Monthly Archives: May 2011

EOS Energy launches £20m solar scheme

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UK renewable energy company Eos Energy has announced a £20m scheme that will see it install photovoltaic (PV) panels on private and local authority buildings at no cost.

The Warwickshire-based company has joined a number of solar companies in adopting a business model that offers homeowners free installation. It is one of several companies to adopt a business model targeting the country’s feed-in tariffs through installing solar panels that will get incentive payments under the scheme.

The fairly typical business model sees residential owners forfeiting payments for renewable energy under the tariff, which are harvested by the company instead.

The model can be advantageous for homeowners that cannot afford solar installation, offering free electricity and installation costs.

The UK solar industry has come under fire for high upfront costs associated with the installation of solar systems, which by law must be done by an expensive and qualified engineer. Rooftop arrays capable of generating solar power for homes and small buildings cost in the region of £15,000.


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The Green Home Company secures £15 million for Free solar installations across the South East

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One of the UK’s fastest growing providers of renewable energy systems, The Green Home Company, has announced it has secured £15 million of finance as part of the company’s programme of providing homeowners across the South East with free solar energy systems.

One of the UK’s fastest growing providers of renewable energy systems, The Green Home Company, has announced it has secured £15 million of finance as part of the company’s programme of providing homeowners across the South East with free solar energy systems.


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Google invests $55 million in 1.55-gigawatt California wind farm

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Google will invest $55 million to finance a section of a 1.55-gigawatt wind farm being built in California, raising the amount of money the Internet search giant has spent into clean energy projects to $400 million.

The money will finance the fourth phase of the Alta Wind Energy Center being developed by North Carolina-based Terra-Gen Power, L.L.C. in the Tehachapi Mountains. In a blog post, Google said Citibank, which has served as underwriter for the earlier phases of the wind farm, will also be investing $55 million in the 102-MW Alta IV project.

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Why must UK have to choose between nuclear and renewable energy?

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I know that others don’t share my puzzlement, but I don’t understand why the nuclear question needs to divide the environment movement. Our underlying aim is the same: we all want to reduce human impacts on the biosphere. We all agree that our consumption of resources must be reduced, as sharply as possible. We all question the model of endless economic growth.

Almost everyone in this movement also recognises that – even with the maximum possible conservation of resources and efficiency in the way they are used – we will not be able to bring our consumption down to zero. This is especially the case with electricity. Those who have been following the issue closely know that even with massive reductions in energy demand, electricity use will have to rise in order to remove fossil fuels from both transport and heating.

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French power link to run through Channel tunnel

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Eurotunnel has unveiled plans to run an electricity link through the Channel Tunnel as part of efforts to bolster UK power supplies. The proposed interconnector cable with France will help to smooth supply volatility relating to offshore wind power, meaning that energy generated from places where the wind is blowing can be shared around.
The 500 megawatt cable will run in the existing service tunnel and connect at Sellindge in Kent on the UK side and the Les Mandarins substation near Coquelles in France.

In 2008, Eurotunnel had a fire in one of its tunnels but project leaders said yesterday there would be no risk to travellers because the cables will be 10cm wide and heavily insulated, and laying it in the service tunnel will make maintenance easier. The project, which could take two years, will cost an estimated €250m (£217m) with Eurotunnel owning 49 per cent and Star Capital, an infrastructure-focused fund manager, the remaining 51 per cent. The new link, to be called ElecLink, will not have a major impact on total UK power usage, which at peak times in winter is 60,000MW.


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Power Management Saves South Lanarkshire £40,000 Per Annum In Energy Costs

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The largest market sector for PC power management segment solutions over the next five years will be public sector, followed by financial services and retail/wholesale. Pike Research says that the PC and server power management software market will grow from $168m in 2010 to $783m annually by 2015. The report forecasts that PC power management software alone could be saving almost 47 metric tons of C02 emissions by 2015, about the same as taking nearly eight million cars off the road.

      “The software is deployed on our fleet of PCs, which are distributed across multiple sites throughout the authority. We can centrally manage the entire fleet on our central, corporate network,” says Janice Woodley, Technology Services Manager, South Lanarkshire Council. “By centrally powering down PCs at 7pm each night – or 10pm for local leisure centres – and allowing users to power back up when they return to work in the morning we are achieving savings of £40,000 per annum. A simple action, which is achieving significant carbon and cash savings.”


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Google Has Now Invested Over $400M in Clean Power

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Google says it’s not buying the electricity directly from the project, and the returns are reason enough for the investment. Google and Citibank are using what they call a leveraged lease, and are purchasing part of the project, then leasing it back to Terra-Gen, who will manage and operate the project.

Mark down yet another clean power project Google plans to back. Tuesday morning, Google announced on its blog it’s providing $55 million for part of the construction of a 1.5 GW wind farm that is being built by Terra-Gen Power in Southern California’s Mojave Desert. Google’s financing will go toward a 102 MW section of the Alta Wind Energy Center, and Citibank has underwritten the equity for a major chunk of the rest.

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DIY to save energy – don’t leave it to the IT department

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Many large companies have been trying to reduce the power that their IT operations use, particularly in the data centre, where they can make significant savings.

It’s harder for companies to reduce the power used by PCs spread around the company, but individual users can make an important contribution.

A lot of power is wasted by PCs left on when they’re not being used. Too often they’re not even switched off at night or over the weekend. This leads to a potential waste of up to 7,000kWh of electricity a year on just one PC, costing around £700 and equivalent to 3,812kg CO2.

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Amsterdam to convert vibrations from bridges into electricity

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As vehicles cross the three 17th-century bridges of Utrechtse street, they rumble over cobblestones, sending tremors through the bridges, and continue on their way.
But something is about to change. By the end of this year, the energy from those vibrations is to be transformed into electricity to power lights where the three bridges cross city canals.

The US$8,000 (Dh29,384) machines are part of a set of retrofits, ranging from solar-powered rubbish compactors to carbon dioxide monitors, aimed at slashing greenhouse gas emissions on the historic street by as much as 40 per cent. If the project, nicknamed “Climate Street”, works on the nearly kilometre-long stretch of shops and restaurants, its planners hope to bring similar measures to a business park outside the capital.

“In theory, we can be 100 per cent sustainable,” said Yoeri van Alteren, the director of Club van 30, the company managing the project. “But in practice, you have to talk to the entrepreneurs to get them to invest in some things, and you have to be helping with some things.”

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Flexible Film Solar Cells Approach Efficiency of Hard Silicon Panels

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Swiss researchers reach a record 18.7 efficiency with a flexible film cell design

Imagine having pants that charged your

phone automatically, a ski jacket that charged your MP3 player, or a backpack that charged your laptop.  All of these scenarios sound great, but they all require a power source.


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