Coalition of US states pledge to accelerate renewable energy efforts

Oliver Milman for The Guardian:  A bipartisan group of governors from 17 states has pledged to accelerate their efforts to create a green economy in the US by boosting renewables, building better electricity grids and cutting emissions from transport. An accord signed by the governors states that the US must “embrace a bold vision of the nation’s energy future” by reducing emissions, transitioning to clean energy sources and ensuring that infrastructure isn’t risked by extreme weather events such as floods and wildfires. The agreement sets out commitments to expand renewable energy and energy efficiency and integrate solar and wind generation into electricity grids. These grids will be “modernized”, the accord states, to improve energy reliability.   Cont'd...

Windpower Finance and Investment Summit

A significant issue for wind may well be maintaining its price competitiveness vis-a-vis solar as the PTC amount goes down over the next five years while the ITC used by solar will remain at 30% through 2020

Low-cost energy storage for power grid can be found in your Water Heater

By David Shaffer  for Star Tribune:  The least-expensive battery to store energy from the electric power grid may be sitting in homeowners’ basements — the electric water heater. That is the surprising finding of research released Wednesday by the cooperative power industry, including Maple Grove-based Great River Energy, and an environmental group. Customers at many utilities already save money by heating water at night, taking advantage of low, off-peak electric rates. It requires a special electric water heater that holds a day’s worth of household water, but offers long-term savings. Now, a study by the Brattle Group, an economic consulting firm, says that the nation’s 50 million residential electric water heaters can address bigger challenges on the power grid, such as storing intermittent renewable energy from wind farms and solar arrays.   Cont'd...

The Koch Brothers' Dirty War on Solar Power

Tim Dickinson for Rolling Stone:  The full political might of Florida's IOUs was on display in December, when a deceptive campaign, funded by the state's electric utilities, crushed a citizen-led effort to open Florida to solar competition through the 2016 ballot. "When your opponents have no ethical foundation, have unlimited resources and are willing to say and do anything to defeat you," says Stephen Smith, director of the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, which led the pro-solar effort, "it's a tough hurdle to overcome." It should come as no surprise that the utilities have fought so hard. The rise of cheap, distributed solar power poses a disruptive – and perhaps existential – threat to the traditional electric utility business. Monopoly electric utilities used to make sense. Dirty power, generated at a distance from population centers, was carried over a set of transmission lines to homes and businesses. Consumers got reliable power from a single provider. IOUs were guaranteed a profit – both for building power plants and transmission lines as well as for the electricity itself.   Full Article:

The Dynamic Road Ahead: England To Conduct Trials Of Dynamic Wireless Charging For Electric Cars

The popularity of electric cars in the UK has shot up over the last few years, with around 50,000 plug-in vehicles on the road, compared with just 3,500 in 2013. This huge increase in electric cars in 2015 has augmented because of a shift in the public's approach towards electric cars and a persistently refining public recharging network.

Renewable Energy Readiness of Pakistan

Distribution companies are reluctant to expand grid into rural areas and revenues for tariffs cannot provide sufficient returns to recover the investment. Providing energy access to such villages through stand-alone off-grid solar systems or mini or micro-grids can provide them access to modern energy sources.

SAENORE - South Asian Experts Network on Renewable Energy

SAENORE will create and maintain knowledge transfers amongst renewable energy experts in South Asia and it will work in the areas of Energy efficiency, Solar Energy, Wind Energy, Small Hydro Power, Bio-energy and Geothermal Energy.

Boeing delivers fuel cell energy storage system to U.S. Navy

Ryan Maass for UPI:  Boeing has delivered its reversible solid oxide fuel cell, for generating clean electricity, to the U.S. Navy for testing. The fuel cell system is designed to generate, compress and store hydrogen from renewable sources such as wind and solar to produce zero-emissions electricity.Boeing's delivery to the Navy follows 16 months of development. The technology is capable of both producing and storing energy. The first unit was commissioned on the Southern California power grid prior to its installation on the Navy's 'microgrid' for further testing. "This fuel cell solution is an exciting new technology providing our customers with a flexible, affordable and environmentally progressive option for energy storage and power generation," Boeing Advanced Technology Programs director Lance Towers said. Boeing officials say they were able to develop the fuel cell using their experience with the energy systems used for their unmanned undersea vehicles.   Cont'd...

Californians Are Getting Paid To Install Awesome Energy Storage Systems

SGIP stands for Self Generation Incentive Program, a way to motivate consumers to use alternative energy sources to generate and store their own electricity. The SGIP pays energy storage users over a dollar per watt.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution in the Energy Industry

The Fourth Industrial Revolution means providing a personalised energy experience for the consumers, prosumers and utility companies. Consumers and prosumers want to see their impact on their bill, the grid and the environment - and they want to be accountable for their energy choices.

Distributed Energy Resources

The introduction of more DERs on utility systems and at customer sites provides support for increased reliability and resiliency, if appropriately located and properly configured.

MIT Tool Gives the Cost of Installing Solar Panels on Any Roof in Your City

Daniel Oberhaus for Motherboard:  The world, it seems, is falling in love with solar energy. Recent years have seen the increasing adoption of solar power around the world as an alternative energy source for everything from individual homes to the entire energy grid, with the United States’solar capacity having grown to 24 GW, a more than a 17-fold increase since 2008. Part of this rapid growth for solar infrastructure is the result of markedly more efficient solar energy cells, but in spite of these recent technological advances, transitioning to solar power still doesn’t make sense (at least economically speaking) everywhere. Installing photovoltaic systems can be pretty pricey, and home- and business-owners have to engage in a complex cost-benefit analysis to see if transitioning to solar power is an economically sound idea. The “pain-in-the-ass” factor of such calculations alone might be enough to turn people off of the idea of contemplating installing a photovoltaic system, so the folks at MIT came up with a solution: Mapdwell. Mapdwell maps the solar potential of entire cities by doing a cost-benefit analysis for every rooftop to determine if installing solar panels on that rooftop is worth the investment. All you do is enter your address into the program, and it will tell you the expected installation costs, the number of years it will take to earn back this investment from your photovoltaic system, the amount of carbon offset by the installation, as well as incredibly detailed installment specs such as the optimal panel tilt and the number of panels that could fit on the roof.   Cont'd...

This year will be a solar-powered Super Bowl

By Jeff Clabaugh for WTOP:  Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California, will set the stage for Sunday’s Super Bowl, and it will be a solar-powered event. Levi’s Stadium, which opened in July 2014, is the first professional football stadium in the NFL to open with LEED Gold certification, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association in Washington. Princeton, New Jersey-based NGR Solar LLC installed more than 1,150 solar panels at the stadium during its construction — enough to produce 375 kilowatts of peak power. The system can generate enough power in a year to meet electricity demand during every San Francisco 49ers home game. The solar panels cover three bridges that connect the stadium to the main parking lot and the “NRG Solar Terrace” that overlooks the field. There are 544 solar panels on the stadium roof and another 642 on the bridges, which also serve as canopies covering the bridges.   Cont'd...

Winds of Change for Alternative Energy Tax Incentives in 2016

While tax credits for wind and solar power received long-term extensions in the year-end omnibus legislation enacted at the end of 2015, other types of alternative energy were left out - reports have suggested unintentionally - spurring some in Congress to seek a remedy in 2016

Renewable Energy Demand in Europe Reaches Record Levels

The European demand for renewable electricity documented by Guarantees of Origin now constitutes more than 13% of all electricity consumption in Europe (ca. 3,200 TWh) and approximately 40% of all electricity generated from renewable sources in Europe (ca. 1,100 TWh).

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