Here is your round -up of Greentech news for February…
In India farmers are being encouraged to use solar energy to power pumps to irrigate their crops. In order to conserve water the farmers must agree to use drip irrigation in exchange for subsidies to purchase the solar powered pumps more
Plans were submitted for the creation of a tidal lagoon in Swansea, Wales that could provide power for 120,000 homes.
Tidal power is a very reliable form of renewable energy as the production of electricity is not dependent on weather conditions. More
Australian Prime Minister and climate change denier Tony Abbott launched a ‘full frontal attack’ on the renewable energy industry more
Tesla became the best performing car manufacturer for over 20 years with a share price increase of over 600%. The luxury electric car maker now has a market capitalisation of $31bn. The impressive share price performance has provided founder Elon Musk with funds to build a new batter factory more
Welcome to our first round-up of greentech news for 2014
Ford introduced a concept electric car the C-Max Solar Energi that recharges it’s self using solar power.
A neat idea but although photovoltaic cells have improved efficiency in recent years the car would still need a solar concentrator to focus the suns rays. The five meter high canopy focuses light like a magnifying class to improve efficiency. While parked the semi-autonomous car moves backwards and forward to capture as much sunlight as possible. While the C-Max Solar Energi may never be sold to customers an improved version of the technology may one day come into commercial use.
The EU proposed a 40% reduction in green-house gas output by 2030. A strengthening of the ETS was also proposed more
China announced plans to install 18GW of wind power and 10GW of solar power in 2014. In 2013 China installed 12GW of solar power , more than the total amount of US solar installations. The falling price of PV cells also saw China overtake market leader Germany more
American car rental customers are failing to embrace electric cars because of fears that they will run out of power between charging stations. Hybrids however have been much more popular as they lack the “range anxiety” associated with electric cars more
DuPont Co beat analysts estimates of third quarter earnings thanks to higher sales of materials used to make solar panels. The electronics unit delivered a 67% increase in operating profit driven by the performance of films and metal pastes used in the production of solar panels more
The UK government aims to increase solar more than 700% by 2020. The government hopes that by working with companies the price of solar can be brought down to a similar level to fossil fuels more
Australia’s new prime minister Tony Abbott has vowed to close the profitable Australian Clean Energy Bank. The development bank helps green projects raise debt and equity has a loan portfolio of AUD $536 m earning an average of 7% more
This week’s round up of greentech news is out of this world ;o)
NASA are developing a solar panel satellite that could provide one third of the world’s electricity needs. Thousands of mirrors on the satellite would focus the sunlight onto PV panels which would then convert the sunlight to microwaves which could be beamed back to earth.
Using a satellite rather than earth based solar farms would benefit from stronger sunlight and would not be disrupted by poor weather read more (update – NASA website is currently unavailable due to the shut down of the US government
Back down on earth Siemens won a contract to supply 24 wind turbines for four wind farms in northern France more
In the UK a disused landfill site that was converted into a solar farm has turned out to be the perfect habitat for wild chamomile. Solar farms with their large areas of open space and relatively small amount of disturbance from humans allow wildlife to flourish more
Researchers at the University of Alberta have developed a way to manufacture printable solar panels using phosphorus and zinc. The discovery could lead to further falls in the price of PV panels as these elements are abundant in the earth’s crust more
Here is your round up of greentech news…
UK based installer Solinium used solar slate tiles to enable Buckingham Group Contracting to generating their own local electricity at a new office in Amersham. We really like these tiles which overcome a lot of the aesthetic problems associated with traditional PV panels. Keep an eye on this blog for a more in depth look at solar slate tiles later this year…
California Governor Jerry Brown announced plans to ‘bottle sunlight’. In other words the state is looking at large scale storage solutions to enable power to be provided through peaks in demand more
Clarkson University has teamed up with The Centre for Evaluation of Clean Energy Technology (CECET) and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) in opening a $1.2m wind turbine test facility more
Three years after President Obama pledged to install solar panels on the White House work has commenced on the project. A White House official stated that the installation is “part of an energy retrofit that will improve the overall energy efficiency of the building”. Jimmy Carter first installed solar panels in the 1970s but these were removed by Ronald Regan during the environmentally unenlightened 1980s.
More greentech stories that were making the news while we were on our summer break…
A majority of European states reportedly endorsed the amicable solution reached in the EU-China solar trade dispute details
Indian railways announced plans to use solar power to provide air conditioning and light in passenger coaches more
Australia’s largest concentrated solar power plant launched in Mildura, Victoria
The 1.5 MW demo facility is the first stage in the development of a 100 MW facility being developed by Solar Systems. The CSP array uses curved mirrors to focus sunlight onto ultra efficient photovoltaic cells more
Supporters of fossil fuels often mention predictability of supply in their argument against renewable energy sources. Put simply solar power is only effective when the sun is shining and likewise wind power only generates electricity on a windy day. While this criticism is not valid for all forms of renewable power (hydro and geothermal are some of the most consistently reliable energy sources) it is true that solar and wind power are very susceptible to peaks and troughs in supply. The traditional response has been to vary the feed into the grid from more reliable power sources such as coal, gas or nuclear to balance energy production with demand.
However while it is the case that sometimes there is insufficient power generated othertimes too much power can be generated. Domestic energy requirements tend to be lower during the day, ironically when the sun is shining and solar power production is most effective. When the wind blows strongly massive wind turbines can generate more power than is required by the electricity grid. Recently there have been some interesting developments that promise to improve the reliability of supply from renewable sources by storing excess power so that it can be released later to better match demand.
In Germany domestic solar customers are able to benefit from a hybrid solar invertor and energy management system. At the heart of the systmem are advanced Li-ion batteries that enable electricity to be consumed in the evening when demand is highest.
A typical household is estimated to be able to produce 80% of it’s own power using this system. Similar improvements in battery life are also improving the reliability of electric cars giving greater range to emission free runabouts.
Apple have filed a patent application for a wind turbine that generates heat instead of electricity.
The heat is used to generate steam to turn turbines which produce electricity. The benefit of this design is that heat is easier to store for long periods than electricity.
But perhaps the most original solution has been put forward by the Belgium government who plan to build a doughnut shaped island 5km offshore to store excess energy from wind farms. When additional power is needed valves would be opened allowing the water to flow back into the island turning hydroelectric turbines in the process.
We think that these ideas are hugely exciting and variations that offer even more innovative solutions to store energy will further improve the reliability of renewable power sources in future years
Electric car maker Telsa has replaced Oracle in the Nasdaq 100 index
Tesla shares have tripled this year with sales of the new Model S sedan helping the company achieve profitability more
A heatwave in Europe saw Germany break it’s previous record for solar power production. Output reached 23.9 GW on breaking the previous record set in June more
The city of San Diego is considering a 500 MW hydroelectric power plant to offset decomissioned nuclear capacity more
UK solar energy provider Eco Sustainable Solutions has submitted plans for a second solar energy farm on the outskirsts of Christchurch. The 173 acre farm will generate 36 MW, enough to power 9,000 homes more
BP North America’s plan for a 500 MW ind power project has been approved by the US Government more
Solar powered aircraft the Solar Impulse landed at JFK after succesfully completing it’s journey from California. The plane which is powered by 11,000 solar cells began it’s cross continantal journey back in May more
Our round-up of the week’s most exciting greentech news
Smartphone users in New York will be able to recharge their phones at solar powered charging stations thanks to AT&T and Goal Zero.
The project was launched following hurricane Sandy when many residents had difficulty keeping their phones charged. Each station will have multiple connectors to support a range of devices and a battery to enable charging after dark.
Chinese wind power provider Donghai Wind Power Co announced plans to commence the second phase of its Donghai Bridge wind farm near Shanghai at the end of the year. The $310m facility will produce 100MW using 28 turbines.
The Indonesian government allocated $302m to explore geothermal energy resources. Indonesia is belived to have potential geothermal generating capacity of 29,038 MW.
A 106 year old hydroelectric power station that has been closed since June 2012 is expected to partially reopened by the end of 2013.
The six turbines at Thomson Hydro Station flooded when over 10 inches of rain fell in the region.
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