Thursday, April 17, 2014

Alternative Clean Energy Roundup: 17 April 2014

Nanogrids are sneaking up fast. Has your utility figured out its strategy?
Apr 9, 2014 - At its essence, a nanogrid is simply a small microgrid, typically serving a single building or a single load. Nanogrids, however, have the ability to fill increasingly important niches within the larger power sector, serving as modular building blocks for energy services that support applications ranging from emergency power for commercial buildings to the provision of basic electricity services for people living in extreme poverty. According to a new report from Navigant Research, worldwide vendor revenue from nanogrids will grow from $37.8 billion annually in 2014 to $59.5 billion in 2023.

“Though smaller in size than microgrids, nanogrids represent a larger market opportunity because they are, generally speaking, less challenging to the status quo and less subject to the technological challenges facing larger distribution networks that assimilate diverse distributed energy resources,” says Peter Asmus, principal research analyst with Navigant Research. read more>>>

Africa: Urbanization Provides Unprecedented Opportunities to Transition to a Green Economy, Says New Report
9 April 2014 - As Consumers of Over 75% of Natural Resources, Cities Are Uniquely Placed to Contribute to Efficiency and Sustainability.

With over half of the global population now living in urban areas, cities are increasingly facing the challenge of ensuring decent standards of living for their inhabitants. Demand for a higher quality of life is increasing despite growing pressures on natural resources and ecosystems.

In this context, a new report launched jointly today by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and Cities Alliance at the 2014 World Urban Forum finds that the rapid pace of urbanization represents an opportunity to build more sustainable, innovative and equitable towns and cities, and to use the world's natural resources more efficiently. read more>>>

How will the climate be impacted by future changes to the Arctic`s sea ice and snow cover?
Apr. 9, 2014 - This is a key issue in a newly established research project that will examine climate change in the Arctic over the next 30 years. The study will show how the reduced amounts of sea ice and snow in the Arctic are interacting with climate change.

Extreme weather events such as cold snaps in the winter and heat waves in the summer have been linked to the reduction of sea ice and warming in the Arctic. The proportion of the observed extreme events that is due to the reduction of sea ice in the Arctic is still an unanswered question. read more>>>

Win-win situation: Growing crops on photovoltaic farms
April 9, 2014 - Growing agave and other carefully chosen plants amid photovoltaic panels could allow solar farms not only to collect sunlight for electricity but also to produce crops for biofuels, according to new computer models by Stanford scientists.

This co-location approach could prove especially useful in sunny, arid regions such as the southwestern United States where water is scarce, said Sujith Ravi, who is conducting postdoctoral research with professors David Lobell and Chris Field, both on faculty in environmental Earth system science and senior fellows at the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment. "Co-located solar-biofuel systems could be a novel strategy for generating two forms of energy from uncultivable lands: electricity from solar infrastructure and easily transportable liquid fuel from biofuel cultivation," said Ravi, the lead author of a new study published in a recent issue of the journal Environmental Science & Technology that details the idea. read more>>>

Hanwha Q CELLS Completes United States’ First Solar Farm on a Superfund Site
April 09, 2014 - Hanwha Q CELLS, an international solar developer, manufacturer and solutions provider, commemorated the historic completion of the first utility scale solar project constructed on an active EPA Superfund site. Hanwha Q CELLS was joined by project partners including the US EPA, Vertellus Specialties Inc., Indiana Department of Environmental Management, Indiana Power & Light (NYSE: AES), PNC Bank, August Mack Environmental Consulting, URS Corporation, US Utilities and Solar FlexRack.

The 10.86MWdc Maywood Solar Farm, located on 43 acres of the Reilly Tar & Chemical Superfund site in Indianapolis, was completed under the 2012 Indianapolis Power & Light (IPL) Rate-REP program. read more>>>

The green home of tomorrow
An enterprising team of Stanford students has designed a low-cost, solar-powered home that could lead the home-building industry to a more sustainable future and guide homeowners toward greener behavior.

I n 2010, residential homes in the United States accounted for 22 percent of the country’s carbon dioxide emissions, and roughly the same percentage of total energy consumption. At a time when market and federal pressures are steering the automobile industry toward a greener future, the places we lay our heads each night deserve a careful look as well.

The home-building industry represents a ripe opportunity for green innovation, and Stanford’s Start.Home hits the mark with a clever interdisciplinary blend of civil engineering, computer science and behavioral design. Conceived, designed and built by a team of undergraduate and graduate students, the solar-powered Start.Home aims to leverage technology to make inexpensive, sustainable living available to the masses. read more>>>

Without communication infrastructure, there is no smart city
April 9, 2014 - By their very definition, smart cities are connected cities. But these cities rely on the availability of universal communication services to connect energy, transportation and public services in order to become a reality. Thus far, the smart city communications layer has largely been taken for granted and become somewhat of an afterthought, with the main focus on the higher IT and data management layers. But the trend of the Internet of Things will require cities to move beyond just connecting people and businesses, to objects and sensors, toward more integrated smart city solutions and improving the interoperability, security, data privacy, and scalability of communication networks.

These cities appear to be ramping up as worldwide revenue from communication nodes for smart cities -- and the infrastructure and services to support them -- is forecast by Navigant Research to grow from $2 billion in 2014 to $3.55 billion in 2020. Further, Navigant predicts that global shipments of smart city communication nodes will grow from 17 million in 2013 to 55 million in 2020. read more>>>

Renewables making smart grid a top priority
In recent years, China has emerged as the largest smart grid market in the world in recent years, given the fact that the State Grid Corp. -- the utility responsible for the majority of the country's grid network -- plans to invest more than $200 billion to upgrade its existing grid infrastructure, according to Kuick Research.

The Chinese government has had the foresight to consider the needs of the country's grid development, supporting smart grid projects with favorable policies that embrace change and the implementation of new technology. read more>>>

Barnes & Noble

TEP reducing coal generation, increasing renewables
April 9, 2014 - According to its recently filed 2014 Integrated Resource Plan (IRP), Tucson Electric Power (TEP) will meet customers' energy needs through 2028 by reducing its coal generation capacity by one-third; acquiring new cost-effective natural gas-fired resources; and continuing its expansion of renewable power and energy efficiency programs. The IRP has been filed with the Arizona Corporation Commission.

The company expects to add more than 50,000 customers over the next 10 years based on current projections. Peak demand is projected to grow annually by about 1 to 1.5 percent. To meet this demand requires a long-term portfolio diversification strategy that will reduce the company's overall coal capacity by 492 MW, or about 32 percent, over the next five years. read more>>>

Remote Microgrids Continue to be the Most Numerous Category of Microgrid Projects, Finds Navigant Research
Community/utility microgrids now lead the market in terms of total capacity, report concludes

April 8, 2014 - Although most microgrids are technically retrofit projects, microgrids have begun to move into the mainstream. Around the world, new vendors continue to enter this space with new projects and approaches. These systems, which can operate in isolation from (or in the absence of) the wider power grid, are particularly well-suited for remote communities in the developing world, where regional and national power grids are often weak or nonexistent. Click to tweet: According to a new tracker report from Navigant Research, there are now more than 388 remote microgrid projects in operation, under development, or proposed worldwide – almost as many as all other segments combined. read more>>>

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