NewEnergyNews: QUICK NEWS, Sept. 30: NAT GAS, SOLAR, WIND LEAD 1H 2014 NEW BUILD; COOLER PANELS COULD HEAT UP SOLAR; OFFSHORE WIND, PROMISE AND POLITICS

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  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-Study Concludes 2016 Heat Was Human-Caused
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    THINGS-TO-THINK-ABOUT THURSDAY, December 14:

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  • Research Shows EVs Can Go Much Farther
  • Booming Solar Faces Tricky Future
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  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: How California Is Easing Off NatGas With New Energy
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  • Samantha Bee: Ryan Zinke Is No Teddy Roosevelt
  • Wind Energy Is Magical And Real
  • The Climate Change-Human Health Connection

    Tuesday, September 30, 2014

    QUICK NEWS, Sept. 30: NAT GAS, SOLAR, WIND LEAD 1H 2014 NEW BUILD; COOLER PANELS COULD HEAT UP SOLAR; OFFSHORE WIND, PROMISE AND POLITICS

    NAT GAS, SOLAR, WIND LEAD 1H 2014 NEW BUILD Natural gas, solar, and wind lead power plant capacity additions in first-half 2014

    April Lee, September 9, 2014 (U.S. Energy Information Administration)

    “In the first six months of 2014, 4,350 megawatts (MW) of new utility-scale generating capacity came online, according to preliminary data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration…Natural gas plants, almost all combined-cycle plants, made up more than half of the additions, while solar plants contributed more than a quarter and wind plants around one-sixth…Utility-scale capacity additions in the first half of 2014 were 40% less than…in the same period last year. Natural gas additions were down by about half, while solar additions were up by nearly 70%. Wind additions in the first half of 2014 were more than double the level in the first half of 2013…Florida added the most capacity (1,210 MW), all of it natural gas combined-cycle capacity. California, with the second-largest level of additions, added just under 1,100 MW, of which about 77% was solar and 21% was wind, with the remaining additions from natural gas and other sources. Utah and Texas combined for another 1,000 MW, nearly all of it natural gas combined-cycle capacity with some solar and wind capacity in Texas…” click here for more

    COOLER PANELS COULD HEAT UP SOLAR Solar cells that keep their cool

    Sept. 18, 2014 (CNN)

    “Solar cells can easily reach temperatures as high as 55 degrees Celsius when the sun's rays beat down on them. These racing temperatures not only reduce their efficiency when converting the sun's energy into electricity but also lower their lifespan…Shanhui Fan and his team at Stanford University have developed a layer of silica glass which is specially patterned to deflect unwanted heat radiation when added onto the surface of regular solar cells…Miniscule pyramid and cone-shaped structures are embedded into the glass and redirect any infrared radiation which causes heat, preventing the solar cells from heating up. But visible light rays can still pass through to generate electricity…The team are creating prototypes and experimenting their efficiency with hopes of demonstrating them outdoors soon.” click here for more

    OFFSHORE WIND, PROMISE AND POLITICS Renewable energy: Wind power tests the waters; The United States has plenty of strong winds offshore, but it has struggled to harness them for energy.

    Gene Russo, 24 Sept. 2014 (Nature)

    “…[In the United States], efforts to tap the power of coastal winds have gone nowhere because of environmental concerns, bureaucratic tangles and political opposition. That may soon change. Ecological studies indicate that carefully planned wind farms should not significantly harm birds or marine mammals. And business and politicians are increasingly interested in exploring and investing in offshore wind power…Including harder-to-reach deep-water sites, the offshore territory of the United States has the capacity to generate an estimated 4,200 gigawatts of electricity, enough to supply four times the nation’s current needs…

    “…Cape Wind has already broken new ground by being the first US offshore wind project to complete a major environmental assessment [and is near construction]…For developers, the big question is whether it makes economic sense…[E]xtra effort associated with meeting environmental regulations or preparing for severe storms will increase the cost of construction, at a time when wind farms have to compete with a bounty of cheap natural gas…Experts say that the environmental and technical challenges for offshore wind are surmountable. The biggest barrier at the moment is the tangled fabric of policy rules that slow projects and provide insufficient certainty for developers and investors…” click here for more

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