Renewable Energy

New Berkeley lab researching sunlight

Source: 
KGO

A new building unveiled at the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab Tuesday, which is named after former Energy Secretary Steven Chu, is housing research into sunlight, including a quest for artificial photosynthesis, KGO reports.

Online solar marketplace coming, courtesy of N.C. State

Source: 
Triangle Business Journal

The Clean Energy Technology Center at North Carolina State University is partnering with EnergySage Inc. to launch an online solar energy marketplace to hook up solar vendors with potential customers in the state, Triangle Business Journal reports.

Charging stations attracting utilities’ interest

Source: 
E&E

As sales of electric vehicles continue to lag, utilities are looking to boost interest in them by installing more charging stations - and getting ratepayers to help foot the bill, E&E reports.

DOE

DOE to provide $32M for solar training, research

Touting surging growth in solar generation, the Obama administration on Tuesday announced $32 million in new funding for workforce training initiatives and more research to improve concentrated solar technology.

The Energy Department funding comes from its SunShot Initiative, tasked with making solar energy cost-competitive without subsidy by 2020, and includes $12 million for workforce training efforts, $15 million to improve certain solar concentration technologies and $5 million to help finance an industry-led data exchange.

Obama administration gives up on ambitious electric vehicle goal

Source: 
Bloomberg

The Obama administration won’t make its stated goal of putting a million plug-in vehicles on the road as part of the federal fleet, quietly modifying the purchase goal back in March, Bloomberg reports.

Report: Triple investment in clean energy to $1.2 trillion

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — A new report calls for investment in clean energy to be tripled to $1.2 trillion annually through 2030 to give more than one billion people worldwide access to electricity and help prevent global warming.

Adnan Amin, director-general of the International Renewable Energy Agency said Wednesday "it's absolutely feasible" that the goal can be achieved, pointing to major advances in using solar power and other renewables to power national grids, villages and homes especially in the developing world.

What do you really get for a $7,000 Tesla home battery?

NEW YORK (AP) — Elon Musk, the star CEO of the electric car company Tesla Motors and the rocket company SpaceX, staged an elaborate event last month to unveil a new product. Not a sleek new luxury car. Not a rocket that can ferry people to Mars. A home appliance — a battery — that can be mounted on a garage wall and ignored.

The reason for all the excitement is because of what batteries like these might someday do. They may make the electric power grid more robust and able to handle increasing amounts of wind and solar power. In conjunction with rooftop solar systems, batteries may help homeowners reduce their electric bills. And some homeowners, like Mike Thielen — who installed a Tesla battery prototype last year in his Redondo Beach, California, home as part of a state home storage testing program — would like to use them to say goodbye to their electric utility forever.

Another Chinese solar firm hits trouble as shares tumble

Source: 
The Wall Street Journal

Hanergy Thin Film Power Group became the latest of Chinese solar firms to hit trouble, as the company’s shares fell 47 percent Wednesday before the Hong Kong Stock Exchange halted trading, The Wall Street Journal reports.

DOE urges taller wind turbines

Source: 
The New York Times

A new Energy Department reports concludes that increasing the height of wind turbines by 100-200 feet could make wind farms feasible in more locations and increase the capacity of existing facilities, The New York Times reports.

Advocacy group: Wind turbine rules needed to protect birds

PORT AUSTIN, Mich. (AP) — The sky above a tabletop-flat expanse of eastern Michigan farmland near Lake Huron is a well-traveled pathway for migratory birds journeying between summer nesting areas in Canada's boreal forests and wintering grounds to the south. Thanks to reliably brisk winds, the ground below is dotted with hundreds of electricity-generating turbines.

Federal guidelines from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service urge wind energy developers to locate turbines with special care in places such as the "Thumb" region of Michigan's mitten-shaped Lower Peninsula — or avoid them altogether, to prevent fatal collisions between birds and the towers' whirring blades. But an advocacy group says the government's voluntary approach is allowing too many wind farms to be built or planned for construction in important nesting areas and flight paths across large sections of the nation.

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