Utilities are turning to energy storage systems (ESS) to help power grids withstand the effects of high peak demands, instability and the unpredictability of energy that can be gone with the wind.
Monumental Market Conditions Revealed as First Mexican Clean Energy Capacity Auction Prequalification Bid Window Closes
The first auction price bids are due in March, and prequalification for the second renewable auction in Mexico is expected to take place in as early as May or June.
So far IWS technology has been installed in multi-unit residential developments, wastewater treatment facilities, a public theatre and a university campus.
Barbara Haislip for the Wall Street Journal: Few industries are more daunting for entrepreneurs these days than clean energy. Developing the technology and hardware is expensive, and setbacks are common. Even if all goes well, getting a product to market can take a decade or more. Most venture-fund investors, meanwhile, want a quicker payout. Danielle Fong, co-founder and chief scientist of LightSail Energy, is trying to keep investors happy while working toward some ambitious clean-energy goals. Her company’s aim, she says, “is to produce the world’s cleanest and most economical energy-storage system” through a technology that uses compressed air to store energy from the grid. LightSail’s technology will do this more efficiently than other solutions, Ms. Fong says, by capturing some of the excess heat that comes when compressing air. “Until now, this was wasted, reducing efficiency,” she says. Founded in 2009, Berkeley, Calif.-based LightSail has raised $70 million from several investors, including Bill Gates, Peter Thiel,Khosla Ventures and the French energy giant Total. Cont'd...
By Tereza Pultarova for E&T: German researchers have developed a new carbon-based active material that can be manufactured from apple leftovers and used to build better energy storage systems. The apple-based material can be used as the negative electrode in sodium-ion batteries, which are currently being researched as a more environmentally friendly and cheaper alternative to lithium-ion batteries. Instead of energy-intensive lithium mining, which frequently damages the environment, battery manufacturers in future could be using organic waste to make batteries. In tests, the new material discovered by researchers from the Helmholtz Institute Ulm of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, has demonstrated ‘excellent electrochemical properties’, allowing the researchers to carry out 1000 charge and discharge cycles during which the apple-based battery demonstrated high stability as well as capacity. Cont'd...
Cassie Werber for Quartz: There’s a huge project taking shape in the deserts of Oman. It will extract crude oil from the ground by pumping vast quantities of steam into it. To produce the steam, water will be brought to a boil using as much as a gigawatt of energy. The source of that energy: the sun. Using solar power to get fossil fuels out of the ground will strike some as ironic—especially since, if that method weren’t available, the high cost of extracting the oil might lead to more pressure to use cleaner energy sources, such as solar, instead. But GlassPoint, the American company behind the new technology, says that the project and others like it will help fossil-fuel drillers limit carbon emissions. The process of “enhanced oil recovery,” where steam is used to loosen thick oil and make it easier to pump, usually involves burning natural gas to heat water. GlassPoint says its technology can cut that gas consumption, and the consequent carbon emissions, by up to 80%. Cont'd...
Heat transfer fluids (HTFs) are used in a variety of processes to connect a source of heat with a system requiring thermal energy and are commonly used in CSP plants.
For those seeking employment in the Energy & Sustainability Industry, I would recommend the LEED certification as well as the Certified Energy Manager certification (CEM). Both of these on a resume make a candidate within the industry considerably more attractive.
There is no denying to the fact that initiatives are good, but they have been happening in smaller fragments and over large intervals of time. Therefore, it calls for more investment into research and development into the fuel cell sector.
Oliver Milman for The Guardian: A bipartisan group of governors from 17 states has pledged to accelerate their efforts to create a green economy in the US by boosting renewables, building better electricity grids and cutting emissions from transport. An accord signed by the governors states that the US must “embrace a bold vision of the nation’s energy future” by reducing emissions, transitioning to clean energy sources and ensuring that infrastructure isn’t risked by extreme weather events such as floods and wildfires. The agreement sets out commitments to expand renewable energy and energy efficiency and integrate solar and wind generation into electricity grids. These grids will be “modernized”, the accord states, to improve energy reliability. Cont'd...
A significant issue for wind may well be maintaining its price competitiveness vis-a-vis solar as the PTC amount goes down over the next five years while the ITC used by solar will remain at 30% through 2020
By David Shaffer for Star Tribune: The least-expensive battery to store energy from the electric power grid may be sitting in homeowners’ basements — the electric water heater. That is the surprising finding of research released Wednesday by the cooperative power industry, including Maple Grove-based Great River Energy, and an environmental group. Customers at many utilities already save money by heating water at night, taking advantage of low, off-peak electric rates. It requires a special electric water heater that holds a day’s worth of household water, but offers long-term savings. Now, a study by the Brattle Group, an economic consulting firm, says that the nation’s 50 million residential electric water heaters can address bigger challenges on the power grid, such as storing intermittent renewable energy from wind farms and solar arrays. Cont'd...
Tim Dickinson for Rolling Stone: The full political might of Florida's IOUs was on display in December, when a deceptive campaign, funded by the state's electric utilities, crushed a citizen-led effort to open Florida to solar competition through the 2016 ballot. "When your opponents have no ethical foundation, have unlimited resources and are willing to say and do anything to defeat you," says Stephen Smith, director of the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, which led the pro-solar effort, "it's a tough hurdle to overcome." It should come as no surprise that the utilities have fought so hard. The rise of cheap, distributed solar power poses a disruptive – and perhaps existential – threat to the traditional electric utility business. Monopoly electric utilities used to make sense. Dirty power, generated at a distance from population centers, was carried over a set of transmission lines to homes and businesses. Consumers got reliable power from a single provider. IOUs were guaranteed a profit – both for building power plants and transmission lines as well as for the electricity itself. Full Article:
The popularity of electric cars in the UK has shot up over the last few years, with around 50,000 plug-in vehicles on the road, compared with just 3,500 in 2013. This huge increase in electric cars in 2015 has augmented because of a shift in the public's approach towards electric cars and a persistently refining public recharging network.
Distribution companies are reluctant to expand grid into rural areas and revenues for tariffs cannot provide sufficient returns to recover the investment. Providing energy access to such villages through stand-alone off-grid solar systems or mini or micro-grids can provide them access to modern energy sources.
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Eliminate Solar Rack Ballast and Reduce Rooftop Material Handling. PowerGrip™ Universal (PGU) is a commercial roof mount system designed to secure solar racks and other equipment to any type of commercial roofing system. PGU provides a secure connection directly to the roof deck or structural members and is designed to reduce or eliminate ballast in solar racking systems, so there's less weight on the roof and less material handling. Made of heavy-duty cast aluminum, PGU units include a base ring which is secured through the roofing cover and into the structural roof deck, and a waterproof top plate.