Tag Archives: Renewable energy

A tree may have the answers to renewable energy

Through an energy conversion process that mimics that of a tree, a University of Wisconsin-Madison materials scientist is making strides in renewable energy technologies for producing hydrogen. 

Xudong Wang, an assistant professor of materials science and engineering at UW-Madison, recently collaborated with researcher, Dr. Zhiyong Cai, in the U.S. Forest Products Laboratory in Madison on research to use cellulose nanofibers (CNFs) for, a process that converts solar energy to fuel.

Continue reading A tree may have the answers to renewable energy


Autarkhome: Sustainable Floating Passivhaus (PHOTOS)

This is a floating home that is entirely self-sufficient and docked in Maastricht, Netherlands.  Designed by Pieter Kromwijk and referred to as Autarkhome, the solar-powered project was built to the Passivhaus standard and is 10 times more energy efficient than the average dwelling of similar size.

There are no dock connectors for energy or water; energy is provided by solar hot water collectors and solar PV, while water is processed through a built-in water treatment system.

Additionally, Autarkhome has a heat recovery ventilation system, EPS insulation, Mosa tiles, Desso carpet, and IKEA interior products.

The current plan is to mass-produce the home due to demand after showing the prototype, according to Renewable Energy Magazine.  The builder expects each home to take about four months to finish.

IBM’s Renewable Energy Cloud in India

IBM’s Renewable Energy Cloud in India


Cloud computing is slowly becoming a part of the way that energy companies and utilities manage their core IT needs.

But when it comes to shifting critical grid and power generation control systems to the cloud, they’ve been far more cautious, driven by concerns about reliability, security, and the challenge of integrating legacy control systems with a modern, distributed IT architecture.

But for a company that’s building a renewable energy generation fleet from the ground up, cloud computing can offer a lot of benefits. At least, that’s how Bharat Light and Power is looking at its new project with IBM to shift some of its core wind power management tasks to the cloud.

Bharat announced earlier this month that it’s using IBM’s SoftLayer cloud platform, for asset management, mobile workforce integration and power generation analytics for its roughly 200-megawatt fleet of wind farms throughout India. Those wind farms are scattered throughout the country, many in remote areas, and present a significant operations and maintenance challenge.

Google to invest in six more large solar panel farms in the Southwest

Google’s over a billion dollar commitment to clean energy projects — a Hoover’s Dam worth of renewable energy — keeps growing. On Thursday Google announced that it will invest $80 million into six solar panel farms in California and Arizona.

The solar panel farms have been under developed by project developer Recurrent Energy, which was bought by Sharp a few years ago, and has been rumored to be soon sold off by Sharp(though Sharp denied that rumor this Summer). The solar panel farms have a combined capacity of 106 MW, which can generate enough electricity to power 17,000 homes, and five of the projects are in Southern California, while one is in Arizona.

Google teamed up with investment group KKR to purchase the plants –which will be operational next year — outright for a total cost of $400 million. Back in late 2011 Google made a similar deal with KKR and Recurrent Energy for some solar panel farms in Sacramento.

This latest clean power move by Google shows not only the search engine giant’s long standing commitment to put large sums of money into clean power infrastructure, but also the variety of options that Internet companies have to help green the grid. Google makes these types of investments partly because they can make money off of them, and partly because these projects can be areas that could feed electricity to Google data centers. Google can also get renewable energy credits from investments like these.

Kyocera floats mega solar power plant in Japan

following the devastating earthquake and tsunami off the coast of japan in 2011 — a disaster which brought monumental nuclear accidents to affected cities — the country has had an increasing motivation to consider and exercise solar energy production. japanese electronics manufacturer kyocera has recently unveiled a 70 megawatt solar power plant in kagoshima prefecture, now becoming japan’s largest utility-scale facility. a restructured fit program launched by the government stipulated the requirement of local utilities to purchase 100% of the power generated from solar installations of more than 10 kilowatts for a period of 20 years, a promotion for the use of renewable energy. the major project that began in july 2012 has finally begun operation on november 1st, 2013.

‘kagoshima nanatsujima mega solar power plant’ sits off the coast of southern japan, overlooking the ocean bay and grand sakurajima volcano. occupying 1.27 million square meters — roughly the same area as 27 baseball stadiums — the massive plant is comprised of 290,000 arranged panels. an adjacent tour facility provides visitors, students, and tourists with expansive panoramas of the facility from a circular viewing room and relevant information about environmental issues, a stimulus in the understanding of renewable energy resources for the public sphere.

Google tosses $200M at ‘Spinning Spur Wind Project’ to bring its green power to 2 gigawatts

Google tosses $200M at ‘Spinning Spur Wind Project’ to bring its green power to 2 gigawatts

Over the Christmas holidays, Google gave Planet Earth a $200 million gift, with nice little green bow wrapped on top.

Google announced today that it closed an investment in Spinning Spur Wind Project, a West Texas wind farm than can generate enough power for, on the average, 60,000 U.S. homes.

A Siemens turbine

A Siemens turbine

The 161 megawatt facility is 35 miles from Amarillo, Texas, and brings the total amount of renewable energy that Google has invested in to a fairly staggering 2 gigawatts. That’s enough, it says, to power 500,000 American homes for an entire year or for a car to travel around the world 190,000 times.

Spinning Spur is new, a facility EDF Renewable Energy finished before the end of 2012, with 70 2.3 megawatt Siemens wind turbines. If you’re wondering whether you’re going to be using any renewable energy from the project, SPS buys the the power from Spinning Spur. SPS is a subsidiary of Xcel Energy that primarily serves Texas and New Mexico.

Google says it invests in wind projects for ecological reasons as well as financial: They’re good investments. The company has invested over $1 billion in renewable energy projects and has a goal of using 100 percent renewable energy.

Its largest wind project is the Shepherds Flat wind farm, which is about four times the size of Spinning Spur, at 845 megawatts.

The Window: Generating Energy With Sunlight, Mirrors, and Molten Salt (VIDEO)


Take a look inside the first commercial-scale solar energy plant to use nothing more than the sun, molten salt, and a whole lot of mirrors to send power to the people. If the Crescent Dunes Solar Energy facility works as promised, it could be a model for the future of renewable energy.


Watch video here – http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2013/11/the-window-crescent-dunes-solar-energy-the-facility/