US federal researchers estimate construction of floating offshore wind farms off California would inject up to $40bn into the state economy. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory analysed the employment and economic impacts of two hypothetical scenarios: 16GW by 2050 and 10GW by 2050.
“The fish are happy, the frogs are happy, the ducks came back. It’s a very healthy pond.” In two years, if construction goes as planned, 50,904 panels will float atop the reservoir, generating enough electricity to power almost 5,000 homes, according to Kyocera, the company building the solar plant. The project, once completed, will be the largest installation of its kind in the world. But floating solar arrays are becoming more popular, with installations already operating in Australia and the United States, and more planned or under construction.
There’s a new world record for solar cell efficiency. Engineers at the University of New South Wales in Australia announced this week that they had turned 34.5 percent of unconcentrated sunlight into electricity, blowing away the old world record by 44 percent. Previously, scientists had achieved an electric conversion rate of more than 40 percent, but only by using mirrors that concentrate light. There’s never been such a high electricity conversion rate tapping regular sunlight without concentrators, according to the university.
China-based Goldwind, the world’s largest wind turbine manufacturer, is buying into Texas for the first time with its largest wind farm in the U.S. Rapidly growing Goldwind just surpassed Denmark’s Vestas Wind Systems as the world’s top wind turbine supplier, according to a new report Wednesday from Navigant Research. Other giants like Germany’s Siemens and General Electric ranked just behind.
State lawmakers and the developer of the largest onshore wind farm in America are increasingly at odds these days. The subject of their strife: a proposal to raise Wyoming’s wind-generation tax. Power Company of Wyoming officials say the measure puts in limbo their plans to build 1,000 turbines in Carbon County. The 3,000 megawatt project — enough to power nearly 1 million homes — will be left at a disadvantage relative to renewable producers in other states, they argue. Wyoming is already the only state in the country with a wind-generation tax.
The White House is likely to issue a veto threat over the bill’s rejection of the administration’s Mission Innovation initiative to double energy research and development funding over five years. The House spending bill would fund the Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy at $1.825 billion, about a billion below the White House request.
The Senate this afternoon easily passed the $37.5 billion energy and water development spending bill. Lawmakers also touted an agreement to spend $1.1 billion to fight the Zika virus.
Senators voted 90-8 for the energy and water bill after adopting an amendment by Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) setting aside funds in the bill to revise certain water project and flood control documents. The measure passed by voice vote.
Moniz said he wouldn’t directly comment on Trump’s promise to Reuters on Tuesday that “at a minimum I will be renegotiating those agreements.” Trump said the deal was unfair, economically, to the United States economy.But Moniz noted the climate deal has built-in reassessments over the next few decades. He said, though, that countries should use those to ramp up the greenhouse gas reduction commitments they enshrined last year in the Paris deal.
At Germany’s aerospace agency, the next frontier is capturing the sun here on Earth and keeping it on tap. In a 4-year-old glass and steel building near the Cologne-Bonn Airport, researchers at the German Aerospace Center (DLR), Germany’s equivalent of NASA, are working on new ways to produce more heat than light in order to smooth over intermittency, one of the biggest drawbacks of solar power on the grid.
The House passed its more narrowly drawn energy bill (H.R. 8) in December, and Energy and Commerce leaders called for a quick conference after the Senate approved a far broader version (S. 2012) this spring. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee leaders have been more cautious, saying they would welcome a conference but want to have informal discussions first to lay the groundwork for a deal.