The clean energy sector is entering a phase of dramatic change in which business models are being transformed against a backdrop of regulatory uncertainty, as the industry emerges from a challenging period caused by the global economic downtown. Technologies and business structures that were once abandoned, are now being revived in several key sectors.
In this post John outlines two developments in the thermosolar concentrated solar power (CSP) arena that are enabling CSP to fulfill the role of baseload suppliers. Molten salt energy storage is naturally suited for CSP facilities and is quite efficient as an energy store — both in terms of low loss and in terms of capital expenditures (compared with batteries for example). By storing power in this way CSP plants can continue delivering power even after the sun has gone down. In addition by pairing CSP with stand-by combined-cycle natural gas generators greater overall reliability can be achieved.
The drive to extract and store CO2 from coal-fired power plants is gaining momentum, with the Obama administration backing the technology and the world’s first capture and sequestration project now operating in the U.S. Two questions loom: Will carbon capture and storage be affordable? And will it be safe? by David Biello, Editor of Scientific […]
We’re doing a remodeling project which includes installing a new roof. Here in California, we get a lot of sun, so the impact of solar irradiance on solar heat gain is a major concern — either for A/C costs (and thus peak summer energy loads) or on comfort (for those of us who don’t have A/C). Thus, I’ve been looking into solar reflectivity and what has been called the “cool roofs“ movement. There is the Cool Roof Rating Council, “created in 1998 to develop accurate and credible methods for evaluating and labeling the solar reflectance and thermal emittance (radiative properties) of roofing products and to disseminate the information to all interested parties.”
New figures released recently show that the number of companies and other organizations publicly disclosing their performance against a range of key sustainability indicators has risen markedly over the last year. The Global Reporting Initiative is now tracking of over 1000 organizations worldwide who issued sustainability reports based on the GRI G3 Guidelines in 2008 – the highest number ever recorded. The figure represents an increase of 46 per cent on the 2007 figure of 685.
You would have to have had your head stuck in the sand to not be aware of the intense interest that the environment holds in today’s political and social debates. While candidates of all generations have begun evaluating potential employers based on their “greenness,” few in recruiting have leveraged this hot topic in recruitment communications and activities. For some unaccountable reason, recruiting managers and leaders almost universally fail to implement a process that regularly discovers “job switch” decision criteria used by the best and brightest, and this latest oversight is nothing more than history repeating itself once again.
Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd announced plans to buid a 1GW solar power plant in Australia, which would make it the largest solar-electricity plant in the world surpassing the current record holder in California. Details about the project will be released soon and successful bidders will be named in the first half of 2010. The project is expected to cost A$1.4 billion (US$1.05 billion) and will represent a major investment in solar power, which the Prime Minister hopes will help propel the country into a leadership role in solar energy. This is a big step, but only one of many towards Australia’s stated goal of obtaining 20 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020.
The US is not the only country looking to renewable energy as a way to boost its economy by providing opportunities for increased investment, building low carbon efficiency into the infrastructure and creating millions of jobs. Australia, The European Union, South Korea, China, Germany, Japan, Italy, Canada, France and the United Kingdom