NewEnergyNews: QUICK NEWS, Oct. 15: NEW NUMERS SHOW BIG OCEAN WIND POWER; SOLAR TURNS IN A NEW DIRECTION; FUEL CELL MARKETS TO VARY, GROW

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  • Wednesday, October 15, 2014

    QUICK NEWS, Oct. 15: NEW NUMERS SHOW BIG OCEAN WIND POWER; SOLAR TURNS IN A NEW DIRECTION; FUEL CELL MARKETS TO VARY, GROW

    NEW NUMBERS SHOW BIG OCEAN WIND POWER Offshore Wind Power Can Save U.S. Billions On Electricity, Recent DOE Study Finds

    Kit Kennedy, Oct. 11, 2014 (Energy Collective)

    “…[I]nstalling 54 gigawatts of offshore wind power off America’s coasts can cut the cost of electricity in the U.S. by an astounding $7.68 billion a year…[according to the U.S. Department of Energy’s] National Offshore Wind Energy Grid Interconnection Study…[T]hat potential is simply waiting to be realized, with about a dozen U.S. projects in some stage of development. The right state and federal policies can help move these projects off of their drawing boards and into the water, the study authors say...

    “There’s more than 134 gigawatts of potential at 209 sites [within 50 miles of U.S. coastlines on the Atlantic and Pacific coasts and along the Gulf of Mexico and the Great Lakes], the NOWEGIS authors conclude…[But the authors excluded] important habitats and marine sanctuaries… to ensure that one environmental good—pollution-free wind power—doesn’t come at the expense of another—important ocean wildlife and habitat protections…[T]he technology is evolving fast [in Europe and Asia], meaning its becoming more powerful and less expensive simultaneously…Offshore wind power can be an especially important resource for densely populated coastal areas, like the Northeast, the Mid-Atlantic, and northern California, where energy prices [and peak demand spikes] are high and land available for generation and transmission is generally limited…” click here for more

    SOLAR TURNS IN A NEW DIRECTION How Grid Efficiency Went South

    Matthew L. Wald, Oct. 7, 2014 (NY Times)

    “Almost every rooftop solar panel in the United States faces south, the direction that will catch the maximum energy when the sun rises in the southeast and sets in the southwest. This was probably a mistake…The panels are pointed that way because under the rules that govern the electric grid, panel owners are paid by the amount of energy they make. But they are not making the most energy at the hours when it is most needed…[T]he rules add cost and reduce environmental effectiveness, critics say, because they are out of step with what the power grid actually needs from intermittent renewables like wind and sun, and from zero-carbon nuclear power…[S]olar and wind will produce a lot of energy, but the power they make often does not match the system’s demand, so the contribution to its power needs may be much smaller…

    “[Coal, natural gas and especially nuclear plants] earn their keep by selling energy around the clock. Put enough wind and solar units on the grid during the hours when they are running and they flood the market and push down the hourly auction price of a megawatt-hour of energy…The problem is especially acute for nuclear reactors because their costs for fuel are roughly the same whether they are running or not…[S]ome have already closed and more are threatened…Even relatively clean natural gas plants are hurt; they are generally on the margin, the first to shut when new solar comes on line…” click here for more

    FUEL CELL MARKETS TO VARY, GROW Fuel Cells Annual Report 2014; Stationary, Portable, and Transportation Fuel Cell Sectors: 2013 and 2014 Global Market Developments

    4Q 2014 (Navigant Research)

    “During 2013 and 2014, [driven by a shift toward distributed generation (DG)] the fuel cell market continued to see the greatest demand from stationary applications, including utility-scale fuel cells, fuel cells for industrial and commercial buildings, and fuel cells for residential power. These markets are still very location-specific. Japan is focusing primarily on residential units, while North America and South Korea have adopted the larger fuel cell systems. Backup power is a market mainly in North America, but also in emerging economies – especially in Southeast Asia…As a result, Navigant Research expects the stationary sector to have the strongest global potential within the fuel cell market in terms of fuel cell systems shipped. The transportation sector has the potential to lead in terms of fuel cell capacity shipped, as fuel cell vehicles (FCVs) are expected to take off in the 2020 timeframe…” click here for more

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