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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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  • Monday, July 6, 2015

    CLIMATE HEAT TURNS MALE LIZARDS FEMALE

    Climate change turning male dragon lizards into females

    PTI, 6 July 2015 (The Economic Times)

    “Scientists have confirmed for the first time that sex change [of male dragon lizards into females] can occur naturally due to exposure to increased temperatures resulting from climate change…[Researchers from the University of Canberra were] able to show that a reptile's sex determination process can switch rapidly from one determined by chromosomes to one determined by temperature…[W]hen exposed to extreme temperatures [in natural conditions], genetically male dragons turned into [fertile] females…[With field data from 131 adult lizards and controlled breeding experiments, molecular analyses] showed that some warmer lizards had male chromosomes but were actually female…[From studying the new breeding lines, they discovered those lizards] could trigger a rapid transition from a genetically-dependent system to a temperature-dependent system…[The] sex-reversed mothers - females who are genetic males - laid more eggs than normal mothers…[and the] ‘dad lizards make better mums’…” click here for more

    SOLAR-POWERED FLIGHT CROSSES THE PACIFIC

    Record-breaking flight shows the power of solar energy; Solar Impulse 2's flight from Japan to Hawaii, using only solar power, has put clean technology back on the agenda.

    5 July 2015 (AlJazeera)

    "A record-breaking flight using electricity produced from the sun is showcasing what is possible using clean technology…The accomplishment marks the latest leg of a round-the-world mission by two Swiss explorers to promote the promise of clean technology...Solar Impulse 2 took off from Abu Dhabi on March 9 on the first stage of a 35,000 km journey…The sun-driven plane completed its latest leg from Japan to Hawaii… setting three world records in the process…” click here for more

    1ST U.S. OCEAN WIND NOW BUILDING

    First Offshore Wind Farm in U.S. Powers Ahead; Proponents of Block Island project hope its five towering windmills will boost coastal sites

    Jon Kamp, July 2, 2015 (Wall Street Journal)

    “…Five towering windmills off the [Block Island]’s southeast coast are scheduled to begin generating power late next year…[Proponents] hope it will help jump-start the offshore wind industry in the U.S. The American Wind Energy Association trade group estimates there are 11 projects in 10 states in various stages of development. The U.S. lags behind other parts of the world in developing offshore wind, particularly Europe, which has been tapping the power source for more than two decades…In 2010, Rhode Island state regulators approved an amended deal for the state’s main power utility to buy the wind farm’s output…[T]he project is fully financed and permitted, and workers are expected to begin anchoring steel foundations to the ocean floor [in late July]…The new power source means Block Island residents will see their power bills go down roughly 30% by replacing the expensive diesel power…” click here for more

    Wednesday, July 1, 2015

    AVATAR DIRECTOR GOES SOLAR

    James Cameron’s Plan to Fix Solar Panels

    Alissa Walker, June 30, 2015 (GizModo)

    “…[Avatar director, deep-sea explorer, NASA advisor, and all around badass James Cameron has turned his attention to solar. Panels] are installed a certain way on-site to receive the peak amount of solar energy, but this optimal placement also means the panels’ performance will plummet at other times of the day…[whereas Cameron decided] the design needed to be able to track with the sun’s movement throughout the day, increasing productivity, and not rely on a roof’s pitch for optimized installation…[Cameron] chose a sunflower…

    “Cameron then worked with the solar company Sonnen…The first Sun Flowers were installed last month on the Malibu campus of the MUSE School, a nonprofit school focused on environmental learning which was cofounded by his wife Suzy Amis Cameron…The grid-tied system is currently generating about 260 kWh per day, which provides about 75 to 90 percent of the school’s power needs, but Cameron believes in the upcoming summer months the panels could supply the full 100 percent…” click here for more

    U.S. KEEPS WIND TURBINE BUILDERS BUSY

    Vestas racking up big orders for new U.S. wind farms

    Cathy Proctor, June 30, 2015 (Denver Business Journal)

    "Vestas Wind Systems is racking up more orders from customers eager to put the Danish manufacturer’s wind turbines to work across the United States…[It has] orders for more than 250 of its wind turbines for U.S. wind farms. And Vestas’ factories in Colorado will be building components for those wind farms…Vestas employs nearly 3,000 people in the state and has four factories…The wind industry has been revving lately in the United States, following an extension of the federal wind Production Tax Credit, worth $23 for every megawatt-hour of power produced for 10 years. New wind farms where at least 5 percent of the budget was spent in 2014 will qualify for the credit…” click here for more

    VW ENTERS THE RACE FOR THE 200 MILE EV

    In Battle to Produce World’s First Truly-Affordable Long-Range Electric Car, VW Throws its Hat into the Ring

    Nikki Gordon-Bloomfield, June 30, 2015 (Transport Evolved)

    "With the exception of the high-end, high-priced Tesla Model S electric sedan, the majority of mass-market electric cars on sale today still offer a real-world range of between 60 and 110 miles…[M]ost advocates and automakers alike all quietly agree that in order to accelerate the mass-adoption of electric vehicles beyond their already-positive levels, cars need to be developed which are both affordable and offer double or even triple [the battery range] of today’s vehicles…Consequentially, Nissan, General Motors and Tesla Motors are all racing to bring next-generation electric models to market in the next few years which offer a price point of around $35,000 as well as real-world, achievable [200 miles per charge] ranges…Now German Automaker Volkswagen has thrown its hat into the ring…” click here for more

    Tuesday, June 30, 2015

    TODAY’S STUDY: THE STEADY BUILD-OUT OF OCEAN WIND IN EUROPE

    Offshore Wind in Europe; Walking the tightrope to success

    March 2015 (Ernst and Young)

    Key Findings

    In a context of strong commitment on GHG emissions reduction and uncertainty on fossil fuel prices and energy security, the large-scale deployment of renewable energy capacity appears indispensable to Europe moving forward. Offshore wind energy represents a crucial component of the future European energy system:

    • Offshore wind in Europe currently represents one of the most stable sources of renewable energy, with increased energy capture expected due to Europe’s leading position in offshore wind R&D.

    • Offshore wind energy is expected to grow to 23.5 GW by 2020, tripling current installed capacity.

    • Industry efforts to reduce capital and operating costs mean that offshore wind will become highly competitive by 2023 when compared to other sources of energy. LCoE could reach €90/MWh by 2030 as long as a continual stream of projects enters the pipeline.

    • The policy framework for securing 27% renewables and 40% reduction in GHG emissions by 2030 is currently unclear. However, in an “Offshore Wind Scenario”, the installed capacity of offshore wind power could reach almost 65 GW by 2030, allowing wind energy to make up more than 25% of electricity generation in Europe.

    • The “Offshore Wind Scenario” could also save Europe €18b each year on fuel imports in 2030. Applying the SCoE model to the “Offshore Wind Scenario” shows that it is possible to build a low carbon energy sector €4b cheaper than in a “Nuclear Scenario”. Compared with other energy mix scenarios, prioritizing offshore wind energy could create the most jobs in the energy sector, displace the most carbon, and would be cheaper for society than nuclear or conventional sources of energy.

    Today’s needed actions for 2030

    In order to secure Europe’s commitments to climate change, energy security and a low carbon economy, offshore wind should be considered as an important component to the power mix. Continued cost reduction and support from policy makers are necessary to maximize the potential of offshore wind resources and to realize the socioeconomic benefits of a fully industrialized and emerging sector. Several key priorities have been identified to address these challenges:

    • Ensure a stable regulatory framework and define long-term policy schemes

    • Improve access to finance for the offshore wind sector

    • Ensure cost-effective grid investment and connection

    • Address planning system issues

    • Face supply and logistics challenges

    • Support innovation and training, and enhance synergies to reduce costs

    The potential of offshore wind and the industry today…The cost of offshore wind…The future of offshore wind… Industry and government actions to realize the potential of offshore wind…

    BILL GATES BRINGS $2BIL TO NEW ENERGY

    Bill Gates to invest $2bn in breakthrough renewable energy projects; Bill Gates plans to double investment in green energy technology and research to combat climate change, but rejects calls to divest from fossil fuels

    Emma Howard, 29 June 2015 (The Guardian)

    “…[Bill Gates will invest $2bn] in renewable technologies initiatives, but rejected calls to divest from the fossil fuel companies that are burning carbon at a rate that ignores international agreements…[Gates will] double his current investments in renewables over the next five years in a bid to ‘bend the curve’ on tackling climate change…[The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation] currently has $1.4bn invested in fossil fuel companies…[but Gates said divestment] would have little impact…Instead he said there was an urgent need for ‘high risk’ investments in breakthrough technologies…[He said] a ‘miracle’ on the level of the invention of the automobile was necessary to avoid a climate catastrophe…[because] current renewables are not yet close to being able to meet projected energy needs by 2030…[Innovation, he said,] is the only way to reach a positive scenario…” click here for more

    THE INEVITABILITY OF U.S. OCEAN WIND

    Offshore wind still the best bet for clean energy

    Ann Berwick, June 29, 2015 (Boston Globe)

    “…A bill pending in the Massachusetts Legislature would require that large amounts of electricity come from wind turbines located offshore…For the Northeast to address climate change, developing offshore wind is a necessity. That’s because nothing beats offshore wind for generating power…To cut [climate change inducing greenhouse gas emissions drastically, we need to do three things: reduce the amount of energy we use; ‘green’ the electric grid with renewable sources of energy; and — as much as possible — use that clean electricity to run electric vehicles and heat buildings…In this part of the country, there are currently only four potential large sources of renewable power for generating electricity: onshore wind, hydropower (mostly from Canada and some from northern New England), solar, and offshore wind. Examine each option more closely and it becomes apparent that we cannot do without offshore wind…” click here for more

    THE INEVITABILITY OF SOLAR

    The Solar Energy Revolution: Past the Point of No Return; Solar energy is now so cheap that it's beating fossil fuels, putting it on a path for growth that can't be stopped.

    Travis Hoium, June 27, 2015 (Motley Fool)

    “…[In 2011, the SunShot Initiative’s goal of $1-per-watt solar energy seemed a long way off]… First Solar's CEO Jim Hughes said that $1 per watt is…less than two years away…The government's progress toward achieving $1 per watt by 2017 and having it be a widespread commercial reality by 2020 is well ahead of schedule…Whether you invest in tech, retail, oil and gas, utilities, coal, or any other industry, this will affect the companies you own. And you're going to want the solar boom to be a tailwind, not a headwind…First Solar says that bids for solar projects are now in the $0.04-to-$0.05-per-kWh range, which is less than you can build a fossil fuel plant for, no matter the source of energy…” click here for more

    Monday, June 29, 2015

    SCOTUS SLOWS EPA CLEAN AIR EFFORTS

    High court strikes down power plant regulations

    Richard Wolff, June 29, 2015 (USA Today)

    “A narrowly divided Supreme Court struck down federal clean air regulations…on coal- and oil-fired power plants…The 5-4 ruling blocks the Environmental Protection Agency from jump-starting new rules designed to reduce the amount of dangerous mercury and other toxins that pollute the nation's air, at an unknown net cost to power plants and consumers…It was a major defeat for the Obama administration, which had been on a roll at the high court on environmental matters…[and] a victory for a coalition of 20 states, along with major electric utilities and coal producers…[The court agreed EPA must take the estimated annual cost of $9.6 billion into account, but the agency did not do so…The government said the regulations would prevent premature deaths and illnesses from asthma, cancer and heart disease, and protect pregnant women and unborn children...[from] overexposure to mercury…Among the industries most threatened were coal plants…” click here for more

    SOLAR HIGHWAYS

    Start of test with solar energy generating noise barriers alongside highway

    June 29, 2015 (PhysOrg)

    “Alongside the A2 highway near Den Bosch, The Netherlands, two test noise barriers are installed that generate solar energy. The aim of this practical test, that was officially launched 18 June is to assess the economic and technical feasibility of this form of energy generating noise barriers…These 'luminescent solar concentrators' (LSCs) receive sun light and guide it to the side of the panels. There, it lands in concentrated form on traditional solar cells…The researchers intend to assess the feasibility of generating electricity using solar cells integrated in noise barriers or SONOBs (Solar Noise Barriers)…The aim is to provide better understanding of how much electricity these semi-transparent acoustic screens can generate under different conditions.,,” click here for more

    JAPAN TURNS FROM NUKES TO WIND POWER

    This Huge Wind Turbine Floating on Water Is Fukushima's Energy Solution

    Bryan Lufkin, June 23, 2015 (GizModo)

    “A mere 12 miles from the wrecked Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant will soon sit a 620-foot, 1,500-ton [7 MW] windmill atop a 5,000-ton podium. It’ll be the biggest [most powerful] floating wind turbine on Earth, and it could usher in a new age of green energy for a region largely fed up with nuclear energy…The beast of a turbine sports three 270-foot-long blades and is built to stand against winds nearly 200 mph…The $401 million Fukushima wind farm project is a government-sponsored collaboration among 11 companies and research orgs, like Mitsubishi, Hitachi, and the University of Tokyo…” click here for more

    Tuesday, June 23, 2015

    GOODS BETS TO MAKE ON WIND

    The Best Play In Wind Energy Right Now

    Martin Tiller, 21 June 2015 (OilPrice)

    “…Everything points to serious growth in the [wind] industry over the next few years…[but figuring how to invest] is when the going gets tough…The problem is that there are seemingly two types of companies in the space, small ventures…or multinational, giant conglomerates…The German company Siemens (ADR: SIEGY) and GE (GE) were one and two in a recent global market share analysis,.. While GE doesn’t disclose separate revenue or profit numbers for wind energy, Siemens does, and the importance of the business within the company is actually quite surprising. In 2013, wind power accounted for 5.2 Billion Euros in revenue at Siemens, or around 25 percent of the total…[or] you might consider Vestas (VWSYF), the Danish company that finished third in those rankings…Siemens looks like the best investment…” click here for more