Generation

Inside Duke Energy’s renewables strategy | Utility Dive

July 7, 2015 // 0 Comments

Today, most rooftop solar arrays are installed by third party providers like SolarCity and SunRun — not regulated utilities. But as solar proliferates, its residential adopters pay less money to the utility because they can generate or offset a portion of their electricity demand. That means utilities — many of them already facing stagnant or negative load growth — can see significant portions of their revenue lost if solar catches on among their customers. Worse, they argue, solar adopters still use the grid, but pay less for its upkeep, forcing those costs onto other customers. Source: Inside Duke Energy’s renewables strategy | Utility Dive

EU on track to meeting 20% renewable energy target – European Commission

June 17, 2015 // 0 Comments

The EU reports that their member states are well on the way to meeting the EU’s target for 20% renewable energy in the overall energy supply by 2020. Presented on 16 June, the European Commission’s renewable energy progress report reveals that 25 EU countries are expected to meet their 2013/2014 interim renewable energy targets. In 2014, the projected share of renewable energy in the gross final energy consumption is 15.3%. Source: EU on track to meeting 20% renewable energy target – European Commission Well, although I doubt the methods for calculating the numbers, at least we are on the way.

European power is slipping away from King Coal | News | Eco-Business | Asia Pacific

June 17, 2015 // 0 Comments

Coal, the muscle that for two centuries powered Europe’s economic dominance of the world, is steadily losing its grip as cleaner fuels take its place and energy efficiency cuts electricity consumption, according to new analysis.The European Union’s electricity demand fell by 3.3 per cent from 2008 to 2013 − even though GDP grew by 4.1 per cent − and the analysts say changing market conditions for utilities leaves new coal plants failing to generate positive cash-flows even in the most optimistic scenario. Source: European power is slipping away from King Coal | News | Eco-Business | Asia Pacific

China To Build 50MW Solar Power Plant In Kenya Amid Investment Boom

June 15, 2015 // 0 Comments

China is set to construct a solar power plant in Kenya as part of an ongoing investment plan between the two countries, media reports said Sunday. The 50-megawatt plant, which is planned to be built in the city of Garissa, will be financed by the Export-Import Bank of China, reports said, citing China’s ambassador to Kenya, Liu Xianfa. Source: China To Build 50MW Solar Power Plant In Kenya Amid Investment Boom

US solar PV grows 1.3 GW in Q1, installed cost drops 10% | Utility Dive

June 12, 2015 // 0 Comments

U.S. residential solar photovoltaic (PV) installed capacity grew by 437 MW in Q1 2015, a 76% increase over Q1 2014, according to the “Q1 U.S. Solar Market Insight report” from GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association. The average residential installed cost was $3.48 per watt, 10% below Q1 2014’s installed cost. Source: US solar PV grows 1.3 GW in Q1, installed cost drops 10% | Utility Dive

EEI 2015: Why Elon Musk thinks the future is bright for utilities | Utility Dive

June 10, 2015 // 0 Comments

Interview with Elon Musk and SoCal CEO Ted Craver on Utility Dive, excellent read The key, Musk said, is the shift toward an electricity-based economy. As consumers transition from petroleum-fueled vehicles to electric ones, Musk predicted that electricity demand would double or more, creating a huge new market for utility services. In the long run, distributed generation will likely account for about a third of electricity generation, Musk said, so there will still be plenty of need for central station power and the grid. Source: EEI 2015: Why Elon Musk thinks the future is bright for utilities | Utility Dive

Innovative battery technology can benefit utilities | The Big Data Hub

June 9, 2015 // 0 Comments

IBM’s Jennifer Potter published a post about energy storage and the possible benefits for utilities: Tesla’s Powerwall Home Battery seems poised to wean consumers off the big grid. A recent TechCrunch article claims that a single battery pack, valued at $3,000, will let a household run entirely on solar energy. On the other hand, Wired’s Rhett Allain challenges these claims by explaining the physics of energy storage. According to Allain, a single 10 kWh Powerwall could not meet the electricity demands of a typical household. Surveys conducted by the U.S. Energy Information Administration average typical household use at 30 kWh a day, therefore, a customer would need three Powerwalls to stay off the grid entirely. Three powerwalls can be arranged, but this would only work for sunny states and countries. I don’t think that west- and nordic European countries have enough sunshine in the winter to even supply themselves with solar power. Source: Innovative battery technology can benefit utilities | The Big Data Hub

Researchers Use Graphene to Push the Speed Limit of Light to Electricity Conversion – Solar Thermal Magazine

June 5, 2015 // 0 Comments

The ultrafast creation of a photovoltage in graphene is possible due to the extremely fast and efficient interaction between all conduction band carriers in graphene. This interaction leads to a rapid creation of an electron distribution with an elevated electron temperature. Thus, the energy absorbed from light is efficiently and rapidly converted into electron heat. Next, the electron heat is converted into a voltage at the interface of two graphene regions with different doping. This photo-thermoelectric Source: Researchers Use Graphene to Push the Speed Limit of Light to Electricity Conversion – Solar Thermal Magazine

Scientists have built the world’s thinnest electric generator – and it’s only one atom wide

October 20, 2014 // 0 Comments

Scientists have built the world’s thinnest electric generator – and it’s only one atom wide. “This material – just a single layer of atoms – could be made as a wearable device, perhaps integrated into clothing, to convert energy from your body movement to electricity and power wearable sensors or medical devices, or perhaps supply enough energy to charge your cell phone in your pocket,” said James Hone, professor of mechanical engineering at Columbia engineering and co-leader of the research