Hyundai Ioniq 5 “Living Space,” 1st Zero-Emission Tanker, Warren Buffet Big On Oil — CleanTechnica Top 20

The most popular stories on CleanTechnica in the past week or so, surprisingly, were led by a Hyundai story! The Ioniq 5 “Living Space” caught a lot of attention. The second most popular story was an even bigger surprise — a zero-emissions tanker. Wand then there was Warren Buffett … investing $ 4.1 billion in Chevron. […]


Offshore Wind Farms Provide Seals With A Buffet

Originally published in the ECOreport.

Seal – Courtesy Marieke IJsendoorn-Kuijpers, CC by SA, 2.0

Seal by Marieke IJsendoorn-Kuijpers (CC BY-SA 2.0 license)

Offshore wind farms provide seals with a Buffet. The turbines are essentially an artificial reef. They became home to marine invertebrates, fish, crabs, lobsters, fouling animals, and plants. They have also caught the attention of at least 11 seals to forage around two facilities: Alpha Ventus in Germany and Sheringham Shoal off the southeast coast of Norfolk in the UK. It is not yet known whether this is a good thing.

There have been concerns about the possible damages that the turbines may cause the seals’ hearing.

Some have also questioned the wisdom of attracting too  many creatures into a relatively small area.

 Havvindparken Sheringham Shoal – Courtesy Harald Pettersen/Statoil, CC by SA, 2.0

Havvindparken Sheringham Shoal by Harald Pettersen/Statoil (CC BY-SA 2.0 license)

A study from the University of St. Andrews found that some of the seals being studied prefer staying close to turbines.

Dan Wilhelmsson of the Department of Zoology, Stockholm University, suggested wind turbines could be beneficial overall.

He said in a press release: “With wind and wave energy farms, it should be possible to create large areas with biologically productive reef structures, which would moreover be protected from bottom trawling. By carefully designing the foundations it would be possible to favour and protect important species or, conversely, to reduce the reef effects in order minimize the impact on an area.”

Offshore Wind Farms Provide Seals With A Buffet was originally published on CleanTechnica. To read more from CleanTechnica, join over 50,000 other subscribers: Google+ | Email | Facebook | RSS | Twitter.


Cleantech Buffet (China Sunergy Sets Solar PV Efficiency Record, First Solar Buys 250 MW Solar Farm…)

Here’s some more cleantech news for the cleantech-obsessed:



Record Conversion Efficiency For China Sunergy Solar Cells

China Sunergy has reportedly set a record for monocrystalline solar cell efficiency. The new record, 20.26%, has been verified by the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems (Fraunhofer ISE).

First Solar Buys 250 MW Moapa Solar Project

First Solar continues to expand as the largest solar company in the world. First Solar today announced that it has bought the 250 MW Moapa Solar Project from K Road Power Holdings LLC.

Utility-Scale PV in Latin America

Two large solar plants are going up in Chile and the Dominican Republic. The one in Chile’s Atacama Desert will be the largest PV plant in Latin America.

Poland: Proposed Regulations Look Bad for PV

New draft regulations for renewable energy development in Poland, released last week, indicate that PV may have an uphill battle to gain renewable energy market share in the country. The proposed feed-in tariff (FIT) for micro-installations and installations up to 40 kW may still be worthwhile.

Aussie Bank Macquarie Invests in UK Free Solar Scheme

Deal with Freetricity and Styles&Wood Energy will see 1,500 homes a month fitted with solar systems for ‘the foreseeable future’.

Royalton Solar PV, Efficiency Measures Reduce City Hall Electric Bill by 39 Percent

Several years ago the City of Royalton embarked on a mission to increase energy efficiency through clean energy initiatives that save money. Royalton is now cheering its solar energy project as a success on many levels.


Will Portland Lose its Status as America’s Bike Commuting Champion?

While bike commuting is gaining nationwide, it’s actually dropping in Portland which has held the enviable title of tops in bike commuting for large cities since 2005. Minneapolis and Seattle, #2 and #3 respectively, are gaining, warns BikePortland.

Copenhagenizing Moscow

A new report by Danish firm Gehl Architects presents recommendations for transforming car-cluttered Moscow. A compact city center along with a strong desire for change are potential building blocks for a human-friendly and sustainable city.


In Five Short Years, High-Speed Rail Revolutionizes Chinese Transport

Five years after it opened, it looks like China’s bet on high-speed rail is paying off. The system has increased mobility and worker productivity and stimulated development in areas near stations. The country will continue to expand the system.

Can Chicago Ride Its Rails to Economic Growth?

Chicago’s position as a central hub for manufacturing and shipping helped establish the city as the economic powerhouse of the Midwest. A new report recommends the city update that infrastructure to grow the region’s economy.


Why Don’t Mortgage Lenders Account for Transportation Costs?

Every house or apartment comes with an embedded cost: transportation. Depending on the location and local infrastructure, those costs can be very small or very large.

There’s a good deal of evidence that transportation expenses can have a direct impact on mortgage loan defaults. Shane Phillips at Network blog Better Institutions says banks should consider these costs when assessing risk and assigning a mortgage rate.

EcoFactor and iControl Team Up for Home Automation Domination

EcoFactor is joining iControl’s device-agnostic OpenHome Partner Program, which will bring cloud-based HVAC control and data analytics to iControl’s suite of services.

The partnership is new, but the relationship is not. EcoFactor and iControl are already teamed up through Comcast’s Xfinity home platform. Comcast’s venture arm is an investor in iControl and uses its platform to run the Xfinity offering, which includes EcoFactor’s service branded as EcoSaver.

Scotland Sets Energy Efficient Buildings Standards

New homes required to have emissions 21 per cent down on current levels, while non-domestic buildings expected to meet 43 per cent improvement.

Tokyo Electric Gets OK to Seek Restart of World’s Largest Nuclear Plant

Tokyo Electric Power Co took an initial step forward on Thursday in its plan to recover from the Fukushima nuclear disaster by winning approval from a previously reluctant local governor to apply to restart a plant in western Japan.

Dale Vince: We Need to Repatriate Energy Bills

Ecotricity founder Dale Vince today called for Ed Miliband to go further than thoughts of a price freeze and consider either renationalising the energy industry, or introducing proper regulation.

Nest: Calling All Developer

What if Auto-Away could turn off your lights? What if your dryer knew not to run when energy prices were high? What if your robot vacuum knew when you were gone and cleaned up before you got home?

Starting today, we’re looking for partners to bring this vision to life.

MyFord Mobile Data Show Ford Plug-Ins Use Enough Electric-Only Miles to Circle World Eight Times — Every Day

Ford plug-in hybrid vehicles rack up enough electric-only miles every day to drive around the earth nearly eight times – a number rapidly increasing as Ford continues investing in infrastructure while exclusive features like MyFord® Mobile help improve driving habits.

Corporate Investors and the Shift in Cleantech VC

Corporations are aggressively moving into greentech to deploy VC-backed innovation.

Hamburg Citizens Vote to Take Back Grid

On the weekend, the citizens of Hamburg not only took part in the national parliamentarian elections, but also voted on whether the city should buy back its grid from Danish power conglomerate Dong Energy. It was close, but the takeover bid succeeded. Nonetheless, citizens don’t have their grid back yet. The SPD’s position shows that the Social Democrats do not always support energy democracy.


And, as always, don’t miss our stories.


Cleantech Buffet (China Sunergy Sets Solar PV Efficiency Record, First Solar Buys 250 MW Solar Farm…) was originally published on: CleanTechnica. To read more from CleanTechnica, join over 30,000 other subscribers: RSS | Facebook | Twitter.


Cleantech Buffet (Solar Securitization, Dutch Energy Transition, Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Production…)

Some cleantech eatin’s for you cleantech lovers (click on the categories for our stories on these subjects):

Solar Power

Two Strategic Lessons from Distributed PV

Today, French energy takes a look at the distribution of PV arrays in Germany by system size based on the latest data up to July 2013. And you will want to enjoy the chart to the left in its full glory.

The Encyclopedia of Solar Securitization, Part 1

Richard Mull of KPMG Group explains the who, what, why and how of solar securitization.

Clean Energy (as a Whole)

The Dutch Energy Transition

At the end of August, the Dutch government announced slightly different targets for renewables, and some interesting details are in the works. Nonetheless, the country still is not on course to meet its target for 2050. For that matter, neither is Germany, as Craig Morris points out.

German Politicians for Energy Democracy Across Party Lines

Today, a representative of each of Germany’s main political parties met in Berlin to reiterate their support not only for the energy transition, but for community ownership. But the battle is not over, as the German capital’s fight to buy back its grid shows.

Merkel Coalition Runs Wild with Industry Exceptions

Over the past few years, the number of firms exempt from the grid charge and the renewables surcharge has skyrocketed, often for no apparent reason. The result is that fewer and fewer power customers have to shoulder the cost, and this price is then reported as the cost of power in Germany — not the price of those who are exempt.

// //

// ]]>

Clean Transport


Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV via Mitsubishi

Mitsubishi Aims To Produce 2,000 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEVs Per Month

Mitsubishi ran into some battery problems earlier this year that led to it halting production of the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV. The non-production period lasted 5 months. However, Mitsubishi seems to now have things in order and has announced that it plans to produce 2,000 Outlander PHEVs a month to start with but ramp that up to 4,000 a month by May in order to catch up on its 18,000 vehicle backlog.

The Truth About Transit

Since it has struggled with aggressive transit foes over half-cent sales taxes and light rail, Charlotte, North Carolina’s transit system is launching a campaign to dispel myths about transit with crisp, clear infographics.

Nissan Building Cars More Greenly, Not Just Greener Cars

With its sprint into the 100%-electric-car arena, Nissan is a clear leader in the production of greener cars. While the greenness of a car’s operation is certainly the biggest environmental innovation worthy of praise, Nissan also deserves some praise for how it is greening its manufacturing process. Rather than spend a lot of time writing about it myself, though, I’ll just let Nissan praise itself (or, more accurately, I’ll share Nissan praising itself) by sharing the following Nissan press release about the above matters.

Top 10 Design Elements in Copenhagen’s Bicycle Culture – Episode 08, Cargo Bikes

Episode 08 is here. Ûber intern Ivan Conte and the Copenhagenize Design Co. team explore another integral aspect of Copenhagen’s bicycle-friendliness — the use of cargo bikes.

Fiat To Sell 491 Of Its 500e In 2013

The Fiat 500e is probably the surprise offering of the year.

Especially so since it was given little fanfare by the company  when it was announced – if anything electric vehicles (or rather the business of electric vehicles) have been mostly disparaged by the CEO Sergio Marchionne.

In the same breath as the 500e was announced, the CEO felt it was also good time to say the company “will lose money on every car we make.”


Fukushima Radiation Leaks Reach Deadly New High

Exposure to emissions would be fatal within hours, say Japanese authorities, as race to build frozen wall begins.

Japan in Touch with US, Others on Fukushima Water Crisis

Japan is in touch with experts in the United States and elsewhere on ways to control the spread of irradiated water at the wrecked Fukushima nuclear plant, trade and economics minister Toshimitsu Motegi told Reuters.

Cleantech Buffet (Solar Securitization, Dutch Energy Transition, Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Production…) was originally published on: CleanTechnica. To read more from CleanTechnica, join over 30,000 other subscribers: RSS | Facebook | Twitter.


Cleantech Buffet (… Most Attractive States For Solar, 4 Lessons From Solar Crowdfunding …)

Here’s a fresh cleantech buffet for you. Enjoy! (Links to our own stories on the subheadings.)


Most Attractive States For Investing In Solar

There are a lot of ways to evaluate the attractiveness of a place for renewable energy or solar energy investment, and to evaluate the best solar states. Of course, it depends on what factors and assumptions you take into account, as well as what segment of the market you are actually evaluating.

One of the leading evaluators of such markets is Ernst & Young (EY). The “professional services firm” recently released its most up-to-date renewable energy attractiveness indices for the US, including a solar energy index. The report includes solar market data for 2012 as well as a well-researched ranking of states by their solar energy investment attractiveness. The overall summary is clear, as we have been writing for months here on the US solar market is booming.

Huge Solar Power Plant Completed In California

A humungous solar power plant was completed and hooked up to the grid last week in Southern California. The Catalina Solar Photovoltaic Generating Facility, constructed by Bechtel for EDF Renewable Energy, has 110 megawatts (MW) of power capacity. In other words, at maximum output, the power plant could produce 110,000,000 watts of electricity. That’s enough to power 1,100,000 100-watt incandescent light bulbs (of course, it would power a lot more CFLs or LEDs producing the same amount of light).

4 Lessons Learned From Solar Crowdfunding

We have two broken systems — energy and finance — that conspire to support a centralized, coal-based grid that exacerbates climate change and fails to serve the poor in developing countries.

That means 1.3 billion people around the world won’t escape the dark (while simultaneously frying the climate) — unless we disrupt these systems and deploy distributed clean energy.

Three months ago, the Sierra Club worked on a pilot project with SunFunder to promote a potentially disruptive solution: solar crowdfunding for the world’s poor. We have a few preliminary lessons we’d like to share about taking it to scale.

Solar Speaks: The Solar Industry’s Own E-Bay? It’s On It’s Way Sept. 9

Welcome to another edition of Solar Speaks, Solar Power World’s podcast series that gives you the opportunity to hear from the industry’s biggest newsmakers — in their own words.

In this podcast, we talked to Gary Mull. Many of you will remember Gary from his time at Westinghouse Solar and wondered where he had gone. Well, Gary’s been working on a new project called Solar Exchange that will officially launch on Sept. 9, and he’s here to today to talk about it.

Willshire Homes & SolarCity Team Up To Offer Solar On New Homes At Woodside Village

Wilshire Homes is expanding its green building practices by partnering with SolarCity (Nasdaq: SCTY), a leading provider of clean energy, to offer solar panels for its range of LEED-certified homes in downtown Boerne’s Woodside Village, giving homebuyers an easy way to make the switch to clean, renewable energy for their homes and help them save money on their electric bills.

A Tale of Two Solar Cities: In California, two communities vie for claim to ‘Solar Capital of the U.S.’

The fight for the title “Solar Capital of the U.S.” is on, and for two towns in California, things are heating up faster than a solar panel during summer peak! Earlier this year Lancaster, on the edge of the Mojave Desert north of Los Angeles, became the first city in the U.S. to mandate solar on new buildings. Months later and 400 miles away, Sebastopol—not far from Napa and Sonoma—followed suit. On the surface they couldn’t be more different … one a conservative, blue-collar city; the other a pocket of liberal, small-town wine country charm. Yet the sun unites them.

Nano-Power System Timers Slash Power Consumption Up To 80%

Texas Instruments has introduced two programmable system timers that significantly reduce system standby power consumption. The TPL5000 with watchdog timer and TPL5100 with MOS driver draw only 30 nA of current, a reduction of 90% compared to competitive solutions. The quiescent current of 30 nA enables longer application run time, which assists in maximizing the energy from solar harvesters. This allows the system designer to use a smaller harvester.

Solar + Wind

Renewables Top 14% of US Electrical Generation During First Half of 2013

According to the latest issue of the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) “Electric Power Monthly,” with preliminary data through to June 30, 2013, renewable energy sources (i.e., biomass, geothermal, hydropower, solar, wind) provided 14.20% of the nation’s net electric power generation during the first half of the year. For the same period in 2012, renewables accounted for 13.57% of net electrical generation.

German Electricity Getting Cheaper on Exchange

In mid-August, Germany had its first normal workday on which peak power prices were below base prices, and futures prices are also down. Craig Morris provides an overview and warns proponents of renewables not to rejoice too soon at the demise of conventional power.


Bicycle Culture Micro-designs To Love

The next episode in the series by Copenhagenize Design Co. überintern Ivan Conte is Micro Design, a natural follow-up to the previous episode on Macro Design.

// //

// ]]>

Bike Lanes Boost Local Businesses

A study of Seattle’s bike lanes and small businesses shows that bike lanes strengthen local business sales.

The Rapha City Cycling Europe Guide (a sneak preview)

Slated for release at the tail-end of October and now available for pre-order on Amazon, The Rapha City Cycling Europe guide is shaping up to be a delectable treat for bike minded weekend-breakers.

Initially sold together as an eight volume box set, each guide features “cycle-friendly neighbourhoods, itineraries, cycle maps and places to visit where cyclists are always welcome”.

Aimed primarily at those on “casual” city breaks (does anyone like to make “serious” holiday visits?), there will also be information for the more hardcore racing enthusiast.

Research Helps Make The Case For Cycling

Looking to make the case for bicycling in your community?

Check out Rutgers University Prof. John Pucher’s recent presentation, “How to Increase Cycling for Daily Travel: Lessons from Cities Around the Globe.” [PDF] Pucher initially presented the information to the Institute for Transportation Engineers and Active Living Research, but the data and statistics are free to share and use to make the case for biking.

The presentation includes images from a wide range of bike facilities from around North American and the world, in addition to valuable statistics on protected bike lanes.


Uwe Dreher, Head of Brand Management, BMWi (VIDEO)

We spoke with Uwe Dreher about BMWi which launched in 2011 and focuses on the topic of future mobility, especially in urban centers. Are ten years of being deployed in megacities, BMW saw the change in consumer behavior. Consumers are demanding sustainable cars and a more relaxed driving experience.

BMW believes that sustainability is the basis of all future business. They believe in long term thinking and the need to invest in the future. Fossil fuels have two problems: they emit CO2; and they are running out.

BMW targets early adopters who fall into two categories. The first are tech lovers who are extrinsically motivated and want to one up the neighbors. The second understand the circle of life, they are intrinsically motivated, who want to drive an electric car because its sustainable. These are the two groups that BMW target before the trend filters through to the mainstream.

Energy Efficiency

Passive Houses Gaining Popularity In The U.S.

For my entire life, I never owned a working air conditioner, and I used a standing fan to keep myself cool the whole time (it consumed only 50 watts), and Jamaica is pretty hot. Electricity prices are extremely high here (the U.S. equivalent of $ 0.39 $ 0.45/kWh), and that makes continuous air conditioner operation too cost prohibitive. In America, where air conditioner usage is extensive and popular, passive housing is finally gaining ground.

The Business Case For LEDs

It is fascinating to think about how many different types of businesses there are out there. Out of all of the goals these businesses have, there are two that virtually all of them share, to make and save money.

Even though this is a truth about business, it often has a negative connotation to the general public.  The general public often visualizes layoffs, outsourcing, and shady accounting when these business principals come up in discussion. However as you know there are plenty of methods to save your precious business capital that you can and should be proud of.


About Time: Government Taking Over at Fukushima

I haven’t written for some time about the Fukushima site. In my opinion both TEPCO and the Japanese government are unable to adequately deal with the crisis. They should ask for more international help, especially from the veterans of the Chernobyl cleanup effort.

Is Fukushima the New Normal for Nuclear Reactors?

Last week’s new crisis at the Fukushima nuclear power plant in Japan saw radioactive water leak again from the crippled facility, raising fears that groundwater flowing into the Pacific Ocean could be contaminated. The Japanese government also raised the international incident level – the scale used to assess nuclear accidents – from one to three out of seven. The original nuclear meltdown following the 2011 Japanese earthquake was scaled seven.

Even if Fukushima was ultimately caused by the 2011 earthquake and ensuing tsunami, accidents such as this beg the question: can nuclear energy ever be truly safe?

There are three reasons to think that nuclear accidents are common, and could increase – and it’s not because of the technology. Let’s have a look at the evidence.

Japan May Dip Into Budget Reserves To Fight Fukushima Toxic Water

Japan may use emergency reserve funds from this year’s budget to help Tokyo Electric Power Co, the operator of the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant, deal with escalating radioactive water problems at the site.

EU Considers Allowing “State Aid” For Nuclear

An internal draft of guidelines being discussed for energy aid within the European Commission has been provided to Renewables International. It shows that Brussels is considering including nuclear as a legitimate recipient of state aid because of the Euratom Treaty.


Wanted: $ 1 Trillion a Year to Decarbonise by 2020

The world will need to come up with more than $ US1 trillion a year to fund the decarbonisation of the global energy system by 2020, according to a new report by HSBC.

The report – Counting the Climate Cash, released on Tuesday – warns that the flow of finance to climate solutions needs to be scaled up significantly if the world is to decarbonise and have any hope of meeting globally accepted climate goals.

A List of America’s Fastest-Growing Clean Energy Companies

The editors at Inc. magazine have released their rankings of the 5,000 fastest-growing companies in America. The list offers an interesting snapshot of where growth is taking place in the energy sector.

The boom in America’s unconventional oil and gas development is clearly evident on the list. Out of the 110 energy companies mentioned, there were dozens of firms providing drilling services, pipeline construction services, and consulting on fossil energy development. With the U.S. now producing more liquid fuels than Saudi Arabia, the growth of those companies isn’t surprising.

DOE Head Ernest Moniz Delivers First Major Policy Address

Dr. Ernest J. Moniz just delivered his first big policy address since being sworn in as the 13th U.S. Secretary of Energy in May. He spoke at Columbia University’s Center on Global Energy Policy in New York City this afternoon.

Secretary Moniz set the Obama administration’s Climate Action Plan as the backbone of his speech and set the stage for his tenure at the DOE.

Cleantech Buffet (… Most Attractive States For Solar, 4 Lessons From Solar Crowdfunding …) was originally published on: CleanTechnica. To read more from CleanTechnica, join over 30,000 others and subscribe to our RSS feed, follow us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, or visit our homepage .