Alternative Clean Energy Roundup: 26 August 2014

Source:  Alternative Clean Energy Roundup: 26 August 2014    Tag:  fluoroscopy suite

Big turbine maker feels the breeze of growing U.S. markets
August 24, 2014 - Vestas Wind Systems A/S, the world’s largest wind turbine maker, said the U.S. market continues to show high activity, but the industry is starting to focus on whether the production tax credit (PTC) will be renewed before the end of the year.

The Danish manufacturer announced turbine orders of 800 megawatts in the United States in the second quarter, which accounted for most of the 18 percent increase in total orders for the company versus last year. Vestas hired more than 2,000 people during the quarter, most of them at factories in Colorado, where it is ramping up production. read more>>>

Our View: A shot in the arm for renewable power
August 24, 2014 - A bit of good news for New Mexico’s economy — it appears the much-discussed and anticipated SunZia transmission line to generate wind and solar energy for Western states is going to be built.

The line, stretching across Southern New Mexico, almost didn’t happen. The U.S. Department of Defense was concerned it would interfere with military missions from nearby White Sands Missile Range. That opposition nearly stalled the project, especially as such figures as Gov. Susana Martinez and U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce, both Republicans, opposed any project that might impact defense.

However, Democratic U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich worked diligently to forge a compromise that would safeguard the military mission but also open New Mexico to the possibility of being the site of a new energy line. read more>>>

Huge solar farm proposed south of Silicon Valley wins power contract, but loses major investor
24 August 2014 - A proposal to build one of the world's largest solar farms in a rural area south of Silicon Valley has cleared one of its final hurdles after five years of planning and environmental debate.

But whether the 247-megawatt facility proposed for Panoche Valley, a vast expanse of rangeland 50 miles south of Hollister, is ever built will depend on it securing final environmental permits and new investors to bankroll construction.

Earlier this month, Southern California Edison announced it has signed a 20-year contract to purchase electricity from the proposed San Benito County solar farm. Such "power purchase agreements" are critical for large solar projects to move forward because they guarantee customers for their power and a steady revenue stream for their investors. read more>>>

South Africa: Green Economy Offers a Double Dividend
18 August 2014 - Science and Technology Minister Naledi Pandor says government will make the best of opportunities in the green economy to create jobs and cut carbon emissions.

"In our view, the green economy offers a double dividend - more low-carbon jobs and less carbon emissions," she said on Monday.

The minister was speaking during the 5th International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) conference on green chemistry in Durban.

Green chemistry, also called sustainable chemistry, is a philosophy of chemical research and engineering that encourages the design of products and processes that minimise the use and generation of hazardous substances. read more>>>

Green energy project to power 20,000 homes and Macallan whisky distillery
18 August 2014 - A £74m green energy project in Speyside will power more than 20,000 homes and provide heat for one of the world's best known whisky distilleries.

The Macallan distillery will use heat generated by the plant in the form of steam to cut carbon emissions.

Carbon savings from the plant at Craigellachie will be equivalent to taking 18,000 cars off the road.

The project by John Laing and UK Green Investment Bank (GIB) will also create 123 jobs during construction. read more>>>

US Microgrid Capacity Will Exceed 1.8GW By 2018
August 18, 2014 - Military bases and remote communities have traditionally built and maintained the lion’s share of microgrids in the United States, but cities, communities and public institutions will foster the next wave of microgrid adoptions. According to GTM Research’s report, Microgrids 2014: The Evolution of Localized Energy Optimization, current microgrid capacity stands at 1,051 megawatts and is forecasted to reach approximately 1,843 megawatts by the end of 2017, driven in part by a number of recently announced state-level resiliency programs.

“While still firmly rooted in the public sector, current deployments can serve as anchor points for gradual microgrid commercialization within 10 to 15 years,” said GTM Research analyst and report author Magdalena Klemun. read more>>>

Micro-grids can deliver power to all
August 18, 2014 - In a country like India, where resources are vast and unequally distributed, “development for all” is a powerful vote-catcher. It’s the one promise that has fired up many elections and changed the fate of many people and their parties. But even after 15 general elections, this electoral promise remains unfulfilled.

‘Development for all’ is unattainable unless electricity is provided to all. Even today, 80,000 villages, which together are home to 40 crore of India’s nearly 125 crore population, still do not have the power to light even a bulb. Out of this, 19,000 villages are within Bihar alone, where economic growth, human development and entrepreneurship have been held back because of the lack of electricity. Yet, our policymakers continue to carry forward an energy paradigm that is well beyond its sell-by date. read more>>>

Hunterdon Orthopaedic opens 'green' building on hospital campus
August 18, 2014 - The Hunterdon Orthopaedic Institute recently unveiled its 33,000-square-foot flagship facility on the Hunterdon Medical Center campus. After years of planning and 15 months of construction, the new medical office facility is now fully operational.

This state-of-the-art musculoskeletal facility features two instant digital X-ray units; an open-air MRI scanner; more than 40 spacious, wired exam rooms; a fluoroscopy suite for in-office, same-day spine and hip injections; and solar and geothermal power.

The green design features 43 geothermal heat pumps with 56 wells, 360 solar panels, a decoupled ventilation system, abundant LED lighting, daylight harvesting and energy-saving technology. LED lighting uses 50 percent less power than fluorescent lighting. The building features plenty of windows and skylights and lights that dim automatically as ambient light increases. “Watt stoppers” turn lights on and off automatically as staff enter and leave rooms. read more>>>

NSI: Understanding 'green building'
August 18, 2014 - This week’s article focuses on “green” building and what this means for builders, owners, tenants and the environment.

Green building is based on the simple goal of reducing the environmental impact of the built environment, but it can be hard to understand what this really means and why you should get on board.

Building green, or sustainable design, is the practice of increasing the efficiency of the way buildings and their sites use energy, water and materials. read more>>>

U.S. wind capacity to double by 2020
August 19, 2014 - The U.S. continues to lead the world in wind energy, ranking second in installed capacity, according to two reports released recently by the Department of Energy. The wind market in the United States remains strong due to increasing wind energy generation of decreasing wind technology prices, driving the U.S. closer to doubling wind power generation once again by 2020, the reports predict.

Total U.S. installed wind power capacity is currently 61 GW, and provides almost 4.5 percent of the nation's electricity, according to one of the reports by DOE's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. The report also notes that wind energy prices are at an all-time low, with more utilities selecting wind as a cost-saving option. read more>>>

CA solar research provides insights for designing residential energy programs
August 19, 2014 - The energy efficiency actions of California homeowners who installed rooftop solar electric systems are the focus of a new report from the Center for Sustainable Energy (CSE) to provide insights into the connection between solar adoption and energy upgrades -- insights that could help in the design of future residential energy programs. Understanding the relationship between solar adoption and energy efficiency measures is critical given the state government's efforts to expand the residential energy efficiency market and its aggressive plans calling for reducing energy consumption in existing residential buildings 40 percent by 2020, CSE states.

CSE surveyed 2,350 homeowners with solar installed in the San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) service territory to understand their motivation behind investing in a solar photovoltaic (PV) system and to assess their perspectives on energy efficiency. read more>>>

Recycled car batteries driving 19 percent more efficient solar cells
August 19, 2014 - A Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) initiative may have discovered a system which recycles materials from old car batteries and turns it into long-lasting solar panels that provide emissions-free power.

Researchers based the system on a recent development in solar cells that uses a technology called perovskite, which, in less than two years, has progressed from initial experiments to the point where its efficiency is nearly competitive with that of other types of solar cells. Photovoltaic cells based on the compound have already achieved power-conversion efficiency of more than 19 percent -- close to that of many commercial silicon-based solar cells. read more>>>