Rainmakers: How GE Engineers Squeeze Savings from the Digital Cloud

Data centers guzzle down 2% of the electric grid’s capacity and run up $2 billion worth of monthly utility bills. Furthermore, it’s estimated that by 2020, CO2 emissions from data centers will top the emissions by the airline industry.  How do we get the cloud under control? One solution might be improving the efficiency in how data centers draw electricity in from the grid.  A recent post from GE Reports takes a look at how 99% of this electricity could be pulled in more efficiently by bypassing ‘filters’ when they’re not absolutely necessary. If all data centers (‘the cloud’) did this, we’d be able to save 4,000 megawatts of electricity worth more than $3 billion per year.

U.S. wind industry adds 6,800 MW in 2011

The U.S. wind industry installed 6,816 megawatts (MW) in 2011, 31 percent higher than 2010, for a total of 46,916 MW installed to date, the industry's trade group said in a release Thursday.     Setting the stage for a strong 2012, the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) also said there were more than 8,300 MW of wind power under construction across the United States.     The nation has about one million megawatts of generating capacity with about 400,000 MW coming from natural gas burning plants, 300,000 MW from coal, 100,000 MW from nuclear, 80,000 MW from hydropower, 50,000 MW from oil and the rest mostly from wind and other renewables.     One megawatt powers about 1,000 homes.     Wind and natural gas are the two largest sources of new generating capacity in the United States. Wind has provided about 35 percent of new U.S. power capacity over the past five years, AWEA said.   Full Article:

TROJAN BATTERY LAUNCHES VIDEO TUTORIAL SERIES TO EXPAND UNDERSTANDING OF DEEP-CYCLE BATTERY TECHNOLOGIES, MAINTENANCE AND SAFETY

Trojan Battery Company launched "Trojan Tips," its video tutorial series created to provide in-depth information focusing on a variety of battery topics such as deep-cycle battery technologies, maintenance practices, charging procedures and safety when handling batteries. "Trojan Tips" is designed to expand awareness of deep-cycle battery technology. A new "Trojan Tips" video tutorial will premiere each month throughout 2012 on the Trojan Battery corporate Web site. The first "Trojan Tips" video, which debuts today, reviews the various battery technologies available on the market today, and what to consider when selecting a battery for a particular application. Click here for the first "Trojan Tips" video tutorial.

A Comparison of Lead Acid to Lithium-ion in Stationary Storage Applications

There is currently no single solution that is better than another for all situations, but lithium-ion systems offer better cost of ownership in a number of situations, specifically hot climates, despite the higher initial cost.

Attaining Stability in the California Renewables Market

In pursuing its brave new world of green energy, California will inevitably experience the vicissitudes of its pioneering undertaking - the twists and turns on the road to TLC (transparency, longevity, certainty)

Solar cell therapy: transforming second-rate goods into first-class products

Innotech Solar optimizes off-spec cells

Winning the battle of energy savings

Two years ago, the New Jersey Army National Guard asked the Army Corps if it could construct a solar power project so they could save energy and money as they had done for them on previous solar power projects.

Addressing the challenge of expiring federal incentives for renewables

With the elimination of federal incentives for renewable generation, more than $20 billion may be shifted from the federal level (i.e. all taxpayers) to the customers in states with RPS targets.

TE Energy and the Wind Industry

With the Developing economies having realized the advantage of Wind Power, we see maximum growth coming from the Emerging Economies in this sector. Latin America, India, South East Europe to name a few.

What would be the optimum structure & characteristics of a Federal Loan Guarantee Program for Solar?

Can we envision a fair, balanced LG program that serves those that need it the most rather than only those that can afford to participate?

Cogenra Solar and Kendall-Jackson Winery Unveil Nation's Largest Rooftop Solar Cogeneration Array

Cogenra Solar, a provider of distributed solar cogeneration systems, today announced the nation's largest rooftop solar cogeneration system to date at Kendall-Jackson's Kittyhawk winery in Windsor, California. Expanding on Kendall-Jackson's existing energy and water conservation projects, the 96-module, 241kW hybrid solar photovoltaic (PV) and thermal array is expected to save approximately $30,000 in annual energy costs. "Our founder Jess Jackson was a trailblazer who made sustainability a core part of Kendall- Jackson's DNA largely through innovation" U.S. Congressman Mike Thompson and local business leaders convened today at Kendall-Jackson's Wine Center to celebrate the company's commitment to sustainability and unveil the solar cogeneration system, now supplying solar hot water and electricity to power the winery's extensive tank and bottle washing operations.   Click here for Full Press Release:

The long, long (long) road for algae fuel

Earlier this week algae fuel startup Sapphire Energy announced that it’s in the process of raising a whopping $144 million from private investors, which will be used to build out its first commercial demonstration algae farm in New Mexico. That farm could be able to produce 1.5 million gallons of Sapphire’s green crude per year by 2014, says Sapphire’s VP of Corporate Affairs, Tim Zenk. That might sound impressive, but it’s a far cry from the company’s previous projections. Back in 2009, Sapphire was hoping its algae farm would be able to produce 1 million gallons of green crude per year by 2011, followed by 100 million gallons per year by 2018, and 1 billion gallons per year by 2025. When Sapphire made those projections, the sheer volume was so much more than any of their competitors were putting out there, that I asked if Sapphire was going to be “the gorilla of algae fuel?“ Full Article:

RENEWABLE ENERGY EXPERIENCES EXPLOSIVE GROWTH DURING FIRST THREE YEARS OF OBAMA ADMINISTRATION

According to the most recent issue of the "Monthly Energy Review" by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), with data through December 31, 2011, renewable energy sources expanded rapidly during the first three years of the Obama Administration while substantially outpacing the growth rates of fossil fuels and nuclear power. Between January 1, 2009 and December 31, 2011, renewable energy sources (i.e., biofuels, biomass, geothermal, solar, water, wind) grew by 27.12%. By comparison, during the same three-year period, total domestic energy production increased by just 6.72% with natural gas and crude oil production growing by 13.66% and 14.27% respectively. Moreover, during the same period, nuclear power declined by 1.99% and coal dropped by 7.16%. Full Press Release:  

Floating Windmills in Japan Help Wind Down Nuclear Power: Energy

Japan is preparing to bolt turbines onto barges and build the world’s largest commercial power plant using floating windmills, tackling the engineering challenges of an unproven technology to cut its reliance on atomic energy. Marubeni Corp. (8002), Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. (7011) and Nippon Steel Corp. (5401) are among developers erecting a 16-megawatt pilot plant off the coast of Fukushima, site of the nuclear accident that pushed the government to pursue cleaner energy. The project may be expanded to 1,000 megawatts, the trade ministry said, bigger than any wind farm fixed to the seabed or on land. “Japan is surrounded by deep oceans, and this poses challenges to offshore wind turbines that are attached to the bottom of the sea,” Senior Vice Environment Minister Katsuhiko Yokomitsu said at a meeting in Tokyo this month. “We are eager for floating offshore wind to become a viable technology.” Full Article :

Green Innovation - Fukuoka Hydrogen Town

So far, the Hy-life project has been very successful and innovative - it aims to bring a change to Japan and eventually to the world. It seems slightly long-term because of its unprecedented trial in the world, but they are trying to implement the plan through sustainable procedures.

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