Gridco Proves Power Electronics Keep the Grid Edge Stable Despite Solar Disruptions

Last year, we covered the launch of Gridco’s power electronics-based technology for controlling grid voltages and power quality down to the individual feeder lines that serve people’s homes. That’s very difficult to accomplish with today’s grid gear, making Gridco’s emPower solution potentially very useful for utilities struggling to manage the rising tide of rooftop solar energy flooding the edges of their grids. That’s only if it works, of course — and if it costs less than competing alternatives. Gridco hasn’t revealed cost or price figures for its in-line power regulator (IPR) devices or its distributed controllers and back-office support software, leaving

Enphase Acquires Next Phase Solar to Scale Its O&M Service Business

Tomorrow, Enphase will announce that it has jumped into the operations and maintenance (O&M) business in a big way with the acquisition of Next Phase Solar, a provider of O&M services for the PV solar industry. NPS has a portfolio of more than 400 megawatts, split about 70 percent commercial solar and 30 percent residential. Founded in 2009 and helmed by Adam

Review – Ultimate Cleaning Package by Radiantly You

Do-It-Yourself (DIY) recipes are available, online, for just about everything. And that’s great for people who are into making stuff. Making stuff isn’t for everyone. So we look to commercial products to fill our needs. In my experience, shopping for Eco-friendly products at the market is difficult. The selections are limited, the expense is high, and one has to be very careful about ingredients because not all so-called green items are actually green.I was invited to try out the Ultimate Cleaning Package by Radiantly You.Before agreeing to do a review

2015 SkS Weekly Digest #6

SkS Highlights Meeting two degree target means 80 per cent of world’s coal is unburnable, study says, a guest post by Roz Pidcock of the Carbon Brief attracted the highest number of comments of the articles posted on SkS during the past week. Given the complexity and high-impact nature of the issues surrounding climate change and energy use, we’ll be seeing a lot more articles of this nature in the future. The “D” Word If you are a veteran of the blog wars about manmade climate change

Meeting two degree climate target means 80 per cent of world’s coal is unburnable, study says

This is a re-post from Roz Pidcock at Carbon Brief More than 80 per cent of the world’s known coal reserves need to stay in the ground to avoid dangerous climate change, according to new research. Thirty per cent of known oil and 50 per cent of gas reserves are unburnable and drilling in the Arctic is out of the question if we’re to stay below two degrees, the new research notes. That vast amounts of fossil fuels must go unused if we’re

Meet & Greet (#MtaGt) – February – My Green Nook

Welcome to Meet & Greet, a regular series designed to grow our green community.Banner by Art IstGrab our banner for your site:For 2015, Meet & Greet will operate a bit differently than previous years. This year, I’ll be featuring blogs which I find via my Internet travels or blogs which you recommend via the link

Solar Microinverter Startup Enecsys Now in Administration

This morning, solar microinverter startup Enecsys announced that the company had fallen into the hands of administrators and is for sale. In September, Enecsys was looking to raise up to $20 million in an initial public offering on London's Alternative Investment Market. The company desperately needed cash — and private investors were not forthcoming. Enecsys CEO Mike Fister

5 Questions to Ask When Deciding Between a Commercial Solar Loan and a PPA

Businesses are facing an increasingly complex landscape for installing solar. While the residential market has recently been dominated by third-party financing, the commercial sector has been more evenly split between power-purchase agreements and direct ownership over the past few years. No matter which way it is financed, solar is an increasingly easy choice. The cost of a commercial solar photovoltaic project dropped nearly 50 percent between 2012 and 2014, according to data from SEIA's report, Solar Means Business. For commercial property owners, the rise of solar loans creates opportunity, but also confusion. A new report from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Banking on Solar, examines the advantages and

Here Are the Top 10 Solar Developers in Latin America

The results are in: SunEdison now tops the developer rankings for Latin America. The new Latin America PV Playbook shows that the utility-scale market in Latin America is truly buzzing, with developers flocking to the region and more project contracts being signed than ever before. Top 10 developer rankings Large international companies dominate the rankings, in terms of both operational capacity and pipeline. Source: GTM Research Latin America PV Playbook SunEdison leads the market in operational capacity

Claims that climate models overestimate warming are ‘unfounded’, study shows

This is a re-post from Roz Pidcock at Carbon Brief A new paper takes an in-depth look at the suggestion that climate models routinely overestimate the speed at which Earth’s surface is warming – and finds the argument lacking. A look back over the past century shows that, by and large, what we see in global average temperature is extremely well captured by models, the authors tell Carbon Brief. The new research, a collaboration between scientists at the Max Planck Institute in Germany and the University of Leeds, is published today in the journal Nature. Recent trends Climate scientists study how Earth’s temperature changes over several decades. They

US Government Energy Consumption Is at the Lowest Level Since 1975

In 2007, the U.S. government passed the Energy Independence Act, which called for federal agencies to start weaning themselves off petroleum fuels and increasing the energy efficiency of buildings. The desired results of those programs, which have been enacted across the federal government, from the General Services Administration to the U.S. Department of Defense, are now being realized. New data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration shows that government

Can Frontier Technology From the 1800s Boost the Efficiency of Today’s Air Compressors?

Carnot Compression, an early-stage startup, has resurrected a century-old technology to demonstrate that isothermal compression is achievable and can save energy wherever compressors are used — which is pretty much everywhere. The core technology of the eight-employee startup's invention is based on the Taylor compressor. The Taylor compressor In the late 1800s and early 1900s, Charles Taylor (1859-1953), a self-taught engineer and geologist, designed and built a series of awesome power and hydraulic engineering projects in Canada and the U.S. His hydraulic-air-compression-power systems used the same phenomenon exploited by the iron-age trompe; Taylor harnessed the power of gravity and the weight of falling

Do you share resources?

Sharing a bath saves water.This month’s Change The World Wednesday theme is “Sharing Resources”. To live green, we might share information, products, natural resources, etc.So that got me thinking about all the ways we can use “sharing” to walk gentler on the earth. That’s the basis of this survey: Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey , the world’s leading questionnaire tool.Join us on February

Money Versus Morals: Why Economic Rewards Trump Polite Messaging in Efficiency

From food placement in grocery stores to the way Facebook curates newsfeeds, behavioral science is at the core of corporate strategies to maximize sales and engagement. As understanding of consumer behavior evolves, energy efficiency companies have also become much more sophisticated in how they target their efforts. The so-called behavioral efficiency approach was pioneered by Opower, which based

Siemens Moves Into Microgrids, Partners With Utilidata

Microgrids could be a very useful tool for integrating distributed energy resources such as solar PV, backup generators, behind-the-meter batteries and other grid-edge technologies. But to share those capabilities with the grid at large, microgrid-owning customers need some kind of technology platform to connect them with utilities and grid operators — and to allow them to make money while they do it. On Tuesday, Siemens became the latest grid giant to offer its own answer to this challenge, in the form of its Spectrum Power 7 Microgrid Management System. The new platform extends Siemens’ advanced distribution management software (ADMS) for utilities down to the level

2015 SkS Weekly News Roundup #6A

A fresh look at the watery side of Earth’s climate shows ‘unabated planetary warming’ Bjørn Lomborg sings WSJ’s same old climate change song: Don’t worry, be happy Citigroup predicts battery storage will hasten demise of fossil fuels Climate change mitigation’s best-kept secret How China’s filthy air is screwing with our

Republicans have one option to eliminate EPA carbon regulations

The US Environmental Protection Agency is in the process of creating regulations on carbon pollution from power plants, and Republicans in Congress hate the idea. Surprisingly, a majority of Republican voters support these regulations, with Tea Party members being the only exception. Results of a recent Yale/George Mason Universities poll of American political conservatives. Nevertheless, Republicans in Congress badly want to kill those regulations. However, they’re pursuing the avenues with the lowest chances of achieving that goal. It’s important to remember that the EPA carbon pollution regulations are legally mandated. In 2007, the US Supreme Court ruled that if it determined that carbon pollution poses a threat to public health or

Change The World Wednesday (#CTWW) – Books

Welcome to Change The World Wednesday (#CTWW)! Wondering how to live greener? You’ve come to the right place. Each week we challenge ourselves to try a new task … or “amp up” something we’re already doing. We raise our awareness, learn from each other and develop Eco-friendly skills which will improve our lives and protect our planet. Doing so together gives us power … the power to Change The World!If this is your first visit, please click HERE for information and a complete list of all the challenges we’ve taken on so far.

Microgrids Drive Duke’s Coalition for Grid-Edge Interoperability

For the past few years, giant U.S. utility Duke Energy has been asking grid companies to join its “Coalition of the Willing” — a select group of grid vendors working on standardizing the way a whole host of grid-edge technologies can integrate with each other in the field. It’s taken awhile, but it appears that Duke’s pitch to the industry is starting to gain traction. At this week’s DistribuTECH conference

Can Microinverters Stabilize Hawaii’s Shaky Grid?

Hawaii leads the nation in rooftop solar penetration, with nearly one in nine customers, a total of about 51,000, tying their PV systems into the state’s island power grids. About three-fifths of those Hawaiian solar systems use microinverters from Enphase, the company that leads the market for DC-to-AC devices that sit at the solar

Cowtan and Way 2014: Hottest or not?

2014 is over, and all the major temperature record providers have reported their annual temperatures, generating a lot of discussion as to whether the year was the hottest on record. Whether 2014 was hottest or not doesn’t really change our understanding of the science, but the media coverage should make it very clear that it is important for social reasons. In 2014 we also

2015 SkS Weekly Digest #5

SkS Highlights Climate researcher Bart Strengers wins wager with climate sceptic Hans Labohm, a guest post article by Bart Strengers drew the highnest number of comments of the articles posted on SkS during the past week. El Niño Watch ENSO Alert System Status: El Niño Watch ENSO-neutral conditions continue.* Positive equatorial sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies continue across most of the Pacific Ocean. There is an approximately 50-60% chance of El Niño conditions during the next two months, with ENSO-neutral favored thereafter.* *

Think green products are too expensive?

This post will introduce you to the companies listed on our Special Offers Page. I received no compensation for this post … I simply want to introduce you to companies doing their best to operate in an earth-friendly manner.We’ve talked about the power of our purchases and how supporting green companies and products is one of the best ways to tell manufacturers that we want products and