CA Lottery Hits Jackpot with Solar and Ice-based Energy Storage

The Pavilion of CA Lottery Uses Ice Storage and Solar Panels to Achieve Net Zero.

Developing Renewable Energy Projects on Brownfields: Mitigating Environmental Risks & Liabilities

Although the environmental risks and liabilities associated with brownfields generally diminishes their viability as locations for such facilities, these risks and liabilities can often be sufficiently controlled and minimized through governmental and private party tools to make certain projects worth pursuing.

Half of power plant capacity additions in 2013 came from natural gas

But Solar came second - twice as much as coal - and Wind was 4th (comment from AltEnergyMag)

Why Oil Industry Estimates for Energy Reserves Can Be an X-File

Hopefully, we won't have to deal constantly with misinformation like Mulder and Scully had to when jousting with their malevolent arch-nemesis, the Cigarette Smoking Man. However, be prepared to do some digging to get at the facts.

Distributed Generations Future Impact on the U.S. Capacity Markets

As variable, distributed generation increasingly becomes a prevalent source of generation in regions, changes in capacity market dynamics will have a profound impact on generating assets and their future economic viability.

Solar Tracking Technology

The demand for trackers has expanded significantly in recent years as more reliable and cost-effective solutions come to market. According to a recent study by Transparency Market Research, the global installed capacity for solar trackers is estimated to reach almost 9 GW by 2020.

Trees go high-tech: process turns cellulose into energy storage devices

The new approach just discovered at Oregon State can produce nitrogen-doped, nanoporous carbon membranes - the electrodes of a supercapacitor - at low cost, quickly, in an environmentally benign process.

The Benefits of Power Optimizers

Power optimizers are a module-level power electronics (MLPE) solution that can be affixed on-site or embedded during the manufacturing process as a replacement for the junction box.

NextEnergy Drives Investment in Advanced Energy Technologies in Michigan

The global energy future is not about a single technology, it's about a mix of core and enabling technologies that provide a portfolio of options to meet different consumer needs in different settings.

Finding Solutions For Battery Sulfation Issues In Renewable Energy Applications

While the recent news about carbon has been touted as something that can drastically improve the overall performance of the flooded lead acid battery, the facts should be completely understood before buying these types of batteries with any carbon additives, especially if they are sold as a value added feature.

MIT, Harvard scientists study how to produce solar power without sunlight

A team of researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University are working on a technology that wouldn't require sunlight to produce solar power. The team is developing a material that can absorb the sun's heat and store the energy in a chemical form, ready to be released "on-demand," according to a release. The technology could be used for heating buildings, cooking or other uses where heat, rather than electricity, is the desired output. In a release, researchers describe the technology behind the system: "Some molecules, known as photoswitches, can assume either of two different shapes, as if they had a hinge in the middle. Exposing them to sunlight causes them to absorb energy and jump from one configuration to the other, which is then stable for long periods of time.

GTM Research - Chinese solar-panel prices rising 20% in the U.S.

The price of Chinese-made solar panels delivered to the U.S. could increase by up to 20% by the end of the year, GTM Research said Thursday. The increase is due to supply constraints, rising input costs, and the ongoing trade dispute between the two countries, the Boston-based green-energy consultancy said in a report.  Chinese-made modules are significantly cheaper than those made in other areas, and GTM Research estimated they were 55% of total modules shipped to the U.S. last year.  Chinese firms are quoting modules at 80 cents to 85 cents per watt for delivery in the second half of the year, compared to 70 cents per watt at the end of 2013, the report said.  The ongoing U.S.-China trade case is the "primary driver" behind the price increase, the report said.  More duties on Chinese and Taiwanese solar modules would push up U.S. pricing beyond current levels, as the firms would pass on tariff-induced penalties onto customers or contract out cell and module production to vendors based in higher-cost countries such as India, South Korea, and Malaysia, GTM Research said. 

Celebrating The 60th Anniversary Of The First Practical Solar Cell

Sixty years ago on April 25, 1954, Bell Laboratories demonstrated to the world one of the most significant breakthroughs ever recorded in the history of solar energy and of electricity – the first solar cell capable of converting enough sunlight into electricity to generate useful amounts of power. The press watched in awe as light poured on the first watt of silicon to run a 21 inch Ferris wheel. The next day the  New York Times  stated on its front page that the Bell invention marked “the beginning of a new era, eventually leading to the realization of one of mankind’s most cherished dreams – the harnessing of the almost limitless energy of the sun for the uses of civilization.” At the time of the Bell announcement, all the solar cells in the world delivered about one watt. Today, more than 100 billion watts of generating capacity of photovoltaics have been installed worldwide. This year not only marks the 60th anniversary of the solar cell, but also the beginning of reaching the Holy Grail that had previously been only a dream of solar scientists – entering the Era of Grid Parity, when solar panels generate power at costs equal to or less than electricity produced by fossil and nuclear fuels. With the phenomenal growth of solar technology in the last several years and its future looking even brighter, the time is ripe to celebrate the founding of a technology that led  Science  magazine almost forty years ago to declare, “If there is a dream solar technology, it is photovoltaics ­­­solar cells … a space­age electronic marvel at once the most sophisticated solar technology and the simplest, most environmentally benign source of electricity yet conceived."

Shale Gas Boom Leaves Wind Power Developers Seeking More Subsidy

The $14 billion industry, the world’s second-largest buyer of wind turbines, is reeling from a double blow -- cheap natural gas unleashed by the hydraulic fracturing revolution and the death last year of federal subsidies that made wind the most competitive of all renewable energy sources in the U.S.   Without restoration of subsidies, worth $23 per megawatt hour to turbine owners, the industry may not recover, and the U.S. may lose ground in its race to reduce dependence on the fossil fuels driving global warming, say wind-power advocates.   They place the subsidy argument in the context of fairness, pointing out that wind’s chief fossil-fuel rival, the gas industry, is aided by the ability to form master limited partnerships that allow pipeline operators to avoid paying income tax. This helps drive down the cost of natural gas.   “If gas prices weren’t so cheap, then wind might be able to compete on its own,” said South Dakota’s Republican Governor Dennis Daugaard.   Consider that gas averaged $8.90 a million British thermal units in 2008 and plunged to $3.73 last year, making the fuel a cheaper source of electricity for utilities. Congress allowed the wind Production Tax Credit to expire last year, and wind farm construction plunged 92 percent.  

Record-Breaking Demand For Global Solar PV Industry in Q1 2014, According to NPD Solarbuzz

New solar photovoltaic (PV) demand added during the first quarter of 2014 exceeded 9 gigawatts (GW), which was 35 percent more than the previous first-quarter record, set last year. In fact, every quarter in 2014 is forecast to reach new highs, with trailing 12-month demand at the end of Q1 2015 forecast to exceed 50 GW for the first time, according to findings in the latest NPD Solarbuzz Quarterly report.  The record level of demand achieved in the first quarter was driven by strong growth in Japan and the United Kingdom. These two countries combined accounted for more than one-third of global solar PV demand in Q1 2014 and set new quarterly records for PV deployed. 

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