04/04/2014 - Energy efficiency remains far cheaper – especially in the Midwest – than investing in additional generation.
That’s the case even in states where a long history of energy-efficiency has pushed up the cost of squeezing out additional savings.
Those are among the findings of two recently-published studies, one by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBL), the other by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE). read more>>>
April 03, 2014 - In the earlier days of the transition to renewable energy, the most significant stumbling block was cash: If you wanted to install solar on your building, or have your own electrical backup or storage capacity, you had to plunk down a hefty amount of money. But thanks to financial innovation, those days are fading.
Most people are aware that you don't need to pay out of pocket to put solar on your building anymore. A slew of companies, including SolarCity, Sungevity, SunRun and Vivint, will install a system for no money down, then lease it back to you over a period of several years. The system pays for itself over time, and you get lower bills with a locked-in price for electricity.
This financial model isn't the only one transforming the industry; here are five more to watch. read more>>>
April 3, 2014 - A report from the NAACP says Missouri should increase production of renewable power and require utilities to offer energy efficiency programs.
Accomplishing those goals, the report says, could provide better health, cheaper utility bills and more manufacturing jobs in the state’s urban core.
The report released on Thursday said that 68 percent of African Americans throughout the country live within a 30-mile radius of coal-power plants. That proximity, the study says, leads to more asthma among African-American children and lung disease. read more>>>
Apr. 5, 2014 - Advocates of renewable energy are hailing three developments in Utah this week, including the unveiling of the Salt Lake City area's first fast-charging station for electric cars.
In addition, Scatec Solar announced plans to start construction later this year on an 80-megawatt solar plant in Iron County, which will be the state's largest commercial solar field. read more>>>
02 April 2014 - Marine Current Turbines Ltd. (MCT), a Siemens company, and Bluewater Energy Services B.V. (Bluewater) have agreed to jointly develop a 2 megawatt floating tidal current turbine, called SeaGen.
This turbine will be the first of its kind to be installed in Canada’s Bay of Fundy, in cooperation with Nova Scotian project developer Minas Energy. The turbines will produce enough clean and reliable energy to supply up to 1,800 Nova Scotian households.
Plans are under development to build-out a commercial multi- megawatt array at the tidal energy facilities of Fundy Ocean Research Centre for Energy (FORCE). read more>>>
Apr. 2, 2014 - On April 2, 2014 EERE’s Wind Program announced a funding opportunity entitled “Technology Incubator for Wind Energy Innovations.” This funding opportunity will fund R&D investments in technology approaches and solutions that are not currently represented in the Wind Program’s existing project portfolio.
As an organization, EERE focuses on achieving aggressive and well-defined mid-to-long term clean energy goals by establishing multi-year plans and roadmaps. By focusing its resources on a limited number of projects that have the “highest probability for success,” EERE ensures that program initiatives are supported at their critical mass, both in terms of dollars and time in an effort to produce the project’s maximum impact. Being that this roadmap-based strategy leaves little room for the exploration of new pathways and approaches, this funding opportunity will allow EERE to assess new technologies for their potential to be “on-ramped” to future program R&D portfolios. read more>>>
Mar. 31, 2014 - The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issued a report today that says the effects of climate change are already occurring on all continents and across the oceans. The world, in many cases, is ill-prepared for risks from a changing climate. The report also concludes that there are opportunities to respond to such risks, though the risks will be difficult to manage with high levels of warming.
The report, titled Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability, from Working Group II of the IPCC, details the impacts of climate change to date, the future risks from a changing climate, and the opportunities for effective action to reduce risks. A total of 309 coordinating lead authors, lead authors, and review editors, drawn from 70 countries, were selected to produce the report. They enlisted the help of 436 contributing authors, and a total of 1,729 expert and government reviewers. read more>>>
April 3, 2014 - In a recent advance in solar energy, researchers have discovered a way to tap the sun not only as a source of power, but also to directly produce the solar energy materials that make this possible.
This breakthrough by chemical engineers at Oregon State University could soon reduce the cost of solar energy, speed production processes, use environmentally benign materials, and make the sun almost a "one-stop shop" that produces both the materials for solar devices and the eternal energy to power them.
The findings were just published in RSC Advances, a journal of the Royal Society of Chemistry, in work supported by the National Science Foundation. read more>>>
04/03/2014 - Enough of the bad news in our previous articles that bring you up to date on the status of climate change. Back to the news on how we WILL address these issues.
What happens to all those fantastic student-built homes that compete in the Solar Decathlon? In Missouri, they're being combined into the first Solar Village in the US.
Students, faculty and staff at Missouri University of Science and Technology are completing the village, which groups together Solar Decathlon houses built between 2002-2009. read more>>>
4 April 2014 - Progressive countries, including some of the world’s poorest, are acting to green their economies and build resilience to climate change.
There’s also a growing appetite for investment in these areas. In 2012, governments and investors poured an estimated US$359 billion into projects targeting low carbon and climate resilient development.
But a closer look at the numbers reveals three big gaps. read more>>>