Thursday, October 1st, 2009
Since 2007, the French photovoltaic market has been booming, with close to 500 megawatts of installed capacity expected this year, up from a mere 40 megawatts three years ago.
Most of this growth first stemmed from residential installations that benefited from high feed-in-tariffs for producers and substantial tax rebates for households. Since last year larger installations have also been skyrocketing.
On September 14, the French government released a draft regulation detailing the upcoming changes regarding photovoltaic electricity feed-in-tariffs in France. This draft is pending approval from the Conseil Supérieur de l’Energie (Energy Supreme Council) until late September.
Thursday, October 1st, 2009
This article by Susan Kraemer, appearing courtesy of Celsias, was originally posted on CleanTechnica.
An amazingly high percentage of people who live down the Mid-Atlantic Seaboard from New York to Virginia want wind turbines off their coast.
Even if they can be seen from the shoreline, 67 percent support off-shore wind power, according to a new poll of coastal residents of New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia .
If the turbines are out of sight, the level of support goes up to an astounding 82 percent.
Tuesday, September 22nd, 2009
Abu Dhabi is going far beyond its borders to build a zero carbon footprint city in Masdar. Clean technology leaders from across the global are helping to build Masdar City, which is being designed to use only renewable power and convert its waste to energy.
The innovative city of 40,000 will have no cars and recycle all of its waste, and is scheduled for completion in 2016.
An Australian firm, LAVA architects, recently won the bid to design the city center of Masdar with a European-style plaza.
America’s General Electric has a prominent role in Masdar, partnering with the Mubadala Development Company on financing programs and clean energy research. GE is also establishing an “ecoimagination” research center in Masdar.
Wednesday, September 16th, 2009
During the past weekend a team of CleanTechies made up of our staff members, friends and blog readers like yourself put our “Think Globally, Act Locally” philosophy into practice during Solarthon 2009. Our team of 15 people spent a partially rain-soaked Saturday to install a solar electric system on a low-income home in a Habitat for Humanity neighborhood located in Oakland, California. The team was organized by CleanTechies over the last month and its members were given the goal of raising almost $5,000 for the privilege of taking part in the event. All this effort was to support the ongoing efforts of a company we’ve raved about many times; GRID Alternatives.
GRID Alternatives is a non-profit organization making solar electric systems a reality for low-income homeowners who otherwise could not afford the systems. GRID does this through an innovative business model where they train volunteers to do everything from designing a system on a sheet of paper to mounting the final panel on a roof. With drastically reduced labor costs, a team of 10-15 volunteers can work slowly and steadily under the guidance of a GRID employee to deliver a complete system at almost half the cost of a typical solar system.
Tuesday, September 15th, 2009
Iraqi officials have endorsed a plan to convert dates into biofuel, an innovative project they hope will boost a once-thriving agriculture economy burdened by years of drought, government sanctions and war.
A United Arab Emirates-based company will produce bioethanol from the dates that farmers can no longer use because they are rotting, said Faroun Ahmed Hussein, head of Iraq’s date palm board.
The nation produces about 350,000 tons of dates annually, but consumes only about 150,000 tons.
Monday, September 14th, 2009
With steady growth in wind power capacity each of the last five years, China is expected to pass the United States as the fastest-growing market for wind installations this year. But this may only hint at the potential for wind energy in China, according to a new study published in the journal Science.
After modeling China’s wind availability and profitability, researchers from Harvard University and Tsinghua University in Beijing calculated that wind resources, particularly in the country’s northern and western regions, could meet all of China’s electricity demands until at least 2030.
Thursday, September 10th, 2009
U.S.-based First Solar has signed an agreement with the Chinese government to build the world’s largest photovoltaic power plant in Inner Mongolia. By 2019, the plant is expected to produce 2,000 megawatts of electricity, which the company said would be sufficient to power three million Chinese homes.
The deal for the 16,000-acre plant, to be located in Ordos City, solidifies China’s position as the global leader in developing renewable energy, and further boosts the prospects of First Solar, the world’s largest photovoltaic cell manufacturer.
Wednesday, September 9th, 2009
By Jonathan Williams
During this past summer, the world has seen multiple advances in the alternative energy field, particularly with algae biofuels. A week hasn’t gone by where I didn’t receive several press releases in my inbox highlighting the latest advances by one of the many algae companies out there.
However, while press releases look and sound good, nothing highlights the advances of a company, if not the entire field, than the announcement of a multi-million dollar partnership with a larger, well-known, and respected entity.
During this summer we saw just that, with multiple algae companies announcing their partnerships with larger corporations or entities.
To give you a brief overview on these partnerships, first came Algenol with their partnership with Dow Chemical researching algae as an ethanol fuel source. Next came Seambiotic with their announcement that they will be partnering with NASA to develop a jet fuel from algae. Most recently, and probably most importantly, was Exxon Mobil’s $600 million partnership with Synthetic Genomics to conduct extensive research on algae biofuels.
Friday, September 4th, 2009
A $17 million renewable energy project designed to tap into the earth’s heat more than 2 miles deep has been suspended because of difficulty drilling through rock formations.
The project, run by AltaRock Energy and partially funded by Google, was designed to drill down to about 12,000 feet, fracture rock at the bottom of the hole, and then circulate water to create steam.
But the company reported that it had encountered “anomalies” in the rock that had prevented it from drilling deeper than 4,000 feet.
Tuesday, September 1st, 2009
Israeli solar energy companies such as Solel Solar, Aora, Ormat technologies, and a host of others are now world leaders in the development of sun power to produce electricity. But Israel, a small country of 7 million, with more than half its land area being desert, has been a solar energy pioneer virtually since its beginning in 1948.
What is now fondly known to many Israelis as a “dude shemesh” or sun boiler, was invented by a guy named Levi Yissar back in the early 1950’s, when electricity was very expensive due to a severe energy shortage.