Sunday, January 13, 2013

Cleantech News from CleanTechnica

Cleantech News from CleanTechnica

Link to CleanTechnica

Bonnaroo Loves Solar; How Many Tesla Model S’sss Have Been Produced?… (Cleantech News Roundup)

Posted: 12 Jan 2013 07:47 AM PST

 
Other than our own stories, here’s some top cleantech and climate change news of the past few days:

Clean Power

Solar Power

 

Other

 

Clean Transport

Bikes

 

Electric Vehicles

 

Other Transport News

 

Climate Change

Fossil Fuels


 

Other

 


 

Bonnaroo Loves Solar; How Many Tesla Model S’sss Have Been Produced?… (Cleantech News Roundup) was originally published on: CleanTechnica. To read more from CleanTechnica, join over 30,000 others and subscribe to our free RSS feed, follow us on Facebook or Twitter, or just visit our homepage.

Los Angeles Utility Set To Launch 100MW Solar Feed-in Tariff Program

Posted: 12 Jan 2013 03:38 AM PST

 

Rooftop Solar Panels

Image Credit: joncallas (some right reserved)

The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power is set to launch a solar feed-in tariff program for its customers for the first time ever. Under the program, households, businesses, and warehouses would be able to inject excess electricity generated from solar power projects into the grid and earn up to $0.17 per kilowatt hour (kWh). The program will also be open to third-party solar power generators and renewable energy technologies other than solar power.

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa expressed his happiness on the launch of this program, which can be seen as yet another milestone in the state of California’s target to procure 33% of its energy from renewable energy sources by 2020.

"Today we took another major step forward in transitioning to a clean energy future for Los Angeles. I'm proud of the LADWP Board of Water and Power Commissioners for moving Los Angeles forward to become the largest city in the nation to offer a feed-in tariff solar program. The FiT program takes advantage of our abundant sunshine to spur new private sector investment that will create jobs and decrease our city's reliance on dirty fossil fuels.”

The feed-in tariff program will also play a critical role in the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources, which the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power is about to undertake, believes General Manager Ronald O. Nichols.

“Expanding local solar power is an important part of the evolution of LADWP's power supply from one heavily reliant on coal, to one with more energy efficiency and renewable energy balanced with natural gas. LADWP is replacing over 70% of its existing energy supply over the next 15 years. Local solar not only increases the level of renewable energy we provide to customers but also helps maintain power reliability as we transition away from coal power."

The Board of Water and Power Commissioners has so far approved 100 MW of capacity under the program; a decision on increasing the capacity by 50 MW will be taken in March 2013. 20 MW of capacity will be allocated to the generators every quarter between 2013 and 2016. The first 20 MW of capacity will be tied in a 20-year contract with the utility, which will pay $0.17 per unit of electricity supplied to the grid.

Los Angeles Tries Catch-Up With Other Californian Cities

While the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power may have entered the feed-in tariff game slightly late, the program can surely be expected to gain significant traction and attract several small-scale solar power generators. Recently, the California Solar Initiative crossed the milestone of 1,000 MW of installed solar power capacity under feed-in tariff regime. Cities like San Jose, San Diego, Bakersfield, and Fresno have been the leaders in this initiative, while Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E), Southern California Edison (SCE), and San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) have been the leading utilities implementing this initiative.

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

Los Angeles Utility Set To Launch 100MW Solar Feed-in Tariff Program was originally published on: CleanTechnica. To read more from CleanTechnica, join over 30,000 others and subscribe to our free RSS feed, follow us on Facebook or Twitter, or just visit our homepage.

Generating Electricity With Water Vapor, New Material Created

Posted: 12 Jan 2013 03:23 AM PST

 
A new type of polymer film has been created that generates electricity when it’s exposed to water vapor. The material, which changes shape when it absorbs water, repeatedly curling up and down, was created by researchers at MIT.

20130111-222405.jpg

Image Credit: MIT

By utilizing the continuous motion that the material makes, it will be possible to power “robotic limbs or generate enough electricity to power micro- and nanoelectronic devices, such as environmental sensors,” Massachusetts Institute of Technology notes.

“With a sensor powered by a battery, you have to replace it periodically. If you have this device, you can harvest energy from the environment so you don’t have to replace it very often,” says Mingming Ma, a postdoc at MIT’s David H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research and lead author of a paper describing the new material in the January 11 issue of Science.


 
The researchers expect that, as higher efficiencies are reached with the technology, a range of potential applications will be possible, including large-scale, water-vapor-powered generators.

The new material was just described in detail in a paper published January 11th in the journal Science.

This looks like an interesting technology — I’m curious to see how far it will go. It certainly seems as though there will be effective ways to utilize it, increasing the autonomy and lifespan of a variety of different systems and products. Any thoughts on this research or topic? Have you read about anything along these lines previously?

Generating Electricity With Water Vapor, New Material Created was originally published on: CleanTechnica. To read more from CleanTechnica, join over 30,000 others and subscribe to our free RSS feed, follow us on Facebook or Twitter, or just visit our homepage.

Car-Centric Big Cities More Violent Because Of Gasoline Lead

Posted: 12 Jan 2013 03:04 AM PST

 
Concrete jungles have been plagued with violent crime much more so than small towns, with few concrete answers as to why. In a recent Mother Jones article, Kevin Drum outlines why exposure to gasoline lead has driven violence in major cities.

Image: Late afternoon traffic via Shutterstock

What’s all the brouhaha about lead? For starters, lead is a toxic metal that can be emitted into the air and then inhaled, where it accumulates in the body over time. This accumulation can be fatal or cause serious mental and physical impairments.

Drum argues that bigger cities have a higher concentration of cars — and therefore a higher concentration of airborne lead — than smaller cities. This exposure to gasoline lead resulted in children with aggressive tendencies and a rise in violent crime.

The upside to this argument is that decreasing exposure to gasoline lead has been  followed by a drop in violent crime. And how have we achieved a decrease in gasoline lead exposure? And how can we decrease it more? By insisting that particle emissions from cars are regulated; encouraging cities to improve bikeways; and voting for legislators that listen to constituent demands for more public transit, just to name a few.

Source: Planetizen

Car-Centric Big Cities More Violent Because Of Gasoline Lead was originally published on: CleanTechnica. To read more from CleanTechnica, join over 30,000 others and subscribe to our free RSS feed, follow us on Facebook or Twitter, or just visit our homepage.

World’s First Electric Ferry — With 10 Minute — Recharge

Posted: 12 Jan 2013 01:36 AM PST

 
The days of stinky, oil-burning, black smoke–producing ferry boats will be the days of yore if Norway has anything to say about it. The world’s first electric ferry will hit the open seas (well, not exactly) in 2015.

Image: Courtesy of Phys.org

The 360-passenger, 120-car electric ferry will be operated by shipping company Norlend and traverse the Sognefjord fjord.

To allow for battery power, the ferry was made much lighter with aluminum hulls. The battery charges in 10 minutes, and can propel the ferry at 10 knots in normal weather conditions.

So, what’s the big deal about electric ferries? Well, there’s the possibility of easing parking and traffic via waterways and aqua-buses like those at the University of New England.

Electric ferries aren’t Norway’s only bread and butter: strong incentives have propelled EV sales to 5.2% in 2012.

Source: Inhabit

World’s First Electric Ferry — With 10 Minute — Recharge was originally published on: CleanTechnica. To read more from CleanTechnica, join over 30,000 others and subscribe to our free RSS feed, follow us on Facebook or Twitter, or just visit our homepage.

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