Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Renewable Energy News, January 19, 2011

Pushing the Energy Envelope With China
Concurrent with the visit of President Hu Jintao, top Chinese and American officials are in the midst of a day-and-a-half “strategic forum on clean energy cooperation,” with the Brookings Institution playing host.

China and the United States are the two largest emitters of greenhouse gases, several Americans said diplomatically. (Actually, China is now slightly larger.) But the longer-term trends are even more stark.

Chai Sangyue, president of the China Energy Research Society, said that by 2020, his country plans to have double the economic output it did in 2000. And while its energy efficiency is improving, he said, with continued growth, China could be using fully half the world’s energy by 2050. “This is going to impose tremendous pressure on resources and the environment,’’ he said.
Global Clean Energy Investment Reaches Record in 2010
New investment in global clean energy reached $243 billion in 2010, driven by China's clean energy spending, expansion of European offshore wind, and installations of rooftop photovoltaics in Europe, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. The research company noted on January 11 that this annual total is up 30% from a revised figure of $186.5 billion in 2009, making 2010 the strongest year so far for investment in clean energy. The 2010 total is nearly five times that of 2004, when $51.7 billion was invested. The report included investment in renewable energy, biofuels, energy efficiency, smart grid and other energy technologies, carbon capture, as well as storage and infrastructure for clean energy.

Among the highlights: small-scale, distributed generation projects surged by 91% last year to $59.6 billion, propelled by rooftop and other small-scale solar projects, notably in Germany but also in the United States, the Czech Republic, and other European countries; China's spending on clean energy grew 30% to $51.1 billion in 2010, making it the country investing most in clean energy; research and development by companies and governments hit record levels, with governments contributing $21 billion of the $35.5 billion in R&D outlays; and venture capital and private equity rebounded to post a 28% gain over 2009 by reaching $8.8 billion in deals.
BP: Renewable energy will outpace oil growth in 2030
Renewable power sources will outpace oil as global energy demand surges nearly 40% in the next 20 years, according to an industry forecast released Wednesday by energy giant BP.

Most of the expected increased in energy demand will come from emerging economies such as China, India, Russia and Brazil, according to "BP Energy Outlook 2030." Such non-OECD countries (Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development), which will account for 93% of the demand growth, will boost their share of demand from just over half currently to two-thirds.

At the same time, energy efficiency and diversification will increase. Between 2010 to 2030, the report says, renewable energy sources (solar, wind, geothermal and biofuels) will increase their contribution to energy growth from 5% to 18%. In contrast, coal and oil are likely to lose market share and natural gas is projected to be the fastest growing fossil fuel.
Japan Seeks Treaty to Export Its Renewable-Energy Technology to Ukraine
Japan’s government aims to complete an investment treaty with Ukraine to push the export of its clean-energy technology abroad.

Visiting Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych and Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan agreed to start negotiations this year for a bilateral treaty to promote and protect investments, according to a statement yesterday from Kan’s office.

“An investment treaty would further promote cooperation utilizing Japan’s useful technology, mainly in energy and the environment,” Banri Kaieda, Japan’s trade minister, said today at an investment seminar in Ukraine. “We hope for an early conclusion of negotiations toward a new stage for the bilateral economic relations.”

Ukraine is interested in Japanese technologies for solar and wind power, heat insulation and biomass, said Fumio Ueda, executive director of Japan’s New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization, at the seminar.
Spain's Gamesa Eyes Baja California Wind
Gamesa, the expansionist Spanish wind-power company, is stepping up its forays into Mexican with hopes to sell as many as 2,000 wind turbines to Baja California. Its plans come at a time when observers expect the windy state bordering Southern California will attract $6bn of wind investments by 2015.

A string of industry heavyweights including Cannon Power, Union Fenosa and Sempra Energy are already pursuing ambitious projects in the region and others are on their way, sources say. The companies hope to export the bulk of future production to the sunny state, which is having trouble meeting its renewable energy targets.

Gamesa's regional sales director William Robinson says developers are so enthused about Baja's prospects that the region could attract 5,000 MW of generation capacity by 2017. This will require around 2,000 turbines, which Gamesa hopes to supply from its US factories.
New greenhouse gas regulations may close Ohio utilities
A local Dayton Power & Light facility and two Duke Energy plants near Cincinnati are vulnerable to closure as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency gears up to regulate greenhouse gases this year, according to a report from investment bank FBR Capital Markets.

Miamisburg’s O.H. Hutchings Station is one of 17 older power plants in Ohio that could be subject to heavier regulation and could possibly shut down if pending and new EPA rules are imposed as the report anticipates. DP&L says it’s too early to determine the precise impact new regulations would have on ratepayers, but costs are likely to rise.
India plans Asian tidal power first
The Indian state of Gujarat is planning to host Asia's first commercial-scale tidal power station.

The company Atlantis Resources is to install a 50MW tidal farm in the Gulf of Kutch on India's west coast, with construction starting early in 2012.

The facility could be expanded to deliver more than 200MW.

The biggest operating tidal station in the world, La Rance in France, generates 240MW, while South Korea is planning several large facilities.

To claim the title of "Asia's first", the Indian project will have to outrun developments at Sihwa Lake, a South Korean tidal barrage under construction on the country's west coast.
Eight firms want to build wind projects off Maryland coast
Eight companies, including one with Maryland ties, have indicated their interest in developing wind energy projects off the state's coast, federal officials disclosed Friday.

State and industry officials hailed what they called a "robust" response to the federal government's call for developers to indicate whether they want to try generating electricity from wind turbines placed in the Atlantic 12 miles or more from Ocean City.

The Interior Department's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement had invited potential wind developers in November to express their interest in leasing sites in a 207 nautical-square-mile area off the state's 31-mile coastline. The deadline for responding was Monday.
Hydroelectric projects power up in Hawaii
The Kauai Island Utility Cooperative is proposing the state's first significant expansion of hydroelectric power generation in decades with a series of planned projects that could provide nearly 20 percent of the island's power needs.

KIUC has partnered with Massachusetts-based Free Flow Power Corp. to explore the development of four hydroelectric projects on rivers and streams across Kauai that could generate enough electricity to power roughly 13,000 homes.

The development of hydroelectric power generation in Hawaii has thus far taken a back seat to solar and wind power in the recent push toward greater use of renewable energy sources. The last major hydroelectric project in the state was built on the Big Island's Wailuku River in 1993. Many of the other plants date back to the early part of the 20th century.
N.J. projects compete for title of biggest solar roof
In the last century, builders raced to erect the tallest skyscraper in the world. This century, developers compete for a different feat: largest solar installations.

Since 2008, the North American record for the biggest solar installation on a single roof has been upped at least three times, with two more record-breaking attempts still under construction.

In New Jersey, in the past month alone, two projects have been announced that would double what is thought to be the current record for an installation, a FedEx facility in Woodbridge.

Jersey Gardens Mall in Elizabeth announced plans for a solar installation on the mall's roof. To be completed in August, it will produce 4.8 megawatts, 11 percent of the mall's energy needs, according to numbers from PSE&G.

That project is neck and neck with one planned in Carteret on the roof of a distribution center for White Rose Inc., slated to produce 5 megawatts of energy a year.
Solar Panels Let U.S. Marines Regiment Cut Fuel Consumption by Nearly 90 Percent
A U.S. Marine regiment in Afghanistan has used solar panels to reduce the amount of diesel it uses in generators from 20 gallons a day to just 2.5 gallons, according to a news report from the Marines.

"Our generators typically use more than 20 gallons of fuel a day. We are down to 2.5 gallons a day," said [Staff Sergeant David] Doty, 3rd Squad Leader, with 1st Platoon, 'I' Company, and Fulton, Mo., native. "The system works amazing. By saving fuel for generators, it has cut back on the number of convoys, meaning less opportunity for one of our vehicles to hit an IED."

The panels are used to recharge batteries for laptops, radios, and lighting. They're part of a program called the Experimental Forward Operating Base (ExFOB).


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