Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Alternative Clean Energy Roundup: 17 September 2014

Fixing Climate Change May Add No Costs, Report Says
SEPT. 16, 2014 - In decades of public debate about global warming, one assumption has been accepted by virtually all factions: that tackling it would necessarily be costly. But a new report casts doubt on that idea, declaring that the necessary fixes could wind up being effectively free.

A global commission will announce its finding on Tuesday that an ambitious series of measures to limit emissions would cost $4 trillion or so over the next 15 years, an increase of roughly 5 percent over the amount that would likely be spent anyway on new power plants, transit systems and other infrastructure.

When the secondary benefits of greener policies — like lower fuel costs, fewer premature deaths from air pollution and reduced medical bills — are taken into account, the changes might wind up saving money, according to the findings of the group, the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate. read more>>>

Clean energy: How the world is cleaning up its act
Last year, new global capacity of hydroelectricity, wind, solar, and other renewable power grew more than in any previous year. Clean energy faces daunting obstacles, but the progress on energy and climate to date is notable and likely to continue.

September 16, 2014 - The clean-energy world of the future is still a long way off, but it is arriving faster than ever before.

Last year, new global capacity of hydroelectricity, wind, solar, and other renewable power grew by more than in any year before, according to a new report by the Paris-based International Energy Agency, continuing a run of record-breaking additions that stretches back to the beginning of this century. read more>>>

German Clean-Energy Shift Can Do Without Storage: Study
Sep 15, 2014 - Germany’s shift toward renewable energy can do without new storage infrastructure in the next two decades as it’s too expensive, according to a new study.

Integrating storage units such as batteries into the power-transmission network would increase annual costs by as much as 2.5 billion euros ($3.2 billion) in 2023 and up to 3.3 billion euros in 2033, according to a study commissioned by Agora Energiewende.

Storage could save, in a best-care scenario, as much as 2.3 billion euros a year with 90 percent renewable power, it said. Agora is owned by the Mercator Foundation and European Climate Foundation is involved in promoting action on climate change. read more>>>

100 percent renewable energy: Largest city in Vermont goes completely green
15 September 2014 - Vermont's largest city has a new success to add to its list of socially conscious achievements: 100 percent of its electricity now comes from renewable sources such as wind, water and biomass.

With little fanfare, the Burlington Electric Department crossed the threshold this month with the purchase of the 7.4-megawatt Winooski 1 hydroelectric project on the Winooski River at the city's edge.

When it did, Burlington joined the Washington Electric Co-operative, which has about 11,000 customers across central and northern Vermont, which reached 100 percent earlier this year. read more>>>

Our View: Renewable energy could spark Maine’s economy
Germany is using sound policymaking to attract investment in wind and solar power.

16 September 2015 - Workers building Germany’s massive North Sea offshore wind farm needed a place to stay on the resort island of Heligoland, so their employers rented them some rooms in the island’s biggest hotel. They rented every room in the hotel for every night for the next 10 years.

This anecdote, reported in The New York Times on Sunday, is a small indication of the size of Germany’s investment in renewable energy and the length of time the transition is expected to take. Germany, which has a booming manufacturing economy, is betting that new technologies and improvements to old ones will create clean power at a predictable rate that will give it an economic advantage over countries hooked on coal, oil and gas. read more>>>

UK becoming world leader in offshore wind market
05 September 2014 - The UK has emerged as a market leader in global offshore wind in 2013 according to a new report by GlobalData.

Aggressive renewable targets, policy support from government and a shift towards a greener climate has helped the UK to move to the head of the global offshore wind power market in 2013 according to research and consulting firm GlobalData.

The company’s latest report states that the UK’s cumulative offshore wind power installed capacity increased from just over 0.3 gigawatts (GW) in 2006 to 3.7 GW in 2013 at an impressive Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 42.9%. 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>>>

Microgrid provides local power
September 10,2014 - Mr. Yankowski’s letter regarding Green Mountain Power suggests our leaders aren’t asking questions. I think they are not communicating adequately. I am a lay person who learned about microgrids researching less costly options for my home.

The national system to get electricity is old. The national grid has vulnerabilities. The energy loss is almost 8-10 percent.

There are high investment costs in transmission lines, step-up and step-down transformers, rights of way and other legal issues. read more>>>

Barnes & Noble

US DOE offers support to microgrid projects to improve resilience
09 September 2014 - The US Department of Energy (DoE) has granted more than $8m for microgrid projects to help communities better prepare for adverse weather events and other potential electricity disruptions.

The investment supports the development of advanced technologies, enabling communities across the country to become resilient and adaptive. The investment includes seven awardees in Alaska, California, Illinois, Minnesota, New York, Tennessee and Washington.

This is in support of President Obama's Climate Action Plan and the Administration's commitment to improve national power grid resiliency. read more>>>

Doped graphene nanoribbons with potential
September 8, 2014 - Graphene possesses many outstanding properties: it conducts heat and electricity, it is transparent, harder than diamond and extremely strong. But in order to use it to construct electronic switches, a material must not only be an outstanding conductor, it should also be switchable between "on" and "off" states. This requires the presence of a so-called bandgap, which enables semiconductors to be in an insulating state. The problem, however, is that the bandgap in graphene is extremely small. Empa researchers from the "nanotech@surfaces" laboratory thus developed a method some time ago to synthesise a form of graphene with larger bandgaps by allowing ultra-narrow graphene nanoribbons to "grow" via molecular self-assembly.

Graphene nanoribbons made of differently doped segments

Sun-powered desalination for villages in India
September 8, 2014 - Around the world, there is more salty groundwater than fresh, drinkable groundwater. For example, 60 percent of India is underlain by salty water -- and much of that area is not served by an electric grid that could run conventional reverse-osmosis desalination plants.

Now an analysis by MIT researchers shows that a different desalination technology called electrodialysis, powered by solar panels, could provide enough clean, palatable drinking water to supply the needs of a typical village. The study, by MIT graduate student Natasha Wright and Amos Winter, the Robert N. Noyce Career Development Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering, appears in the journal Desalination. read more>>>

Whether It's Green Growth, Green Economy, or Creative Economy, It's All About Modern Jobs
09/09/2014 - In recent years, a number of economic strategies have emerged that attempt to make climate change mitigation and adaptation complementary and mutually reinforcing with robust economic growth. In the case of my organization, the Global Green Growth Institute, we focus on the concept of green growth, which, to us, means we assist developing and emerging countries with policies and projects aimed at spurring job creation, reducing poverty, reducing environmental risk, and addressing the adverse impacts of climate change.

But the reality is that green growth means different things to different countries in different contexts. For example, in Ethiopia, the government is committed to becoming a middle-income country by 2025 without increasing its carbon footprint. To date, they have developed a set of consistent strategies that will create a more sustainable, energy independent, inclusive economy. In Indonesia, the government is introducing a series of policy measures that will mainstream green initiatives into the country's overall development planning process, with a particular concern for reducing deforestation, all the while maintaining an annual GDP growth target of 7 percent. read more>>>

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