NewEnergyNews: QUICK NEWS, May 28: LOOKING AHEAD AT U.S. WIND AND SUN; GOOGLE BUYS FLYING WIND; TESLA PAYS BACK DOE LOAN WITH INTEREST

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    Tuesday, May 28, 2013

    QUICK NEWS, May 28: LOOKING AHEAD AT U.S. WIND AND SUN; GOOGLE BUYS FLYING WIND; TESLA PAYS BACK DOE LOAN WITH INTEREST

    LOOKING AHEAD AT U.S. WIND AND SUN Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO); U.S. Electricity and Heat Generation from Renewables

    May 2013 (EIA)

    “… EIA projects renewable energy consumption for power and heat generation to increase by 3.3 percent in 2013. While hydropower declines by 2.2 percent, non-hydropower renewables grow by an average of 7.1 percent in 2013. In 2014, the growth in renewables consumption for power and heat generation is projected to continue at a rate of 4.4 percent, as a 1.8‐percent increase in hydropower is combined with a 6.0‐percent increase in non-hydropower renewables.

    “EIA currently estimates that wind capacity will increase by 7 percent this year to nearly 63,000 megawatts, and reach almost 73,000 megawatts in 2014. However, electricity generation from wind is projected to increase by 19 percent in 2013, as capacity that came on line at the end of 2012 is available for the entire year in 2013. Wind‐powered generation is projected to grow by 8 percent in 2014.”

    “EIA expects continued robust growth in the generation of solar energy, both from central‐station and distributed capacity, although the total amount remains a small share of total U.S. generation. Central‐station capacity, which until recently experienced little growth compared with distributed capacity, is projected to more than double between 2012 and 2014…

    “Photovoltaics (PV) accounted for all central‐station solar growth in 2012, but EIA expects that several large solar thermal generation projects will enter service in 2013 and 2014. However, PV is still expected to account for the majority of central station and distributed capacity additions in 2013 and 2014…”

    GOOGLE BUYS FLYING WIND Google X Acquires Makani Power And Its Airborne Wind Turbines

    Frederic Lardinois, May 22, 2013 (AOL Tech)

    “After previously investing in the company, Google has now acquired Makani Power, a green energy startup that is currently building airborne wind turbines…Google invested $10 million…in 2006 and another $5 million in 2008…[This seems to mark] the first time Google has acquired a company specifically for its Google X skunkworks.

    “…Google CEO Larry Page [reportedly] approved the acquisition…[and said X has] the budget and the people to go do this…lMakani] was founded by Saul Griffith and Don Montague, a former World Cup windsurfer. The price of the acquisition was not disclosed…Google has confirmed this acquisition…[Makani hopes that the acquisition will provide resources to accelerate wind energy becoming cost competitive with fossil fuels. It comes just a week after the company completed the first autonomous flight of its Wing 7 prototype…”

    “Creating clean energy is one of the most pressing issues facing the world, [a Google statement said,]…Makani Power’s technology has opened the door to a radical new approach to wind energy. They’ve turned a technology that today involves hundreds of tons of steel and precious open space into a problem that can be solved with really intelligent software. We’re looking forward to bringing them into Google[X].

    “…The Makani Airborne Wind Turbines, which resemble mini airplanes, are launched when wind speeds reach 3.5 meters per second. Rotors on each blade help propel it into orbit, and double as turbines once airborne. The blades are tethered to the ground with a cord that delivers power to throw them into the sky and receives energy generated by the turbines to be sent to the grid-connected ground station.”

    TESLA PAYS BACK DOE LOAN WITH INTEREST Tesla Motors pays off Department of Energy advanced technology loan

    Jerry Hirsch, May 22, 2013 (LA Times)

    “Upstart electric car maker Tesla Motors…paid off a Department Energy loan that had become a political hot potato…Tesla owed the federal government $451.8 million on a loan that was part of a special program to develop alternative fuel vehicles and renewable energy sources…

    “Tesla has raised about $900 million this month in stock and debt offering deals and is expected to raise another $100 million in the coming days…Its shares have more than doubled in the last year, helped by the automaker’s first-ever quarterly profit earlier this month and its success selling the Model S electric sports sedan…The Energy Department’s loan program, which includes major automakers such as Nissan’s U.S. division, gained notoriety after the 2011 bankruptcy of Solyndra…cost taxpayers more than $400 million…”

    “Last month, Fisker Automotive of Anaheim defaulted on a similar loan, which could cost taxpayers $171 million…[Tesla will also use the money to expand sales abroad, develop its Model X, a sport utility vehicle, and start work on a less expensive vehicle that would extend its customer base and manufacturing volumes]… The [stylish, fast] Model S starts at about $62,000 and can top $100,000, depending on trim level and options…”

    [Ernest Moniz, Secretary, Department of Energy:] “When you’re talking about cutting-edge clean energy technologies, not every investment will succeed…but today’s repayment is the latest indication that the Energy Department’s portfolio of more than 30 loans is delivering big results for the American economy while costing far less than anticipated.”

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