Energy

Faculty of Science researchers collaborate with Canada's energy regulator on data visualization project
May 9, 2017 08:16 AM - University of Calgary

Every Canadian has a stake in helping to shape the country’s energy systems. But how do we make sense of the ever-increasing and complex information about issues such as pipeline safety, environmental impacts and economic benefits?

Polluted air can generate power
May 8, 2017 06:35 AM - KU Leuven

Researchers from the University of Antwerp and KU Leuven have succeeded in developing a process that purifies air and, at the same time, generates power. The device must only be exposed to light in order to function.

Following Recent Surge, Wind Now Generates 5.5 Percent of U.S. Electricity
May 5, 2017 11:46 AM - Yale Environment 360

The U.S. wind energy industry experienced its fastest first-quarter growth since 2009, installing 2,000 new megawatts of capacity — enough to power about 500,000 homes — on its way to producing 5.5 percent of the country’s electricity.

The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) also reported that another 21,000 megawatts of wind energy capacity is now under construction or in advanced development — enough to power an additional 5 million average U.S. homes. The AWEA said that 908 utility-scale wind turbines were erected in the first quarter of 2017, driving a nearly four-fold increase in wind energy growth over the first quarter of 2016. Forty-one U.S. states — most recently Rhode Island and North Carolina — now have utility-scale wind power projects. Texas is by far the wind energy leader in the U.S., with a wind power capacity of 21,000 megawatts.

Following Recent Surge, Wind Now Generates 5.5 Percent of U.S. Electricity
May 5, 2017 11:46 AM - Yale Environment 360

The U.S. wind energy industry experienced its fastest first-quarter growth since 2009, installing 2,000 new megawatts of capacity — enough to power about 500,000 homes — on its way to producing 5.5 percent of the country’s electricity.

The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) also reported that another 21,000 megawatts of wind energy capacity is now under construction or in advanced development — enough to power an additional 5 million average U.S. homes. The AWEA said that 908 utility-scale wind turbines were erected in the first quarter of 2017, driving a nearly four-fold increase in wind energy growth over the first quarter of 2016. Forty-one U.S. states — most recently Rhode Island and North Carolina — now have utility-scale wind power projects. Texas is by far the wind energy leader in the U.S., with a wind power capacity of 21,000 megawatts.

NCAR to develop advanced wind and solar energy forecasting system for Kuwait
May 5, 2017 11:38 AM - University Corporation for Atmospheric Research

Expanding its work in renewable energy, the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) is launching a three-year project to develop specialized forecasts for a major wind and solar energy facility in Kuwait.

"We're putting our expertise and technology to work around the world," said NCAR Senior Scientist Sue Ellen Haupt, the principal investigator on the project. "This landmark project meets our mission of science in service to society."

NCAR to develop advanced wind and solar energy forecasting system for Kuwait
May 5, 2017 11:38 AM - University Corporation for Atmospheric Research

Expanding its work in renewable energy, the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) is launching a three-year project to develop specialized forecasts for a major wind and solar energy facility in Kuwait.

"We're putting our expertise and technology to work around the world," said NCAR Senior Scientist Sue Ellen Haupt, the principal investigator on the project. "This landmark project meets our mission of science in service to society."

Trash into treasure: Sandia could help biofuel pay for itself with goods made from waste
May 5, 2017 11:29 AM - DOE / Sandia National Laboratories

A recent discovery by Sandia National Laboratories researchers may unlock the potential of biofuel waste — and ultimately make biofuels competitive with petroleum.

Fuel made from plants is much more expensive than petroleum, but one way to decrease the cost would be to sell products made from lignin, the plant waste left over from biofuel production.

Lignin typically is either burned to produce electricity or left unused in piles because no one has yet determined how to convert it into useful products, such as renewable plastics, fabrics, nylon and adhesives. The electricity isn’t even available to the general public; it’s only used by companies that create large amounts of lignin, like pulp and paper manufacturers. Now Sandia scientists, working with researchers from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory at the Joint BioEnergy Institute, have decoded the structure and behavior of LigM, an enzyme that breaks down molecules derived from lignin.

Trash into treasure: Sandia could help biofuel pay for itself with goods made from waste
May 5, 2017 11:29 AM - DOE / Sandia National Laboratories

A recent discovery by Sandia National Laboratories researchers may unlock the potential of biofuel waste — and ultimately make biofuels competitive with petroleum.

Fuel made from plants is much more expensive than petroleum, but one way to decrease the cost would be to sell products made from lignin, the plant waste left over from biofuel production.

Lignin typically is either burned to produce electricity or left unused in piles because no one has yet determined how to convert it into useful products, such as renewable plastics, fabrics, nylon and adhesives. The electricity isn’t even available to the general public; it’s only used by companies that create large amounts of lignin, like pulp and paper manufacturers. Now Sandia scientists, working with researchers from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory at the Joint BioEnergy Institute, have decoded the structure and behavior of LigM, an enzyme that breaks down molecules derived from lignin.

Wind Turbines Affect Behavior of Desert Tortoise Predators
May 5, 2017 08:11 AM - USGS

How a wind energy facility is designed can influence the behavior of animal predators and their prey, according to a recent study published in The Journal of Wildlife Management by researchers at the University of California, Davis, and the U.S. Geological Survey.

Scientists placed motion-activated cameras facing the entrances of 46 active desert tortoise burrows in a wind energy facility near Palm Springs, California. Video recordings showed that visits to burrows from five predators -- bobcats, gray foxes, coyotes, black bears and western spotted skunks -- increased closer to dirt roads, and decreased closer to wind turbines.

Time to develop British Columbia wave energy advantage: new report
May 4, 2017 08:41 AM - University of Victoria

British Columbia now has enough detailed information about the height, frequency and direction of its coastal waves to start developing and testing wave energy converters in the ocean, according to a new report released at an energy conference at the University of Victoria today.

Produced by the UVic-led Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions and co-authored by researchers at UVic’s West Coast Wave Initiative (WCWI), Wave Energy: A Primer for British Columbia summarises key research findings about the magnitude of BC’s wave energy potential, explains how wave energy converters work, and examines the opportunities and challenges of the sector.

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