Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Alternative Clean Energy Roundup: 6 August 2014

Underwater Ocean Turbines: A New Spin on Clean Energy?
August 05, 2014 - A new technology that harnesses the power of ocean currents could provide a clean and limitless form of renewable energy, some scientists say.

A group of scientists and engineers who describe themselves as "nerds in wetsuits and flippers" has launched a crowdfunding campaign, called Crowd Energy, to do just that. Their idea is to use giant underwater turbines to capture the energy from deep-ocean currents, such as the Gulf Stream off the coast of Florida. read more>>>

Sunbeams from Space Mirrors in dawn-dusk Polar Orbit feeding Solar fields on the ground for Low Cost Electricity
Jul. 15, 2014 - A Space Power Satellite capable of providing solar electric power economically for 24 hours per day has been a dream for decades. However, the SPS concept is very complex since it assumes multiple energy conversion steps and includes specially constructed ground microwave receiver stations. The 5 km by 15 km Integrated Symmetric Concentrator SPS concept employs light weight mirrors in a GEO orbit. Herein, it is proposed to use a constellation of 10 km diameter mirror arrays in a much lower sun synchronous orbit at an altitude of 1000 km deflecting sunbeams down to terrestrial solar power fields at dawn and dusk. read more>>>

Solar reaching mainstream for utilities
July 29, 2014 - New figures released by the Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA) reflect the central role utilities will continue to play in the growth and change of the U.S. solar industry in emerging trends that have been identified as current and future market drivers, according to the organization.

Utilities are in the early phases of developing new and innovative solar options for a full range of customers -- residential, commercial and corporate -- who are gaining interest in renewable energy sources with some utilities exploring community solar, third-party solar leasing, green energy programs and energy storage. read more>>>

The Reformation Begins: New York Utility Proposes Community Solar, Microgrids-as-a-Service
July 29, 2014 - As the New York Public Service Commission debates a proposal to reform the state's distribution utilities, Central Hudson Gas & Electric is getting out in front of the coming changes.

The utility filed a $46 million rate case with the PSC last week, packaged under the title "Value for our Valley," which includes new distribution automation systems, community solar, expanded demand response, and a microgrid-as-a-service program.

The five-year rate plan is a direct response to the PSC’s REV proposal that was issued in April. read more>>>

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India village claims a first – 100% solar, storage micro-grid
21 July 2014 - A small Indian village in the northeast of the country, with the help of Greenpeace, is now meeting all of its own energy requirements with solar, after 30 years of apparent neglect from the government.

Dharnai village in the state of Bihar, one of India’s poorest states, now sources its power from a solar micro-grid. Bihar currently has at least 19,000 other villages, or 82 per cent of the population, which do not receive reliable power from the traditional grid-based system and still lack access to electricity.

The 100-kilowatt (kW) system in Dharnai powers the 450 homes of the 2,400 residents, 50 commercial operations, two schools, a training centre and a health care facility. A battery backup ensures power around the clock. read more>>>

Wanted: more international funding to fight climate change
July 9, 2014 - The Economic Survey 2013-14, announced on Wednesday, appears to be setting the tone for India’s climate change negotiations on global fora.

It is in line with a statement made recently by Prakash Javadekar, Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Environment, Forests and Climate Change, that India should not be blamed for carbon emissions as it is still on a growth path.

Javadekar had said, “I have not created carbon emission problems, it has been done by others,” referring to the responsibilities of developed nations in mitigating effects of climate change.

The Survey said, “The developed countries, having obligations and responsibilities, need to commit to provision of adequate public funds including for transfer of technology and capacity building to developing countries.” read more>>>

Spring2012 428 x 60 - Outdoor Solar Lighting

Philips Gift of Light Program Brings Life-Changing Solar Lighting to a Remote Vietnamese Village
07/09/14 - For many people who lack access to electricity, the day ends when the sun goes down. But Philips aims to slowly change that through their Gift of Light program. Through it, employees first nominate communities around the world that are desperately in need of light and vote for the most deserving. Once these communities have been identified, employees then install energy-efficient solar-powered lights for both homes and roads. Thanh Son village in Vietnam is among the first communities to receive Philips’ life-changing technology, and further projects will be implemented across 17 countries in the coming months.

The village of Thanh Son is located in a remote rural area about 70 kilometers from Hanoi. read more>>>

AEP Energy to build solar "Block O" on university rooftop
July 30, 2014 - AEP Energy, American Electric Power's retail electric and natural gas service arm, has started installation of a 101 kW rooftop solar array for Ohio State University.

AEP Energy will fund, build, own and operate the approximately 10,000-square-foot array on the rooftop of the university's Student Life Recreation and Physical Activities Center (RPAC), which will be made up of 367 solar panels arranged in a configuration similar to the "Block O."

The approximately 116,000 kWh produced annually will be supplied to Ohio State at a rate of $.04 per kWh throughout the next eight years. After eight years, Ohio State and AEP Energy may opt to enter into a renewal agreement or allow the agreement to terminate. read more>>>

A New Study Stresses Need for Increased Awareness of the Benefits of Healthy Design Practices
June 27, 2014 - Sitting on a former brownfield site and rail yard in Philadelphia, the Kensington High School for the Creative and Performing Arts bears no resemblance to the dangerous, drug dealer-infested dumping ground it once was. The School District of Philadelphia selected SMP Architects an SRK Architects to transform this derelict property and design a new light-filled building, featuring green roofs, operable windows, urban agriculture, and a storm water management system, among other sustainable components. During the construction phase, special measures were taken to reduce mold and eliminate the use of potentially deleterious materials to protect the health of its future students, many of whom suffer from asthma. Today, this LEED Platinum certified school has seen a substantial increase in graduation rates, test scores, and attendance since first opening its doors four years ago.

Kensington High School is one of four case studies included in a new report, “The Drive Toward Healthier Buildings,” released this week by McGraw Hill Construction, the parent company of Green Source and Architectural Record. The school demonstrates how today’s design practices and construction can directly affect occupants’ health and well-being. While sustainability has become an increasingly significant part of the mainstream conversation about architecture, the impact of the built environment on people’s quality of life hasn’t received the same attention. read more>>>

NV rooftop solar benefits outweigh costs
July 9, 2014 - The grid benefits of rooftop solar systems installed in Nevada through 2016 will outweigh costs by more than $36 million, according to a study by San Francisco-based Energy + Environmental Economics (E3) for the Nevada Public Utilities Commission. The study comes as the Nevada PUC is reviewing whether solar customers should be in a separate class for future ratemaking decisions.

The study found that the state's net energy metering (NEM) program -- which gives Nevada residents full credit on their energy bills for the clean electricity they deliver to the utility grid -- has "no substantial cost shift to nonparticipants… given the current and proposed reforms to the program." Taking into account the cost savings of avoided distribution upgrades, E3 estimates a net benefit of $166 million over the lifetime of solar systems installed through 2016. read more>>>

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