This is a great summary piece on the renewable energy revolution from one of CleanTechnica’s daily readers. Unlike with many of the recent reader articles we’ve published, this one doesn’t come from a frequent commenter but from one of the many, many lurkers who read CleanTechnica daily and silently. I’m happy he jumped in with
“If you can dream it, you can do it.” That’s the challenge for this generation when it comes creating Smart Grids out of today’s infrastructure for energy and water. We’re much further along in terms of envisioning a modernized electricity grid than we are when the aging infrastructure under consideration is water.
Hans De Keulenaer's insight:
Compared to the challenges of water, making the electricity grid smart is a walk in the park.
The insulation performance of PV modules is vital for sustained field operation and personnel safety. Yet, despite international standards for dry-insulation resistance test procedures, field failures remain prevalent. For some time PV module manufacturers and customers alike have been troubled by the following problem: Why do PV modules occasionally operate uncharacteristically in the field, yet operate normally when returned to a controlled laboratory environment?.
“Does the solar home system work? Do you really get better lights? Or, is it just a big fuss?’ I have been asking solar home systems households in rural Bangladesh these basic questions for the past five years as part of my implementation review missions for the Rural Electrification and Renewable Energy Development program, which has installed over 2.8 million solar home systems since 2002. This has so far contributed to a 9% increase in access to electricity in Bangladesh.
As a result of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD), about 40 technical standards were developed to harmonize the energy calculation methods concerning buildings. EN 15232 is the standard that concerns the energy impact of building automation, controls and building management. The basic principle of EN 15232 is to use building controls to ensure that energy is used only if a demand exists. The functions are being mapped to classes D to A. The resulting factor indicates the approximate amount of savings per function/class. These factors are of course dependent on building type (e.g. office, hospital).
Northern Ohio is coal country. These days, that’s a problem. The lack of coal capacity in coming years drove up prices in PJM’s capacity auction in 2012, so PJM responded with a solution: transmission.
Electric-vehicle battery packs could shrink 20 to 30 percent, and make electric vehicles more affordable, if new sensors were developed to monitor the cells in a pack, according to the U.S. government’s Advanced Research Projects Agency for Energy (ARPA-E). The agency says such sensors could have an even greater effect on hybrid gas-electric vehicle batteries, causing them to shrink by half.
After a somewhat rushed and hasty legislative process, revisions to the German Renewable Energy Act (EEG) went into force on August 1st. One of the more controversial amendments is the introduction of a surcharge on self-consumption of locally generated solar power. Now, the transmission grid operators (TSO) have announced that they'll defer the collection of this surcharge until further notice..
In the 100 days since 1 April 2014, the wholesale power prices in Germany was below four cents on 77 days. At present, there is the longest streak of consecutive days this year. But the biggest finding is probably the far lower power prices in France..
The eBike of the future is now, with Harley-Davidson’s LiveWire expected to be available on the market in 2015. It’s the company’s first electric motorcycle – a sleek, futuristic looking ride that sounds like a jet airplane taking off. But will cycling enthusiasts embrace a bike that doesn’t have the loud, torqued rumble associated with Harley-Davidson?
Last year, the electricity Germany exported was 6.3% more valuable per unit than the power it imported – the exact opposite of the narrative that Germany is dumping excess renewable electricity on neighboring countries at low cost. France faces a particularly dire imbalance financial; German electricity is 24.4 percent more valuable..
Hundreds of behavioral energy efficiency programs have sprung up across the U.S. in the past five years, but the effectiveness of the programs -- both in terms of cost savings and reduced energy use -- can in fact be very difficult to actually gauge.
The crux of the problem is a positive feedback loop that raises utility rates as more customers produce more of their own power. They use less power from the grid, and so the fixed costs of transmission, distribution, and generating assets must be recovered over a shrinking base That drives up rates and gives customers that much more incentive to produce their own power. Moreover, the fixed costs themselves increase, as the shrinking demand for kilowatt-hours torpedoes credit ratings and raises the IOU's cost of capital. The end result could ultimately be wholesale bankruptcy.
We were just fooling around with the notion that new fuel cell technology could shake up the electric vehicle market, when here comes GE with another alternative: a flow battery that combines with a fuel cell to push EV range up to the Department of Energy’s goal of 240 miles, and even farther. The official rated range of Tesla Motors’ highly regarded but highly costly Model S is already 265 miles on a lithium-ion battery pack, so the big factor here is going to be affordability. With that in mind let’s take a look at that GE flow battery and see what’s doing.