Thursday, May 22, 2014

Alternative Clean Energy Roundup: 22 May 2014

“Social Enterprise” Tackling Energy Poverty Should Acknowledge Gov’t Support
14 May 2014 - A writer for the Guardian describing the benefits of social enterprise’s potentially “ending energy poverty” pitches two interesting models: Off Grid Electric in Tanzania and Mera Gao Power in India. Off Grid Electric installs small solar systems in customers’ homes, through which they can get electricity for lights and for mobile phone charging. A daily fee paid through money transfer services accessible through mobile phone providers in East Africa activates the systems. In India, Mera Gao Power has chosen solar-powered microgrids serving up to 30 homes at a time instead of installing individual home systems. Fees from participating households are collected weekly by a technician. Off Grid serves more than 15,000 homes in Tanzania, while Mera Gao power has 20,000 customers.

The author, Anne Wheldon, describes both social enterprises as “proving that a business-like approach to increasing access to solar power is a win-win for both people and profit.” It is an odd statement, equating as goals the outcome of solar power access and the tool of profit. Presumably, the profit incentive in social mission terms is the tool that attracted private investors to ante up the dollars, not an objective itself. read more>>>

NREL, IRENA collaborate on global renewable energy policy support
May 15, 2014 - The Renewable Energy Policy Advice Network (REPAN) is coordinating a global network of practitioners to help countries design and implement renewable energy policies and programs. They are doing this by providing expert assistance for establishing stable regulatory frameworks that encourage deployment of renewable energy, and leveraging the resources of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and the Clean Energy Ministerial.

The Clean Energy Solutions Center -- an initiative of the Clean Energy Ministerial -- and IRENA have formalized a collaboration that will help accelerate the global deployment of renewable energy. read more>>>

Save money with solar

President Obama rolls out range of solar power and energy efficiency initiatives
09 May 2014 - President Barack Obama on Friday announced a series of executive orders intended to increase the use of solar energy in the US, boost the energy efficiency of federal buildings and train more people to work in the renewable energy field.

The president unveiled the policy initiatives during a visit to Wal-Mart in Mountain View, California, in part to highlight the commitments score of corporations have made to using power harnessed from the sun to run their facilities.

In addition to Wal-Mart, these entities include firms headquartered not far from where the president spoke: Apple, Google and Yahoo. read more>>>

Microgrids in Asia Pacific Will Reach Nearly $5.8 Billion in Annual Market Value by 2023, Forecasts Navigant Research
May 15, 2014 - Several of the most heavily populated countries in the Asia Pacific region, including China, India, Indonesia, and Malaysia, are experiencing unprecedented rates of rural electrification. Meeting the increased demand for both power and grid services across the region will require innovative approaches, including microgrids that are capable of operating in isolation from (or in the absence of) the wider power grid. Click to tweet: According to a new report from Navigant Research, the microgrid market in Asia Pacific will grow from $778 million in 2014 to nearly $5.8 billion in 2023.

“Developed countries in Asia Pacific are actively pursuing community-based and commercial/industrial microgrid projects,” says Peter Asmus, principal research analyst with Navigant Research. “It will take a few years to gather and analyze data on financing models and technology issues from the pilot projects and commercial installations underway today. But there is no question that microgrids will play a vital role in the ongoing economic transformation in the region.” read more>>>

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$3 Million USDA Grant to Support Solar Development at UVI
May 16, 2014 - A $3 million grant from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) High Energy Cost Grant Program will be used to enhance a three-megawatt solar installation project at the University of the Virgin Islands. The grant is designed to provide financial assistance for the improvement of energy generation, transmission and distribution facilities servicing eligible rural communities. It was awarded to Veriown Energy, whose parent company New Generation Power entered into a 20-year power purchase agreement with UVI in August 2013. The grant will allow Veriown the ability to deploy a microgrid application on UVI's campuses on St. Thomas and St. Croix. read more>>>

Trillions at stake as Green Climate Fund board meet in Korea
16 May 2014 - Trillions of dollars aimed at boosting the global green economy will be at stake when the UN’s Climate Fund (GCF) board gather in Songdo, South Korea on Sunday.

The goal of the planned four-day meeting is to ensure the swift and smooth launch of the fund, and allow it to start boosting low carbon initiatives in the developing world.

The GCF is seen as a critical element of a proposed UN climate change deal, set to be signed off in 2015, with the potential to radically shift the green investment landscape. read more>>>

A4C - Accessorize your device

SA's huge step for sustainable energy
May 16 2014 - Kimberley - The Northern Cape is set to become the province with the largest production of renewable energy and in what can be seen as not only the first but also a huge step in reducing South Africa’s greenhouse gas emissions and building a sustainable green economy, the Droogfontein Solar Photovoltaic Plant was on Thursday launched just outside Kimberley. The De Aar Solar Photovoltaic Plant was launched on Wednesday.

Constructed at a combined cost of R3-billion, the plants will contribute 100 megawatts into Eskom’s power grid as part of government’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP). read more>>>

Australian, Indonesian researchers connection on the big ideas
May 16, 2014 - SUPER thin solar, growth tips for a green economy, and biomass energy were among the topics at a research seminar here this week.

At Indonesia’s prestigious Bandung Institute of Technology, three Australian experts spoke on issues where Australian know-how and Indonesian interests come together.

Monday’s seminar was the third in a series organised by the two countries’ academies of science and Australia’s embassy in Jakarta. The other seminars dealt with medical and agricultural research. The series took in not only the capital but the regional cities of Bogor, Makassar, Yogyakarta and Bandung. read more>>>

Renewable Energy Provides 6.5 Million Jobs Globally
May 11, 2014 - In 2013, approximately 6.5 million people were already employed in the renewable energy industry worldwide, a new study by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) reveals. ‘Renewable Energy and Jobs – Annual Review 2014’ underlines the important role that renewables continue to play in employment creation and growth in the global economy.

The comprehensive annual review shows steady growth in the number of renewable energy jobs worldwide, which expanded from 5.7 million in 2012, according to IRENA. read more>>>

SUNY Cortland & SolarCity Make100% Renewable Energy a Reality
May 9, 2014 - SUNY Cortland and SolarCity® (Nasdaq: SCTY) have completed three solar projects that are key component to SUNY Cortland’s efforts to be powered by 100-percent renewable energy.

The three projects can create up to 1.06 megawatts of solar power generation capacity, expected to provide 6 percent of the campus’ electricity needs. SolarCity expects the school to save thousands on energy costs over the life of the system. The savings will allow the school to purchase renewable energy from additional sources to help achieve its goal of supporting 100 percent of the campus’ electrical needs with clean energy. read more>>>

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Alternative Clean Energy Roundup: 20 May 2014

New online sales tool for the efficient trading of solar projects to be showcased at Intersolar
13 May 2014 - Milk the Sun GmbH will present an online sales tool at Intersolar 2014 that it says will allow EPC contractors, project developers and other companies to optimize the way in which they sell their existing solar installations, turnkey systems and project rights.

The tool allows companies to upload and update details of the projects that they are selling via a user-friendly online input screen. Using a customized design, these projects are then published on both the company’s own website and on, one of the leading online marketplaces for existing PV installations. read more>>>

Yingli and Kingspan partner in huge UK rooftop solar project
12 May 2014 - Yingli Green Energy has announced that it has delivered 5MW of monocrystalline silicon modules to Kingspan Energy for a new rooftop array in the UK.

The array, consisting of PANDA series modules, has been installed on the roof of a multinational automotive company located in the Midlands. It has a coverage of around 35,000 square metres, making it the largest rooftop solar project in the country. It will generate around 5.5MWh of electricity per year, enough to power 1,500 homes. read more>>>

wind turbines

Dinkoff Architects Design Solar-Powered Service Center for Taiwan's Kinmen Seaport
05/13/14 - Dinkoff Architects recently designed a solar-powered passenger service center for the seaport of Kinmen, Taiwan. Since the seaport is considered the iconic gateway to Kinmen, it was imperative that the architects design a building that captured a sense of the local culture and history. The curving roof structure, for instance, draws influences from the bow of nearby ships as well as the swooping rooflines of the local historic architecture. The architects also considered LEED requirements in the design. In addition to the solar panel-topped roof, the architects added various solar mitigation devices around the building to minimize energy costs. read more>>>

One-Click MicroGrid from Typhoon HIL, Inc.
May 14, 2014 - Typhoon HIL, Inc., the leader in ultra-high fidelity Hardware-in-the-Loop (HIL) testing and real-time simulation for power electronics, is introducing a new product: Typhoon HIL Micro-Grid DSP Interface. The Micro Grid DSP Interface is ideal for rapid development and testing of controllers for multi-converter systems and microgrids. The new Micro-Grid DSP Interface will be introduced at the PCIM 2014, May 20-22, in Nuremberg, Germany.

The next stage in the development of power electronics are increasingly complex multi-converter systems that are intrinsically difficult and expensive to design and test. read more>>>

Buy Solar Panels, Solar Power Kits, Photovoltaic Systems for Home

Growing green skills and jobs in South Africa
May 13 2014 - IT IS STILL early days for South Africa’s green economy, but clears signs are evident of the overall commitment to shift our business-as-usual economy towards a low-carbon, resource efficient, resilient and inclusive sustainable economy.

This transformative economy has the potential to create large numbers of green jobs and at the same time reduce negative environmental and social impacts.

Green jobs can be found in sustainability-related career fields that encompass a wide range of skills, educational backgrounds, and occupational profiles. read more>>>

Solar farms to lose UK government financial support
Move to cut subsidies for large-scale installations is condemned by green activists and renewable power companies

13 May 2014 - The government is to make drastic changes to its financial support for solar energy farms, in a move condemned by green activists and renewable power companies as likely to reduce the UK's ability to generate low-carbon power and green jobs, and to increase dependency on imports of fossil fuels.

It is the second major blow to renewable energy within a month, following the announcement that the Conservatives want to axe subsidies to new onshore windfarms if they win the next election. read more>>>

Will solar subsidy changes mean less renewable energy in the UK?
Changes to the solar industry's funding will force solar to compete against other renewable energy sources. Is this a bad thing? With your help Karl Mathiesen investigates.

13 May 2014 - Big solar farms will no longer receive government subsidies under proposals released today. Instead, the government will expand support for rooftop solar and community-owned solar projects.

Fiona Harvey reports for the Guardian:

Installations of photovoltaic equipment amounting to 5MW and above will no longer receive payments under the renewables obligation, as they currently do, under the proposals, expected to take effect from next April.

After that, solar farms would receive support under the “contracts for difference” scheme, which was brought in under the electricity market reforms for large-scale low-carbon power. This would mean they would have to compete for cash with other forms of renewable energy, such as onshore wind and energy from waste, which the government classes as “established”.

In an echo of recent Tory policy announcements on onshore wind, rooftop solar installations will receive higher feed-in-tariffs in order to discourage solar installations in rural areas, which are seen as politically unpopular. read more>>>

SF Bay encouraged to "Experience Electric"
May 14, 2014 - The San Francisco Bay Area is giving the electric vehicle (EV) market a bit of a push with consumers. The Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), the Bay Area Air Quality Management District and a consortium of EV organizations have launched a new EV awareness campaign: Experience Electric -- The Better Ride, designed to spur electric vehicle adoption by offering thousands of free test drives at dozens of public venues and workplaces throughout the nine-county Bay area.

Currently, there are more all-electric vehicles in the Bay area than any other region in the state. The Bay Area accounts for about 20 percent of California's population but 40 percent of the state's EVs. The Bay Area EV Strategic Council aims to boost the number of EVs in the region to 100,000 or more. read more>>>

Final solicitation for NY-Sun Competitive PV initiative wrapping up
May 14, 2014 - As New York State continues to expand its portfolio of renewable solar energy, another $60 million has been made available through a third round of the statewide NY-Sun Competitive PV initiative. Administered by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), the funding opportunity is for solar projects at large energy-use sites, including business, industry and institutional.

The NY-Sun Initiative was launched in 2012 to significantly increase the amount of solar power installed annually at customer sites in New York State. Over the past few years, the NY-Sun initiative has been vital to reducing harmful greenhouse gas emissions, lowering the strain on the power grid, and creating new opportunities for businesses to pursue solar installations across the state. Today, a total of 316 MW of solar PV has been installed or is under contract -- more than was previously installed in New York throughout the entire prior decade. read more>>>

Grid-tied microgrids driving demand for energy storage
May 14, 2014 - Energy storage opportunities will continue to grow over the next 10 years, along with the microgrid market, according to Navigant Research. This will be driven by diesel fuel prices, a greater push toward renewable resources in microgrids, and ancillary service market reforms -- all of which underscore the business case for energy storage for microgrids.

Energy storage systems deliver resource optimization (fuel, PV, wind), resource integration (PV, wind), stability (frequency, voltage), and load management services to microgrids as well as the traditional grid. Delivering services to microgrids -- and, in the case of grid-tied systems, to the centralized grid -- energy storage is becoming an essential enabling technology for all types of microgrids, according to Navigant, and can reduce the payback period of the microgrid by enabling an increase in the penetration of renewable energy sources or by reducing diesel fuel consumption. read more>>>