Renewable Energies

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:: New technology doubles efficiency of black silicon solar cells

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute have succeeded in using their femtosecond laser pulse technology to double the efficiency of black silicon solar cells. Black silicon solar cells make it possible to harness the infrared spectrum in sunlight for power generation. The infrared part makes up around one third of the spectrum and cannot be harnessed by conventional types of solar cell.

:: European Solar PV Market Sees Modest Pick Up in Year-End Demand; Industry Braces for Bleak 2012

A projected Q/Q rise of 22% in the Q4’11 European photovoltaic market is providing a welcome temporary boost for downstream solar companies. However, this growth rate still leaves significant corporate challenges in the management of the tumultuous slowdown this year in the world’s largest regional photovoltaic market. The downstream challenge in 2012 will be effective management of a new pricing environment, against a backdrop of declining incentives and still-to-be-realized grid parity economics.

:: Wind Energy International 2011/2012 - Germany

The German electricity sector was liberalised in 1998 with a new energy law (Energiewirtschaftsgesetz, EnWG). The German regulation authority for the energy market is the so called Bundesnetzagentur. lt is supposed to guarantee competition in the electricity and gas supply markets. Since the late nineties, a number of additional regulations have come into force to stimulate competition. The electricity market is divided into the areas of production, transmission and distribution.

:: Wind Energy International 2011/2012

General Situation: Stable overall Market Size, but Decrease in Market Size in major Countries. In the year 2010, the wind capacity reached worldwide 196 630 Megawatt, alter 159 050 MW in 2009, 120 903 MW in 2008, and 93 930 MW in 2007. Investment in new wind turbines saw a decline in many parts of the world. For the first time in more than two decades, the market for new wind turbines was smaller than in the previous year and reached an overall size of 37 642 MW, alter 38 312 MW in 2009. China accounted for more than half of the world wind market 2010. Without taking into account China, the world market shrank by one third and decreased from 24 512 MW to 18 714 MW.

:: California to Continue to Lead Nation in Solar Power Installations

Blessed with abundant sunshine and a supportive political structure, California is positioned to add 7.5 gigawatts (GW) of installed power from photovoltaic (PV) sources during the period of 2010 to 2015, further ensuring that the state remains America’s leading light in solar energy, according to new insights from the IHS iSuppli Photovoltaic Service from information and analysis provider IHS (NYSE: IHS).

:: Renewables 100 Team Participates in Governor’s Renewable Energy Conference

Founder Angelina Galiteva says: “There is no good excuse why a state as rich in natural resources, capital, and innovative talent should not resume its position as a global renewable energy leader. The Renewables 100 Policy Institute team not only applauds Governor Brown for his bold plans, but will remain in the trenches to help do the hard work.”

:: Nuclear Expensive and Uninsurable Say Studies

New Nuclear Costs as Much as German Solar Today--Up to $0.34/kWh in. 2018Nuclear Insurance Costs More than Electricity Says German Report The world's beleaguered nuclear industry continues to take a battering. The "nuclear renaissance" juggernaut that once seemed unstoppable now appears dead in its tracks. By Paul Gipe

:: Towards a More Efficient Use of Solar Energy

The exploitation and utilization of new energy sources are considered to be among today’s major challenges. Solar energy plays a central role, and its direct conversion into chemical energy, for example hydrogen generation by water splitting, is one of its interesting variants. Titanium oxide-based photocatalysis is the presently most efficient, yet little understood conversion process.

:: Direct steam generation and storage – better performance and flexibility for solar thermal power plants

On March 2011 the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) and Spanish utility company Endesa inaugurated a direct solar steam generation and energy storage pilot plant at Carboneras, located in southern Spain. In this type of solar power plant, steam is produced directly from concentrated solar radiation and used to drive a generator. The highlight of this facility is a new system that efficiently stores energy, both as sensible heat (where energy is accumulated as the temperature of the storage medium increases) and latent heat (where energy is accumulated as the storage medium changes phase from solid to liquid). The stored energy can be used to generate electricity even at night.

:: Underground pumped storage plants: Green power from the mines

Solar and wind energy have many ecological advantages, but also a big problem: if the wind doesn't blow or the sun doesn't shine, they produce no electricity. Then conventional power plants have to step in. An interdisciplinary team from the University of Duisburg-Essen and the Ruhr-University Bochum, both inGermany, is researching new methods to save the green power to bidge such times. Dr. Ulrich Schreiber (Geology), Dr. Eugene Perau (Geotechnical Engineering), Dr. André Niemann (Water Engineering) and Professor Dr. Hermann-Josef Wagner (Energy Systems) are developing a proven technology to store energy: the pumped storage plant.

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