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August 19 Green Energy News

Science and Technology:

  • A new battery electrode that combines liquid-state sodium and cesium to significantly improve the safety, efficiency and life span of sodium-beta batteries has been developed by researchers at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, Washington. [Chinatopix]

World:

  • The Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century says the world now gets 22% of its energy from renewable sources. And renewables accounted for more than 56% of last year’s investments for additions to global power capacity, beating fossil fuels for the fourth year in a row. [reNews]
  • Saudi Arabia is gearing up to generate approximately 30% of its power needs from solar power within the next 20 years. The kingdom hopes to install as much as 41 GW of PV solar energy capacity by 2032, and has enlisted the help of solar world-leader China to reach that goal. [pv magazine]
  • Tony Abbott’s attacks on the renewable energy industry have effectively killed the wind energy and large-scale solar market in Australia – at least for the next few years. But it could spark another rush to solar for households and small businesses before remaining incentives are closed. [RenewEconomy]
  • Clean Energy Finance Corporation says it still plans to build Australia’s largest solar power station in Alice Springs, despite similar projects losing momentum. In July, they announced a $13 million loan to triple the project’s capacity. [ABC Online]
  • The Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region plans to use electricity created by offshore wind farms by 2017. Huadian Heavy Industries will introduce ocean-energy technologies to build an industrial base for ocean wind power in Hebei province. [China.org.cn]
  • Eco Energy World Ltd has connected five solar-energy farms totalling 70 MW to the grid in the UK in the past few weeks. The renewable energy developer’s new solar projects are located in Essex, Devon and Wiltshire. [Renewable Energy Magazine]
  • A new record 22% of UK electricity was generated by wind power on August 17, according to industry body RenewableUK. The 22% meant wind outshone coal’s 13% share and nudged close to nuclear (24%) and gas (26%). [Recharge]
  • A new report released by the Alberta government reveals a concerning trend with declining air quality as a result of tar sands operations. The data the report is based on are two years old, and there is no indication what the government’s management actions will be. [Energy Collective]

US:

  • Minnesota’s solar power industry is in a growth spurt that’s about to accelerate. The industry, once focused largely on installing solar photovoltaic panels for homes, businesses and government, now is seeing a surge in investment by electric utilities. [RenewablesBiz]
  • Solar power, apparently, is working out just fine in Frederick County, Maryland. Vivint Solar has installed solar panels on more than 160 Frederick County homes since the company opened its Frederick office in April, and they say they have enough jobs to keep them busy for a long time. [RenewablesBiz]
  • A just-released Department of Energy and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory report pegs utility-scale wind power-purchase agreement pricing as averaging $25 per MWh for projects that negotiated contracts in 2013. That’s cheap power. [Greentech Media]
  • The US ranks second in installed wind power capacity in the world with 61 GW of total capacity following modest growth in 2013, according to a Department of Energy report. Wind power additions stalled last year with only 1,087 MW of new capacity added. [reNews]
  • Apel Steel Corporation, based in Cullman, Alabama is having a 340 kWh PV system designed to generate 470,213 kWh of AC solar power a year – meeting 98% of the firm’s energy needs in the process and all but taking the company off the state grid. [pv magazine]

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