Scotland wants to become the green energy capital of Europe and OILPRICE interviewed its prime mover, First Minister Alex Salmond. Mr. Salmond discusses how Scotland will achieve its ambitious goal of 100% renewable electricity by 2020.

Forbe’s looked at the U.S. Military’s big plan for renewable energy projects. The U.S. Department of Defense plans to open up 16 million acres of its land for renewable energy development, which it hopes will create a boom of solar, wind and geothermal projects and provide clean power to military bases.

OILPRICE covered the wind boom in Turkey. Wind energy now amounts to 2% of total electric power generation in Turkey spurred by government incentives. Turkey is targeting 20,000 MW of installed wind-power capacity by the end of 2023. Today that number is just 1,800 MW.

Wind’s Mid-life Crisis was discussed at the EU Energy Policy Blog. After 3 decades of wind technology it now appears the law of diminishing marginal returns has gotten in the way of further cost reductions. That is the message from a new report, The Past and Future Cost of Wind Energy with contributions of experts at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) and a number of European collaborators. “Beginning in about 2003 and continuing through the latter half of the past decade, wind power capital costs increased – driven by rising commodity and raw materials prices, increased labor costs, improved manufacturer profitability, and turbine up-scaling – thus pushing wind’s levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) upward in spite of continued performance improvements, according to the report.”

Geothermal energy is gaining popularity in South America according to hydrogenfuelnews. A new report from the World Bank shows that South America has a high potential for geothermal energy. The report finds that countries along the Pacific Rim, as well as some islands in the Caribbean, hold the most potential for geothermal energy. This is due to their position in the geologic area known as the Ring of Fire. This ring, which encompasses the circumference of the Pacific Ocean, is home to the majority of the world’s volcanoes and produces a massive amount of geothermal energy. If this energy could be tapped, nations along the Rim could benefit greatly from its use. Argentina is one of the few countries to adopt a feed-in tariff program for geothermal energy and Peru has made the most progress in the adoption of this alternative energy. See also REVE Geothermal Energy in South America.

North American Windpower forecasted that global distributed renewable energy installations will triple by 2017. These are smaller scale energy sources such as small wind power, distributed solar photovoltaics and stationary fuel cells. Currently, they represent 1% of total worldwide electric generation capacity but Pike Research expects annual worldwide installations will nearly triple to 3% between 2012 and 2017. Having less need for transmission facilities, Pike believes they are better positioned to comprise a larger portion of worldwide electricity generating capacity in the coming years. The large majority of new installations will be solar PV installations, which are expected to reach 210 GW by 2017.

Global Arab Network wrote more than 85% of MENA land can generate solar electricity. 96% of installed electricity generating capacity in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) runs on fossil fuels (oil and natural gas). Renewables (including hydropower) account for only about 3% of this installed capacity. The article notes that solar electricity generation is possible in areas with direct normal irradiance (DNI) above 5 kWh per meter square per day, which is true for more than 85% of MENA land. “…solar power in MENA has the potential of meeting 50 to 70 percent of global electricity demand. Therefore, it is technically and also economically feasible (albeit on  a level economic playing field and over  the long-term) for MENA to meet its internal electricity demand from purely solar power.” Moreover, MENA has the potential to become an exporter of solar energy to Africa and Europe. Solar further has the advantage of a stable and predictable price as it does not depend on highly volatile global fossil fuel markets for electricity generation.

hydrogenfuelnews told us stationary fuel cells reached a milestone in Germany. FuelCell Energy Solutions, a developer of stationary fuel cells,  announced the sale of its first stationary fuel cell power plant to BAM Deutschland AG. The fuel cell will be installed at the Federal Ministry of Education and Research complex in Berlin, Germany and will meet approximately 40% of the energy needs of the government complex. In addition, it will provide the complex with thermal power, which will be used to heat water and facilitate climate control in the complex’s various offices. Stationary fuel cells are one of the most popular alternative energy systems for several industries because of their ability to produce large quantities of electricity.





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