Renewable Energy

Chemists at Rice improve technique for solar components

Source: 
FuelFix

Rice University researchers, publishing in the Royal Society of Chemistry’s Journal of Material Chemistry A, say they’ve found a simpler and more efficient way to create black silicon, a key component in solar panels, FuelFix reports.

Community solar gardens a growing trend

Source: 
The New York Times

A concept pioneered in Colorado – groups of people banding together to invest in solar projects in their communities and getting credit for them on their electricity bills – is growing across the country, The New York Times reports.

Harley-Davidson introduces electric motorcycle

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Harley-Davidson has introduced its first electric motorcycle, a sleek, futuristic bike that sounds like a jet airplane taking off and can go from 0 to 60 mph in less than four seconds.

The bike isn't in production yet. Instead, the public will get its first look at handmade demonstration models at an invitation-only event Monday in New York. The company will then take the models on the road for riders to try and provide feedback. Harley will use the information to refine the bike, which might not hit the market for several more years.

Lawsuit: Extending eagle death permits illegal

WASHINGTON (AP) — A conservation group says it's suing the Obama administration over a new federal rule that allows wind-energy companies to seek approval to kill or injure eagles for 30 years.

The lawsuit from the American Bird Conservancy was expected to be filed Thursday in federal court in San Jose, California. A copy of the complaint was obtained by The Associated Press on Wednesday.

The group argues that the rule, which extended by 25 years the length of time companies may kill or injure eagles without fear of prosecution, is illegal because the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service failed to evaluate the consequences and ensure it would not damage eagle populations. The Obama administration classified the rule as an administrative change, excluding it from a full environmental review.

New online tool to nominate buildings for solar projects

Source: 
USA Today

Mosaic, which uses crowdsourcing to fund solar projects, has launched a new online tool that lets people nominate buildings to receive rooftop solar panels, with the company donating $100 toward an installation each time one gets 50 clicks, USA Today reports.

Sustainable energy hub for Asia launched

MANILA, Philippines (AP) — The Asian Development Bank and two U.N. agencies launched a hub Wednesday to mobilize investments and innovation to bring clean energy to the Asia Pacific region, where more than 600 million people lack electricity and 1.8 billion use firewood and charcoal at home.

Energy demand is soaring in the region on the back of economic and population growth, and the ADB said that by 2035 developing countries in the region will account for 56 percent of global energy use, up from 34 percent in 2010. They will need more than $200 billion in energy investments by 2030.

More ocean off Massachusetts open for wind energy

BOSTON (AP) — A large area off the coast of Massachusetts is being opened up for commercial wind energy leases, Gov. Deval Patrick and U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell said Tuesday.

The proposed area is more than 742,000 acres, or more than 1,160 square miles. That's larger than the land area of Rhode Island and will nearly double the federal offshore acreage available for commercial-scale wind energy projects.

The area is about 12 miles offshore, south of Martha's Vineyard, and will be auctioned as four leases, which officials hope to sell before the end of the year. Fourteen offshore wind energy companies have already expressed interest in the leases and that number could grow, Jewell said.

Elon Musk takes on carbon with solar, battery bets

NEW YORK (AP) — The energy world is not keeping up with Elon Musk, so he's trying to take matters into his own hands.

Musk, chairman of the solar installer SolarCity, announced Tuesday that the company would acquire a solar panel maker and build factories "an order of magnitude" bigger than the plants that currently churn out panels.

"If we don't do this we felt there was a risk of not being able to have the solar panels we need to expand the business in the long term," Musk said Tuesday in a conference call.

DOE now dispensing wind energy info by region

Source: 
Triangle Business Journal

Information from the Department of Energy’s WINDExchange website divides the country up into regions rather than providing state-by-state breakdowns of information on wind energy, the Triangle Business Journal reports.

U of Hawaii gets $3M from DOE for hydrogen research

Source: 
Pacific Business News

The University of Hawaii is getting a $3 million dollar Department of Energy grant to fund research into more efficient hydrogen production techniques that can get costs down below $4 a gallon, the Pacific Business News reports.

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