Archive for the ‘#renewables’ Tag
” “There has never been a scientific question as to whether renewable energy could provide 100 per cent of Australia’s energy needs,” said Mr Want, who is also chief executive of energy developer Vast Solar.
“The question is whether we as a society and as a nation see value in harnessing that resource — for domestic use and for export — and whether we are prepared to demand of our leaders that they design policies to achieve those ends.” “
via Renewables: Australia’s a land of plenty.
“This tiny village in a wind-swept corner of eastern Germany seems an unlikely place for a revolution.
Yet environmentalists, experts and politicians from El Salvador to Japan to South Africa have flocked here in the past year to learn how Feldheim, with just 145 people, is already putting into practice Germany’s vision of a future powered entirely by renewable energy.
Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government passed legislation in June setting the country on course to generate a third of its power through renewable sources — such as wind, solar, geothermal and bioenergy — within a decade, reaching 80 percent by 2050, while creating jobs, increasing energy security and reducing harmful emissions.
The goals are among the world’s most ambitious, and expensive, and other industrialized nations from the U.S. to Japan are watching to see whether transforming into a nation powered by renewable energy sources can really work.
“Germany can’t afford to fail, because the whole world is looking at the German model and asking, can Germany move us to new business models, new infrastructure?” said Jeremy Rifkin, a U.S. economist who has advised the European Union and Merkel.
In June, the nation passed the 20 percent mark for drawing electric power from a mix of wind, solar and other renewables. That compares with about 9 percent in the United States or Japan — both of which rely heavily on hydroelectric power, a source that has long been used.”……
In the grand scheme of environmental initiatives, a successful outcome of Germany in the renewable energy sector is vital to silence the critics , naysayers and frankly , the less bold and decisive leaders to prove that change in the energy sector is sustainably possible.
No one should wait, however, to see the full outcome….the self imposed decision by Germany to phase out energy sourced from the nuclear sector has put it onto the juggernaut for more green. Their research , technology development and maufacturing will put it into the lead to export more of their expertise in this sector.
Do read the full article.
via All eyes on German renewable energy efforts.
“London • At the start of the 20th century, inventors Thomas Alva Edison and Nikola Tesla clashed in the “war of the currents.” To highlight the dangers of his rival’s system, Edison even electrocuted an elephant. The animal died in vain; it was Tesla’s system and not Edison’s that took off. But today, helped by technological advances and the need to conserve energy, Edison may finally get his revenge.
The American inventor, who made the incandescent light bulb viable for the mass market, also built the world’s first electrical distribution system, in New York, using “direct current” electricity (DC). DC’s disadvantage was that it couldn’t carry power beyond a few blocks. His Serbian-born rival Tesla, who at one stage worked with Edison, figured out how to send “alternating current” (AC) through transformers to enable it to step up the voltage for transmission over longer distances.
Edison was a fiercely competitive businessman. Besides staging electrocutions of animals to discredit Tesla’s competing system, he proposed AC be used to power the first execution by electric chair.
But his system was less scalable, and it was to prove one of the worst investments made by financier J. Pierpont Morgan. New York’s dominant banker installed it in his Madison Avenue home in the late 19th century, only to find it hard to control. It singed his carpets and tapestries.
So from the late 1800s, AC became the accepted form to carry electricity in mains systems. For most of the last century, the power that has reached the sockets in our homes and businesses is alternating current.
Now DC is making a comeback, becoming a promising money-spinner in renewable or high-security energy projects. From data centres to long-distance power lines and backup power supplies, direct current is proving useful in thousands of projects worldwide.”
Full article continues to go further in- depth,,,,,
via The revenge of Thomas Edison | Smart Shift | Executive | Financial Post.
Implications of the decision by Germany to shut down its nuclear energy reactors in the light of the nuclear disaster in Fukashima Japan .
“With a total of 133 gigawatts of installed generating capacity in place at the start of this year, “there was really a huge amount of space to shut off nuclear plants,” Harry Lehmann, a director general of the German Federal Environment Agency and one of Germany’s leading policy makers on energy and environment, said of the road map he helped develop. The country needs about 90.5 gigawatts of generating capacity on hand to fill a typical national demand of about 80 gigawatts a day. So the 25 gigawatts that nuclear power contributed would not be missed — at least within its borders.
To be prudent, the plan calls for the creation of 23 gigawatts of gas- and coal-powered plants by 2020. Why? Because renewable plants don’t produce nearly to capacity if the air is calm or the sky is cloudy, and there is currently limited capacity to store or transport electricity, energy experts say.”
via Germany Dims Nuclear Plants, but Hopes to Keep Lights On – NYTimes.com.
A further analysis of the development of aviation fuel from renweable sources such as algae. Sustainable aviation fuel can be produced ….scability and affordability are part of the limiting factors. Self – sufficientcy also has to be factored in…national secutrity definitely is an influencing factor.
“Despite the obvious appeal of biofuels for energy security and environmental sustainability, analysts, researchers and even some within the industry remain skeptical that large numbers of passengers will be kept aloft by pond scum and scrub plants anytime soon. Scalability an issue The issue isn’t whether biofuels can power jets – that’s largely been proven.The question is whether biofuels can be produced at a large enough scale to offset petroleum use – some 19 million barrels per day, according to RAND.Yields from camelina, jatropha and other seed oils are so low that they could only provide a fraction of a percent of oil’s production, according to Bartis.”
via High on Pond Scum: When Will Aviation Biofuels Justify the Hype? | Txchnologist.
“The wind, solar, biomass, and geothermal energy sector has grown in fits and starts during the last 30 years — but now may finally have the momentum to become a self-sustaining industry.
In 2007, renewable energy sources were poised for accelerated growth. Then the global economic downturn intervened, depressing energy demand in general and casting particular doubt on the business case for wind, solar, biomass, and geothermal energy. Now that the sector is beginning to grow again, some industry observers are still questioning whether the market is resilient enough to continue that growth, considering the volatile energy prices and a shifting political climate. The answer is more optimistic than one might expect, because the market has evolved in several important ways during the last few years, to the point at which it is unlikely to experience the periods of decline or stagnation we have seen in the past. One of the hallmarks of the renewables sector today is its structural diversity in terms of technologies, players, and geographic regions — and that will make all the difference.”
via Renewable Energy at a Crossroads.
June 30, 2011
KLM, First Commercial Biofuel Flight
By Glenn Pew, Contributing Editor, Video Editor
“A Boeing 737-800 carrying 171 passengers out of Amsterdam for Paris Wednesday moved KLM to say it was “the first airline in the world” to operate a commercial flight on biokerosene (a used cooking oil, Jet-A mix), with more to come. KLM said that by September, 2011, it will begin 200 more flights, flying the same route, and using the same 50-50 blend of fuel. Details regarding regulatory issues are not yet clear. The biofuel portion of the fuel mixture that KLM used for this latest flight was not derived from the camonila or jatropha plants. (The plants have earned attention for their high oil content and low agricultural impact.) KLM used a cooking-oil-based fuel produced by Dynamic Fuels, a joint venture between Syntroleum and Tyson Foods.”
KLM’s biokerosene was created from non-food grade animal fat supplied as a byproduct of Tyson Food’s meat processing plants. That product was refined into biofuel by dynamic Fuel at that company’s facility in Louisiana. KLM first made a biofuel-powered flight roughly 18 months ago, taking forty VIP’s on a 90-minute flight. That particular trip only fed the biofuel mix to one engine. Virgin Atlantic, Birtish Airways and Continental have all flown commercial airliners fueled, at least in part, with biofuels. European airlines are particularly motivated to find a fossil fuel alternative due to a limit set by the European Union. That limit calls for airlines to cut their carbon emissions by three percent in 2012. The flights show progress for biofuels, but according to KLM managing director Camiel Eurlings, “The costs of biofuels need to come down substantially and permanently.” Said Eurlings, “This can be achieved through innovation, collaboration and the right legislation that stimulates biofuel in the airline industry, but with an eye on honest competition.”
via KLM, First Commercial Biofuel Flight.
…”Indeed, a number of countries have proven that a wide range of renewable energy technologies can be deployed to produce 20%, 30% and, theoretically, 100% of electricity or heating needs.
Take Germany, which plans to get 35% of its electricity from wind, solar, biomass and hydropower by 2035 and 80% from those resources by 2050. Germany’s experience suggests it may even pass those targets: From 2000 to 2010, the country increased its share of renewable electricity from 5% to 17%. Government officials predict that Germany will get beyond the 35% target before 2035. And the cost to ratepayers? The equivalent of a few dollars a month.
A project in Germany has also theoretically proven that existing renewable energy technologies can provide 100% of the country’s electricity. The Regenerative Combined Power Plant, a software-enabled “virtual power plant” was built in 2008 to allow the grid operator to call upon different renewable resources depending on demand and available supply. The project blended three wind farms worth 12.6 MW, 20 solar PV plants totaling 5.5 MW, four biogas systems equaling 4 MW and a pumped storage system with 8.4 GWh of storage.”…
via Why clean energy can scale today | ThinkProgress.
Targets, economies of scale , policy and practical considerations interplay to reach the ratios of renewables in the supply of energy .Read more…
“Investment requires stable policy
Around the world, renewable energy contributes on average 13 percent to power generation; Africa lags behind with less than 11 percent of its energy coming from renewable sources.
And Sven Teske, one of the lead authors of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s “Special Report on Renewable Energy Sources”, cautions that “renewables” in Africa mostly refers to unsustainable biomass – firewood and charcoal, produced and consumed using inefficient and rudimentary techniques.
The gap could grow still wider. “While in Europe over 60 percent of new generation is from renewable sources, and only eight percent by coal, Africa has hardly any investment in renewables,” he says.
South Africa, the continent’s largest polluter, is putting billions into building the massive Medupi and Kusile coal-fired power plants in the rural Mpumalanga province.
“We hope this report helps build a long-term political framework for investment in renewables – mostly wind and solar power – and in achieving energy efficiency,” says Teske.”
via SOUTH AFRICA: Sound Policy Key to Renewable Energy – IPS ipsnews.net.