Huge Growth for Global Geothermal Market in 2013, Says GEA
2013 was a significant year for the global geothermal industry as projects located in the U.S., Philippines, Mexico, New Zealand, Germany, Kenya, Australia and Turkey brought about the most capacity online since 1997. The geothermal market saw 530 megawatts commissioned, bringing the total global capacity to over 12,000 megawatts, holding a steady 4 to 5 percent growth rate, according to the Geothermal Energy Association’s 2014 Annual U.S. & Global Geothermal Power Production Report.
Google to Buy 407 MW of Buffett’s Wind Power
Google Inc. has signed up to buy 407 megawatts of wind power from Warren Buffet’s MidAmerican Energy Holdings Co., the technology company’s biggest deal to date for sustainable energy. The capacity is intended to power Google’s Council Bluffs, Iowa, data center. Google has agreed to acquire more than a gigawatt of clean energy as well as finance them by investing more than $1 billion in 15 projects around the world. Google, along with Facebook, Intel, Apple and other companies, are buying renewable energy to sustainably and responsibly feed their power-hungry data centers.
Argentina to Cut Duties on Biodiesel Amid EU Anti-Dumping Squabble
Argentina will temporarily scale back levies on biodiesel for domestic use to aid the industry as the country battles the European Union over anti-dumping measures. President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner said that her government will send a bill to Congress ordering the exemption of a 22 percent tax on biodiesel used in thermoelectric plants and a 19 percent tax on biodiesel for gasoline blends until the dispute with the EU is straightened out.
Higher Solar-Cell Efficiency Reached With Zinc-Oxide Coating
Engineering researchers at the University of Arkansas have achieved the highest efficiency ever in a cufflink-sized solar cell made of gallium arsenide. After coating a 9 millimeter-squared solar cell with a thin layer of zinc oxide, the researchers reached a conversion efficiency of 14 percent. Professor Omar Manasreh, leader of the research team, says that surface modifications can certainly be scaled up and can be packaged in large arrays of panels to power large devices such as satellites, homes, or even a spacecraft.