Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Alternative Clean Energy Roundup: 23 July 2014

Renewable Energy Provides 56 Percent of New Electrical Generation Capacity in First Half of 2014
July 23, 2014 - Keeping with the steady growth and adoption of renewable energy, the latest Energy Infrastructure Update report just released from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s Office of Energy Projects states that wind, solar, biomass, geothermal and hydropower accounts for 55.7 percent of newly installed generating capacity in the U.S. for the first half of 2014.

Of the total 3,529 megawatts (MW) installed, 1,965 MW came from renewable sources, fully one-third of that, 32.1 percent, came from solar, with 1,131 MW of new solar generating capacity installed so far this year. Wind energy follows with 19.8 percent of the total, or 699 MW of new capacity, followed by biomass with 87 MW (2.5 percent of total), geothermal with 32 MW (0.9 percent) and finally 16 MW from hydro (0.5 percent of total).read more>>>

Climate change hits all Pentagon operations, official says
07/22/14 - All Pentagon operations in the U.S. and abroad are threatened by climate change, according to a Defense Department official.

"The effects of the changing climate affect the full range of Department activities, including plans, operations, training, infrastructure, acquisition, and longer-term investments," Daniel Chiu, deputy assistant secretary of Defense for strategy and force development, told senators at a hearing on Tuesday.

"By taking a proactive, flexible approach to assessment, analysis, and adaptation, the Department can keep pace with the impacts of changing climate patterns, minimize effects on the Department, and continue to protect our national security interests," Chiu added. read more>>>

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The 'green economy' can encourage jobs and innovation - study
Europe can create jobs and encourage innovation by using resources much more efficiently, according to a new report from the European Environment Agency (EEA) which describes a range of policies with proven environmental and economic benefits.

'Resource-efficient green economy and EU policies' considers how European economies can drive more efficient material resource use as part of the transition towards a 'green economy', a recently stated aim of the EU. read more>>>

Microsoft investing in largest wind project so far
July 16, 2014 - Microsoft and EDF Renewable Energy (EDF RE) have entered into a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA) for wind energy generated by the Pilot Hill Wind Project (formerly known as K4) in Illinois.

The 175 MW wind project is located on the same electric grid that powers Microsoft's Chicago-area data center. Physical construction will begin shortly with commercial operation anticipated during the first quarter of 2015.

The participation of companies like Microsoft in renewable energy generation projects points to a growing trend of "blue chip" organizations taking charge of their energy destiny by procuring directly -- with a focus on both reducing their carbon footprint and controlling long-term energy costs. read more>>>


U.S. lags in lowering solar PV costs
July 16, 2014 - As a result of not implementing best practices for reducing solar photovoltaic (PV) system costs and accelerating residential and commercial customer adoption, the U.S. continues to lag behind global PV leaders Germany and Australia, according to a Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI)/Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) report.

With solar module costs relatively the same everywhere, total soft costs -- including customer acquisition, installation labor, permitting, inspection and interconnection -- now comprise approximately 70 percent of the total installed price for a U.S. residential PV system, making soft costs a prime opportunity for drastic cost reductions.

Combined, the U.S., Germany and Australia comprise more than 39 percent of total global distributed PV generation, according to RMI. read more>>>

California announces $26.5m in funding for microgrids
15/07/2014 - The US state of California is backing more impetus on low-carbon energy resources with a $26.5m funding announcement.

The Green Tech Grid website reports that the California Energy Commission has issued a programme opportunity notice seeking applicants that can 'incorporate clean, low-carbon energy resources with energy storage and on-site energy management' to help meet the state’s carbon reduction and renewable energy goals.

CEC’s notice sets aside $6m for projects that connect plug-in electric vehicles, with the remaining $20.5m reserved for two groups. The first is 'low-carbon-based microgrids for critical facilities' such as hospitals and fire stations. This category would appear to include more room for combined heat and power and natural-gas-fired backup generators, although the CEC demands that all projects must meet the Department of Energy's standards of having 20% lower emissions than a comparatively sized diesel generator. read more>>>

Wind and Weather

SunEdison to install solar PV micro-grids for six remote Indian villages, 4,875 off-grid people
2014-07-14 - SunEdison, Inc. (St. Peters, Missouri, U.S.) on July 10th, 2014 announced a new project that will install 159 kilowatts (kW) of solar photovoltaic (PV) micro-grids with battery storage in six remote Indian villages, which will bring electricity to, and thereby improve health and education for 4,875 off-grid people.

Working with the Government of India's Rural Electrification Corporation (REC) and the Madhya Pradesh Urja Vikas Nigam state agency, SunEdison will build, operate and then transfer the facilities to a public entity after five years, giving the freedom of renewable, reliable energy to those who need it the most. read more>>>

Solar lamps for a brighter future
15.07.2014 - The NGO United for Hope is partnering with d.light solar to provide an Indian village with solar lighting. The project's objective is to increase the villagers' health and to provide them with the means to improve their education and give them better prospects for the future. The villagers will pay 10 % of the costs for the solar lights.

The first phase of United for Hope's project, which focused on improving local hygiene, was completed in February 2014 with encouraging results. read more>>>

India: Five billion for 'Ultra Mega Solar Power' projects
15.07.2014 - The Indian finance minister has proposed that the Indian government provide 5 billion Indian rupees (approximately US $ 83 million / € 61 million) for mega solar projects. In addition, there will be tax reductions for photovoltaic components and the government will also grant another 5 billion rupees to other renewable projects.

'Ultra Mega Solar Power' projects are large-scale projects that India has created to stimulate the domestic solar industry and increase the share of renewable energies. read more>>>

Kenya bets on green economy model to boost food security
July 12th 2014 - As the country strives to transform its economy, generate jobs and boost Kenyans’ income, the green economy model is increasingly becoming an irresistible venture for both Government and experts. The model, built on the principle of squeezing more economic value from existing resources through enhanced efficiency, sustainable use and minimising destructive impacts on the environment, promises rapid economic leap forward that can be sustained to fight poverty. Currently, non-green economic models, which focus on economic growth at the expense of sustainability are seen as wasteful and destructive of natural resources, making prosperity a short-term solution. read more>>>

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