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.
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.
China’s domination of the rare earth metals market potentially leaves almost every component of renewable energy vulnerable. There is speculation about the country’s reliability that it could decide to decrease or halt exports, and use the advantage to dominate the global market and choke off competitors.
While the U.S. government lavishes loan guarantees and expedites review of projects on public land for multi-megawatt and even gigawatt solar projects, it’s small-scale solar that’s turning sunshine into electricity.
The Cancun conference is being credited with keeping international climate talks alive. But the real potential for bringing emissions under control may lie in a Plan B, with nations acting on their own in moving toward a low-carbon economy.
Progress was made on a number of important issues at the UN Climate Change Conference in Cancun last week, but the US Senate’s failure to pass clean energy legislation tied the hands of negotiators to come to a full global deal.
Will electric cars one day become part of a network of rechargeable batteries that can help smooth out the intermittent nature of wind and solar power? Many experts believe so, pointing to programs in Europe and the U.S. that demonstrate the promise of vehicle-to-grid technology.
Data from the first quarter of 2010 show a solid growth in global clean energy investment. While China maintained its global lead with clean energy investments of $6.5bn, the wind energy sector saw a global investment of $14.1bn, making it the biggest renewable energy sector. In spite of some lingering concerns, a record overall new investment in clean energy worldwide is forecast for the year 2010.
Studies show that corn based ethanol may nearly double greenhouse gas emissions instead of reducing them. Does Algae pose the same risks as corn? Are biofuels the wrong way to go when it comes to identifying fuel sources?