7 Projects Paving the Way for Ocean Power

What if we could tap the power of the ocean to produce electricity? Companies including Lockheed Martin, Wavebob and OpenHydro are working on technologies to capture energy from waves, tides, currents and the ocean’s thermal gradients on a scale that could eventually make the sea a major contributor to the nation’s clean energy supply. Despite its promise, however, to provide continuous electricity — a benefit that solar and wind don’t offer — development of so-called “hydrokinetic” technology (relating to the kinetic energy of moving fluid) has run into technical and fundraising difficulties. For example, the California Utilities Commission rejected a power purchase agreement from utility Pacific Gas & Electric to buy electricity from a project by Finavera Renewables, saying the technology was too unproven and costly. So far, few studies have looked into the environmental impact of ocean and tidal power equipment worldwide. As researchers at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Washington State explained recently, some of the limited studies have taken place outside the U.S., focusing on wildlife not commonly found in the estuaries and oceans hugging this country. Source: Josie Garthwaite – GigaOM

Will India be a bigger concentrated solar thermal power than China?

As the founder of CSP Today and organizer of the 1st CSP Today India conference in New Delhi, Belén Gallego is often asked about the future of the CSP industry in India. She has written a piece about the opportunities in the Indian market published recently in CSP Today.  Having lived in India for 2 years, it is difficult for me to be impartial when assessing the opportunities in the CSP industry. I believe very firmly in the great capacity of Indians to learn fast and reduce costs –they are specialists in making things cheaper maintaining quality standards. Much as I try, I can´t think of anything that the CSP industry is more in need of.  While last year there was very little talk of India becoming one of the biggest markets for CSP, today the question on everybody’s lips is: Will India be a bigger CSP power than China?   From an economic and development perspective, India’s economy is performing very well, averaging 8.5% growth this year. Its growth rate could overtake China’s by 2013 - if not before - according to a recent article by The Economist.  While China’s growth has been largely state-directed, India’s is driven by 45m entrepreneurs. Private firms have had to compete with the world´s best - and many have discovered that they can. Read full article here.

US solar is poised for $100bn growth surge

Rapidly declining equipment costs combined with stronger government support have set the stage for explosive growth in the US solar market over the next decade, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, the world’s leading provider of research and analysis in clean energy and the carbon markets. Solar-powered generating capacity – using photovoltaic and solar thermal electricity technologies – could reach 4.3% of the nation’s power capacity by 2020, depending on the industry’s ability to attract an estimated $100bn of investment. The US today has just 1.4 gigawatts of installed solar power capacity, ranking it fifth globally. But that could rise to 44 gigawatts by 2020, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. In a new report, forecast capacity from large-scale solar thermal projects is projected to rise from 0.4 gigawatts currently to 14 gigawatts by 2020. For photovoltaics, the group anticipates a 34% annual growth rate to 30 gigawatts by 2020. Full Story.

Message from AWEA CEO Denise Bode regarding attacks on 1603 Program

Recently a number of news stories and politically motivated TV ads have run across the country that falsely attack policies critical to keeping Americans working in wind power -- a bright spot in the economy, which has kept 85,000 Americans working during the recession. These stories and campaign ads have challenged renewable energy tax credits (the 1603 tax credits) which have been one of the most effective public policies in existence for saving American jobs. In the recession, project development and financing was difficult to obtain and costly. Many wind projects in mid-development could not complete financing. As a result, wind investment stalled with some projects stopping mid-construction; laying off construction workers and leaving wind towers and blades on the ground. The 1603 tax credit program restarted stalled projects and saved thousands of jobs at risk. Every job saved was an American job. 100% of projects that receive investment tax credits through 1603 are built in the U.S. as required by the Recovery Act. The program also supports America’s growing manufacturing and supply chain industries. U.S. wind turbine domestic manufacturing has grown 12-fold, with an increase in domestic content from 25% only a few years ago to over 50% now, and nearly 400 American manufacturing facilities making wind components. Full Press Release.

The Progressive Insurance Automotive X-Prize Competition

The intention and purpose of the Progressive Automotive X-Prize could actually not be higher… to simply see who could produce a vehicle that could achieve a 100mpg rating without cluttering up the atmosphere with noxious gasses.

Soaring Photovoltaic Demand Drives Record Levels of Equipment Spending

Chinese and Taiwanese Manufacturers Account for 80% of Q3'10 Incremental Capacity

Grid Interconnection Solutions for Solar and Wind Power Plants

AMSC Launches SolarTie™ Grid Interconnection Solution for Utility-Scale Solar Power Market.

Worldwide Solar Solution Demand

Greg Schulte is the President of Bonfiglioli USA, one of the world's leading designers and manufacturers of gear motors, drive systems and planetary gearboxes. The company is also a primary developer of systems which integrate electronic, hydraulic and mechanical engineering. He was appointed to this position in June 2008 and oversees the Bonfiglioli Group's American subsidiary headquarters located in Hebron, Kentucky.

Los Angeles Builds Out New Electric Vehicle Charging Stations at Key Transit Locations

The California Energy Commission recently announced EV Connect, a leading provider of electric vehicle infrastructure solutions (EVISs) and the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) will be conducting a pilot program to assess the integration of PEV’s into the transportation network and consumer behavior and ridership patterns. This pilot project aims to understand the viability of a PEV-transit network and establish best practices that optimize the consumer experience while reducing the carbon footprint of Los Angeles. The transportation sector alone accounts for 40 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in the State of California, six percent higher than the national average. Completion of this project and its potential as a major transit component will further reduce priority air pollutants and greenhouse gas emissions in the City and County of Los Angeles.

Bloom Energy to build a box a day

Silicon Valley start-up Bloom Energy, which makes  fuel cell boxes that can power buildings , expects to be producing one of its boxes per day in the next few months, its chief executive and co-founder said. The main limitation on the growth of the business, since it is based on a new technology, is building a supply chain to feed it, Chief Executive K.R. Sridhar said yesterday.  "As the supply chain is ramping up, then we can ramp up, and at no point will our internal capacity become the bottleneck," he told the Reuters Climate Change and Alternative Energy Summit in San Francisco. "If we don't plan it that way, then we get ahead of our headlights." The company, with about 500 employees, has 50 systems deployed and expects to have double that number working by the end of the year, said Sridhar, who wants to be producing far more boxes to meet what he calls "robust" demand.  "I'm not patient by nature," he said. "Getting all the ducks lined up so that we can be making a lot more than one box a day, that's what I worry about."   Bloom's boxes cost $700,000 to $800,000, and each provides 100 kilowatts of electricity--enough to power 100 average U.S. homes--with roughly the footprint of a parking space. Source: Reuters

National Solar Jobs Census 2010

The solar industry is a strong and growing segment of our national economy. Over the past ten years, companies that design, manufacture, sell, install, and maintain solar systems have emerged in all regions of the United States, providing tens of thousands of jobs throughout the country. These employment opportunities span numerous industries and occupational titles, from skilled laborers to customer service and sales representatives. In recent years, new technology, favorable legislative policies, and increased consumer demand for clean, renewable sources of energy have led to even more rapid growth of the solar industry. In fact, according to GTM Research, solar photovoltaic installations grew at a Compound Annual Growth Rate of 61% between 2006 and 2009. Despite gloomy general economic conditions in most sectors of our nation’s economy, the momentum generated by these trends has led to increased optimism about the potential for continued growth of solar jobs. Full story here.

Google to invest in grid for offshore wind

Google Inc. has thrown its financial clout behind a proposed 350-mile underwater electric cable off the U.S. East Coast that could form the backbone of a grid carrying power from future offshore wind turbines.  Japan's Marubeni Corp and New York investment firm Good Energies are joining in financing the project, which will be led by transmission-line developer Trans-Elect. The cable will help developers of offshore wind projects to surmount a major cost challenge -- connecting their turbines back to the grid in a way that allows them to sell to multiple customers. Google announced the move, which it called an investment in "a superhighway for clean energy" on its corporate blog .  Google, an often-quirky company, said in late 2007 that it would begin to invest in companies and fund research into producing affordable renewable energy. It has also invested in onshore wind and solar energy. The Internet search giant did not disclose the anticipated cost of the cable, which would run from Virginia to New Jersey, but The New York Times reported it as about $5 billion . Source: MSNBC

National Solar Jobs Census 2010

The National Solar Jobs Census 2010 is the first attempt to quantify the current employment and projected growth of the United States solar industry and is based on a statistically valid sampling of employers throughout the nation.1 The rapid increase of solar energy generation has warranted a credible study that examines the size and scope of the industry that until now, has been lacking.

Microinverter Advantages

The Enphase Microinverter System is the first and only commercially available microinverter system. It integrates state-of-the-art microinverter technology, power-line communications and web-based monitoring and analytics to define a completely new class of advanced solar energy solutions.

Nheolis' 3D Wind Turbines

Mr. Haddjeri incorporated NHEOLIS in early 2006, after identifying the potential of Bernoulli's principle when applied to wind power. Advised by Marc LASSUS, former CEO of GEMPLUS, he has invested his own time and money to develop NHEOLIS' breakthough technology from the concept idea to the market product.

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