U.S. Solar Market Insight 2014 Hot off the Press

Joanna Schroeder

The latest U.S. Solar Market Insight 2014 Year in Review has been released and solar had another banner year. Newly installed solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity for the year reached a record 6,201 megawatts, more than 30 percent higher than in 2013. An additional 767 MW of concentrating solar power (CSP) also came online during 2014. Solar accounted for 32 percent …

Clean Energy, Electricity, Research, Solar

Researchers Combine Biomass, Solar Conversion

Cindy Zimmerman

University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers have come up with a new approach to combine solar energy conversion and biomass conversion. In a study published this week in Nature Chemistry, University of Wisconsin-Madison chemistry Professor Kyoung-Shin Choi and postdoctoral researcher Hyun Gil Cha discussed their research to split water into hydrogen, a clean fuel, and oxygen using photoelectrochemical solar cells (PECs). They …

biomass, Research, Solar

Tennessee State Biodiesel Trailer Hits the Road

John Davis

Educating the public about biodiesel hits the road starting this week… and not just in the fuel tanks we know. The Tennessee State University Cooperative Extension program’s Mobile Biodiesel Education Demonstration (MBED) trailer is making stops across the Volunteer State this month, starting at the Fayette County Fire Training Room in Somerville tonight at 6. According to Dr. Jason de …

Biodiesel, Research, University

How to Deflate Range Anxiety

Joanna Schroeder

Millions of people could be suffering from “range anxiety” a condition that keeps consumers from purchasing electric vehicles for fear of becoming stranded with an empty battery. A new study published in Human Factors addresses range anxiety and aims to explain what it is, and determine whether putting a consumer in a battery electric vehicle (BEV) to drive would reduce …

Electric Vehicles, Research

Researchers Get Grant to Purify Biodiesel By-Product

John Davis

Canadian biodiesel producers might soon have a purer by-product from their refining operations. The University of Saskatchewan announced it has received a $500,000+ government grant to purify and convert raw glycerol more cost-effectively. With this funding, researchers at the University of Saskatchewan (U of S), led by Canada Research Chair in Bioenergy and Environmentally Friendly Chemical Processing and Professor of …

Biodiesel, Research, University

Cross-Country Chicken Fat Biodiesel Trip Back On

John Davis

A cross-country trip to prove that chicken fat-based biodiesel is a viable fuel is back on after being derailed in November due to a busted drivetrain… but no issue with the fuel. According to this article from The Tennessean, Middle Tennessee State University agribusiness and agriscience professor Cliff Ricketts is heading back on the road on March 8, nearly four …

Biodiesel, Research

New Treatment to Cut Biofuel Costs by 30% or More

John Davis

A new pretreatment could cut the costs of biofuels by 30 percent or more. This news release from the University of California, Riverside says researchers at the school have invented a novel pretreatment technology that could cut those production costs by dramatically reducing the amount of enzymes needed to breakdown the raw materials that form biofuels. As partners in the …

biofuels, Research

Report: Offshore Wind Policy Not Working

Joanna Schroeder

According to a new report fueled by concerns that the Cape Wind project may never see fruition, U.S. offshore wind policy is not working. “In Up in the Air: What the Northeast States Should Do Together on Offshore Wind, Before It’s Too Late,” published by Clean Energy Group (CEG) and Navigant Consulting, tells the story of how the Cape Wind …

Electricity, offshore wind, Renewable Energy, Research

Wind Power Will Help Meet Clean Power Plan

Joanna Schroeder

According to a new report released today by the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), adding more wind power to the U.S. electric grid can help the country meet the goals set out in the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Clean Power Plan. Carbon emissions will be reduced and the lights will stay on, said AWEA, as wind power is already providing …

Clean Energy, Clean Power Plan, Climate Change, Electricity, Research, Wind

Biomass Could Make Western US Carbon Neutral

John Davis

A new study says that using biomass to make electricity could make the Western United States carbon-neutral. This article from the University of California-Berkley says researchers there have shown that if biomass electricity production is combined with carbon capture and sequestration, power generators could actually store more carbon than they emit. By capturing carbon from burning biomass – termed bioenergy …

biomass, Research