HVDC (high voltage, direct current) and Grid Modernization

Unlike with AC transmission, there is no distance limitation when using HVDC cables for underground or submarine transmission. HVDC transmission is directly controllable firming up capacity by mitigating congestion on parallel paths.

Solid Waste to Syngas - From Demonstration to Commercialization

In December 2012, Ottawa's City Council signed a 20 year contract with Plasco, committing 109,500 tonnes of municipal solid waste to a Plasco waste conversion facility. The City's support was achieved through a collaborative approach, commitment to open and transparent communication, and careful attention to risk management.

Are there any disadvantages to alternative fuels?

While we can see the advantages of alternative fuels, they also produce some disadvantages. In our search for the ideal fuel of the future, let's look at what are the advantages of the fuels presently being developed along with the disadvantages.

A Look at the Development of China's Renewable Energy Sector

When it comes to massive renewable energy adoption, China is an icon of promise. Being the world’s largest energy producer and consumer, the Asian country is now realizing that coal will no longer serve its economic development. Hence, renewable energy is a necessity for the nation’s inclusive growth and energy security, suggested a report by Solidiance, an Asia-Pacific marketing strategy firm. Renewable energy take up across the country is driven by three key factors – the increasing demand for electricity, the need to cut dependence on coal and the need to cut greenhouse gas emissions. According to Pilar Dieter, Principal for Solidiance, these three are interrelated. “While China seeks to cut greenhouse gas as part of its energy savings plan, this ideally should ease China's reliance on fossil fuels and... save more electricity,” she told EcoSeed. Looking forward, the Central Government, under its 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-2015) for National Economic and Social Development, has imposed self-mandated greener energy targets. By 2015, it aims to increase its renewables capacity by 11.4 percent, reduce emissions by 17 percent per unit of gross domestic product, and reduce energy consumption per unit of G.D.P. by 16 percent. Solidiance identified four key renewable energy sectors that will see the achievement of these goals: hydropower, wind, solar photovoltaic, and biofuels. However, these sectors are currently in different stages of development, facing challenges that have to be overcome in able to optimize their full potential. Full Article:

SEIA Statement on President Obama's State of the Union Address

Rhone Resch, president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association today released the following statement in response to President Obama's State of the Union Address to Congress: "In tonight's State of the Union Address, President Obama laid out a vision for the American energy economy that is in line with what SEIA is working to achieve – a robust clean energy industry that powers our homes and businesses while growing our economy and protecting our environment. Energy is a primary input to our nation's economic system, so it's appropriate that President Obama is placing emphasis on developing our nation's robust clean energy resources to help rebuild the nation's economy. "We are especially encouraged by the president's commitment to securing America's place as a leader in clean energy innovation throughout the world. President Obama understands that the stakes are high and we must not fall behind other nations as the world shifts to emissions-free clean energy technologies like solar. "We thank President Obama for his leadership and look forward to continuing to work with Congress and the White House to make solar an increasingly-important component of the nation's energy portfolio."  

Report: Panasonic makes super-effiecient Solar Cell

Panasonic Corp.'s (6752.TO, PC) prototype solar cell has achieved the world's highest conversion efficiency at 24.7%, according to tests performed by the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, the Nikkei reports in its Feb. 11 edition. It beat the previous record of 24.2% held by U.S. company SunPower Corp., a mark that is still recognized as the world's highest by Progress in Photovoltaics, an internationally recognized publication in the field of solar-energy research. The Panasonic prototype's surface membrane allows more sunlight to pass through, and its electrodes transfer electricity more efficiently. The company aims to commercialize the prototype and raise the conversion efficiency of its mass-market solar cells, which stands at 21.6%.

Siemens announces plans for new, state-of-the-art wind service training center in U.S.

Siemens is making plans to build a new, state-of-the-art wind service training facility in Orlando, Florida, USA. The demand for skilled wind service technicians is increasing as more wind projects come online in the Americas, thereby requiring long-term service and maintenance. Siemens is designing this new 40,000-square-foot center, which will be located close to the global headquarters of Siemens' Energy Service division in Orlando, to be among the most advanced wind training facilities in the world. Siemens' initial investment will be approximately $7 million and the company plans to create 50 new full-time jobs and host approximately 2,400 trainees annually from the U.S. and the Americas. The training center, which is being built based on LEED Gold green-building standards, is scheduled to begin operations by this summer. "As wind energy has become a mainstream source of power generation, the continued reliable and competitive performance of renewable energy is critically important to meeting the nation's future energy demand," said Randy Zwirn, CEO of Siemens Energy, Inc. and CEO of Siemens Energy's global Service Division. "As an industry leader in both onshore and offshore wind, Siemens is poised to meet that demand and this new, advanced training facility in the U.S. will help ensure that our wind service technicians receive the highest standard of technical and safety training."

2013 Photovoltaic Projects of Distinction Award Winners Announced at PV America East 2013

The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA)® and the Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA) today announced the three winners of the 2013 Photovoltaic (PV) Projects of Distinction Awards at PV America East 2013 in Philadelphia, PA. Recognizing major achievements in U.S. PV solar energy, the awards were presented to the Generating Clean Horizons Solar Project, Keystone Solar and the Union County (NJ) Solar Initiative. For the first time, nine projects were awarded honorable mentions in recognition of their impressive accomplishments. More than 100 submissions were evaluated by an independent panel of judges representing associations, consultants, distributors, government, integrators, manufacturers and utilities. To qualify for an award, each project had to be operational and demonstrate a collective benefit to the community and innovative use of policy and financing to enhance the project's impact.   Click here for the full Press Release and list of Winners.

UConn Professor's Patented Technique Key to New Solar Power Technology

A novel fabrication technique developed by UConn engineering professor Brian Willis could provide the breakthrough technology scientists have been looking for to vastly improve today’s solar energy systems. The potential breakthrough lies in a novel fabrication process called selective area atomic layer deposition (ALD) that was developed by Willis, an associate professor of chemical, materials, and biomolecular engineering and the previous director of UConn’s Chemical Engineering Program. Willis joined UConn in 2008 as part of an eminent faculty hiring initiative that brought an elite team of leaders in sustainable energy technology to the University. Willis developed the ALD process while teaching at the University of Delaware, and patented the technique in 2011. It is through atomic layer deposition that scientists can finally fabricate a working rectenna device. In a rectenna device, one of the two interior electrodes must have a sharp tip, similar to the point of a triangle. The secret is getting the tip of that electrode within one or two nanometers of the opposite electrode, something similar to holding the point of a needle to the plane of a wall. Before the advent of ALD, existing lithographic fabrication techniques had been unable to create such a small space within a working electrical diode. Using sophisticated electronic equipment such as electron guns, the closest scientists could get was about 10 times the required separation. Through atomic layer deposition, Willis has shown he is able to precisely coat the tip of the rectenna with layers of individual copper atoms until a gap of about 1.5 nanometers is achieved. The process is self-limiting and stops at 1.5 nanometer separation. 

Solar Portfolio UP 39% for 2012 - Outperforms Markets by 325%

Our solar portfolio currently consists of three stocks - First Solar (FSLR), Jinko Solar (JKS) and MEMC Materials (WFR) all three positions where initiated at the close of the market on November 29 2012

Ontario, Canada Helps Electric Vehicle Drivers Plug In

Ontario government to provide incentives that will fight climate change and support green technology

Careers in Alternative Energy

For alternative energy there is a need for specialized software developers and engineers who design, build, and maintain the networks of sensors and stochastic modeling for wind and solar energy, smart energy grids, congestion pricing and other systems substituting intelligence for natural resources.

PACE Environment a Smart Economic Driver

PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) financing is a municipal funding mechanism that provides up-front financing for commercial and residential property owners to improve their property values and realize the money-saving benefits of energy efficiency, renewable energy and water conservation upgrades utilizing no public dollars.

U.S. 2012 Wind Power Reached Record 13,124 Megawatts, Beats Gas

U.S. wind-energy developers added a record 13,124 megawatts of turbines last year, beating natural gas to become the largest new source of power generation for the first time. In the fourth quarter alone, 8,380 megawatts of wind farms were completed, more than double that of any prior quarter, according to the Washington-based American Wind Energy Association. That amounted to 42 percent of new power supplies, more than any electricity source including natural gas, coal, solar and nuclear. topping natural gas Installations accelerated last quarter as developers raced to take advantage of a federal tax credit that was due to expire Dec. 31, and have slumped this year, according to Rob Gramlich, the industry group’s interim chief executive officer. There are 43 megawatts of wind turbines currently under construction in two states. The production tax credit was extended for one year Jan. 1.

California Solar Project Includes Energy

On Monday, the California Public Utilities Commission unanimously approved the sale of power from SolarReserve 's 150-megawatt Rice Solar Energy Project to Pacific Gas & Electric via a 25-year power purchase agreement. This project will be the first large-scale solar project in the state to include energy storage capabilities , SolarReserve reported. * The Rice Solar Energy Project, located in eastern Riverside County and bearing a $750 million price tag, is expected to generate more than 5,300 direct, indirect and induced jobs during its 24-month construction period, the Santa Monica-based company stated. * SolarReserve's energy storage capability comes from the use of thousands of mirrors that focus sunlight onto a central tower containing molten salt, Bloomberg reported, which is funneled through a steam generator to produce electricity. The salt retains heat and can produce power at night. * "Eight to 10 hours of fully dispatchable storage is quite impressive and offers significant benefits to the system that we don't yet know how to quantify fully, but there's definitely value there," said CPUC Commissioner Mike Florio. * According to SolarReserve CEO Kevin Smith , the CPUC was clear that the storage ability was a key factor in approving the Rice contract. "This capability will be crucial as California progresses towards its 33 percent renewable target," said Smith.

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Kipp & Zonen - DustIQ the novel soiling monitoring solution for solar panels

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