New York set for offshore wind after environmental review

Daniel J. Graeber fro UPI:  Areas off the New York coast will be open for offshore wind energy bidders, but some area is reserved because of ecological concerns, the U.S. government said. The U.S. Interior Department, in coordination with its Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, said it would open 79,350 acres off the coast of New York up for a commercial wind energy lease sale. About 1,780 acres was removed because of environmental concerns associated with a subsea feature known as the Cholera Bank. "In a comment letter, the National Marine Fisheries Service identified the Cholera Bank feature as a sensitive habitat to be avoided for the placement of structures," an Interior Department stated read. "As a result of this removal, the revised lease area will be approximately two percent smaller than the lease area considered in the proposed sale notice."   Cont'd...

Tower of Babel: Making Sure Smart Meters Speak the Same Language

Through interoperability, smart meters help utilities and manufacturers realize the promise of the Internet of Things.

Renewable Energy Procurement: Trends, Outlook & Strategy

Replacing electricity generated from burning fossil fuels with electricity from wind and solar is a good business strategy

Elon Musk wants to sell you a better-looking solar roof amid slowing growth for panels

Ivan Penn and Russ Mitchell for The LA Times:  Like some kind of 21st century Willy Wonka, audacious entrepreneur Elon Muskchose a prime spot on the Universal Studios Hollywood backlot tour to unveil his latest attempt to energize an industry — roofs that generate solar power but look like no other.  Musk, the chief executive of Tesla Motors and chairman of SolarCity, showcased a line of high-design solar roof tiles that would replace clunky solar panels and tie into an upgraded version of the Tesla wall-mounted battery for those times when the sun doesn’t shine. The glass solar shingles resemble French slate, Tuscan barrel tile or more conventional roofing materials with a textured or smooth surface.  “The key is to make solar look good,” Musk said during the product introduction staged on the old set of ABC’s “Desperate Housewives” series, where he had re-roofed four of the Wisteria Lane houses. “If this is done right, all roofs will have solar.”   Cont'd..

Half a million solar panels were installed every day in 2015.

Katie Herzog for GRIST:  Half a million solar panels were installed every day in 2015.  According to a new report from the International Energy Agency (IEA), renewable energy, mostly solar and wind, accounted for more than half of all new electric capacity added in the world last year, a 15 percent jump from 2014. Globally, there is now more renewable power capacity than coal power capacity. Clean energy growth was especially high in China, which was responsible for about 40 percent of all new clean energy capacity. Get this: In China in 2015, two wind turbines were installed every hour. This surge in renewables, according to the IEA, can be attributed to policy changes, lowered costs, and improvements in technology.   Cont'd...

Green Data Centers Promote a Clean Future

Companies realize it won't be practical to rely on old forms of energy forever. The sooner they can test and implement new, greener solutions in their data centers, the quicker they can view the future confidently.

Bike Path In Poland Can Glow For 20 Years Using Solar Power

Andrew Conrad for PSFK:  It’s no Yellow Brick Road, but residents of Olsztyn, a town along the Lyna River in northern Poland, can now follow along this glowing bike path to travel safely to their destination. Using solar power, it is said that the path can remain illuminated for up to 20 years. The engineering breakthrough, developed by Polish firm TPA, was unveiled in late September as a 100-meter trial section with plans for expansion. The asphalt in the path is blended with particles that absorb energy from the sun during daylight hours and then glow for up to 10 hours once the sun goes down. The plan is to increase the shorter section following winter.   Cont'd...

Green Tech Investing on the Rise: $17 Million and Another $1 Million on the Way

StartEngine is a website that allows companies to raise capital by exchanging capital for securities (equity or debt). Rather than asking friends, family and fans to donate money to help raise funds, StartEngine enables companies to raise capital by offering investment opportunities to the general public.

Europe's offshore wind industry booming as costs fall

The Guardian:  On a sunny October morning, our boat passes the run-down relicts of Liverpool’s maritime past and heads down the river Mersey and into the Irish Sea. As we steam offshore, I see in the distance a cluster of tall structures that soon reveal themselves to be towers of a wind turbine array. Arriving at the windfarm, six miles offshore, the turbines rise as high as 650ft, taller than the tallest church in the world. Each of the turbines’ three shiny metallic rotor blades is nearly 300ft long. “A single rotation of an eight-megawatt turbine will cover the daily electricity consumption of an average British household,” says Benj Sykes, vice president of Dong Energy Wind Power, the company that is constructing and co-owns this wind project, as the boat rocks in five-foot swells.   Cont'd...

Solar & Wind Cheaper To Replace Coal In UK Than Biomass

Joshua S Hill for CleanTechnica:  A new study has concluded that transitioning to wind and solar power would be a cheaper option for the United Kingdom to replace its coal fleet than using biomass electricity generation. According to a new study published this week by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and conducted by London-based Vivid Economics, which examined the full system costs of renewable energy technologies like wind and solar in comparison to biomass as a replacement for the UK's coal fleet, wind and solar came out as the cheaper option. The UK already uses a lot of biomass for electricity generation, with the report concluding that "biomass supplies the lion's share" of the country's renewable electricity generation. However, as the authors of the report note: "…recent science shows that many forms of biomass produce more carbon emissions than fossil fuels like coal and natural gas-especially biomass from forests-increasing carbon pollution precisely when the United Kingdom aims to rapidly decarbonise its electricity sector."   Cont'd...

Digitization and the Evolving Utility: The Song Remains the Same

Energy suppliers face change. New forms of alternative energies, new network technologies and the transition to the digital world all present challenges. There are lessons to be learned about how to make the new world work.

Will the World Do Enough to Improve the Use of Sustainable Energy by 2020?

The need for renewable energy is high, but governments need to commit to salvation of the future. Short-term goals shouldn't come at the cost of our future.

Idaho company debuts solar power sidewalks

Nicholas K. Geranios for AP:  Scott Brusaw has a vision for the nation's roads. He believes the solar-powered glass pavers his company makes could transform thousands of miles of pavement into a new energy source. His business, Solar Roadways, recently unveiled its first public installation, in a downtown plaza in this northern Idaho resort town. It's 150 square feet of hexagon-shaped solar panels that people can walk and bicycle on. The company is working on proof that the panels, for which it has a patent, are strong enough and have enough traction to handle motor vehicles, including semitrailers. "Our plan is to replace all the asphalt and concrete," said Brusaw, noting concrete occupies over 48,000 square miles in the U.S. "If you cover it with solar panels, we can make three times our energy needs." Solar Roadways is among a growing number of companies embracing renewable energy as the U.S. aims to reduce carbon emissions by one-third from 2005 levels by 2030.   Cont'd...

Is 2016 The Turning Point For Energy Storage?

Michael McDonald for OilPrice.com:  In the future, when investors look back at the year that represented the turning point for clean energy, 2016 may be it. The industry overall is growing at a breath-taking pace, but perhaps not for the reason that some investors think. Energy storage rather than solar power and wind power are the real factors that are driving a revolution across the electrical power industry. Energy storage changes the equation, not only in the renewables space, but in the conventional utility space as well. The concepts of spin/non-spin reserve costs, peaker prices, and a variety of other conventional concerns for utilities, lose meaning in the context of efficient and cost-effective energy storage. While energy storage was available previously, it’s only today that costs are coming down substantially. Tesla’s economies of scale on battery storage are well-known, but small start-ups like Orison are finding ways to lower costs in innovative ways as well. The graphic below from a recent EPRI presentation highlights the role that multiple layers of costs savings can play in creating economical battery storage.   Cont'd...

World's Largest Solar Project Would Generate Electricity 24 Hours a Day, Power 1 Million U.S. Homes

Lorraine Chow for EcoWatch:  The race to build the world's largest solar power plant is heating up. California-based energy company SolarReserve announced plans for a massive concentrated solar power (CSP) plant in Nevada that claims to be the largest of its kind once built. SolarReserve CEO Kevin Smith told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that the $5 billion endeavor would generate between 1,500 and 2,000 megawatts of power, enough to power about 1 million homes. That amount of power is as much as a nuclear power plant, or the 2,000-megawatt Hoover Dam and far bigger than any other existing solar facility on Earth, the Review-Journal pointed out. "It's a big project," Smith told the publication. "It's an ambitious project."   Cont'd...

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