Green gyms to tap power from the people

Source: Business Green “Exercise is bunk,” Henry Ford famously opined. “If you are healthy you don’t need it. If you are sick you shouldn’t take it.” Well, for those who hate spending hours in the gym, there’s now a compelling environmental reason for working on those love handles –generating electricity. The city of Hull is playing host to the first outdoor gym converting people power into useable power, installed by The Great Outdoor Gym Company (TGO). Electricity generated on the cross trainer and exercise bikes at the new Green Heart gym currently powers LED lighting for the site. But Georgie Delaney, creative director of TGO, told BusinessGreen the company is working with the National Housing Federation to identify a site where a gym could be hooked up to local buildings or feed electricity into the grid. Each piece of equipment can produce between 50W and 400W of electricity, although the figure is likely to be closer to 100W for those users who are not Olympic rowers. Continue Reading…  

Gujarat set to develop India’s first tidal energy plant

Source: Down To Earth  The Gujarat government is all set to develop India’s first tidal energy plant. The state government has approved Rs 25 crore for setting up the 50 MW plant at the Gulf of Kutch. It will produce energy from the ocean tides. The state government signed a MoU with Atlantis Resource Corporation last year to develop the plant. “The proposal was approved in this year’s budget session,” says Rajkumar Raisinghani, senior executive with Gujarat Power Corporation Limited (GPCL). Atlantis Resource Corporation is a UK-based developer of tidal current turbines. “The equipment has been imported and work will start anytime soon. We are awaiting Coastal Regulation Zone clearance from Ministry of Environment and Forests, which is expected soon,” adds Raisinghani. According to the GPCL officials, if this 50 MW plant is successfully commissioned, its capacity will be increased to 200 MW.  As per a study conducted by Atlantis Resource Corporation and the state government two years ago, the Gulf of Kutch has a total potential of 300 MW. …

How India is creating the next big solar market

Source: GreenBiz.com With nations around the world vying for clean energy leadership, India has taken a bold step toward becoming a leader in solar development. In only two years under India’s ambitious national solar policies, prices for solar energy in India have dropped dramatically, approaching the price of traditional energy from fossil fuels. While the Indian government has a long way to go to reach its goals of 20 gigawatts of solar energy by 2022, India’s experience is a strong example of how national and state policies can unleash the potential of clean energy. Just last week, NRDC and our partner, the New Delhi-based Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW), released a new report showing how — in just two years — India’s National Solar Mission has transformed the solar market in India. The report, Laying the Foundation for a Bright Future, is the first independent, external analysis that’s been done on the strengths and hurdles faced by India’s solar efforts. India’s solar numbers are nothing short of impressive: Under the first phase …

Effective World Government Will Be Needed to Stave Off Climate Catastrophe

Source: The Scientific American Almost six years ago, I was the editor of a single-topic issue on energy for Scientific American that included an article by Princeton University’s Robert Socolow that set out a well-reasoned plan for how to keep atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations below a planet-livable threshold of 560 ppm. The issue came replete with technical solutions that ranged from a hydrogen economy to space-based solar. If I had it to do over, I’d approach the issue planning differently, my fellow editors permitting. I would scale back on the nuclear fusion and clean coal, instead devoting at least half of the available space for feature articles on psychology, sociology, economics and political science. Since doing that issue, I’ve come to the conclusion that the technical details are the easy part. It’s the social engineering that’s the killer. Moon shots and Manhattan Projects are child’s play compared to needed changes in the way we behave. A policy article authored by several dozen scientists appeared online March 15 in Science to …

What We Learned About Nuclear Safety from Fukushima

Source: MIT Technology Review Reactors must be able to handle the worst if we hope to prevent a repeat of last year’s meltdowns. A year after Japan’s largest earthquake and most destructive tsunami led to the Fukushima nuclear accident, experts say the industry has moved beyond any claims of absolute safety. As happened after the 2010 BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, experts now recognize that any technology—whether it’s deepwater drilling or nuclear fission—can and will fail, and operators must prepare for the worst. “Fukushima Daiichi … was not just due to an inadequately sized seawall—that is the wrong way to look at it,” says Edward Blandford, a professor of nuclear security at the University of New Mexico and a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University’s Center for International Security and Cooperation. “The events at Fukushima Daiichi were due to a series of failures, including failures in plant defensive actions, mitigation efforts, and emergency response. If backup equipment had been stored in waterproof vaults or higher elevations, the accident …

Cheap Solar Power at Night

Source: Clean Technica Improved materials could make solar-thermal power cheaper, and energy storage easier. Solar power has two main problems: it’s expensive, and it’s intermittent, since the output of a solar power plant depends on the time of day and cloud cover. Halotechnics, an early-stage solar-thermal startup, could help solve both problems. The company has developed new heat-storage materials that promise to not only make solar-thermal power plants more efficient, but also reduce the cost of storing energy from the sun for use when it’s most needed. The materials, which include new mixtures of salts as well as new glass materials, could be key to making solar-thermal power plants cheap enough—and reliable enough—to compete with fossil fuels on a large scale. Unlike solar panels—which convert sunlight directly into electricity—solar-thermal plants generate electricity by using a large field of mirrors to concentrate sunlight and produce high temperatures that, in turn, generate steam for a turbine and drive a generator. Such plants cost a little more than ones based on solar panels, which have …

World Solar PV Market Grew Considerably in 2011

Source: Clean Technica Worldwide solar photovoltaic (PV) market installations reached a record high in 2011 — 27.4 gigawatts (GW), an increase of 40% year over year — according to the 2012 Marketbuzz report released Monday by NPD Solarbuzz. This is a report filled with numbers, as this article will also be. So, if you just want the good summary of it all, it’s that it’s clear demand for solar photovoltaic systems was up in 2011 and looks ready rise even higher throughout much of the world in 2012. In particular, countries outside the 2011 top 10 are expected to start stealing market share soon. The second half of 2011 saw a strong demand for photovoltaic systems ahead of a cut in incentives in several leading countries. This partially made up for the overproduction of solar panels in the first half of the year. 2011 was also a year in which demand in Asian markets for PV grew considerably and Chinese manufacturers made their mark on the global sector. The Numbers …

IIT Bombay student develops indigenous smart grid application- files for patent

Source : Panchabuta – Renewable Energy and Cleantech in India According to reports, with increasing competition in the power market, electricity price forecasting, say experts, has become a critical issue for better operational planning and maximising profits for service providers and households. A PhD student from IIT Bombay has developed a technology that can forecast electricity parameters, that is, it can predict prices of electricity and load for future use. As demand for power is huge in the country, the technology will help in saving both electricity and money. The invention is in the area of smart grids, which refers to various functions that are geared up to modernise the electricity grid. A smart grid is a network of electricity transmission and distribution systems that can significantly improve efficiency and reliability of electricity delivery and use. “This technology is applicable for smart grids, which are still under evolution in India and different energy utilities such as Reliance, Tata, PowerGrid and so on will need different solutions. Price forecasting is a …

Infosys, Wipro among top global companies in smart-grid software

Source: The Hindu Businessline Infosys and Wipro have been named among the top seven vendors in the world of smart-grid software, a recent research report of GTM Research has said. Smart grids are those that have electrical devices with embedded software that can give out a fund of data in order that the grid may be better managed. Software is a key part of smart grids. GTM Research, a well-known greentech research company, sought to find out who the Big Fish are in each segment of smart grid software. Under the head ‘Utility systems development and integration, data analytics and cyber security’, GTM has named seven companies. Infosys and Wipro are in the elite company of five other global giants – IBM, Oracle, Siemens, Accenture and Schneider Electric. Even in this well-knit world, having two home-grown biggies is seen as an advantage because smart grid is an area that specially requires local knowledge. Several experts have commented on the uniqueness of the Indian grid and hence the uniqueness of the …

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