Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) made the surprise discovery that a metabolic pathway to take up CO2 exists and functions in a microorganism capable of breaking down and fermenting cellulosic biomass to produce biofuels including hydrogen and hydrocarbons. “Our findings pave the way for future engineering of the bacterium as a way to improve carbon efficiency and to reduce the amount of CO2 released into the environment,” said Katherine Chou, staff scientist at the NREL.
Offshore wind power could grow more than 650% by 2030, according to a new analysis from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). “It’s poised to become a leading power generation technology in a decarbonised global economy,” said Adnan Z. Amin, Director-General of IRENA, this week, at the World Wind Energy Conference. “Now that onshore wind power is cost-competitive with conventional power generation technologies, more attention is shifting to offshore applications, characterised by high technical power generation potential”.
Trina Solar Limited has announced that its PV Laboratory has set a new world record of 19.86% aperture efficiency for its high-efficiency “Honey Plus” multicrystalline silicon (mc-Si) solar module, which contains 120 pieces of P-type mc-Si solar cells (156 x 78mm2). The result has been independently verified by the Fraunhofer Lab in Germany. Following the previous record of 19.14% announced in April 2015, Trina achieved the new efficiency of 19.86%, approximately 3.8% higher, within 18 months.
The fast-changing energy landscape and increasing amount of renewable generation on the system that results in frequency volatility have required National Grid to develop new and innovative ways to manage frequency to ensure that energy keeps flowing to where it is needed. A new, enhanced ability to control variations in frequency almost immediately will result in reduced costs of approximately 200 million pounds and streamline services to make them as efficient as possible meaning reduced costs for the end consumer.
Gamesa continues to make further inroads into the Indian market. It has been present in India, where it has installed over 3,000 MW, since 2009. According to MAKE Consultancy, it is the leading OEM in India, with a market share of 34% in 2015 (up from 25% in 2014), having dominated this market for three years in a row. Gamesa’s key position in the Indian market is a significant attractor for Siemens, which has agreed in June, this year, to merge its wind business with its Spain-based rival; and according to Gamesa, Make is anticipating India’s wind market to add 30GW by 2025.
A new report states that by 2030 wind power could reach 2,110 GW, and supply up to 20% of global electricity, creating 2.4 million new jobs and reducing CO2 emissions by more than 3.3 billion tonnes per year, and attract annual investment of about €200 billion. With dramatic price decreases in recent years for wind, solar and other renewables, a decarbonised power sector is not only technically feasible but is economically competitive as well. New markets are developing rapidly across Africa, Asia and Latin America, supplying clean energy to support sustainable development.
Vattenfall has won the tender to build Kriegers Flak, a 600 MW offshore wind farm in the Baltic Sea. The winning bid was €49.9 per MW, which is among the lowest costs in the world for offshore wind power. It will be Denmark’s largest offshore wind farm; supplying 23% of all households in Denmark, 600,000 in total, with clean energy. Vattenfall’s investment will be €1.1–1.3Bn, pending a final decision. Kriegers Flak is part of Denmark’s 2012 agreement to become a green and resource efficient economy entirely independent of fossil fuels by 2050.
The Paris agreement on climate change has added impetus to the decarbonisation of transport as one of the most effective ways for realising the climate protection targets. Next to higher engine efficiencies and the simultaneous hybridization of engine technologies. Biofuels will have to play an important role in terms of a bridging function because they are already available and with biofuels from cultivated biomass, it is possible to make an immediate and effective contribution to the lowering of emissions in existing vehicle fleets.
The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) and NextEra Energy Resources have joined local leaders to celebrate the commissioning of Alabama’s largest solar energy project. The River Bend Solar Energy Center features more than 300,000 solar panels with trackers that follow the sun from east to west each day to maximise energy production. Together, they generate 75MW, or enough to power more than 15,000 homes. The energy will serve TVA consumers starting this year, under a 20-year power purchase agreement.
Total is launching a program to equip 5,000 of its service stations worldwide with solar panels within five years, including 800 in France. The total solar capacity to be installed is about 200 MW, equivalent to the amount of electricity used to power a city of 200,000 people. The project represents an investment of around $300 million and is projected to cut the company’s carbon emissions by 100,000 tonnes annually and reduce energy costs by $40m each year. It’s a high-profile move in what it sees as a growth sector, highlighting a greater industry focus on renewables.
Canadian Solar has announced that it has supplied 5.74 MW of its MaxPower CS6X310P modules to two projects located in Fowler, California. The first installation; the 2.49 MW Bee Sweet Citrus Farm, consists of 8,034 panels. The second installation; the 3.25 MW National Raisin Company Farm, consists of approximately 10,509 panels, making this array one of the largest agricultural solar systems in the USA. In total, the cumulative amount of electricity produced from these two installations is equivalent to powering 564 homes for one year.
Gamesa continues to grow in China, having signed new agreements for the supply of 95 MW. These turbines are custom-designed to withstand the extreme winds typical of this coastal area which is often hit by typhoons. With the introduction of its new G114-2.5 MW wind turbines into China, Gamesa has now achieved a new product strategy milestone. The company will supply 38 (95 MW) of these turbines to state-owned developer Zhognmin at two wind complexes. These are due for delivery during the second quarter of 2017 and the project is commissioned by the first quarter of 2018.