Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Alternative Clean Energy Roundup: 21 January 2014

Solar Panel Project Aims To Make Lakes Country Greener
Jan 20, 2014 - "Going Solar" is saving some Pelican Rapids, Minnesota resident's money. They're taking part in an energy-efficient project spearheaded by Lake Region Electric Cooperative.

So far of the 96 panels available the company has sold 46. The solar panels were made in Minnesota.

"We wanted to build the array ourselves," says VP Marketing & Communications Dan Husted, "when we sell the panels we're selling our own capitalized labor and expense and that's a benefit to the rate payers."

Each panel will provide about 588kWh a year, a home could use about 10,000kWh a year on average, but homeowners could be making a deal when buying a $1,500 panel. read more>>>

Filling the clean energy investment gap
January 17, 2014 - Despite a drop in global clean energy investments in 2013, institutional investors meeting at the United Nations early this week expressed strong agreement on the urgency for boosting investments in low-carbon technologies and the major growth potential for ramping up green bonds and other clean energy investments to the levels necessary to avoid devastating climate change impacts. Much of the discussion focused on elevating clean energy investments by an additional $1 trillion per year in order to limit global warming to two degrees. To this end, Ceres has released a report with 10 recommendations for investors, companies and policymakers to scale up clean energy investments to $500 billion per year by 2020 and $1 trillion per year by 2030. read more>>>

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Idaho Power customer saves 40 percent with energy efficiency
January 17, 2014 - Idaho Power recognizes the importance of providing energy efficiency to its customers and is, therefore, recognizing Thornton Oliver Keller (TOK) commercial real estate for its forward-thinking approach to energy efficiency. By participating in the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance's (NEEA) regional Existing Building Renewal (EBR) initiative, TOK made a commitment to reposition its Capitol Gateway Plaza II in Boise as a sustainable, energy-efficient commercial real estate property to best serve the needs of its tenants.

The EBR initiative is designed to motivate and guide owners, as well as design and construction teams, to revamp existing building stock with a "comprehensive, whole-building" approach to achieve energy savings of 35 percent or more, ideally aiming for 2030 Challenge targets of 50 percent or more. read more>>>

Crowdfunding Solar Projects for Non-Profits Now a Reality with Interest
January 17th, 2014 - Did you ever wonder why more non-profit institutions have not taken the plunge into solar energy? The short answer is that as non-profit institutions, such institutions are not able to utilize the tax incentives and other tax related benefits that often drive adoption of solar on a commercial scale in the US.

A new, sophisticated model for helping non-profits go solar has been developed by San Diego based CollectiveSun that utilizes a crowdfunding model to fund projects that provides a return on investment to investors over a 10 year period. read more>>>

Building green: Efficiency adds to cost but helps meet energy-independence goal
January 19, 2014 - Despite Gundersen’s energy-independence pledge, you won’t find any solar panels or wind turbines spinning atop the new Legacy building.

But that doesn’t mean it isn’t green.

From a massive geothermal system and sealed windows to a white roof and insulation, details both large and small allow the building to operate as efficiently as possible.

The goal was a building that could operate on just 115,000 btu per square foot a year.

As big a number as that is, it’s ambitious for a hospital, especially one in a climate like Wisconsin’s. read more>>>

Solar's day yet to dawn in South Carolina
State slow to warm to sun power, but interest heating up

Jan. 20, 2014 - Just up the road from sunny South Carolina, a small farm of solar panels sits next to Interstate 40 near Asheville.

It provides partial power to Biltmore Estate. But it represents something larger that’s taken place in North Carolina: state lawmakers’ push to include renewable energy sources in their power portfolio and power providers’ willingness to appease customers there.

Just down the road in Georgia, a mix of environmentalists and tea party backers coalesced to urge changes to that state’s energy structure in the past year. read more>>>

Shams 1 Concentrated Solar Power Plant is a Learning Lab for Solar
January 18th, 2014 - The complexity of a utility scale solar project can sometimes be daunting. Add to that a harsh natural environment and you have your work cut out for you. Nowhere is this more evident than at the Shams 1 concentrated solar power (CSP) plant outside of Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Situated in a sometimes harsh desert climate in which temperatures can easily soar above anyone’s comfort zone and the threat of sand storms looms large, the Shams 1 facility is proof positive that foresight and ingenuity have come together at the same time to showcase renewable energy in a new and exciting way.

The Shams 1 facility is a venture between Masdar, Total, and Abengoa Solar that became operational in 2013 and has a nameplate capacity of 100 MW, enough to power 20,000 homes in the UAE. read more>>>

Profiting from a green economy
Showing concern for the environment and improving the well-being of others are no longer practices detached from generating profits

January 20, 2014 - In the past five years, European carpet manufacturer Desso has spent more than €30 million (Dh149.7 million) on making sure that its products are toxin-free, that the energy used in production is renewable and that its goods are capable of being completely recycled.

“The cost for us tends to run into tens of millions of euros and will run into tens of millions more. I think we will probably end up spending another €30 million. You get to a stage where you can eat the product — although we don’t recommend that — it’s that harmless,” Andre Dulka, Director, Middle East, Africa and India, Desso, tells GN Focus. read more>>>

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Solar-Power Device Would Use Heat to Enhance Efficiency
Jan. 19, 2014 — A new approach to harvesting solar energy, developed by MIT researchers, could improve efficiency by using sunlight to heat a high-temperature material whose infrared radiation would then be collected by a conventional photovoltaic cell. This technique could also make it easier to store the energy for later use, the researchers say.

In this case, adding the extra step improves performance, because it makes it possible to take advantage of wavelengths of light that ordinarily go to waste. read more>>>

Power Management Helps Stonehill College Build Largest Campus Solar Field in New England
January 20, 2014 - Stonehill College, a Catholic, liberal arts college in Easton, MA with more than 2,500 students is expected to complete the 11th (tied) largest solar installation on a college campus nationwide early this year.

The college will host a 15-acre solar field on an adjacent parcel of land, identified as the Davis Ames Clock Farm. This solar array, made up of 9,000 panels, along with the installation of rooftop solar panels on two of its facilities storage buildings will generate 20 percent of Stonehill’s annual electrical usage and save the college an estimated $3.2 million over the next 15 years. read more>>>

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