China Overtakes U.S. on Energy Efficiency Investments for First Time
With $4.3 billion worth of investments, China has spent more on energy efficiency than the United States for the first time. According to data released by Bloomberg New Energy Finance, global spending climbed almost 5 percent to $14.9 billion while North American spending dropped by as much as 33 percent to $3.6 billion. Asia and Europe will drive growth through the end of the decade, while North America continues to shift its focus from hardware to software investments as utilities seeks to squeeze additional value out of the huge amount s of grid data that are now available, says Colin McKerracher, a senior analyst for BNEF.
Dong Energy Picks Vestas’s Biggest Turbine for UK Offshore Farm
Dong Energy A/S will use Vestas Wind Systems biggest wind turbines at the 258-MW Burbo Bank Extension Offshore Wind Farm off the coast of western England. This would be the first order for the 8-MW V164 turbine, which Vestas and partner Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. are hoping to grab a share of the expanding offshore market. Dong is trying to cut costs of offshore wind by 40 percent by using bigger turbines that will require fewer foundations and reap more wind power per machine.
UK’s Drax Slumps 23% on Costs for Carbon, Biomass Plan
Drax Group Plc, operator of U.K.’s largest coal-fired power plant, reported a 23 percent slide in profit as carbon prices climbed. The company was also financially affected by its conversion plans to burn cleaner fuel. CEO Dorothy Thompson says that the increasing cost of carbon drove earnings down, thus the company is now making investments in its transformation to becoming one of the world’s largest renewable generator that burns sustainable biomass. Earnings fell to 230 million pounds in 2013 from 298 million pounds a year earlier.
Submersive Tech Cuts Costs of Cooling Supercomputers
Annual energy bills for supercomputers and huge data centers runs into tens of millions of dollars, and much of it comes from air-conditioning. To save on air-conditioning costs, some companies such as Google and Facebook, strategically placed some of their data centers in the cool climate of Scandinavia. But another recent solution is to submerge the supercomputers in liquids for cooling. At the Tokyo Institute of Technology, a supercomputer submerged in a tank of mineral oil has been named as the most energy –efficient machine of its kind. The computer is 50 percent more powerful than its predecessor but uses only the same amount of energy with the immersion technology.