Daily Green Wrap-up 25.October, 2012

SunPower completed the largest solar system in the US Navy, a 13.78 MW solar photovoltaic power system at Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake (NAWS China Lake) in California.
The great energy transition from fossil fuels to renewable sources of energy is under way. As fossil fuel prices rise, as oil insecurity deepens, and as concerns about pollution and climate instability cast a shadow over the future of coal, a new world energy economy is emerging. The old energy economy, fueled by oil, coal, and natural gas, is being replaced with an economy powered by wind, solar, and geothermal energy. The Earth’s renewable energy resources are vast and available to be tapped through visionary initiatives. Our civilization needs to embrace renewable energy on a scale and at a pace we’ve never seen before.
The world just got one step closer to renewable, cheap, and efficient large-scale energy production as researchers at Stanford University lead by engineer Yi Cui developed a grid-scale battery whose electrodes can last for up to a thousand charge cycles without degrading. The new battery is heralded as a game-changer for fluctuating renewable energy sources such as solar and wind.
This is the Passive House Retreat in New England built by Aedi Construction with architecture and Passive House consulting by Boston-based ZeroEnergy Design. I was able to trade emails with ZED, including Stephanie Horowitz AIA CPHC and Jordan Goldman CPHC, about the energy performance of the home over the last year, and they said actual performance exceeded all predictions — including Energy Star and PHPP usage calculations. The home averaged 412 kW per month for all energy consumption.
  • GreenJoyment (Ally): Passive House is an incredible idea and the author brings attention to some really good reasons why it’s awesome. However, it doesn’t really address how realistic or affordable something like Passive House would be if implemented on a large scale or for your average consumer. I’m intrigued – must research!
Alternative fuels and electric vehicles (EVs) and were mentioned in all three of the Presidential Debates and very briefly during the Vice Presidential Debate. That is really something for EVs.
BrightSource Energy has raised more than $80 million in equity financing, capital the company will use to build solar thermal power plants in the U.S. and help it expand into international markets, including India and Australia.
  • GreenJoyment (Ally): BrightSource’s thermal farms are an amazing innovation. 170,000 mirrors! Can you imagine? Why didn’t I think of that? Just as interesting is the company’s tenuous relationship with the desert tortoise.

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