Nova Scotia set to exceed renewable energy targets: minister http://globalnews.ca/news/1108849/nova-scotia-set-to-exceed-renewable-energy-targets-minister/ By Brett Ruskin Global News HALIFAX — Nova Scotia’s Minister of Energy says the province is on track to exceed its renewable energy goals.
In 2010, the government passed a law requiring 25 per cent of the province’s power to come from renewables — like wind and hydro — by 2015. The law’s second target is set at 40 per cent by 2020.
“We have no concerns about meeting that 25 per cent,” said Andrew Young, Nova Scotia’s Minister of Energy.
“In fact, we expect that that will be exceeded.”
A more accurate measure of how much renewable energy Nova Scotia generates is expected in two to three weeks.Nova Scotia’s 40 per cent renewable target for 2020 should be easily met as well. “The fact that we have the Maritime Link coming on stream,” said Younger, “we’re not concerned about meeting the 40 per cent target.”
Younger’s comments come the same week the government announced plans to reinvigorate Nova Scotia’s tidal power opportunities. Companies looking to sell tidal power to the grid can now apply for feed-in tariffs, outlined by a Utility and Review Board decision.In March, the government will grant access to two undersea berths for companies to test tidal technology and possibly begin feeding small amounts of tidal power to the grid.
“During the campaign we saw the impacts of climate change. We know those islands are among the most vulnerable to climate change.”The desire to more effectively conduct projects in the Pacific was also the reason the UAE signed the partnership arrangement with the New Zealand ministry of foreign affairs and trade.
Renewable energy projects key to UAE’s diplomatic efforts http://www.thenational.ae/uae/environment/renewable-energy-projects-key-to-uaes-diplomatic-efforts 26 Jan 14 ABU DHABI // Renewable-energy projects are now a mainstay of diplomatic efforts with developing nations, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs says.
At Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week last week, technology partnerships were signed with New Zealand and Denmark, and plans announced to give US$20 million (Dh73.4m) in aid to Pacific Island states.
Dr Thani Al Zeyoudi, director of energy and climate change at the ministry, said clean energy had been identified as a major area of focus for UAE diplomacy. Dr Al Zeyoudi said the money would go to Fiji, Kiribati, Samoa, Tuvalu and Vanuatu. Continue reading
The cost issues of renewable energy are developing in such a way that are much cheaper than nuclear energy and safer, he said, indicating that there are many expenses associated with nuclear energy that are not applicable when utilising renewable resources, such as risks, insurance and development costs.
“Our belief is that renewable energy is the most viable approach for the future and much more environmentally safe,” Amin stressed.
Jordan’s future lies in renewable energy http://www.albawaba.com/business/jordan-renewable-energy-549840
January 26th, 2014 Renewable energy is the most viable approach for the future of Jordan and regional countries, according to International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) Director General Adnan Amin.
“Jordan is a very interesting market because it has a very developed institutional structure in terms of government agencies dealing with energy issues,” Amin said in a recent interview with The Jordan Times on the sidelines of the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week.
World’s largest solar-powered bridge opens in London, Guardian, 24 Jan 14 Blackfriars rail station secures half its power from 4,400 roof-mounted solar panels, reports BusinessGreenAfter nearly five years in the making, Network Rail has today cut the ribbon on the world’s largest solar-powered bridge at Blackfriars Bridge across the River Thames.
As part of a project with solar installation firm Solarcentury, the roof of the bridge has been covered with 4,400 photovoltaic panels, providing up to half of the energy for London Blackfriars station.
First Capital Connect, which runs Blackfriars, expects the panels to cut the stations’ carbon emissions by an estimated 511 tonnes a year, further reducing the carbon footprint of its train routes to the south east of England.
“Electric trains are already the greenest form of public transport – this roof gives our passengers an even more sustainable journey,” said David Statham, managing director of First Capital Connect. “The distinctive roof has also turned our station into an iconic landmark visible for miles along the River Thames.”
The bridge will also act as a major advertisement for London’s efforts to become a sustainable city, with tourists and workers viewing the panels as they enter the capital……http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/jan/22/worlds-largest-solar-powered-bridge-opens-in-london
China’s solar PV installations soared to record in 2013 http://www.smh.com.au/business/carbon-economy/chinas-solar-pv-installations-soared-to-record-in-2013-20140124-31cck.html Developers in China installed a record 12 gigawatts of solar panels last year, almost matching the total amount of solar power in operation in the U.S., and may exceed that this year, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance.
The power plants were built mostly in the sunny, western provinces of Gansu, Xinjiang and Qinghai and make China’s state-owned power companies the world’s biggest owners of solar assets, the London-based research company said today in a statement.
China was the biggest solar market last year, surpassing longtime leader Germany. Chinese installation more than tripled from 3.6 gigawatts in 2012, and the nation expects to add 14 gigawatts of solar capacity this year, according to New Energy Finance.
China led a 28 per cent increase in global solar installations last year of 39 gigawatts, and total installation may increase another 20 per cent this year, according to the statement. Before 2013, no nation had ever installed more than 8 gigawatts of solar power in a year.
IRENA and ADFD announce joint renewable energy financing programme 24 January 2014 http://www.renewableenergyfocus.com/view/36581/irena-and-adfd-announce-joint-renewable-energy-financing-programme/ Organizations commit $41 million in concessional loans for renewable energy projects in developing countries.
According to the International Renewable Energy Agency and the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, the financed projects have a combined total capacity of 35 MW. More importantly, the funding aims to bring reliable and sustainable power to rural communities that are currently lacking access to modern energy services.
“IRENA and ADFD selected projects bring power to isolated off-grid populations, in some cases for the first time,” said Adnan Z. Amin, IRENA’s director-general. “This will stimulate local economic development and raise living standards.”
The loans go to a geographically diverse set of countries, including the Republic of Ecuador, Sierra Leone, the Maldives, Mauritania, Samoa, and Mali. IRENA is assessing the socio-economic impact and technical merit of the projects, and ADFD is making its selection based on the Agency’s recommendation. Projects selected need to be transformative, innovative and replicable.
The UAE government has committed a total of $350 million in concessional loans through ADFD to support the deployment and sustainable use of all forms
Is Japan’s Offshore Solar PowerPlant the Future of Renewable Energy?s found a new way to harness the power of harness the power the sun
By Vicky Gan SMITHSONIAN MAGAZINE
FEBRUARY 2014 cross Japan, 50 nuclear power plants sit idle, shut down in the aftermath of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster. Nobody is certain when government inspectors will certify that the plants are safe enough to be brought back online. Anti-nuclear activists point to this energy crisis as evidence that Japan needs to rely more on renewables. One think tank has calculated that a national solar power initiative could generate electricity equivalent to ten nuclear plants. But skeptics have asked where, in their crowded mountainous country, they could construct all those solar panels
One solution was unveiled this past November, when Japan flipped the switch on its largest solar power plant to date, built offshore on reclaimed land jutting into the cerulean waters of Kagoshima Bay. The Kyocera Corporation’s Kagoshima Nanatsujima Mega Solar Power Plant is as potent as it is picturesque, generating enough electricity to power roughly 22,000 homes.
Other densely populated countries, notably in Asia, are also beginning to look seaward.
In Singapore, the Norwegian energy consultancy firm DNV recently debuted a solar island concept called SUNdy, which links 4,200 solar panels into a stadium-size hexagonal array that floats on the ocean’s surface.
Startup Thinks Its Battery Will Solve Renewable Energy’s Big Flaw, Technology Review, By Kevin Bullis on January 23, 2014 Aquion has started production of a low-cost sodium-ion battery aimed at making renewable energy viable. A former Sony TV factory near Pittsburgh is coming to life again after lying idle for four years. Whirring robotic arms have started to assemble a new kind of battery that could make the grid more efficient and let villages run on solar power around the clock.
Aquion, the startup that developed the battery, has finished installing its first commercial-scale production line at the factory, and is sending out batteries for customers to evaluate. It recently raised $55 million of venture capital funding from investors including Bill Gates. The money will help it ramp up to full-speed production by this spring…….
Most importantly, by providing an affordable way to store solar power for use at night or during cloudy weather, the technology could allow isolated populations to get electricity from renewable energy, rather than from polluting diesel generators. Combining solar power and inexpensive batteries would also be cheaper than running diesel generators in places where delivering fuel is expensive (see “How Solar-Based Microgrids Could Bring Power to Millions”).
The batteries could allow the grid to accommodate greater amounts of intermittent renewable energy. As Aquion scales up production and brings down costs, the batteries could also be used instead of a type of natural gas power plant—called a peaker plant—often used to balance supply and demand on the grid. When recharged using renewables, the batteries don’t need fuel, so they’re cleaner than the natural gas power plants…….
The battery is made of inexpensive materials including manganese oxide and water. In concept, it operates much like a lithium-ion battery, in which lithium ions shuttle between electrodes to create electrical current. But the new battery uses sodium ions instead of lithium ones, which makes it possible to use a salt water electrolyte instead of the more expensive—and flammable—electrolytes used in lithium-ion batteries.http://www.technologyreview.com/news/523391/startup-thinks-its-battery-will-solve-renewable-energys-big-flaw/
Renewable energy projects worth Rs 30,000 crore being implemented in Madhya Pradesh Economic Times India By Shreya Jai, ET Bureau | 23 Jan, 2014 NEW DELHI: Renewable energy projects worth Rs 30,000 crore are being implemented in Madhya Pradesh, which have quietly reached out to companies and attracted GE, Reliance Power, Spanish wind major Gamesa and others, giving tough competition to Gujarat in the sector.
Pakistan Parliament House Going Solar, Renewable Energy News, 23 Jan 14 A 1.8 megawatt (MW) solar farm is being installed at the Parliament House building in Pakistan’s capital city Islamabad.
According to Trust.org, the USD $60 million project has been funded by the Chinese government; which also recently assisted in the preparation of a solar park project on over 10,000 acres that could ultimately host 1,000 MW of solar panel capacity.
The Parliament House project will not only save Pakistan’s government around a million dollars a year in electricity costs, it’s hoped the high profile array will also spur on broader adoption……http://www.energymatters.com.au/index.php?main_page=news_article&article_id=4138
New York Governor Announces $1 Billion For Solar Energyhttp://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/01/09/3139091/cuomo-big-solar/ BY KILEY KROH ON JANUARY 9, 2014 NEW YORK GOVERNOR ANDREW CUOMO DELIVERED HIS STATE OF THE STATEADDRESS ON WEDNESDAY AND ANNOUNCED AN EVEN GREATER COMMITMENT TO CLEAN ENERGY, INCLUDING $1 BILLION IN NEW FUNDING FOR SOLAR ENERGY PROJECTS.
Launched in 2012, Cuomo’s NY-Sun Initiative has already been a tremendous success, with almost 300 megawatts (MW) of solar photovoltaic capacity installed or under development, more than was installed in the entire decade prior to the program.
Now with another major financial boost, Cuomo aims to install 3,000 (MW) of solar across New York. “That’s enough solar to power 465,000 New York homes, cut greenhouse gas emissions by 2.3 million tons annually — the equivalent of taking almost 435,000 cars off the road — and create more than 13,000 new solar jobs,” according to the Natural Resources Defense Council.
In addition to the ten-year financial boost for NY-Sun, Cuomo announced a new program entitled K-Solar, which will incentivize the deployment of solar energy by using the state’s 5,000 schools as “demonstration hubs” to increase the number of solar energy projects in their surrounding communities.
The governor also unveiled the $40 million NY Prize competition, which will bolster community microgrids in the state, helping to make the electrical grid more resilient in the face of increasing extreme weather like Superstorm Sandy. Additionally, Renewable Heat NY will seek to utilize private sector investment to boost biomass heating as a cheaper, renewable alternative to home heating oil.
As Cuomo’s impressive commitment to clean energy pays off in the state’s rapidly growing solar industry, NRDC notes that not only is NY-Sun expanding the marketplace, it has also served to “to drive down the cost of installed solar power by establishing new, cost-effective and efficient practices and technologies.”
Thanks to this suite of forward-thinking policies, New York has skyrocketed through the U.S. solar rankings. According to the Solar Energy Industries Association, “with enough solar to power more than 30,900 homes, New York currently ranks 12th in the country for installed solar capacity. There are more than 411 solar companies at work throughout the value chain in New York, employing more than 3,300 people.” And those figures are on the rise. An analysis of clean energy jobs created in the third quarter of 2013 ranked New York third in the U.S., behind only California and Nevada.
Renewable village offers lifeline to Fukushima farmers New Scientist. 06 January 2014 by Rob Gilhool It seems the most unlikely place to try to put a utopian blueprint into practice. Yet a patch of land in Fukushima, the Japanese prefecture contaminated by nuclear fallout in 2011, holds the foundations of a model village of the future.
The prefecture was affected by the meltdowns at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, following the earthquake and subsequent tsunami in March 2011. Now construction has started on a community-run project in the coastal city of Minamisoma to reuse farmland contaminated by fallout. About two-thirds of the city’s farmland lies within the nuclear evacuation zone.
So far the Renewable Energy Village (REV) boasts 120 photovoltaic panels, generating 30 kilowatts of power which is sold to a local utility. Plans are afoot to put wind turbines on some of the land. Recreational and educational facilities as well as an astronomical observatory will also be built if further funding can be secured.
Solar sharing Central to the project is what the Japanese call “solar sharing” – growing crops beneath raised solar panels. One crop that has already been planted, namely rapeseed, was chosen, say project organisers, because its oil is free of contaminants even though the plants themselves take in some radioisotopes such as those of caesium. Generous feed-in tariffs set by the government support the project……..http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn24816-renewable-village-offers-lifeline-to-fukushima-farmers.html#.UsyZe9JDuik
Rural Energy Access: The Case for Renewable Energy Mini-Grids http://www.huffingtonpost.com/evan-scandling/rural-energy-access-mini-grids_b_4549777.html
Evan Scandling, 6 Jan 14 Head of Communications, Sunlabob Two of the heaviest hitters within the international development world — the United Nations and the World Bank — recently came together to underscore their efforts to activate financing dedicated to delivering modern energy access by 2030 to the 1 in 5 people globally currently living without electricity.
World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim made it clear that an additional $600-$800 billion a year between now and 2030 will be needed from government, international agencies, civil society and the private sector to achieve universal electrification, as well as double renewable energy adoption and energy efficiency.
What hasn’t yet been made clear is how that financing will be targeted. Historically, donor aid and financing has spent hundreds of billions of dollars on energy infrastructure — but oftentimes the rural poor don’t reap the benefits. Only 8 percent of the World Bank’s energy financing in 2012 targeted the poor.
Emphasizing decentralized energy Continue reading
Renewable Energy Prospects Bright: Report By Express News Service THIRUVANANTHAPURAM1st January 2014 Kerala can meet over 95 per cent of its energy demand using renewable energy sources by the year 2050, according to a report released the other day.
The Energy Report – Kerala, prepared by WWF-India and the World Institute of Sustainable Energy (WISE) Pune, is a state-specific report that provides a vision for a 100-per cent renewable and sustainable energy supply in another three decades.
After modelling energy demand scenarios for various sectors for the projected time period, the report analyses the potential of various renewable energy sources in the state.
One significant contributor to the future renewable energy mix – and for the moment unpopular, at least in the current political scene – is solar power.
The estimation of solar power potential in Kerala, as per the report, is around 44,456 MW.
Out of this, 31,145 MW alone can be got from rooftops of households and commercial establishments.
“This is after factoring in exclusion factors such as shaded areas of roofs and tiled roofs,” World Institute of Sustainable Energy director general G M Pillai said while presenting the report.
“Existing buildings in Kerala can also revamp their roofs to accommodate solar panels.”
Similarly, the report has come out with figures for wind (off-shore and onshore), small hydro, bio-energy and wave power potential…….http://www.newindianexpress.com/states/kerala/Renewable-Energy-Prospects-Bright-Report/2014/01/01/article1976387.ece
13 Huge Clean Energy Breakthroughs Of 2013 Clean Technica 27 Dec 13. Originally published on ThinkProgress. By Kiley Kroh. While the news about climate change seems to get worse every day, the rapidly improving technology, declining costs, and increasing accessibility of clean energy is the true bright spot in the march toward a zero-carbon future. 2013 had more clean energy milestones than we could fit on one page, but here are thirteen of the key breakthroughs that happened this year.
1. Using salt to keep producing solar power even when the sun goes down. Helped along by the Department of Energy’s loan program, Solana’s massive 280 megawatt (MW) solar plant came online in Arizona this October, with one unique distinction: the plant will use a ‘salt battery’ that will allow it to keep generating electricity even when the sun isn’t shining. Not only is this a first for the United States in terms of thermal energy storage, the Solana plant is also the largest in the world to use to use parabolic trough mirrors to concentrate solar energy.
2. Electric vehicle batteries that can also power buildings.Nissan’s groundbreaking ‘Vehicle-To-Building‘ technology will enable companies to regulate their electricity needs by tapping into EVs plugged into their garages during times of peak demand. Then, when demand is low, electricity flows back to the vehicles, ensuring they’re charged for the drive home. With Nissan’s system, up to six electric vehicles can be plugged into a building at one time. As more forms renewable energy is added to the grid, storage innovations like this will help them all work together to provide reliable power.
3. The next generation of wind turbines is a game changer. May of 2013 brought the arrival of GE’s Brilliant line of wind turbines, which bring two technologies within the turbines to address storage and intermittency concerns. An “industrial internet” communicates with grid operators, to predict wind availability and power needs, and to optimally position the turbine. Grid-scale batteries built into the turbines store power when the wind is blowing but the electricity isn’t needed — then feed it into the grid as demand comes along, smoothing out fluctuations in electricity supply. It’s a more efficient solution to demand peaks than fossil fuel plants, making it attractive even from a purely business aspect. Fifty-nine of the turbines are headed for Michigan, and two more will arrive in Texas.
4. Solar electricity hits grid parity with coal
5. Advancing renewable energy from ocean waves.
6. Harnessing ocean waves to produce fresh water.
7. Ultra-thin solar cells that break efficiency records
8. Batteries that are safer, lighter, and store more power……
12. Innovative financing bringing clean energy to more people……… http://cleantechnica.com/2013/12/23/13-huge-clean-energy-breakthroughs-2013/#QgkaljPusEZXPxzm.99
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