Monday, January 13, 2014

Alternative Clean Energy Roundup: 13 January 2014

Climate change battle: Nuclear vs. an efficient, renewable grid
January 9, 2014 - More than 300 U.S. and international environmental and clean energy groups are expressing their disagreement with climate change scientist Dr. James Hansen's claims that nuclear power is the solution to global warming. A joint letter from more than 311 groups -- including 237 from 46 U.S. states and the District of Columbia and 74 from 44 other nations around the world, which includes those on the ground dealing with the aftermath of the Fukushima nuclear reactor disaster -- is being issued in response to a November 3, 2013 statement from Hansen and three of his academic world colleagues, Ken Caldeira, Kerry Emanuel, and Tom Wigley.

The letter, organized by the Civil Society Institute (CSI) and the Nuclear Information and Resource Service (NIRS), urges Hansen and his colleagues to publicly debate the question of climate change and nuclear power, and asks for the support of an electric grid "dominated by energy efficiency, renewable, distributed power and storage technologies." read more>>>

New York Plans $40M in Prizes for Storm-Resilient Microgrids
January 9, 2014 - New York governor Andrew Cuomo has put $40 million in prize money behind his push to bolster the state’s post-Hurricane Sandy storm resilience with community microgrids. But will that be enough to overcome the regulatory and economic barriers that have challenged efforts to create microgrids in the Empire State?

That’s the question facing would-be contenders for the NY Prize competition. As part of a much broader $17 billion storm preparedness plan unveiled Tuesday by Gov. Cuomo and Vice President Joe Biden, NY Prize is a $40 million competition aimed at jump-starting at least ten “independent, community-based electric distributions systems” across the state. read more>>>

Renewable Energy Increased Slowly in France in 2013
January 9th, 2014 - According to recent data from the French Ministry on Environment, both solar energy and wind power pursue their progression, albeit more slowly than in the past.

Regarding wind power, At the end of September 2013, the total wind power capacity in France was of 7,971 MW. This has to be compared with the 8.4 GW in the United Kingdom, 22.7 GW in Spain or the massive 31.3 GW in Germany (2012 figures from the EWEA, European Wind Energy Association) read more>>>

Study: European renewable energy share increased to 14.4% in 2012
08 January 2014 - The share of renewable energy used across Europe increased to 14.4 percent in 2012, according to the EurObserv’ER consortium, which is monitoring the EU's progress toward achieving an overall of goal of 20 percent renewables reliance by 2020.

In releasing its new numbers, the consortium conceded that calculating the renewable energy share for each member country is a delicate task, and reliant on the information provided to its project team by each Member State.

EurObserv’ER's preliminary estimates put the renewable energy share of gross final energy consumption in the European Union at 14.4% in 2012 compared to 13.1% in 2011, which is a 1.3 percentage point increase (using rounded figures). read more>>>

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Microgrids moving into mainstream
January 10, 2014 - The rate of microgrid deployment has increased over the last few years in a variety of applications. Today, the industry is moving toward the next phase of development, focusing on how to make projects commercially viable.

According to a new report from Navigant Research, worldwide vendor revenue from microgrids will grow from $4.3 billion in 2013 to $19.9 billion in 2020, in a base scenario. Under a more aggressive scenario, revenue could reach $36.2 billion annually. read more>>>

Report examines and addresses concerns in clean energy transmission
January 10, 2014 - The Center for Rural Affairs has released a report that examines and addresses concerns that arise between communities and transmission line developers in the wake of establishing clean energy transmission, attempting to provide a set of solutions to such issues.

Using existing developer practices and current state policy as a basis for solutions, increased communication between communities, landowners and developers; and employing feedback to change regulatory policy governing the siting, routing and construction of transmission projects are chief among the solutions. read more>>>

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Sun is shining on N.C. solar industry - now 2nd in U.S.
Jan. 10, 2014 - The sun is shining on North Carolina's solar power industry.

A new report from SolarBuzz, which tracks the global solar power industry, says North Carolina is No. 2 in a fast-growing U.S. market. The state climbed three spots in 2013, driven by what the report calls "strong utility-scale activity."

Duke Energy, for example, opened three solar farms recently in eastern N.C. Duke also recently established a unit to construct solar farms, according to The Charlotte Observer. read more>>>

Erigo Technologies taps EaglePicher technology for microgrid energy storage for defense applications
January 11, 2014 - Engineers at Erigo Technologies LLC in Enfield, N.H., needed an energy storage technology for their work on the Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) for the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD). They found their solution at EaglePicher Technologies LLC (EPT), a producer of specialty batteries and energy storage solutions, in Joplin, Mo.

Erigo won a contract, funded under the Department of Defense Rapid Innovation Fund and awarded by the U.S. Corp of Engineers on behalf of the U.S. Northern Command, to deliver a power electronics system with multiple battery types and sophisticated control systems to address the frequency, duty cycle, and storage needs of the conventional and renewable power sources that make up many DOD microgrids. read more>>>

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Realising the benefits of going green
Businesses across Wales should be given the support they need to join those in Europe in recognising the potential of becoming more environmentally friendly

11 Jan 2014 - With a General Election looming in 16 months time, there have been recent press stories that allege a growing lack of interest by some senior politicians in environmental issues.

If true, that would be unfortunate given that others are continuing to embrace the positive benefits from a more sustainable approach, especially in the business community. read more>>>

Synthetic Natural Gas from Excess Electricity
Jan. 6, 2014 — "Power to gas" is a key concept when it comes to storing alternative energy. This process converts short-term excess electricity from photovoltaic systems and wind turbines into hydrogen. Combined with the greenhouse gas CO2, renewable hydrogen can be used to produce methane, which can be stored and distributed in the natural gas network. Empa researchers have now succeeded in further optimising this process.

The methanation process uses CO2, for example from biogas production, and this combined with hydrogen (H2) from excess renewable electricity, produces methane, which can not only be distributed simply and cost-effectively in the natural gas network, but can also be stored for longer periods of time. This means renewable energy is being used to produce a "quasi-fossil" fuel -- the basic principle of "power to gas." read more>>>

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