By Lucas Mearian, ComputerWorld: Renewable energy, combined with prolific battery storage, will soon result in vastly cheaper electricity -- and solar power that's less expensive than what fossil fuel-based power plants can produce.
Additionally, solar power with lithium-ion and flow-battery storage systems will make the combination of renewable energy so inexpensive that it will surpass nuclear power and obviate the need for futuristic power sources such as fusion.
That was consensus view from a several keynote speeches delivered at the Intersolar Conference in San Francisco this week.
Eicke Weber, director of the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems, said that in sun-rich countries, the cost of solar power is already below 5 cents per kilowatt and it will continue to plummet as battery storage systems become more prolific and less expensive. Cont'd...
By JASON DEAREN, Associated Press: On a vast tract of old North Carolina farmland, crews are getting ready to build something the South has never seen: a commercial-scale wind energy farm.
The $600 million project by Spanish developer Iberdrola Renewables LLC will put 102 turbines on 22,000 acres near the coastal community of Elizabeth City, with plans to add about 50 more. Once up and running, it could generate about 204 megawatts, or enough electricity to power about 60,000 homes.
It would be the first large onshore wind farm in a region with light, fluctuating winds that has long been a dead zone for wind power.
After a years-long regulatory process that once looked to have doomed the plan, Iberdrola spokesman Paul Copleman told The Associated Press that construction is to begin in about a month.
Right now, there's not a spark of electricity generated from wind in nine states across the Southeast from Arkansas to Florida, according to data from the American Wind Energy Association, an industry trade group.
But taller towers and bigger turbines are unlocking new potential in the South, according to the U.S. Department of Energy, and the industry is already looking to invest. Cont'd...
The Obama administration on Tuesday announced an initiative to help low- and middle-income Americans gain access to solar energy, part of a series of steps President Obama is taking to tackle climate change, according to administration officials.
The administration said it intends to triple the capacity of solar and other renewable energy systems it installs in federally subsidized housing by 2020, make it easier for homeowners to borrow money for solar improvements and start a nationwide program to help renters gain access to solar energy, the officials said.
The actions were announced in Baltimore by Brian Deese, Mr. Obama’s senior adviser for climate issues, and Representative Elijah E. Cummings, the Democrat who represents the city.
Mr. Deese, in a conference call with reporters, called the moves “part of a bigger-picture effort to try to drive innovation” toward cleaner, low-carbon energy solutions.
Also unveiled on Tuesday were commitments totaling more than $520 million from charities, investors, states and cities to pay for solar and energy-efficiency projects for lower-income communities. Cont'd...
Alongside the A2 highway near Den Bosch, The Netherlands, two test noise barriers are installed that generate solar energy. The aim of this practical test, that was officially launched 18 June is to assess the economic and technical feasibility of this form of energy generating noise barriers. Playing a key role in the test are the LSC panels, developed by researcher Michael Debije at TU/e.
The translucent, colored panels are a new type of energy source, developed jointly by TU/e. These 'luminescent solar concentrators' (LSCs) receive sun light and guide it to the side of the panels. There, it lands in concentrated form on traditional solar cells. "Thanks to their many colors the LSC are visually very attractive, which makes them ideal for use in many different situations in the built environment", explains Debije of the Department of Chemical Engineering and Chemistry, who has carried out years of research into these panels. "Further benefits are that the principle used is low cost, they can be produced in any desired, regular color, is robust, and the LSCs will even work when the sky is cloudy. That means it offers tremendous potential." Debije published his latest research findings on this subject last March in Nature.
On 18 June a one-year practical test started in 's-Hertogenbosch, led by the building company Heijmans. The researchers intend to assess the feasibility of generating electricity using solar cells integrated in noise barriers or SONOBs (Solar Noise Barriers). Cont'd...
Joshua S Hill for CleanTechnica: A new report has determined that investments in energy-efficient and renewable energy sources yield more jobs for a set amount of spending than investing in maintaining or expanding the fossil fuel industry.
[wind turbine cowboy jobs] The report, Global Green Growth: Clean Energy Industrial Investment and Expanding Job Opportunities, was published earlier this week and presented at the Vienna Energy Forum 2015 by its two authors, the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO).
“Significant progress has already been made in overcoming the hitherto conventional wisdom that taking steps to cut GHGs is incompatible with economic growth,” said Yvo de Boer, Director-General of GGGI. “This report moves the debate another positive step forward by showing that employment and development result from sustainable, green growth.”
Today, 24M emerged from stealth mode to introduce the semisolid lithium-ion cell, a revolutionary technology that solves the grand challenge of energy storage by enabling a new, cost-effective class of the lithium-ion battery. 24M’s semisolid lithium-ion is the most significant advancement in lithium-ion technology in more than two decades and combines an overhaul in battery cell design with a series of manufacturing innovations that, when fully implemented, will slash today’s lithium-ion costs by 50% and improve the performance of lithium-ion batteries. The technology will accelerate the global adoption of affordable energy storage.
Until now, the energy storage field has had two options to try to drive down costs – build massive and complex factories to produce lithium-ion batteries in high volumes or pursue entirely new chemistries that may never move from the lab to the commercial floor. With the invention of the semisolid lithium-ion battery, 24M presents a third option – work with the world’s preferred energy storage chemistry and unlock new opportunities for cost reductions through new cell design and manufacturing innovations. 24M’s platform is the most significant advancement in lithium-ion technology since its debut more than 20 years ago.
Per a media report, Trina Solar Limited is going to invest $500 million for building a 2-gigawatt solar module plant in India in partnership with Welspun Energy Ltd. The plant's output will be exported to the U.S. and European markets, which have imposed punitive trade duties on solar shipments from China.
The facility will be built in either Gujarat or Andhra Pradesh. Construction of the plant will be completed in two phases over a period of about 18 months.
Following in the footsteps of Tesla and Mercedes-Benz, Nissan is now set to become the latest automaker to offer battery packs for stationary energy storage. Although pricing information has yet to be provided, the Nissan product should be relatively affordable, as it will incorporate used batteries from Nissan Leaf electric cars.
Nissan designed the battery packs as part of the 4R Energy joint venture with Sumitomo Corp., and has partnered with commercial energy storage company Green Charge Networks to manufacture them. While Nissan is the source of the actual "second life" lithium-ion batteries that no longer meet the demands of automotive use, Green Charge is providing the power management software.
According to Nissan, this is the first time that used EV batteries have been commercially utilized for such an application. "A lithium-ion battery from a Nissan Leaf still holds a great deal of value as energy storage, even after it is removed from the vehicle, so Nissan expects to be able to reuse a majority of Leaf battery packs in non-automotive applications," says Brad Smith, director of Nissan's 4R Energy business in the US. Cont'd..
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