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.
This post reports on the newly announced loan guarantees for the concentrated solar power (CSP) Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Project that is to be built in Nevada. This kind of solar power, because it is paired with a molten salt thermal energy storage capacity has the ability to be a load following generation source that is somewhat insulated from intermittency issues as well. For large concentrated solar thermal energy this decoupling of the energy collection from electricity generation makes a lot of sense, because the molten salt is already being used as the working fluid that captures the sun’s heat.
While other parts of the world are busy actually building national Ultra High Voltage (UHV) transmission infrastructure the US continues to do noting more substantial than litigate. A UHV super grid would be able to move renewable energy from where it is abundant to where people live and work, and do so at an economic cost. This kind of national electric energy infrastructure would enable solar, wind, hydro and geothermal generated electric power to reach market. It is a critical piece of the kind of future energy infrastructure we will need in order to continue to prosper. John goes into a lot of detail and provides numerous links to examples and more in depth reading on this very important subject.
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.
Department of Energy (DOE) secretary Steven Chu announces $50 million in funding for solar energy grid parity demonstration program for innovative solar technologies leading to cost-competitive solar energy that helps solar reach this important milestone.
Energy Sec. Chu Calls for Cleantech Revolution To Create Green Jobs, Rebuild Our Economy, and Save The Environment
Last week, at the National Clean Energy Summit 2.0 in Las Vegas, Energy Secretary Chu called for a revolution, “a second industrial revolution.” The first industrial revolution came with a “carbon dioxide cost” but “in the next industrial revolution, we must develop technologies that will enable us to get the energy the world needs to grow and prosper but “essentially reducing and eliminating the carbon dioxide,” he said. Chu said the United States has the greatest research and development centers in the world in universities, national labs and the private sector. “Once we get this great invention machine geared and going we’d be invincible. But the only trouble is, let’s get it going.”
How to Find a Job In This Crap Economy. Allison Hemming, author of Work it! How to Get Ahead, Save your Ass and Land a Job in any Economy!. and owner of Hired Guns, a talent agency that places creative professionals in high profile positions recently gave some career advice for Flavorwire, How to Find a Job In This Crap Economy [Ask an Expert]. She gave lots of great advice. However, the tip she provided that will stand out for people looking to making a move to a green career covers the issue of relocating to find working in a green field.
A new report by the Geothermal Energy Association (GEA) shows that there has been strong growth in new geothermal power projects continuing into 2009. Since August 2008, here has been a 25% increase in new geothermal projects. There is also an increase in overall production potential by 35%. The report also notes that the number of states producing geothermal power has increased from 7 to 8 with the addition of Wyoming. The report identifies a total of 126 projects under development with the potential to put 5,500 MW of new geothermal power on line, equivalent to 15,000 MW – 20,000 MW from wind turbines or enough power for 5.5 million California homes.
SOLAR ENERGY UPDATE: Concerns Raised About Impact of Solar Projects in The Mohave Desert, New 10MW PV Solar Energy Plant Planned for Chicago, Wal-Mart Expanding Its Use of Solar Power, India SEMI Has Plans to Get on The Global Dolar Map, First Solar to Build 53 MW Solar Facility in Germany
This update highlights several current issues and developments in the solar energy space. Concerns have been raised about the potential deleterious impact of utility scale solar energy projects in the fragile water poor desert environments of the Mohave Desert. Large scale solar collection farms use water to wash the mirrors and for concentrating solar thermal often use water for cooling.