Tag Archives: renewable energy

EPA Chief Outlines Policies for Renewable Energy

epa-logo-300x224Last week, in a speech before a conference sponsored by the American Council on Renewable Energy, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency laid out an expansive overview of intergovernmental cooperation. EPA head Gina McCarthy said the agency’s goal is to support the rapid pace of renewable energy innovation by establishing new regulations that work with new initiatives. To do so, the EPA is working more closely with the Department of Energy.

The bottom line for supporting renewable energy, says McCarthy, is the bottom line. “It’s not just the right thing to do, but it’s the economically sustainable thing to do.” The EPA chief emphasized the importance of renewable energy to the U.S. economy, and the role of the federal, state, and local governments in incentivizing the sector’s expansion. She noted the 100,000 jobs created by renewable energy projects on public lands undertaken by the Department of the Interior and the 39 states that now operate utility-scale wind energy projects. McCarthy defined the role of the EPA as a supporting one in the rapidly changing renewable energy sector. States and cities are accepted as the main incubators of innovation, and the EPA’s mission is to listen and work closely with them. Such a description might sound positively visionary except that it describes a renewable energy future that is already in action, right now, across the country. Continue reading

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The True Cost of Renewable Energy: Less Than You Think

One of the common arguments against renewable energy is that it costs too much. A recent comparison of wholesale electricity prices shows that coal-generated power costs three cents a kilowatt-hour, new natural gas plants produce at six cents, wind power costs eight cents, and solar, 13 cents. But a recent Wall Street Journal analysis raises two important points that are changing those figures.

First, costs are falling, due to technological advances such as larger wind turbines and cheaper components for solar power arrays. The latest price data released by the Department of Energy finds that the price of wind-generated energy fell to four cents per kilowatt-hour, not counting the two-cent federal tax subsidy for that startup industry.

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Solar Thin Films, Inc Announces Agreement-In-Principle for $10 million Project

UNIONDALE, N.Y.–()–Solar Thin Films, Inc (OTC Markets: SLTZ) (the “Company”), an environmentally conscious company working to bring new products to market with a strong focus on Fiber Reinforced Plastics technology (FRP), as well as waste to energy and solar energy, announced today an agreement-in-principle to design, supply and construct a modular school and clinic in Uganda, Africa.

The project calls for the design, supply and construction of a 36,000 square foot school and an 8,000 square foot clinic, along with well-water supply and area lighting. The Company’s portion of the $15 million project is approximately $10 million. The Company’s design and prototype drawings have been accepted in principle, subject to finalization of the design and budget. It is expected that final agreements will be signed later this month. Continue reading

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Commercial Building Energy Storage Systems Revenue Will Surpass $7.5 Billion Annually by 2022

BOULDER, Colo.–()–The market for energy storage in commercial buildings is nascent and developing. Although one segment, energy storage systems for uninterruptible power supply (UPS) systems, is mature, the business models for the other two segments within this market – electrical energy storage (EES) systems and thermal energy storage (TES) systems – are still evolving. According to a recent report from Navigant Research, annual revenue from energy storage systems for commercial buildings will grow from $3.9 billion in 2013 to more than $7.5 billion in 2022.

“Today, there is less than 10 gigawatt-hours of cumulative energy storage capacity represented by all commercial building systems, and the vast majority of that capacity is frozen behind meters in UPS systems that are rarely, if ever, called upon”

“Today, there is less than 10 gigawatt-hours of cumulative energy storage capacity represented by all commercial building systems, and the vast majority of that capacity is frozen behind meters in UPS systems that are rarely, if ever, called upon,” says Sam Jaffe, senior research analyst with Navigant Research. “By 2022, such systems will represent a global cumulative capacity of more than 30 gigawatt-hours, most of which will be interacting with the power grids throughout the world on a daily basis.” Continue reading

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New Component Manufacturing Furthers Efficiency Improvement for Siemens Gas Turbines

ERLANGEN, Germany–()–Siemens Energy has recently opened a facility in Charlottesville, Virginia for the innovative commercial production of airfoil ceramic cores for gas turbine blades and vanes using the TOMOSM technology, initially developed by Mikro Systems, Inc. The advancements are expected to improve the cooling capability of gas turbine blading, thus enabling higher levels of engine performance and efficiency for future Siemens Gas Turbines. This technology is available to Siemens as a part of the Technology License agreement with Mikro Systems.

With support from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), Mikro Systems was funded via Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grants. Mikro Systems and Siemens Energy partnered to develop the application of its patented Tomo-Lithographic Molding (TOMOSM) manufacturing technology to a range of gas turbine components. Continue reading

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Stationary Fuel Cell Market Will Reach $9 Billion in Annual Revenue by 2022

Stationary-Fuel-CellsWhile growing in terms of megawatts and systems shipped, the market for stationary fuel cells is also going through a period of deep restructuring, with a number of companies exiting the space and a handful of new entrants appearing.  Over the last year, the sector has seen a sharp increase in market demand created by government policy initiatives.  According to a recent report from Navigant Research, annual revenue from stationary fuel cells will grow from $1.7 billion in 2013 to $9 billion in 2022.

“Stationary fuel cells are still in the early part of the adoption cycle, with limited availability and affordability,” says Kerry-Ann Adamson, research director with Navigant Research.  “During the last year, however, companies have moved to create products for markets where real needs exist—in many cases producing systems that use locally available fuels, can be maintained by local engineers, and do not require very limited operating temperature ranges.  This growing realism will enable the industry to create a secure foundation for future growth.” Continue reading

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2013 Will Be a Pivotal Year in the Transition to a More Diversified Energy Mix

The Smart Energy sector is evolving rapidly, expanding from a collection of niche markets into a standardized part of the global energy portfolio.  In the same fashion that the Internet has produced a democratization of information and knowledge, the availability of small, distributed generation technologies, such as solar panels, small wind turbines, and residential combined heat and power systems, enables people to produce, and even sell, their own power.  As a result, a range of new energy sources and advanced energy technologies has entered the market and started to post revenue.  According to a new white paper from Navigant Research, a part of Navigant’s Energy Practice, the transition to a more diversified and decentralized mix of energy sources will be one of the key trends for the global energy industry in 2013. Continue reading

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Blue Oak Energy Builds 4.2 MW Utility Scale Solar Facilities in Gridley, CA

home-solar-panel1DAVIS, Calif.–()–Blue Oak Energy, a commercial and utility photovoltaic system engineering and construction company, has completed the delivery of a 4.2 MWp utility scale solar power generation facility in Gridley, California. The electricity generated by the Gridley solar facility will be directed to two members of the Northern California Power Agency (NCPA) through separate energy meters: the City of Gridley and the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART). The project was developed by LightBeam Energy, Inc.

The Gridley solar facility is a ground-mounted solar electric system comprised of 17,584 solar panels manufactured by Trina Solar (NYSE: TSL). The solar modules are mounted on a single-axis tracker system which follows the daily movement of the sun to increase energy harvest. The solar energy facility is monitored and scheduled by the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) through a secure remote information gateway. Continue reading

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