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Renewable Energy News

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Updated: 1 hour 26 min ago

It’s Cold and My Car is Buried in Snow; Is Global Warming Really Happening?

Wed, 01/15/2014 - 08:28

For years, climate contrarians have pointed to snowfall and cold weather to question the scientific reality of human-induced climate change.

Northern Exposure: Canadian Hydro in the Spotlight

Wed, 01/15/2014 - 07:40

Thomas Edison received his patent for the incandescent light bulb mere months before the Ottawa Electric Light Company completed Canada's first hydropower project, but the plant still preceded the modern vacuum cleaner, radio receiver and air conditioner by two decades. Not even the double-edged safety razor, Teddy bear or crayon had been invented by the time the Chaudiere Falls facility began generating power in 1881. While electricity in its infancy was primarily reserved as a novelty for the rich and a resource for captains of industry, Canada was quick to see hydro's potential.

Can Grass Be a New Biofuel?

Wed, 01/15/2014 - 07:00

Grass could be used to produce biofuels. The advantage of using grass crops is that they can be grown in marginal lands that would otherwise not be used. Marginal lands is a wide definition, admits Susanne Barth, research Officer at Teagasc, the agriculture and food development authority research centre, in Carlow, Ireland. “This can be soils that can be in bad physical condition or prone to flooding, extreme drought or which suffer from salt stress.” Barth coordinates an EU-funded research project, called GrassMargins, which is testing out whether grasses could be used as biofuels.

SolarCity and Tesla: The Golden Children of 2014?

Tue, 01/14/2014 - 16:22

If you had gobbled up shares of Tesla or SolarCity about six months ago, you would’ve raised a few eyebrows. With both companies being heavily dependent on government subsidies, they were, at the time, losing money at an alarming rate. To top it off, these were among the most shorted stocks on Wall Street, meaning many investors were betting on the

How to Build a Clean Energy Grid

Tue, 01/14/2014 - 09:53

By John Jimison, Bill White, and Ben Paulos As part of their regional webinar series, Americans for a Clean Energy Grid is hosting a free webinar on transmission issues and opportunities in the PJM region.  Register here for the January 24th session. America’s electric transmission grid is rarely thought of, and taken for granted until something go

New User-Friendly Solar PV System Design Software Emerges from Beta

Tue, 01/14/2014 - 09:24

After nine months in private beta, Folsom Labs has officially decloaked with its solar PV design software that it says is as accurate but vastly more usable than the industry's incumbent tool, claiming to cut down design times by up to 75 percent.

England's Clouds Part for Solar as Panels Carpet Fields

Tue, 01/14/2014 - 09:06

Cloudy Britain is emerging as Europe's hottest market to build solar parks, as cheaper equipment costs and steady subsidies are attracting developers of large-scale, ground-mounted projects from nations like Germany and Spain that pioneered solar on the continent.

Alternative Energy Mutual Fund and ETF Year End Update

Tue, 01/14/2014 - 08:30

Alternative energy investing was very profitable in 2013. This article reviews how green mutual funds and ETFs performed in 2013, what stocks were most favored by these funds, and forecasts where funds should go in 2014 and beyond.

Prickly Pear Cactus: Nuisance or Bioenergy Opportunity?

Tue, 01/14/2014 - 07:00

In much of west Texas, the iconic Prickly Pear cactus — with its plum-like fruit and forbidding spiked pads — is at best considered a nuisance, and at worst a downright hazard to livestock. But in most of the rest of the semi-arid world — from Mexico and Chile, large swaths of India and South Africa, as well as Spain and Morocco — Opuntia ficus-indica (Prickly Pear) is used in dye-making, as feed for livestock, and, little by little, as feedstock for anaerobic biogas production.

Enabling more Democratic Energy

Mon, 01/13/2014 - 12:19

From outdated technical rules to local permitting to incentive policies, there are opportunities to increase the potential for local solar power. This is the fourth of five parts of ILSR's Rooftop Revolution report being published in serial.  Read Part 1 or Part 2 or Part 3. Download the entire report and see our other resources here. Removing Tech

Danish Pension Fund To Invest in Renewable Energy Projects in Developing Nations

Mon, 01/13/2014 - 09:13

PensionDanmark A/S and other Danish pension investors backed a state fund to finance emission-reduction projects in developing countries as the Scandinavian nation seeks to export its climate know-how abroad.

An Independent Engineering Evaluation of Waste-to-Energy Technologies

Mon, 01/13/2014 - 07:00

Waste-to-Energy (WTE) or energy-from-waste is the process of generating energy in the form of electricity and/or heat from the incineration of waste. In the U.S., some cities primarily in the northeastern and mid-Atlantic, burn part of their municipal solid wastes. Hemmed in by major population centers, landfill space in these areas is at a premium, so burning wastes to reduce their volume and weight makes sense. Combustion reduces the volume of material by about 90 percent and its weight by 75 percent. The heat generated by burning wastes has other uses, as well, as it can be used directly for heating, to produce steam or to generate electricity.

2014: The Maturation of Clean Tech

Mon, 01/13/2014 - 07:00

As a new year begins for the clean tech industry, maturation is a theme that comes to mind. And if we think of clean tech not only as a growing global industry, but as a fundamental global transition — as so many of its leaders and participants do — we can chart its progress along Gandhi’s oft-cited dictum of other transitions in history. I’m not suggesting that the growth of clean tech is an exact analog to India’s struggle for independence from Great Britain; that would be quite presumptuous on many levels. But with renewable and distributed energy as a metaphorical threat to decades-old entrenched ways of doing things, there are parallels to be made.

The New Global Leader in Renewable Energy

Mon, 01/13/2014 - 07:00

Since 2010, China has been the largest consumer of energy in the world. As the country continues to develop, a rising middle class, more vehicles, urbanization and industry all require increased energy usage.

US Auto Factory Chooses Wind Energy for On-site Power Generation

Fri, 01/10/2014 - 09:18

ConEdison Solutions, the energy services unit of Consolidated Edison Inc., is providing electricity from two wind turbines to a Honda Motor Co. factory in Ohio, reducing the site’s demand from local power companies.

When’s the Best Day to Send an E-Newsletter and 4 Other Solar Marketing Insights for 2014

Fri, 01/10/2014 - 08:29

Marketing solar is unique, but we can certainly learn from other industry marketing trends. One great resource is Marketing Sherpa, which recently published some terrific insights from a survey of non-solar marketers and their plans for 2014. Here are some key takeaways and how I think they might apply to solar: 1. Send emails on Tuesdays. Accordin

Geothermal Industry Partnerships Push the Innovation Envelope

Fri, 01/10/2014 - 08:19

Geothermal energy is a clean, green, renewable source of power that faces challenges regarding costs and project timelines. One company has found a way to improve the margins by adopting innovative technology to help achieve higher efficiencies, reduce maintenance costs and improve the reliability of 30 condenser fans at its geothermal power plant in the Oregon desert.

Familiar Holiday Wind Rush a Little Different This Year

Fri, 01/10/2014 - 07:00

If you’ve been around wind energy a little while, you know that it’s not unusual for the industry to rev up in the fourth quarter of a given year. The industry turned a little frenetic at the end of 2013, all right, but the nature of the activity was quite different from the usual holiday rush. Rather than reports streaming in about new projects going online, this year’s holiday news was filled with construction starts, turbine orders, and power purchase agreements.

Mosaic, BigBelly Solar Awarded Grants for "Powerful Answers"

Thu, 01/09/2014 - 09:20

Two firms advancing renewable energy applications are in the spotlight this week at the CES consumer tech show in Las Vegas, one of the tech world's biggest venues, receiving grants from U.S. telecommunications company Verizon to further bring their ideas and strategies to the masses.

Road Map to Clean Energy and Climate Initiatives in New York's 2014 State of the State Report

Thu, 01/09/2014 - 08:59

Curbing global warming emissions and building the clean energy economy are critical to New York State’s future and the health and well-being of all New Yorkers. In this week’s State of the State event, Governor Cuomo announced some significant new clean energy and climate initiatives.