This is a war we want to encourage. China overtook the United States in renewable energy investments for the first time ever in 2009, attracting nearly twice as many dollars and becoming the world's largest market for clean energy projects. Renewable energy investments in China - mostly wind farms - totaled $34.6 billion in 2009, according to report released Thursday by the Pew Charitable Trusts and Bloomberg New Energy Finance. In the United States, $18.6 billion was spent. The report noted that over 700,000 clean energy jobs have been created in the Untied States since 1998, and with so much money being invested in the alternative energy market, this was likely just the beginning.
What's billed as the biggest roll-out of electric vehicle infrastructure in the world is about to begin in the United States. Urban planners are deciding where to locate more than 11,000 charging stations in 11 major cities. They want those stations up and running when the first mass-market electric cars from Nissan and General Motors go on sale at the end of this year. Last year, the Department of Energy awarded $100 million to eTec, an electric transportation research and development firm, to build electric vehicle charging networks in five states. eTec is installing more than 2,000 electric car chargers in the greater Seattle area in western Washington, and another 2,000 at homes and public places in four Oregon cities. They'll be near shopping centers, fast food restaurants and movie theaters, "the variety of places that people think about when they're able to park and leave the vehicle for an hour or two."
The oil giant Chevron has transformed an old refinery site in California into a test bed for seven advanced photovoltaic solar technologies, which the company is evaluating for use at its facilities worldwide. Chevron is unveiling 7,700 solar panels installed on 18 acres in Bakersfield, the capital of California's oil patch. Called Project Brightfield, the plant will generate 740 kilowatts of electricity to power nearby oil operations. Any excess electricity will be fed to the power grid. Chevron will test the technologies for three years and decide which might merit use at the company's facilities, or by Chevron Energy Solutions, which builds solar power plants and installs solar arrays for commercial customers.
The State Grid Corporation of China (SGCC) has announced plans to accelerate the building of electric vehicle charging stations in 27 cities in 2010. Plans are for 75 public charging stations, 6,209 AC charging spots and some battery replacement stations, with the aim of supporting the country's "Energy efficient and new energy vehicle pilot program." Since 2006, the SGCC has acquired 101 electric vehicles and constructed 30 pilot charging stations, and has cooperated with the Beijing municipal government in the design of seven electric bus lines and manufacture of 58 electric buses.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) unveiled the first U.S. National Broadband Plan on Tuesday morning. And — what we're particularly interested in — there's an entire chapter on Energy and the Environment (Chapter 12, Page 245) . The National Broadband Plan looks at how broadband can be used to build out a smarter power grid, make information technology more efficient and make transportation cleaner. Some recommendations include: States should reduce impediments and financial disincentives to using commercial service providers for Smart Grid communications. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC ) should start a proceeding to explore the reliability and resiliency of commercial broadband communications networks. The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and the FCC should continue their joint efforts to identify new uses for federal spectrum and should consider the requirements of the Smart Grid. Congress should consider amending the Communications Act to enable utilities to use the proposed public safety 700 MHz wireless broadband network.
News Stories from the Small and Community Wind Conference
News stories from RETECH 2010 in Washington DC
An Economic Case Study in Energy Financing
Cooling applications represent 25% of all electricity use in the United States, consuming over 7 quadrillion BTUs of energy and generating nearly 600 million metric tons of CO2 emissions annually. The Palo Alto Research Center (PARC), is developing a new form of refrigeration that could be three times as efficient as existing forms. It's based on thermoacoustics, a technology that works for cooling at extremely low temperatures (such as for liquefying gases), but hasn't been used for cooling at room temperature (what you need for household refrigeration). PARC has developed a proprietary thermoacoustic refrigeration technology that can achieve double the efficiency of the best current residential and commercial air conditioning and refrigeration systems. Wide adoption of PARC's technology could lead to dramatic energy savings and greatly reduced CO2 emissions. PARC's approach could: Double the efficiency of air conditioning Save 4 quadrillion BTUs (13% of total U.S. electricity use) per year Reduce CO2 emissions by 311 million metric tons annually
The ESD, the acronym for the Engineering Society of Detroit, is now 115 years old and it remains an august institution in the City of Detroit. Once housed in a magnificent marble building next to the Detroit Institute of the Arts it is an encompassing institution that holds many fine conferences on Engineering developments and Issues. Their recent conference held on March 3rd on Alternative Energy was something of a rousing affair, which we do indeed need since Michigan has been hardest hit in this recent Economic turn-down.
A distributed model revolutionized the way industrial-scale computing was delivered. Is it possible that something similar could be achieved for energy production?
Energy, Food, & Transportation for the Components of our Genes, Forevermore!
Maud Olofsson, Sweden's Enterprise and Energy Minister, announced recently the addition of 2,000 wind turbines to the country's alternative energy regimen. The move, which would be rolled out over the next ten years would add 10 terawatt hours of clean energy per year to their grid. But is that enough for the Scandinavian country? Apparently not because they've also set a goal for themselves to have 50 percent (yes, half!) of their electricity come from renewable sources by 2020!
Aaron Fowles is the Specialist of Corporate Communications for SANYO North America Corporation's Regional Offices, based in San Diego. In this position, Mr. Fowles oversees all public relations activities, including media relations, strategic planning and implementation for all North American regional companies.
Renewable Energy companies need Public Relations (PR) for several reasons. The following are the top 10 things I believe every RE company should be aware of in 2010. Remember, the solar industry is still a nascent industry just at the beginning of its steep growth curve. But general awareness of solar and other renewables and their benefits is very low among the general public. The industry needs to educate and communicate with the American public so they better understand renewables and the bright future they can bring to our world.
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