April 8, 2014 - Xcel Energy has filed with the Colorado Public Utilities Commission a program that would offer greater solar energy choices to customers. The proposal says that Xcel would purchase 50 MW of electricity from a new independent, large-scale solar facility to which customers would subscribe at a percentage and length of time they choose to meet their particular solar energy needs.
"We want to make renewable energy available at the right cost for all of our customers. Solar*Connect would complement our existing rooftop and solar garden offerings, but would give customers an option to access large-scale solar, the most cost-effective form of solar generation," said David Eves, president and CEO of Public Service Co. of Colorado, an Xcel Energy company. read more>>>
April 8, 2014 - The response to Duke Energy's recent request for proposals (RFP) for 300 MW of new solar energy capacity in its Duke Energy Carolinas and Duke Energy Progress territories has been overwhelming. Duke has received bids for nearly three times the capacity it is seeking.
The RFP, which was designed to assist Duke Energy in meeting its North Carolina Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standards requirements, also allows the company to continue to diversify its resource mix in the Carolinas.
"The strong response to our RFP reflects on the healthy solar market in North Carolina," said Rob Caldwell, vice president of Renewable Generation Development for Duke Energy. "This RFP could allow Duke Energy to practically double its overall solar capacity in the state." read more>>>
Apr 08, 2014 - The UN has launched a new scheme which aims to use global government spending worth “trillions of dollars” to promote sustainability.
Called the Sustainable Public Procurement (SPP) Programme, it will assist governments to “redirect public spending into goods and services that bring significant environmental and social benefits” and aims to play a vital role in transitioning the globe to an inclusive green economy.
The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) said existing initiatives prove sustainable procurement transforms markets, boosts eco-industries, saves money, conserves natural resources and fosters job creation. read more>>>
CASTRIES, St. Lucia, Apr 7 2014 (IPS) - Most Caribbean countries are famous for their sun, sand and warm sea breezes. Far fewer are known for their wide use of solar, wind and other forms of renewable energy.
It is one of the failings of the region, which is characterised by high external debt, soaring energy costs, inequality, poverty and a lack of human capital.
The 53-member Commonwealth grouping is now trying to fill this knowledge gap with a new green growth analysis that circulated at last week’s third Biennial Conference on Small States in St. Lucia, although the formal launch is not until May. read more>>>
Opening of the Industrial GreenTec Fair
Hannover, 7 April 2014 - When I was approached to give my patronage to the Industrial GreenTec Fair, I was of course honoured and immediately agreed. First of all I saw it as an opportunity to highlight the contribution of environmental protection to industrial development.
But then I also realised that I should also draw attention to the enormous opportunity that EU industry has to play the role of the global leader in sustainability and competitiveness.
The EU is well equipped to take on this role. Eco-industries in the EU have a turnover of hundreds of billions of Euro, between 2 and 3 % of our overall GDP. And they have grown at between 6 % and 8 % per year during the crisis period. EU eco-industries provide well over 3 million direct jobs, again with a growth rate of about 7 % during the crisis period. read more>>>
April 7th, 2014 - Low-income countries are working to improve sustainability and build resilience to climate change, but more investment in needed, the Institute for Environment and Development (IED) has said.
Nanki Kaur, senior researcher at the IED said that there was a growing appetite for sustainable investment in these areas but a finance gap remained in many countries. Kaur’s comments follow a conference in Ethiopia, which discussed how low-income countries were transitioning to a cleaner economy. read more>>>
April 7, 2014 - OIST's Energy Materials and Surface Sciences Unit has made a surprising discovery about the degradation of solar cells that could help pave the way to creating a longer lifetime for these cells. Key factors for creating cost-efficient solar cells to compete with conventional energy sources like fossil fuels include fabrication cost, efficiency and lifetime of the cells. Professor Yabing Qi and members of his unit have investigated the cause of degradation of a high efficiency solar cell. This discovery, published in The Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, can help move various forms of solar cell technology forward now that researchers know what is causing degradation and shortening the lifespan.
Solid state dye-sensitized solar cells have shown their potential in achieving high efficiency with a low cost of fabrication. read more>>>
April 7, 2014 - New research from North Carolina State University and UNC-Chapel Hill reveals that energy is transferred more efficiently inside of complex, three-dimensional organic solar cells when the donor molecules align face-on, rather than edge-on, relative to the acceptor. This finding may aid in the design and manufacture of more efficient and economically viable organic solar cell technology.
Organic solar cell efficiency depends upon the ease with which an exciton -- the energy particle created when light is absorbed by the material -- can find the interface between the donor and acceptor molecules within the cell. At the interface, the exciton is converted into charges that travel to the electrodes, creating power. read more>>>
April 7, 2014 - Clean Energy Collective (CEC) has purchased two medium-scale solar projects in Massachusetts, making community solar available to residential and commercial customers in the Western Massachusetts Electric (WMECo) and National Grid territories.
The initial projects include the 997 kW Western Massachusetts Community Solar Array and the 997 kW Southeastern Massachusetts Community Solar Array, serving WMECo and National Grid customers, respectively.
The community-owned solar model allows any customer in a participating utility territory, including renters, those with shaded roofs, and middle to low income customers, the opportunity to adopt solar energy without having to install a rooftop system on their home or business. read more>>>
Apr 4, 2014 - The nation’s largest smart grid demonstration project has released an annual report that describes its 2013 activities, including establishing a microgrid that features a 5-megawatt battery and collecting data from thousands of smart meters, transformers and other equipment being evaluated as part of the project.
The five-year, $178-million project involves 60,000 electric consumers across five states. Funded by the Department of Energy and project partners, the project involves Battelle, the Bonneville Power Administration, 11 utilities and six technology partners. It is engaging 80 megawatts of electricity assets and runs through 2015. read more>>>