Archive: Renewables


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.)


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 […]


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.


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.


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 […]


Renewable energy’s growing share

  Renewable power development will continue to grow in the U.S., with the nonhydro total reaching 53,121 MW by the end of 2016. So predicts a soon-to-be-released report from Boulder, Colo.–based Platts Analytics (which, like POWER, is a part of Platts, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies). If all that capacity goes on-line, it would […]


Bonus to Siemens

Siemens Power Generation (Erlangen, Germany) announced late last year that it had acquired wind turbine manufacturer Bonus Energy A/S (Brande, Denmark). With a market share of about 9%, Bonus was one of the top five manufacturers of wind turbines in 2004. On paper, Siemens now seems well-positioned to challenge the market leaders (GE Wind, Vestas, […]


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.