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Posts Tagged ‘renewable energy’

Growth in renewable jobs in Massachusetts

February 18, 2016 Leave a comment

solar_workerAccording to a recent report from the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC), the state has seen an increase in jobs and performance in the energy sector over the past two years. The double-digit growth has been consistent for the past four years with the state now employing 98,985 workers at 6,439 clean tech and renewable energy companies across the state. Massachusetts clean energy is now an $11 billion dollar industry, making it a stand out on the map for global leadership in clean energy.

The innovation and investing in the field has allowed Massachusetts to grow the industry into a model of what other states want to accomplish. “Private sector innovation and investment combined with public sector leadership on forward thinking clean energy policies are continuing to prove to be a strong formula to drive the flourishing of this industry,” commented Northeast Clean Energy Council President Peter Rothstein. Read more…

Aging transformers are causing high prices and more risk

October 14, 2015 Leave a comment

transformerGenerator step up transformers, while not often mentioned in the renewable energy world, are a vital part of the grid and help to keep green energy moving forward. That being said, the time has come when many transformers are reaching the end of their life and are starting to break down and cause outages. These transformers are critical in energy output to the grid and are essential to all utility scale renewable energy projects. Having a contingency plan in the event the transformer breaks down is rare and is something that investors and owners should begin to explore.  An example might be the AES spare transformer program. Read more…

Lithium batteries and air shipment risks

September 22, 2015 Leave a comment

batteryLithium-ion batteries were cited in South Korean investigators’ final report as a contributing factor in the 2011 Asiana Airlines Boing 747 crash that killed both pilots on board.  Since 2006, lithium-ion batteries have been connected to several airline cargo fires including two jumbo jet crashes and a UPS cargo plane emergency landing.  Also interesting to note, Malaysia Airlines flight 370 was reported to have been carrying 440lb of lithium-ion batteries.

Lithium batteries, when packed tightly together, can overheat and emit gasses which build up leading to fire and explosions.  Recent testing by the Federal Aviation Administration shows aircraft fire protection systems “are unable to suppress or extinguish a fire involving significant quantities of lithium batteries, resulting in reduced time available for safe flight and landing of an aircraft to a diversion airport,” aircraft makers said. “Therefore, continuing to allow the carriage of lithium batteries within today’s transport category aircraft cargo compartments is an unacceptable risk to the air transport industry.” Read more…

The rapid growth of the U.S. solar market and the associated risks

August 19, 2015 Leave a comment

solar_sunsetDespite the northeastern states getting hit by one of the worst winters on record, the residential solar market had its best quarter ever. The first quarter, typically the slowest of the year for the solar market, grew 11 percent over the previous quarter and 76 percent over the first quarter of 2014.

Shayle Kann, Senior Vice President at GTM Research, stated that, “Q1 2015 provided a clear glimpse into the role that residential sector will play as a primary driver of not only solar market growth, but the overall electricity generation mix. In the first quarter of this year, the U.S. installed more residential solar than natural gas, and solar on the whole accounted for 51 percent of all new electric generating brought on-line. We expect more than 3 million residential solar installations over the next five years, marked by a broader trend toward customer engagement in energy usage, generation and management.” Read more…

Taller, more efficient wind turbines could come to all 50 states

cleanTechThe newest generation of wind turbines, currently under development by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) in collaboration with industry partners and research labs, could mean that wind energy is coming to all 50 states. According to the DOE’s May report, technological advancements featuring taller towers and longer blades will develop turbines able to generate more power more effectively. The new technology may eventually lead to expanded power production in the Southeast and other parts of the country where slower and more inconsistent wind speeds have made it difficult to develop utility-scale projects. Presently, wind energy is being used in 39 states, making it responsible for nearly 5 percent of U.S. total electricity generation. However, the DOE’s report states that all 50 states may soon be capable of producing wind power, allowing the U.S. to substantially increase its dependence on wind energy. Read more…

Improving a tested method to combat the California drought

According to the California Department of Water Resources, the state is in the midst of its fourth year of drought.  As a result, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. signed a $1 billion emergency drought package in March to accelerate emergency food aid, conservation awareness, infrastructure and flood protection funding, drinking water, species tracking, water system modeling, and water recycling.  The Governor also ordered the first mandatory statewide reductions on April 1 due to the lowest snowpack ever recorded, and no end in sight to the drought.  These courses of action were taken in addition to Governor Brown declaring a Drought State of Emergency on January 17, 2014, as well as a Proclamation of a Continued State if Emergency a few months later on April 25, 2014. Read more…

The significance of U.S. wind power in the present and future

wind_turbinesAccording to data released in March by the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Energy Information Administration (EIA), wind energy produced 4.4 percent of all of the U.S.’s electricity in 2014, and retained its position as the fifth largest source of electricity in the country. Renewable energy sources, including hydropower, now produce over 13 percent of the U.S.’s electricity, with wind power contributing a third of that amount. Wind power is also proving to be a cost-effective solution for states and utilities to limit pollution, as the American wind fleet has reduced carbon dioxide pollution by approximately 125 million metric tons, which is equivalent to 26 million cars worth of carbon emissions.
Read more…