Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Alternative Clean Energy Roundup: 19 August 2014

Dan Bakal: Learning from clean energy success
August 17, 2014 - As the Environmental Protection Agency seeks to reduce greenhouse gas pollution from U.S. power plants, it’s important to look at what’s already working to encourage clean energy.

Ceres, a nonprofit encouraging business and investors to address climate change, just studied how 32 of the country’s largest electric utility holding companies — providing 70 percent of the nation’s power — are doing at delivering renewable and more efficient energy.

The report shows wide disparities in how much renewable energy and energy savings utilities are providing.

It also shows strong state policies play an important role in enabling them to meet customers’ clean energy needs. read more>>>

Offshore wind plan not making any progress: Letter
August 18, 2014 - Tomorrow is the fourth anniversary of the Offshore Wind Economic Development Act. Since signing the law, Gov. Chris Christie and his administration have done nothing to make offshore wind a reality. We have waited for the state Board of Public Utilities to write offshore wind-financing rules. Without the rules, wind cannot go forward.

While New Jersey isn’t moving forward, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management is — with a proposal to sell 344,000 acres off the New Jersey coast for offshore wind. read more>>>

States should not take Ohio’s lead on freezing renewable energy standards
August 18, 2014 - In the absence of a national energy policy, about 30 states have adopted plans to create more electricity from renewable sources. This patchwork of incentives is crucial to the development of the wind-power and solar-energy industries, and hundreds of thousands of jobs; the shift to renewables is also necessary to combat climate change. Yet even these modest state policies are under attack from groups including Americans for Prosperity and the American Legislative Exchange Council, which are both closely aligned with the billionaire Koch brothers. It’s a staggeringly misguided attempt to convince voters, mostly in economically struggling states, that renewable-energy targets are driving up their electric bills. Yet it may be bearing fruit. read more>>>

Florida fades in use of renewable energy as big utilities call the shots
August 15, 2014 - Some enterprising lawyer really should sue the state of Florida for misrepresentation. When it comes to energy resources, calling Florida "the Sunshine State" is as bogus as it gets.

Other slogans come to mind that more realistically capture Florida's energy image. How about "the Pushover State" for starters?

Fresh numbers are out comparing how each state relied at the start of this century on different fuels to generate electricity, and how that has changed today. read more>>>

After the flood: Expanded green infrastructure could help absorb rain, planners say
August 16, 2014 - There isn't much that could have prevented flooding this week after extraordinary rainfall that poured more than 6 inches of water over some parts of Metro Detroit on Monday.

But advocates for investment in green infrastructure believe an improved system of trees, gardens and ponds built to retain rainwater may have made a difference.

"Whenever you get 5 inches of rain in a three-hour period, it's difficult for any kind of system to be able to manage that," said Chris Dorle of the Detroit Future City Implementation Office. read more>>>

Solar continues to flourish in North Carolina with 64MW of new projects
12 August 2014 - The US state of North Carolina is to continue blooming with new solar projects, as 64MW of new solar sites reach construction.

The multiple solar projects now under construction in the state include several to be built by solar development and finance firm, Entropy.

The North Carolina solar sites will be supplied with 44MW of Canadian Solar CS6X-P PV modules.

Canadian Solar has executed a 44MW agreement with Entropy Investment Management and Entropy Solar Integrators. The agreement is Entropy’s second significant deal with Canadian Solar for projects scheduled to come online this year. read more>>>

Germany Shatters Record by Producing 31% of its Electricity from Renewables in the First Half of 2014!
08/13/14 - When it comes to the production of renewable energy, Germany is well ahead of the game – villages regularly break records by producing more energy than they need, and the country has met up to 74% of its energy demand with renewable sources. Now Germany has shattered another record: In the first half of 2014, 31% of the entire country was powered by renewables!

A new report from the Fraunhofer Institute states that Germany produced a whopping 81 TWh of renewable electricity in the first half of 2014. The report shows that nuclear energy production declined while solar increased by 28% and wind increased by 19%. The solar (37.5 GW) and wind (34.6 GW) sectors also led the nation in terms of new capacity installed, with 37.5GW and 34.6GW respectively. As expected, production from conventional power plants declined – gas powered plants produced half the energy they did in 2010. read more>>>

Record-Breaking Solar Car Can Travel 98 Miles on 15 Cents Worth of Electricity
08/12/14 - The annual Shell-Eco Marathon challenges student teams around the world to design the best ultra energy-efficient vehicle, which is then put to the test during racing events in Asia, America and Europe. At this year’s event in Rotterdam, the Swedish Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) set a new fuel efficiency record in the urban concept – battery electric group, by equipping its ‘Elba’ vehicle with thin solar cells made by Midsummer.

The Shell Eco-Marathon challenges collegiate teams from around the world to make their electric vehicles travel as far as possible using the energy equivalent of one liter of fuel, and this year 198 teams from 27 countries across Europe participated in the competition. read more>>>

Barnes & Noble

Nanogrids: The Ultimate Solution for Creating Energy-Aware Buildings?
August 11, 2014 - A building is often only as intelligent as the electrical distribution network it connects with. That's why smart buildings are often seen as an extension of the smart grid.

Meters, building controls, intelligent lighting and HVAC systems, distributed energy systems and the software layered on top are indeed valuable for controlling localized energy use within a building. But in many cases, the building relies on the utility or regional electricity grid to value those services.

Some analysts define these technologies as the "enterprise smart grid" because of their interaction with the electricity network. read more>>>

Princeton Power's Microgrid Project On 'The Rock' - A Harbinger of Things To Come
8/12/2014 - One of the most innovative electric power projects in this country sits on Alcatraz Island, in the middle of San Francisco Bay. On The Rock, Princeton Power Systems coordinates a microgrid combining 307 kilowatts (kW) of solar panels, a 400 kW (two megawatt-hour – MWh) lead acid battery bank, two diesel generators and its own controllers and inverters to keep the island running 24 X 7.

Microgrids are small electrical grids that can either stand remotely (as in the case of Alcatraz, and in some island or remote northern communities) or be interconnected with the main power grid. In the latter instance, they can be severed from the main grid (‘islanded’) in times of distress to become independent.

Microgrids have come into vogue lately, and they cannot come too soon. read more>>>

EU green energy laws 'put 1.5m UK manufacturing jobs at risk’
Eurosceptic group blames Brussels for up to 9pc of costs on manufacturers' energy bills

13 Aug 2014 - Green policies imposed by Brussels are endangering 1.5m UK jobs by saddling manufacturers with high energy costs, an influential group of business leaders has warned.

A report published on Wednesday by Business for Britain (BfB), a Eurosceptic lobby group, says that EU policies are to blame for up to 9 per cent of costs on energy bills for industrial companies and warns this could rise to 16 per cent by 2030.

Manufacturers are now considering moving their operations to countries where energy is cheaper, risking “devastating” job losses in the UK, it warns. read more>>>

Singapore to invest $100m in green data centres and green buildings
31 July 2014 - Singapore is investing S$100 million in two major initiatives for the research and development (R&D) of green data centres and to improve energy efficiency of buildings.

The Energy Research Development and Demonstration executive committee announced the new initiatives on Wednesday at the first Energy TechRoadMap symposium.

The ‘Building Energy Efficiency R&D Hub’ initiative will be implemented and managed by the Building and Construction Authority, while the ‘Green Data Centre Research Hub Programme’ will be managed by the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA). read more>>>

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