NewEnergyNews: QUICK NEWS, December 30: WIND DEVELOPERS SPRINT TO BEAT PTC DEADLINE; A SOLAR CRYSTAL BALL; WHERE SMART GRID MONEY WILL GO IN 2014

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    Monday, December 30, 2013

    QUICK NEWS, December 30: WIND DEVELOPERS SPRINT TO BEAT PTC DEADLINE; A SOLAR CRYSTAL BALL; WHERE SMART GRID MONEY WILL GO IN 2014

    WIND DEVELOPERS SPRINT TO BEAT PTC DEADLINE Wind Power Developers Race Clock to Secure Subsidy

    Diane Cardwell and Mattew L. Wald, December 25, 2013 (NY Times)

    “As the rest of the world prepares to toast the new year, the wind industry is hard at work on its own year-end tradition…Developers are signing deals, ordering equipment and lurching ahead with construction starts to qualify for a tax credit that is worth 2.3 cents a kilowatt-hour for the first 10 years of production. This month, giant turbine-makers like Vestas andSiemens have announced major new orders, including a deal worth more than $1 billion with MidAmerican Energy, an Iowa-based utility majority-owned by Warren E. Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, and another with the Cape Wind project in Nantucket Sound…In previous years, the projects had to be in commercial operation by New Year’s Eve. This year, they need only have begun…Though the wind industry has grown enormously since the tax credit began in the 1990s, it has followed a boom-and-bust cycle driven by the fate of the subsidy…” click here for more

    A SOLAR CRYSTAL BALL Is this giant crystal ball the future of solar energy? Form, meet function

    John Aziz, December 23, 2013 (The Week)

    “…Currently, the best sunlight conversion rate is around 21.5 percent in commercial products, although scientists have already developed a solar cell with 44.7 percent efficiency, and some projects in the pipeline are aiming for conversion rates as high as 80 percent…Another avenue for improvement: getting more light to hit the solar cells. One new project…is a giant water-filled glass ball developed by German firm Rawlemon. The ball — a powerful lens — concentrates sunlight onto a collector, and operates at about 30 percent efficiency. The ball can swivel to track the sun in order to maximize the level of light hitting it. It collects up to 70 percent more solar energy than swiveling photovoltaic panels, using dual axis tracking…In the end, whether or not this technology is a success may come down to cost and robustness…” click here for more

    WHERE SMART GRID MONEY WILL GO IN 2014 Smart Utilities: 10 Trends to Watch in 2014 and Beyond

    4Q 2013 (Navigant Research)

    “…Navigant Research has selected 10 key issues that will shape smart utilities investment throughout 2014 and beyond…[1] AMI networks supporting distribution automation…[2] Net metering brouhaha escalates and possible solutions emerge…[3] Smart grid IT spending on the rise…[4] Utilities’ business models are shifting…[5] Distributed energy and microgrids begin to affect utilities…[6] Utilities’ secret weapon in energy efficiency: conservation voltage reduction…[7] Hybrid HVDC breakers bring innovation and efficiency…[8] Demand response outside North America will begin to grow…[9] Smart meter market to expand globally…[10] Home energy management market will see a steady uptick…” click here for more

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