Seattle Adopts Plan for Saving Energy Resources in City-Owned Buildings

Aims to Achieve 20% Energy Savings by 2020 The City of Seattle has adopted a Resource Conservation Management Plan (RCMP) that outlines how the City will reduce energy use in City-owned buildings 20% by 2020. A 20% energy use reduction by 2020 (compared to the 2008 baseline) would also result in utility cost savings of roughly $2.75 million per year after reaching the reduction goal. The RCMP was adopted by City Council resolution 31491 on December 16. While resource conservation is…

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Kinangop Wind Farm in Kenya to be Powered by 38 GE Wind Turbines

One of the Largest Wind Power Generation Projects to be Built in Sub-Saharan Africa The Kinangop Wind Farm in Kenya, developed by Aeolus Kenya and constructed by Iberdrola Engineering, will be powered by 38 GE 1.6-megawatt (MW) wind turbines. The Kinangop facility will be one of the largest wind power generation projects to be built to date in sub-Saharan Africa. Following its commissioning, the 61-MW wind farm will generate enough renewable electricity to power the equivalent of 150,000 homes in the…

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Climate Change Puts 40 Percent More People at Risk of Absolute Water Scarcity: Study

Water scarcity impacts people’s lives in many countries already today. Future population growth will increase the demand for freshwater even further. Yet in addition to this, on the supply side, water resources will be affected by projected changes in rainfall and evaporation. Climate change due to unabated greenhouse-gas emissions within our century is likely to put 40 percent more people at risk of absolute water scarcity than would be without climate change, a new study shows by using an unprecedented…

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Carbon capture technology could be vital for climate targets

The future availability of carbon capture and storage (CCS) will be pivotal in reaching ambitious climate targets, according to a new comprehensive study of future energy technologies from IIASA, the Potsdam Institute for Climate Change, and the Stanford Energy Modeling Forum. The study, published in a special issue of the journal Climatic Change, provides an overview of the results of EMF27, a major research project combining 18 different global energy-economy models from research teams around the world. It examines the…

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NREL Reports Soft Costs Now Largest Piece of Solar Installation Cost

Two detailed reports from the Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) find that solar financing and other non-hardware costs — often referred to as “soft costs” — now comprise up to 64% of the total price of residential solar energy systems, reflecting how soft costs are becoming an increasingly larger fraction of the cost of installing solar. “The two new reports, along with previous reports, provide a comprehensive look at the full cost of installing solar, while delineating and…

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IHS Report: China’s Power Market Will Overtake That of U.S. and Europe Combined by 2035

China’s power market demands in the last decade of robust economic expansion is unprecedented anywhere in the world, equally matched by the building out of its electric power infrastructure, which has more than tripled in the same period—and most of this growth fueled by coal. Today, however, environmental concerns and urban air pollution are prompting the authorities to opt for cleaner technologies while demand continues to surge. IHS, a global research and analytics firm, recently concluded a study on the…

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Solar Cell Degradation Observed Directly for First Time

X-ray examination shows structural changes in ‘plastics’ solar cells With the help of DESY’s X-ray light source PETRA III, researchers of Technische Universität München have, for the first time, watched organic solar cells degrade in real time. This work could open new approaches to increasing the stability of this highly promising type of solar cell. The team headed by Prof. Peter Müller-Buschbaum from the Technische Universität München (Technical University of Munich) present their observations in this week’s issue of the…

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Deep Carbon Observatory scientists discover quick recipe for producing hydrogen

New formula for fast, abundant H2 production may help power fuel cells, helps explain expansive chemical-eating microbial communities of the deep Scientists in Lyon, a French city famed for its cuisine, have discovered a quick-cook recipe for copious volumes of hydrogen (H2). The breakthrough suggests a better way of producing the hydrogen that propels rockets and energizes battery-like fuel cells. In a few decades, it could even help the world meet key energy needs — without carbon emissions contributing to…

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NuScale Power Passes 100-Patent Mark for Small Modular Reactor Technology

With the recent validation of its evacuated containment patents in the US, Europe and Asia, NuScale Power, LLC, announced today that its portfolio now contains 108 patents granted or pending in 17 North American, European and Asian countries. NuScale’s robust patent development and protection program actively identifies and protects its designs and innovations in nuclear technology—focusing on key innovations for Small Modular Reactors (SMRs). NuScale’s portfolio includes patent filings related to advanced safety features, enhanced fuel performance, SMR scalability and modularity,…

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Asia’s Leading Environmental Show IE Expo 2014 Expands Sector for Air Pollution Control

Air pollution in China’s major cities hazardous to health IE expo 2014 During the next few years, environmental protection and improving the quality of the air in particular are one of the key topics facing the Chinese government. To adapt itself to the special needs of the Chinese market, IE expo 2014 is expanding the sector for air pollution control by adding new product categories. In doing so, it is reinforcing its leading position as China’s largest trade fair for…

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First Solar Starts Construction of Solar Power Plant in Kitakyushu-shi, Japan

First Solar, Inc.today announced that it has started construction of a solar project in Kitakyushu-shi, Japan. Generation capacity of the project is 1.4MWDC, and it will start operating in Q1 2014. Using First Solar’s advanced technology CdTe thin-film PV modules, the project will provide clean and safe solar power to Japan, mitigating idle nuclear and providing energy security. “This project illustrates First Solar’s capability to develop and build solar power plants in Japan,” said Joseph Kishkill, First Solar’s Chief Commercial…

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Rice Scientists ID New Catalyst for Cleanup of Nitrites

Gold-palladium nanocatalysts set new mark for breakdown and cleanup of nitrites Chemical engineers at Rice University have found a new catalyst that can rapidly break down nitrites, a common and harmful contaminant in drinking water that often results from overuse of agricultural fertilizers. Nitrites and their more abundant cousins, nitrates, are inorganic compounds that are often found in both groundwater and surface water. The compounds are a health hazard, and the Environmental Protection Agency places strict limits on the amount…

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GE Awarded 545 Megawatts of Commitments to Power 26 Brazil Wind Farms

GE won 545 megawatts (MW) of orders for wind turbines in Brazil’s A-3 auction, which was held on November 18. The total amount of energy auctioned was 867 MW and GE secured 63 percent of the auction capacity. GE will provide 1.7-100 and 1.85-82.5 turbines for wind farms developed by Casa dos Ventos, Eletrosul, Contour Global, CEEE, PEC, Rio Energy and Chesf in the Brazilian states of Rio Grande do Sul, Bahia and Piauí. GE also will service the wind turbines for 10 years as part…

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RENEWABLE ENERGY PROVIDES 99% OF ALL NEW U.S. ELECTRICAL GENERATING CAPACITY IN OCTOBER 2013

YEAR-TO-DATE, RENEWABLES OUTPACE COAL, OIL, AND NUCLEAR POWER COMBINED According to the latest “Energy Infrastructure Update” report from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s Office of Energy Projects, solar, biomass, and wind “units” provided 694 MW of new electrical generating capacity last month or 99.3% of all new generation placed in-service (the balance of 5 MW was provided by oil.) Twelve new solar units accounted for 504 MW or 72.1% of all new electrical generating capacity in October 2013 followed by four…

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BU, MIT team engineers add new wrinkles to waterproofing

A waterproofing surface that repels fluids faster Intuition tells us that a smooth surface should shed water faster than a textured one. But a team of engineers from Boston University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have engineered a wrinkled surface that sheds liquid much faster than a smooth one, an innovation that has implications for a wide variety of materials that work better when dry. VIDEO Caption: The clock at top shows how fast a drop bounces off a…

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Solar-Powered Battery Woven into Fabric Overcomes Hurdle for Wearable Electronics

Though some people already seem inseparable from their smartphones, even more convenient, wearable, solar-powered electronics could be on the way soon, woven into clothing fibers or incorporated into watchbands. This novel battery development, which could usher in a new era of “wearable electronics,” is the topic of a paper in the ACS journal Nano Letters. Taek-Soo Kim, Jung-Yong Lee, Jang Wook Choi and colleagues explain that electronic textiles have the potential to integrate smartphone functions into clothes, eyeglasses, watches and materials…

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Enhancing Battery Performance

Researchers show how to keep cathode material ‘in line’ to enhance battery performance The ever-increasing market for portable electronic devices such as laptops, cell phones and MP3 players has resulted in an equally heavy demand for secondary batteries — more commonly known as rechargeable batteries — Lithium-ion (Li-ion) being among the most popular. Scientists and engineers worldwide are seeking ways to improve the power density, durability and overall performance of Lithium-ion batteries, and in a recent paper in the AIP…

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