- Google+ Hangout On Green Crowdfunding
- New Way To Create Electricity Out Of Sunlight Discovered, A Solar Energy Funnel
- SolarCity Announces Price For IPO
- MISO Wind Output Blows Past 10,000 MW
- Air Pollution Linked To Autism
- Most Anti-Solar Reporter In Mainstream Media?, China Solar Thermal: 3,000 MW By 2015 (+ More Solar Energy News)
- D*Haus Designs D*Dynamic, Origami-Inspired, Shape-Changing House
- Conservative Groups Attacking Renewable Energy Standards
- CEO Of $10 Billion Clean Energy Finance Corporation Announced & Interviewed (+ More Climate Change & Clean Energy Policy News)
- First Geothermal Plant For Tanzania
Posted: 28 Nov 2012 02:52 PM PST
Come Hang with sustainablog to Discuss Current Green Crowdfunding Projects (via sustainablog)
Noticed that all of us in the blogosphere, green or otherwise, really like crowdfunding projects? Yes, we do! In some cases (such as Triplepundit's planned series on the sharing economy), we've figured out that there's a new method for funding content out there, and we want to support it. But…
Posted: 28 Nov 2012 05:15 AM PST
“We’re trying to use elastic strains to produce unprecedented properties,” says Ju Li, an MIT professor and the lead author of a paper describing the new concept.
The ‘funnel’ in this case is a metaphor, though — it is electronic forces creating the funneling effect, not gravity as in a literal funnel. “Electrons and their counterparts, holes — which are split off from atoms by the energy of photons — are driven to the center of the structure by electronic forces.” But, interestingly, as the process occurs, the material actually assumes a funnel shape. The material is a stretched sheet of “vanishingly thin” material, pushed down at a center point with a microscopic needle, producing a curved shape similar to a funnel.
The material used is a thin layer of molybdenum disulfide, which is a semiconductor that can form a film just a single molecule in thickness. And it possesses a ‘crucial characteristic’ called bandgap, which allows it to be formed into solar cells. But unlike the material used in most solar cells, silicon, “putting the film under strain in the ‘solar energy funnel’ causes its bandgap to vary across the surface, so that different parts of it respond to different colors of light,” the MIT press release notes.
“It turns out that the elastic strain, and therefore the change that is induced in electrons’ potential energy, changes with their distance from the funnel’s center — much like the electron in a hydrogen atom, except this ‘artificial atom’ is much larger in size and is two-dimensional.”
The funnel will also lead to better charge collection, the researchers think. In typical solar cells, the excitons randomly move throughout the material after they’ve been generated by photons. But in the funnel, the characteristics of the material direct them to the collection site at the center, which should lead to more efficient charge collection.
“People knew for a long time that by applying high pressure, you can induce huge changes in material properties,” Li says. But more recent work has shown that controlling strain in different directions, such as shear and tension, can yield an enormous variety of properties.
The work was just published this week in the journal Nature Photonics.
Source: Massachusetts Institute Of Technology
New Way To Create Electricity Out Of Sunlight Discovered, A Solar Energy Funnel was originally published on: CleanTechnica
Posted: 28 Nov 2012 04:49 AM PST
The solar installation industry leader is aiming to trade 10 million shares for between $13-15 a share. Stockholders will sell 65,012 shares of initial stock.
SolarCity originally had planned an IPO worth $201 million. However, it has scaled those plans to $151 million. Still, not bad for the most anticipated clean-tech IPO since Tesla in 2010.
Will this IPO be a "Happy Holidays" or a "Ba Hum Bug" for SolarCity? Only time will tell.
Source: Greentech Media
Posted: 28 Nov 2012 04:39 AM PST
The organization, which watches over the high-voltage system and offers open-transmission assistance over 11 states in the Midwest United States and the Canadian province of Manitoba, yesterday announced the milestone.
This is quite significant, considering during the same period that day, wind output represented 25% of the energy being used within the MISO region.
Officials have been supportive of wind energy’s upward trend as an energy solution in the Midwest US and Canada.
“Wind represents one of the fuel choices that helps us manage congestion on the system and ultimately helps keep prices low for our customers and the end-use consumer,” said MISO's Executive Director of Real Time Operations Joe Gardner in the release.
“When we have significant quantities of wind being generated, we use less of other, more expensive, generation types to keep the system in balance.”
Since 2006, wind capacity in the region has rapidly advanced, with the organization watching over 12,000 MW of registered wind capacity this year, in comparison to just 1,112 MW six years ago.
Posted: 28 Nov 2012 04:30 AM PST
The study, published in the journal Archives of General Psychiatry and headed by Heather Volk, Ph.D., assistant professor of preventive medicine at the Keck School of Medicine and investigator in the Division of Research on Children, Youth and Families at Children's Hospital Los Angeles, demonstrates for the first time that exposure to traffic-related air pollution during pregnancy and during the first year of life is associated with a more than two-fold risk of autism.
Additionally, exposure to regional pollution consisting of nitrogen dioxide and small particles is also associated with autism, even if the mother lives nowhere near a busy road.
"This work has broad potential public health implications," said Volk. "We've known for a long time that air pollution is bad for our lungs, and especially for children. We're now beginning to understand how air pollution may affect the brain."
Volk’s research is the first to look at the amount of near-roadway traffic-pollution that individuals have been exposed to and combine that statistic with the measure of regional air quality. Volk notes that the research builds upon previous work she and colleagues conducted, looking at how close subjects lived to a freeway.
"We took into account how far away people lived from roads, meteorology such as which way the wind was blowing, how busy the road was, and other factors to study traffic-related pollution," she said. "We also examined data from air quality monitors, which measure pollution over a larger region that could come from traffic, industry, rail yards, or many other sources."
Posted: 28 Nov 2012 04:22 AM PST
China Solar Thermal Targeted For 3,000 MW By 2015: “China is likely to have about 3,000 MW of solar thermal power capacity by 2015…. The total market value for that projected solar thermal capacity is 45 billion yuan (or $7.15 billion).”
Is Puerto Rico A Myth Or The Next Big Solar Market? “For the last two years, Reznick Capital Markets has been working on the island of Puerto Rico with several clients that are developing wind and solar projects. After several years of PREPA (the sole utility on Puerto Rico) issuing over 1GW of PPOAs (same as a PPA, but including operation), very few developers have successfully built renewable energy projects in Puerto Rico. In this article, I will attempt to help you understand the current market and the potential future for renewable energy on Puerto Rico.”
Yingli Green Energy Announces Largest Module Supply Contract In Company’s History: Yingli Green Energy (aka Yingli Solar) “today announced that its subsidiary, Yingli Green Energy Americas (“Yingli Americas”), has entered into the Company’s largest project supply agreement to date. Yingli Americas was selected to supply 200 MW-dc of utility-scale solar PV modules for the Centinela Solar Energy Facility Project (“Centinela Project”), which is segmented in two phases, each phase with a separate release notice, currently pending notification for the second phase. The 170 megawatt-ac project, designed to be one of the largest solar projects in the world, is situated on 1,600 acres approximately 90 miles east of San Diego in Imperial County, California, and is estimated to achieve commercial operation in the middle of 2014.”
Rajasthan Opens Bids Again For 200 MW Solar PV & Thermal Power Projects: “The Rajasthan government has called for bids for setting up 100 MW each of solar thermal and solar PV projects under the Rajasthan Solar Policy 2011. Under the policy, the government plans to set up 200 MW solar power capacity by 2013 and additional 400 MW capacity between 2013 and 2017.”
The Most Anti-Solar Reporter In The Mainstream Media? ”Julie Cart of the Los Angeles Times has published yet another anti-solar piece in the Los Angeles Times. This time, in ‘Solar power plants burden the counties that host them,’ she discovers that sprawling rural counties that vote Republican would like more money from the federal government, please, and it’s all the fault of Big Solar. And when a sprawling rural county that votes Republican tries to tax just the solar industry alone, solar advocates organize opposition to a Sun Tax…. The horrors!”
Trina Solar Improves Medical Treatment For 85,000 People In Malawi: Trina Solar “today announced the donation of solar modules to three health care centres in Malawi servicing over 85,000 people. Together with partner Innovation: Africa, Trina Solar will make clean energy available to two remote medical centres and a community-based organization offering HIV/AIDS support, vocational training, adult education, orphan care and more. In combination with a storage system, these solar modules will allow all three facilities to offer care and services to their communities at night and other conditions of low visibility.”
JinkoSolar Donates 30 kW To Village In Western China: JinkoSolar ”today announced that it has donated 30 kW of solar PV modules to Mumuke village in Kashgar Prefecture, Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in western China. With a population of approximately 120 residents, Mumuke village is located in a remote part of Xinjiang Province where electricity from the national grid is unavailable and there is little in terms of transportation infrastructure. The off-grid system will meet the basic electricity needs of the village. This donation is the result of joint efforts between JinkoSolar and Schneider, the global specialist in energy management.”
Posted: 28 Nov 2012 03:16 AM PST
D*Haus’ D*Dynamic Origami-Inspired Shape Changing House (via Green Building Elements)
Architecture in origami form is a remarkable concept which is hard to envision but D*Haus has come up with a house design that follows the very dynamics of the paper folding art. D*Haus' transformation house, D*Dynamic, has yet to be built but the conception is likely to take hold. They have designed…
D*Haus Designs D*Dynamic, Origami-Inspired, Shape-Changing House was originally published on: CleanTechnica
Posted: 28 Nov 2012 02:45 AM PST
Six months after rolling out a disastrous billboard campaign that linked people who care about global warming to the Unabomber, the Heartland Institute is looking for another project to boost its profile.
And what better way for the organization to mend its tarnished image than to go after a policy that Americans overwhelmingly support?
The Heartland Institute, known for its campaigns to cast doubt about the science of climate change, is now teaming up with the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) to craft laws repealing state-level renewable energy targets. ALEC is best known as a "stealth business lobbyist" that helps corporate interests write and pass legislation friendly to their interests. This spring, the organization came under fire for its role in pushing Stand-Your-Ground laws that opponents blamed for the shooting death of Florida teenager Trayvon Martin. Both the Heartland Institute and ALEC lost major funders throughout the spring as a result of the separate controversies.
The campaign to dismantle these types of laws isn't new. Last summer, Bloomberg News reported on tax documents showing that Koch Industries, Exxon Mobil and other energy companies paid membership fees to ALEC in order to help write legislation repealing carbon pollution reduction programs in states around country. But aftergetting beat on the issues in national elections earlier this month, these groups are doubling down on their efforts to kill clean energy on the state level.
The Washington Post reported this weekend on how the embattled Heartland Institute is joining the campaign:
Heartland and ALEC are building their campaign around economic research from the Beacon Hill Institute, a free-market think tank that has received money from Koch-backed groups:
Richard Caperton, a renewable energy finance expert at the Center for American Progress, explained that the studies are based on a number of flawed assumptions.
"The Beacon Hill studies arbitrarily choose high-end estimates for the future price of renewables, they wrongly claim there are no environmental benefits to using renewable energy, they ignore the fact that most state targets have price caps built into them, and they ignore the data we already have showing that there is no evidence that state renewable energy targets drive up rates for consumers," he told Climate Progress.
In an effort to work with these conservative groups from within, the Solar Energy Industries Association and the American Wind Energy Association have become members of ALEC. (SEIA was a member until this summer). But the fight is less about the economics or social importance of renewable energy, and more about an ideological battle over the role of government in setting targets for clean energy.
"I think we're going to see a real knock-out drag-out fight," said Scott Sklar, president of the renewable energy consultancy The Stella Group, speaking to Climate Progress. "A lot of the conservative groups that didn't get a lot of payback spending money the national level during this past election have increasingly been moving toward these state fights."
Public polling suggests that these groups are on the wrong side of the issue. A recent survey from Harvard, Yale, and the National Bureau of Economic Research showed that Americans would be willing to pay $160 per year more to deploy clean energy. And a pre-election poll showed that 72 percent of swing voters agreed that the government should to more to promote solar energy — illustrating why the millions of dollars in attack ads this campaign season didn't sway the election.
"This will be an interesting set of fights," said Scott Sklar. "The clean energy industry is preparing for them. But I do believe the country is reaffirming its commitment to clean energy in all its forms, and I don't think they're going to be duped into these arguments against the industry."
Conservative Groups Attacking Renewable Energy Standards was originally published on: CleanTechnica
Posted: 28 Nov 2012 02:37 AM PST
Ohio's Next Big Decision: A Clean Or Dirty Energy Future? ”Now that the presidential election is over, the people of Ohio are facing another important choice — whether their state will embrace clean energy measures that will save money and lives, or continue wasting energy from polluting coal plants…. There’s a big question mark hanging over the state’s energy direction. Will the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio choose a future of unnecessary and expensive coal and gas generating plants that make people sick or, instead, a twenty-first century path that reduces energy waste and creates jobs?”
In 1989, NJ Republican Governor Issued Climate Order, Warning Of 'Increase In The Intensity Of Major Storms': “In 1989 — just one year after NASA's James Hansen testified before Congress about the looming threat of climate change — New Jersey's Republican Governor Thomas Kean issued an executive order calling on his state to recognize the "scientific consensus" of climate change and to prepare for rising sea levels, intensifying storms, and other threats posed by a warming planet.”
Oliver Yates Interview: “RenewEconomy secured the first interview with new CEFC chief Oliver Yates. He talks about his reasons for taking the job, the challenges he faces, the project pipeline he expects to build, the threat of the Opposition to can the CEFC, and why the financial community will soon see clean energy as a mainstream and low risk investment”
European Parliament Demands Tougher Emissions Cuts: “MEPs approve a resolution to raise EU’s 2020 carbon-cutting goal from 20 to 30 per cent.”
Posted: 28 Nov 2012 02:00 AM PST
Tanzania is planning to have 100 MW of geothermal power operating by 2016. Geothermal tends to be more stable, so developing it there can counteract the erratic output from hydroelectric dams.
The country has an estimated 650 MW of geothermal potential and will begin drilling in the southern region near Mbeya. In May of this year, a 1.6 MW geothermal power plant project was reported as part of a rural electrification effort in the area. A geothermal reservoir at the Ngozi volcano nearby could have a 100 MW potential. Mbeya is a city with a population of about 280,000 and the name of the surrounding region, which includes two million residents.
Geothermal energy typically is not intermittent like solar and wind power. And, in Tanzania, having new reliable sources of energy could be a great boon to economic development and poverty alleviation. This domestic energy potential is true for other ‘third-world’ nations as well, such as Kenya, where geothermal is also being developed to a great degree.
Image Credit: Fiver Löcker, Wiki Commons
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