The renewable and energy efficiency industries have created over 2.5 million jobs in the United States. Solar now employs more Americans than than oil, natural gas and coal combined. The nation's fastest growing occupation is, believe it or not, the wind turbine technician; which is still projected to grow 108% in the next 7 years.
Renewables have now reached such a critical mass, utilities can no longer ignore them as a way to augment their capabilities in producing power cheaper, smarter, better. At this point, the tide has turned for utilities and there is no going back.
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...
VTT is seeking a carbon capture technology for Finnish power and heat production plants. The first pilots were implemented, using wood pellets, at VTT's Bioruukki and the results are promising.
For energy traders and utilities, profitability in this complex and evolving market requires a full and complete picture of assets, operations, positions and risk exposures. Too many utilities are still labouring under a painful burden of data management challenges, including lack of automation, multiple disparate systems and data formats.
Umair Irfan for ClimateWire: On schedule, on budget. It's a tall order for any new technology, but for a commercial carbon capture and storage (CCS) system, it might be the start of a revolution. The Petra Nova carbon capture system under construction at the W.A. Parish Generating Station, a coal-fired power plant southwest of Houston, is slated to go online before the end of the year. The billion-dollar facility will become the largest post-combustion carbon capture system installed on an existing power plant in the world. Systems like Petra Nova that keep carbon dioxide from reaching the atmosphere may become a necessary means to mitigate climate change, and for some utilities, they could offer a lifeline to beleaguered fossil fuel plants. Cont'd...
Researchers at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory are using multiphysics simulation to better understand and optimize the conversion process for plant-derived biofuels.
The majority of the 195 ethanol plants, and most of the U.S. fuel ethanol production capacity, are located in the Midwest region
Here is a summary of what Tradeshows, Conferences & Exhibitions to look forward to in the coming months.
Chris Jennewein for Times of San Diego: A Scripps Institution of Oceanography research vessel has demonstrated the viability of renewable fuel by traveling 14,400 nautical miles over a 16-month period on renewable diesel. The R/V Robert Gordon Sproul used a hydrogenation-derived renewable fuel called NEXBTL Renewable Diesel developed by Neste Oil in Finland. The experiment began in September 2014 and ran through December 2015, during which time the vessel used a total of 52,500 gallons. “Part of the Scripps mission is to protect the environment, and one of the most significant changes that we could make in our ship operations involved moving toward the use of cleaner, renewable fuels,” said Scripps Associate Director Bruce Appelgate. “As scientists, we know we need to develop sustainable means of powering our ships to address pollution concerns as well as to mitigate future increases in fossil fuel costs.” Renewable biofuel is nearly carbon-neutral and produces cleaner emissions, thus decreasing greenhouse gas emissions and improving air quality relative to fuels derived from petroleum. Cont'd...
This year's edition of BNEF's long-term forecast sees $11.4 trillion investment in global power generation capacity over 25 years, with electric vehicles boosting electricity demand by 8% in 2040.
Several states, especially those in the South Census region, have increased their electricity generation from biomass.
The cleaning or purification of Biogas involves a complex mix of filtration and separation technologies but even the most basic of installations can benefit from the advantages of clean, dry gas.
EIA's approach to addressing the inherent uncertainty surrounding the country's energy future is to develop multiple cases that reflect different sets of internally consistent assumptions about key sources of uncertainty such as future world oil prices, macroeconomic growth, energy resources, technology costs, and policies.
Christian Ridley for Newsweek: Algal biofuels are in trouble. This alternative fuel source could help reduce overall carbon emissions without taking land from food production, like many crop-based biofuels do. But several major companies including Shell and ExxonMobil are seemingly abandoning their investments in this environmentally friendly fuel. So why has this promising technology failed to deliver, and what could be done to save it? Algae are photosynthetic organisms related to plants that grow in water and produce energy fromcarbon dioxide and sunlight. Single-celled microalgae can be used to produce large amounts of fat, which can be converted into biodiesel, the most common form of biofuel. There are many possible ingredients for making biofuels, from corn to used cooking oil. But algae are particularly interesting because they can be grown rapidly and produce large amounts of fuel relative to the resources used to grow them (high productivity). Cont'd...
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