Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Alternative Clean Energy Roundup: 15 July 2014

Clean Energy Investment Reaches Highest Point Since 2012
July 10th, 2014 - A new report from analysts Clean Energy Pipeline has shown that global clean energy investment totaled $66.2 billion in the second quarter of 2014, the highest total since the end of 2012.

“It is perhaps a little early to make predictions, but based on investment levels during the first six months of 2014 last year’s total looks like it will be eclipsed,” commented Douglas Lloyd, CEO of Clean Energy Pipeline. “This is very positive news given that total clean energy investment posted annual year-on-year declines in both 2012 and 2013.”

The second quarter total is an 8% increase on the same period a year earlier, and includes a slight uptick on clean energy project financing from the first quarter of 2014. read more>>>

Solar + Storage Has Arrived
July 11, 2014 - Battery storage paired with residential rooftop solar arrays are not a thing of the distant future. It’s happening now and companies like SunPower and SolarCity are already selling package systems.

SolarCity partnered with Tesla to manufacture a lithium-ion battery storage system. In a pilot program, SolarCity is offering the battery setup to California customers for $1,500 down and $15 a month on a 10-year lease agreement. read more>>>

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Operating the integrated grid
Jul 06, 2014 - The rapid growth and diversity of distributed resources is driving changes to the traditional electric system operating model. This emerging hybrid system, comprised of a complementary mix of centralized and distributed energy resources, has created multi-directional power flows while also expanding the number of transactions. Additionally, these resources are increasingly owned and controlled by various parties, including utilities, merchant distributed generators, merchant energy storage, demand aggregators, energy services like solar PV firms, and customers. Operating such an electric system safely and reliably requires an evolution of the distribution system operator (DSO) role and responsibilities. This also necessitates changes in the coordination and duties between transmission system operators (TSO) and DSOs. read more>>>

Consider water use in climate change policies: Energy efficient technologies can also save water at the same time
July 3, 2014 - There's more to trying to slow down climate change than just cutting greenhouse gas emissions. Technology, policies or plans that aim to do so should also take environmental factors such as water usage into account. A more integrated approach might make some options considerably more attractive than others, especially when implemented in arid countries such as Australia, advise Philip Wallis of Monash University in Australia and colleagues, in an article in Springer's journal Climatic Change.

The researchers considered the example of Australia to show how water usage influences the appeal of certain preferred mitigation options. They analyzed 74 options that were ranked in the influential "Low Carbon Growth Plan for Australia" in 2010, and together could help Australia cut its 2000 emission levels by 25 percent by 2020. read more>>>


NCTU's Energy Efficient Evaporative Cooling Orchid House Wins Best Urban Design at Solar Decathlon Europe 2014
07/12/14 - With temperatures on the rise, households across the world are cranking up their air conditioning to the detriment of both their electricity bill and the environment. To offer a more sustainable alternative for cooling, a team of National Chiao Tung University (NCTU) students has harnessed the innovative greenhouse technology used to cultivate orchids to create Orchid House, an energy efficient prototype house with an eco-friendly climate control solution. The solar-powered Orchid House aims to serve as a more comfortable and energy efficient model of social housing, and it took first place in the Urban Design category at the the 2014 Solar Decathlon Europe.

Given that the NCTU Unicode is based in Taiwan, a country notorious for its muggy and oppressive tropical summers, it’s little surprise that the team honed in on their country’s unsustainable and ubiquitous air conditioning practices. read more>>>

New Rochelle partnership to help residents get green jobs
July 5, 2014 - Assume for a minute that you want find a job in the green economy, to work in a field that keeps at least one eye on issues like sustainability, energy efficiency and carbon footprints.

How do you do it? What do you need to know? What kind of experience do you need?

The city of New Rochelle is partnering with an organization called Envirolution One to answer those questions and help residents land a green job. read more>>>

Wind and Weather

Will microgrids be powered by fuel cells instead?
Jul 3, 2014 - Although some sectors of the fuel cell industry are still moribund, other sectors have seen real progress in the last 18 months. The stationary sector – the one that services microgrids – has seen strong growth, both in prime power and in combined heat and power.

Navigant Research forecast 10 key trends, several of which suggests that fuel cells could become a preferred source of electric power generation for microgrids within the next few years. Those trends include: read more>>>

Danish Students' EMBRACE House for Two Boasts a Super Energy-Efficient Double Envelope
07/03/14 - Thanks to its bipartite envelope and a combination of passive and active sustainable solutions, EMBRACE home provides optimal indoor temperatures and comfort levels for its inhabitants. The thermal envelope shelters the bathroom, living room, kitchen, a technical core and the bedroom, while “the weather shield” protects the whole building from rain and thunderstorms and supports several solar panels. The project was designed by Danish architecture students and is part of this year’s Solar Decathlon Europe competition.

Students from the Technical University of Denmark designed the home for two by combining passive and active technological solutions. The building’s thermal envelope shelters only the necessary area and leaves as much space as possible for the occupants to use during most of the year. read more>>>

Solar Power Makes Gains in US
July 02, 2014 - Two universities in Washington, D.C., soon plan to start buying half of their electricity from solar-power farms 400 kilometers away. The schools expect the project will save millions of dollars during the next couple of decades and make the universities more attractive to environmentally-conscious students.

Experts say the project shows how this once-exotic power source is becoming a routine part of business.

Solar panels cover the roof of this and other buildings at American University, creating electricity that is a fraction of the power needed by the campus. read more>>>

Capturing CO2 Emissions Needed to Meet Climate Targets
Jun. 26, 2014 - Technologies that are discussed controversially today may be needed to keep the future risks and costs of climate change in check. Combining the production of energy from fossil fuels and biomass with capturing and storing the CO2 they emit (CCS) can be key to achieving current climate policy objectives such as limiting the rise of the global mean temperature to below 2 degrees Celsius. This is shown by the most comprehensive study to date on technology strategies to combat climate change, published in a special issue of the journal Climatic Change. It is based on the analysis of 18 computer models by an international team of scientists under the roof of the Stanford Energy Modelling Forum (EMF 27). read more>>>

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