Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Alternative Clean Energy Roundup: 16 July 2014

Eight ways climate change is making the world more dangerous
Disasters including storms, floods and heatwaves have increased fivefold since the 1970s, UN finds

14 July 2014 - Forget the future. The world already is nearly five times as dangerous and disaster prone as it was in the 1970s, because of the increasing risks brought by climate change, according to a new report from the World Meteorological Organisation.

The first decade of the 21st century saw 3,496 natural disasters from floods, storms, droughts and heat waves. That was nearly five times as many disasters as the 743 catastrophes reported during the 1970s – and all of those weather events are influenced by climate change.

The bottom line: natural disasters are occurring nearly five times as often as they were in the 1970s. But some disasters – such as floods and storms – pose a bigger threat than others. Flooding and storms are also taking a bigger bite out of the economy. But heat waves are an emerging killer. read more>>>

Study: States can handle EPA power plant rules
07/14/14 - An independent analysis of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposal to limit carbon dioxide pollution from power plants concluded that states are “well positioned” to handle the federal government’s requirements under the rules.

The Analysis Group said Monday that there will be costs associated with compliance, but “such costs will be much lower than the benefits to public health and to the overall economy from lower CO2 and other air emissions.”

If states design programs effectively, near-term electricity rate increases will be modest, and electric bills will fall in the long run, the group said. read more>>>

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China says electric cars must make up 30% of state purchases
July 14, 2014 - China is requiring that electric cars make up at least 30 percent of government vehicle purchases by 2016, the latest measure to fight pollution and cut energy use after exempting the autos from a purchase tax.

Central government ministries and agencies will take the lead on purchases of new-energy vehicles, a term that China uses to refer to electric vehicles, plug-in hybrids and fuel-cell autos, according to a statement on the government's website Sunday. The ratio will be raised beyond 2016, when local provinces are required to meet the target. read more>>>

DOE seeking innovative renewable energy projects
July 7, 2014 - The Department of Energy (DOE) has issued a loan guarantee solicitation, making as much as $4 billion in loan guarantees available for innovative U.S.-based renewable energy and energy efficiency projects that avoid, reduce, or sequester greenhouse gases. The department's Loan Programs Office (LPO) is accepting applications in three areas, which includes the $8 billion Advanced Fossil Energy Projects solicitation and the $16 billion Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing (ATVM) loan program.

The Renewable Energy and Efficient Energy Projects Loan Guarantee Solicitation is intended to support technologies that are catalytic, replicable, and market-ready. The Department has included a sample list within the solicitation, which illustrates potential technologies for consideration. read more>>>

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PNM plans to significantly increase renewable energy
July 7, 2014 - PNM Resources' New Mexico Utility, PNM, has filed its 2014 Integrated Resource Plan with the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission, outlining how the company plans to provide a reliable, cost-effective, and environmentally responsible power supply in the future.

The resource plan is consistent with PNM's five-year capital investment plan. To create the plan, PNM analyzed thousands of potential energy resource combinations to identify the best mix of generation sources. PNM considered future changes in the cost and reliability of each resource mix over time. Based on the results of the analysis, the company expects to add significant renewable energy resources to its power portfolio in the coming years. read more>>>

'Microgrids' offer energy security and independence
07/07/2014 - The periodic blackouts in Cassina Tarsia's Oceanside neighborhood meant the 71-year-old couldn't charge her cellphone or electric wheelchair.

But outages aren't a problem anymore.

Since February, Tarsia's garage has housed a suitcase-sized battery that stores power from her rooftop solar panels and the main electrical grid. In a blackout, the battery can power her home for days or even weeks.

"I think about what will happen in a big earthquake and what happened in Japan with the tsunami," said Tarsia, who paid $5,000 to get the battery installed. "I wanted to be prepared." read more>>>

Wind, solar microgrid storage gets a boost with three-port converter
Developer says converters will cost effectively bridge gap between solar generation, energy storage

July 7, 2014 - Ideal Power Inc., a developer of power conversion technology, has developed a three-port 30-kilowatt hybrid converter for off grid, grid-tied and grid resilient applications.

Research firm Navigant Research forecasts that revenue from deployments of microgrids will be just under $10 billion in 2013, increasing to just more than $40 billion annually by 2020.

Frost & Sullivan also thinks mircrogrids are poised for growth, saying the global microgrid market is rapidly gaining prominence as supportive government policies in various countries encourage renewable energy development, such as wind and solar. read more>>>

New Renewable Energy Sharing System Monitors Energy Consumption of Entire Neighborhoods
July 7, 2014 - The hype of electric vehicles and rooftop solar is nowhere near its peak with technology becoming more and more affordable to many. But reducing emissions does not mean reducing energy consumption, actually it is the exact opposite.

The problem is intensified by the fact that energy storage systems are still expensive and inefficient, which puts additional pressure on local energy grids to provide a lot of energy to many households at the same time, for charging EVs for example.

But, no panic. An EU project called CoSSMic, which has been underway for about one year now, is looking to develop a smart system that can control not only your personal energy consumption at home, but also that of the entire neighborhood, cutting down the need of energy storage. read more>>>

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Bucharest's EFdeN Modular Home Is Part Home, Part Greenhouse
07/08/14 - EFdeN is a hybrid greenhouse home conceived and built by a group of Romanian students for this year’s Solar Decathlon Europe. Part modular residential building, part greenhouse, EFdeN aims to create connect city inhabitants with nature to support Bucharest’s polycentric development.

The EFdeN house consists of a cubic volume punctuated by a glass structure that brings an abundance of natural light into the living space. This greenhouse-like structure allows the modular house to sustain an abundance of plants that can thrive even in the most remote corners of the building. The home can be developed vertically or horizontally and can adapt to different sites. read more>>>

Tiny 100% Solar-Powered Maison Reciprocity House Shines at the Solar Decathlon Europe
07/07/14 - Maison Reciprocity is an affordable, solar-powered prefab home equipped with the latest sustainable technologies, including cross-laminated timber and insulating glass. Conceived as a collaborative effort between Appalachian State University and Universite d’Angers, the low-rise, highly adaptable multi-family housing solution has a low environmental impact. Maison Reciprocity was recently unveiled at the Solar Decathlon Europe 2014 competition in Versailles, France - read on for a look inside!

The home is based on designing row house neighborhoods that have a minimal environmental impact. Built as an affordable multi-story house, Maison Reciprocity is organized around a central Container for High-performance Operation, Recirculation and Distribution (CHORD) that houses all mechanical, plumbing, and electrical services, and serves as an internal divider between public and private spaces. Maison Reciprocity has an intelligent, energy-producing fa├žade. read more>>>


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