Abundant solar threatens fossil fuel companies in Texas to the tune of $1.4 billion

January 19, 2018 by  
Filed under Green

In Texas, demand for power peaks in the summer, which also happens to be when solar power is at its most productive. With the state slated to add up to 15 gigawatts of solar in the next few years, it spells big trouble for companies peddling fossil fuels – a $1.4 billion problem. Hear that tapping sound? It’s another nail being hammered in the coffin for fossil fuels . The state’s solar boom could wipe out $2.76 per megawatt hour (wholesale) during the summer from fossil fuels, according to Bloomberg . Since gas and coal power generators rely on high summer prices to counteract the winter dip in demand, solar’s proliferation is a double-whammy threat to the industry. Related: Tesla’s new Solar Roof is actually cheaper than a normal roof Texas isn’t the only state to face this “problem.” California’s fossil fuel prices regularly dip into the negative during summer hours. The good news for fossil fuels is that this shift won’t happen right away. Texas will likely only have 1.8 gigawatts of solar power within the next two years. Via Bloomberg Images via Deposit Photos ( 1 , 2 )

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Abundant solar threatens fossil fuel companies in Texas to the tune of $1.4 billion

Wind energy sets sail on the Great Lakes

January 18, 2018 by  
Filed under Business, Green

Proposals to build turbines in North America’s Great Lakes have stalled in recent years — but a new initiative aims to break through the barriers.

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Wind energy sets sail on the Great Lakes

Why energy efficiency speeds renewables adoption

January 17, 2018 by  
Filed under Business, Green

Consider it a potent combination for reducing emissions, in the most cost-effective manner possible.

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Why energy efficiency speeds renewables adoption

New ‘thermal battery’ soaks up heat energy like a sponge

January 11, 2018 by  
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Scientists at MIT have created a new unconventional material that is highly effective at storing and releasing heat energy — and could be used as a battery. Called AzoPMA, the new plastic-like polymer is capable of holding 100 times as much thermal energy as water. If further developed, a thermal battery which stores and releases heat as energy is needed could revolutionize solar energy , much as powerful traditional batteries have transformed the smart phone and electric car industries. Research on AzoPMA was led by Dr. Dhandapani Venkataraman, a chemist at the University of Massachusetts , and recently published in the journal Nature . The material was given its name in reference to its azobenzene-based poly(methacrylate) composition. AzoPMA is able to hold so much thermal energy because it switches between two conformations, or shapes, depending on its heat . When the material is heated, molecules within take their high-energy form, which is effective at storing thermal energy . When it is cooled, they return to their low-energy form, which then releases heat energy as needed. Related: South Australia to host world’s largest thermal solar plant The potential for thermal battery power is seemingly endless. “Thermal batteries today are where electrical batteries were a century ago,” MIT professor Dr. Jeffrey Grossman, who has led similar thermal battery research , told NBC News . “There are exciting applications we’re only starting to understand.” Venkatarman sees this feature as being especially useful in off-the grid locations. “Imagine when go camping, you’d be charging the molecules while you are hiking, then you’d discharge them to cook your dinner,” he said . AzoPMA could also be used as a non-burning material in solar-thermal ovens, which would reduce the risk of health damage from fumes on stoves common in rural areas, as a component of large household batteries, or spread out in small pieces to melt snow after a storm, without the need for electricity. Via NBC News Images via MIT and Nature

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New ‘thermal battery’ soaks up heat energy like a sponge

What the new tax law means for renewables

January 11, 2018 by  
Filed under Business, Green

Geothermal and fuel cells did not get relieft, but what’s left intact may surprise you.

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What the new tax law means for renewables

The 4 benefits of building a green home

January 11, 2018 by  
Filed under Business, Green

Americans do want greener homes. They just don’t call them that.

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The 4 benefits of building a green home

Battery storage opportunities offer consistency for customers

January 11, 2018 by  
Filed under Business, Eco, Green

It’s becoming increasingly clear in high-renewable electric grids that flexible resources are more valuable than flat, unchanging generation and load.

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Battery storage opportunities offer consistency for customers

Someone stole a chunk of China’s new solar roadway

January 10, 2018 by  
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When detractors were howling about solar roadways’ flaws , concerns about theft wasn’t among them. Apparently it should have been, because a few days ago, thieves cut out and ran away with a chunk of China’s recently unveiled solar highway — a move nobody predicted. Thieves cut out a nearly 6″ by 73″ portion of the solar roadway on January 2, just days after it was debuted on December 28. Officials aren’t sure why someone would steal a small section of road, because while the roadway itself was a costly endeavor, the solar panels aren’t worth that much money. Related: Rugged solar roads to hit four continents in 2017 One idea is that the thieves wanted to understand how the technology worked, so rather than ask an engineer, they took a slice of road. Since the theft took place, the roadway has been repaired. Via Engadget Images via QTDG

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Someone stole a chunk of China’s new solar roadway

Spectacular Game of Thrones ice hotel opens in Finnish Lapland

January 10, 2018 by  
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Great news Game of Thrones fans—White Walkers and dragons have arrived in the one of the coolest hotels to open this winter season: The Games of Thrones-themed Lapland Hotels SnowVillage. Created in collaboration with HBO Nordic, this temporary themed hotel offers stunningly sculpted rooms made almost entirely of snow and ice . Those hoping for a visit to the Seven Kingdoms will need to hurry—the hotel will only be around until April 8, 2018. The Games of Throne-themed hotel is located in Finland’s Kittilä, about 90 minutes away from Helsinki. The hotel comprises 24 rooms, 10 of which are available to overnight guests. International ice artists were invited to bring the hotel to life and the undeniable highlight is the massive carving of a demonic White Walker looming over a bed. There’s also an icy Iron Throne, a dragon guardian at the ice bar, and a dragon-shaped ice slide. Related: Iconic Game of Thrones battle brought to life with massive 3D embroidery The ice hotel is kept at temperatures of minus five degrees Celsius. Guests who want warmer accommodation can stay in separate log cabins on site. There’s also a cinema, chapel, arctic bar, and a restaurant at the SnowVillage. Room bookings at the ice hotel start at $200 and entry to the SnowVillage is $18. + Lapland Hotels SnowVillage Via CNN Travel Images via Lapland Hotels SnowVillage

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Spectacular Game of Thrones ice hotel opens in Finnish Lapland

This solar startup wants to help you and your business kick the water bottle habit

January 10, 2018 by  
Filed under Business, Green

If the electric grid can be decentralized, why can’t the water system?

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This solar startup wants to help you and your business kick the water bottle habit

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