What Does $2M Buy? How About 1800 GW Of Wind Power

A new $2 million funding program from the Department of Energy is expected to add – yes, add – yet another 1,800 gigawatts of wind power to the already formidable wind resources of the US. That’s something to keep in mind as the Keystone XL tar sands oil pipeline review process heats up.   The idea behind the new taller wind turbine program is to give the US wind industry an assist in developing taller wind turbines, with hub heights ranging from 120 meters up to 140 meters.   That’s a big step up from existing technology, which currently goes to the 80-100 meter range, with the average at about 90 meters.  As for why a taller wind tower, upper level winds tend to be stronger and steadier.   With taller wind turbines, the new program is also expected to open up an additional 237,000 square miles of wind-friendly areas for wind power potential, which is about the size of Texas (the image above compares the area change in square kilometers between the hub height of 96 and that of 140). The areas of the US most likely to benefit from the improved wind technology are mainly located in the Southeast, where alternative energy is starting to find a friendly reception despite pushback by certain legislators from those states.  

Grid Parity: A Foggy Signal for Solar Maturity

What we can expect to see is a gradual transition of solar from an alternative energy to a truly cost competitive source of energy that helps counteract rising electricity rates and fuel costs.

Residential And Commercial Refuse-Derived Fuel Waste To Energy

This report serves as an overview of gasification technologies processing municipal solid waste (MSW) that includes non-recycled plastic.

States Keeping U.S. at Fuel Cell Forefront

The report identifies the "Top 5 Fuel Cell States" - California, Connecticut, New York, Ohio, and South Carolina.

Renewable attractiveness indices and institutional investors

Renewables are on a clear path to commercial viability without subsidies. That is why renewables are projected to be the fastest-growing energy source over the next twenty years.

Solar Energy Index Outperforms S&P in Q4 2013

Lincoln International's Renewable Energy Group is pleased to present the latest Q4 2013 Solar Energy Stock Index Report, which tracks relevant solar company metrics in this growing industry.

Cogeneration Goes Global

As CHP systems can tap into a wide array of fuels to operate including coal, biomass and natural gas, there are few restrictions on where they can be installed.

More to Biofuel Production than Yield

With supportive policies, we envision the ability to design agricultural landscapes to maximize multiple benefits.

Monthly generator capacity factor data now available by fuel and technology

EIA's new tables include capacity factors for individual renewable generating technologies

NY Working Hard to Catch Up with CA's Energy Storage Requirements

Next up at the plate as a hot, receptive market for energy storage in North America is New York.

New Climate Norms

To be on the safe side, the development of alternative energy sources could keep the actuality of long term global warming from happening.

Go Green to Save Green

"Going green" is no longer just a way to sound trendy, but a very real and highly accessible industry that is helping people save money and better the environment at the same time.

SEIA Announces New Workforce Training Commitment for Solar Industry

The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) today announced a new industry commitment to quality solar workforce training, working with the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC).   Development of this commitment demonstrates the groups’ efforts to build the foundation of a skilled, knowledgeable workforce trained to safely and effectively perform the tasks solar energy jobs require.   The commitment comes on the heels of a new report showing nearly 143,000 Americans are at work throughout the solar value chain at more than 6,100 businesses in the U.S. There has been a 20 percent increase in the workforce since 2012 – or 10 new solar jobs every hour of every workday.   “We are proud to join with IREC during this exciting time for the solar industry. We have just come off a record-shattering year, we are looking forward to continued growth in 2014 and solar jobs are growing at 20 percent – 10 times faster than the national average. With all this activity, it is a perfect time to formalize an industry commitment to workforce training. SEIA encourages all its members to sign this important pledge,” said Rhone Resch, SEIA’s president and CEO.   "The explosive growth in solar jobs makes quality training more relevant than ever," said Jane Weissman, president and CEO of IREC. "SEIA is driving forward the solar industry's commitment to quality workforce training with this demonstration of individual and collective support. With consumer interest in solar so high, there is no better time to instill confidence that the industry is committed to a highly trained workforce to ensure the safety and effectiveness of their investment.“   The market for solar energy in America is booming as the cost of solar technology plummets. Energy efficiency in new construction and retrofits in existing buildings are impacting energy demand while sustainability is becoming part of the fabric of the operations of corporations, municipalities and college campuses. These factors create a fundamental shift in the production and use of solar energy – and the need for a new generation of well-trained workers to build a solar infrastructure.  

Sun Sets On Solar Power In Germany; Industry Slashes 50% Of Jobs In Two Years

Germany’s solar power industry shed a staggering 5,000 jobs over the past two years, reducing the size of the industry by more than half, according to new data released on Tuesday by the Federal Office for Statistics.   A prolonged supply glut induced by cheap Chinese solar imports has resulted in a scourge of bankruptcies at several of Germany’s erstwhile elite solar manufacturers, including Q-Cells, Conergy and Solon.   In 2012, the solar industry employed more than 10,000 workers in Germany. More than half of those jobs have vanished over the past 24 months, according to figures from the Federal Office for Statistics.   The solar jobs data was shared with reporters from Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, which stated that less than 5,000 Germans are currently employed by the solar power industry – the lowest employed level in nearly half a decade.   Similar data was not available for other sectors of the renewable energy industry, but some signs of distress have surfaced in sectors outside of solar.   In 2013, Germany’s offshore wind power manufacturers cut more than 2,000 jobs, according to the Industrial Union of Metalworkers, the Germany’s largest metalworkers’ union.

China says U.S. should stop new dumping probe on solar products

China's commerce ministry called on the United States on Sunday to stop anti-dumping investigations into imports of solar power products from China, expressing "serious concern" and vowing to defend its producers.   U.S. trade officials on Thursday opened investigations into imports of certain solar power products from China and Taiwan, a move that could have a major impact on the nation's fast-growing solar market.   The U.S. Department of Commerce said it initiated antidumping duty and countervailing duty investigations, which will assess whether the products are being sold in the United States below their fair value, or if their manufacturers receive inappropriate levels of foreign government subsidies.   "The Chinese side expresses serious concern," the commerce ministry said in a statement on its website. "China urges the United States again to carefully handle the current ... investigations, be prudent in taking measures and terminate the investigation proceedings."   China will assess the impact on its solar industry and "resolutely defend" itself through various mechanisms, the ministry said.

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