Alternative Energy

Alternative Energy Headlines

The latest alternative and renewable energy news from our clean energy news sources.

Feb 16, 2019

Alternative Energy News

AMI on Hold

Feb 16, 2019: The New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission (NHUC) recently released a set of recommendations urging the state’s utilities to proceed slowly with advanced metering implementation (AMI). The group emphasized that they do support modernizing the grid over the long-term, but the cost-benefit just doesn’t make sense right now. As an alternative, they proposed pairing an opt-in..

21 U.S. State Governors Have Now Joined an Alliance to Meet Paris Climate Agreement Goals

Feb 16, 2019: The U.S. Climate Alliance represents states committed to action on climate change. The latest to join is Wisconsin whose governor, Tony Evers, a Democrat, plans to announce today. He joins Michigan, New Mexico, and Illinois, who all have newly elected Democratic governors, and have in the past few weeks pledged their states to..

The Myth of the 24/7/365 Power Plant

Feb 16, 2019: Last week’s polar vortex was so extreme along a vast swath of the Midwest, that bananas could be used as hammers and tossed boiling water froze before hitting the ground. Alongside these homemade lessons in physics, the vortex constituted a big test for our nation’s power sector, and many questioned..

To beat the climate clock, don't be a pollyanna

Feb 16, 2019: Concordia University's climate clockRecently I posted something lauding Japan for pursuing R&D on commercial uses for carbon. This strategy is needed badly in order to beat the climate clock, but we can't lose sight of the enormity of the challenge. In..

The world still doesn’t have enough places to plug in cars

Feb 16, 2019: While electric vehicles are encouraged, many drivers are faced with fear and frustration from a lack of charging stations. EV drivers in California, China and Europe are all struggling with a limited charging infrastructure.  Currently, 80% of charging is taking place at home or at work. Some solutions are being discussed but what about the long term?  How well will the grid..

Energy Efficiency: The Extreme-Weather-Resilient Resource

Feb 16, 2019: When the next polar vortex hits, or the next heat wave strikes (both of which happened in the same week this month), how do you make sure the electric grid stays up and running? What is the most reliable resource? What energy resource produces more during extreme weather than it does during normal weather?Figure 1. Extreme..

Investing in distributed energy resources and Smart Grid technologies.

Feb 16, 2019: In an earlier column in these pages, note was made of the numerous studies pointing to the need for significant investment in our energy infrastructure. Recognizing that the infrastructure for generating and delivering electricity is aging and in need of repair, many states are aggressively advancing policies encouraging investment in..

A Big Step Forward in Debate Over LA’s Clean Energy Future

Feb 16, 2019: Mayor Eric Garcetti reaffirmed Los Angeles’ commitment to securing a carbon- and pollution-free energy future for Angelenos in a groundbreaking announcement today that the nation’s largest municipal utility will not be moving forward with a controversial plan to rebuild three of its natural gas plants.

By not offering Critical Peak Pricing are we being unfair to the good guys?

Feb 16, 2019: Used with permission.During the heat wave a few weeks ago I remember receiving the below text message from my electricity retailer preparing me for a demand response event:I have long been an advocate of demand response, and here I was being told I could finally..

Utilities Struggle With Labor Shortage

Feb 16, 2019: As older workers retire, many utilities are finding it difficult to replace them, and to attract employees with the skills needed to advance a 21st century industry. According to T&D World, Airswift and Energy Jobline found in a survey of over 17,000 professionals that “48 percent of power professionals are concerned about an impending..

I Visited 107 Tesla Stores — Here’s What I Discovered

Feb 16, 2019: Most people are not crazy enough to attempt a 48 state road trip. However, this would not be my first, but my second, epic adventure around the lower 48 in a Tesla…

Sun Flyer 2 Successfully Accomplishes First Test Flight With Siemens Electric Motor

Feb 16, 2019: And it's off to a good start for the Sun Flyer 2 and its Siemens electric motor. The electric airplane (e-plane) successfully accomplished its first test flight with the new electric motor…

BYD Sold Over 28,000 EVs In January — Will China See Over 50% Sales Growth Again This Year?

Feb 16, 2019: China's biggest EV maker, BYD, had strong EV sales in January 2019, pointing towards another breakout year of EV growth in the middle kingdom…

More EV Fast Chargers Coming To Canada

Feb 16, 2019: PetroCanada says it will construct a chain of DC fast chargers from coast to coast, Electrify Canada Is adding 32 chargers with up to 350 kW of power, and the Canadian government is funding the construction of 900 Level 3 chargers. The EV revolution is coming to Canada in a big way.

Uber Elevate: Future Of Air Taxis = 3 Hours of Flight, 150 MPH, 4 Passengers

Feb 16, 2019: How fast should electric vertical take-off & landing (eVTOL) aircraft zoom over our heads? Uber Elevate seems to think 150 mph is a good speed, and better than traditional helicopters…

Uber Elevate Sees Jaunt Air Mobility As A Potential 6th Urban Air Mobility Partner

Feb 16, 2019: Welcome another electric vertical take-off & landing (eVTOL) startup in the urban air mobility world, Jaunt Air Mobility, which has caught the attention of Uber Elevate…

Hyundai Fleet Looks Into Own Electric Carsharing Service

Feb 15, 2019: Hyundai fleet is thinking about starting its own electric carsharing service where users pay according to distance traveled, time in use, and or energy consumption…

Amazon Leads $700 Million Investment In Rivian

Feb 15, 2019: Amazon has led a $700 million funding round for Rivian, the electric pickup and SUV startup headquartered in Plymouth, Michigan. Production is scheduled to begin in late 2020.

Court allows Trump's border wall to violate several conservation acts

Feb 15, 2019: Donald Trump is moving forward with the construction of his controversial border wall, even if it means sidestepping important environmental laws. A federal judge ruled in favor of Trump's wall construction along California's southern border, a project that is expected to violate several conservation acts. The federal court ruled that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has the power to wave environmental laws in the construction of the border wall, including the National Environmental...

Senate approves major public lands bill

Feb 15, 2019: On Tuesday the US Senate reversed the trend of shrinking protected space by approving a public lands bill that adds 1.3 million acres of wilderness, creates five new national monuments, expands some national parks and reauthorizes the Land and Water Conservation Fund. This major new public lands bill is a hodgepodge of more than 100 individual bills related to conservation and outdoor recreation. Now more than 350 miles of river will attain the designation “wild and scenic,” which safeguards...

Nissan unveils incredible solar-powered mobile workshop for woodworkers

Feb 15, 2019: Related: + Studio Hardy Via Tree Hugger van conversion, Woodworkers' mobile workshop…

Vineyard Wind Proposes 1,200 Megawatt “Liberty Wind” Offshore Project For New York

Feb 15, 2019: US offshore wind development company Vineyard Wind announced a new 1,200 megawatt (MW) offshore wind project proposal on Thursday called "Liberty Wind" in response to the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority's (NYSERDA) solicitation of offshore wind project proposals. …

Compensation for conservation: water markets are economists' answer to scarcity

Feb 15, 2019: As cites grow and put more pressure on water sources, scarcity is an increasingly important issue. More than two thirds of the world's population experience a water shortage every year. Just because water continues to reach your tap does not mean your area isn’t experiencing a shortage. Instead, it could mean your town is forced to tap sources, such as rivers, faster than they can renew. Economists have introduced one solution – water markets – that assign a value to usage under the premise...

Intermittency, Storage, & Politics — The Case For & Against Super Grids

Feb 15, 2019: Intermittency is the one factor holding back large-scale adoption of renewable energy. Are Super Grids that span continents the answer, and at what cost?

Biofase has discovered a unique way to recycle avocado pits

Feb 15, 2019: A Mexico-based company has discovered a unique way to recycle avocado pits. Biofase, a startup founded in Michoacan, Mexico, is using discarded waste from the fruit to create biodegradable utensils like avocado pit cutlery  and biodegradable straws. A biochemical engineer named Scott Munguia created Biofase in 2013. The company uses a technique that transforms avocado waste into bioplastics, which are then used to form materials. All of the products the company creates from the pits are fully...

New Kia Soul Gets Official EPA Range Of 243 Miles (391 km) — Charts!

Feb 15, 2019: The upcoming Kia Soul EV 64 kWh has just received its official EPA rating of 243 miles (391 km) of range (combined cycle). This is a huge improvement over its previous 111 mile (179 km) range. It has a decent showing on the highway cycle too — 211 miles (340 km). The Soul now joins its Korean siblings as a great all-round capable vehicle…

Sculptural wood cabin is an alpine retreat with magnificent views

Feb 15, 2019: Perched high on weather-beaten mountain is the Hooded Cabin, a sculptural timber retreat with a rugged exterior and a sleek interior. The contemporary building is the work of Arkitektværelset, a Norwegian architectural practice that embraced the many environmental and building challenges that the project posed. From the high altitude mountain conditions of Imingfjell, Norway to the strict building regulations, the limitations not only shaped the iconic form of the cabin, but also encouraged “playful...

Shell Acquires sonnen!

Feb 15, 2019: Shell is diving off the deep end into energy storage with the acquisition of 100% of Germany energy storage and solution provider sonnen…

Verizon pledges $1 billion for programs that help the environment

Feb 15, 2019: Verizon is fulfilling its promise to better the environment. Keeping true to its commitment to corporate responsibility, the telecommunications company has allocated $1 billion to spend on programs that have a positive impact on the environment. Last year, Verizon committed to convert 50 percent of its energy consumption to renewable sources over the next six years. To that end, Verizon borrowed $1 billion worth of funds from green bonds to pay for projects that invest in renewable energy...

World’s Largest Offshore Wind Farm Hornsea One Generates First Power

Feb 15, 2019: The first turbine at the world's largest offshore wind farm has been installed and is now supplying electricity to the UK electricity grid, according to Danish energy giant Ørsted, co-developer of the 1.2 gigawatt (GW) Hornsea Project One offshore wind farm…

Greenpeace & Amazon Trade Blows Over 100% Renewable Energy Claims

Feb 15, 2019: Global non-governmental environmental organization Greenpeace and internet giant Amazon are trading blows over a report published earlier this week by Greenpeace, which claims that Amazon Web Services is only meeting 12% of its renewable energy commitment in Virginia's "data center alley."…

Sleep in this restored WWII air control tower full of historic charm

Feb 15, 2019: Related: + Airbnb Air Traffic Control Tower Via Curbed air control tower…

Sunrise Movement Call Incites Supporters Of Green New Deal To Make Climate Crisis A Visible, Crucial Political Issue #CleanTechnica Exclusive

Feb 15, 2019: The Sunrise Movement outlined a method to gain support for the Green New Deal prior to a Senate vote expected around February…

Does The Renewable Energy & EV Wave Include Shell & BP?

Feb 15, 2019: The electric car world stops when Tesla shareholder calls happen, but another significant development occurred in late January when Shell New Energies US, LLL, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Shell, acquired Greenlots, an electric car charging software and hardware company. The acquisition raises questions about fossil-fuel companies and their approach with the electric vehicle charging landscape and profit expectations going forward…

Report: Electric Cars Already Cheaper To Own In Europe Than Gas/Diesel Cars

Feb 15, 2019: A four-year study by ICCT finds an electric Volkswagen Golf costs less to own than any other Golf model. Much of that is due to government incentives, which vary from country to country.

VW’s MOIA Electric Shuttle Service Goes Live In 2 Months

Feb 15, 2019: One of the most exciting electric vehicle announcements of the past few years for me was Volkswagen Group's MOIA launch. Word on the street is that MOIA, which is a subsidiary of Volkswagen Group, is finishing up tests of 10 of MOIA's electric shuttles in Hamburg, Germany. After that is done, a fleet of 100 is supposed to launch in Hamburg in April…

Dandelion Energy Closes $16 Million Series A Round To Expand Geothermal Energy

Feb 15, 2019: Dandelion Energy offers homeowners a clean and cost effective geothermal heating and cooling solution - their solutions are so innovative and interesting that our writer Kyle Field calls Dandelion "The Tesla Of Residential Thermal Management." Dandelion Energy made big news this week and announced on 12 February the close of their $16MM Series A, bringing the company's total funding to $23MM. …

Sprague Energy Installs Flexible Thin Film Solar Panels On Its Oil Storage Tanks

Feb 15, 2019: Picktricity of Massachusetts has installed thin film solar panels on the top of oil storage tanks owned by Sprague Energy. The results have exceeded all expectations.

California Leads In Net-Zero Homes As Costs Drop

Feb 15, 2019: Half a dozen California cities are hosting enough net-zero homes to place the state in first place nationally among other states like Arizona where the net-zero trend is catching on rapidly, both among legislators and among leading homebuilders. This trend is expected to accelerate markedly over the coming decade, as the cost of adding net-zero features, including solar, drops by 50%…

Lyft vows to help customers find electric vehicles with Green Mode

Feb 14, 2019: Lyft is making important strides to decrease carbon emissions in the ride-haling industry. The company just announced a new initiative called Green Mode, which will make it easier for customers to find electric vehicles (EVs) through their platform. The company, which was the first of its kind to get a carbon neutral label last year, is planning to introduce a score of electric vehicles in 2019. Putting thousands of EVs on the road will offer a more eco-friendly alternative to customers while...

Say It Again: State Level Renewable Energy Policies Trump Trump Every Time

Feb 14, 2019: The new Sustainable Energy in America Factbook sets the stage for renewable energy to leapfrog over natural gas and leave coal far behind in the dust…

Food In The Anthropocene Can Be Based On Sustainable Systems — But You Gotta Eat Your Vegetables

Feb 14, 2019: A Commission has issued a report that points to food systems as the primary target to meet the Paris Agreement goals…

A rare 'Bambi' Airstream trailer becomes a stunning mobile office

Feb 14, 2019: Related: + Edmonds + Lee Architects Via Dezeen Edmonds + Lee Architects, Kugelschiff trailer…

Spintronics by 'straintronics'

Feb 14, 2019: Data storage in magnetic media is very energy consuming. Novel materials could reduce the energy needed to control magnetic memories thus contributing to a smaller carbon footprint of the IT sector. Now an international team has observed at the HZB lightsource BESSY II a new phenomenon in iron nanograins: whereas normally the magnetic moments of the iron grains are disordered at room temperature, this can be changed by applying an electric field.

This is how climate change will impact wine

Feb 14, 2019: Look at a wine label, or chat with a wine connoisseur and you will find that wine has always been intimately connected to place and climate. Grapes taste different from region to region, and even grapes from the same vineyard taste different from year to year, depending on the weather that season. So, it is no surprise that drastically changing weather patterns have a huge, and confusing, impact on the wine industry. Increasing temperatures and climate volatility not only impact the flavor profiles...

Oil & Gas Execs Are Rewarded For Pursuing Stranded Assets That Will Burn Investors

Feb 14, 2019: At the same time that oil and gas majors around the world are announcing plans to tie company climate action to employee remuneration, these same companies are still rewarding executives for pursuing traditional growth that will inevitably lead to stranded assets and financial loss for investors. …

Rwanda hopes to increase energy efficiency with new cooling initiative

Feb 14, 2019: Rwanda has big plans for a more sustainable future and is launching a new cooling initiative that will increase energy efficiency within the country's booming electricity sector. As part of the new plan, Rwanda hopes to provide a cooling solution for food storage and indoor spaces without adding to the world's greenhouse gas problems. The new initiative, called Rwanda's National Cooling Strategy, assessed the current need for cooling products as well as the future market. Although countries...

Vestas Retains Position As World’s Leading Onshore Wind Supplier

Feb 14, 2019: Danish wind turbine manufacturer Vestas Wind Systems A/S was once again the world's leading onshore wind turbine supplier in 2018 and led a group of four manufacturers which accounted for 57% of all wind turbines commissioned in 2018. …

Shell, innogy, & Stiesdal Offshore Technologies To Partner On Floating Offshore Wind

Feb 14, 2019: German energy company innogy is set to partner with British-Dutch oil and gas major Shell in bringing to fruition a new floating wind demonstration project designed by Stiesdal Offshore Technologies which boasts a modular layout that could offer competitive advantages to other floating wind designs. …

An auditorium uses translucent ETFE panels for a surreal look

Feb 14, 2019: Spanish design firm SelgasCano has completed the surreal Plasencia conference center and auditorium in Spain. Shaped like a giant boulder, the multifaceted building is wrapped in a translucent skin that floods the interior with natural light during the day and glows like a lantern when illuminated from within at night. In contrast to its pale exterior, the interior is dominated with vibrant colors—from a bright orange entry hall to a deep red auditorium—that heighten the structure’s ethereal...