Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Alternative Clean Energy Roundup: 5 August 2014

Scientists develop new material to store renewable energy
04 August 2014 - Scientists at the US Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) have developed a new material, which could enable more utilities to store vast amounts of renewable energy.

The new electrode made of a liquid metal alloy allows sodium-beta batteries to last longer and help streamline their manufacturing method as well as reduce the risk of accidental fire.

PNNL material scientist Xiaochuan Lu said: "Running at lower temperatures can make a big difference for sodium-beta batteries and may enable batteries to store more renewable energy and strengthen the power grid." read more>>>

Editorial: The possibility of a clean energy future
AUGUST 04, 2014 - Extreme weather in Iowa during the summertime appears to be on the rise. We often start with torrential rainfalls and conclude with severe dry spells, both of which devastate crops and livestock.

Given rising global temperatures and growing carbon dioxide and methane emissions, this appears to be the new normal, as hundreds of Iowa climatologists stated in the Iowa Climate Statement 2013.

Dubuque Street, the major entrance to Iowa City from Interstate 80 has been flooded repeatedly, as has City Park in the past couple years, leading to millions of dollars in repair costs, not to mention the devastating 2008 flood.

To keep the situation from getting substantially worse, both in Iowa and around the world, making new investments in renewable energy that help reduce greenhouse-gas emissions is the best path forward. read more>>>

Solar, wind generation surpassing hydropower
08/01/14 - Solar, wind, geothermal and other renewable energy sources are routinely surpassing hydropower generation across the U.S., according to the Energy Department's stat shop.

Over the last eight months, non-hydro renewables have dominated electric generation, signaling a shift in the energy portfolio of the country.

Only one decade ago, hydropower made up three times as much generation in the U.S. as renewables like wind, solar, biomass, landfill gas and more, the Energy Information Administration said. read more>>>

Local Organizations Announce Solarize Syracuse Initiative
07/28/2014 - With a shift across the United States toward renewable energy local organizations are teaming up to put Syracuse on the map for solar energy.

Alliance for a Green Economy and the CNY Regional Planning and Development Board are encouraging residents to join the Solarize Syracuse program.

The program offers bulk discounts to residents to help make solar energy more affordable.

Organizers said there are many benefits to the initiative. read more>>>

Wind and Weather

Energy diversity critical to U.S. economy
July 28, 2014 - The uncertainty around the future prices of natural gas, oil, coal, uranium, and others means uncertainty regarding the cost to produce electricity. A diversified portfolio is the most cost-effective tool available to manage the inherent production cost risk involved in transforming primary energy fuels into electricity, and a diverse power generation technology mix is essential to cost-effectively integrate intermittent renewable power resources into the power supply mix -- IHS Energy explains in a new report called "The Value of U.S. Power Supply Diversity."

The current diversified portfolio lowers the cost of generating electricity by more than $93 billion per year, and halves the potential variability of monthly power bills compared to a less diverse supply, the study says, and produces lower and less volatile power prices compared to a less diverse case with no meaningful contributions from coal and nuclear power, and a smaller contribution from hydroelectric power. read more>>>

Post-rebate solar shining in PA
July 28, 2014 - Homeowners and small businesses in Pennsylvania now pay less for solar than they did when the state was paying even the highest rebates, according to a recent report by the nonprofit Mid-Atlantic Renewable Energy Association (MAREA) -- based on an analysis of data collected for solar electric systems receiving PA Sunshine Rebates by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) as part of the state's Sunshine Rebate Program.

The PA Sunshine Solar Program began in May of 2009 and accepted rebate applications until its $100 million in funds were depleted in November 2013. The program distributed more than $100 million in rebates for the solar electric systems of more than 7,000 homeowners and small business owners, supporting nearly 100,000 kW of new photovoltaic capacity in Pennsylvania. read more>>>


RIT researchers get $78K to improve electric grid
Jul. 28, 2014 - Seven research teams statewide have received $3.3 million in funding aimed at projects to improve the resiliency and efficiency of the state electric grid. That's something many say is much-needed in light of outages following recent violent storms statewide.

The Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) houses one of seven research teams that will be working to improve the grid.

The teams will develop technologies that work to increase the efficiency of the grid, reduce power outages, lessen environmental impacts and potentially reduce the cost of power delivery. read more>>>

New Jersey Launches $200M Energy Resilience Bank for Microgrids and Distributed Generation
July 24, 2014 - Following in the footsteps of its tri-state neighbors, New Jersey is establishing an infrastructure bank that is focused on energy resiliency.

The names of these institutions vary across Connecticut, New York and New Jersey, but the idea is similar: leveraging public and private capital and the authority of the state to fund energy projects that provide cleaner, more reliable sources of electricity.

The $200 million for New Jersey’s Energy Resilience Bank will come from the state’s Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery allocation. read more>>>

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Incentive schemes benefiting global solar power market
July 25, 2014 - Environmental regulations focusing on curbing greenhouse gas and other emissions, and the need to enhance energy self-sufficiency and security, are rapidly powering the growth of the solar market -- with an upward trend in Asia-Pacific and Africa, among others -- according to Frost & Sullivan.

Africa has an abundant and readily available supply of resources for renewable energy power generation, as well as wind and solar photovoltaic (PV) power plants. The costs of solar technologies, especially solar PV, have been rapidly declining over the past few years in Africa, and the levelized cost of energy (LCOE) is now competitive with many other conventional generation technologies, especially for distributed, off-grid and hybrid solutions. read more>>>

Energy constraints driving energy efficiency globally
July 25, 2014 - Globally, residential and commercial buildings account for 35 to 40 percent of total final energy consumption. As the global economy becomes increasingly more constrained by energy cost and availability -- as well as energy-related environmental regulations -- many countries are looking to identify measures to address energy demand issues.

The increasing deployment of energy efficiency retrofits for commercial and public buildings provides an important pathway for increasing energy security, decreasing energy demand, as well as demand for new energy production and distribution facilities, and reducing GHG emissions, according to Navigant Research. Energy efficiency retrofits can also be used by commercial building owners and tenants to support greening efforts. read more>>>

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