The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

News on renewable energy

May 22, 2015: Focus on Renewable Energy, Green Buildings to Spur Demand for Building Integrated PV BIPV Takes on the Dual Role of Both Building Envelope Material and Power Generator SAN JOSE, Calif. — The annual installed capacity of building integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) is projected to exceed 11 GW by 2020, driven by the increasing focus on renewable energy and the green building movement in the construction sector, according to a new report by Global Industry Analysts Inc.

BIPV refers to photovoltaic products such as solar panels and modules that are integrated into traditional building materials.

Damian Carrington: Saudi Arabia’s solar-for-oil plan is a ray of hope
Talk by the world’s biggest oil exporter of giving up fossil fuels and embracing solar and wind energy adds momentum towards a global climate change deal

May 23, 2015 Posted by | renewable | Leave a comment

Headlines on renewable energy

renewable-energy-pictureSorry – can’t keep up with all the great renewable energy developments. Here are a few headlines:
Solar Is the Fastest-Growing Source of Renewable Energy in America

Renewable Energy Now Employs 7.7 Million People Worldwide on Tuesday, May 19th, 2015
This Company Is Leading the Charge to Expedite Renewable Energy  | May 19, 2015
Australia leads the world in percentage of homes with solar powe 

Hawaii pushes ambitious renewable energy effort ExtremeTech-18 May 2015Hawaii has become the first state to mandate a move to 100%renewable energy. In a 74-2 vote by the Hawaiian legislature, lawmakers have …

May 20, 2015 Posted by | renewable | Leave a comment

Green bonds – a powerful way to develope green energy?

Green bonds, a fast-growing money game with the clout to develop clean energy, await an umpire, EE News,  Benjamin Hulac, E&E reporter ClimateWire: Thursday, May 14, 2015

When he chaired the Federal Communications Commission from 1993 to 1997, Reed Hundt studied the swift expansion of the nation’s telecommunications system that made the United States among the most advanced nations in the field and sparked investment overseas.

Between 1996 and 2013, broadband companies invested more than $1.3 trillion in telecom infrastructure domestically, according to the broadband industry’s trade group.

About 32 percent of the world’s population — 84 percent and 21 percent of residents in developed and developing nations, respectively — now has mobile broadband connections, according to the United Nations.

Hundt believes the same experience could be repeated in developing clean energy to cope with global climate change.

Borrowed money paid for the communications boom, Hundt explained, speaking yesterday at an energy efficiency conference in Washington, D.C. He added that world leaders should apply the same method to fund the renewable energy market.

“Everything in communications has been purchased with debt,” he said, holding up an iPhone and describing how rapidly mobile phones have spread internationally.

The portion of the business world devoted to renewable energy resembles the telecom industry in the 1980s, said Hundt, now the CEO of the Coalition for Green Capital, a nonprofit working to drive renewable investment by creating so-called green banks.

“I think that we’re in the really early days,” he said during a panel talk on green bonds, adding that a “total, radical, disrupting overhaul” of the energy sector must be accomplished with a massive lending market and robust debt securitization…………..

May 18, 2015 Posted by | business and costs, renewable | Leave a comment

Renewable energy racing ahead – nuclear power declining

It’ s harder to find real new about nuclear power, than it is for renewable energy.  Renewable energy is the future, and this website should, theoretically, be following the excitinfg developments in both large and small-scale wind and solar developments.

However – it IS “nuclear-news” – so from now on, I’m concentrating on the more strictly “nuclear” issues, and just pointing to headlines and brief notes for that other topic – however tantalising its news:

renewable_energyRENEWABLE ENERGY:

California’s Renewable Energy Plan Will Save $51 Billion a Year  on Friday, May 15th, 2015 California’s new renewable energy target, proposed by Gov. Jerry Brown during his inaugural address in January, is not only achievable: It would result in as much as $51 billion in annual savings for the state’s residents, according to an analysis by Strategen Consulting that “quantifies the economic and societal impacts” of the governor’s proposed goals.

Ahead of schedule when it comes to meeting a current goal of sourcing 33 percent of electricity from renewable sources by 2020, Gov. Brown proposes raising the state’sRenewables Portfolio Standard (RPS) target up a big notch – to 50 percent by 2030…….


UK Renewable Energy Investment And Generation Surges In 2014, Clean Technica May 15th, 2015 by   A new report shows that renewable energy investment in the United Kingdom hit a record high in 2014, with electricity generated from renewables increasing by 20% as well.

In fact, in 2014, not only did renewable energy investment hit a record of £10.7 billion, but renewable jobs increased by 9% as well…..

Renewable energy storage will end capacity payments Capacity payments and fossil energy can be made redundant by electric cars, writes Teodora Serafimova. The European Commission recognises the important role energy storage technologies will have to play in the future energy system, both in its Energy Security Strategy of May 2014 as well as in its more recent Energy Union strategy. Bellona has long been convinced of the necessity of energy storage in the face of a rapidly growing share of renewables in the energy mix. With such storage technology quickly materialising, notably from the electric car industry, it’s time to take stock of the changes this will bring.

Energy storage does not only hold the potential for us to make better use of renewable power, but in doing so it also allows us make less use of fossil power. Being less dependent on fossil power erodes the case for subsidies like capacity payments keeping this industry alive.

Energy storage technologies, such as compressed air storage and batteries, can store low-cost renewable energy when the system experiences oversupply, then release this energy to the grid when it is more needed, such as at night in the case of solar or when the output of wind power falls below demand.

In short, energy storage gives renewable energy the flexibility it currently lacks. ……

May 16, 2015 Posted by | EUROPE, renewable, UK, USA | Leave a comment

Essential for Internet lifestyles to be powered by renewable energy – Greenpeace

Renewable energy vital for internet lifestyles: Greenpeace,  MAY 13, 2015 A GREENPEACE report released on Tuesday charged utilities with hampering efforts to use renewable energy to power data centres needed for services hosted in the cloud.

  • Greenpeace praised moves made by Apple, Google and other internet titans to fill a skyrocketing demand for electricity with solar, wind or other environmentally-friendly sources but lamented expansion of data centre capacity in places where utilities reliant on carbon-spewing coal fuel dominate markets.

    “A growing number of companies have begun to create a corner of the internet that is renewable powered and coal free,” the report said in an executive summary.

    Internet companies that have committed to being completely powered by renewable energy sources include Apple, Facebook, and Google, according to Greenpeace.

    Those commitments have driven growth of renewable power in several key markets, and caused some utilities to invest more heavily in that kind of electricity generation to meet demand, the report stated……

  • Amazon, Microsoft, eBay, and Oracle were among technology giant’s who scored low grades from Greenpeace when it came to green energy deployment and advocacy.

    “The magic of the internet seems almost limitless,” Greenpeace said. “But each new internet enabled magic trick means more and more data.” Increasing demand for data, particularly streaming video, and processing power in the cloud means ramped up demand for power by data centres doing the online work.

    “While there may be significant energy efficiency gains from moving our lives online, the explosive growth of our digital lives is outstripping those gains,” Greenpeace said………

May 16, 2015 Posted by | 2 WORLD, renewable | Leave a comment

Rural areas in Pakistan get Solar-powered ATMs to deliver clean drinking water

Solar-powered ATMs to deliver clean drinking water in Pakistan – TRFN BY AAMIR SAEED LAHORE, Pakistan, May 14 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – P unjab province is set to launch an innovation for water-short Pakistan: Solar-powered ATMs that dispense clean water when a smart card is scanned.

The two-foot-square prototype machine looks and functions like an ATM, but dispenses water instead of cash. Users are issued a card they can use to claim a daily share of water.

The project, a collaboration between the Punjab Saaf Pani (Clean Water) Company and the Innovations for Poverty Alleviation Lab (IPAL), a research centre in Lahore, aims to install a water ATM on each of a series of water filtration plants being established in rural and urban fringe areas of Punjab province…….

May 15, 2015 Posted by | decentralised, Pakistan | Leave a comment

Revolutionary solar rotating system tested in South Africa’s Kalahari desert.

Could this be the world’s most efficient solar electricity system?, Guardian, Jeffrey Barbee, 14 May 15 
Using military technology and a zero-emission engine invented by a 19th-century Scot, Swedish firm seeks to revolutionise solar energy production. A new solar electricity generation system that developers claim is the most efficient in the world, is being tested in South Africa’s Kalahari desert.

The Swedish company behind the project – which combines military technology with an idea developed by a 19th-century Scottish engineer and clergyman – says it is on the verge of building its first commercial installation.

In the remote Northern Cape province, huge mirrors reflect the sun across the brown Kalahari sand. This is the test site for Swedish company Ripasso, which is using the intense South African sun and local manufacturing know-how to develop their cutting-edge kit.

“Our whole team in South Africa has been hired locally, and our new systems have all been built with local South African labour. It works great,” says CEO Gunnar Larsson.

This is the only working small-scale concentrated solar energy system of its kind in the world. 34% of the sun’s energy hitting the mirrors is converted directly to grid-available electric power, compared to roughly half that for standard solar panels. Traditional photovoltaic panels are able to turn about 23% of the solar energy that strikes them into electricity, but this is cut to around 15% before it is usable by the grid.

Jean-Pierre Fourie is Ripasso’s South African site manager. His crew has been testing the system in the Kalahari under harsh desert conditions for four years. “What we hope is to become one of the biggest competitors for renewable energy in the world.”

The massive 100 square metre dishes slowly rotate, following the sun. Light clicks and taps fill the still desert air as they constantly adjust to capture the maximum solar energy.

Independent tests by IT Power in the UK confirm that a single Ripasso dish can generate 75 to 85 megawatt hours of electricity a year – enough to power 24 typical UK homes. To make the same amount of electricity by burning coal would mean releasing roughly 81 metric tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere………

The project has not been without its troubles. “Our major challenge over the last couple of years has been to get the technology accepted by the financing community, especially from the banks,” says Larsson.

Although banks have been unwilling to finance such novel technology, Ripasso has now secured private funding to begin their first large-scale installation. “We are very ready to head into the commercial phase,” says Larsson.

May 15, 2015 Posted by | renewable, South Africa | Leave a comment

100 per cent renewable energy plan for Apple

Apple wants to run on 100 per cent renewable energy, improve supply chain’s greenness, Manufacturers Monthly  12 May, 2015  Apple has announced plans to run its entire business in China through renewable energy, and to make its supply chain more environmentally friendly.

In a statement released yesterday, CEO Tim Cook said greening manufacturing operations would take years, but would be worth the effort.

“We are excited to work with leaders in our supply chain who want to be on the cutting edge of China’s green transformation,” said Cook…….

According to Apple, 87 per cent of its US operations worldwide are powered through renewable energy, and wants this to reach 100 per cent.

According to the company, 100 per cent of its US operations and all of its data centers are run by renewable power.

It launched its first solar project in Sichuan Province three weeks ago.

May 13, 2015 Posted by | decentralised, USA | Leave a comment

Portable solar desalination – ideal for developing countries

Scientists are turning salt water into drinking water using solar power The world needs this. Science Alert BEC CREW 27 APR 2015 By inexpensively turning salt water into drinking water using sustainable solar power, a team from MIT in the US has not only come up with a portable desalination system for use anywhere in the world that needs it, but it’s just won the 2015 Desal Prize – a competition run by USAID to encourage better solutions to water shortages in developing countries.


In order to win the $140,000 prize, entries had to demonstrate how their invention not only works well, but is cost-effective, environmentally sustainable, and energy efficient. And the MIT researchers teamed up with US-based manufacturing company, Jain Irrigation Systems, to do just that.

The team’s invention works by using solar panels to charge a cache of batteries that power an electrodialysis machine that removes salt from the water and makes it perfectly drinkable. David L. Chandler explains for MIT News:………

They’re now hoping to expand their field tests to rural communities in developing countries, in the hopes that they can set them up as irrigation systems in small farms. “A solution with the potential to double recoverable water in an environment where water is becoming more precious by the day could have a huge impact,” environmental and civil engineer Susan Amrose from the University of California at Berkeley, who was not involved in the research, told MIT News. Sources: MIT NewsPopular Science

May 13, 2015 Posted by | 2 WORLD, decentralised | Leave a comment

An exciting solar energy idea – still at the dream stage?

THIS STUNNING HIGH-RISE HYDROPONIC FARM GENERATES RENEWABLE ENERGY AND REPRESENTS NEW HOPE FOR BIG CITIES ACROSS THE GLOBE  [ good pics] by Rachel Oakley in Exhale on Friday 8 May 2015 To make Earth a greener place, Aprilli Design Studio got its designers together to create an incredible ecological system known as the Urban Skyfarm, for a site right in the heart of downtown Seoul.

This is not your average eco-friendly building. It’s so much more.

The Urban Skyfarm isn’t office space or apartments, but rather a complete ‘living machine’ that filters water and air, provides vegetables and herbs for the community, and produces renewable energy at the same time.

There are four major components to the Urban Skyfarm: the root, trunk, branch, and leaves.

The root section provides space for a market or public activities. The trunk can be used as a community garden space for residents. The trunk is also divided into eight individual branches (the leaf portions), which each support farming decks which are suspended from each branch by trusses and tension cables. These farming decks are spread out to receive maximum sunlight throughout the day.

Now, if that wasn’t enough, listen to this: the high rise farming system plans to operate on renewable solar and wind energy alone. Meaning, it operates completely on its own energy, and indeed provides energy to the grid…….

May 9, 2015 Posted by | decentralised, Taiwan | Leave a comment

Germany becoming a super power, with the success of its renewable energy

Germany, the Green Superpower , NYT  MAY 6, 2015 BERLIN — A week at the American Academy in Berlin leaves me with two contradictory feelings: one is that Germany today deserves a Nobel Peace Prize, and the other is that Germany tomorrow will have to overcome its deeply ingrained post-World War II pacifism and become a more serious, activist global power. And I say both as a compliment.

On the first point, what the Germans have done in converting almost 30 percent of their electric grid to solar and wind logo-Energiewendeenergy from near zero in about 15 years has been a great contribution to the stability of our planet and its climate. The centerpiece of the German Energiewende, or energy transformation, was an extremely generous “feed-in tariff” that made it a no-brainer for Germans to install solar power (or wind) at home and receive a predictable high price for the energy generated off their own rooftops.

There is no denying that the early days of the feed-in tariff were expensive. The subsidies cost billions of euros, paid for through a surcharge on everyone’s electric bill. But the goal was not simply to buy more renewable energy: It was to create demand that would drive down the cost of solar and wind to make them mainstream, affordable options. And, in that, the energiewende has been an undiluted success. With price drops of more than 80 percent for solar, and 55 percent for wind, zero-carbon energy is now competitive with fossil fuels here.

In my view the greatest success of the German energy transition was giving a boost to the Chinese solar panel industry,” said Ralf Fücks, the president of the Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung, the German Green Party’s political foundation. “We created the mass market, and that led to the increased productivity and dramatic decrease in cost.” And all this in a country whose northern tip is the same latitude as the southern tip of Alaska!


This is a world-saving achievement. And, happily, as the price fell, the subsidies for new installations also dropped. The Germans who installed solar ended up making money, which is why the program remains popular, except in coal-producing regions. Today, more than 1.4 million German households and cooperatives are generating their own solar/wind electricity. “There are now a thousand energy cooperatives operated by private people,” said the energy economist Claudia Kemfert. Continue reading

May 8, 2015 Posted by | Germany, renewable | Leave a comment

in sum – cheaper, more easily available energy storage helps at the scale of the power grid, and also at the level of our homes, to further advantage cleaner, renewable energy. So if the economics of storage are finally starting to line up – and its business side to ramp up – that can only be good news for the planet. 

battey TeslaTesla’s battery announcement shows the coming revolution in energy storage, Sydney Morning Herald May 2, 2015  Chris Mooney “……Tesla announced that it is offering a home battery product, which people can use to store energy from their solar panels or to back-up their homes against blackouts, and also larger scale versions that could perform similar roles for companies or even parts of the grid.

For homeowners, the Tesla Powerwall will have a power capacity of either 10 kilowatt hours or 7 kilowatt hours, at a cost of either $US3500 or $US3000………

Tesla isn’t the only company in the battery game, and whatever happens with Tesla, this market is expected to grow. A study by GTM Research and the Energy Storage Association earlier this year found that while storage remains relatively niche – the market was sized at just $US128 million in 2014 – it also grew 40 per cent last year, and three times as many installations are expected this year.

By 2019, GTM Research forecasts, the overall market will have reached a size of $US1.5 billion.

“The trend is more and more players being interested in the storage market,” says GTM Research’s Ravi Manghani. Tesla, he says, has two unique advantages – it is building a massive battery-making “gigafactory” which should drive down prices, and it is partnered with solar installer Solar City (Musk is Solar City’s chairman), which “gives Tesla access to a bigger pool of customers, both residential and commercial, who are looking to deploy storage with or without solar.”

The major upshot of more and cheaper batteries and much more widespread energy storage could, in the long term, be a true energy revolution – as well as a much greener planet. Here are just a few ways that storage can dramatically change – and green – the way we get power: Continue reading

May 6, 2015 Posted by | energy storage, USA | Leave a comment

Tesla Powerwall batteries for home and business renewable energy storage

battey TeslaTesla Motors, maker of the Model S supercar and soon to be launched Model X, announced its Powerwall home electricity storage solution under the Tesla Energy brand this week. There will be two available units of 7 kilowatt-hour and 10kwh capacity offered at $3,000 and $3,500 respectively. They can also be stacked for homeowners who wish to store more energy.

So as not to leave commercial customers out in the dark, Tesla Energy will also offer the Powerpack.

Tesla Moves to Make Renewable Energy More Viable  05/01/2015 Imagine a world in which all our energy needs comes from clean, renewable sources. Every building could be covered and powered by solar panels. Transportation could be provided by electric vehicles. Clean and free electricity provided by sun and wind could be used in real time and stored in batteries for later use. Fossil fuels could be regulated to the fuel of last resort. It may not be the stuff of science fiction any longer. If Tesla CEO Elon Musk has his way, this is the future we are headed towards.

Solar and wind energy have long been attractive renewable energy sources. Once the photovoltaic panels and wind turbines are manufactured, they can create many years of electricity with zero harmful emissions and little if any maintenance. In recent years the cost of solar has plummeted, leaving it on par with fossil fuels. The problem however has been in the less than constant ability of renewables to create electricity. Solar cannot produce as much electricity in inclement weather or any at night. Wind is intermittent. Also, unlike more conventional fossil fuel burning power plants, capacity cannot always be increased during peak periods of need.

In order for solar and wind-generated power to be more than energy grid add-ons, they need to have a way to store their energy for use during off-peak or low production periods. Batteries are the best way to store energy during periods of peak production to be used later. However, no major company has offered an easily-scalable battery storage solution to meet these needs – until now. Continue reading

May 2, 2015 Posted by | energy storage, USA | Leave a comment

Despite the USA’s nuclear lobby – solar power is winning in Japan

flag-japanI predict, because solar is rising so rapidly in the land of the rising sun, that Japan will never restart any of its nukes – even though the U.S. media is demanding Japan restart one of its nukes. Let us pray that the solar home owners in Japan win this race against nuclear power. Our lives too depend on solar winning

sun-championFour years after Fukushima, Japan is solar-powered Bay View by Theresa Coleman and Paul Kangas, 29 Apr 15 In the week before the March 11, 2011, earthquake at Fukushima, one person, Prime Minister Naoto Kan, did an extraordinary act that set Japan’s energy course in history for the next 100 years. He was able to convince the Japanese Parliament to pass a solar payment policy (SPP), that required big utilities in Japan to pay solar home owners $0.53 kwh for 20 years.

This is amazing. One, because the rate is very attractive to solar home owners and two, because he even made the effort.This one policy shift is now making Japan one of the leading solar powered nations on earth – far ahead of California or the U.S.

Number one in solar generation in 2014 was Germany. The same year they won the World Cup in soccer. They are on a roll.It is going to be interesting to see if China becomes No. 2 in 2015. It is a tight three-way race between Japan, Germany and China. Who will win?

The really big question is: “What inspired Prime Minister Naoto Kan to introduce this solar payment policy to the Japanese Parliament the day before Fukushima? Was it Chernobyl?

Apparently Kan had read the book “Solar Economy” by Hermann Scheer the year before. It got him to thinking about how solar policy could actually be drafted to shut down all the nuclear power plants in Japan over the next 50 years……….

This one policy shift is now making Japan one of the leading solar powered nations on earth – far ahead of California or the U.S. Number one in solar generation in 2014 was Germany.

Continue reading

April 30, 2015 Posted by | decentralised, Japan | Leave a comment

One of world’s largest floating solar plants opened in Japan


As highlighted in a report released this week by The Climate Group, regions with more land space, specifically the UAE with its huge solar resources, are primed to benefit from the fast-growing low carbon economy.

solar floating Kagoshima Nanasujima

The giant plant in Japan was inaugurated last March but has only just opened, as announced by Kyocera and Ciel et Terre International, two manufacturers that are heavily investing in this technology. The system is made up of two solar parks, at Nishihira Pond and Higashihira Pond in Kato City in Japan’s Hyogo Prefecture, with a capacity of 1.7 megawatts (MW) and 1.2 MW respectively.


Solar photovoltaic (PV) technology is becoming more wide-spread in Japan, driven in part by the closure of the country’s fleet of nuclear plants following the Fukushima disaster – even if there are some concerns about the possibility the country could soon reopen them.

… total solar PV capacity has moved from just 19 MW in 1992 to 13,532 MW in 2013 –more than double the previous year.


However, with a landmass slightly smaller than California and a population density closer to India, this expansion in PV collides with the lack of space. Thankfully, Japan is surrounded by sea and has many water reservoirs to cater for its seasonal variation in rainfall levels, so is experimenting more frequently with floating PV systems.

Not only is floating solar more convenient, it is also more energy efficient. A study by Korea Water Resources Corporation (K-water) claims the technology is more efficient because it has a lower temperature during the day when compared to overland PV modules. This should be achieved due to the reflection of light from the water surface, which keeps the PV modules cooler………

April 27, 2015 Posted by | Japan, renewable | Leave a comment


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