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Why the U.S. urgently needs to invest in a modern energy system

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In a speech commemorating the thirty-fifth anniversary of the International Energy Agency (IEA) in 2009, former U.S. secretary of state, Henry Kissinger recalled how the energy crisis of 1970s awakened the world “to a new challenge that would require both creative thinking and international cooperation.” He explained that as “global demand continues to grow, investment […]

In a speech commemorating the thirty-fifth anniversary of the International Energy Agency (IEA) in 2009, former U.S. secretary of state, Henry Kissinger recalled how the energy crisis of 1970s awakened the world “to a new challenge that would require both creative thinking and international cooperation.” He explained that as “global demand continues to grow, investment cycles, technologies, and supporting infrastructure will be critical.” As a top U.S. diplomat in the 1970s, Kissinger is credited with promoting energy security as a third pillar of the international order through a trifecta of initiatives to bolster incentives to energy producers to increase their supplies, encourage rational and prudent consumption of existing supplies, and improve development of alternative energy sources. These efforts contributed to the establishment of the IEA in 1974 as a principal institutional mechanism for enhancing global energy cooperation among industrialized nations. Read more>>

Mobilizing public and private capital

On August 13, 2015, in Infrastructure Investment & Finance, by Joe Nyangon
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The energy market in the United States is undergoing a dramatic transformation, driven by technological advancement, market dynamics, and better policies and laws—none of which was a decade ago. Venture capitalists made huge profits from the computing boom of the 1980s, the internet boom of the 1990s, and now think the next boom will happen […]

The energy market in the United States is undergoing a dramatic transformation, driven by technological advancement, market dynamics, and better policies and laws—none of which was a decade ago. Venture capitalists made huge profits from the computing boom of the 1980s, the internet boom of the 1990s, and now think the next boom will happen on the back of energy. These past booms, however, were fed by cheap energy: coal was cheap; natural gas was low-priced; and apart from the events following the 1973 Arab oil embargo and the 1979 Iranian Revolution, oil was comparatively cheap. However, in the space of the past decade, all that has changed. New resource finds, primarily shale resources from states such as Texas, Oklahoma, North Dakota, and Pennsylvania, exert pressure on the prices of oil and gas. At the same time, there is a growing concern of negative externalities associated with these fossil fuels. Read more>>

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Who’s leading the low-carbon race?

On March 26, 2013, in Renewable Energy Markets, by Joe Nyangon
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The centre of clean energy gravity is fast shifting to Asia, with China taking the lead. In a new report developed by Australian think tank The Climate Institute and GE, China has improved its global low-carbon competitiveness index significantly. The report ranks France, Japan, China, South Korea and the UK in the top five positions. […]

The centre of clean energy gravity is fast shifting to Asia, with China taking the lead. In a new report developed by Australian think tank The Climate Institute and GE, China has improved its global low-carbon competitiveness index significantly.

The report ranks France, Japan, China, South Korea and the UK in the top five positions. China has leapt ahead of its previous ranking from 7th to 3rd while U.S. is now 11th down from 8th position. Australia is ranked 17th. The report attributes the latest decline in U.S. ranking to “lower public equity investment in clean energy, shrinking high-tech exports and a surge in reliance on emission intensive air freight.”

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China’s growth in cleantech investment is boosted by high-tech exports and a rise in global public equity investment in clean energy. Read more

Which is more efficient – wind or solar energy?

On January 9, 2013, in Renewable Energy Markets, by Joe Nyangon
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The question of efficiency when comparing wind and solar forms of alternative energy is on the minds of many people these days. Government officials, state legislatures, entrepreneurs and average citizens want to know the answer to this question. The general feeling is that wind is more efficient, though the answer turns out to be dependent […]

The question of efficiency when comparing wind and solar forms of alternative energy is on the minds of many people these days. Government officials, state legislatures, entrepreneurs and average citizens want to know the answer to this question. The general feeling is that wind is more efficient, though the answer turns out to be dependent on the scale of operation involved in a comparison.

For a homeowner in a rural area who already has tall buildings, such as barns or grain silos, or even an existing old windmill, wind is easily more efficient. For larger applications, such as commercial generation of electricity to provide power for urban areas, the answer might surprise you.

Ending in 2011, a comparison test, between solar and wind powered energy, ran for 14 months. The comparison showed that solar power is more efficient.

To make sure the test was a fair comparison, a wind turbine set at an elevation of 35 feet was compared with a panel of solar collectors. As a control, it was verified that both could produce an identical amount of electricity at conditions considered optimal. The cost of each system was identical.

The result of the test was rather surprising. Over a number of testing periods, the solar powered generator was able to produce a total of 500% more electrical power than the wind powered generator. This was not expected, due to the fact that the solar system was dependent on the appearance of the sun to begin generation. It was determined that the intermittent and varying intensity of wind was the reason for the wind powered generator to produce less power.

Considering the vast amount of research being conducted worldwide on both types of alternative energy generation, it can be expected that the efficiency of both systems will increase in the future. There are several new designs of wind powered generators under development that require less wind to start operation and continue to generate electrical power. For solar technology there are also exciting developments. In addition to the development of much more efficient solar collectors, research at MIT has discovered a way to place solar collectors in non-horizontal arrays. The discovery is based on the natural way a tree develops leaves as it grows, and the mathematical principle of Fibonacci numbers. Tests are underway that could more than quadruple the amount of electrical power per square foot of solar panel installation that can be achieved.

Because of the exciting developments in both forms of alternative energy sources, it is hoped that government, private industry, such as Texas energy providers, and individual citizens, will continue to explore, research and discover even more ways to improve the efficiency of these two important non-oil sources of electrical power.

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New York announces $107M for solar power

On October 11, 2012, in Sustainable Finance, by Joe Nyangon
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The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority is seeking proposals for large scale solar power installations to benefit from a $107 million investment from the state’s solar initiative. Under the NY-Sun Competitive PV Program, a total of $36.4 million will be available in 2012 and $70.5 million in 2013. The first round proposals […]

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority is seeking proposals for large scale solar power installations to benefit from a $107 million investment from the state’s solar initiative. Under the NY-Sun Competitive PV Program, a total of $36.4 million will be available in 2012 and $70.5 million in 2013.

The first round proposals are due November 8. The funding cap is set at $3 million and to better leverage the state resources, the projects will require co-funding from private developers. “The NY-Sun program has helped establish New York State as a leader in solar power, and these investments in photovoltaic systems will allow businesses and municipalities to put in place green, cost-effective electric generating installations,” Governor Andrew Cuomo said.  “I encourage all businesses and municipalities eligible for these grants to apply.” Full article

 

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