Other than our own stories, here’s some top cleantech and climate news of the day:
Top PV Module Suppliers Developing Own Utility Projects: “Research from Wiki-Solar has found that the most successful module providers to utility-scale photovoltaic plants are developing their own projects to accommodate their products.”
PG&E Grant Supports Solar Job Training, Community Vitality: “The Solar Intern Program is a three-month paid internship that provides job training for people seeking careers in the solar industry. PG&E’s grant funds the program for four highly qualified trainees, who will receive job placement support from GRID Alternatives and PG&E after graduation. The other three internships will be in Fresno, Chico and Atascadero in 2013.”
Driveline Enters Two-Year Agreement with SunClean, LLC For Installation And Maintenance Of Solar-Powered Trash Compaction Equipment: “Driveline, the largest non-broker merchandising services agency in the country, [announced yesterday] that it has entered into a two-year agreement with SunClean, LLC, a Women Minority Business Enterprise, to serve as its exclusive installation agent for the SunClean 150® Solar Intelligent Waste and Recycling System.
“According to the terms of the agreement, Driveline associates will install SunClean 150 compaction equipment across the United States. Driveline will also provide preventive maintenance, emergency repair and advertising film application to deployed and active units.”
Suntech Solar Modules Shine In Desert Simulation Test: “Suntech Power Holdings Co., Ltd. (NYSE: STP), one of the world’s largest producers of solar panels, today announced that its solar modules have passed the Blowing Sand Test based on DIN EN 60068-2-68 LC2 by SGS, the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company. The SGS test result confirms that Suntech’s solar modules are suitable for solar installations in desert regions.”
Kohl’s Department Stores Activates Its Largest Solar Project At Maryland E-Commerce Distribution Center: “Kohl’s Department Stores (NYSE: KSS) today announced activation of the company’s largest solar project at its million-square-foot e-commerce fulfillment center (EFC) in Edgewood, Md. The EFC opened in 2011 and recently earned Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) at the gold level. The location is Kohl’s sixth solar site in Maryland. It is also the company’s first LEED-certified logistics facility.”
Gildemeister Wins €29.2 Million Deal For PV Plants And Energy Storage Technology: “The Energy Solutions division of German technology manufacturer Gildemeister has been awarded contracts worth €29.2 million (US$38.5 million) to deliver PV power plants and energy storage technology in Romania, Germany and Italy.”
Global Wind Turbine Gearbox Market To Exceed $8 Billion By 2020, Wind Rotor Blades Drop To 49K Units Installed: “The global wind power market witnessed tremendous growth in 2011, as annual wind power capacity installations recovered after a slight dip in 2010. In fact, Global wind energy installed capacity increased at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 26.5% from 74,122 Megawatts (MW) in 2006 to 240,000 MW in 2011. The wind turbine industry provides employment to over 450,000 people worldwide. Annual turbine installations are expected to grow from 39.9 Gigawatts (GW) in 2011 to 40.6 GW in 2012, against a backdrop of order intakes by major wind turbine manufacturers. During the 2012-2020 forecast period, global wind turbine installations will show steady growth, and cumulative wind power installed capacity will reach 391,985 MW by 2015 and 658,448 MW by 2020.”
GE, Taiwan Power Sign Five-Year Wind Turbine Service Agreement: “GE (NYSE: GE) and Taiwan Power Company have signed a five-year, full service agreement (FSA) covering 26 GE 1.5-megawatt class wind turbines operating throughout Taiwan. Under the agreement, valued at nearly $11.4 million, GE will provide a full scope of services including planned and unplanned maintenance, repairs and spare parts. The agreement guarantees fleet availability of greater than 95 percent.”
In Ironic Christmas Card, Koch-Backed Group Labels Itself Ebenezer Scrooge: “Americans for Prosperity, the Tea Party organization founded and partly funded by the oil billionaire Koch Brothers, is leading the charge against federal renewable energy investments — even while vigorously defending permanent tax subsidies for the oil and gas industry.
“So AFP’s mock Christmas card featuring the stingy, cranky Ebenezer Scrooge disparaging wind tax credits illustrates the organization’s stance perfectly”
First Wind, Avista Announce Start of Commercial Operations at Palouse Wind Project in Eastern Washington: “First Wind, Avista announce start of commercial operations of 105 MW Palouse Wind Project in Eastern Washington; First Wind obtained a $50 million tax equity financing from Cook Inlet Region, Inc.”
Electric Vehicles: 10 Predictions for 2013: “By the end of 2013, nearly 400,000 plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) will be driving on roads around the world. Consumers will be able to choose from a greatly enhanced selection of models in an expanding number of vehicle segments. While the EV industry is rapidly maturing, uncertainty remains about the energy storage technologies that are being implemented to provide varying levels of electrification, as well as about the ability of automakers to execute on the potential of several market segments. In order to analyze the impacts of these and other key issues facing the EV industry, Pike Research has prepared this white paper that makes 10 predictions about the continuing evolution of the market in 2013 and beyond.”
December 4th, 2012 Declared IGO CarSharing Day By Mayor Emanuel: “Tuesday, December 4th, 2012 was proclaimed ‘IGO CarSharing Day’ by Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the City Council of Chicago. IGO was further recognized for its ‘responsible and environmentally friendly business model…(and) great service…’ The resolution creating ‘IGO CarSharing Day’ was introduced to the City Council by 2nd Ward Alderman Robert Fioretti and 49th Ward Alderman Joseph Moore.”
Ford C-Max Breaks Hybrid Launch Sales Record: “For October and November, the all-new Ford C-Max sold 8,030 units, making it the highest-selling hybrid vehicle ever in the first two months. The sales significantly surpassed the 7,300 Camry Hybrids that Toyota sold in that car’s first two months on the market, back in May and June of 2006. Ford also calculates that C-Max sales are moving three times faster than combined results from the first hybrids on the US market – the Toyota Prius and Honda Insight – which were launched in 2000.”
Volt-Based Cadillac ELR Teased Ahead Of Detroit Reveal: “The on-again off-again saga of the Cadillac ELR has made for some entertaining speculation the past few years. But finally, we are nearing the reveal of an actual production version of the luxury Chevy Volt that will give Cadillac its first-ever plug-in hybrid. From what little I’ve seen, so far, so good.”
Plug-In Hybrids Outselling Pure EVs In California: “Plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEV) appear to have outsold battery electric vehicles in California by about a two-to-one margin since the Toyota Prius Plug-in started US sales earlier this year, according to the state’s Center for Sustainable Energy.”
Alternative Fuel Vehicles Reach Record High In US In 2012: “For years, alternative fuel vehicles appeared to be a somewhat futuristic dream for environmentally concerned individuals but today they are a reality for an increasing number of US consumers. Latest research from Mintel shows that sales are up an astounding 73%, with nearly 440,000 hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and electrics sold thus far this year. The rapid sales growth in hybrid and electric vehicles makes the segment the fastest growing in the US for 2012, supplanting the still fast growing, compact car vehicle segment.”
To Really Advance Electric Vehicle Sales, Take A Look At Fleets: “Plug-in electric vehicles haven’t been selling at the high rates hoped for in the past two years as the Nissan Leaf, Chevrolet Volt and other competitive models made their way to dealer lots. President Obama’s lofty goal of one million electric vehicles sold in the US by 2015 appears to be unattainable. By the end of this year, it looks like there will have been around 65,000 to 70,000 plug-in EVs sold in the US market.
“To increase sales, what about fleet sales? Some companies with large fleets have been champions of electric vehicles, which is obviously good for sales numbers. Ian Hobday, chief executive officer of UK-based GoinGreen, thinks that utility and delivery company fleets offer more significant growth potential than the private, consumer car market.”
Anderman: Li-Ion Capacity Far Outstripping Demand As Automakers Focus More On Hybrids, Less On Full EVs: “Global automotive Li-Ion battery production capacity is outstripping demand five-to-one as automakers refocus on hybrids and away from full electric vehicles, according to Dr. Menahem Anderman’s recently released xEV Industry Insider Report. Anderman is founder and chairman of the Advanced Automotive Battery Conference (AABC); the 13th annual conference is scheduled for February 2013 in Pasadena, California.”
Energy Efficiency & Conservation
App Reveals Most Fuel Efficient Flights On Expedia: “Calasi, a start up based out of San Francisco, is hoping to empower would-be green(er) air travelers to make more informed choices, launching an app that works with Expedia to identify the flights that consume the least amount of fuel and produce the least emissions.”
Detect Drafty Windows With Your Smartphone: “The IR-Blue is a thermal imaging camera and app combo that lets you visualize the temperature differences of things around you. Like the LabStrip accessorybefore it, this attachable accessory lets users investigate and find answers on their own without having to hire a professional or use professional-level equipment.”
Philips Releases An Updated A19 LED Bulb That Is Better Looking And More Efficient: “LED bulbs may be fabulous for the environment, but they aren’t always the prettiest of fittings to look at. Philips is trying to fix that with an update to one of their more popular LED bulbs, the A19. Sleeker and even more efficient, the new A19 replaces inefficient 60-watt incandescent bulbs without sacrificing style.”
Park Hyatt Chicago Latest Luxury Property To Adopt Telkonet’s EcoSmart Energy Management Technology: “Telkonet, Inc. (OTC BB: TKOI), developer of the EcoSmart energy management platform featuring Recovery Time™ technology, is pleased to announce continuing demand for its EcoSmart technology with a completed installation at Park Hyatt Chicago, a luxury hotel located at 800 North Michigan Avenue.”
New Consumer Guide Illuminates Home Energy Savings: “Save Money, Save the Earth.” That motto has appeared on the cover of every edition of the Consumer Guide to Home Energy Savings since the first book was published in 1991. It’s a big promise, and one that appears on the 10th and newest edition released today by the co-publishers, the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) and New Society Publishers (NSP).”
WegoWise Acquires Melon Power To Expand Services To Commercial Buildings: “WegoWise, a leading building performance analytics provider, today announced that it has reached an agreement to acquire Melon Power, an award-winning analytics platform for the commercial building sector. WegoWise will extend its platform with Melon Power’s methodology, which leverages Green Button and other utility data to help commercial buildings affordably and easily receive Energy Star benchmarks. The acquisition is expected to close in the first quarter of 2013.”
57% Of Americans Think Government Should Do A “Great Deal” To Combat Global Warming: “Four out of five Americans now believe ‘climate change will be a serious problem for the United States if nothing is done about it.’ That’s from the latest AP-GFK poll on climate values. That’s 80% of the country, folks. That’s 250 million people, if the findings are reliable.”
Google Brings In Director Of The Advanced Research Projects Agency—Energy (ARPA-E): “One of the world’s biggest challenges is bringing reliable, sustainable and affordable energy to everyone. We need a new energy blueprint for the future—the latest advances in technology have the potential to bring us closer to that goal than ever before.
“That’s why I’m pleased to welcome Dr. Arun Majumdar to Google, where he will drive Google.org’s energy initiatives and advise the company on our broader energy strategy. Arun is widely recognized as one of the foremost leaders in energy innovation. He joins us from the Department of Energy, where he served as Acting Undersecretary of Energy and was founding Director of the Advanced Research Projects Agency—Energy (better known as ARPA-E), identifying and providing essential support for the development of transformational new energy technologies. In his roles at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the University of California at Berkeley, he made great contributions in the areas of energy conversion, transport, and storage, and in 2005 was elected a member of the National Academy of Engineering.”
Geothermal Industry Ends 2012 On A High Note: “The past 12 months saw continued economic challenges for many American industries, including those in the renewable energy field, but the country’s geothermal community witnessed a year of growth, both domestically and abroad. The Geothermal Energy Association (GEA) today expressed optimism for 2013, while looking back on a difficult, yet ultimately successful 2012.”
EU Competition Finds No Carbon Storage Winner: “The first round of a European Commission contest to fund carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects failed to find a winner, the EU’s executive said on Tuesday, deepening doubts the technology can emerge soon to help cut emissions.”
International Power Giants Prepare For An Energy Revolution: “One of the big questions that springs to mind when the likes of the International Energy Agency and other bodies deliver their stark warnings about climate change is whether the global energy industry is ready to respond to the challenge. If the IEA is right about its predictions, the energy industry will no longer have the luxury of a measured transition to a clean energy future, the change will be quick and dramatic.
“So how is the energy industry positioned to respond? While in Paris, I met up with two senior executives from Alstom, the French energy giant that is one of the three big global suppliers of power equipment. By some measures, it ranks as the biggest, with interests in nuclear, coal, gas, hydro, and onshore wind, and more recently, in offshore wind, concentrated solar power, wave energy and tidal energy, and geothermal.”
Cleaning Up Carbon Pollution 101: “Largely due to destruction caused by recent climate-related extreme weather events in the United States, there is a new urgency in our nation to adopt additional carbon pollution reduction measures. In 2011 and 2012, 21 such events each caused $1 billion or more in damages. This new evidence demonstrates that our climate change problem is much more imminent and severe than previously thought. Instead of idly waiting for the next devastating storm, flood, drought, or heat wave to hit, we should tackle climate change head on by further reducing our carbon pollution.”