Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Alternative Clean Energy Roundup: 24 September 2014

L.A., Houston, Philadelphia mayors vow more action on climate change
22 September 2014 - Mayors of three of the nation’s largest cities are pledging to take more action against climate change by implementing new projects to curb greenhouse gas emissions and persuading other leaders to do the same.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, Houston Mayor Annise Parker and Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter will announce the new initiative Monday in New York in advance of a United Nations climate summit being held this week.

Under the plan, the mayors will commit to set or renew aggressive targets for their cities’ greenhouse gas reductions, develop new standards to track and report pollution sources at least once a year, and draft or update climate action plans with specific strategies to control global warming and adapt to its effects. read more>>>

Advanced buoys offer real-world offshore wind data
September 16, 2014 - Offshore wind is a new frontier in U.S. renewable energy and, despite its tremendous potential to product power, limited information has been available -- until now.

The U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy has purchased two 20,000-pound buoys complete with the latest in meteorological and oceanographic equipment to enable more accurate predictions of the power-producing potential of winds that blow off U.S. shores, according to Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) who is operating and managing the buoys. The buoys are expected to improve offshore turbine performance in the near term and reduce barriers to private investment in large-scale offshore wind energy development in the long term. read more>>>

Nationally Renowned Green Builders Collaborate with University of Missouri Energy Efficiency Research Consortium to Build High Performance Home
September 15, 2014 - Following the success of the first Proud Green Home located near Atlanta, Georgia, a new high performance home, The Proud Green Home of St. Louis, is under construction to deliver sustainable benefits to its owners and to educate and inspire building professionals and consumers about the benefits of building and living green. has partnered with Hibbs Homes, Verdatek Solutions, Curtiss W. Byrne Architect, and the High Performance Buildings Research Center, part of the Midwest Energy Efficiency Research Consortium at the University of Missouri-Columbia, to build the five-bedroom, 3,700 square-foot, Prairie-style home. Designed by architect Curtiss W. Byrne, the home in Wildwood, Missouri is expected to meet a number of prominent green building standards, including: read more>>>

Construction begins of world’s largest floating solar power plant
12 September 2014 - Construction of the world’s largest floating solar power plant will begin this month in Kato City, Japan.

Kyocera TCL Solar LLC will develop and operate the utility-scale floating solar power plants which will utilise Ciel et Terre’s Hydrelio floating solar platforms in two installations totalling 2.9MW. The plants will be located at Nishihira Pond and Higashihira Pond in Kato City, Hyogo Prefecture, Japan. The 1.7MW plant at Nishihira Pond will be the world’s largest solar power generating system installed on water.

Kyocera and Century Tokyo Leasing jointly established Kyocera TCL Solar LLC in August 2012 with the express aim of constructing and operating multiple utility-scale solar power plants in Japan with the aid of the country’s Feed-in Tariff system. So far, the company has constructed 28 solar power plants, of which 11 are now in operation. read more>>>

aleo solar unveils new high-power module
10 September 2014 - aleo solar has presented a new high-power module which the company says generates yields of around ten percent higher than those produced by conventional PV modules.

Since being acquired by the Taiwanese solar company Sunrise Global Energy in the spring of this year, aleo has reopened its production plant in Prenzlau under German-Taiwanese management and has now released its monocrystalline 300 watt high-power module.

“We have improved our module and cell technology even more and brought together our best components to create the new aleo high-power PV module. read more>>>

New rotor control system for higher wind turbine yield
17.09.2014 - The Energy Research Centre of the Netherlands (ECN) and wind turbine manufacturer XEMC-Darwind have developed a new control system for wind turbines, which makes it possible to build larger wind turbines that produce up to 13 % more energy.

The new system is based on individual pitch control and allows the three rotor blades to be controlled and adjusted individually. For this, a computer programme constantly monitors the wind load and adjusts blade positions accordingly. Tests performed according to IEC standard showed that this reduced the load on the wind turbine blades by at least 20 %. read more>>>

German Village Produces 500% of its Energy from Renewable Sources
09/16/14 - Wildpoldsried, a Bavarian village of about 2,600 residents, is leading the way in Germany’s extraordinary renewable energy transformation. Over the past 17 years, the village has invested in a holistic range of renewable energy projects that include 4,983 kWp of photovoltaics, five biogas facilities, 11 wind turbines and a hydropower system. As a result, the village has gone beyond energy independence – and it now produces 500% more energy than it needs and profits from sales of the surplus power back to the grid.

Renewable energy projects in Germany have gained enormous traction in recent years, propelled by government subsidies that are designed to lower costs, reduce dependence on fossil fuels, and move the nation entirely away from nuclear power; this transformation is known as the Energiewende. As a result, Germans will soon be getting 30 percent of their power from renewable sources—that’s twice as much as U.S. households receive. read more>>>

Promoting Green Economy For Sustainable Development
Sep 16, 2014 - In June 2012, over 140 heads of state and government representatives from around the world converged at the Brazilian city of Rio to deliberate on how to protect the environment and make the earth better.

At the various meetings, the participants agreed on the need to protect and preserve the environment for the future and canvassed a number of ideas on how to achieve this, one of which is the transition to a green economy. This was reflected on various sections of the outcome of the deliberations.

Noted on numbers 39 and 40 of the outcome of the Rio deliberations was the summary: read more>>>

Barnes & Noble

ABB Solution to Enable Kodiak Island to Integrate More Renewable Energy and Stabilize Power Supply
September 15, 2014 - ABB, the leading power and automation group, will install its PowerStore, an integrated commercial flywheel technology to integrate with a battery system on Kodiak Island in Alaska to enable the integration of more renewable energy from an expanded wind farm to its microgrid and also to address stability challenges that will arise from a crane upgrade being undertaken to enhance its port operations.

The project is being undertaken on behalf of Kodiak Electric Association (KEA), an electric cooperative owned by residents of the Island. read more>>>

Global shift to renewable power urgently needed, IRENA says
08 September 2014 - Speeding up the adoption of renewable energy technologies is the most feasible route to reduce carbon emissions and avoid catastrophic climate change, says a new report from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).

This first edition of REthinking Energy–which draws on worldwide research and analysis by the intergovernmental agency and reviews progress in the world’s transition to a sustainable energy future–focuses on the global power sector and how technological advances, economic growth and climate change are transforming it. read more>>>

"We don't need no stinkin' grid" will be the mantra of the developing world, professor says
Sep 11, 2014 - A Clemson University professor told a group of experts during a recent meeting in Bangladesh that solar panels will soon revolutionize energy production the same way computer chips brought about the information revolution.

In an interview preceding the meeting he said solar energy will lower air pollution and greenhouse gases, while stimulating struggling economies and empowering impoverished people around the globe.

About 1.5 billion people worldwide lack access to electricity and another 1 billion have intermittent access. Providing basic education, healthcare and life skills all depend on electricity, Singh said. He is calling for new monetary policies and business models to hasten the spread of solar power. read more>>>

Consumers to invest $625B in renewable energy resources
September 17, 2014 - Electric utilities are facing disruptive new technology trends that are altering their traditional relationship with residential customers, according to Navigant Research, and it's called distributed energy resources (DER), which are now more affordable and have stimulated growing interest and adoption by residential customers who see an opportunity for greater control of their energy consumption.

Innovations in renewable distributed power generation, along with attractive new financing mechanisms, are providing residential customers with new options to manage their energy use and generate their own power. read more>>>

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Alternative Clean Energy Roundup: 23 September 2014

Taking a Call for Climate Change to the Streets
SEPT. 21, 2014 - Legions of demonstrators frustrated by international inaction on global warming descended on New York City on Sunday, marching through the heart of Manhattan with a message of alarm for world leaders set to gather this week at the United Nations for a summit meeting on climate change.

Coursing through Midtown, from Columbus Circle to Times Square and the Far West Side, the People’s Climate March was a spectacle even for a city known for doing things big, and it was joined, in solidarity, by demonstrations on Sunday across the globe, from Paris to Papua New Guinea.

“I’m here because I really feel that every major social movement in this country has come when people get together,” said Carol Sutton of Norwalk, Conn., the president of a teachers’ union. “It begins in the streets.” read more>>>

Combating climate change can be economically beneficial
September 22, 2014 - A major international report published last week could be a game changer in the fierce political debate about climate change in the United States.

The synthesis of "The New Climate Economy Report" was launched at the headquarters of the United Nations in New York on Sept. 16 and officially submitted to Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. Its key finding was that at least 50 percent of the reductions in greenhouse gases required to avoid dangerous climate change could be achieved through measures that have other additional economic benefits.

The report, which was produced by the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate, revealed that the 15 countries with the highest annual emissions of greenhouse gases lose the equivalent of 4.4 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) each year due to premature deaths caused by air pollution. read more>>>

Thanks to Solar, This Steel City Is Turning Into a Clean Energy Powerhouse
September 21, 2014 - At the turn of the 20th century, the city of Lackawanna, in Western New York, was home to one of the largest steel companies in the world. The Lackawanna Steel Company, later purchased by the Bethlehem Steel Company, gave the small city its name. For decades the plant pumped pollution into the environment, expelling benzene emissions into the air and contaminating the water.

But if this 150-year-old town was once recognizable for the smokestacks that billowed above the factory, it’s changing that image.

The plot of land where the Lackawanna Steel plant once stood is now home to one of the largest wind energy farms in the world. It’s also the future site of Lackawanna’s Steel Sun project, a solar farm that hopes to accommodate 13,000 solar panels. read more>>>

USDA invests in 8 renewable energy projects in SD
September 21, 2014 - The U.S. Department of Agriculture will provide funds to eight projects in rural South Dakota that focus in renewable energy and energy efficiency.

The agency says the funding includes loan guarantees and grants for solar energy projects to create jobs and advance the use of renewable fuels.

The projects are located in Brown, Clark, Codington, Deuel, Kingsbury and Marshall counties.

Nationwide, the department is investing $68 million in more than 500 similar projects. read more>>>

Rockefellers to switch investments to 'clean energy'
22 September 2014 - The Rockefeller Brothers Fund is joining a coalition of philanthropists pledging to rid themselves of more than $50 bn (£31 bn) in fossil fuel assets.

The announcement will be made on Monday, a day before the UN climate change summit opens on Tuesday.

Some 650 individuals and 180 institutions have joined the coalition.

It is part of a growing global initiative called Global Divest-Invest, which began on university campuses several years ago, the New York Times reports. read more>>>

Energy challenge nets local businesses 11 percent savings
September 15, 2014 - The Snohomish County Public Utility District (PUD), with the help of non-profit PECI and support of the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA), recently wrapped up a behavior-based energy-efficiency project with encouraging results. The energy-saving pilot, designed and implemented by PECI, showed how local businesses can build detailed awareness of their energy use and make substantive changes to save.

With the average U.S. commercial building wasting 30 percent of the energy paid for by its owners, the potential to reduce energy waste is attractive to utilities, building professionals, members of the energy industry and business owners alike. Driving the cause is an increase in energy management and information systems (EMIS), which synthesize and display a building's energy use data, allowing occupants to leverage the information to make positive improvements in how they manage their energy use. read more>>>

Barnes & Noble

South Africa's strong case for green retrofitting
15 September 2014 - Despite South Africa being the fastest growing green building market in the world, most buildings in the office sector do not comply with environmental sustainability standards. But there is a strong case for green retrofitting.

While South Africa is only playing catch-up to its developed and developing counters, United States-based McGraw-Hill Construction in its World Green Building Trends survey notes that 58% of South African firms surveyed reported future green commercial retrofits by 2015.

Furthermore the survey, which tracks 62 countries pegs the country's take up of green building to grow three-fold, from a measured 16% in 2012 to 52% by 2015. read more>>>

Netherlands embassy workshop to focus on green buildings
September 14, 2014 - Focusing on the use of cutting edge technology in green buildings and the educational system, the LEX group will orgainse a one-day workshop at the Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OCCI) here on September 29.

This workshop is a part of a bilateral business event, entitled 'Building for Better Learning', to be organisd by the Embassy of the Netherlands and in association with the OCCI.

"LEX wants to use cutting edge knowledge about green building and educational systems to provide Omani youth with the best," said Barbara Joziasse, the Dutch ambassador to the Sultanate, who is looking forward to the finalisation of the new PDO School, where these modern standards have been introduced by the LEX Group. read more>>>

Sun Jack - world's most powerful solar charger!

Green technology to lead to new jobs at British manufacturing company
15 September 2014 - Naylor Industries Plc has received funding for a green energy project that will boost its sales and employment.

The Barnsley-based manufacturing company that specializes in building and constructing products such as clay pipes, plastic ducting and drainage, and concrete products, intends to invest a large sum of money into its Cawthorne factory to upgrade it with green technology that will include smart utility metering, energy efficient lighting, and a plastic reprocessing plant.

The £2.5 million project will help to lower energy consumption in the factory. read more>>>

Amazing Passive Home in Freezing Wisconsin Uses Less Energy Than a Hair Dryer to Stay Warm!
09/14/14 - Last year Wisconsin experienced one of its roughest winters in years, but Sonya Newenhouse and her family scarcely felt the affects in their German-certified passive house. While snow covered the ground and fierce winds whipped around the trees, this 970-square-foot home stayed warm using less energy than it requires to run a hair dryer! Despite exterior temperatures that hovered at 30 degrees below zero, interior temperatures averaged between 68 and 86 degrees Fahrenheit - an extraordinary feat made possible by air-tight insulation, triple-paned windows and doors, and strategic passive design. Approximately 80 to 90 percent more efficient than the standard home, NewenHouses are exceptionally well-designed, and by the end of next year, they will most likely be available in three different sizes - all below 1,000 square feet. Inhabitat spent the night in Viroqua, where we enjoyed a nice warm shower despite a gray cloudy day and homemade scones filled with fresh raspberries from the organic garden. Hit the jump for more information about the many facets of this home's superior performance, and flip through our gallery of images for a virtual tour. read more>>>

Mini solar becoming big business
September 12, 2014 - The market for solar photovoltaic (PV) consumer products has expanded significantly in recent years driven by an ecosystem of companies, competitive products, and innovative financing mechanisms that have emerged in an opportunity to reduce poverty in the developing world and increasing profits in the developed world, according to Navigant Research.

In the developing world, according to the report, pico solar systems are providing new alternatives for people who previously had no choice but to pay high prices for low-quality and polluting fuel-based lighting, such as kerosene lamps, giving communities access to compact, clean, and affordable off-grid lighting and other electric devices.

Miniature solar photovoltaic systems, including pico solar and solar home systems, are moving rapidly from specialized niches for enthusiasts and early adopters into the mainstream, and are particularly well-suited for applications in the developing world, where they provide lighting, cell phone charging, and power for small direct current (DC) appliances in areas where the power grid is unreliable or nonexistent, Navigant contends. read more>>>

Central America increasing solar capacity
September 12, 2014 - Central America is attracting global attention from photovoltaic (PV) developers, as it prepares to install 1.5 GW of PV capacity from 2012 through 2018, according to IHS Technology.

In 2014, IHS predicts that total PV capacity for the six countries of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama will reach 22 MW -- up from 6 MW in 2013 -- and 243 MW in 2015. However, it is from 2016 to 2018 when IHS says the solar market will make its greatest strides in the region, with aggregate PV capacity accounting for 81 percent of the six-year projected total.

El Salvador recently awarded 94 MW of PV in a tender that originally targeted a much smaller level amounting to 60 MW of PV together with an additional 40 MW of wind as part of the original mix, according to IHS. Via tenders like these, regulators in El Salvador, Guatemala and Panama are looking to blend in affordable renewable power in the electricity mix. read more>>>