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Energy Efficiency, Energy Storage, Grid, & Other Cleantech News

And some more top cleantech news from around the interwebs (last roundup of the day):

Energy Efficiency

TOPTEN USA Releases New Lists of Energy Efficient Televisions — Sharp, Samsung, and Magnavox Lead the Field

“It’s a surprising trend: Even as manufacturers pack higher-tech features into their televisions, the new models use less and less electricity. In the latest rankings of the 10 efficiency leaders in three size categories from the nonprofit TopTen USA (, even the largest model, the 70-inch Sharp Aquos LC-70LE745U, operates on only 64 watts, less than a typical incandescent light bulb. That’s about half the power that the same-sized models used just a year ago.”

Energy Storage

$22M for Potential Breakthrough in Energy Storage: Isentropic Energy

“The U.K. government-backed Energy Technologies Institute (ETI), a private-public partnership, is investing $22 million in Isentropic’s Pumped Heat Electricity Storage (PHES) system in order to build a full-scale demonstrator of its technology. The goal is to deploy a 1.5-megawatt, 6-megawatt-hour storage unit on a U.K. primary substation owned by Western Power Distribution, a distribution network operator for the Midlands, southwest England and South Wales with 7.7 million customers.

“Jonathan Howes, the Chief Technical Officer of U.K. startup Isentropic Energy has claimed large-scale storage costs that are an order of magnitude lower than lithium-ion batteries or other stored energy technologies: $55 per kilowatt-hour currently, with a path to get down to $8 per kilowatt-hour.

“Isentropic’s technology is compact, has no geographical constraints and claims a round-trip efficiency of 75 percent.”

Combination of Solar Tracking and Energy Storage Solutions Celebrate its World Premiere

“DEGERenergie enables energy customers to be independent of the grid by offering solar energy systems with stable electricity prices – for the next 25 years

“The sensation is perfect: DEGERenergie renders energy customers independent of the public grid. The global market leader for solar tracking systems, DEGERenergie combines its tried and tested MLD technology with a new storage solution suitable for everyday use: a battery management system. The innovative end-to-end solution will celebrate its world premiere at Intersolar Europe in Munich.”

When Will Utility-Scale Energy Storage Become Widespread?

“Don’t hold your breath. The CEO of the California ISO says, ‘It’s good stuff, but it’s expensive, and we have to find business cases.'”


Remote Microgrids Will Help Meet Soaring Energy Demand in the Developing World

“Demand for energy in the developing world, including Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and Latin America, is expected to grow in tandem with projected increases in human population and rising living standards among the chronically poor.  Demand for energy, especially electricity, is growing much more rapidly in these nascent economies than the rate of expansion of conventional electricity grids in the major industrialized world.  A recent report from Pike Research finds that remote microgrids are ideally suited to help meet this surging appetite for more power, without increasing carbon emissions.”

The Global Smart Energy Market Reached $222 Billion in 2011, Says Pike Research

“The smart energy paradigm is gaining traction worldwide, opening a window of opportunity for transformation.  A number of convergent market drivers are leading to expanded availability and increasing revenue opportunities across the smart energy continuum.  These drivers include the rising costs of maintaining the current energy system as well as regulatory and policy initiatives in many countries around the world.  According to a new report from Pike Research, total revenue from smart energy and smart energy storage reached $222 billion in 2011.  By 2015, the cleantech market intelligence firm forecasts, total market value will be $420 billion — an increase of 90% in just four years.”

“Our annual report demonstrates that smart energy is no longer a niche market,” says research director Kerry-Ann Adamson.  “The overall smart energy market is now growing at such a pace that it represents over 10% of the global annual additional capacity forecast by the International Energy Agency between now and 2020.”


U.S. EPA Launches First Waste to Biogas Mapping Tool

“The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Pacific Southwest Region has launched an online ‘waste to biogas mapping tool’ to support the use of organic waste for energy projects.”

“This innovative mapping tool, the first of its kind in the nation, helps restaurants, hotels and other food waste generators to connect with large energy producers,” said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA’s Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “Harvesting this energy prevents waste from ending up in landfills or clogging sewer lines.”

“The tool is an interactive map created to link food and other biodegradable waste sources with facilities such as wastewater treatment plants that can enhance energy production with their existing infrastructure. Wastewater treatment plants and some dairies manage waste with anaerobic digesters, which produce methane-rich biogas as a natural byproduct.”


NREL Selected to Join Europe’s DERlab

“The U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has been selected as a new member of the nonprofit Association of European Distributed Energy Resources Laboratories (DERlab).

“DERlab is an international association of leading laboratories and research institutions in the field of distributed energy resources equipment and systems.”

Poland fights carbon cuts in EU again: draft

“Coal-reliant Poland has pitched itself against the other 26 members of the European Union ahead of a debate on a low-carbon energy future this week, EU sources said.”

Ecobee’s Newest Thermostat

Ecobee’s newest thermostat, the Smart Si, has just been released. “This thermostat is designed for home use and energy efficient technology offered at affordable prices. This technology is estimated to save an average homeowner 26 percent on annual energy costs.

“The Smart Si thermostat can be adjusted from any computer, IPhone, smart phone or tablet at any time. It is equipped with an automatic alert system to notify homeowners when heating and air conditioning equipment needs service, when it is time to change the filters and if there is any malfunction within the equipment system.”

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