A consortium of German companies aims to produce sustainable electricity from around the worlds coastlines. Waves are a huge potential energy source and the project hopes to release this reserve of renewable energy… more
German car manufacturer Porsche announced a new $845,000 Hybrid that can reach 100 km per hour in 2.8 seconds with better fuel economy than the Toyota Prius. The limited edition Spyder hybrid follows a hybrid version of the Panamera coupe read more
Meanwhile VW another German car maker outlined plans for 40 electric or hybrid vehicles. 14 of the alternate drive vehicles will be available next year and will increase the offering should there be sufficient demand more
The worlds largest geothermal energy plant has been completed in New Zealand. The 100 MW plant will produce enough energy to power 80,000 homes more
UK wind power produced a record 5.7 GW of power on 15 September. UK offshore capacity has increased significantly in recent months with the completion of the 630 MW London Array.
Here is this week’s round up of greentech news – now with links to the original story
Electric sports car maker Telsa revealed an innovative solution to time it takes to recharge the car’s lithium-ion battery. The battery is swapped for a fully charged one in only 90 seconds read more
Ikea has become the second largest private producer of solar power in the US. By 2020 the company aims to be producing more power than it uses making it a net energy provider read more
A recent report from Navigant Research estimates that the worldwide market for small wind systems will exceed $700m by 2018
Community wind projects where small groups of local people group together to enter a power purchase agreement with a utility are gaining popularity in the US more details
The worlds first commercial wave farm will soon open in Tuscany. London-based wave energy company 40South Energy will install a 150-kilowatt module capable of producing a steady flow of power find out more
Wind power as a source of electricity generation suffers from being a very volatile means of production. When a strong wind is blowing too much electricity is produced. When no wind blows no electricity is produced. This makes it very difficult for utility providers to build their electricity supply networks around wind.
Recently two solutions have been proposed to smooth the supply of electricity. Both proposals work by storing the excess energy and releasing it when required.
Apple have filed a patent for a wind turbine that uses mechanical power to produce heat rather than electricity. Heat energy is easier to store for long periods than electrical energy. The heat is then used to generate steam and turn turbines to produce electricity.
The Belgium government have announced doughnut shaped island with a reservoir in the middle to store wind power. Excess energy would be used to pump the water out of the reservoir. When additional electricity was required the water would be allowed to flow back into the reservoir through turbines.
Both of these solutions could potentially be used to store energy from solar power plants which also suffer from volatile supply patterns. The idea of pumping water as a store of excess energy could be exploited in many similar ways. Pumping water uphill to a reservoir maybe more easily achieved than the doughnut shaped island.
Saudi Arabia is well known for it’s enormous oil reserves and the wealth that they have brought the country. However the kingdom has recently announced a $100bn investment in solar power plants to be built over the next 20 years.
The first of these projects is due to start feed electricity into the national grid by 2015 and by 2020 the Saudi’s expect to be producing over 30% of their energy needs from solar power. A combination of Solar PV plants and solar thermal plants will be used to produce the required 41,000 MW of electricity.
Warren Buffett’s MidAmerican Energy has announced that it will buying two Californian solar power plants for between $2 billion and $2.5 billion.
The projects are currently still under construction and are due to be completed in 2015. When complete they will generate 579 MW of electricity.
MidAmerican launched its renewable power subsidiary last year. Since then it has acquired a substantial portfolio of wind, geothermal, solar and hydro power production.
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Italian Enel Green Power SpA (EGPW) has announced that it will be building a 90MW wind farm in Chile.
The project will consist of 45 wind turbines and is projected to generate 200 gigawatt-hours of electricity a year.
Enel Green Power is expanding it’s Chilean operation and already has existing hydroelectric and geothermal energy projects in the country.
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The first phase of construction of one of the worlds largest offshore wind farms is nearing completion. On 13 December 2012 the last of 175 turbines was installed at the London Array Offshore Wind Farm in the Thames Estuary. A second phase consisting of a further 166 turbines has not yet been approved.
55 turbines are already connected to the national grid with the remaining 120 due to be connected by Spring 2013. On completion of phase one the wind farm will produce 630MW of electricity. Enough to power 470,000 homes for a year.
The London Array Offshore Wind Farm is being built by a consortium of three world-leading renewable energy companies, DONG Energy, E.ON and Masdar.
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