Power & Energy Solutions

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America is in danger of falling behind Asia when it comes to wind energy production. And the chief of General Electric says that is jeopardizing this country's energy future.Business Week reports that in remarks to the ARPA-E Energy Innovation Conference near Washington, DC, General Electric Co. chief Jeffrey Immelt said America must not give away this growth to every other country in the world:Asia makes more than half the world's wind and solar energy equipment, and is gaining ground as U.S. factories lose out to cheaper labor and higher demand for clean energy. China for the first time topped the U.S. in wind-turbine manufacturing and installations last year, the Brussels-based Global Wind Energy Council said yesterday in a report.Immelt has helped lead the U.S. Climate Action Partnership, or USCAP, a coalition of businesses and environmental groups calling for Congress to put a cap on carbon-dioxide emissions. The group says legislation is needed so companies such as utilities and their suppliers know how to proceed with long-term investments. A measure passed by the House last year has stalled in the Senate.The article goes on to say that Duke Energy Corp. CEO Jim Rogers told reporters at the conference that politicians need

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China will step up efforts to promote the development of its wind power industry so as to make full use of its wind resources, said Zhang Guobao, director of the National Energy Administration, yesterday.China's installed wind power capacity is only 22 million kilowatt, far less than its wind energy resources of about 2.6 billion kW on a theoretical basis.The Chinese government will support several large wind power equipment manufacturers so that they would be able to compete with their overseas rivals, added Zhang.The government also plans to accelerate the development of nuclear power. Last year, the government approved the construction of six nuclear reactors and will approve a few more nuclear projects this year, said Zhang.At the end of last year, China's nuclear power capacity stood at 9.08 million kW, with 23.05 million kW of capacity under construction. 

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More than 5,000 MECASOLAR trackers installed in the Grupo OPDE photovoltaic solar farms in Spain have endured with great strength over the weekend of 26 and 27 February, the winds that swept the Iberian Peninsula from north to south caused by the explosive cyclogenesis and which reached speeds of up to 200 km / h accompanied by heavy rains. This was the case of the large solar farm at Almaraz (Cáceres)-with 2-axis MECASOLAR solar trackers, which withstood hurricane winds up to 132 km / h without any of the trackers registering any incidents. The explosive ciclogenensis also particularly affected the solar farms of Belvis de Monroy (Cáceres), which recorded maximum wind speeds up to 102 km / h.More than 5,000 MECASOLAR trackers installed by OPDE are located on solar farms in Andalusia, Extremadura, Castilla-Leon and Navarre. All of which withstood the hurricane wind speeds caused by Xinthia, without registering any structural problems and or panel breakage. "Last weekend our trackers have once again beat records for wind resistance of 132 km / h showing the market on the ground that they are the most robust and best built mechanically on the market," says Gustavo Carrero, Director

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SunPower Inc. and Toshiba Corporation have entered into an agreement that will help the Japanese electronics company unveil a new solar energy-based undertaking to begin the new decade.As part of the strategic supply agreement between the two companies, Toshiba will order 32 megawatts worth of high-efficiency solar panels that will be manufactured by SunPower throughout 2010. The panels will be one of the main components in a new residential solar program being offered in Japan by Toshiba that will be getting underway on April 1."Toshiba's residential solar power business will offer homeowners the most efficient solar power systems available, with a focus on quality and reliability," said Shoji Takenaka, chief technology executive of Transmission Distribution & Industrial Systems Company for Toshiba. "We are very pleased to work with SunPower, as their solar photovoltaic panels achieve high levels of performance and reliability, and their excellent efficiency supports space-saving solutions that directly meet the needs of consumers in Japan."SunPower CEO Tom Werner added that their highly efficient solar panels will help make renewable solar energy possible in Japan due to the limited roof areas available in many domestic areas.The deal with Toshiba comes after SunPower drastically increased its presence in the solar

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Although concentred solar power (CSP) generation is probably better known, solar thermal (ST) collectors employ a much lower level of technology and convert far more of the sun's energy into useful heat, according to a new market analysis.The report "Solar Thermal Power Report" by ReportBuyer describes solar thermal energy technology in its various applications, describing the various technologies: collectors, receivers, heat storage systems and energy conversion units.CSP uses lenses and mirrors to directly tranfers solar energy into electricity via conventional steam and heat turbines or by focusing light onto photovoltaics. The Ivanpah project being developed by BrightSource in California is a high-profile example.Solar thermal (ST) collectors--used for water heating and building heating (or cooling through solar chillers)--have more capacity and produce more energy than wind power and more than geothermal, solar PV and ocean energy combined. By 2009 there were 147,000 megawatts (MW) of wind power, 174,000 MW of solar thermal collectors. By comparison there was only about 1,000 MW of CSP and about 17,000 MW of solar PV capacity.The last two or three years have seen strides forward in all solar technologies and many 50 to 100 MW CSP power generation projects are being developed, with larger ones in

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A Chicago-based energy company wants to erect 100 wind turbines in southern Brown County: 54 in Morrison, 22 in Holland, 20 in Wrightstown, and four in Glenmore.There's concern the 400-foot turbine towers could interfere with the county's plan to erect a series of 911 radio towers.While emotions run high between landowners and families in southern Brown County about the pros and cons of a massive wind farm, the county's Director of Public Safety Communications is also weighing in."I'm sure there will be a compromise there somewhere," Jim Nickel said.Tuesday night, Nickel will tell the county's Public Safety Committee how the wind farm plans could impact the county's plans to upgrade its 911 system, which includes a dozen radio towers."Potential issue to worry about, and we have to worry about, is connecting our sights together to allow that back to the 911 center."Nickel says if a 400-foot wind turbine were built in the path of two smaller radio towers, the microwave signal would be lost, meaning the 911 caller wouldn't reach emergency dispatchers.He says the county is just starting to plan where the towers will go."By the end of this year we should know where our sites are going to be

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Incentive pays for 30 percent of home photovoltaic projects Xcel Energy announced Monday the launch of incentives for Minnesota electricity customers to install solar panels on top of their homes and businesses.The Minneapolis-based utility's Solar*Rewards program, designed to encourage solar energy growth in the state, includes a one-time payment of $2.25 per installed watt of generating capacity to help offset the cost of customers installing small or medium roof-top photovoltaic systems.For a 3.5 kilowatt residential installation, or 3,500 watts, a customer would receive an incentive payment of $7,875, or about 30 percent of the project's cost. In addition to the Solar*Reward incentive, federal, state and local government agencies could provide customers with other rebate opportunities.To qualify, Solar*Reward participants must agree to install a system with a capacity of between 0.5 kilowatts to 40 kilowatts. In exchange for the incentive payment, ownership of the renewable energy credits, or RECs, produced by the system will transfer to Xcel Energy for a term of 20 years. Xcel Energy will also buy any energy that a system produces in excess of the customer's needs.Xcel Energy's Solar*Rewards plans support the installation of about 2 megawatts of solar energy each year for the next three years,

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The three new inverters in the SolarMax TS series have rated capacities of 50, 80 and 100 kilowatts and work in the MPP range of 430 to 800 Volts. The devices are highly compact and are better protected against dirt than their predecessor models in the SolarMax C series. In addition, Sputnik\'s developers have succeeded in boosting the European efficiency from 94.8 to 95.5 percent and to increase the acceptable ambient temperature range by five degrees. A processor monitors the IGBT switch on the power component which improves operating safety and reliability. Sputnik has replaced the electrolytic capacitors with film capacitors which has extended the useful life of the inverters by several years. DC and AC circuit breakers are now accessible from outside. This means that electricians can separate the inverter safely from the grid before they open it. Several devices can now be switched off simultaneously using one external switch. The new inverters communicate via RS 485 and Ethernet. The graphic display can be operated using three keys. Pilot project in the Wankdorf Stadium The TS series meets all the specifications contained in the new Medium-Voltage Guideline published by Germany \'s Federal Association of Energy and Water Utilities (BDEW)-

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India proposed on Friday a small tax on production of coal to raise millions of dollars for a National Clean Energy Fund that could help the world's fourth biggest polluter to shift to a low-carbon economy.India's growing economy has huge potential to shift to a low-carbon future, given that about 500 million Indians, or about half the population, do not have access to electricity, relying on fossil fuels such as coal to expand the power grid.With global focus now on how developing countries tackle the use of fossil fuels -- an imperative in the fight against climate change -- measures such as taxing coal could underscore India's actions in the battle against global warming.Presenting the country's 2010/11 budget, India's finance minister proposed levying a "clean energy cess" of 50 rupees ($1) on every tonne of coal produced in the country or imported."While we must ensure that the principle of 'polluter pays' remains the basic guiding criteria for pollution management, we must also give a positive thrust to development of clean energy," Pranab Mukherjee told parliament.India's coal production is expected at more than 570 million tonnes for 2010/11, raising the possibility of hundreds of millions of dollars for the corpus of

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Pune-based energy and environment solutions' provider Thermax is gearing up to tap incentives offered in the Union Budget for renewable energy, water and wastewater treatment.The company is planning a strong foray into solar, biomass and geothermal sources of energy, said M S Unnikrishnan, managing director and chief executive.He said the company had initiated a solar project at a village in Chakan near Pune, in association with the Department of Science and Technology. The Rs 13-crore investment is to electrify the village using an indigenously developed solar-cum-biomass fuelled technology, through which the village will get electricity round the clock, even during the rainy season when sunlight is scarce."This has huge commercial opportunity and there are many villages in India where electricity transmission lines have not reached. Incentives offered by the government can act as a booster to implement the project on a large scale," he said.The Union finance minister, in his Budget speech on Friday, had announced an increase in the plan outlay for the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy by 61 per cent, from Rs 620 crore in 2009-10 to Rs 1,000 crore in 2010-11. He also provided a concessional Customs duty of 5 per cent to machinery, instruments,

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