Click to enlarge
Ledzworld has added a sleek and sophisticated ultra-dimmable AR-111 LED lamp to its product line—the world's first true retrofit sized premium 850 lumen, single light source AR-111 LED lamp. The companys AR-111 Platinum Ultra Dimmable LED lamp offers manufacturers, installers and designers a relentlessly tested, cost-competitive, efficient, and impeccably designed replacement for outdated halogen bulbs. A large number of current luminaires on the market with integrated LED light engines look bulky, but Ledzworld's unique AR-111 Platinum Ultra Dimmable LED has the appearance and characteristics of a sophisticated track-luminaire while efficiently delivering 850 lumens, Jan Kemeling, founder and chief sales and marketing officer of Ledzworld said . The aesthetic appearance makes the lamp ideal for spaces owners aim to impress guests in—hotels, lounges, restaurants, museums, hospitals as well as a variety of other applications. The 16W AR-111 Platinum Ultra Dimmable LED is a premium single-source LED lamp with a CRI of 80 and is also available with a CRI of >90. The lamp features Ledzworld's unique chameleon driver—a technological breakthrough that adjusts itself to make a perfect electrical fit with a wide variety of the possible combinations of commonly used drivers and dimmers. The chameleon driver first detects the transformer type, then analyzes its waveform, and finally adjusts itself to create the perfect electrical fit with that particular transformer.
Inspired by the termites resilience and collective intelligence, a team of computer scientists and engineers at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) and the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University has created an autonomous robotic construction crew. The system needs no supervisor, no eye in the sky, and no communication. It uses simple robots - any number of robots - that co-operate by modifying their environment. Harvard's Termes system demonstrates that collective systems of robots can build complex, 3-D structures without requiring a central command structure or prescribed roles. The results of the four-year project were presented this week at the AAAS 2014 Annual Meeting and published in the Feb. 14 issue of Science. The Termes robots can build towers, castles, and pyramids out of foam bricks, erecting staircases that let them reach the higher levels and adding bricks wherever they are needed. In the future, researchers say, similar robots could lay sandbags in advance of a flood or even perform simple construction tasks on Mars.
Once a booming industry, US wind power saw its growth plummet 92% last year as it wrestled with tax uncertainties and cheap natural gas.
The industry is still growing but not nearly as fast, says a recent report by the American Wind Energy Association. It added a record 13,131MW of power in 2012 but that fell to only 1087MW last year — the lowest level since 2004.
One reason was investors uncertainty that Congress would renew a federal wind tax subsidy. People didnt know it would be passed ... so they werent creating new projects early last year, says AWEAs president Tom Kiernan.
He says it takes about nine months to plan a wind farm, so the one-year extension in January 2013 didnt trigger a flurry of new wind farm construction until the second half of 2013.
The AWEA report is the latest to show the challenges confronting the clean energy sector.http://www.awea.org/ Last year, investments in renewable energy fell 14% globally and 10% in the United States, according to an analysis by the United Nations Environment Programme. It says US investments in wind were $13.3ln, down from $14.5bln in 2012.
The UNEP attributes the declines to policy uncertainty, including the expired US wind subsidy, and falling technology costs, notably solar panels and wind turbines. Yet for the US, it saw another factor at play as well.
The shale revolution certainly has had an impact, says Eric Usher, manager of UNEPs seed capital programs. He notes the boom in US production of natural gas, due largely to the use of fracking or hydraulic fracturing, has lowered prices and made it more difficult for wind and solar to compete.
The wind production tax credit, known as the PTC, is typically renewed a year at a time and three prior lapses ~ in 2000, 2002 and 2004 ~ each led to significant drops in new capacity. It allows producers to lower their tax bill by 2.3¢ a kilowatt hour during a projects first 10 years. Kiernan says it spurs $15bln in private investment each year and more than pays for itself in increased federal, state and local revenues.
AWEA says wind now provides more than 15% of electricity in six states including Iowa (27%), South Dakota (26%), Kansas (19%) as well as Idaho, Minnesota and and North Dakota (each 16%). Nationwide, it provides 4.1% of US electricity.
Despite industry bumpiness, the UNEP sees bright spots for renewable energy.
It reports an end to the nose dive in clean energy stocks, which lost 78% in value over four-and-a-half year period before bottoming out in July 2012 and rising 54% in 2013.
Also, it notes that renewable energy continues to add capacity, led by solar. Globally, the solar industry produced 26% more power last year than in 2012 despite a 23% decline in investments.
In fact, 2013 was the first year when solar added more new power globally than did wind, although winds total capacity is still at least twice as large, according to a report last month by Clean Edge, a US-based firm thats been tracking the clean-tech sector since its founding in 2000.
Record levels of new solar deployment in China, Japan and the the US, combined with a down year in the wind industry enabled this unprecedented crossover, the Clean Edge report says, adding solars projected double-digit growth rates could overtake winds total by 2021.
In the US, solar accounted for 22% of new utility-scale electricity last year — up from less than 6% in 2012 and second only to natural gas-fired power plants, which added just over 50%, according to data this week by the US Energy Information Administration. Coal provided 11% and wind, nearly 8%.
Unlike wind, the US solar industry is eligible for investment and residential tax credits through the end of 2016. — by Wendy Koch, USA TODAY
The Australian Federal Court declared sales reps acting on EnergyAustralia‘s behalf made false and misleading representations, and engaged in misleading and deceptive conduct while going door-to-door to negotiate electricity agreements.
Genesis Energy shares will list on April 17 at $1.55 a share, at the high end of the value range of $1.35 to $1.65 a share nominated for the sale of up to 49% of New Zealand's largest electricity and gas retailer by customer numbers.
Ecoppia has announced the Ketura Sun solar park in Israels Negev desert, (jointly owned by Siemens AG and solar energy pioneer Arava Power), is now the worlds first autonomously-cleaned solar energy production facility.
Utility regulation may seem complex and technical, but the breakfast meeting (March 20, 2014) at the National Press Club provided far-ranging insights and broad trends useful to investors, planners, cities, developers, utilities and regulators.
Masdar has filed a complaint with the Washington DC-based International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), which is a member of the World Bank Group, citing the Spanish governments decision to place retroactive changes to its renewables support schemes. The renewables company owned by the government of Abu Dhabi has made the move despite the changes being in a ‘still-pending’ state. As an investor in Torresol Energy, Masdar is partial owner of the 19.9MW Gemasolar CSP project, which was commissioned in 2011 near Seville.
Last summer Spain abolished its long-standing feed-in tariff system and replaced it with a retroactive profit ceiling for renewables projects. Its the fourth occasion on which foreign investors have taken action against the Madrid government for initiating the changes to the countrys support schemes. Several investment funds are known to be seeking compensation from Madrid at the Paris-based International Court of Arbitration, and German utilities RWE and Stadtwerke München are also understood to be mulling lawsuits, given their investments in the Andasol 3 CSP project and a number of wind farms.<
The Grafenrheinfeld nuclear power plant will close seven months early, said EOn, claiming the government tax on nuclear fuel makes its final period of operation uneconomic. The fuel tax is designed to take about one half of operational profit from Germany's remaining nuclear reactors and must be paid by the operator on every gram of uranium or plutonium loaded into a reactor core. Nuclear reactors normally refuel every 12-18 months, but Grafenrheinfeld needs to to refuel only a few months before permanent closure. Plant owner EOn has decided not to refuel in May 2015, on the basis that it cannot recoup the cost of the tax before the plant is ordered to close on 31 December 2015.
GDF Suez has signed a memorandum of understanding to develop natural gas prospects in Mexico. Gerard Mestrallat, chairman of GDF Suez, signed the measure Friday with Emilio Lozoya, his counterpart at state-owned Petroleos Mexicanos, known also as PEMEX. For GDF Suez, the signing of this memorandum illustrates the participation of our group in developing energy infrastructure in Mexico, Mestrallat said in a statement. A central part of our strategy is to accelerate our presence in fast growing markets, and Mexico is clearly a very attractive one. The deal is the first of its kind for GDF Suez and extends for two years. The French company said it has an established presence in the Mexican energy sector, however, with a total installed capacity of 279MW from three separate power facilities. UPI
Three years after the Fukushima accident, which led to calls for Japan to phase-out nuclear power, the countrys cabinet has given its approval to an energy policy that recommends the restart of its idled nuclear reactors. The policy has been three years in the making, and is Japans fourth Basic Energy Plan ~ previous plans were passed in 2003, 2007 and 2010. It is the first to be approved since the Fukushima nuclear accident of 2011 prompted the extended shutdown of the nuclear power plants on which the country had hitherto relied for some 30% of its electricity. A draft of the plan was published by Japans Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) in February.