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NewEnergyNews More

Every day is Earthday.

Some details about NewEnergyNews and the man behind the curtain: Herman K. Trabish, Agua Dulce, CA., Doctor with my hands, Writer with my head, Student of New Energy and Human Experience with my heart

email: herman@NewEnergyNews.net

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Your intrepid reporter

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    A tip of the NewEnergyNews cap to Phillip Garcia for crucial assistance in the design implementation of this site. Thanks, Phillip.

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  • Wednesday, October 22, 2014

    SAVINGS FOR SCHOOLS FROM GEOTHERMAL HEAT PUMP SYSTEMS

    Using Geothermal Heating and Cooling Systems in Schools; Some schools in the United States and Europe have begun to use geothermal energy to cut down on energy consumption and provide an energy-efficient education.

    Sharon Gamson Danks, October 2014 (Mother Earth News)

    “…The temperature of the earth…[at a depth of six feet remains between 45 degrees f and 75 degrees f] throughout the year even when the air temperature experiences wide fluctuations from winter to summer…Geothermal heating and cooling systems are designed to take advantage of this thermal constant by pumping air or water into the ground to be heated or cooled to the earth’s stable temperature…The conditioned air or water may then be used [with little energy expenditure] in radiant heating or cooling systems embedded in the building’s floors, or as part of the building’s HVAC (climate control) systems…[These systems] could save schools a substantial amount of energy [and money and have reasonably short payback periods, generally take up less room in the school than conventional heating and cooling equipment, and run quietly…” click here for more

    BUILDING FOR NEXT-GEN U.S. BIOFUELS

    Production Begins at Second U.S. Cellulosic Biofuel Facility

    Jeremy Martin, October 17, 2014 (National Geographic)

    “…Spanish company Abengoa is bringing another big cellulosic biofuel facility online in Hugoton, a small community in the Southwest [Kansas]…This is the second big plant starting up this year, showing that after some predictable yet highly scrutinized delays, the cellulosic fuel industry is truly beginning to establish itself and making critical contributions to oil savings and climate goals…The Abengoa plant will double the production capacity on line for cellulosic ethanol, and do it without consuming a kernel of corn…Major companies from all over the world have come to the U.S. to invest in cellulosic biofuel…Yet the U.S. is certainly not the only place that cellulosic biofuels are coming on line. There is also a major cellulosic biofuels facility in Italy, and a cellulosic biorefinery just started up in Brazil…The cellulosic plant that opened in Iowa in August is a collaboration of Poet, a major US ethanol company, and Royal-DSM, a company from the Netherlands…Another major player in cellulosic biofuels is Danish firm Novozymes…[Beta Renewables] just started the cellulosic facility in Brazil…The Renewable Fuel Standard, which calls for increasing biofuels production steadily over time, is central to [U.S.] plans…” click here for more

    ENERGY STORAGE MARKET EMERGING

    Energy Storage Tracker 3Q14; Global Energy Storage Installations: Market Share Data, Industry Trends, Market Analysis, and Project Tracking by World Region, Technology, Application, and Market Segment

    3Q 2014 (Navigant Research)

    “Government funding, subsidies, and regulatory reforms in energy storage and related areas continue to encourage market growth. Lithium ion (Li-ion) technology has emerged as the global leader…[F]lywheels and flow batteries are also making significant headway. North America continues to move the market forward…[Western Europe] is also leading the market with utility-scale advanced battery and power-to-gas installations and announcements…Key vendors in the industry continue to specialize as systems integrators in the supply chain. In some cases, integrators are entering the sector from other industries. This is a critical time …[M]ore systems integrators are needed…[Navigant Research estimates] 362.8 MW of energy storage projects have been announced globally in the 2013-2014 period with an almost equal distribution between North America (103.3 MW), Asia Pacific (100.5 MW), and Western Europe (91.1 MW)…” click here for more

    Tuesday, October 21, 2014

    SOLARCITY TO CROWDFUND WITH $1,000 BONDS

    SolarCity Offers Bonds Online to Ordinary Investors

    Diane Cardwell, October 15, 2014 (NY Times)

    “SolarCity, the country’s leading installer of rooftop solar systems, began selling bonds online to ordinary investors…joining a handful of companies that are using crowdfunding to finance solar development…The company will issue up to $200 million in the bonds, whose maturities range from one to seven years and carry interest rates of 2 percent to 4 percent…The company has moved aggressively to raise money to finance its fast-growing business, including several debt offerings for institutional investors, like one begun last month to raise as much as $575 million. But this new effort is open to any United States citizen, 18 or older, with a domestic bank account who makes a minimum investment of $1,000…Several companies, like Mosiac, are already using crowdfunding to funnel money into solar projects. But those largely pool money from investors to provide loans for small- and medium-scale projects. SolarCity’s platform will instead pay back the bonds it issues with the income from the monthly solar electricity payments made by its customers, which include homeowners, schools, businesses and government organizations…[T]hey hope to appeal to people who want to help finance the growth of clean energy but desire the security of bonds…” click here for more

    NEW JERSEY LOOKS AT OCEAN WIND

    Measure Ratchets Up Targets For Nj’s Offshore-Wind Industry; Backers say bill, which calls for 4,500 megawatts by 2050, isn’t meant for the Christie administration but for one friendlier to renewable subsidies

    Tom Johnson, October 15, 2014

    “…A bill (S-2444) being considered by the [New Jersey] Senate Environment and Energy Committee would require 3,000 megawatts of generation from offshore wind projects by 2030 and 4,500 megawatts by 2050 be delivered to customers. That is far more than the 1,100 megawatts that would be required by 2020, a goal few think will ever be met. In fact, the measure eliminates the 1,100-megawatt target…The proposal is part of a bill that would require 80 percent of New Jersey’s electricity to come from renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar, by 2050. But even its advocates acknowledge the legislation stands little chance of being approved anytime soon, although they hope to lay the groundwork for passage in the next administration…Both the Christie administration and the Legislature once viewed offshore wind as an opportunity to develop a new green industry off the coast, a move that would create thousands of well-paying jobs and provide a needed spur to the state’s economy…[but] rising costs of subsidies to support renewable energy have become an increasing concern…[A]dvocates of the bill say opponents’ arguments about the costs fail to reflect the benefits of moving to cleaner ways of producing electricity in a state long-burdened with air pollution problems that affect public health…” click here for more

    SMART LED LIGHTING MRKT TO DOUBLE

    Residential Energy Efficient Lighting and Lighting Controls; Incandescent, Halogen, Fluorescent, and LED Luminaires and Lamps and Intelligent Controls: Global Market Analysis and Forecasts

    3Q 2014 (Navigant Research)

    “The global residential lighting market is on the verge of a major transformation…Extremely energy efficient light-emitting diode (LED) lamps are being adopted at an astonishing rate while remote control of connected lights is on the cusp of becoming much more commonplace…[and] all-encompassing home energy management (HEM) and home automation…is steadily gathering pace…Increasingly, homeowners are being drawn to the range of new use cases that controllable and networked LEDs bring. The ability of these devices to communicate with other popular connected devices is likely to prove particularly popular…[and bring] about energy savings automatically. According to Navigant Research, global revenue associated with the installation of residential lighting controls is expected to grow from $2.4 billion in 2014 to $4.6 billion in 2023…” click here for more

    Monday, October 20, 2014

    ELEVEN GOOD THINGS ABOUT SOLAR ENERGY

    Advantages of Solar Energy

    Zachary Shahan, October 16, 2014 (PlanetSave)

    "…[The disadvantage of solar energy is that] the sun doesn’t shine 24/7…[The advantages of solar energy] everybody should know…Solar energy can (probably) save you money…is better for our health...fights global warming and catastrophic climate change…makes the grid more secure…cuts the need for a lot of transmission…comes at times of very high demand…protects us from fuel price volatility… is renewable…is extremely abundant…is a great job creator…[and] needs very little water…” click here for more

    YAHOO BUYS WIND

    Yahoo Signs Long Term Power Purchase Agreement with OwnEnergy; Tech Leader's Purchase of Wind Energy Will Expand Sustainability Efforts

    Oct. 16, 2014 (PRNewswire)

    “…Yahoo!, Inc. [has entered into a long-term Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with OwnEnergy to purchase half the wind power output from the 48 megawatt Alexander Wind Farm in Kansas] which will be used to offset much of Yahoo's energy usage in the Great Plains region…OwnEnergy partners with energy entrepreneurs across the country to develop wind projects. The company's local partners are leading members of wind-rich communities who play an active role in project development and receive a share of project ownership in return…While Yahoo is one of the first tech companies to embrace this model of community-centric partnership, the trend for corporate purchasers to buy wind directly from wind farms is gaining pace…OwnEnergy is the national leader in mid-sized wind energy development [with a pipeline of 25 projects representing 2,000 megawatts in 23 states. It]…enables landowners and communities to build and profit directly from their own local wind farms…” click here for more

    SMART THERMOSTATS’ BILLION DOLLAR FUTURE

    Smart Thermostats; Communicating Thermostats, Smart Thermostats, and Associated Software and Services: Global Market Analysis and Forecasts

    3Q 2014 (Navigant Research)

    “The market for communicating and smart thermostats has exploded with activity since 2013…The year 2014 has seen significant business activity in the form of mergers and acquisitions, international expansion, technological growth, and more conclusive evidence of cost-effectiveness…In North America and Europe, interest in smart thermostat technology is growing among utilities and energy retailers, as well as consumers…[S]mall businesses are increasingly adopting solutions originally intended for residences…[to manage] heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems. For other regions, the technology remains nascent…According to Navigant Research, global revenue for communicating and smart thermostats and associated software and services is expected to grow from $146.9 million in 2014 to $2.3 billion in 2023…” click here for more

    Wednesday, October 15, 2014

    NEW NUMERS SHOW BIG OCEAN WIND POWER

    Offshore Wind Power Can Save U.S. Billions On Electricity, Recent DOE Study Finds

    Kit Kennedy, Oct. 11, 2014 (Energy Collective)

    “…[I]nstalling 54 gigawatts of offshore wind power off America’s coasts can cut the cost of electricity in the U.S. by an astounding $7.68 billion a year…[according to the U.S. Department of Energy’s] National Offshore Wind Energy Grid Interconnection Study…[T]hat potential is simply waiting to be realized, with about a dozen U.S. projects in some stage of development. The right state and federal policies can help move these projects off of their drawing boards and into the water, the study authors say...

    “There’s more than 134 gigawatts of potential at 209 sites [within 50 miles of U.S. coastlines on the Atlantic and Pacific coasts and along the Gulf of Mexico and the Great Lakes], the NOWEGIS authors conclude…[But the authors excluded] important habitats and marine sanctuaries… to ensure that one environmental good—pollution-free wind power—doesn’t come at the expense of another—important ocean wildlife and habitat protections…[T]he technology is evolving fast [in Europe and Asia], meaning its becoming more powerful and less expensive simultaneously…Offshore wind power can be an especially important resource for densely populated coastal areas, like the Northeast, the Mid-Atlantic, and northern California, where energy prices [and peak demand spikes] are high and land available for generation and transmission is generally limited…” click here for more

    SOLAR TURNS IN A NEW DIRECTION

    How Grid Efficiency Went South

    Matthew L. Wald, Oct. 7, 2014 (NY Times)

    “Almost every rooftop solar panel in the United States faces south, the direction that will catch the maximum energy when the sun rises in the southeast and sets in the southwest. This was probably a mistake…The panels are pointed that way because under the rules that govern the electric grid, panel owners are paid by the amount of energy they make. But they are not making the most energy at the hours when it is most needed…[T]he rules add cost and reduce environmental effectiveness, critics say, because they are out of step with what the power grid actually needs from intermittent renewables like wind and sun, and from zero-carbon nuclear power…[S]olar and wind will produce a lot of energy, but the power they make often does not match the system’s demand, so the contribution to its power needs may be much smaller…

    “[Coal, natural gas and especially nuclear plants] earn their keep by selling energy around the clock. Put enough wind and solar units on the grid during the hours when they are running and they flood the market and push down the hourly auction price of a megawatt-hour of energy…The problem is especially acute for nuclear reactors because their costs for fuel are roughly the same whether they are running or not…[S]ome have already closed and more are threatened…Even relatively clean natural gas plants are hurt; they are generally on the margin, the first to shut when new solar comes on line…” click here for more

    FUEL CELL MARKETS TO VARY, GROW

    Fuel Cells Annual Report 2014; Stationary, Portable, and Transportation Fuel Cell Sectors: 2013 and 2014 Global Market Developments

    4Q 2014 (Navigant Research)

    “During 2013 and 2014, [driven by a shift toward distributed generation (DG)] the fuel cell market continued to see the greatest demand from stationary applications, including utility-scale fuel cells, fuel cells for industrial and commercial buildings, and fuel cells for residential power. These markets are still very location-specific. Japan is focusing primarily on residential units, while North America and South Korea have adopted the larger fuel cell systems. Backup power is a market mainly in North America, but also in emerging economies – especially in Southeast Asia…As a result, Navigant Research expects the stationary sector to have the strongest global potential within the fuel cell market in terms of fuel cell systems shipped. The transportation sector has the potential to lead in terms of fuel cell capacity shipped, as fuel cell vehicles (FCVs) are expected to take off in the 2020 timeframe…” click here for more

    Tuesday, October 14, 2014

    THE UTILITY-SOLAR DEBATE OVER WHO PAYS

    Solar firms, power companies battle over 'net metering'

    Javier E. David, Oct. 13, 2014 (CNBC)

    “…[N]et-metering—a process where consumers use renewable energy to generate their own electricity, then cut their bills by sending excess power back to the grid at retail rates…saves consumers money on utility bills, [and] is gaining popularity yet remains the subject of fierce debate. At least 43 states have laws making it easy for residents to save via the sun; still, utilities are pushing back against solar's rapid encroachment on the retail market…The Energy Information Administration notes that retail electricity is up nearly 3 percent per kilowatt hour in 2014 versus a year ago, with costs rising for 20 consecutive months…

    "Power companies acknowledge that rooftop panels are forcing them to modernize the grid and rethink their business models. Additionally, residential units can help reduce strains on power systems during peak times and seasons…[But] net-metering was creating a classic ‘free-rider’ economic conundrum, where non-rooftop clients are ultimately paying more for electricity than net-metering clients. Certain costs, such as infrastructure and grid usage, are not being captured in what net-metering customers are charged…[U]tilities are waging a ground war in multiple states to get governments to reconsider subsidies and pass more costs on to net-metering clients…” click here for more

    TECHNICIANS WANTED – APPLY TO WIND

    Entire class of wind technicians at Oklahoma's Canadian Valley Technology Center receive job offers in one day; Wind industry is looking for workers.

    Jay F. Marks, Oct. 10, 2014 (The Oklahoman)

    “A Texas-based wind developer recently offered jobs to an entire class of wind technicians from Canadian Valley Technology Center in one day…A lot of wind farms are being built in Oklahoma, west Texas and Colorado…The most recent recipients of the wind industry’s growth were students in Canadian Valley’s wind energy technician certification program. Seven were hired by Abilene-based Run Energy, while another opted to take a job in Lawton because of family commitments…[All got job offers of at least $17 per hour, plus benefits and other perks…[like] a daily meal allowance, free lodging and a round-trip plane ticket home…Run Energy likely would have hired 30 or 40 more wind technicians if Canadian Valley had them…Canadian Valley established its wind technician program in October 2010…300 students have completed the program in the past four years. About 90 percent of them were placed in wind industry jobs…[only because some] didn’t want to leave town…One technician typically is responsible for maintaining about 10 wind turbines…” click here for more