Brady Dennis for The Washington Post: The U.S. wind energy industry had a memorable 2015, from installing thousands of new turbines across the country to supporting a growing number of jobs.
But perhaps one of the most noteworthy brights spots of the past year, according to an annual report released Tuesday by the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), was the growing demand for wind energy from major corporations. High-tech firms such as Google Energy, Facebook and Amazon Web Services, as well as more traditional companies such as Procter & Gamble, General Motors, Walmart and Dow Chemical, have signed contracts to purchase increasing amounts of wind energy in coming years.
Corporations and other non-utility customers — including some municipalities and universities — accounted for more than half of the wind power capacity sold through so-called power purchase agreements in 2015, according to the AWEA. The group said that corporate and other non-utility buyers have signed contracts for more than 4,500 megawatts of wind power capacity, or enough to power the equivalent of about 1.2 million American homes. Cont'd...
SGIP, SunSpec Alliance, kWh Analytics, and NREL Awarded Nearly $4 Million in Federal Funds to Boost Solar Bankability
Sam Grobart for Bloomberg: There are 332,519,000 cubic miles of water on the planet. That's 352,670,000,000,000,000,000 gallons just sloshing around out there.
Anyone who's ridden or been tossed by a wave has a sense of the kinetic energy contained in our perpetually moving oceans. If we could harness it, it could provide a clean, renewable source of energy. But efforts to turn our oceans into power generators—often in the form of "aqua-mills," windmill technology adapted to water—have foundered on the complexity of their many moving parts in the corrosive and remote environs of the sea.
A new approach, developed by a company called Oscilla Power, applies all that kinetic energy to a solid piece of metal instead of using it to turn the blades of an impeller. That creates an alternating magnetic polarity in the metal that can be converted into electrical current.
Oscilla's technology, which is nearly solid-state, may prove far more durable than any other ocean-power project, increasing the chance to draw power from our oceans cleanly, meaningfully, and endlessly. View video here:
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