Scientists and technologists around the world are beginning to see the promising possibilities of graphene to build cheap, lightweight conductors for everything from solar-power systems to computer touchscreens.
Chevron Energy Solutions, San Francisco, and the city of Brea, Calif., announced that construction of an energy efficiency and solar project has begun and is expected to save the city more than $13 million.
Some of the most interesting technological discoveries have been accidental, including one that began several years ago at the Far Niente winery in Napa Valley, Calif. SPG Solar, a major solar integration company, was asked to design a solar-power system to help provide electricity for the winery.
Solar and wind power continue to grab the majority of headlines in the ongoing coverage of the growth of renewable power. Now, at least one other alternative-energy source has been quietly rising—literally and figuratively—in global use and awareness.
The Walmart Foundation announced a $1.2 million donation to the National Energy Education Development Project (NEED) to install solar panels on 20 schools in five U.S. cities. The five cities taking part in the program are Chicago; Los Angeles; Minneapolis; Seattle and Washington, D.C.
With all the current hype -surrounding the development of renewable power, one looming question remains. The proverbial elephant in the room is whether existing infrastructure is adequate to transmit all of this newly generated electricity from solar, wind, biomass and other green sources.
Even during the Recession, the alternative-energy market has remained strong, either holding its own or growing. Throw a stick, and you will hit a project incorporating green power. It is a market driven by consumer interest, generous incentives and improving payback.
A recent report, “Reenergizing America’s Defense,” released by the Pew Project on National Security, Energy and Climate described how the Department of Defense (DOD) has initiated aggressive clean-energy programs in pursuit of its economic, security and environmental goals.
In the continuing struggle to overcome competitive disadvantages, one path for greater penetration of renewable power into the nation’s energy markets might be to join the entrenched fuel sources with which it has always struggled to compete.
According to Pike Research, marine renewable-energy resources are poised for major growth over the next five years and could collectively capture as much as 10 or even 15 percent of the global electricity market by 2030.
One of the biggest obstacles facing electrical contractors wanting to enter or expand their presence in the alternative-energy market is their customers’ ability to finance an alternative-energy project, which usually requires large, upfront investments in order to take advantage of energy savings
Already a pioneer in the field of renewable-energy policy, Colorado has taken another bold step by raising the bar for utilities and the power they provide. In March, Gov. Bill Ritter signed legislation that will require 30 percent of the state’s electricity to come from renewable power by 2020.