BrightSource Energy Inc. has won a $1.4 billion loan guarantee from the U.S. Department of Energy to build three concentrated solar power plants in the Mojave Desert, just weeks after the company scaled back plans to address concerns over the desert tortoise. The complex will generate 392 megawatts of electricity using thousands of mirrors to focus the power of the sun to create steam that drives electrical turbines. It'll produce enough power for about 140,000 homes. Pacific Gas & Electric and Southern California Edison Co. signed up to buy power from the plants, which will be built by Bechtel and create about 1,000 construction jobs and 86 permanent jobs. Construction on the first plant is expected to begin in the second half of 2010.
Valentin Technologies has given the public its first glimpse of its IngoCar, currently in development. The vehicle's estimated mileage is 170 mpg based on a mix of city and rural driving. This extraordinary fuel efficiency is achieved by a revolutionary hydraulic-fluid drive. This hybrid gasoline/hydraulic drive system can deliver acceleration from 0-60 in 4 seconds. Using a small engine, fluid is pumped into an accumulator. The fluid then drives hydraulic wheel motors for shiftless acceleration. During braking, motors are reversed and pump the entire recuperated braking energy back into the accumulator. This innovative technology and the car's light weight give an estimated range of 1,000 miles for a full 6 gallon tank of fuel.
By offering a means to install a solar power system without the initial capital, Power Purchase Agreements could be the Holy Grail for mass market adoption of solar. After being a major driver of solar installations over the last couple years, however, a number of obstacles still stand in their way. What makes these instruments so attractive?
Five to ten years from now, you could have a $3000 fuel cell power generator the size of a clock radio in your basement, turning natural gas into electrical power at twice the efficiency possible today. That's the promise of the Bloom Box , a tiny power plant that combines oxygen and natural gas, a biogas or solar energy, and creates electricity. So far, Bloom Boxes are the size of about four refrigerators, costing $700,000 to $800,000. Early adopters are companies such as eBay and Google, already saving money using these boxes.
Key trends and growth opportunities up to 2015.
Construction has begun off Oregon's coast on the first commercial U.S. wave-energy farm, planned to supply power to about 400 homes, according to a USA TODAY report. Wave power draws from the energy of ocean surface waves. A float on a buoy rises and falls with the waves, driving a plunger connected to a hydraulic pump that converts the vertical movement into electricity. The first buoy will measure 150 feet tall by 40 feet wide, weigh 200 tons and cost $4 million, according to Phil Pellegrino, spokesman for New Jersey-based developer Ocean Power Technologies, which is developing the project.
Significant issues for the operator may include the operator's right to enter onto the land and monitor the land for wind potential before an agreement is executed with the landowner. This right is typically set forth in an option granted to the operator for a period lasting anywhere from two to ten years, in exchange for a fee paid to the landowner, allowing the operator adequate time to carry out a wind study to ascertain whether the land is a good candidate for a wind project.
The innovative hybrid technology featured in the car has been developed especially for racing, standing out significantly in its configuration and components from conventional hybrid systems. In this case, electrical front axle drive with two electric motors developing 60 kW each supplements the 480-bhp four-litre flat-six at the rear of the 911 GT3 R Hybrid. A further significant point is that instead of the usual batteries in a hybrid road car, an electrical flywheel power generator fitted in the interior next to the driver delivers energy to the electric motors. The flywheel generator itself is an electric motor with its rotor spinning at speeds of up to 40,000 rpm, storing energy mechanically as rotation energy.
Thin-film silicon uses about one-hundredth the amount of silicon used by crystalline silicon PV but now that the silicon shortage is over what will keep TF Si'c current 43% market share from dropping?
Japanese solar-module manufacturers shipped a record-high 1.4 gigawatts (GW) in 2009 , galvanized by the election of a new solar-friendly government, and a dramatic up-tick in the domestic rooftop market. Domestic shipments more than doubled to 484 megawatts (MW), even as exports slid a modest 2.4% to 903MW on the back of the weakened European market, according to figures published by the Japanese Photovoltaic Energy Association. The spike in domestic demand has outpaced Japanese firms' ability to keep up, leading to a surge in imports from neighboring countries such as Taiwan.
The revolutionary Power-Generating Floor , works by converting physical pressure into electricity and has a wide range of potential applications. Part of the appeal of this device is that it emits no greenhouse gases or other pollutants. It consists of tiles that convert vibrations caused by people or automobiles passing overhead into electricity. Within each roughly 50-centimeter-square tile is a crystalline substance called a piezoelectric element. When outside pressure is placed on these elements, electrical polarization occurs and generates an electric potential in proportion to the amount of force applied. While output varies depending on the number of tiles, two steps by a person weighing 60 kilograms normally generates 0.1 Watts of power.
Interview with Jack Jacobs, Managing Partner of Cleantech Law Partners.
Helioculture: The idea is to create hydrocarbons with a little help from the sun. Sewage: Using microbial fuel cells, sewage can be used in bio-electrochemical systems to create power. Evaporation: Apparently, scientists are working on ways to harness the difference in electrical properties that exist between air and water. Human movement: Could the expanding planetary population actually power itself through movement? Moon: One Russian company, RKK Energiya, thinks that moon mining for Helium-3 could be a possibility by 2020. Source
The most pressing questions surrounding energy policy now are: 1) How do we reach these goals? And 2) Are they even attainable? Advocates from both sides of the aisle and in many industries, such as wind, solar, biomass, nuclear, and even domestically sourced natural gas and clean coal, have all thrown their hats in the ring professing that their technological approach is the way to go if there is any hope of truly changing the energy landscape.
Images of the 3 bladed wind engines are now seen everywhere and they have come to symbolize intelligent energy creation for virtually everyone but are these designs actually the most efficient ones possible? No one seems to know their efficiency so that vital issue is completely overlooked and rarely discussed. Efficiency is important to all.
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