Solar Power collector doubles as greenhouse shade

Solyndra has found a second use for its solar collector as a shade for greenhouses. The company on Monday said that that its solar collectors, which are an array of solar cell-covered glass tubes, are being tested at agriculture research centers in Italy and the University of California, Davis. A conventional flat solar panel would block essentially all light, but Solyndra's collectors allow for light to pass through the glass tubes, which are coated with thin-film solar cells. That provides a diffused light conducive to greenhouse plant growth and allows growers to use their available space for power production, the company said. "We are pioneering this new agricultural solar solution in Italy, where extensive shaded agriculture operations combined with strong insolation and a favorable feed-in tariff are driving strong interest and demand," Clemens Jargon, the president of Solyndra in Europe, Middle East, and Africa, said in a statement.

Global Small Hydro Projects in Development

The advantages of generating electricity from small hydropower coupled with a rising interest in the sector has led to increased government support policies which will derive installations in many countries in the years to come. Cumulative installed capacity of small hydropower is expected to reach 140 GW in 2015 and 201 GW in 2020.

2010 Solar Deal Volume Comparison

The transaction landscape of 2010 highlights the increasing consolidation trend within the solar energy industry. Primarily, this consolidation occurred later in the value chain with acquisitions of EPC integrators/ developers and producers of solar energy. This trend is expected to continue as companies and investors look to increase their portfolios of completed solar projects and pipeline opportunities.

A Catch-22 in the PV Connector Industry?

PV connectors are part of a system, and how well they connect and disconnect along with the ease of assembly & installation is important to installers. Electrical standards for PV connectors have been established through the National Electric Code (NEC) and UL. However no design and/or contact standards exist. The ‘defacto' standard has not been uniformly accepted by manufacturers. The need for compatibility and interchangeability is clear.

Alternate Ways to Overcome Energy Crisis in Pakistan

One of the barriers in growth of Alternate and Renewable applications is the lack of presence of one sole Energy Administration Authority for regulation of energy sector. We strongly recommend that that one Energy Administration Authority should be evolved to streamline decision making.

Choosing a Portable Renewable Energy Generator

Power generation systems have hundreds of applications. This article will focus on portable generators in specific and a range of their applications and sizing considerations in general. The intent is to address the frequently-asked questions, "What will this generator run?", "For how long?", and "Will it run my house?" Those questions usually have to be answered with the question, "What do you want (need) to run?" which defines the application.

Increased Auction Activity in Alternate Energy and Green Technology

As well as being approached to auction IP in this field of technology, IP Auctions have an increase of inquiries for this technology from corporations, IP attorneys and brokers, as well as Venture Capitalist and Seed Venture groups.

"Green jobs" Come in Every Shape and Size

Thousands of careers forced to change and adapt in the new energy economy

Solar Power Comes to Saudi Arabia in a Big Way as Peak Oil Looms

Saudi Arabia is the world's largest exporter of oil. But as experts and WikiLeaks previously detailed--the country's oil supply may be fast dwindling and that has made renewable energy options, such as solar, that much more appealing. Just this week the country announced that construction of its largest solar power plant will be completed by September--and this just days after WikiLeaks reports about exaggerated oil quantities from the country hit the news. "The solar market in the Gulf region is still in its infancy," said Klaus Friedl, general manager of Phoenix Solar, the firm contracted to build the new solar plant. "There is, however, a huge potential for solar power plants in Saudi Arabia." The concern over oil shortages is no longer limited to supplying foreign countries--the rate of domestic consumption in Saudi Arabia is set to triple in the next 20 years to 120 gigawatts, which means that Saudis could foreseeably consume all of their oil just for themselves. "It's really a preservation decision using solar for domestic consumption and keeping your oil for more lucrative export markets," said Vahid Fotuhi, Middle East director of BP Solar. "Right now, out of the 8 million barrels per day they produce, over 3 million barrels per day are consumed domestically, mainly for power generation. That figure is growing 8 percent per annum," said Fotuhi.

Dow Chemical Co. plans to start commercial production of its Powerhouse solar power roof shingles this year

Dow Chemical Co. plans to start commercial production of its Powerhouse solar roof shingles this year, even before it starts operating its new plant in Midland, Mich. And it has high hopes that the shingles will not just succeed, but that they will become a mass-market product. Dow's thin-film copper indium gallium diselenide solar cells currently are manufactured on a flexible substrate by Global Solar Energy Inc. in Tucson. The cell is then integrated by Dow into a proprietary polymeric-based shingle using injection molding. Right now, Dow is making the shingles in limited quantities at its solar market development plant, in Midland, which is being retooled to support commercialization. "Dow has completed six pilot projects in various U.S. markets with new-construction builders and residential re-roofing contractors, said Pezolt. "A number of additional projects will be completed in the coming weeks," he said.

Machine turns plastic bags into Biofuel

A Japanese inventor has created a machine suitable for home use that can turn plastic waste into fuel, a technological feat that could give us something to do with all the grocery sacks piling up under our kitchen sinks. The plastic in bags, bottles, caps and other packaging products is made from oil. Akinori Ito's machine turns it back to its original form via a carbon-negative process. It heats up the plastic, traps the vapors in a system of pipes and water chambers that cool the vapors and condense them back into crude oil, explains the website Clean Technica. The crude biofuel is suitable for use in generators and some types of stoves. It can be further refined into gasoline. The machine is sold by Ito's Blest Corporation and is praised for its efficiency: It can convert a kilogram of plastic waste into a liter of oil using a kilowatt-hour of energy. The current system costs $10,000, but Ito hopes the price will fall as demand and production rise. Ito's machine isn't the first to convert waste plastic into biofuel, but is gaining kudos for its size: It's built for home use. Other solutions are larger, such as the Envion Oil Generator, which is capable of processing 10,000 tons of plastic waste annually. Each ton of waste translates to three to five barrels of crude oil that can be further refined to commercial fuels such as gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel. A demonstration plant opened in Washington in 2009.

Obama's budget to call for slashing oil tax breaks, boosting alternative energy

President Obama is expected to call on Congress Monday to eliminate billions of dollars in oil industry tax breaks, while setting aside money for his top clean-energy policy priorities. Obama will send his fiscal year 2012 budget request to Congress on Monday. The budget comes as Republicans are calling for massive cuts in spending, unveiling a proposal this week to fund the government through the end of this fiscal year that would cut $100 billion in spending when compared to Obama's 2011 budget request. Obama's 2012 budget request will also make major budget cuts. It will freeze domestic spending for he next five years and cut the deficit by $1.1 trillion over the next decade. Obama's budget request will call for eliminating a series of oil industry tax breaks. The Department of Energy estimates that such a repeal will save $3.6 billion in fiscal year 2012 and a total of $46.2 billion during the next decade.

Renault and Nissan partner up on sustainability strategy

Announcing a six year sustainability strategy today, French automaker Renault said it hopes to sell 1.5 million electric vehicles (EVs) by 2016. Drive the Change, which is the tagline for Renault's sustainability strategy, intends to concentrate on EVs and a new generation of low emissions engines. It aims to achieve sales of over 3m vehicles in 2013 and at least €2bn in aggregate free cash flow. Renault's operating margin target is to surpass 5pc of revenues in 2013. Renault revealed that as part of a new alliance with Nissan, it will be introducing three electric models - Fluence Z.E., Kangoo Z.E., and Twiz. The vehicles are part of an overall strategy to reduce emissions. In 2012 the group will also introduce the Zoe supermini. It is hoped that by 2015 the alliance will have achieved a production capacity of 500,000 vehicles and, by 2016, it wants to have 1.5m EVs on the road. Renault also announced that its portfolio of combustion engines will include its new 1.6 engine "Energy dCi 130", which will cut CO2 emissions by 20pc compared with the previous generation. The car manufacturer's new Energy TCe gasoline engines will reduce CO2 emissions among vehicles in the A, B and C segments by an estimated 30pc. These innovations will assist in the reduction of CO2 emissions in Europe, emitting - on average - less than 120g by 2013, and less than 100g by 2016.

Geothermal Energy Outlook

Marin Katusa is an industry leading energy investor, with a specific expertise in global resource exploration and alternative energy production, including emerging ‘green' energies. From oil and gasoline prices, to natural gas export numbers, to coal and uranium demand, Marin is a thought leader on the energy commodities markets. His in-depth market knowledge and close network of industry experts allows him to provide informed perspectives on the economic viability and investment potential of wind, solar, hydro- electricity, geothermal, and nuclear energy as well as oil, natural gas, and coal. He digs deep to spot trends before it makes it on to the radar of traditional market pundits.

Where the Solar PV Industry Needs to Go - Now!

The technical advances of cost effective PV and advanced storage along with the legislative changes must occur if the industry is to grow rapidly enough to become a significant component of the world's future energy portfolio in the next 15 to 20 years (i.e. PV supplying more than 20% of the world's electricity). Advances in any of the three areas will certainly help and will benefit the industry as a whole, but ALL three are necessary if PV is to take its place as the most flexible, cost effective and distributed form of energy and all three are necessary to accelerate the transition to a post fossil fuel economy.

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