CROATIAN CENTER of RENEWABLE ENERGY SOURCES (CCRES)
News and Events January 30, 2013
The Energy Department on January 25 announced a new $12 million funding opportunity to develop innovative, ultra-efficient solar devices that will help close the gap with the theoretical efficiency limit. That limit is defined as the highest potential percentage of sunlight that can be converted directly into electricity. Currently, a sizable gap still exists between the efficiency of laboratory and commercial-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) cells and the predicted maximum efficiencies of different solar cell materials. Accelerating breakthroughs in solar cell conversion efficiency will help continue to lower the overall cost of solar power.
The new initiative—the Foundational Program to Advance Cell Efficiency II (FPACE II)—aims to accelerate record-breaking conversion efficiencies that will close the gap with this theoretical limit for a variety of PV cells, including silicon-based technologies and thin-film materials such as cadmium telluride and copper indium gallium diselenide. The new funding opportunity builds on the SunShot Initiative's FPACE I projects, awarded in September 2011, which are aimed at eliminating the gap between the efficiencies of best prototype cells achieved in the laboratory and the efficiencies of typical cells produced on manufacturing lines.
In the current solicitation, FPACE II seeks proposals from collaborative teams of researchers from national laboratories, universities, and industry that can develop materials model systems and fabricate prototype devices that achieve efficiencies near the theoretical limit. See the Energy Department Progress Alert and the Funding Opportunity Announcement.
The U.S. biodiesel industry broke the billion-gallon mark in 2012 for the second consecutive year, according to year-end production figures from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The National Biodiesel Board (NBB) noted that the total volume of nearly 1.1 billion gallons exceeded the 2011 production by 6 million gallons.
December production totaled just 59 million gallons, the lowest monthly volume of the year. The National Biodiesel Board attributed the production drop to uncertainty over the biodiesel tax incentive. Congress renewed the $1-per-gallon incentive on New Year's Day as part of the so-called "fiscal cliff" legislation. Biodiesel production is reported under the EPA's Biomass-based Diesel category in the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). The fuel is made from a mix of resources, such as recycled cooking oil, soybean oil, and animal fats. See the NBB press release and the EPA's RFS Web page.
The U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) on January 18 announced that it has designated 192,100 acres of public land across Arizona as potentially suitable for utility-scale solar and wind energy development. The publication of the Record of Decision for this initiative, known as the Restoration Design Energy Project, caps a three-year, statewide environmental analysis of disturbed land and other areas that could accommodate commercial renewable energy projects. The DOI's Bureau of Land Management (BLM) eliminated from consideration lands in Arizona containing sensitive resources requiring protection, such as endangered or threatened wildlife and sites of cultural and historic importance. The plan does not eliminate the need for further environmental review of individual sites.
The Record of Decision also establishes the third solar zone on public lands in Arizona and the eighteenth nationwide: the new 2,550-acre Agua Caliente Solar Energy Zone is located in Yuma County near Dateland, and the BLM estimates that the zone could generate more than 20 megawatts through utility-scale solar projects. The Solar Energy Zones are part of the Obama Administration's efforts to facilitate solar energy development by identifying areas in six states in the West with high solar potential, few resource conflicts, and access to existing or planned transmission. Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, and Utah are included in the zones. See the Interior Department press release and the BLM's Record of Decision.
The Toyota Prius C topped the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy's (ACEEE) fifteenth annual "Greenest" car ratings in a list released on January 16. The compact, which debuted in the U.S. market last year, had a "Green Score" of 58 in the ACEEE measure of comprehensive eco-performance, which reflects the vehicle's rating of 53 miles per gallon (MPG) in the city and 46 MPG highway. Overall, the list was dominated by hybrid-electric vehicles, plug-in hybrids, and electric vehicles (EV).
Rounding out the top five were the Honda FIT, Prius 1.8 liter, Prius plug-in hybrid, and the Honda Civic hybrid. The Ford Focus with a lithium-ion battery ranked tenth. The Scion IQ and the Mercedes-Benz Smart ForTwo coupe were the only non-hybrid, non-plug-in vehicles on the list.
Fuel economy for EVs is provided in miles per kilowatt-hour, while the rating for plug-in hybrids is provided in MPG for gasoline operation and in miles per kilowatt-hour for electric operation. ACEEE is a nonprofit organization that acts as a catalyst to advance energy efficiency policies, programs, technologies, investments, and behaviors. See the ACEEE press release and the full "Greenest" car list.
|special thanks to U.S. Department of Energy | USA.gov|
How do we stay competitive in the global wind energy market? A key component is continued leadership in manufacturing small wind turbines—those rated at 100 kilowatts or less.
Historically, the United States has been the leading manufacturer of small wind turbines, helping to boost economic growth and create job opportunities. U.S. small wind manufacturers report using 80-85 percent domestic content in their turbines, and the small wind industry represents an estimated 1,600 American jobs. Still, in the increasingly competitive global wind market—our continued leadership in this field is far from guaranteed.
To help U.S. small turbine manufacturers maintain their leading international market position, we’re investing in two projects—led by Maine's Pika Energy and Oklahoma's Bergey Windpower Company—as part of the Energy Department's Small Wind Turbine Competitiveness Improvement Project. This initiative supports manufacturers in their efforts to lower the cost of energy from small turbines by improving their components and upgrading their manufacturing processes. To read the complete story, see the Energy Blog.
Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Saturday, January 19, 2013
|CROATIAN CENTER OF RENEWABLE ENERGY SOURCES promotes WaterWorld MIDDLE EAST 2013|
|Sharing the common goal of energy efficiency and water conservation, it is fitting that WaterWorld Middle East 2013 be held at QNCC, the first green technology venue and the venue of choice in the Middle East.Croatian Center of Renewable Energy Sources (CCRES)|
Saturday, January 12, 2013
News and Events January 12, 2013
The Energy Department on January 3 announced its award of more than $10 million in funding to five projects in California, Maryland, Texas, and Washington that will develop innovative technologies to convert biomass into advanced biofuels and bioproducts. These projects use synthetic biological and chemical techniques to convert biomass into processable sugars that can be transformed into bioproducts and drop-in biofuels for cars, trucks, and planes.
Two of these projects will develop cost-effective ways to produce intermediates from the deconstruction of lignocellulose, a structural material that comprises much of the mass of plants. Biofuel intermediates are biomass-based products that can be treated as commodities and passed from a producer to a refiner through the supply chain, before being processed into biofuel. Three projects will propose new conversion techniques to transform biomass intermediates into advanced biofuels and bioproducts. See the Energy Department Progress Alert.
The Energy Department on December 21 announced a $9 million investment in building envelope technologies, including high-efficiency, high-performance windows; roofs; and heating and cooling equipment. The new investment supports six advanced manufacturing projects in California, Connecticut, Idaho, Maryland, Missouri, and Tennessee that advance whole-home energy performance.
The investment includes about $6.5 million awarded to four projects to develop highly efficient heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems, and about $3 million awarded to two projects that focus on building envelope materials. For example, St. Louis, Missouri-based Unico will receive $2 million to develop a cold-climate heat pump with a variable-speed compressor that will maintain capacity and efficiency, even at very low temperatures. The Department's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory will develop and test highly insulated, easy-to-install windows that use automated shading and can capture or repel heat, depending on the season. See the Energy Department press release.
The Production Tax Credit (PTC) and the investment tax credits will be extended through the end of the year under the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, which was passed by Congress on January 1, 2013, and signed into law on January 2 by President Obama. The extension of the PTC, included in the bill to avert the so-called "fiscal cliff," would apply to all U.S. wind projects that start construction in 2013. In addition to the PTC, the law also covers investment tax credits for community and offshore wind projects.
The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) said the incentives will allow continued growth for wind energy. Last year, the amount of wind energy installed in the United States comprised a record-setting 44% of all new U.S. electrical generating capacity, according to the Energy Information Administration and AWEA. See the White House Blog, the White House American Taxpayer Relief Act fact sheet, and the AWEA press release.
The law also includes geothermal, biomass, and hydropower tax credits as well as a range of other energy efficiency and renewable energy credits. For example, the law extends the biodiesel tax incentive for 2012 and 2013, which expired on December 31, 2011. The $1-per-gallon biodiesel tax incentive was first implemented in 2005. According to a study conducted by Cardno ENTRIX, a consulting firm, the biofuel industry would support more than 112,000 jobs nationally in 2013 with the tax credit in place versus nearly 82,000 without it. See press releases from the National Biodiesel Board and the Geothermal Energy Association.
Also, the measure provides one-year tax credits for energy-efficient additions such as exterior windows, doors, and skylights which are eligible for the non-business energy property tax credit; alternative-fuel-vehicle refueling stations; a $2,500 tax credit for two-wheeled or three-wheeled plug-in electric vehicles; and construction of energy-efficient new homes and the purchase of energy-efficient appliances. See the text of the bill.
The Energy Department on December 20 announced $12 million in new funding for the Rooftop Solar Challenge II, which will support projects that make solar energy businesses more efficient. The funding opportunity builds on the success of 2011's Rooftop Solar Challenge and is part of the Department's broader efforts to spur solar power deployment by making it easier, faster, and cheaper to finance and install solar energy systems.
The challenges are aimed at streamlining and standardizing local permitting, zoning, metering, and connection processes and improving finance options to lower costs for residential and small commercial rooftop solar energy systems. Through the first round, 22 regional teams have worked to dramatically reduce the non-hardware or soft costs of solar. This has included standardizing installation and permitting fees across multiple jurisdictions, establishing group purchasing discounts, and expanding online permitting. These soft costs can comprise 40% of the cost of going solar. The teams selected for round two, which may include teams selected in the first round, will be evaluated throughout a two-and-a-half-year project period using solar market maturity models developed by the Department's SunShot Initiative. See the Energy Department Progress Alert.
|special thanks to U.S. Department of Energy | USA.gov|
When it comes to harnessing America's vast geothermal energy resources, knowing where to look is half the battle.
Geothermal energy—the heat contained within the earth—represents a growing part of the country's clean energy mix. Still, for continued growth of this industry, gaining easy access to reliable, comprehensive geothermal data remains a critical barrier.
To help solve this challenge, the Energy Department is partnering with the Arizona Geological Survey—among other public and private sector contributors—to create the National Geothermal Data System at www.geothermaldata.org. This interactive, open source database provides project developers and other industry partners with the critical information they need to cut the time in identifying and developing new production areas and to reduce upfront discovery costs. For the complete story, see the Energy Blog.
Wednesday, January 9, 2013
Renewable Energy: the Right Risk Partner Makes the Difference|
ACE USA has released a white paper exploring the insurance and risk management issues facing the renewable energy industry during project development. This new report explains the importance of effective and proactive risk management strategies, throughout a project lifecycle.
To access the whitepaper click here.
For more question about the white paper and more information about ACE Custom Casualty Energy and its range of products and services, please contact:
Vice President and Underwriting Manager
ACE Custom Casualty Energy
Monday, January 7, 2013
|Croatian Center of Renewable Energy Sources (CCRES) shares to you Multaqa Qatar 2013
The leading MENA risk and insurance forum
11 – 12 March 2013, Ritz Carlton, Doha
Hosted by the Qatar Financial Centre Authority and organised by Global Reinsurance, Multaqa Qatar 2013 is the Middle East’s leading risk and insurance event.
Now in its seventh year, Multaqa Qatar combines a world-class business conference with an integrated networking programme bringing together over 450 international insurance executives to meet and do business.
If you have business operations in the GCC or are looking to expand into the region Multaqa Qatar 2013 is a must attend event. What's more, attendance is complimentary - by invitation only.
If you have not yet applied for your invitation, we strongly recommend that you do this in the next few weeks to avoid disappointment. We will shortly be closing registration for 2013.
With just over 8 weeks to go, the online Qatar Club Room is now open. Our delegation are now using the Meeting Scheduler to make contact with each other, ahead of the event. Once you have registered and been approved, you can also take full advantage of this service.
Who is attending?
Over 250 senior executives have already confirmed their participation at Multaqa Qatar 2013. With a limited number of places available make sure your company is represented at this important event. Here are just some of the companies who have confirmed their attendance:
Aon • AQR • Apex Insurance • ACR • ARIG • Aspen Re • AXA Insurance • Bahrain National Insurance • Bahrain Kuwait Insurance • Echo Re • Gen Re • General Takaful • Hannover Re • IAT Reinsurance • JLT • Lockton • Marsh • Miller • Misr • MNK Re • Munich Re • Oman Insurance • Partner Re • Protection Insurance • Q-Re • QIC • RFIB • Saudi Re • SEIB • Swiss Re • Takaful Re • T'azur • Trans Re Zurich • Trust Re • United Insurance Brokers • Willis • Zarish Sal
Click here to apply for your invitation today if you have not yet confirmed your attendance.
Debbie Kidman, Head of Events, Global Reinsurance
Tel: 0044 20 7618 3094 Debbie.kidman@
Jane Wicks, Programme Designer, Global Reinsurance
William Sanders, Publisher, Global Reinsurance
|Business and leisure programme|
Multaqa Qatar 2013 carefully combines an outstanding conference agenda with ample opportunities for meetings and networking activities. Click here for the full business programme.
Multaqa Qatar 2013 also incorporates the GR Meeting Zone and online meeting scheduler helping you to connect with other attendees before, during and after the event.
This year's event features a line up of international speakers including: