Wind farms can provide society a surplus of reliable clean energy

Originally posted at Science Daily. View the original post here

The worldwide demand for solar and wind power continues to skyrocket. Since 2009, global solar photovoltaic installations have increased about 40 percent a year on average, and the installed capacity of wind turbines has doubled.

The dramatic growth of the wind and solar industries has led utilities to begin testing large-scale technologies capable of storing surplus clean electricity and delivering it on demand when sunlight and wind are in short supply.

Now a team of Stanford researchers has looked at the “energetic cost” of manufacturing batteries and other storage technologies for the electrical grid. At issue is whether renewable energy supplies, such as wind power and solar photovoltaics, produce enough energy to fuel both their own growth and the growth of the necessary energy storage industry. Continue reading “Wind farms can provide society a surplus of reliable clean energy”

Big solar could boost Australia’s power, if renewables funding stays

Could Australia have large solar farms like this one in New York? Brookhaven National Laboratory/Flickr, CC BY-NC-ND

Originally posted at The Conversation. View the original post here

The recent start of construction on the first of two large-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) power plants in outback New South Wales shows the importance of renewable energy targets and funding.

The first, currently being built at Nyngan, will be the largest solar PV farm in the southern hemisphere, producing 103 megawatts at peak capacity. This will be enough to power more than 33,000 average New South Wales homes, roughly equivalent to taking 53,000 cars off the road. Both projects have received federal and state funding, and have benefited from theRenewable Energy Target.

The Solar Flagships Program, of which the Nyngan plant is the major part, will also deliver a further 50 megawatt plant at Broken Hill, providing a combined solar power output 10 times larger than anything else ever built in Australia.

Continue reading “Big solar could boost Australia’s power, if renewables funding stays”

RET Watch: Qld sugar producer “nervous” about renewables target cut

Screen Shot 2014-03-17 at 11.06.19 AMA Queensland sugar producer selling clean energy to the grid has expressed concern about a possible cut the the Renewable Energy Target.

According to the Central Telegraph, Mackay Sugar have made a “solid investment” in cogeneration from crop waste and “want to make sure their future is stable.”

In 2012 Mackay Sugar opened a $120 million, 38MW cogeneration plant that generates enough electricity for one third of Mackay–cutting around 200,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions each year.

“Our biggest concern was with the unwinding of the RET,” Mackay Sugar chairman Andrew Cappello told the Central Telegraph. “I mean this is where we attract a lot of value for this cogeneration plant.” 

“This was a huge investment for us,” added Capello. “Given the size of our business, we have taken a pretty big risk. Until the main outcome (from) the review, we will remain a little nervous.”

Mr Capello’s concern is well-founded. The RET Review panel chaired by climate change denier Dick Warburton and stacked in favour of fossil fuel interests.
art-tony-abbott-620x349The Abbott government has done nothing to allay those fears. Continue reading “RET Watch: Qld sugar producer “nervous” about renewables target cut”

New wind turbine towers to reduce cost, resources

Originally posted at CleanTechnica. View original post here

GE is launching a new wind turbine tower next week and CleanTechnica just got a chance to go inside and see what makes it tick, so we’re going to share that with you right now before practically anybody else gets wind of it. The new tower, which GE has dubbed the Space Frame Tower, is a great example of the different factors that have gone into taking the wind industry from an exotic outsider to a juggernaut player in energy markets in the US and around the globe, all within just a few years.

From the outside, the Space Frame Tower looks like a regular tube-shaped turbine tower with a bit of an Eiffel Tower splay to the bottom, and there’s your clue regarding what’s hidden behind that plain white exterior: a new approach to turbine tower design that GE hopes will play into the demand for taller wind turbines. Continue reading “New wind turbine towers to reduce cost, resources”

Ararat Councillor receives Renewable Energy Champion award

Ararat Councillor Gwenda Allgood received the inaugural Renewable Energy Champion Award at the Melbourne Sustainable Living Festival 2014. Yes 2 Renewables selected councillor Allgood to recognise her efforts educating Australians about wind energy. Councillor Allgood has travelled far and wide to tell a … Continue reading Ararat Councillor receives Renewable Energy Champion award

Wind Energy In Iowa Cuts 8.4 Million Tons Of Carbon Pollution Per Year

Iowa has been a prime example for the progress of wind energy in the past few years. As this article shows, Iowa’s wind energy benefits extend from being an electricity generator and economic driver, it drastically cuts pollution and benefits the environment. Read on.

Original post by Think Progress. View article here.

Wind energy

Iowa’s hugely successful wind industry isn’t just an economic driver, it’s having a major impact on cutting pollution and saving water. Wind energy generation in Iowa avoids more than 8.4 million metric tons of climate-altering carbon pollution — the equivalent of taking 1.7 million cars off the road, according to a new report released by Environment Iowa.

Additionally, the report found that wind energy saves Iowans nearly 3.8 billion gallons of water per year, enough to meet the needs of over 158,000 people. The U.S. National Drought Monitor shows a significant portion of the state is in moderate to severe drought conditions and has been for several months. Continue reading “Wind Energy In Iowa Cuts 8.4 Million Tons Of Carbon Pollution Per Year”

Data show wind energy works and is cost-effective

Originally published by Wisconsin State Journal. View original here.

Iowa wind

Occasionally a misinformed reader asserts wind turbines produce insignificant electrical output. That’s simply untrue.

MGE reports the energy produced by its wind turbines annually. According to reports, its Rosiere Wind Farm in Kewaunee County produced 19,513,000 kilowatt hours in 2011 and 20,279,000 in 2012, the former at an operating cost of 2.11 cents per kilowatt hour. Continue reading “Data show wind energy works and is cost-effective”

Renewable energy facts undermine fossil-fuelled opinion

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Trent Hawkins

By Trent Hawkins

The right wing war on renewables is heating up as the Abbott government announces yet another investigation into wind energy and health and a review of the Renewable Energy Target.

Australian Financial Review (23 Jan) featured an opinion article by Alan Moran from the climate change denying think tank the Institute of Public Affairs criticizing renewable energy. Moran argued that the performance of solar and wind during the recent heatwave in southeast Australia proves the technology’s unreliability. It seems neither Moran or AFR made any attempt to check the facts behind his opining.

Moran’s key claim:

“during heatwave conditions in the five days to January 18 this year, wind actually contributed 3 per cent of electricity supply across the Australian National Electricity Market. Nobody knows the contribution of rooftop solar but it could not conceivably have been more than 1 per cent.”

Moran is wrong on several counts. As pointed out by RenewEconomy’s Giles Parkinson, the highest peak demand periods during the 2014 heatwave were smaller than a similar event in 2009—a time when Australia had much less solar energy capacity. For Western Australia, a state where 130,000 households have embraced rooftop solar, the peak demand in 2012 made it to 4000MW, while it was only 3733MW last week. The difference between these peaks corresponds closely to the actual installed capacity of 340MW!

As we can see, Australia’s rapidly expanding solar energy capacity clips peak demand. Continue reading “Renewable energy facts undermine fossil-fuelled opinion”

Act now on Australia’s power system or pay more later

Published by The Conversation. View original article. Australia has a problem with its power system that goes to the core of many issues we’re facing at the moment — increasing coal and gas prices, changing electricity usage, and climate change. … Continue reading Act now on Australia’s power system or pay more later

Dispelling myth of energy payback of renewable energy systems

It’s sometimes suggested that the life-cycle energy inputs of  renewable technologies can well exceed their outputs – an argument that some attempt to use against wind turbines, as well as solar PV modules. In this article by Mark Diesendorf  we find a clear explanation of just what ‘life-cycle energy inputs’ are, how they may be calculated, and how energy payback periods of various technologies compare. The figures may surprise you, and yet another myth bites the dust!

Published by Renew Economy. View original article 

One of the many myths propagating about renewable energy (RE) systems, especially solar photovoltaic electricity, is that the life-cycle energy inputs are greater than or comparable with the lifetime energy outputs. Is it generally true and, if not, under what special circumstances would it be reasonable?

Life-cycle energy inputs for solar PV modules are now greatly reduced
Life-cycle energy inputs for solar PV modules are now greatly reduced

Continue reading “Dispelling myth of energy payback of renewable energy systems”