spiked discusses how to make electricity blackouts a thing of the past. Following up on the power cuts to 650 million Indians this past summer and the fact some 1.6 billion people have no electricity at all, the authors look at at how energy supply must aim for high productivity before all else. ” A capital-intensive, not labour-intensive level of technique, together with a higher-level safety regime and the minimising of pollution, should allow the issue of energy to recede from public consciousness, so we can all get on to more important matters…Worldwide, what the International Energy Agency calls electricity ‘shortfalls’ have been growing and even when untoward events, rather than weak capacity or ropey electrical grids, have caused such problems, the inability to prepare for such eventualities tells a sad story.”

Meanwhile, a new report from Frost & Sullivan says energy storage is the solution to looming electricity shortages in the UK. “Energy Storage will help to significantly increase the effectiveness of renewable generation, the efficiency of thermal plants, and the resilience and stability of the existing electrical transmission network.” The consulting group found the performance of wind farms and solar PV panels is below the expectations placed on it by the UK policy makers. Energy storage could play a large role in enabling renewable generation technologies to perform in a more stable manner on the grid.

AOL Energy believes microgrids are going to bring about major technology disruption. The way electricity is created and delivered are already under way to transform the electricity system worldwide in the coming decade. Countries dealing with unreliable or insufficient power supplies are looking at distributed generating sources and microgrids. Just as cell phones leapfrogged the need for telephone land lines, microgrids are obviating the need for long transmission lines. Some are sure the electric industry is about to experience the same magnitude of transformation that the telecoms industry did in the past 20 years.

The Guardian explains the hydrogen economy to us while techradar asks When will fuel cells power the world?  Read its guide to the latest fuel-cell technology.

Germany has launched its first decentralized fuel cell power plant says Cogeneration & On-site Power Production. The plant is located at Aachen in the northern part of the country. It is a pilot scheme whereby 25 micro CHP fuel cell systems will be installed in private homes and municipal buildings and connected to form a network that is centrally controlled as a single power plant. With a capacity of 50 kW, the heat and electricity plant can be turned on and off as required to meet demand.

The same source tells us a fuel cell plant will power Eastern Connecticut State University in the US. The stationary phosphoric acid fuel cell system produces 400 kW of continuous electric power while generating usable by-product heat. See also Norwich Bulletin Eastern adds fuel cell to its green initiative.

Earth Techling reveals the city of Ontario, California has the largest digester-gas powered fuel cell in the US. The new 2.8 MW waste treatment plant turns the methane generated from digesting biosolids into electricity to run the plant while also producing hydrogen for a fuel-cell vehicle fueling station. The fuel cell has reduced the grid portion of electricity to run the plant by 60%. See also Sustainable Business Largest Biogas Fuel Cell Power Plant Comes Online.

US telecommunications company AT&T will have 17.1 MW of fuel cell power reports Mellisa Hincha-Ownby. The plants in California and Connecticut will produce more than 149 million kWh of electricity per year, which is enough electricity to provide power to more than 13,680 homes annually.

The Guardian has an article on ITER called Nuclear fusion – your time has come. “Harnessing nuclear fusion to create cheap, safe and sustainable energy used to be a futuristic joke. But its day is almost upon us.” ITER is the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor currently under construction in the south of France.  It is financed by the EU, the US, China, Russia, India, Korean and Japan with the purpose of demonstrating that it is possible to produce commercial electricity from nuclear fusion.

Domestic Fuel says Solar PV Grid Parity Could be Reached in 2013. Solar power is expected to reach grid parity when solar panels can be produced for under $0.70/watt with a total system cost under $2.00. As solar PV costs have been trending downward, grid parity could be reached as early as 2013 if the trend continues. This is the finding of The Principal Solar Institute in a paper at its website entitled “ Investing in the Power of the Sun – The Capitalist Case for Solar Energy” China is likely to reach grid parity first followed by the US.

Global wind energy capacity has passed 250 gigawatts (GW) says reve. According to the latest half-year report from the World Wind Energy Association  China, the U.S., Germany, Spain and India continue to lead wind energy development, together representing 74% of global wind energy capacity. By June of this year, China had an overall installed capacity of around 67.7 GW.

The Copenhagen Post tells us this Danish city is betting its future on renewable energy. The city announced a plan this year that will see it move away from fossil fuel technology and become fully carbon-neutral by 2025 and become the world’s first carbon neutral city.

CleanBiz Asia tells us China could get 7.6% of its energy needs from shallow geothermal energy. The country’s geothermal energy resources are buried 3,000 to 10,000 meters below 287 cities, 12 sedimentary basins and 2,562 hot springs. If shallow geothermal resources are effectively used, the country can save 250 million tonnes of standard coal (equivalent to 7.6 % of annual energy consumption) and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 500 million tonnes, according to the ministry. Geothermal energy resources are abundant in China, although the country’s ability to develop and utilize them is still in its infancy. See also reve China’s geothermal energy equal to 860 trillion tonnes of coal equivalent.

Brazil will see $235 billion of investments in renewable-energy and biofuel projects during the next ten years we learn from today’s energy solutions. The nation will install 36 GW of hydroelectric plants, 12 GW of biomass plants and 11 GW of wind farms during that time.







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