TAG: Energy

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

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

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

Simplifying Modern Life

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Technology makes life easier and more convenient. With the advancements in software and micro chip design, technology has enabled consumers to reduce their carbon footprint by consolidating many devices into one. For instance, it is no longer necessary to carry a camera, or an mp3 player, or a GPS or a laptop or a gaming console or an eBook. Instead a compact Smartphone can do the work of all the above mentioned devices and proves the proverb that “good things come in small packages”. Due to the personal nature of this mobile technology, we as consumers can modify our behaviour… read more

Wind Tax Credit Extended

Wind tax credits extended

As part of the midnight deal resolving some of the tax issues dubbed the “fiscal cliff,” Congress extended the wind energy production tax credit (PTC) for one year. More importantly, the bill’s tax extenders package granted the $0.022 per kilowatt-hour tax credit to the electricity wind projects generate over the first ten years of their production service to wind farms which are “under construction” by the end of 2013. The same debate will have to happen in a year, but the wind industry could definitely utilize the extra time. This is a critical change from the previous language in the PTC… read more

Auto-Tinting Windows

View W Hotel SF 5

A startup in Silicon Valley has unveiled a smart window which promises green and energy efficient building in the future. Soladigm (formally called “View”) officially introduced its flagship product auto-tinting window system, which will be displayed to the public at the Greenbuild conference in San Francisco. Previously there have been many attempts to make windows that can change color just like a chameleon in order to adjust light and temperature indoors but these glass products are rarely manufactured and used. The product is basically an electro-chromatic glass which is highly durable and provides a reasonable payback on energy reductions and… read more

Social Media Saving Energy

Sharing bills on Facebook

Social media has changed the lifestyle of humans recently. The way people share and communicate has changed a lot since dark blue (I mean Facebook) and light blue (I mean Twitter) invaded our lives. Integration of life with these media outlets has become tighter than yesteryears and as a result a company has rightly taken a smart and productive initiative which makes use of this generation “sharing” technology. Opower, a U.S based company has created a platform where people can track their electricity use and share this information with their friends. This app can be logged in directly with a… read more

Obama Wants Smarter Windows

President Backs Smart Window

In the first quarter following his re-election, President Obama’s administration is working to emphasise its ‘green’ credentials. President Obama has come up with a Better Buildings national energy efficiency initiative, and building windows are front and center in the plan. Windows have been a thorn in the side of energy efficient building designs, and though they have gotten better at insulation, they are still not at a capability which can be accepted. The Department of Energy is leading the way, and the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (APRA-E), which is part of the DOE, has awarded a grant of $3 million to… read more

Waterless Cooking

Waterless cooking

Cooking without water could be the next household tradition. Waterless cookware is more than a concoction of efficient materials; it’s a method that allows food to baste in its own moisture, making additional water unnecessary. This method has actually been around for over a hundred years, but the introduction of stainless steel and other materials has enabled for its continued innovation. Like most innovations, there is an investment to be made in waterless cookware. But just as cast iron skillets and Kitchen Aid mixers can remain in families for decades, being past down as culinary heirlooms, waterless cookware may be used for generations as well. Only the energy saved using them will keep them relevant. How it’s made To… read more

Short Term Thinking?Part 2

The oil and mining industry

In the feverish drive for domestic energy, all energy sources are on the table. With renewable energy, such as wind and solar power, surging, and oil and gas continuing to be not only the primary source of energy, but also the prominent “evil-doer” in the energy industry, other sources have been able to slide under the radar of the public—for better or worse. After the disaster in Fukushima, nuclear energy has been on the ropes, but it is not down for the count. Despite the limitations placed on the nuclear energy industry regarding building new power plants, uranium is still… read more