Energy

NREL Leads International Effort to Ensure Solar’s Longevity

Read the full story at FutureStructure.

The Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) is co-leading an international push to assure the reliability of solar panels—an assurance demanded by customers, manufacturers, lenders, and utilities.

Solar photovoltaic (PV) systems affected by defective or underperforming panels is very low—just 0.1% per year according to new data of 50,000 systems analyzed by the Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory. But in the face of pressure to keep lowering prices, it is essential that quality be maintained and assured, said Sarah Kurtz, a Research Fellow at NREL who manages the lab’s PV Module Reliability Test and Evaluation Group.

Wind energy blows US emissions onto right track for 2025 target

Read the full story in New Scientist.

Is Uncle Sam going green at last? US carbon emissions from power stations this year are set to be the lowest for 20 years, as decrepit coal-fired power plants shut and clean wind farms and less-dirty natural gas plants replace them.

This zoo is crowdfunding tech that turns animal poop into energy

Read the full story at VentureBeat.

The Detroit Zoo is launching a crowdfunding campaign today to “harness the power of poo,” as its promo video says.

The goal is to build a biodigester that will take the more than 400 tons of manure produced at the Detroit facility annually and turn it into methane gas to power an 18,000-square-foot veterinary hospital on premises. The process is known as anaerobic digestion technology.

The zoo hopes to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from electricity and natural gas and become entirely waste-neutral by 2020.

Report on Bioenergy and Sustainability launched at FAPESP

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More than 100 experts from around the world contributed to the report, which presents main findings and recommendations on current production and use of bioenergy, as well as growth potential, considering such aspects as land use, feedstocks, technologies, impacts and policies.

Could secondary markets help companies pay for energy efficiency?

Read the full story in GreenBiz.

Some investors are looking with anticipation toward the development of secondary markets for energy efficiency in the United States.

To provide an inside perspective on why these markets are crucial today, authors of the report “Accessing Secondary Markets as a Capital Source for Energy Efficiency Finance Programs: Program Design Considerations for Policymakers and Administrators” spoke with Clean Energy Finance Forum.

The New Cool: LSU Physicist Discovers New Material Set to Change Cooling Industry

Read the full story from Louisiana State University.

Refrigeration and air conditioning may become more efficient and environmentally friendly thanks to the patent-pending work of LSU physicists. The team of researchers led by LSU Physics Professor Shane Stadler has discovered a breakthrough magnetocaloric material that may change the energy industry, including air conditioning and food refrigeration.