Cutting Carbon Emissions

The 2009 Renewable Energy Directive sets a target for the UK to achieve 15% of its energy consumption from renewable sources by 2020. This compares to only 1.5% in 2005.

But a leaked policy document from the UK government, dated March 2012, wants nuclear power to be given parity with renewables in Europe,

in a move that would significantly boost atomic energy in Britain but downgrade investment in renewable generation.

A national renewable energy action plan for the UK highlighted offshore wind and marine energy as key areas for development in order to help the UK reach the 15% target.

Europe should focus on cutting carbon emissions instead of just repeating the existing EU green policy targets which expire at the end of the decade, Britain’s energy and climate chief Edward Davey told a global energy and environment summit.

“We should be moving towards outcome targets,” Davey said on Monday (14 May). “Carbon emissions should be the key target.”

He was asked whether Britain would support another target for renewable energy when the EU goal to increase the share of green energy in the mix to 20% expires at the end of the decade.

“While we think the renewables target for 2020 is a very good target and we believe we are on track to meet it, in terms of another renewables target, we have to think about what we are trying to achieve here,” he replied.

Business, which needs investment certainty, has been putting pressure on the European Commission to come up with policy which can replace the goals that expire in 2020.

Davey said he preferred “outcome targets”, such as a new goal on carbon cutting, rather than setting another target for renewables, which are becoming more economically viable.

However, he would not specify what level of new EU carbon target Britain might support. But Britain is already “one of the most ambitious, if not the most ambitious,” he added.

Nuclear renaissance

In March, the The Guardian newspaper leaked a document which showed, that the UK government wants nuclear power to be given parity with renewables in Europe, in a move that would significantly boost atomic energy in Britain but downgrade investment in renewable generation.

The UK’s renewable energy sector has suffered a series of blows, with an anti-renewables backlash whipped up by right-leaning think tanks and Tory MPs, more than 100 of whom sent a letter to the prime minister attacking renewables and calling on him to cut subsidies from onshore wind farms.

Britain has a national target of reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 34% by 2020 from 1990 levels, compared with an EU-wide goal of a 20% reduction.

Britain also aims to cut CO2 emissions at least 80% below 1990 levels by 2050.

Along with Britain, Poland has also opposed a new EU renewables goal in an attempt to defend its right to burn coal. Poland has also blocked attempts to raise ambition on cutting carbon.

To help reduce carbon emissions from power plants, Britain wants carbon-capture and storage (CCS) technology and last month relaunched a £1 billion CCS funding competition. Later this year or early next year, the government will reveal which projects will sign front-end engineering and design contracts.

The UK government is also ready to support the exploration of shale gas, but has a cautious approach to ensure shale gas fracking was carried out safely.

“I don’t think we should close down any options, but to proceed with developing shale gas, one has to make sure one has a very, very robust regulatory regime,” Davey stated.

Last month, an independent report advised the British government to continue allowing fracking under stricter reporting guidelines.

The government is due to make an official response to the report after an ongoing consultation period.
CCRES 

special thanks to 
EurActiv.com and Reuters
CROATIAN CENTER of RENEWABLE ENERGY SOURCES (CCRES)
Posted in ALTERNATIVE, ALTERNATIVE ENERGY, CCRES, CROATIAN CENTER of RENEWABLE ENERGY SOURCES, GREEN ENERGY, HCOIE, HRVATSKI CENTAR OBNOVLJIVIH IZVORA ENERGIJE, PASSIVE ENERGY, RENEWABLE ENERGY, RENEWABLE ENERGY CENTER SOLAR SERDAR, RENEWABLES JAPAN STATUS REPORT, SOLAR SERDAR | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

News and Events by CCRES May 17, 2012

 

Croatian Center of Renewable Energy Sources

News and Events May 17, 2012

Energy Department Announces Milestone in Fuel Cell Use

The Energy Department announced on May 14 that more than one thousand fuel cells were deployed as a result of support from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Over the last three years, nearly 1,200 fuel cells have been deployed in emergency backup power units and material handling equipment, such as forklift trucks. This investment gives U.S. businesses more options to cut energy costs and reduce petroleum use.
Increasingly, companies are installing fuel cells to generate onsite primary or backup power for buildings, data centers, and cell phone towers, because of their high reliability and low emissions. To date, close to 700 fuel cells have been deployed to provide backup power with $18.5 million in Recovery Act funding. Fuel cells are quiet and do not need petroleum, so they produce few pollutants and emissions. Fuel cells also typically require minimal maintenance, and they can easily be monitored remotely to further reduce maintenance time. In addition, many leading American businesses are choosing fuel cells to power their materials handling equipment because of the productivity, cost, and performance advantages of fuel cell lift trucks. Funded with $9.7 million under the Recovery Act, more than 500 fuel cell powered lift trucks are now operational at end-user sites, along with fueling systems, data collection and analysis, and operator training to support them.
Hydrogen fuel cells do not emit any harmful air pollutants, and they can be rapidly refueled, boosting productivity. Fuel cells also maintain full power capability between refueling. Data collected from all of these projects are aggregated to provide relevant technology status results and fuel cell performance data without revealing proprietary information. These publicly available data products provide critical information to future investors and customers. See the Energy Department Progress Alert and the Fuel Cells Technology Program website.

National Student Efficiency Contest Winners Named

The Energy Department on May 2 announced the winners of America’s Home Energy Education Challenge, a national student competition designed to encourage students and their families to take action to start saving money by saving energy. A team of students from five schools in rural Carter County, Montana, was declared the national winner for successfully working with local utility companies and the community to reduce their home energy use by 3.4%. The five schools will share the $15,000 they won as both a regional winner and as the national champion.
The challenge, run by the National Science Teachers Association for the Energy Department, asked teams of third through eighth grade students to work with their science teachers and local utility companies to develop plans that reduce the amount of energy used to power their homes. Each student team monitored and measured its energy consumption between September and November 2011, then compared it to data collected during the same three-month period the year before.
The challenge included regional competitions, so student teams would face off against teams in similar climates. Regional winners then competed in a national competition, where they were evaluated based on their energy savings plans, energy savings, and levels of student participation, community involvement, and creativity. The four regional winners each received $5,000. They came from Golden, Colorado; Olive Hill, Kentucky; Potomac, Maryland; and Warren, Michigan. See the Energy Department Progress Alert and the list of winners.

EPA Releases List of Top 50 Green-Powered Organizations

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently released an updated list of the Top 50 Green Power Partnership organizations voluntarily using renewable electricity from resources such as solar, wind, and low-impact hydropower. Intel Corporation tops the list as the largest single user of green power, followed by Kohl’s Department Stores, and Microsoft Corporation. Intel, which has ranked number one on the list since 2008, uses more than 2.5 billion kWh of green power annually, or 88% of the company’s total nationwide electricity use. Microsoft and McDonald’s USA LLC, which ranks eleventh, are new to the list.
Combined, the Top 50 partners are using more than 15 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) of green power annually. By using green power, these organizations are avoiding carbon pollution equal to that created by the electricity use of more than 1.3 million American homes each year.
EPA’s Green Power Partnership works with more than 1,300 partner organizations, over half of which are small businesses and nonprofit organizations, to voluntarily use green power. Green power resources produce electricity with an environmental profile superior to conventional power technologies. See the EPA press release and rankings.

Global Automakers Demo Fast Charging EV Technology

Photo of a car with an electric cord on a street.

Eight automakers, including General Motors, have agreed on a standardized fast-charging technology for future versions of cars such as the Chevrolet Volt.
Credit: DOE, Charles Watkins
Eight automakers demonstrated a fast-charging technology for electric vehicles (EV) that can recharge compatible systems in as few as 15-20 minutes. Audi, BMW, Chrysler, Daimler, Ford, General Motors, Porsche, and Volkswagen have agreed to support a harmonized single-port fast charging approach—called DC Fast Charging with a Combined Charging System—for use on EVs in the United States and Europe.
The automakers gave charging demonstrations during the EVS26 Electric Vehicle Symposium, held in Los Angeles, May 6-9. The combined charging system integrates one-phase AC-charging, fast three-phase AC-charging, DC-charging at home, and ultra-fast DC-charging at public stations into one vehicle inlet. This will allow customers to charge at most existing charging stations regardless of power source, and it may speed more affordable adoption of a standardized infrastructure. The International Society of Automotive Engineers has chosen the Combined Charging System as the fast-charging methodology for a standard that incrementally extends the existing Type 1-based AC charging. The standard is to be officially published this summer. And ACEA, the European association of vehicle manufacturers, has selected the system as its AC/DC charging interface for all new vehicle types in Europe beginning in 2017. Commercially available combined charging units are projected to be available later this year. All committed manufacturers have vehicles in development that will use the Combined Charging System. The first vehicles to use this system will reach the market in 2013. See the General Motors press release.

CROATIAN CENTER of RENEWABLE ENERGY SOURCES (CCRES)

  special thanks to U.S. Department of Energy | USA.gov

Students Compete to Design Energy-Efficient Appliances

What is an efficient building without efficient appliances? That’s the question students must face as part of the Energy Department’s Max Tech and Beyond competition. This program challenges university students to design highly efficient, next-generation appliances and commercial equipment.
Helping American consumers and businesses save money by saving energy is a major part of the Obama administration’s all-of-the-above energy strategy. Challenging America’s students to find energy saving solutions is one of the ways the Energy Department is working to bring the best and brightest to the challenge of saving energy.
Initiated in 2010, the Max Tech competition first began by ranking the energy saving potential of appliances and commercial equipment to identify the appliances that had the most potential for technological advancement. Then in June 2011, organizers sent a request for proposals to university engineering and science departments across the nation, asking students to develop new, next-generation appliance and commercial equipment designs that demonstrate high energy savings. See the complete story on the Energy Blog.

Croatian Center of Renewable Energy Sources (CCRES)

Posted in ALTERNATIVE, ALTERNATIVE ENERGY, CCRES, CROATIAN CENTER of RENEWABLE ENERGY SOURCES, GREEN ENERGY, HCOIE, HRVATSKI CENTAR OBNOVLJIVIH IZVORA ENERGIJE, PASSIVE ENERGY, RENEWABLE ENERGY, RENEWABLE ENERGY CENTER SOLAR SERDAR, RENEWABLES JAPAN STATUS REPORT, SOLAR SERDAR | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Pentagon, the largest U.S. consumer of fuel goes green

Last month U.S. Army Energy Initiatives Task Force (AEITF) issued a draft request for proposals (Draft RFP) renewable energy contracts.
 
What’s on offer? Over the next decade, an impressive $7 billion. During the AEITF’s pre-solicitation phase, the Draft RFP is designed to gather information from potential bidders to assist the AEITF to develop a formal Request for Proposal (RFP) that it intends to issue later this year.
 
The United States Armed Forces, which currently fuels 77 percent of its machinery with petroleum-based fuel, has announced an aggressive goal, to be petroleum free by 2040. The Air Force intends to use biofuels for 50 percent of its domestic aviation needs by 2016.

A 2011 Pew Charitable Trusts report, “From Barracks to the Battlefield: Clean Energy Innovation and America’s Armed Forces” reported that Department of Defense clean energy investments increased 300 percent between 2006 and 2009 – from $400 million to $1.2 billion – and are projected at $10 billion annually by 2030, adding that that by 2015, the Pentagon will be spending $2.25 billion each year to harness clean energy technologies for air, land and sea vehicles.

Driving the Pentagon’s green drive is Executive Order 13423, which mandates that the Department of Defense achieve a 30 percent reduction in non-tactical fleet fossil fuel use by 2020.

A second key piece of legislation driving the Pentagon’s mandate is the Renewable Fuel Standard, which Congress enacted in 2005 as part of the Energy Policy Act, amending it in the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act. The amended standard mandated that by 2022 the consumption volume of the renewable fuels should consist of: 15 billion gallons of conventional biofuels, mainly corn-grain ethanol; 1 billion gallons of biomass-based diesel fuel; 4 billion gallons of advanced renewable biofuels, other than ethanol derived from cornstarch, that achieve a life-cycle greenhouse gas threshold of at least 50 percent; and 16 billion gallons of cellulosic biofuels produced from wood, grasses, or non-edible plant parts, such as corn stalks and wheat straw.

The draft AEITF RFP marks the beginning of the AEITF’s plan to develop a large, coordinated procurement process for renewables. The AEITF’s new program was developed in response to a National Defense Authorization Act that requires Department of Defense facilities to derive at least 25 percent of the electricity they consume from renewable energy by 2025, and a Department of Defense “Net Zero Energy” initiative, which challenges DOD installations to produce more energy than they consume, with emphasis on the use of renewable energy and alternative fuels.

So, what is holding back the production of commercially viable amounts of biofuels? Key barriers to achieving the renewable fuel mandate are the high cost of producing biofuels compared with petroleum-based fuels uncertainties in future biofuel markets, a lack of subsidies and crop insurance, along with a shortage of significant investment.

These factors have combined to produce a “perfect storm” up to now for biofuel producers, resulting in “designer fuels” of high cost for Pentagon testing.

To give but one example.

In October 2010 the Navy purchased 20,055 gallons of algae biofuel at an eye-watering cost of $424/gallon.  Nevertheless, the contract was one of the biggest U.S. purchases of a non-corn ethanol biofuel up to that time. A year later, the Navy reportedly spent $12 million for 450,000 gallons of biofuel. The bad news was that the biofuel’s cost worked out to around $26.67 per gallon, roughly six times the current cost of traditional gas.

The good news?  In a single year, the cost per gallon of biofuel plummeted by a factor of 15.9.

Furthermore, $7 billion in funding is likely to prove a significant game changer in the field.

So, where does this leave the investor? No single biofuel source, from jatropha, algae or camelina has yet to emerge as the clear winner, though the last seems most likely to emerge as the frontrunner. Accordingly, investors must do their homework and seek out potential winners.

For those wishing to broaden their portfolios, two websites will prove of immense value.

The first is http://www.usa.gov, the federal government’s website for the U.S. government, where one can come to grips with federal legislation and Pentagon initiatives.

The second is Jim Lane’s http://www.biofuelsdigest.com/, the self-proclaimed “world’s most widely read biofuels daily.” While the site has an element of tub-thumping boosterism, it nevertheless remains an immensely valuable source of information about the biofuel market and the major players.

It is important to remember how different the biofuels picture is now from even a year ago. The Pentagon, the largest U.S. consumer of fuel, is now under pressure to meet the various federal mandates, and careers and promotions hang in the balance.

 CCRES special thanks to 
John C.K. Daly ,
U.S.-Central Asia Biofuels Ltd

Croatian Center of Renewable Energy Sources (CCRES)

Posted in ALTERNATIVE, ALTERNATIVE ENERGY, CCRES, CROATIAN CENTER of RENEWABLE ENERGY SOURCES, GREEN ENERGY, HCOIE, HRVATSKI CENTAR OBNOVLJIVIH IZVORA ENERGIJE, PASSIVE ENERGY, RENEWABLE ENERGY, RENEWABLE ENERGY CENTER SOLAR SERDAR, RENEWABLES JAPAN STATUS REPORT, SOLAR SERDAR | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

CCRES – ALGAE BIOFUELS AND AQUAPONICS

 
 
 

CROATIAN CENTER of RENEWABLE ENERGY SOURCES 
(CCRES)
 
 
Algae, the Source of Biofuels, and Aquaponics
 
 
 
 
Algae can be used as important types of biomass materials from which the biofuels can be obtained. Algae absorb the energy from the sun in the presence of carbon dioxide and store it. A number of processes can be carried out on algae to convert it into biofuels like alcohol, biodiesel and even biogas. The biodiesel obtained from algae can be mixed with petroleum diesel and it can be used for running of trucks, cars and many types of engines that use diesel. Biodiesel can also be used as the fuel in the jets, airplanes, refineries and pipelines. The biomass obtained from algae can be used as the renewable sources of energy since it is available in abundant quantities and will be available for unlimited period of time.
 
One of the important advantages of algae is that it can grow in any type of water like salt, fresh, and even contaminated water. It can be grown in vast sea and river water, small rain water ponds and even commercial or domestic manmade made ponds. Algae has the potential to yield 30 times more energy than the crops grown on land, which are currently being used to produce the biofuels. This could encourage the use of algae for producing biofuels instead of the land that can be used for producing food crops. The harvesting cycle of algae is 1 to 10 days, which permits several harvests in short period of time and using the resources more effectively.

Algae and Aquaponics
 
As described earlier, algae can be grown in any type of water and in type of water storage system. Besides the naturally occurring seas, rivers, and ponds, it can also grow in manmade ponds. The manmade ponds can be at homes for domestic purpose or in large lands made for commercial production of algae. For the better growth of algae some nutrients may be added to water. Besides using these ponds for algae growth they can also be used for the growth of fishes and other aquatic animals.
 
Aquaponics is the system where one can grow the fishes and plants like algae in one integrated system. The waste given by the fishes act as important nutrients for the plants, while the cover of plants provides the natural filter for the fishes in the living areas. Aquaponics is the combination of words aquaculture and hydroponics. Aquaculture is the cultivation of fish or other water based animals, while hydroponics is the growth of plants in water. In aquaponics one can grow the water animals as well the plants at the same time. Thus the manmade small or big pond can be effectively used for growing fishes as well plants like algae.
 
The plants usually prefer warm-water so the water in aquaponics is also warm. The fishes grown in aquaponics are of warm-water type and not of cold-water type. The fishes grown in aquaponics can be consumed by the owner, they can be given to the friend, can be sold in the market to earn money or they can be kept as the pets. The harvesting period of fishes ranges from 7 to 9 months. When aquaponics is combined with a controlled environment greenhouse, high quality crops can be grown throughout the year and in any part of the world.
 
Aquaponics comprises of the water tank where the fishes are raised and fed. There is a chamber, where the uneaten foods and other particles and solids are collected. The bio-filter converts ammonia into nitrates, which act as the nutrients for the plants. There is also a portion for the growth of the plants. The lowest part of tank is a sump from where fresh water is supplied to the tank and old water is removed.
 
The concept of aquaponics can be extended for the growth of algae. Instead of the plants, one can grow algae, which has the harvest cycle of one to ten days. At the same time the fishes can also be grown. In the period of about nine months, while the fishes will harvest once, algae will be harvested several times. The large quantities of algae collected this way can be used as the biomass for producing the biofuels like biodiesel.
 
The advantages of using aquaponics for the growth of algae is that in a single place harvesting of both, the algae as well as fishes can be done. This would increase the profitability for the owner if they already have aquaculture or hydroponics. While earlier they would get only a single product from the infrastructure, they could now get two products. Since harvesting time of algae is short, it would keep the owner busy and this could become a continuous source of income for them.
 
The major limitations of aquaponics are the high initial costs required for housing, tank, plumbing, pumps and bedding. One should also do thorough research for the chances of success of such project. The system also has number of points of failure and requires intensive maintenance.
 
 
CCRES 
special thanks to   
Escapeartist, Inc
 
 CROATIAN CENTER of RENEWABLE ENERGY SOURCES 
(CCRES)
Posted in ALTERNATIVE, ALTERNATIVE ENERGY, CCRES, CROATIAN CENTER of RENEWABLE ENERGY SOURCES, GREEN ENERGY, HCOIE, HRVATSKI CENTAR OBNOVLJIVIH IZVORA ENERGIJE, PASSIVE ENERGY, RENEWABLE ENERGY, RENEWABLE ENERGY CENTER SOLAR SERDAR, RENEWABLES JAPAN STATUS REPORT, SOLAR SERDAR | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

News and Events by CCRES May 09, 2012

Croatian Center of Renewable Energy Sources

News and Events May 09, 2012

Energy Department Offers $5 Million to Spur EV and Alt Fuels Adoption

The Energy Department on May 8 announced that up to $5 million in funding is available this year to help expand the use of alternative fuel vehicles, including electric vehicles (EVs), in cities and towns across the country. The funding will help cut through red tape for homeowners and businesses, provide training for mechanics and first responders, and support community planning to expand fueling infrastructure. The Energy Department anticipates awarding 10 to 20 projects this year to be completed within two years. The support of alternative fuel vehicles is part of a strategy to increase energy security in the United States, reduce emissions, and help drivers save money.
This initiative will help communities streamline and quicken permitting processes, and coordinate alternative fuel vehicle and EV infrastructure deployment across state, regional, and local governments. Selected projects will also help communities build workforces with the skills to facilitate these vehicles and infrastructure by training first responders and mechanics. In addition, they will provide resources, such as educational materials and tools, to help consumers understand the economic and environmental benefits of alternative fuel vehicles, and to choose the right vehicle for their needs.
The Energy Department seeks proposals that address barriers to the adoption of these vehicles, provide safety training, coordinate initiatives, and drive market development and transformation to make alternative fuel vehicles and fueling infrastructure widely available. Proposed projects should cover each of these areas. This funding opportunity does not provide for the purchase or installation of vehicles or infrastructure. DOE strongly encourages organizations to form teams that include one or more active, designated Clean Cities coalition as well as other partners with relevant experience and expertise. Applications are due by June 18, 2012. See the Energy Department Progress Alert and the funding opportunity announcement.
  Facebook Twitter

Energy Department Announces $2.5 Million for Fuel Cell Baggage Vehicles

The Energy Department announced on April 25 up to $2.5 million in funding is available this year to demonstrate and deploy fuel cell electric vehicles for transporting passenger baggage at major U.S. airports. Up to three projects selected for funding will demonstrate first-generation, fuel cell-powered baggage-towing tractors under real-world operating conditions, and will collect and analyze data to test their performance and cost-effectiveness. The funding will help industry bring advanced fuel cell technologies into emerging markets. It will also provide airlines and airports with new choices for ground support operations that cut energy costs, air pollution, and petroleum use.
The Energy Department seeks applicants to demonstrate and test the performance and economic viability of advanced fuel cell systems for up to three years. The 50% cost-shared projects will supply both information on fuel cell system operation and data on the economics of these vehicles to the Hydrogen Secure Data Center at the DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory for analysis and comparison. Data will be collected from actual airport operations so that engineers and economic analysts can assess the technology’s performance, durability, and cost-effectiveness under the real-world conditions of commercial airports. Conclusions will be drawn from the data to evaluate the commercial viability of this fuel cell application, and the data will be shared with fuel cell manufacturers, helping to improve their designs and optimize overall performance and costs. See the DOE Progress Alert and the funding opportunity announcement.
  Facebook Twitter

University Regional Clean Energy Business Winners Named

The Energy Department on May 4 announced the regional winners of its National Clean Energy Business Plan Competition. The event inspires university teams across the country to create new businesses and commercialize promising energy technologies developed at U.S. universities and DOE’s national laboratories. The regional finalists—Northwestern University, University of Utah, University of Central Florida, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Stanford University, and Columbia University—will go on to compete in the first national competition in Washington, D.C., June 12 to 13.
The competition aims to promote entrepreneurship in clean energy technologies that will boost U.S. competitiveness, bring cutting-edge clean energy solutions to the market, and strengthen the nation’s economic prosperity. Each team of students identified a promising clean energy technology from a university or national lab and created a business plan around the technology that detailed how they could help bring it to market. For example, MIT teamed with SolidEnergy to leverage its battery technology innovation, which improves the safety and energy density of rechargeable lithium batteries and is intended to accelerate the deployment of electric vehicles. The contest includes financing, product design, scaling up production and marketing. Each of the six regional competitions across the country was run by a nonprofit or university that worked with teams over the last three years. Each of the winning regional teams has already received $100,000 in prizes to continue plans to commercialize the products. See the DOE press release.
  Facebook Twitter

Interior Department Flips Switch on First Public Lands Solar Project

Photo of a solar panels in the desert.

Officials flipped the switch to start Silver State North, a 50-megawatt solar plant located 40 miles south of Las Vegas, Nevada.
Credit: Enbridge
U.S. Department of Interior Secretary Ken Salazar on May 7 flipped the switch to start the first large-scale solar energy facility on U.S. public lands delivering power to consumers. Silver State North is a 50-megawatt plant located 40 miles south of Las Vegas, Nevada, that will use photovoltaic (PV) technology to generate enough power for about 9,000 Nevada homes. The plant was built on 618 acres of public land managed by Interior’s Bureau of Land Management, after the solar facility underwent full environmental analysis and public review. It was developed by First Solar and is owned by Enbridge.
Prior to 2009, there were no solar energy projects permitted on public lands. Since then, the Interior Department has authorized 29 large-scale renewable energy projects on or involving public lands, including 16 solar facilities, 5 wind farms, and 8 geothermal plants. See the Interior Department press release.
  Facebook Twitter

Wind Turbine Installations in Q1 Jump 50% from Q1 in 2011: Report

The U.S. wind power industry posted one of its busiest quarters ever in the first quarter of 2012, according to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA). The United States saw 1,695 megawatts (MW) of wind capacity installed in that period, with 788 new turbines producing power in 17 states. No other first quarter has been as strong for the American wind power industry, AWEA reported. The wind energy industry installed 52% more MW in the first quarter than it did in the same quarter last year.
During the first quarter, California (370 MW), Oregon (308 MW) and Texas (254 MW) led all states for adding the most wind power. Rounding out the top five were Washington (127 MW) and Pennsylvania (121 MW). One notable trend, previously highlighted in AWEA’s 2011 annual market report, is that with ever-improving technology, wind power is accessing wind resources in geographic areas considered to have inadequate wind resource just a few years ago. Topping that category of states formerly considered to have inadequate wind resources is New Hampshire with 388% growth. See the AWEA press release.
  Facebook Twitter

CROATIAN CENTER of RENEWABLE ENERGY SOURCES (CCRES)

  special thanks to U.S. Department of Energy | USA.gov

Maine Project Takes Historic Step Forward in U.S. Tidal Energy Deployment

A pilot project that will generate electricity from Maine’s ocean tides could be a game-changer for America’s tidal energy industry at-large.
At the direction of the Maine Public Utilities Commission, three of the state’s electricity distributors will purchase electricity generated by Ocean Renewable Power Company (ORPC)—the company leading the Maine pilot project. Once finalized, the contracts will be in place for 20 years, making them the first long-term tidal energy power purchase agreements in the United States. The implications of these agreements are far-reaching, helping to advance the commercialization of tidal energy technologies. The project, which has brought more than $14 million into Maine’s economy and has created or helped retain more than 100 jobs, is supported by $10 million in funding from the Energy Department.
For the pilot phase of the project, ORPC will deploy cross flow turbine devices in Cobscook Bay, at the mouth of the Bay of Fundy. These devices are designed to generate electricity over a range of water currents, capturing energy on both ebb and flood tides without the need for repositioning. To read the complete story, see the DOE Energy Blog.

Croatian Center of Renewable Energy Sources (CCRES)

  Facebook Twitter
Posted in ALTERNATIVE, ALTERNATIVE ENERGY, CCRES, CROATIAN CENTER of RENEWABLE ENERGY SOURCES, GREEN ENERGY, HCOIE, HRVATSKI CENTAR OBNOVLJIVIH IZVORA ENERGIJE, PASSIVE ENERGY, RENEWABLE ENERGY, RENEWABLE ENERGY CENTER SOLAR SERDAR, RENEWABLES JAPAN STATUS REPORT, SOLAR SERDAR | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

CCRES – ALGAE AND BIOFUEL

 


CROATIAN CENTER of RENEWABLE ENERGY SOURCES 
(CCRES)
 
 ALGAE AND BIOFUEL
 

 

 

Algae: An Important Source for Making Biofuels


Biofuels are the alternative fuels like ethanol, butanol, biodiesel, methane and others obtained from the biomass. Biomasses are the wasted materials obtained from the plants, animals and human beings. With the increasing prices of the crude oil and importance of achieving self-reliance in energy and growing concern for the environment alternative fuels are receiving more government and public attention.

 

The government of US has set the targets for using of 36 billion gallons of biofuels by the year 2022 as a result most of the gasoline sold here is mixed with ethanol. Similarly, biodiesel mixed with petroleum diesel is found to create lesser pollution without affecting the performance of the engines. Methane gas is also increasingly used for the production of electricity and also driving the vehicles. Ethanol, biodiesel, and methane are all biofuels obtained from biomass like wasted crops, crops containing sugar, vegetable oil etc.

 

Due to increasing demands of the biofuels, many farmers are now tempted to raise the crops that would yield biofuels instead of the food crops. This leads to misuse of limited resources available in the form energy, fertilizers and pesticides. In some parts of the world large areas of forests have been cut down to grow sugarcane for ethanol and soybeans and palm-oil tress for making biodiesel. US government is making efforts to make sure the farming for biomass materials does not competes with the farming of food crops and that the farming of biomass would require lesser fertilizers and pesticides.


Algae used as Biomass

 

One of the most important promising sources of biofuels is algae. Algae are single celled (most of them) microorganisms that grow in salt water, fresh water and even in contaminated water. Algae can grow in sea, rivers, ponds, and also on land not suitable for production. Like other plants, algae also absorb energy from the sun in the presence of atmospheric carbon dioxide by the process called photosynthesis. Just like other wasted plants and crops, algae also carry energy and it can be used as an important biomass material. There are more than 65,000 known species of algae having different colors like green, red, brown and blue-green that offer wide range of options for obtaining the biofuels from them.

 

Algae keep growing extensively in the nature and it generates lots of waste that could even create problems of disposal. Since algae carries energy, it can be used as an important source of alternative or renewable energy since algae is available in abundant quantities that can last forever. Algae can be used as the biomass materials to obtain various biofuels. Various colonies of algae can be considered to be small biological factories containing lots of energy.


Biofuels from Obtained from Algae

 

Like the wastes from the plants, the algae can also be used as the biomass to produce various types of biofuels. One of the most popular types of biofuels, biodiesel, is obtained from the vegetable oil. The same biodiesel can also be obtained from algae oil. The biodiesel from algae can be mixed with the petroleum diesel and used for the running of the vehicles. It can also be used as the fuel for jets, airplanes, refineries, and pipelines. The biodiesel obtained from algae can be readily used with automobile and jet engines without the need to make any modifications in the engine. It meets all the specifications of the petroleum diesel fuel.

 

The algae biomass can also be used for making ethanol and butanol biofuels, which are type of alcohols. Butanol is considered to have more efficiency than ethanol and it is obtained from dried algae that act as a biomass. The carbohydrates extracted from algae are converted into natural sugars, which are then converted into butyric, lactic and acetic acids by the process of fermentation. Further fermentation of butyric acid is carried out to produce butanol.

 

The biomass obtained from algae can also be used to produce biogas that contains methane and carbon dioxide. Methane is an important component of natural gas, so this biogas can be used just like the natural gas for producing heating effect and also to produce electricity.


Advantages of using Algae as Biomass

 

One of the important advantages of algae it that it can be grown in almost any type of water: salt, fresh, and even contaminated water. It can be grown in vast sea and river water, small rain water ponds and even commercial or domestic manmade ponds. It can also be grown on non-arable unproductive lands increasing the utility of waste lands.

 

Another important advantage of growing algae for producing biofuels is that it does not displace the farmland used for growing the food crops. The farmers using various resources for producing biodiesel instead of the food crops has been one of the major concerns for the government, algae helps solving this tricky problem.

 

Algae have the potential to yield 30 times more energy than the crops grown on land, which are currently being used to produce the biofuels. This would further encourage the use of algae for producing biofuels and land for producing food crops.

 

Another important advantage of algae is that it uses carbon dioxide for its growth. Thus the pollution causing carbon dioxide produced from the other sources can be utilized to grow algae, which helps keeping the environment cleaner. 

 

 

CCRES 
special thanks to   
Escapeartist, Inc
 
 CROATIAN CENTER of RENEWABLE ENERGY SOURCES 
(CCRES)
Posted in ALTERNATIVE, ALTERNATIVE ENERGY, CCRES, CROATIAN CENTER of RENEWABLE ENERGY SOURCES, GREEN ENERGY, HCOIE, HRVATSKI CENTAR OBNOVLJIVIH IZVORA ENERGIJE, PASSIVE ENERGY, RENEWABLE ENERGY, RENEWABLE ENERGY CENTER SOLAR SERDAR, RENEWABLES JAPAN STATUS REPORT, SOLAR SERDAR | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

CCRES – BIODIESEL

 

CROATIAN CENTER of RENEWABLE ENERGY SOURCES 
(CCRES)
 
Biodiesel
 
The Popular Biofuel
 

The fuels obtained from biomass materials, like the waste generated by plants, animals and humans beings, are called as the biofuels. The biofuels are well known alternative fuels used for the production of heat and electricity and also driving the vehicles. The biomass is considered to be a type of renewable sources of energy since it is available in unlimited quantity and will continue to do so for unlimited period of time. One of the most popular types of biofuels is biodiesel.
 

Biodiesel is obtained from the fresh or used vegetable oil and animal fats by the process called transesterification. Efforts are being made to obtain biodiesel from waste grease and oils. The modern methods have been discovered to obtain biodiesel from algae as well.
 

Early Diesel Engine and Biodiesel
 

Rudolph Diesel had invented diesel engine in the period dating back to 1890. Though the present diesel engine is being run entirely on petroleum diesel fuel, in the days of invention itself Rudolph had envisioned that his engine could be powered by vegetable oil and could be used in the remote areas of farmlands where petroleum diesel is not available, but where the vegetable oil can be obtained easily from the plants. This way the farmers would be able to run the vehicles used by them for farming by using the vegetable oil. Rudolph had carried out extensive research to run his engine on vegetable oil.
 

In fact biodiesel was one of the earliest fuels used for running the engines of the automobiles.

After Rudolph’s death in 1913, the gasoline including diesel became much cheaper so the design of Rudolph’s engine was modified so that it can run on petroleum diesel. It is indeed interesting to know that after almost 100 years, the engine developed by Rudolph is now being run on the same fuel i.e. biodiesel made from vegetable oil, as per its original vision.
 

Biodiesel used for Running Vehicles
 

As mentioned earlier, the original diesel engine was designed to run on biodiesel or vegetable oil. For all the vehicles manufactured after the year 1993 biodiesel can be used as the fuel in all diesel engines without making any changes in the fuel injection system. When one uses the biodiesel there may be very little or no change in the performance of the engine.
 

The properties of biodiesel are very similar to traditional diesel obtained from the crude oil. While the combustion of traditional diesel produces lots of air pollution and toxic gases, the burning of biodiesel is clean and it does not cause any environmental pollution.
 

Biodiesel can be used as the fuel for automobiles in the pure form or it can be mixed with petroleum diesel in various proportions to form the blends. The two most commonly used blends of biodiesel are B20 and B100. B20 is the blend of 20% of biodiesel and remaining percentage of petroleum diesel and is the most widely used blend in US. It also meets all the regulations under the Energy Policy Act (EPAct) documented in 1992. Most of the other fuel blends containing lesser than 20% of biodiesel can also used for the running the vehicles. B100 is the pure form of biodiesel and it can be used in the diesel engines only after making certain changes in the hosesand gaskets of the engine.
 

Controversies Related to Biodiesel
 

Now that biodiesel is being blended with petroleum diesel and is being used as the fuel, its demand is fast increasing. A number of farmers are tempted to grow the crops that would yield biodiesel at the cost of the food crops. Instead of using the fertilizers, pesticides and energy for the food crops, farmers are using them for the biodiesel crops. This leads to not only the misuse of the limited resources but also shortage of the food crops.
 

In some parts of the world large areas of forests have been cut down to grow sugarcane for ethanol and soybeans and palm-oil tress for making biodiesel. US government is making efforts to make sure the farming for biomass materials does not competes with the farming of food crops and that the farming of biomass would require lesser fertilizers and pesticides. A number of other sources for biodiesel are also being explored like used oils and greases and algae.
 

Benefits of Biodiesel
 

Here are some of the benefits of using biodiesel as a fuel:
 

1) Biodiesel can be easily blended with petroleum diesel and the mixture can be readily used for running the vehicles without carrying out any changes in the engine.
 

2) Though the properties of biodiesel are same as the petroleum diesel, the combustion of biodiesel produces no greenhouse and other gases that would harm the environment.

As the proportion of biodiesel increases in the petroleum diesel blend, its tendency to generate pollution reduces.
 

3) Biodiesel is made from plant oil and vegetable fats, which are biodegradable, so they can be easily disposed of. When biodiesel is leaked or split it does not harm the environment.
 

4) The country manufacturing and using biodiesel is less dependent on other countries for their fuel requirements. Biodiesel has the potential to make countries self-reliant for their future fuel requirements. Further, since biodiesel is obtained from the renewable source of energy, it could be considered an important fuel for future planning.
 
 
 
CCRES 
special thanks to   
Escapeartist, Inc
 
 CROATIAN CENTER of RENEWABLE ENERGY SOURCES 
(CCRES)
Posted in ALTERNATIVE, ALTERNATIVE ENERGY, CCRES, CROATIAN CENTER of RENEWABLE ENERGY SOURCES, GREEN ENERGY, HCOIE, HRVATSKI CENTAR OBNOVLJIVIH IZVORA ENERGIJE, PASSIVE ENERGY, RENEWABLE ENERGY, RENEWABLE ENERGY CENTER SOLAR SERDAR, RENEWABLES JAPAN STATUS REPORT, SOLAR SERDAR | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment