China to Improve Energy Efficiency after Air Pollution Record
China plans to boost its efforts to cut its emissions and improve energy efficiency this year after Beijing posted an air pollution record of 993 micrograms per cubic meter last January 12. According to China’s National Development and Reform Commission, the government will reduce the nation’s carbon emissions and energy use per unit of gross domestic product by at least 3.7 percent in 2013 and carry out carbon-trading trials. On top of this, the country also plans to expand electricity generation from renewable sources.
MIT Researches Develops a Roadmap to Achieve Solar-to-Fuel for Crystalline Silicon
Using the concept of an “artificial leaf” as the inspiration, a team of researchers at MIT has published a detailed analysis that points the way to optimizing efficiency of an integrated system for harvesting sunlight to make storable fuel. The new analysis lays out a roadmap for a research program to improve the efficiency of these systems, and could lead to the production of a practical and commercially viable prototype. Such a system would use sunlight to produce a storable fuel, such as hydrogen, instead of electricity for immediate use.
STEM and Sacramento Municipal Utility District Partner to Discern the city’s Solar Energy Future
Stem, a leader in energy optimization, and the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) has initiated a pilot project to study the effect of high penetration solar photovoltaics on the grid. The two-year research project take advantage of Stem’s unique high-resolution data collection and intelligent energy storage capabilities to reduce electricity costs for customers. The information collected by Stem will inform SMUD of the amount of PV that can be added to a distribution feeder while maintaining grid stability and power quality. The results will answer vital questions including the effects of the second-by-second ramp rates of PV on SMUD’s system, and how distributed storage can be used to mitigate these effects.
Tallest Minnesota Wind Project is Now Operational
After almost 10 years of development, Minnesota’s tallest wind turbine is now operational . The wind project can generate 30-megawatt of power, enough to power about 10,000 homes. The Community Wind South Project in Nobles County, Minnesota, has 15 wind turbines which stand 480 feet from the tower bases to the blade tips. The energy generated by the project is being sold to Xcel Energy Inc. under a 20-year power purchase agreement. Developers of the project has also partnered with the community so that local owners can profit from the project.