Monday, June 4, 2012

Latest from: CleanTechnica

Latest from: CleanTechnica

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Another Indian State Planning 500-MW Solar Energy Park

Posted: 04 Jun 2012 12:03 PM PDT


Southern Indian state of Karnataka is planning to set up a 500-MW solar power park soon. Recently, a 600-MW solar park was commissioned in the western state of Gujarat. According to media reports, the state government is currently working on the modalities of the integrated power plant and will submit a feasibility report within a few weeks.

The project will be based on the project located in Gujarat. The project in Gujarat has been regarded as very successful. Gujarat even surpassed the central government targets for installed solar power generation capacity. Of about 1,000 MW of solar power capacity installed in India, over 600 MW are installed in Gujarat.

Karnataka has substantial solar energy resources and has announced plans to install 200 MW of solar power capacity over five years. Several project developers are also expected to develop projects under the high-risk–high-gain Renewable Energy Certificate scheme, a market-based mechanism.

The state recently distributed contracts to set up 80 MW of solar power generation capacity to various project developers through reverse competitive bidding.

Several states in India are now looking to set up large solar energy parks. Apart from the success in Gujarat, the obligation to meet renewable purchase standards is another key reason to set up such projects. Maharashtra, which is among the largest consumers of electricity in India, is planning to set up multiple solar power projects with capacities of over 100 MW each.

Image: Amaresh S K (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

The views presented in the above article are the author's personal views only.

Top Wind Power Countries Per Capita (CleanTechnica Exclusive)

Posted: 04 Jun 2012 03:38 AM PDT

What are the top countries in the world for wind power, per capita? Take a look below!

I’ve been meaning to get to this for awhile, but hopefully that means the data have just gotten better since I first intended to put this together.

The Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) does a great job of summarizing wind power growth and cumulative installed wind power capacity in countries around the world year after year. And we wrote a summary piece on GWEC’s most recent annual report when it came out in February. However, GWEC’s report always looks at these numbers on an absolute basis. While that is very relevant to many discussions, I often want to know what the top countries are per capita, per GDP, and per GWh or TWh of electricity production. So, I’ve gone and figured those things out (not difficult, of course, just requires setting a little time aside from the fast-paced, jam-packed news cycle I’m usually on in order to do so).

This first post in this series looks at newly installed wind power per capita and total cumulative installed wind power per capita. (And, yes, this post and the coming two will be added to our Wind Power resource pages linked/featured on the side of our website.)

One limitation of the numbers below is that GWEC doesn’t include wind power figures for all the countries of the world. Nonetheless, it includes all the big ones (when it comes to wind power) and the list is as comprehensive as any I am aware of. One other limitation is that population figures used in the calculations were not from one source nor from one point in time — they were the most recent figures available for each country and were retrieved via Wikipedia. But, even if the population numbers were from the same source and point in time, I think the results and rankings would be more or less the same anyway — the more important figures to have standardized in these calculations are the MW of installed wind power.

Anyway, with those notes aside, here are the top countries in the world for:

  1. Cumulative installed wind power per million people (end of 2011) and
  2. Newly installed wind power per million people (2011)
  3. Followed by GWEC’s charts on the absolute leaders in these categories

Top Countries for Cumulative Installed Wind Power per Million People (End of 2011)

To enlarge, click on the image and then click on it again on the next page.

In case anyone happens to have trouble with images or want more specific figures, the top 20 countries (above) for MW per million people are:

  1. Denmark — 693.14
  2. Spain — 469.28
  3. Portugal — 386.59
  4. Ireland — 355.47
  5. Germany — 355.00
  6. Sweden — 312.79
  7. Canada — 151.22
  8. Greece — 151.01
  9. USA — 149.58
  10. New Zealand — 140.56
  11. Netherlands — 139.10
  12. Austria — 128.24
  13. Italy — 113.29
  14. UK — 105.04
  15. France — 104.06
  16. Belgium — 98.44
  17. Australia — 97.02
  18. Cape Verde — 48.79
  19. China — 46.29
  20. Poland — 41.97

Top Countries for Newly Installed Wind Power per Million People (2011)

To enlarge, click on the image and then click on it again on the next page.

Again, in case you want more detail or can’t view images for some odd reason (it can happen), here are the top 20 for newly installed wind power (in MW) per million people:

  1. Sweden — 80.36
  2. Ireland — 52.09
  3. Cape Verde — 46.76
  4. Canada — 36.39
  5. Denmark — 31.87
  6. Greece — 28.83
  7. Germany — 25.48
  8. UK — 20.77
  9. Belgium — 17.53
  10. Italy — 15.98
  11. China — 13.09
  12. France — 12.70
  13. Honduras — 12.16
  14. Poland — 11.32
  15. Australia — 10.21
  16. Netherlands — 4.06
  17. Dominican Republic — 3.49
  18. Brazil — 3.03
  19. Costa Rica — 3.02
  20. India — 2.49

Top 10 Countries for New and Cumulative Wind Power Capacity (Absolute Numbers)

As you can see by comparing the above charts, the US and China dominate when it comes to absolute MW of wind power (new and total), but they are quite mediocre when installed wind power is compared to population.

Denmark, Spain, Portugal, Ireland, Germany, and Sweden continue to dominate when it comes to total installed wind power per capita, while the top countries in new installation capacity per capita in 2011 were Sweden, Ireland, Cape Verde(!), Canada, Denmark, Greece, and Germany.

Stay tuned for wind power leaders per GDP and per electricity production — there are some bigger surprises coming.

Indian Building Receives Highest LEED Score Ever

Posted: 04 Jun 2012 03:08 AM PDT

A Bayer MaterialScience building in Greater Noida, India, has been awarded the top ranking in the international Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system.

Located outside of New Delhi, the zero-energy building was awarded Platinum in the category New Construction, receiving 64 out of a possible 69 points, the highest score ever awarded (so far).

The building scored top points across the following categories: Water Efficiency, Indoor Environmental Quality, and Innovation and Design.

Opened in early 2011, the Bayer Material Science office building was built according to the principles of the EcoCommercial Building Program, a global network of experts under the leadership of Bayer MaterialScience and dedicated to sustainable building.

One of the many features housed within the building is a photovoltaic system that generates more energy than it consumes, all with zero CO2 emissions. Polyurethane-based materials were used for the insulation, enabling a 70-percent reduction in electricity consumption compared with a conventional building in the tropical region. Besides the thermal insulation, special protection against the sun and energy-saving techniques in the building management system contribute to total primary energy savings as high as 42 percent.

"The Platinum Award is a clear indication that the concept of ecologically sustainable building can be achieved with the right materials, regardless of whether in the developed world or in an emerging market," said Thomas Roemer, Head of the Construction & Building industry platform at Bayer MaterialScience. "We hope that we can motivate builders and developers to engage more strongly in sustainable building."

Source: Bayer

Feed-in Tariff Brings Solar to the Poor & Disadvantaged

Posted: 04 Jun 2012 03:04 AM PDT

A bill to create feed-in tariffs for the poor and the disadvantaged has passed the California Assembly, with a vote of 49 to 27.

The bill — the “Solar for All” bill, AB 1990, is the first significant action on feed-in tariffs in California during this current legislative session. It is also the first time in North America that advocates for the poor and disadvantaged have made a move for equal opportunity to develop renewable energy through the use of feed-in tariffs.

The bill was introduced by Paul Fong (D-Cupertino) and is set to create feed-in tariffs for 375 megawatts of small-scale renewable generation specifically designated for disadvantaged communities.

Sponsored by the California Environmental Justice Alliance (CEJA), the bill has received support from over 70 non-governmental organisations, including Sierra Club California, Union of Concerned Scientists, Natural Resources Defense Council, Asian Pacific Environmental Network (APEN), and Environment California.

Though CEJA dubs the legislation “Solar for All,” the bill itself calls for “clean energy contracts” from all “eligible renewable energy resources” in California. Here are more details:

  • Project size cap: 500 kW
  • Program cap: 375 MW by 2020 at a “regular annual pace”
  • Term: minimum of 20 years
  • Program launch: 2014
  • Tariffs: “sufficient to stimulate the market” in low-income communities, create a diverse range of project sizes and achieve the environmental justice objectives
  • Reporting: annual
  • Administration and Rate Setting: Public Utility Commission (PUC) & local public utilities
  • Cost recovery: ratepayers
  • Cost cap: 0.375% of forecast retails sales in 2020
  • “Eligible” Technologies: Solar Thermal Electric, Photovoltaics, Landfill Gas, Wind, Biomass, Geothermal Electric, Municipal Solid Waste, Energy Storage, Anaerobic Digestion, Small Hydroelectric, Tidal Energy, Wave Energy, Ocean Thermal, Biodiesel, Fuel Cells using Renewable Fuels

Source: Renewable Energy World
Image Source: Michael Coghlan

Yingli Green Energy & US Soccer Federation Shoot & Score for Solar Energy

Posted: 04 Jun 2012 02:59 AM PDT

Yingli Green Energy and the US Soccer Federation recently teamed up to announce the creation of the Yingli Green Energy nationwide PASS Program — Powering Advancement with Solar and Soccer.

The program is to help promote sustainable energy in disadvantaged neighborhoods while also promoting a healthier lifestyle for young people.

To help ‘kick off’ the program, Yingli Green Energy and US Soccer inaugurated a 5-kW solar system at KIPP DC WILL Academy in the Shaw neighborhood area of Washington, D.C. last week. US Men's national soccer team stars Maurice Edu and Oguchi Onyewu also led a soccer skills clinic for the students as part of the launch.

“We believe there are two never-ending resources in every community around the world — the power of the sun, and the power of play," said Helena Kimball, Head of Marketing for Yingli Green Energy Americas.

"We’re proud to help bring the two together at the KIPP DC campus and to launch the PASS program. We’re hopeful this initiative will provide a platform to help effect positive change in the lives of underserved communities across the U.S.,” she said.

KIPP DC is a network of college preparatory public chartered schools within the D.C region. The schools are tuition free, have an open enrollment policy, and serve the most under-resourced areas within Washington D.C. The KIPP network of schools has approximately 2,600 students on three campuses in three schools.

The donated solar energy system from Yingli will become a part of the KIPP curriculum. Rockford, Maryland–based company Standard Solar Inc. will install the new system.

KIPP students will be able to watch the energy coming from the Yingli solar system through a computerized "dashboard" while seeing how much overall electricity is used.

Yingli Green Energy's latest announcement is in a line of other recent announcements tying the world of sports and renewable energy. Yingli was the first renewable energy and Chinese company to sponsor the World Cup (in South Africa) and will be doing so again in the upcoming World Cup in Brazil. It also recently made Rio De Janeiro's Maracana Stadium solar-powered, as a part of a plan to make the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil the most sustainable FIFA World Cup to date.

Hopefully, there will be more to come as sports become a stronger and stronger ally of sustainable development initiatives.

Photo Credit: PR Newswire

India Sets Up Industrial Council to Stimulate R&D & Investments in Solar Energy Sector

Posted: 04 Jun 2012 02:36 AM PDT


The Indian government has announced the formation of the Solar Energy Industry Advisory Council (SEIAC) to help stimulate research and development and investment in the solar energy sector. The council will deliberate and offer advise to the government on matters of technology, manufacturing, and regulatory issues. The council includes some of the leading industrialists as its members.

Anand Mahindra, of Mahindra & Mahindra, has been chosen as the chairman of the council. Mahindra & Mahindra is one of the fast-emerging players in the solar power generation and EPC services sector. In addition to its own power projects, the company has set up a joint venture with Kiran Energy Limited to expand into the solar energy market in India.

The council has been tasked with the responsibility of reviewing the progress being made to achieve the targets set by the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission. The national solar mission aims to install 22,000 MW of solar power generation capacity by 2022. The mission has outlined intermediate milestones.

One of the main issues the council will have to consider is how to stimulate domestic manufacturing of solar modules. A large number of projects in India are importing solar modules, which has been very encouraging for domestic module manufacturers that have realised significant losses.

The council will also have to address the issue of levying duty on imported modules. The domestic manufacturers have appealed to the government to levy import duties on the large number of equipment being imported to the US, China, Taiwan, and other countries. The domestic players want anti-dumping duties levied on these imports, as they are significantly cheaper than the equipment being manufactured in India.

The formation of the council is a welcome step from the Indian government, as it would help in internal course-correction in its endeavors to become a global solar energy leader over the next decade. As the country is still a nascent solar energy market, input from all the stakeholders would help it to become one of the leading and most attractive solar energy markets in the world.

Image via Waynenf

The views presented in the above article are author's personal views only

California Renewable Energy Job Growth Strong Even in Tough Times

Posted: 04 Jun 2012 02:19 AM PDT

OK, so we know that job growth in the clean energy or renewable energy sector has outpaced the rest of the economy. However, a recent report from the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) suggests that the clean energy sector has far outpaced job growth in the California economy, despite two major recessions.

Its report, Seven Growth Sectors Driving California's Clean and Efficient Economy, points to promoting a clean energy policy within the state, showing that doing so makes good economic sense, while it also helps to drive down greenhouse gas emissions.

Almost two-thirds of the clean energy sector job growth within California has come from manufacturing and installations across various sectors. This is due to innovate policies supporting local companies, said Tim O'Connor, Director of EDF's California Climate Initiative in a press release on the new report.

"It's abundantly clear that California's clean and efficient energy sectors are a safe, recession proof bet for continued growth and prosperity throughout the state," he said.

The study looked at seven sectors that are helping to drive California's long term growth in the renewable energy industry:

In the fifteen-year period between January 1995 and 2010, job creation within California's seven clean energy sectors grew by an astonishing 109%, while the general economy, in comparison, grew by only 12% in the same period, the study reported.

"Though nearly every region in the state saw an economic boost in the seven green sectors highlighted in the report, some are fairing extremely well," said Jackie Roberts, EDF's Director of Sustainable Technologies and chief architect of the report.

"For example, Orange County has beaten out all other parts of the state for clean and efficient economic growth over the past 20 years – a real sign that California's climate and energy policies should have bipartisan support," she said.

Orange County, out of all the counties within the state, showed the most job growth within the seven sectors between 1995 and 2010 (178%), followed by the Central Coast region (169%), Sacramento region (167%), and the Bay area (143%).

The report is a showing tale that California remains strong in the clean energy job game, which is good for the state.

Photo Credit: The California Energy Commission

Acciona Bullish on Indian Wind Energy Sector, Commissions 56-MW Project

Posted: 04 Jun 2012 02:10 AM PDT


Spanish wind energy giant Acciona recently announced the commissioning of its largest project in India. The company inaugurated a 56-MW wind project in India’s southern state of Karnataka. With the commissioning of this project, Acconia’s total wind generation capacity in India has reached 85 MW. The company plans to commission many more projects soon.

The project is expected to generated over 1,320,000 MWh of electricity each year and offset about 129,000 tonnes of carbon emissions each year. The electricity generated by the project is enough to power about 35,000 Indian homes.

Acciona has included its three operational wind parks in India under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) envisaged in the Kyoto Protocol against climate change, which guarantees the economic viability of projects through the trading of emission rights derived from renewable generation.

The company has several wind projects under various stages of development and plans to become the largest Spanish company in India’s wind energy sector, which has attracted several international companies in the past few years. India’s wind energy capacity has increased consistently in this time and continues to dominate other renewable energy technologies with a 70% share in the installed renewable energy capacity.

Large institutional investors, private investors, and energy companies have shown tremendous interest in the Indian wind energy sector over the past few months, and even though the government has repealed some of the incentives, Indian wind energy companies have attracted millions of dollars just in recent months. Many new wind energy companies have been launched with ambitious capacity addition targets and the established ones are planning to expand their existing capacities.

Image: Leaflet | Wikimedia Commons

The views presented in the above article are author's personal views only

1 comment:

  1. Excellent blog..this will increase as people begin to understand the benefits offered by solar energy.... solar panels