May 07, 2014 - On April 25, 1954 in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey, technicians at AT&T’s legendary Bell Labs publicly demonstrated a solar photovoltaic panel for the first time, capturing light to power the rotation of a miniature Ferris wheel. The New York Times called it “the beginning of a new era, eventually leading to the realization of one of mankind’s most cherished dreams.”
Well, “eventually” took a while, in no small part because of the estimated cost of that first PV panel: $286 per watt. Which meant that the average homeowner in 1954, if a rooftop solar array were available, could have installed one for a cool $1.43 million. (A 1954 Cadillac Eldorado, for comparison, cost less than $5,000). But without recounting 60 years of challenges and setbacks, let’s jump ahead to where solar energy deployment, by almost any measure, is today. It’s booming. read more>>>
May 7, 2014 - When sunlight shines on today’s solar cells, much of the incoming energy is given off as waste heat rather than electrical current. In a few materials, however, extra energy produces extra electrons — behavior that could significantly increase solar-cell efficiency.
An MIT team has now identified the mechanism by which that phenomenon happens, yielding new design guidelines for using those special materials to make high-efficiency solar cells. The results are reported in the journal Nature Chemistry by MIT alumni Shane R. Yost and Jiye Lee, and a dozen other co-authors, all led by MIT’s Troy Van Voorhis, professor of chemistry, and Marc Baldo, professor of electrical engineering. read more>>>
May 7, 2014 - Introducing the climate4impact.eu data portal which is aimed at researchers and other users who work with the impacts of climate change and need access to data from climate modelling. The portal has been developed within the framework of an EU project.
“The portal will provide unified and simplified access to the global scenario databases in which you can find data and supporting documentation from global and regional climate modelling,” says Lars Bärring, researcher in climate at SMHI's Rossby Centre.
Calculations with climate models are used, among other things, as the basis for the report on climate change that the IPCC compiles and in research on climate impacts. read more>>>
May 7, 2014 - The Resnick Sustainability Institute at Caltech will help scientists and engineers advance research aimed at meeting the nation's need for a sustainable energy future, thanks to a $15 million donation by the Institute's namesake (Lynda and Stewart Resnick), bringing total funding to nearly $60 million.
Since the institute's founding, researchers have pursued wide-ranging investigations in energy science and technology, enabling advances in distributed wind energy systems, batteries and fuel cells, smart grid systems, record-breaking solar photovoltaics, pioneering technologies for deriving fuels from sunlight, and chemical catalysts that convert waste materials to biofuels. read more>>>
Forget what detractors say - many of the world's corporate and political leaders are united in their urgent desire to build a green economy
07 May 2014 - The growing consensus is that the consensus has shattered. Speak to green-minded executives, politicians and campaigners and there is palpable concern that the political and corporate consensus on the urgent need for decarbonisation that helped push the green economy up the agenda in recent years is now in vertiginous decline.
There are reams of evidence to support this consensus. read more>>>
Emirates could trump up other leading countries in global rankings for having the most "green" building spaces
May 7, 2014 - Dubai: The UAE could trump up other top countries in the global rankings for "green" building spaces, an expert said following the release of a US Green Building Council (GBC) report.
The council, an industry body that promotes cost-efficient and energy-saving buildings, released its ranking for LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) based on cumulative gross square meters (GSM) of space certified to LEED in each nation as of April 2014. read more>>>
05 May 2014 - Dublin is to host the European Renewable Energy Finance Forum (REFF) for the first time generating a 600,000 euros windfall for the local economy with close to 400 senior delegates arriving into the capital
The decision to locate the conference in Dublin in September 2014 was made by organisers Euromoney following a successful campaign by BNRG Renewables with assistance from the Green International Financial Services Centre (GIFSC). The event is being hailed as a major opportunity for companies in the Irish renewable energy sector to win investment and create jobs. Those attending the conference will have around $65 billion earmarked for deployment this year alone. read more>>>
May 7, 2014 - Hawaiian Electric Industries subsidiary Hawaiian Electric Company (HECO) is seeking proposals for large-scale energy storage systems to help add more renewable generation to the Oahu grid. Energy storage is one of the key elements missing from HECO achieving their goal of integrating high levels of variable renewable energy sources like solar and wind.
With Oahu's continuing growth of utility-scale wind and solar projects and rooftop solar now in use by more than 11 percent of Hawaiian Electric customers, energy storage is needed to help with sudden changes in availability of these variable resources. HECO is looking for one or more storage systems that are able to store 60 to 200 MW for up to 30 minutes. read more>>>
05/10/14 - The first BMW i3 electric car just arrived in the US, and BMW marked the occasion by unveiling a solar-powered bamboo carport to charge it! The i Solar Carport provides electric vehicles with a 100% renewable source of energy, enabling drivers can charge up their EVs independent of grid-based electricity prices.
BMW’s i Solar Carport takes styling cues from the i3 and i8 electric vehicles. The carport is made out of rapidly renewable bamboo, and its roof is covered in high-grade glass-on-glass solar modules that send electricity to EVs via BMW’s i Wallbox Pro. The Wallbox indicates the amount of solar energy generated, and once vehicles are fully charged surplus solar power can be redirected for domestic use. read more>>>
May 6, 2014 - Interest in microgrids as a strategy for ensuring energy security and reliability is growing worldwide, especially in the wake of events such as Hurricane Sandy. Military installations, hospitals, data centers and remote off-grid regions that must have dependable power are increasingly turning to the microgrid paradigm. According to a recent report by GlobalData, the global microgrid industry is anticipated to reach a value of US$18.9 billion in 2020 from a 2012 value of US$5.3 billion – demonstrating a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 17.2%.*
To help energy professionals maximize effectiveness and ROI of this emerging technology area, the Microgrid Global Summit, May 20-23, 2014 in Irvine, California, will bring together a group of industry professionals from around the world for four days of focused information sharing, case study updates, regulatory discussions, and one-on-one networking. read more>>>