Solar Energy to Reach Grid Parity in 2014

Solar Power in 2013

Strong demand for solar photovoltaic installations, increased margins, and the achievement of grid parity in certain key markets leads Deutsche Bank analysts to forecast solar energy as sustainable, rather than subsidized, by the end of next year. In order for solar power to really shine in our energy systems, the cost of installing and operating PV systems has to come down to a point where it is sustainable – that is, a point at which it is no longer necessary to be subsidized. Grid parity, which is the point at which the cost for producing electricity from an alternative source… read more

World’s Largest Concentrated Solar Power Plant Online in UAE

Shams 1 concentrated solar plant

A 100 MW concentrated solar power plant went online in the United Arab Emirates on Saturday, deploying 258,000 mirrors, mounted on 768 tracking parabolic trough collectors, to concentrate the heat from the sun into electricity. The plant, named Shams 1, is now the largest concentrated solar power plant in the world. The grid-connected solar plant, located in the Western Region of Abu Dhabi, can generate enough renewable energy to power 20,000 homes, and is another example of the recent tendency in the traditionally oil-rich regions to diversify into alternative and renewable energy sources. “Shams 1 is a strategic investment in… read more

Solar Market in U.S. Grows 76% in 2012

Solar On The Up

A new analysis of the solar market in the United States found that solar power is the fastest growing energy source in the country, with photovoltaic installations growing 76% in 2012 to hit 3,313 MW of new installed capacity last year. The analysis, titled “U.S. Solar Market Insight: Year-in-Review 2012“, from Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and GTM Research, showed that not only is the consumer cost for solar power dropping, but the industry itself is growing by leaps and bounds. From 2011 to 2012, revenues jumped about 34%, from $8.6 billion (USD) to $11.5 billion, which keeps solar as… read more

Net-Zero Energy Store Planned by Walgreens

Walgreens Net-Zero Energy Store

Evanston, Illinois, will be the home of the first retail store in the United States to be able to produce more energy than it uses, putting Walgreens, the company behind it, at the forefront of green retail buildings. Walgreens says that their net-zero energy building will include geothermal technology, solar panels, wind turbines, LED lighting, and super high-efficiency refrigeration units, as well as the use of energy efficient materials in the building itself. The new store will be located at the site of an existing store, in Evanston, which which is being demolished. The retailer aims to achieve some of… read more

U.S. Approves 1100 MW in Clean Energy Projects

BLM renewable energy

Three major renewable energy projects on public lands in the U.S. got the green light from Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar yesterday, and are expected to be able to deliver 1100 MW of clean power to the grid when completed and operating. These approvals are part of the current U.S. “all-of-the-above” energy strategy, which aims to increase domestic production and capacity. “In just over four years, we have advanced 37 wind, solar and geothermal projects on our public lands – or enough to power more than 3.8 million American homes. These projects are bolstering rural economies by generating good jobs… read more

The Many Uses of Geothermal Energy

Geothermal Energy

Geothermal energy has been used as a power source for thousands of years. Using the earth’s internal heat as energy provides an efficient and reliable source. In cold months, air in the ground is warmer than the air outside so it can be pumped into areas that need heated up. In warmer months, indoor air can be forced back into the earth’s interior to cool down spaces. It is a low impact form of energy because it does not cause as much disruption to the environment as other means of non-renewable energy, like those that require excessive drilling. It may be… read more

Smart Choice Wind Panels

vibro_wind

Wind energy has come a long way since the introduction of windmills and towering turbines. While these remain a dominant source of wind energy, there have been innovations in wind energy design that are more environmentally and the economically practical. One of the most interesting is the Vibro-wind Panel, which is currently being developed by a team of professors and undergraduates at Cornell University. Vibro-wind is a form of micro-generation that harnesses motion and utilizes the resulting vibrations of its foam oscillators. Just as leaves flutter when the wind passes through them, the oscillators dance and twirl as breezes swoops around… read more

Autonomous Polar Rover Powered by Wind

wind powered polar rover

The world’s first wind-powered and autonomous robot was launched in one of the world’s harshest climates last month, and is now exploring Antarctica and gathering data on the effects of climate change there. The robot, dubbed “Polar Rover”, was developed at Beijing Aeronautics and Astronautics University, and is powered by a small vertical axis wind turbine from Urban Green Energy. The device is outfitted with atmospheric sensors, a snow sampler, and analyzers for both geology and geography, in order to further research on that continent. The 300 kg rover uses an automated driving system, augmented by satellite navigation, to pilot… read more

Technology Turns The Tide

refurbished-laptops_01

It seems a contradiction, however technology and digital developments are helping us to become more energy conscious. Up to now consumers in the developed world have had an insatiable appetite for all the new mobile technology being launched each year. In fact so clever have marketing departments become, that we race out to buy the latest updates regardless of whether our existing device still functions perfectly well. The ‘must have’ mindset has set in. However, another fact of life is that everything old will be new again. Indeed the refurbishment of products by their original manufacturer has led to an upswing in demand… read more

New Flywheel Tech Could Lower Energy Storage Costs

Screenshot velkess

Producing energy from both conventional and renewable energy sources is relatively straightforward. Storing it and delivering it affordably and evenly across the demand spectrum is another thing entirely, so effective energy storage solutions are one of the keys to wider adoption of clean energy sources. Matching peak demand times with optimal production levels isn’t a simple task, especially for wind and solar power plants, but a new type of flywheel may hold the answer for high performance energy storage, and do it at a lower cost than current technologies can. The team at Velkess believes they have the answer to… read more