarter 2013 Results. Researched and published by the Heslin Rothenberg law firm, CEPGI is a quarterly report on green patents issued in the United States.

CEPGI has been tracking green patent trends by technology sector, assignee, and geography since 2002. Throughout all of that time, fuel cell patents have topped the charts for every single quarter.

The big news in the Q2 2013 results is that solar patents beat out fuel cell patents for the first time, surging ahead with a jump of 29 granted patents relative to the first quarter of the year. read more>>>

CU boasts nation's largest wind testing facility
November 22, 2013 - North Charleston, South Carolina is now home to the nation's largest wind energy testing facility. Led by Clemson University's Restoration Institute, the facility will help test and validate new turbines, particularly for offshore wind, helping to speed deployment of next generation energy technology, reduce costs for manufacturers and boost global competitiveness for American companies. The testing facility is also one of the world's most advanced.

Located at a former Navy warehouse with easy access to rail and water transport, the Clemson facility will test machinery that converts both onshore and offshore wind to electricity and allow engineers to simulate 20 years' worth of wear and tear on drivetrains in a few months. The facility's proximity to the coast also makes it ideal for U.S. and international companies to testing larger offshore wind turbines. read more>>>


Global 100% Renewable Energy Coalition calls for commitment to renewable energy targets
19 November 2013 - The Global 100% Renewable Energy Coalition has called upon national governments to commit to 100% renewable energy targets and strategies at the UN Climate Summit

In a joint statement entitled “communicating and proving the urgency and feasibility of 100% renewable energy is key to breaking the climate deadlock”, members of the Global 100% Renewable Energy Coalition, including the World Wind Energy Association, World Bioenergy Association and the Fraunhofer ISE Institute, criticized “the ongoing stagnancy of the climate negotiations and their struggle to agree upon and implement measures that effectively combat the climate crisis.”

However the coalition also applauded the fact that local, regional and national governments across the world are leading the way in global efforts to combat climate change. read more>>>

GE secures 1GW of wind commitments in 2013 Brazilian energy auction
22 November 2013 - GE awarded 63 percent of total capacity in Brazil’s recent A-3 wind energy auction including ten year operations and maintenance agreements

GE has won 545MW of orders for wind turbines in Brazil’s A-3 auction held on November 18th. The total amount of energy auctioned was 867MW with the company winning 63 percent of the total auction capacity.

The company will provide 1.7-100 and 1.85-82.5 turbines for wind farms being developed by Casa dos Ventos, Eletrosul, Contour Global, CEEE, PEC, Rio Energy and Chesf in the Brazilian states of Rio Grande do Sul, Bahia and PiauĂ­. GE will also service the turbines under a ten-year operations and maintenance agreement which includes availability guarantee for 26 wind farms. read more>>>

$18 Million Production Facility Expansion Boosts Ontario's Green Economy, Local Jobs
Nov. 22, 2013 - A newly expanded production facility in Moose Creek, Ontario is boosting the local job market and advancing efforts to eliminate tire waste in the province. Today, Moose Creek Tire Recycling (MCTR) announced the completion of its $18 million facility expansion project, resulting in the creation of more than 45 jobs within the local region.

MCTR began processing Ontario's used tires in 2004 and partnered with Animat- a Sherbrooke, Quebec-based producer - to manufacture innovative rubber mats made from recycled tires for agricultural and commercial use. read more>>>

Copper Promises Cheaper, Sturdier Fuel Cells
Nov. 22, 2013 — Copper adorns the Statue of Liberty, makes sturdy, affordable wiring, and helps our bodies absorb iron. Now, researchers at Duke University would like to use copper to transform sunlight and water into a chemical fuel.

Converting solar energy into storable fuel remains one of the greatest challenges of modern chemistry. One of the ways chemists have tried to capture the power of the sun is through water splitting, in which the atoms of H2O are broken apart so the hydrogen may be collected and used as fuel. Plants do this naturally through photosynthesis, and for half a century, scientists have tried to recreate that process by tinkering with chemical catalysts jumpstarted by sunlight. read more>>>

New LEED standards mean healthier, greener buildings on the way
November 21, 2013 - The U.S. Green Building Council announced the fourth major update to LEED, its third-party green building certification program. LEED stands for "Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design" and uses a point system to rate buildings, both new constructions and retrofits. The new version was announced yesterday at the Greenbuild conference, held in Philadelphia.

LEED v4 aims to set higher standards for green buildings and streamline the certification process. The newest version is intended to address the sometimes contradicting criticisms of LEED, a topic addressed at a Greenbuild session. read more>>>

City Aims To Make Charlotte Airport A Big Player In Solar Energy Production
November 22, 2013 - When you look out the airplane window as you fly into Charlotte, the trees thin, the Uptown skyline rises into view, and the buildings of West Charlotte grow larger, as your plane drops altitude. The City of Charlotte hopes to add solar panels glinting across the airport’s parking lots and in-between the runways to that view. The city is soliciting bids for an ambitious solar project at the airport.

The CLT Center conference room filled with about 60 energy developers, all interested in the project—to build solar panels at the airport, on building rooftops, between runways, and on canopies over the parking lots. read more>>>

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