The intermittent nature of renewable energy sources is a huge burden on the power grid, making flexible and economical energy storage an essential step to a greener future. Researchers at Oregon State University (OSU) and the University of Florida have now devised a way to conveniently store and release energy harvested through concentrated solar power (CSP) plants, improving on the cost and energy density of previous systems and preparing this technology for the smart grid.While standard solar panels convert sunlight directly into electricity, concentrated solar power plants focus an array of mirrors onto a solar receiver and use the resulting heat to drive an electricity-generating steam turbine. These systems tend to be low-cost, safe, long lasting and highly efficient, but they must be coupled to powerful and flexible energy storage to work at full effect.
The smart grid: It’s the power-system modernization effort that U.S. utilities are building to meet the country’s growing demands for electricity. But it’s not confined to power plants and substations–if you have a smart meter, a key piece of smart grid technology already is attached to your house.That means that Americans’ willingness to accept those meters, and use the features they provide, serves an important role in developing a more reliable, secure electrical grid.
Demand response (DR) is becoming a growing part of the resource base that electric system operators rely on to maintain reliability on the grid. Market liberalization, economic pressures, and environmental regulations are all moving toward a path of fewer traditional central power plants and more distributed energy resources (DER) to address future energy needs. Advanced technologies can help speed this transition and make it more reliable along the way. For example, automated demand response (ADR) systems
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan (CPP) Final Rule, issued earlier this week, sets goals and mandates for the nation’s power plants to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions that create pollution. But many of the nation’s largest electric utilities have already made significant reductions in the last couple years, according to a report produced, in part, by Ceres — the most comprehensive analysis to date on U.S. power plant air pollution emissions, which examined carbon dioxide (CO2), nitrogen oxides (NOx), sulfur dioxide (SO2), and mercury emissions from the nation’s 100 largest electric power producers.
Air pollution is a challenge everywhere and while, in the United States, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is targeting power plants with its Clean Power Plan, other countries like China are capitalizing on the growing popularity of electric buses.
Demand response (DR) is becoming a growing part of the resource base utilities depend on to maintain reliability on the grid. Driven by market liberalization, economic pressures, and environmental regulations, utilities are moving toward a path of fewer traditional central power plants and more distributed energy resources (DER) to address future needs.
If you’re responsible for an industrial component that millions of people depend on, the last thing you want is a middle-of-the-night alert that the part has failed. The Internet of Things could be your ticket to sweet dreams.
IBM and National Instruments have built a testbed to find out how sensors in industrial gear, and analytics software in the cloud, can prevent failures in places like power plants. It’s part of a broader effort by the Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC) to bring together various technologies in industrial IoT so companies can feel confident in adopting it.
Know how the U.S. power grid works? Anyone who remembers the 2003 blackout, when 50 million people lost power from Michigan to New York, might vaguely recall that it’s made up of three interconnections: eastern, western, and Texas. They don’t communicate perfectly with each other, and high-voltage power lines within each zone carry electricity from power plants to distribution stations and then on to homes and businesses. The amount of power being used by all the electrical devices inside these buildings has to equal what’s being generated, or blackouts can happen.
Google Inc. is making its largest bet yet on renewable energy, a $300 million investment to support at least 25,000 SolarCity Corp. rooftop power plants.
Google is contributing to a SolarCity fund valued at $750 million, the largest ever created for residential solar, the San Mateo, California-based solar panel installer said Thursday in a statement.
The New Year is a time for reflection, beginning with a look back on the previous 12 months and all that they brought. A quick scan of the U.S. climate and energy news in 2014 will tell you it was a very big year.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed the first-ever limits on carbon pollution from power plants, the U.S. and China struck a historic climate deal, and Tesla broke ground in Nevada on the largest advanced automotive-battery factory in the world – a move that’s expected to slash the cost of lithium ion batteries by a third. At the same time that these important national and international advancements were grabbing headlines, Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) and our partners were working together to incrementally transform the U.S. electricity system by rewriting outdated regulations, spurring energy services markets, and modernizing our century-old electric grid.