Sunday, March 23, 2014

Alternative Clean Energy Roundup: 23 March 2014

Canadian Solar opens microgrid testing center
14 March 2014 - Chinese module manufacturer Canadian Solar today announced the opening of its microgrid testing center in its Canadian base of Guelph, Ontario.

Part-funded by the Ontario Ministry of Energy's Smart Grid Fund, the new center will benefit indigenous and remote communities as well as mining operations in Canada, according to today's Canadian Solar press release announcing the news.

Canadian Solar CEO Shawn Qu said the testing center – which will provide solution testing, system solution design and smart grid assessment services – is the latest part of his company's Total Solutions strategy. read more>>>

UK Government to retain local authority renewable energy powers for new homes
13 March 2014 - The UK Government has preserved the Planning & Energy Act (aka Merton Rule), in the outcome of its Housing Standards Review following an appeal by the Renewable Energy Assocation (REA) and Solar Trade Association (STA)

The Merton Rule is the policy driving the incorporation of renewable energy technologies in new homes. It was first developed by Merton Council in 2003 and required new commercial buildings over 1,000 square meters to generate at least 10 percent of their energy needs using on site renewable energy technology. The impact of the policy encouraged the Mayor of London and many other councils across the UK to also implement it and it subsequently became part of national UK planning guidance. This in turn led to a significant reduction in carbon emissions from new buildings and helped to support the emerging UK renewables industry. read more>>>

Green Living Everyday

PV Platform Romania to be held 9-11 April 2014
12 March 2014 - PV Platform Romania, an event organized by REECO, will be held 9-11 April 2014 at Expo Arad International.

The event will take place in parallel with the 6th edition of ENREG ENERGIA REGENERABILA®, the biggest trade fair on renewable energy and energy efficiency in construction and renovation in the Euro region Dunare-Cris-Mures-Tisa. Despite the decline of investments in renewable energy sector, there are optimistic signs showing that the sector remains attractive in Romania, the organizers say. This decrease reflects a maturing industry and now the focus should be on maximizing investments and implementation on new projects, more so as the renewable energy sector is becoming increasingly competitive in terms of costs. The attention of investors and institutions in the field is this year on small investments for the maintenance of buildings, where the direct beneficiaries will be the consumers - individuals and small companies. For additional information: read more>>>

Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson tackles renewable energy’s future
13 March 2014 - It would probably not surprise anyone that when Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson considers the question of renewable energy and its place in our future, he speaks most passionately about the potential of solar energy in all of its permutations.

After all, as America’s most well-known astrophysicist, he’s spent a career – and then some – looking up at the sky and imagining its possibilities.

But when the host of public television’s Nova scienceNOW – an offshoot of his “day job” as principal staff member of the Hayden Planetarium at New York’s Museum of Natural History – begins to talk of harvesting the power of hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes and volcanoes, one quickly sits up and takes notice. read more>>>

Self-powered wireless light detectors
March 13, 2014 - A low-power photodetection system can harness enough energy to power an autonomous sensor and monitoring network.

Light detectors are used extensively in daily life as brightness sensors and as receivers for remote control devices in electrical gadgets, for example. However, operating these detectors requires electrical energy, which limits their versatility.

Now, Kui Yao and colleagues from the A*STAR Institute of Materials Research and Engineering in Singapore have developed a photodetector that can harvest just small quantities of detected light to generate enough energy to power a sensing signal transmission through a radio-frequency transmitter. read more>>>

The bioenergy grid
March 12, 2014 - As energy costs rise, bioenergy -- renewable energy made from organic sources, such as biomass -- is turning into a viable alternative where the technology has advanced enough that biomass power plants are small enough to fit on a farm and can be built at relatively low costs. Creating a bioenergy grid with these small plants could benefit people in rural areas and provide relief to an aging U.S. power grid, according to University of Missouri (MU) research.

"Transporting power through power lines to remote, rural areas is very inefficient and can be expensive for farmers and other rural citizens," said Tom Johnson, Frank Miller Professor of Agricultural and Applied Economics in the MU College of Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources, and professor in the MU Truman School of Public Affairs. "Farmers already have access to a large amount of biomass material left over each year after harvests. If they had access to small biomass power plants, they could become close to self-sustaining in terms of power." read more>>>

First green mosque 85% complete
March 09, 2014 - The Awqaf and Minors Affairs Foundation (AMAF) announced the construction of the first eco-friendly mosque in the Islamic world. It’s 85 per cent complete and is set to open doors to worshippers shortly.

Suspended ceilings have been installed in the “Awqat” and Ladies Hall. Marble-inlay work on the walls of the Prayer Hall has been completed. Additionally, exterior plastering on the facades of the mosque, as well as wooden doors and cabinets in the kitchens of the Imam block, have been installed. Meanwhile, Dubai Water and Electricity Authority (Dewa) has deployed transformers to the site. The contract for granite works at the entrance of the mosque has been awarded, while the installation of the crescents, ablution chairs and handrails has also concluded.

Tayeb Al-Rais, secretary general, Awqaf and Minors Affairs Foundation, said: “We are delighted to announce the imminent opening of the Islamic world’s first green mosque to worshipers. The mosque will be the largest of its kind in Dubai spread across 105,000 square feet with a built-up area of 45,000 square feet that can accommodate 3,500 worshippers. read more>>>

Green Knesset team, Tel Aviv Porter School explore environmental collaboration opportunities
03/15/2014 - Eager to pursue environmental collaborations with Israel’s educational institutions, members of the Knesset’s management system visited Tel Aviv University’s forthcoming green building.

Knesset director-general Ronen Plot and parliamentary management staff spent Thursday afternoon with the leadership of the university’s Porter School for Environmental Studies, which will open its state-ofthe- art, LEED Platinum building in mid-May.

As part of the parliament’s newly launched “Green Knesset” program, its executives are exploring the possibility of arranging joint research programs on environmental policy and other collaborative ventures with various educational institutions. read more>>>

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New England efficiency efforts paying off
March 17, 2014 - Energy efficiency is a valuable and cost-effective resource, as evidenced by growing state investments in this resource. The Northeast region's energy efficiency programs are continuing to pay dividends, according to the most recent (2012) data from the Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnership's (NEEP) Regional Energy Efficiency Database (REED).

The data shows a trend of strong performance, with 3,240 GWh of annual electric energy savings. With a total $1.2 billion cost for electric programs, the cost of saved energy is less than 5 cents/kWh -- significantly less than the cost of energy supply at about 10 cents/kWh.

"[Energy efficiency] continues to be a sound investment of ratepayer funds to help meet our region's energy needs, not to mention reducing greenhouse gas emissions and air pollutants emitted from power plants, and other non-energy benefits to customers and the region's economy, including creating new jobs," said Robert Scott, commissioner of the New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission. read more>>>

Engineering school granted $1.5 million for Microgrid facility
March 17, 2014 - St. Thomas announced Monday that its school of engineering received a $1.5 million grant from Xcel Energy for a Microgrid Research and Testing Center.

The grant will give the engineering program access to a small-scale, low environmental impact energy production facility, allowing a variety of technologies to be used and tested.

Don Weinkauf, School of Engineering dean, said the facility will allow the program to go beyond just studying concepts and instead apply them to real-world research. read more>>>

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