Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Alternative Clean Energy Roundup: 12 August 2014

Embryonic No More: U.S. Offshore Wind Industry Gaining Momentum
August 06 2014 - At long last, the U.S. offshore wind industry is showing real progress toward putting steel in the water. The offshore sector is progressing not only with key projects like Cape Wind and the Block Island wind farm, but also more broadly as the federal government provides new grants and works with coastal states to offer large leases for future offshore development.

As of the end of July, the developer behind the 468 MW Cape Wind project had secured close to two-thirds of the approximately $2.5 billion needed for the wind farm, to be located off the coast of Cape Cod, Mass. In addition, the developer sold more than 77% of the projected output (363 MW) through stable, 15-year power purchase agreements (PPAs) at $0.187/kWh plus inflation. read more>>>

Top 10 States Leading the U.S. in Solar Energy Growth
August 5, 2014 - While Ohio has disappointingly become the first state to roll back renewable energy mandates and ALEC continues to attack renewable energy policies to keep America addicted to fossil fuels, there remains plenty of encouraging news on renewable energy growth. Consider this: U.S. solar electric power tripled between 2011 and 2013, and solar photovoltaic capacity has increased more than 120-fold in the last 10 years.

In fact, the U.S. solar industry had a record-shattering year in 2013. A report released today by Environment America, Lighting the Way: The Top Ten States that Helped Drive America’s Solar Energy Boom in 2013, takes a look at the 10 states responsible for 87 percent of that growth. They are: read more>>>

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Scientists shine bright new light on how living things capture energy from the sun
July 31, 2014 - Since Alexandre Edmond Becquerel first discovered the photovoltaic effect in 1839, humankind has sought to further understand and harness the power of sunlight for its own purposes. In a new research report published in the August 2014 issue of the FASEB Journal, scientists may have uncovered a new method of exploiting the power of sunlight by focusing on a naturally occurring combination of lipids that have been strikingly conserved throughout evolution. This conservation -- or persistence over time and across species -- suggests that this specific natural combination of lipids is important for ensuring light capture and conversion. read more>>>

Eastern Caribbean to benefit from new energy infrastructure
30 July 2014 - The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) aim to transform the energy landscape in the Eastern Caribbean.

The three agencies will support the efforts of Eastern Caribbean states to reduce high energy costs and dependence on fossil fuels by diversifying the regions energy mix and promoting renewable energy and energy efficiency. The plan was announced following the signing of a Memorandum of Cooperation (MOC) by Nigel Romano, Vice President-Operations (acting) of CDB, Toshiyuki Kuroyanagi, Vice President of JICA and Gerard Johnson, General Manager, Caribbean Country Dept. of IDB. read more>>>


Germany tops world energy efficiency ranking
22 July 2014 - Germany has knocked the UK off the top spot to take first place in the 2014 International Energy Efficiency Scorecard, according to the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE).

The only report of its kind identifies best practices across 31 key metrics in the world’s largest economies. China tied with France for fourth place, the UK and Japan tied for sixth, and the USA came thirteenth.

The study praised Germany’s comprehensive energy strategy and awarded the country maximum points for its building codes, retrofit policies, and tax credit and loan programs. read more>>>

Tidal energy could contribute £27 billion to the UK economy
18 July 2014 - A new report published by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) has found that construction of six tidal lagoons across the UK could contribute £27 billion to UK GDP.

The report assesses the economic benefits that could be derived from Tidal Lagoon Power’s proposed tidal lagoons. It finds that the twelve year construction period could contribute £27 billion to the economy while also generating 36,000 jobs with up to 71,000 jobs at its peak.

Once fully operational, the lagoons could contribute £3.1 billion in GDP annually over the 120-year design life, generating enough energy to power almost 8 million homes. read more>>>

Wind and Weather

Farmers Electric Cooperative growing Iowa solar
August 1, 2014 - After three years of planning, Farmers Electric Cooperative has opened the largest solar farm in Iowa. The 2,900-panel solar array is capable of generating more than a million kilowatt-hours a year.

Solar has grown by leaps and bounds in Iowa compared to even just five years ago.

"In 2008, there was just one little bitty array in Johnson, Washington and Iowa counties. There were four modules," Warren McKenna, general manager and CEO of the co-op told The Des Moines Register. "I don't know how many modules there are now, but it's in the thousands -- on homes, businesses, and pig and cattle operations." read more>>>

Solar energy: Dyes help harvest light
July 30, 2014 - A new dye-sensitized solar cell absorbs a broad range of visible and infrared wavelengths.

Dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs) rely on dyes that absorb light to mobilize a current of electrons and are a promising source of clean energy. Jishan Wu at the A*STAR Institute of Materials Research and Engineering and colleagues in Singapore have now developed zinc porphyrin dyes that harvest light in both the visible and near-infrared parts of the spectrum. Their research suggests that chemical modification of these dyes could enhance the energy output of DSSCs.

DSSCs are easier and cheaper to manufacture than conventional silicon solar cells, but they currently have a lower efficiency. read more>>>

California, Mexico partner to promote low carbon economy
August 4, 2014 - California -- a pioneer in addressing climate change -- and Mexico have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to cooperate on a range of environmental issues, from pricing carbon pollution to air quality to promoting clean vehicles.

"California and Mexico can give a crucial boost to the growing global momentum on key policies, like carbon pricing, that can achieve ambitious reductions in climate pollution, drive clean energy innovation, and promote low-carbon prosperity," said Nathaniel Keohane, vice president for International Climate, Environmental Defense Fund (EDF). "In doing so they can demonstrate concrete progress on practical solutions to address the common challenge of climate change." read more>>>

Inside the Huge Solar Farm That Powers Apple's iCloud
Apple has a wide-ranging plan to keep its ever-expanding empire green—but it has a few holes.

Aug 4, 2014 - The skies are threatening to pour on the Apple solar farm, but as the woman in charge of the company’s environmental initiatives points out: The panels are still putting out some power. Apple is still greening its act.

The company, which once drew fire from campaigners for working conditions in China and heavy reliance on fossil fuels, is now leading other technology companies in controlling its own power supply and expanding its use of renewable energy.

After converting all of its data centers to clean energy, the Guardian understands Apple is poised to use solar power to manufacture sapphire screens for the iPhone 6, at a factory in Arizona. And, in a departure for its reputation for secretiveness, Apple is going out of its way to get credit for its green efforts. read more>>>

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