Archive: Renewables

Tapping the western sun

In an effort to tap the significant solar energy resources of New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, California, Utah, Texas, and Colorado, the U.S. DOE will support efforts to install a total of 1,000 MW of concentrating solar power (CSP) systems over the next five years. "This initiative will provide a substantial engine for economic development, job […]

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Recycling waste pressure into electricity  

Combined heat and power options in most modern steam plants are an opportunity waiting to happen. Energy conservation at our nation’s colleges, mills, and hospitals goes way beyond changing light bulbs and thermostat setpoints. This exclusive report by the CEO of a member of the U.S. Combined Heat & Power Association—one of POWER’s business partners—explains why.

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A new player in backup power

For thousands of U.S. businesses, a lesson learned the hard way over the past few years is the need for an absolutely reliable electricity source. Challenging the standard backup power options, proton exchange membrane fuel cells are making a play for this duty.

Roadmap for the all-electric warship

One of the key projects at the U.S. Navy’s Office of Naval Research is developing an integrated ship power system capable of supplying power both to propulsion systems and to advanced electric weapons, launchers, and high-power sensors. It would be the ultimate naval power T&D system. The "all-electric warship," which some predict will have as much of an impact on navies as the nuclear submarine, is still a decade or two away. But the first generation of electric systems is already being installed on U.S. warships currently under construction.

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Sun drives pistons and generator, GM

  Sun drives pistons and generator Sandia National Laboratories is joining forces with Stirling Energy Systems Inc. (SES) of Phoenix to test and develop new solar dish-engine systems. Five new systems installed at Sandia’s National Solar Thermal Test Facility in New Mexico joined a prototype Stirling system that was erected earlier in 2004. The six-dish […]

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Geothermal: Hotter than ever  

Balmy days are on the horizon for geothermal energy. The renewal of the Production Tax Credit in the U.S. and improved drilling and electricity production techniques are the two main reasons geothermal energy advocates are bullish about the industry. POWER looks at some interesting installations and explains why the optimism is well-founded.

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Nowhere to go but up  

Installations of new renewable energy facilities in the U.S. slowed significantly last year. Why? The short answer is a lack of political will. Compared with the EU, the U.S. has much less progressive renewable energy policies. For example, although the Production Tax Credit was renewed last year, legislators in Washington had let it expire, and prospects for a comprehensive national energy policy are fuzzier than ever. Following is a brief roundup of what’s happening worldwide in the fields of wind, photovoltaic, and hydro power. (For a snapshot of today’s global geothermal industry, see p. 40.)

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Big batteries blooming

Several advanced battery technologies tailored for utility applications have doffed their white coats and donned hard hats. These new bulk energy storage devices, which can almost instantly shave peaks and shift loads, are the answer to the dreams of T&D system designers and operators. Finally, years of R&D in electrochemistry are beginning to pay dividends in the field.

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Fuel cells reach MW class

Most people think of fuel cells within a single, "not ready for prime time" context: powering tomorrow's automobiles. But stationary fuel cell power plants are beginning to power some industrial facilities today. The need for heat as well as ultraclean power, and the availability of a renewable fuel, recently came together in a Seattle suburb, site of the world's first commercial megawatt-scale fuel cell power plant—powered entirely by gas produced by anaerobic digestion of municipal wastewater.

Promoting renewable exports

  Promoting renewable exports The DOE is not the only U.S. government department promoting renewable energy. Any U.S. energy firm or supplier looking to export its goods and services can tap the services of the Energy Team at the Commerce Department’s International Trade Administration (ITA), which is part of the U.S Commercial Service (USCS). The […]