- BrightSource Energy Has Raised More than $80 Million of Extra Equity Financing
- Fisker Electric Vehicles Being Launched in Middle East with Help from Al-Futtaim’s Trading Enterprises
- UK Makes Biggest Cuts to Greenhouse Emissions amongst EU Countries in 2011
- One Millionth PV Module Installed at Californian Solar Project
- NRG Bluewater Earns 1st “Smart from the Start” Outer Continental Shelf Offshore Wind Lease
- Yingli Green Energy to Power Largest Solar Plant in Singapore
- Grid Energy Storage Annual Market Value to Exceed $30 Billion by 2022, Report Finds
- Bacteria-Made Wires Create Electrical Currents in the Seabed, Possible Applications in Electronics
- Smart Highway that Charges Your Car (+ Much More)
- Americans Used Less Energy in 2011, & More Renewable Energy
- Superior Kid-Carrying Machine Hits Japan, and It’s an E-Bike!
- World’s First “Living Building” Uses Algae to Provide Energy and Shade
Posted: 25 Oct 2012 01:45 PM PDT
"BrightSource's unique technology combines the scale, robustness and stability of conventional power plants with the attractive low-carbon profile of using a solar feedstock,” noted Stephan Dolezalek, Managing Director at VantagePoint. ”In addition, the Company’s model of working closely with global partners including Alstom, Bechtel, NRG, Google and Chevron is how we see the technology of energy evolving."
The main investors during this latest round of capital-raising were: Alstom, VantagePoint Capital Partners, DFJ, CalSTRS, DBL Investors, Goldman Sachs, Chevron Technology Ventures, and BP Ventures.
BrightSource notes: “According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), solar energy, including both Concentrated Solar Thermal Power and Photovoltaics could account for 25% of global electricity by 2050 and cover a third of global energy demand after 2060. Concentrating solar thermal power alone could supply 11.3% of the world's electricity by 2050.”
Currently, BrightSource Energy is operating a 6MW thermal demonstration facility in the Negev Desert in Israel, and also a 29MW thermal facility for in Coalinga, California.
It is also in the process of constructing the 377MW Ivanpah solar project, as part of its partnership with Google and NRG Energy. That project is currently more than 60% complete. When completed, it will be capable of providing renewable, reliable electricity to more than 140,000 California homes. The company is also in the process of receiving permits for a 500MW project in Rio Mesa, and a 500MW project in Hidden Hills.
Source: BrightSource Energy
Posted: 25 Oct 2012 01:35 PM PDT
Billed as “the world's first high performance electric luxury vehicle,” Al-Futtaim’s Trading Enterprises business group will be an exclusive partner of Fisker in the GCC and MENA regions.
It will be the exclusive distributer of Fisker automobiles throughout the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman, Bahrain, Egypt and the Levant. The first Fisker showroom in the region will be opening in Dubai Festival City's automotive park by the end of this year.
"Fisker offers an environmental alternative to traditional luxury vehicles and we are well placed and proud to partner with Fisker and support their vision of delivering uncompromised, responsible luxury to this part of the world,” Colin Cordery, Managing Director, Trading Enterprises said.
“Al-Futtaim has built strength and credibility in delivering great customer experience and this latest partnership with Fisker automobiles further reiterates our position as the region's number one dealer of the finest automotive brands."
Henrik Fisker, Co-Founder and Executive Chairman at Fisker Automotive, said: "Today is a proud moment for the Fisker brand as it is the start of our journey in the Middle East. We could not have found a better business house than Al-Futtaim Group to partner us. Al-Futtaim is one of the strongest players in the automotive segment with proven capabilities in customer engagement, high standards of after-sales service, network of showrooms and parts distribution centers. We are honored to have a partner with such strong legacy."
Posted: 25 Oct 2012 01:11 PM PDT
A couple of other honorable mentions go to France and Germany, which also made significant cuts to their emissions.
According to the report released by the European Environment Agency, only two European countries are in danger of missing their targets. Spain and Italy are the two that are lagging behind, and that can most likely can be accredited to their failing economies.
At the Copenhagen climate summit in 2009, the EU pledged to cut its emissions by 20%, a goal that is supposed to be achieved by 2020. For the most part, the EU looks set to easily nail that.
Unless Italy and Spain pick up the pace, however, they may fall into a “burden-sharing” agreement, which made every member mutually responsible for emissions reductions.
If they fail to meet the targeted reductions, then they could be forced to buy carbon credits under the United Nations’ emissions trading system. With both countries facing financial hardships, this could cost the distressed countries tens of millions of euros.
It looks like the EU doesn’t have much to worry about with regards to its agreed upon 2020 emissions targets.
Posted: 25 Oct 2012 12:56 PM PDT
“The installation of the one millionth module is a major accomplishment for everyone involved with the project,” said Paul Caudill, president of MidAmerican Solar. “Construction on Topaz Solar Farms began less than one year ago. Since then, we have worked as a team to ensure that as our top priority, we meet our commitments to the residents of San Luis Obispo County. We remain committed to safely constructing an environmentally friendly facility that will deliver reliable renewable energy to our customer, Pacific Gas and Electric Company.”
Upon completion, the Topaz Solar Farms project will provide local energy company PG&E with enough renewable energy to power approximately 160,000 Californian homes, displace approximately 377,000 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide per year, and help the state of California towards meetings its goal of generating 33 percent of its power from renewable sources by 2020.
“We congratulate MidAmerican Solar and First Solar for reaching this milestone at Topaz Solar Farms,” said Fong Wan, senior vice president, energy procurement, PG&E. “PG&E provides to its customers some of the cleanest electricity in the nation, more than half of which comes from sources that are renewable or carbon free. Photovoltaic solar will be an important part of our energy mix as we work toward California’s 33 percent renewable portfolio standard. The work of our energy partners at Topaz Solar Farms also is helping us progress toward a clean energy future for all Californians.”
Posted: 25 Oct 2012 07:36 AM PDT
The federal OCS lease grants the corporation exclusive right to submit one or more plans to BOEM to conduct activities in support of offshore wind energy development spanning 96,430 acres some 11 nautical miles off the coast of Delaware, the Interior Dept. explains in a press release.
NRG Bluewater’s Offshore Wind Power Plans
In its original project proposal, NRG Bluewater lays out its plan to construct a 450-megawatt (MW) offshore wind farm in the leased area, a project that if constructed would have an estimated capacity sufficient to supply more than 100,000 homes with clean, renewable electrical power. With the federal "Smart from the Start" lease in hand, the company can now move forward and undertake additional research and development work in the water.
More specifically, the OCS lease paves the way for NRG Bluewater to submit a Site Assessment Plan (SAP), which may include installation of a meteorological tower or buoy. The lease also enables the corporation to submit a Construction and Operations Plan (COP) for the actual building and installation of offshore wind turbines, site-to-shore cabling, and other infrastructure.
Located in federal waters, the lease area is made up of 11 full OCS blocks and 16 partial ones. The location has been chosen to "avoid existing uses of the OCS offshore Delaware," Interior and BOEM explain, "including but not limited to major shipping lanes into and out of Delaware Bay, a proposed vessel anchorage ground and a munitions disposal area."
Tremendous Benefits Forecast for Offshore Wind Development
An industry-sponsored study conducted for the Atlantic Wind Connection estimates that development of 7,000 MW (7 GW) of offshore wind farms in the Mid-Atlantic region from Virginia to New Jersey could create 70,000 jobs and enough clean, green power for as many as 2.3 million homes. Moreover, such development could have a combined economic impact of $19 billion across these states, as well as generating another $4.6 billion in local, state, and federal tax revenue.
A 1,000-megawatt (MW) offshore wind farm built off South Carolina's coast would create an average of more than 3,900 jobs per year during its 10-year construction period and produce over $2 billion in wages from 2016 to 2030, according to "S.C. Wind Energy Supply Chain Survey and Offshore Wind Economic Impact Study," research carried out for the S.C. Energy Office. In addition, it would add some $620 million to state and local government revenue per year over its 10-year construction period.
Posted: 25 Oct 2012 07:32 AM PDT
Yingli Green Energy will be providing the modules to SolarGy, a professional PV system integrator based in Singapore, who will be responsible for engineering, procurement, and construction of the project. The project is owned by K-Green Trust and will be managed by Keppel Seghers NEWater Development.
“Since its opening in 2011, our regional headquarters in Singapore has continuously driven our sales and business development in Southeast Asia,” commented Mr. Liansheng Miao, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Yingli Green Energy.”It is a pleasure for us to work with SolarGy and KSND to power the largest solar project in Singapore. We’ll continue to build our success in this region and look forward to serving more customers with our high quality products.”
The project will be home to approximately 4,000 modules covering an area around 10,000 square metres and will generate an estimated 1,200,000 kWh of clean energy a year, equivalent to the average electricity consumption of 250 four-room residential apartments in Singapore.
Source: Yingli Solar
Posted: 25 Oct 2012 07:29 AM PDT
Pike Research said advances in storage technology (including pump storage, advanced batteries, and compressed air) is providing more competitive storage options for the market.
Meanwhile, quickly changing energy mixes and electric grid volatility will encourage energy operators to look at grid energy storage in order to give more secure electricity.
"One of the key challenges for energy storage will be to deliver cost-effective solutions for these grid stability issues," said Pike Research analyst Anissa Dehamna.
Source: Pike Research
Posted: 25 Oct 2012 07:20 AM PDT
The mystery has now been uncovered, though — the entire process is occurring inside of bacteria that are only one centimetre long. These create a sort of living electric cable. This discovery opens up all sorts of potential applications in different fields of electronics and energy technologies.
Every one of the ‘cable bacteria’ possess a ‘bundle of insulated wires’ that is conductible, allowing an electrical current to travel from one end to another.
Aarhus University writes: “Electricity and seawater are usually a bad mix. And it was thus a very big surprise when scientists from Aarhus University a few years ago discovered electric currents between biological processes in the seabed. Since then they have been searching for an explanation and together with partners from the University of Southern California, USA, they now present sensational results in Nature.”
The electrical currents could be interrupted simply by moving a thin wire horizontally across the seafloor. In the same way that our electric cables can be interrupted by damage.
“The incredible idea that these bacteria should be electric cables really fell into place when, inside the bacteria, we saw wire-like strings enclosed by a membrane,” says Nils Risgaard-Petersen, Aarhus University.
The new bacterium is about 100 times thinner than a human hair. The whole bacterium is essentially an electrical cable, possessing a quantity of insulated wires inside of itself — nearly in the same way that the common electric cables we use everyday are built.
“Such unique insulated biological wires seem simple but with incredible complexity at nanoscale,” says PhD student Jie Song, Aarhus University, who mapped the electrical properties of the cable bacteria using nano tools.
“In an undisturbed seabed more than tens of thousands kilometers cable bacteria live under a single square meter seabed. The ability to conduct an electric current gives cable bacteria such large benefits that it conquers much of the energy from decomposition processes in the seabed.”
In contrast to every other known form of life, these cable bacteria are able to “maintain an efficient combustion down in the oxygen-free part of the seabed. It only requires that one end of the individual reaches the oxygen which the seawater provides to the top millimeters of the seabed. The combustion is a transfer of the electrons of the food to oxygen which the bacterial inner wires manage over centimeter-long distances. However, small disturbances can lead to fatal ‘cable breakage’ in the fragile bacteria.”
Already, a number of international entities have shown interest in the research of the bacterium. Not only could the bacterium alter our understanding of bioelectronics, and revolutionize that field; but the bacteria really stand out in their uniqueness — there is much that is unknown about the role they or similar bacteria may have played in the development of life on Earth.
As of now, any potential applications are theoretical, but it would seem unlikely that these bacteria wouldn’t be used in some capacity in the development of new technologies.
Source: Aarhus University
Posted: 25 Oct 2012 07:10 AM PDT
There are a lot of cool smart highway designs going around, but Dutch designer Daan Roosegaarde and Heijmans Infrastructure just made me want to jump in the electric car and hit the road.
This smart highway design not only charges your car, but it will light the road, show you the weather and make you feel like you are driving in the future. The roads are treated with a special foto-luminising powder to create a glow in the dark pathways, so extra lighting is not needed. The powder is charged during the day and at night it illuminates the contours of the road for up to 10 hours.
Pretty wicked, eh?
Posted: 25 Oct 2012 07:06 AM PDT
Coal use declined across the United States, while the energy flow chart above shows a shift toward natural gas use.
Wind energy saw the biggest jump in renewable energy from .92 quadrillion BTU’s in 2010 to 1.17 quads in 2011.
Another top performer in renewable energy was hydroelectricity, which went from 2.51 quads in 2010 up to 3.17 quads in 2011. Although the researchers note that this is largely because, in 2011, the U.S saw large amounts of precipitation and that allowed the dams to run at full capacity.
Natural gas showed a significant increase from 24.65 quads in 2010 to 26.9 quads in 2011. Which slowed the demand for coal from 2010 to 2011.
Overall electricity generation accounted for 39.2 quads, followed by transportation, industrial, commercial, and residential consumption. The biggest declines where felt in the residential, commercial, and transportation sectors, where more energy efficiency and renewable energy was incorporated into the mix.
Source & Image Credit: LLNL
Posted: 25 Oct 2012 06:59 AM PDT
With new electric pedal-assist, the Angelino Petite Assista (E-Bike) designed by Bridgestone Japan may just very well be the perfect bike for the mom that is always on the go.
The machine is built with a step-through rugged frame and some reinforced kid seats. As a matter of fact, this is a good bike for any cyclist that enjoys taking the little ones for a ride.
We may have to wait awhile before being able purchase one in the United States, as they are only sold in Japan. But it might be worth the wait.
Image Credit: Bridgestone
Posted: 25 Oct 2012 04:00 AM PDT
These panels are designed to be retrofitted onto the outside of existing buildings so that when sunlight hits them the micro-algae naturally photosynthesises and starts to grow.
This means the building becomes a dynamic, living instrument whose “bio-adaptive façade” responds to increased sunlight by creating shade and generating power for immediate use or storage.
Firstly, it traps heat from the sun. This stops it from entering the building in the first place and the heat is then reused to help to power the building.
Secondly, the growing micro-algae block out part of the sunlight entering the building — reducing glare, and creating a more pleasant environment. These first two will also have an impact on auxiliary systems such as air conditioners and purifiers.
Thirdly, the micro-algae is harvested as biomass and used to generate power for the building, turning a shading solution into a uniquely clean source of renewable energy.
The construction is based upon the winning entry in last year’s prestigious Metropolis magazine's Next Generation Design Competition. This estimated that the panels would generate nearly 10% of a building’s energy requirements when fitted to an old federal building in Los Angeles.
The prototype will be ready for demonstration at the 2013 International Building Exhibition (IBA) in Hamburg, Germany.
By that time, hopefully fuller figures will be available, including greater depth into the 10% energy production figure, an insight into how it can effect auxiliary systems and the balance of both against energy required to manufacture the panels.
That aside, though, the only other drawback I can think of is that we all get used to living and working in a subtle shade of green light. Not much to ask in a green economy, is it?
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