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Friday, March 14, 2014

WHAT IN THE WORLD IS HAPPENING TO RENEWABLE ENERGY?

On Wednesday, I summarized ocean thermal energy conversion (OTEC).  Let me add two more links for your reading pleasure:


Who leads the world in the manufacture of wind energy conversion devices?  In 2012 it was General Electric.  Just to show you how important the production tax credit (PTC) is in America, the status of the PTC was in hibernation during first six months of 2013.  GE dropped out of the rankings,  The leading companies in installed capacity (MW) in 2013:
  • Vestas (Denmark)          4850
  • Enercon (Germany)       3657
  • Goldwind (China)           3600
  • Siemens (Germany)       2587
  • Suzion Group (India)      2239
Well, the PTC is back, and look for GE to this year return as #1 in the world, although Goldwind could well become the leader.  China currently has 75 gigawatts (GW, or 1000 MW).  The country should have 200 GW by 2020.  This capacity would be the equivalent of 200 nuclear power plants, although a look at the following:


shows that nuclear facilities average a capacity factor of 91%, while wind devices are less than 30%.  (Remember, our winds come and go, while the sun only shines during the day.)  Thus, the effective energy produced by those 200 GW would be closer to 64 GW...still, a significant 64 nuclear reactors.

Bioenergy appears to be having growing pains.  


The article by David Appleyard, Contributing Editor to Renewable Energy World, tends to blame government policy, and goes into some detail about the range of problems faced by this renewable option.  It occurred to me, though, that both the availability of land for biomass and growing conditions (sunlight?) can't be too terrific in the UK, especially Scotland.

Here is an upbeat article about


As much as my background and interest are more in tune with micro algae, macro algae shows a lot more earlier potential.  Coupled with artificial upwelling from OTEC cold water effluents, there is something to this option.

Well, here is a more positive article about solar in Europe:

     Recent European Solar Announcements are Good News for the Solar Industry

Alaska might build a 240-MW tidal energy facility.  Cost?  Almost a billion dollars.  Why?  Alaska has 90% of the tidal power potential of the USA,  with a tide of up to 12 feet.  The Rance Tidal Power Station (left) of France has been producing 240 MW for 48 years.

Finally:


Yes, Google has invested in 15 renewable energy projects worth $1.4 billion, making it the largest private investor (excluding financial institutions and utilities) of the sustainables in the U.S. since 2010.

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