Tag Archives: energy storage

UA researcher tackles solar power

By Jaime Adame, ArkansasOnline

FAYETTEVILLE — Driving down the costs of solar power is the goal for Yue Zhao, a University of Arkansas, Fayetteville assistant professor receiving up to $2.7 million in support from the U.S. Department of Energy . . . Zhao earned a bachelor’s degree from Beijing University in China, then in 2014 earned a doctorate in electrical engineering from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. Read more here.

Photo: Yue Zhao, Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville

Additional Nebraska-Related News
Madison County wind regulations still up in the air, Norfolk Daily News

MORE STATES’ AND NATIONAL NEWS

Click image to watch a time-lapse video of the installation.

AMERICAN SOLAR CHALLENGE NEWS

 GLOBAL NEWS

Install Inequality: Nearly half of U.S. residential rooftop solar potential is currently out of reach

By Chris Crowell, Solar Builder Magazine

One of the largest barriers to solar adoption on a wide scale is the wealth gap, and it will require more problem-solving than a mandate to overcome it. A new report released by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) shows that nearly half (42 percent) of all the United States’ residential rooftop solar technical potential (see pg. 15 for definition) is on the dwellings of low-to-moderate income (LMI) households, representing 330 GW of potential solar capacity — a number the researchers admitted was much higher than they expected at the outset.

“Understanding the potential size of the LMI market in detail offers new insights and opportunities to serve these communities,” said David Mooney, executive director, Institutional Planning, Integration and Development for NREL. “The potential electric bill savings from the adoption of rooftop solar would have a greater material impact on low-income households compared to their high-income counterparts.” Read more here.

NREL Photo: PV installed on low-income housing development in Denver, Colorado

RELATED SOLAR BUILDER MAGAZINE ARTICLE
Solar for All: How to incentivize community solar projects to benefit low-, middle-income customers

RECOMMENDED CLEANTECH TALK

Record-Low Solar Power, Electric Car Startups, & The Mercedes EQ Brand (Cleantech Talk Today #4)

ALSO IN THE NEWS

UNL inching toward setting greenhouse gas reduction goals

By Chris Dunker, Lincoln Journal Star

No longer does UNL use a coal-fired power and heating plant built at 14th and W streets in 1930 (now the site of the City Campus utility plant), giving the university an advantage over the University of Iowa, University of Illinois and others within the Big Ten still generating electricity on their campuses and expanding their carbon footprint. UNL instead purchases 100 percent of its electricity to power lights and computers, charge cellphones and run other equipment through Lincoln Electric System, which in turn buys power from the Southwest Power Pool and Western Area Power Administration. Read the entire article here.

MORE NEBRASKA NEWS

NEWS FROM OTHER STATES

NATIONAL NEWS

GLOBAL NEWS

American Public Power Association urges DOE to reject FirstEnergy plea for emergency order

By Paul Ciampoli, American Public Power Association News

The American Public Power Association is urging the Department of Energy to reject a request by FirstEnergy Solutions that the Secretary of Energy issue an emergency order requiring PJM Interconnection and, by extension, electricity consumers in the PJM region, to provide “full cost recovery” for certain merchant generating plants in PJM. Such a request is unjustified, the Association said in its April 9 submittal to the DOE. FirstEnergy Solutions has neither demonstrated the existence of an emergency that would support action by Secretary of Energy Rick Perry under Federal Power Act section 202(c), nor shown that its requested relief is reasonable, the public power group argued. At issue is a March 29 request made by FirstEnergy Solutions, on behalf of certain of its subsidiaries (collectively, FirstEnergy), with the DOE. Continue reading here.

Photo: Benita5 / Creative Commons

ALSO OF POTENTIAL INTEREST

SOLAR GROUP BUY / SOLARIZE MODEL PROGRAM

Muncie couple promotes solar panels throughout Indiana, The Daily News
A retired Ball State University married couple John Vann, retired marketing professor, and Carolyn Vann, retired biology professor, are taking their knowledge of sustainability and clean energy to the forefront of East Central Indiana to help households procure solar energy for their own properties. They are working to help Hoosiers obtain discounted panels.

ENERGY STORAGE NEWS

FEATURED RESOURCES

U.S. Utilities Look To Electric Cars As Their Savior Amid Decline In Demand

By Samantha Raphelson, NET

The U.S. electricity sector is eyeing the developing electric car market as a remedy for an unprecedented decline in demand for electricity. After decades of rising electricity demand, experts say the utility industry grossly underestimated the impact of cheap renewable energy and the surge of natural gas production. For the first time ever, the Tennessee Valley Authority is projecting a 13 percent drop in demand across the region it serves in seven states, which is the first persistent decline in the federally owned agency’s 85-year history. Read more here.

MORE NATIONAL NEWS & AN OP-ED

GLOBAL NEWS

Solar skilled labor shortage hinders industry growth, but collaboration could change the course

By Kelsey Misbrener, Associate Editor, Solar Power World

 “The overwhelming majority of employers are having difficulty hiring, and then a majority of those are saying it’s costing them—costing them money, costing them jobs. They’re turning down jobs because they just can’t find qualified workers,” said Tim Olson, who wrote The Solar Foundation’s 2017 Solar Training and Jobs Report, a report funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy’s SunShot Initiative. “Difficult hiring isn’t just unique to the solar industry,” Olson said. “You look at a lot of other skilled labor and general manufacturing positions in the U.S. and there is relatively high difficulty hiring right now—the unemployment rate is hitting all-time lows.” Click here to read more.

Photo: Mountain View Solar in Maryland collaborates with a local community college on a summer internship program.

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

50 Ways 100% Clean Energy Won In 2017

By Jodie Van Horn, EcoWatch

We’d never argue that 2017 was a great year, but some really great things did happen! Here are 50 ways (yes, 50!) that clean energy kept winning in 2017. Continue here.

iStock Photo

RELATED ARTICLES

ALSO IN THE NEWS

Are US automakers falling behind vehicle technology trends?

Ask a Scientist – December 2017, Union of Concerned Scientists 

This month we asked Dave Cooke, a UCS senior vehicles analyst, to set the record straight on the status of US automakers. Cooke, who has a PhD in physics from the University of California, Berkeley, is the author of the new report, “In Need of a U-Turn: Automakers’ History of Intransigence and Opportunity for Change.”

Read more here.

Dave Cooke is a senior vehicles analyst in the Clean Vehicles Program, specializing in both light- and heavy-duty fuel economy.  He conducts research on fuel efficiency technologies and the implications for oil consumption and greenhouse gas emissions across the transportation sector. Dr. Cooke received his Ph.D. in condensed matter physics in 2010 from the University of California, Berkeley.  Prior to this, he received his BS in physics from Harvey Mudd College in 2002 and his MS in physics from the University of California, San Diego in 2004.

ALSO OF POTENTIAL INTEREST

Solar Power Is Blooming in Minnesota

 By Madeline Ostrander, Sierra Club

In the past few years, several other states—including New York, Massachusetts, Hawaii, and Illinois—have passed laws enabling solar garden programs. But Minnesota’s is currently the biggest and arguably most successful, in part because it places no upper limits on the amount of solar that can be developed in the state. “The success speaks for itself at this point,” says John Farrell, a Minneapolis-based energy expert for the Institute for Local Self-Reliance. “We’ve got more community solar than any other state. We’re going to continue to lead for quite a while.” Although Minnesota is hardly known for sunny weather, so far its residents seem to have an insatiable appetite for solar energy production. Read more here.

Photo by XXLPhoto/IStock 

ALSO OF POTENTIAL INTEREST

For clean-energy jobs, sky’s the limit

Written by Mike Hughlett, Minneapolis Star Tribune,
Published by Wisconsin State Journal

Wind service technician is by far the fastest-growing occupation in the country, with an expected growth rate of 108 percent between 2014 and 2024, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The agency says the median annual pay for a wind service technician in 2016 was $52,260.

[Will] Osborn, a 43-year-old Nebraska native, served 12 years in the U.S. Marine Corps, and afterward got a wind turbine technical degree from a community college. He’s been working for Vestas since 2011 and is the company’s lead technician at the Black Oak wind farm near Sauk Centre. Click here to read more.

Photo:: Nebraska native Will Osborn, left, and Shane Keck work on a wind sensor that was out of alignment while Chris Berg works inside near Sauk Centre, Minnesota. Credit: Glen Stubbe, Star Tribune

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING