May 27, 2014 - Solar-cell technology has advanced rapidly, as hundreds of groups around the world pursue more than two dozen approaches using different materials, technologies, and approaches to improve efficiency and reduce costs. Now a team at MIT has set a new record for the most efficient quantum-dot cells — a type of solar cell that is seen as especially promising because of its inherently low cost, versatility, and light weight.
While the overall efficiency of this cell is still low compared to other types — about 9 percent of the energy of sunlight is converted to electricity — the rate of improvement of this technology is one of the most rapid seen for a solar technology. read more>>>
May 26, 2014 - Scrapping or reducing Australia’s Renewable Energy Target would shelve AUD 12-21bn of investment in clean energy, cut 7,000-11,000 future jobs in wind and solar industries every year, lead to higher power prices for consumers and deliver power companies AUD 6-12bn of extra revenue from 2015 to 2020, according to new analysis from research firm Bloomberg New Energy Finance.
The White Paper produced by BNEF’s Sydney analysis team shows that the current Renewable Energy Target – which is being reviewed by the federal government – is expected to drive AUD 35bn of investment in clean energy by 2020, employ 25,000 workers each year in construction and operations, reduce emissions from power generation by 5% and prevent future surges in power prices by supplying electricity for 20-25 years with no ongoing fuel costs. read more>>>
22 May 2014 - Good Energy has released data at the Hay Festival revealing that foreign fuel imports now dominate the UK electricity market although renewables have shown tremendous growth.
The data reveals that UK now imports over 60 percent of the fuel it used to generate electricity in 2012, up by 12 percent since 2011. However, Good Energy’s calculations show that renewable technologies such as solar, wind and marine technologies provided over a quarter of all the UK-based power used to generate electricity in 2012. read more>>>
05/28/14 - Meet Sunny, the solar powered musical companion made from sustainably harvested wood. Developed by Patrick Daly and Ryan Bachman of SoularSound, this adorable solar panel-topped speaker celebrates quality HiFi sound with environmentally friendly and efficient materials. To minimize its environmental impact, Sunny is handmade from FSC certified wood, U.S.-sourced solar panels, and recycled steel. Since the modular bluetooth speaker was built to last, its user friendly design allows owners to easily make repairs or upgrades. To bring this fun eco-minded Sunny speaker into your home, send your support over to the SoularSound Sunny Kickstarter today! read more>>>
May 27, 2014 - China's government plans to take 6 million older, polluting vehicles off the road this year in an effort to revive stalled progress toward cleaning up smog-choked cities.
The plan also calls for filling stations in Beijing, Shanghai and other major cities to switch to selling only the cleanest grades of gasoline and diesel, according to a Cabinet statement issued Monday.
The order comes after China failed to meet official pollution-reduction goals for 2011-2013, the statement said. It said vehicles registered before 2005 that fail to meet cleaner emissions standards will be 'phased out,' though it did not say how. read more>>>
May. 28, 2014 - As North Carolina races toward the top of national rankings for solar energy, an Asheville company has proposed a dozen solar megafarms.
North Carolina is the nation’s fourth-largest state for installed solar capacity, a boom built on its green-energy mandate, tax credits and plummeting panel prices.
Most of that capacity has come from solar farms of less than 5 megawatts, a size that lets developers sell their energy to utilities at a “standard offer” set by the state. read more>>>
May 28, 2014 - The Greater Toronto Chapter of the Canada Green Building Council (CAGBC) is partnering with the New York-based Urban Green Council (UGC) to bring green training for trades and contractors to Canada.
The Green Professional (GPRO) Building Skills Training program is a series of courses and certificate exams that teach those who build, renovate and maintain buildings the principles of sustainability combined with trade-specific green construction knowledge.
The UGC-developed program, which made its debut in 2010 in the United States, is intended to close the gap between conventional and sustainable construction practices. The council is the New York chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council. read more>>>
May 27, 2014 - The Department of Energy's (DOE) Brookhaven National Lab is sponsoring workshops about the resiliency of the grid. The latest gathering produced definitions and guidelines that will be helpful to utilities seeking to respond to the growing cry for resiliency.
Just what is resiliency?
Reliability is typically defined as the ability of a system to perform its required functions without problems. Resiliency, on the other hand, refers to what happens when that system encounters a problem. Charlie Scirbona, Smart Grid department manager for Orange and Rockland Utilities, defines resiliency as the adaptive capacity of the system or the ability to bounce back. read more>>>
May 19, 2014 - China has set a new target to more than triple installed solar power capacity to 70GW by 2017 as part of its drive to cut carbon emissions.
The new target is double the previous one set for 2015, according to a statement posted last week on the website of the National Development and Reform Commission.
China already has about 20GW of solar capacity and has emerged as the world's largest renewable energy market in recent years. read more>>>
05/21/14 - In 2011, Germany made headlines when a small agricultural village in the state of Bavaria produced 321% more energy than it needed. Now, Germany is showing that it is still leading the world in renewable energy use with news that renewable energy sources were responsible for 74% of the country’s ENTIRE DEMAND during the middle of a day.
According to think tank Agora Energiewende, Germany’s renewable usage set a new record on Sunday when wind, solar, biomass, and hydro energy supplied a bulk of the country’s energy. Information supplied by the group shows that the combined contribution of renewables reached 43.54 gigawatts between noon and 1 p.m. That equates to almost three quarters of the country’s demand. read more>>>