China to use curtailed wind power to replace coal-fired heating
In China, coal is very heavily used to generate electricity. It is also used to heat buildings. The Chinese have experimented with the use of curtailed wind energy to provide heat, and they now want to scale it up.
Including solar, wind and geothermal energy — the company no longer powers any of its operations with coal or other fossil fuels. In fact, last December, Apple powered up a 100-acre solar farm adjacent to a North Carolina data center. Using fuel cells made by Bloom Energy Corp., which generates energy from biogases, Apple is able to generate 60% of all the energy it needs to run the data center onsite.
Officials celebrate as electric vehicle-to-grid technology sells power to PJM power grid
Joined by government and industry leaders, the University of Delaware and NRG Energy celebrated an important milestone for their eV2g project on Friday, becoming an official resource of PJM Interconnection and proving for the first time that electric vehicle-to-grid technology can sell electricity from electric vehicles (EVs) to the power grid.
Delaware Gov. Jack Markell and senior officials from the U.S. Department of Energy and the state were among those who participated in an event at UD’s Science, Technology and Advanced Research (STAR) Campus to mark the achievements.
“Moving innovative ideas out of the classroom and into the marketplace is critical to growing our economy,” said Markell. “The partnership between NRG and the University of Delaware perfectly illustrates the potential for research institutions to spur economic development.”
As of 2012, the U.S. employs more than119,000 people in solar jobs, an increase of 13 percent over 2011.
The National Trust has revealed a plan to generate half of its power from renewable sources by 2020.
The trust already has 150 individual renewables schemes, but the new document projects how fossil fuel will be reduced across its properties.
It aspires to set an example to others by integrating renewable energy into sensitive landscapes.
The organisation has been criticised for its chairman’s vociferous campaign against wind power.
This is considered as the renewable source with most potential in the UK.
Under its new plan, the trust’s main renewables by 2020 will be hydro (27%) and biomass (21%); augmented by heat pumps (1%) and solar (0.5%).
Grid electricity will supply 26% of its power, gas 15% and LPG 6%. Oil - currently a major cost and carbon source for the trust’s rural properties - will be reduced to just 3%.
There are also plans to cut energy consumption by 20%. Wind power will play no part, because the trust’s historic landscapes are deemed too sensitive.
Patrick Begg, rural enterprise director for the trust, which aims to preserve historic buildings and land for the enjoyment of the public, told BBC News: “We’ve put all our effort to make the big leap in generating renewable energy from all our properties. Our new programme will get us to (50% of energy) by 2020.”
The subsidised renewables will save the organisation money, he said, producing an expected return on capital of 10% - much better than traditional investments.
Chile wind developer secures US grant
The US Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) has signed a US$610,000 grant agreement with Eólica Tablaruca for the Chilean developer’s 260MW wind project on Chiloé island in the south of the country
The deal was signed following a Chile-US sustainable energy roundtable in Santiago organized by the American Chamber of Commerce.
Funds will be used for prefeasibility, environmental and transmission studies to be carried out by a US firm.
The environmental study will be submitted to regional authorities in the upcoming months. Approval is expected within 18 months, Tablaruca CEO Mauricio Zeman told BNamericas.
Construction of the initial 100MW phase is penciled in for 2015, with commissioning set for late 2015, according to Zeman.
The initial phase is expected to cost US$200mn with the entire project pegged at US$500mn. Zeman hopes to incorporate additional investors in 2015 or sooner.
Unlike most of Chile, where wind turbine performance has not met expectations, the island of Chiloé boasts some of the best wind resources in the world. After conducting wind studies with renewable energy consultancy Garrad Hassan for 18 months, Zeman found P90 and P50 plant factors of 40% and 33% respectively.
One of the major obstacles in the development of the 600-700MW of proposed wind projects on Chiloé is the capacity constraints of the transmission line connecting the island to the SIC central grid on the mainland. Capacity increases for the line are scheduled for this year and 2014, according to Zeman.
In related news, NSL Eólica filed an EIA with the country’s environmental evaluation service (SEA) for the US$368mn, 184MW Lebu III wind farm in southern region VIII.
Swedish Scientists Turn Garbage Ash into Massive Power Source
Piles of ash leftover from incinerated trash may be a viable source of hydrogen gas that can be used to generate electricity and power cars, suggests a process pioneered in a research lab.
The trick? Just add water, which reacts with residual metallic aluminum in the ash, explained Aamir Ilyas, a water resource engineer at Lund University in Sweden, who developed the technique.
The aluminum comes from soda cans, milk cartons and other food packaging that gets tossed out with the household waste destined for the incinerator.
“During the incineration, this aluminum packaging gets converted into metal lumps and fine particles, which later become the source of hydrogen producing reactions,” Ilyas told NBC News in an email.
The reaction takes place in an oxygen-free environment. The produced gas is sucked up through pipes and stored in tanks. “The process does not consume any energy and works at room temperature,” he said.
Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions from electricity generation have fallen to a 10-year low as coal-fired power slumped to its lowest level in a decade, a new report says.
At the same time, the share of renewable energy in the National Electricity Market (NEM) has soared beyond 12 per cent and looks set to continue rising.
In its latest quarterly emissions outlook, energy and carbon research firm RepuTex found coal power made up 74.8 per cent of the NEM in the three months ended in March - its lowest point in 10 years.
Coal was at more than 85 per cent of the NEM four years ago, when wind made up just half a per cent of the overall mix.
Today, wind generation is at 3.8 per cent, hydro 8.7 per cent and gas at 12.7 per cent of the NEM.
“Renewables are basically cancelling out coal,” RepuTex executive director Hugh Grossman told AAP on Thursday.
Researchers have been striving to create a power source that can be used in remote areas that lack sources of energy, and the ‘leaf’ is a step in that direction.
82% of New US Electrical Capacity is Renewable Energy
During the first quarter of 2013, renewable energy accounted for 82% of new electrical generating capacity in the US, and 100% in March.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) says that 1546 megawatts (MW) of renewables came online, along with 340 MW of natural gas. No new coal, oil or nuclear capacity has been added this year so far.
Six wind farms came online totaling 958 MW, 38 solar farms at 537 MM and 28 biomass plants added 46 MW. Four small hydro plants added 5.4 MW.
The solar added is more than double that of the first quarter last year.
Including hydro, renewable energy now accounts for almost 16% of US electrical generating capacity: hydro - 8.53%; wind - 5.18%; biomass - 1.30%; solar - 0.44%; and geothermal - 0.32%. This is more than nuclear (9.15%) and oil (3.54%) combined.
Note that generating “capacity” isn’t the same as actual generation. In terms of net electrical generation, renewables supply a bit more than 13%, according to the US Energy Information Administration.
In 2012, renewables accounted for almost half of all new electrical generating capacity - 46.22%.
“These additions understate actual solar capacity gains. Unlike other energy sources, significant levels of solar capacity exist in smaller, non-utility-scale applications - e.g., rooftop solar photovoltaics,” says EIA.
Solar Korea to install 300MW solar power plant in Quetta
A Memorandum of Understand has been signed between Government of Balochistan and CK Solar Korea for the installation of 300MW Solar Power plant near Quetta.
This was disclosed by provincial Secretary Energy, Fuad Hashim Rabbani while talking to media here on Saturday.
He said that the project cost would be approximately $900 million and would be completed in 2016. He said that government had taken 1500 acres land in Khuchlak and Pishin onn lease. “This project would help to overcome shortfall of electricity in Balochistan,” he added.
Rabbani said that the underprivileged populace of the province would be greatly benefited through provision of green energy particularly in the areas where there was no conventional electricity option. “Currently the local population of the targeted areas is using kerosene lanterns, which is health hazardous and non-economical due to intermittent price hike, the clean energy alternative would extremely be beneficial,” he remarked.
He said that the electrification of medical facilities such as hospitals, Basic Health Units and installation of solar street lights etc were amongst major benefits of the project.
Rabbani said that they were also planning to replace 800 electric driven subsidised agriculture tubewells into solar which would bring a good change in agri-sector of the province. They have planned to install 20 Solar Water Pumps in 10 district of Balochistan for water supply schemes,” he added.
Responding to a question, he conceded that the farmers were suffering due to long hours load-shedding and assured that steps would be taken to provide electricity to the farmers.
Rabbani said that work on Loralai-DG Khan 220 KV and Dadu-Khuzdar 220 KV would be completed next year that would minimise load-shedding in the province.
Scotland’s renewable energy at all-time high
Every home in Scotland could have been powered from the 14,600 gigawatts (GW) of electricity which came from renewables including hydro, wave and tidal power, figures show.
The SNP government is determined to create a green energy revolution in Scotland, with Alex Salmond saying the country’s vast wind levels could see the country become the “Saudi Arabia of renewables”.
Renewable sources produced 14,645 gigawatt hours (GWh) of electricity last year, up almost 7 per cent on 2011 and enough to power every home in Scotland.
Plant waste has long been seen as a possible source of sustainable biofuels, and new research out of Rice University could unlock some of the energy that scientists say lies waiting in organic material.
According to materials provided by Rice, bioengineer Ka-Yiu San and his lab have developed a way to turn plant waste into fatty acid, which can then be further converted into fuel. The key is a genetically modified strain of the E. coli bacteria which they created by combining traits from several other strains. The scientists fed inedible cellulose from sorghum to the bacteria, which converts the sugar-heavy hydrolysate from the plants into fatty acids. These fatty acids could someday be converted into synthetic diesel fuel or oil-like lubricants, say the researchers.
San’s lab gets some of its funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which recently announced a $25 million effort to develop new bio-based renewable energy sources and related products from switchgrass, sorghum and forestry residue. The E. coli work was funded by the National Science Foundation’s Engineering Research Center for Renewable Chemicals. The project was proposed by a Utah-based company called Ceramatec Inc., which hopes to develop a market for fatty acids that could be processed in petroleum refineries.