Technology Review: Lifeline for Renewable Power Push through a bulletproof revolving door in a nondescript building in a dreary patch of the former East Berlin and you enter the control center for Vattenfall Europe Transmission, the company that controls northeastern Germany’s electrical grid. A monitor displaying a diagram of that grid takes up most of one wall. A series of smaller screens show the real-time output of regional wind turbines and the output that had been predicted the previous day. Germany is the world’s largest user of wind energy, with enough turbines to produce 22,250 megawatts of electricity. That’s roughly the equivalent of the output from 22 coal plants–enough to meet about 6 percent of Germany’s needs.
The World’s Biggest Companies on Why They Buy Renewables: ‘It’s a Very Clear Economic Issue’ Many companies, both large and small, continue to struggle with the economics and complexity of procuring clean energy. The Rocky Mountain Institute estimates that for every successful renewable energy deal there are five to 10 failed attempts or significant delays, which impedes overall market growth. Reflecting these challenges, the commercial solar market experienced its first down year in recent history last year. Several companies leading the charge for clean-energy adoption presented on their lessons learned this week at Verge to help other businesses meet their renewable energy purchasing goals. Use what you already have For General Motors, renewable energy procurement turned out to be a natural extension of the company’s core competencies, said Rob Threlkeld, GM’s manager of renewable energy.
Two-thirds of the world's new solar panels were installed in Europe in 2011 - News & events - JRC Over the past ten years, the PV industry grew in Europe by an average of over 40% per year© stock.xchng (Debbie Mous) Europe accounted for two thirds of the world-wide newly installed photovoltaic (PV) capacity in 2011, with 18.5 GW. Its overall PV capacity totalled 52 GW. inteliLIGHT® NEAR ZERO STREET LIGHTING ENERGY COSTS Nowadays, everyone is looking for alternative energy solutions and solar power is one of the most utilized. In major cities around the world, the city infrastructure is already using solar power to cut down on carbon emission and become more sustainable. Near Zero is an efficient solution that harvests solar light with solar panels installed on street lighting fixtures and injects the electricity into the grid during the day. Almost the same energy is consumed by the LED luminaries from the grid at night, leading to close-to-zero energy costs. You get close to zero energy costs for lighting the city, plus remote management for the street lighting system through inteliLIGHT® StreetLight Management Software. And by using our energy grid injection option, you avoid using the very expensive and maintenance-heavy rechargeable batteries used by classic solar LED street lights.
Energy Efficiency Saving energy in buildings Buildings account for 40 per cent of the global energy consumption and nearly the same share of CO2 emissions.Consequently, reducing the energy consumption of buildings will be a key priority for any country or community striving to save money and reduce CO2 emissions. With today’s existing technologies, it is possible to reduce energy consumption in buildings by at least 50 per cent, and possibly as much as 80 per cent. These huge savings can be made quite easily with simple measures such as energy-efficient windows, insulation materials, heat regulators, ventilation systems and lighting,just to mention a few. Denmark has been a world leader in energy efficiency in buildings for decades and energy-efficient solutions are widely implemented in newly built and refurbished housing, offices and public institutions all over the country. Optimising industrial processes
Technology Review: Cheaper Cellulosic Ethanol Startup Qteros, based in Hadley, MA, and formerly known as SunEthanol, thinks that it holds the key to finally making cellulosic ethanol cost-effective. It’s a bacterium called the Q microbe, or, more properly, Clostridium phytofermentans, and the company claims that it can eliminate the costly enzymes normally used to turn cellulose into ethanol. Cellulosic ethanol is usually made with enzymes to break down the fibrous cell walls of cellulose into simple sugars, then with yeast to ferment the sugars into ethanol. Qteros expects to simplify the two steps into one and dramatically reduce the cost of making cellulosic ethanol using its bacteria, which naturally eats cellulose and produces ethanol as waste. The enzymatic degradation of cellulose in conventional processes accounts for at least 20 percent of the overall cost of making cellulosic ethanol, says Qteros CEO William Frey, who was the business director for DuPont’s biofuels program before joining the startup in June.
America’s First All-Renewable-Energy City To understand what makes Burlington unlike almost any other city in America when it comes to the power it consumes, it helps to look inside the train that rolls into town every day. The 24 freight cars that pull up to the city’s power plant aren’t packed with Appalachian coal or Canadian fuel oil but wood. Each day 1,800 tons of pine and timber slash, sustainably harvested within a 60-mile radius and ground into wood chips, is fed into the roaring furnaces of the McNeil Generating Station, pumping out nearly half of the city’s electricity needs. Much of the rest of what Burlington’s 42,000 citizens need to keep the lights on comes from a combination of hydroelectric power drawn from a plant it built a half mile up Vermont's Winooski River, four wind turbines on nearby Georgia Mountain and a massive array of solar panels at the airport. The environmental sustainability revolution has spread to other sectors of civic life. Story Continued Below
Interstate Renewable Energy Council “A workforce trained to competency-based standards that are market valued leads to safer, more cost-effective clean energy use, which boosts consumer confidence and supports the expansion of solar and other renewable energy installations across the country.”Jane Weissman, IREC President and CEO IREC is ensuring that our clean energy workforce is well trained to quality, competency-based standards — and trained by programs that teach the skills in demand by employers. IREC leads the nation in the development of quality and competency standards, accreditation and certification programs for clean energy educators and training programs in renewable energy and energy efficiency. Together, they form a strong foundation for a quality workforce with market-valued skills.
California Regulators Take Bold Steps Toward a New Energy Efficiency Paradigm California has always been at the forefront of efforts to accelerate clean-energy innovation and address climate change. This past Friday, the state took another giant leap by updating several obscure but important regulations that were inadvertently hindering progress in energy efficiency. It’s hard to overstate the significance of these new rules and the directive to accelerate high-opportunity pilot projects and programs into the market. This new “pay-for-performance” paradigm is a big deal for California and has the potential to unleash market forces to bring efficiency to scale. Growing social and political pressure is driving ever more aggressive climate and energy goals, such as California Governor Jerry Brown’s commitment to double the efficiency of existing buildings in the state.
Energy Department Announces $10 Million for Innovative, Energy-Saving Lighting R&D Technologies As part of the Obama Administration’s effort to cut energy waste and double energy productivity by 2030, the Energy Department today announced $10 million to support research, development and manufacturing of solid-state lighting (SSL) technologies across the country. This funding will accelerate the development of high-quality light-emitting diode (LED) and organic light-emitting diode (OLED) products with the potential to reduce lighting energy use for American families and businesses by one half and enhance U.S. global competitiveness. During the past 10 years, the Department has helped accelerate SSL technology deployment, yielding an estimated energy savings of $1.8 billion in 2013. Solid-state lighting technologies, which include both LED and organic light emitting diode technologies, have the potential to save Americans $26 billion a year in energy costs by 2030. This funding opportunity is open to applications in the following areas:
Evaluating the potential of solar technologies - McKinsey Quarterly - Energy, Resources, Materials - Electric Power Solar power is gaining ground as a viable, low-carbon alternative to traditional energy sources. A number of technologies are competing to be the lowest-cost and the most efficient choice: photovoltaics (including silicon-wafer based and thin film) and concentrated solar thermal (CST) power both have advantages and disadvantages depending on the application; other technologies are still in the nascent stages of development. The economics of the solar-power market will likely improve, McKinsey analysis shows, benefiting from ongoing innovations and cost reductions. The future course of the solar market will depend greatly on which technologies take center stage. This interactive offers a look at the different players and an assessment of their prospects. Interactive
Trash From Hurricane Irma Will Add Energy to Florida’s Power Grid When it comes to garbage, geography is destiny. Look at Texas and Florida, recovering from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. Homeowners and businesses not incapacitated by the storm have begun the arduous and emotional work of separating destroyed possessions and materials by type and placing them curbside. Cities have begun the intimidating logistics of picking it up and transporting it to its final destination. And what is that destination?