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Concentration of CO2 in the Atmosphere

March 26 Green Energy News

Science and Technology:

  • Compared to the mechanics of chemical batteries, the idea behind rail storage is simple. During low-demand periods, power is used to pull a chain of weighted train cars uphill. And there they will sit, losing no power to degradation, until needed in a high-demand period. [Environment & Energy Publishing]

World:

  • Solar energy now costs the same as conventionally generated electricity in Germany, Italy and Spain, a report has revealed. The research has warned, however, that high installation costs are impeding other countries from achieving grid parity. [RT]
  • Japan approved an 11% cut in tariffs for solar power as a building boom meant the technology made up 97% of new renewable capacity since it offered incentives. Slightly higher tariffs are being offered for offshore wind and other forms of renewable power. [eco-business.com]
  • China, the world’s top emitter, is only using about five% of its total biomass potential. So far, over 260 new biomass projects have been completed, providing 4,870 MW. Growth in biomass capacity is expected to be about 40% per year for the next three to five years. [eco-business.com]
  • Sales of residential solar storage systems in Germany are tipped to boom, with new figures projecting roughly 20-fold growth over the next four years. A study predicts a nationwide market of 100,000 units by 2018, up from 6,000 last year. [RenewEconomy]
  • In the UK, Highview Energy Storage signed a global licensing and technology agreement with GE’s Oil and Gas unit for liquid air storage technology. The technology uses off-peak power to liquefy air at -320.8ºF. When power is needed, the liquid air boils to run a turbine. [Energy and Capital]
  • Wholesale power prices in Germany have plunged 34% since 2010 amid record output from renewables, while electricity demand last year slumped to the weakest since 2009, according to energy researcher AG Energiebilanzen e.V. [Bloomberg]

US:

  • Morgan Stanley says it has been overwhelmed by the response to its analysis suggesting that falling costs of both solar modules and battery storage presented a potential tipping point that would encourage huge numbers of homeowners and businesses in the US to go off grid. [RenewEconomy]
  • The city of Milwaukee is exploring becoming energy independent—not just by reducing its electricity use and increasing its renewable energy portfolio, but perhaps by severing ties with We Energies (Wisconsin Energy Corporation). [Express Milwaukee]
  • A bill repealing renewable energy standards for utility companies won approval in the Kansas Senate with a vote of 25-15. The bill now goes to the House. The current standard requires utility companies to receive 20% of their energy from renewable sources by 2020. [Kansas.com]
  • A Rhode Island company is proposing to erect a 35-turbine wind farm about 30 miles off the coast of Montauk. Deepwater Wind said if its latest proposal is accepted, it would produce around 200 MW by 2018. The cost would be about $1 billion. [Newsday]
  • A 300-mile power cable line would be buried on land and run underwater from Maine to Boston in a proposal to tap Canada’s hydropower for power-hungry southern New England, meeting a need for to 3,600 MW of renewable energy. [Nanaimo Daily News]
  • US electricity sales fell by 1.9% in 2012 over 2007’s figures and sales in the first ten months of 2013 have fallen even lower, according to a new white paper released by the American Council for an Energy-Efficiency Economy. [Buildings]

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