Thursday, September 4, 2014

Alternative Clean Energy Roundup: 4 September 2014

New Clean Energy Jobs Report Something to Celebrate This Labor Day
08/28/2014 - Here's something to celebrate this Labor Day weekend: The continued growth of clean energy jobs in America.

Environmental Entrepreneurs' (E2's) just-released quarterly jobs report shows that the number of new clean energy and clean transportation jobs announced in the second quarter of this year doubled from the previous quarter.

More than 12,500 clean energy and clean transportation jobs were announced in 29 states between April-June. read more>>>

For Minnesota churches, clean energy is a higher calling
08/29/2014 - Bethel Evangelical Lutheran and Minnesota Community Solar came together earlier this year to promote a solar garden that will sit atop the roof of the Minneapolis church.

Without a panel yet installed, the 40-kilowatt (kW) solar garden attracted enough support from the church’s members and surrounding Bancroft neighborhood to be fully subscribed. The project encapsulated for Rev. Brenda L. Froisland a deeper spiritual tug that speaks to her faith and the teachings of Christianity. read more>>>

US city passes law making solar ‘default’ generation resource
1 September 2014 - The city of Austin may have just single-handedly propelled the Texas solar market into the top-ten leading states.

Last week, the Austin city council voted in favor of a resolution that would increase the city’s rooftop and utility-scale solar targets by 800 megawatts over the coming years.

It creates a plan that would build a small paradise for distributed energy companies, including a utility-scale solar target of 600 megawatts by 2017, a rooftop solar target of 200 megawatts by 2020, explicit language enabling third-party solar ownership, a floor price for the value-of-solar tariff, and a mandatory strategy to procure 200 megawatts of fast-response storage. read more>>>

10 facts about the smart grid: IT's role in unlocking clean energy
August 27, 2014 - The electricity utility industry is undergoing massive changes. Our energy grid has been around for a long time, and it shows. It's inefficient, costly, and unreliable. The need for smart grids is becoming increasingly necessary worldwide, and utility providers need to focus on cleaner energy, smarter storage, and cost-effectiveness.

Here are 10 facts about the smart grid to get you up to speed:

1. New technologies are the core of smart grid growth read more>>>

Solar energy users claim victory
Sep 02 2014 - Utah solar advocates and customers are hailing a decision Friday by the Utah Public Service Commission to reject Rocky Mountain Power's request of a monthly fee for rooftop solar homes.

"What a bright day for Utah's future. This order protects energy choice in Utah and recognizes the potential solar has to benefit all Utahns," said Sarah Wright , executive director of Utah Clean Energy.

Members of another advocacy group, HEAL Utah, were also pleased.

"We're thrilled. Rocky Mountain Power tried to put up barriers to dissuade people from investing in solar, and Utah's Public Service Commission didn't let them," said Christopher Thomas , executive director. read more>>>

A Rarely Tapped City Strategy for Boosting Local Renewable Energy
September 2nd, 2014 - Many cities served by private utilities think they have little capacity to encourage local renewable energy development. But a largely untapped tool – utility franchise contracts – may hold the key.

There are two kinds of city energy systems: publicly owned or privately owned. Cities with municipal utilities already have the power to implement the energy system that best fits their needs, and several such utilities have been leaders in energy efficiency and local renewable energy (see our City Power Play report). Cities with private utilities have felt relatively powerless, since these utilities are typically regulated by the state legislature or Public Utilities Commission.

But cities with private utilities may be overlooking a common legal tool governing the city-utility relationship, with a potential for revenue to support local energy development. read more>>>

Rwanda is expanding renewable energies
14.08.2014 - Few people in Rwanda have access to electricity, but that is set to change soon. The government plans to increase generation capacity almost by a factor of five. The focus will be on renewable energy.

According to a report by the Renewable Energies Export Initiative, the goal is to increase the electrification rate from currently 21% to 70% by 2017. In order to achieve this, the Rwandan government intends to expand generation capacity from 119 MW to 564 MW. Hydropower will be the main technology, but photovoltaics, geothermal, biogas and peat will also be used as new sources of energy. read more>>>

Brazil: 400 projects are applying for the first PV auction
18.08.2014 - For the first time, the Brazilian Government is carrying out a nationwide procurement process specifically for photovoltaic projects. Approximately 400 photovoltaic projects with a total capacity of 10.8 GW have applied for participation in the procurement process, according to the Brazilian federal energy planning company Empresa de Pesquisa Energetica (EPE). Solar energy systems with a minimum capacity of 5 MW are eligible.

The Power Purchase Agreements with guaranteed compensation for 20 years will be auctioned off by the Brazilian Network Agency ANEEL on 31 October. read more>>>

2.1 MW solar plant provides power for the Toledo Zoo
19.08.2014 - The Rudolph/Libbe Companies and GEM Energie constructed a 2.1 MW photovoltaic plant south of Toledo in the U.S state of Ohio. It shall provide about 30 % of the Toledo Zoo’s electricity each year.

The solar plant consists of 28,500 Calyxo solar modules with thin film technology and was built on a 22-acre brownfield site – till now a financial burden for the city, as Jason Slattery, Director of Solar for Rudolph/Libbe Inc., says. read more>>>

My Microgrid's Bigger Than Yours
8/21/2014 - The University of Texas (UT) at Austin claims to have the largest microgrid in the world, with a peak load of 62 MW of capacity, serving 150 buildings. The combined heat and power (CHP) plant that serves as the anchor is rated at 135 MW.

Leave it to Texas to make such a claim. It’s not really accurate, but more importantly, it doesn’t really matter. Bigger is not necessarily better when it comes to microgrids.

On the one hand, economies of scale tend to reduce cost. But microgrids turn that assumption on its head, since onsite distributed energy resources (DER) reduce the line losses associated with the centralized power plant model. read more>>>

Renewable energy fueling Asia-Pacific microgrids
August 20, 2014 - The Asia-Pacific region has seen particularly robust demand for microgrids in recent years, due to economic development, electrification, and industrialization directly related to the growing need for more electricity and the resulting development of renewable distributed energy generation and, ultimately, microgrids, according to Navigant Research.

As renewable energy capacity and electricity consumption continue to rise, the number of microgrid projects deployed in Asia-Pacific -- both for electrification purposes and as experimental test beds -- is also rising. In fact, Navigant Research forecasts that annual grid-tied and remote microgrid capacity in the nine select Asia-Pacific countries -- including China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Australia, Japan, Singapore, and South Korea -- will grow from 37.0 MW in 2013 to 597.3 MW in 2023 and cumulative investment in microgrids across the region will total $30.8 billion from 2014 to 2023. read more>>>

Green shoots of recovery: Indian economy could grow around 5.8%, says Arvind Mayaram
Aug 22, 2014 - India's economy could expand around 5.8 per cent this fiscal, finance secretary Arvind Mayaram said, as he sees green shoots in the industrial sector and expects recent government steps to act as growth boosters.

Government measures and expeditious implementation will be able to pull the country out of the woods, he said. Mayaram hoped the central bank may not hold interest rates high for long with inflation also cooling down.

Speaking at an Assocham function on Thursday, Mayaram said India could contribute significantly to the global economy, "which is recovering from very sluggish growth syndrome". read more>>>

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