George C. Dimitriou

Technology and Strategy Consulting
Subscribe

Archive for the ‘Renewable Energy’

Secret Report: Biofuel Caused Food Crisis.

July 04, 2008 By: George Category: Biofuels, Renewable Energy No Comments →

Internal World Bank study delivers blow to plant energy drive.

Biofuels have forced global food prices up by 75% – far more than previously estimated – according to a confidential World Bank report obtained by the Guardian.

Solar Power Could Provide 10% of U.S. Electricity by 2025.

July 02, 2008 By: George Category: Renewable Energy No Comments →

Solar energy currently provides less than 0.1% of the electricity generated in the United States, but a new report finds that solar power’s contribution could grow to 10% of the nation’s power needs by 2025. The report, prepared by research and publishing firm Clean Edge and the nonprofit Co-op America, projects nearly 2% of the nation’s electricity coming from concentrating solar power systems, while solar photovoltaic systems will provide more than 8% of the nation’s electricity. Those figures correlate to nearly 50,000 megawatts of solar photovoltaic systems and more than 6,600 megawatts of concentrating solar power.

As noted in the report, solar power has been expanding rapidly in the past 8 years, growing at an average pace of 40% per year. The cost per kilowatt-hour of solar photovoltaic systems has also been dropping, while electricity generated from fossil fuels is becoming more expensive. As a result, the report projects that solar power will reach cost parity with conventional power sources in many U.S. markets by 2015. But to reach the 10% goal, solar photovoltaic companies will also need to streamline installations and make solar power a “plug-and-play” technology, that is, it must be simple and straightforward to buy the components of the system, connect them together, and connect the system to the power grid.

The report also places some of the responsibility with electric utilities, which will need to take advantage of the benefits of solar power, incorporate it into future “smart grid” technologies, and create new business models for building solar power capacity. The report also calls for establishing long-term extensions of today’s investment and production tax credits, creating open standards for connecting solar power systems to the grid, and giving utilities the ability to include solar power in their rate base. See the Clean Edge press release and the full report (PDF 896 KB)

World Energy Use Projected to Grow 50 % between 2005 and 2030.

July 02, 2008 By: George Category: Renewable Energy, Trends No Comments →

World marketed energy consumption is projected to grow by 50 percent between 2005 and 2030, driven by robust economic growth and expanding populations in the world’s developing countries, according to the reference case projection from the International Energy Outlook 2008 (IEO2008) released recently by the Energy Information Administration (EIA).

Average world oil prices in every year since 2003 have been higher than the average for the previous year and prices in 2007 were nearly double the 2003 prices in real terms. The IEO2008 uses oil price cases originally developed in the summer of 2007 for use in the Annual Energy Outlook 2008, which focuses on the U.S. energy outlook. These prices do not reflect the substantial run-up in prices that has occurred since that time. Nonetheless, although liquid fuels are expected to remain the largest single source of energy through 2030, the liquids share of marketed world energy consumption declines from 37 percent in 2005 to 33 percent in 2030 in the IEO2008 reference case (Figure 1).

IEA 2008

In addition, the share of conventional oil in the overall liquids supply is declines with expanded use of unconventional oil, biofuels, and other unconventional liquids. High oil prices lead many consumers to switch to other fuels when feasible; fuel-switching and efficiency gains, for instance, slow the growth of oil use in the industrial sector. Those trends are even stronger in the IEO2008 high price case, which reflects oil prices that are closer to those being paid in mid-2008, as this report is being issued.

The full report can be found on EIA’s web site at:

http://www.eia.doe.gov/oiaf/ieo/index.html

Computers, Phones Can Reduce CO2 by 15%, According to Report.

June 21, 2008 By: George Category: Climate, Digital World No Comments →

Transformation in the way people and businesses use technology could reduce annual man-made global emissions by 15 per cent by 2020 and deliver energy efficiency savings to global businesses of over EUR 500 billion [GBP 400 billion/USD 800 billion], according to a new report published yesterday by independent non-profit The °Climate Group and the Global e-Sustainability Initiative (GeSI).

The report – SMART 2020: enabling the low carbon economy in the information age – is the world’s first comprehensive global study of the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector’s growing significance for the world’s climate.
The report’s supporting analysis, conducted independently by international management consultants McKinsey & Company, shows that while ICT’s own sector footprint – currently two per cent of global emissions – will almost double by 2020, ICT’s unique ability to monitor and maximise energy efficiency both within and outside of its own sector could cut CO2 emissions by up to five times this amount. This represents a saving of 7.8 Giga-tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (GtCO2e) by 2020 – greater than the current annual emissions of either the US or China.

Intel Spins off Solar Energy Technology: Invests in SpectraWatt.

June 17, 2008 By: George Category: Digital World, Renewable Energy, Trends No Comments →

To spur new development and demand for renewable energy sources, Intel Corporation is spinning off key assets of a start-up business effort inside Intel’s New Business Initiatives group to form an independent company called SpectraWatt Inc. Intel Capital, Intel’s global investment organization, is leading a $50 million investment round in SpectraWatt and is joined by Cogentrix Energy, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc., PCG Clean Energy and Technology Fund (“CETF”) and Solon AG. The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2008.

SpectraWatt will manufacture and supply photovoltaic cells to solar module makers. In addition to focusing on advanced solar cell technologies, SpectraWatt will concentrate development efforts on improvements in current manufacturing processes and capabilities to reduce the cost of photovoltaic energy generation. SpectraWatt expects to break ground on its manufacturing and advanced technology development facility in Oregon in the second half of 2008 with first product shipments expected by mid-2009.

Solar cells are the discrete components in a solar energy generation system responsible for converting sunlight to electricity. The end-user market segment for solar technology in 2007 was approximately $30 billion, a 50 percent increase from 2006, according to Photon Consulting. Solar industry growth of 30 to 40 percent annually is expected to continue in years to come as the economics of solar, which is currently approximately twice the cost of delivered retail electricity on a per kilowatt basis, begins to approach that of traditional electricity-generation technologies.

World’s Top Energy Ministers Launch Energy Efficiency Effort.

June 14, 2008 By: George Category: Climate, Renewable Energy No Comments →

South Korea agreed this weekend to establish the International Partnership for Energy Efficiency Cooperation (IPEEC).The IPEEC will serve as a high-level forum for facilitating a broad range of actions that yield significant gains in energy efficiency. The partnership will support the on-going energy efficiency work of the participating countries and relevant international organizations by exchanging information on best practices, policies, and efforts to collect data. The IPEEC members will also develop public-private partnerships for improving energy efficiency, participate in joint research and development efforts, and facilitate the dissemination of energy-related products and services. The energy ministers plan to hold the first IPEEC meeting before the end of the year. See the IPEEC declaration (PDF 26 KB).

(more…)

Report Finds the United States Leading in Wind Power Growth.

June 10, 2008 By: George Category: Climate, Renewable Energy No Comments →

For the third year in a row, the United States was the fastest growing wind power market in the world in 2007, according to a new DOE report. The 2007 edition of DOE’s “Annual Report on U.S. Wind Power Installation, Cost, and Performance Trends,” released last week, found that $9 billion was invested in 5,329 megawatts of new U.S. wind power capacity in 2007, causing the total U.S. wind power capacity to increase by 46%. The growing U.S. wind market spurred new investment in turbine and component manufacturing plants, with enough new and planned facilities to create more than 4,700 new U.S. jobs. The report notes that wind power accounted for 35% of all new U.S. electric generating capacity in 2007 and can now supply about 1.2% of the country’s electricity needs. In addition, new transmission facilities under development throughout the country will allow the future development of another 200,000 megawatts of wind power.

Prepared by DOE’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, the annual report analyzes developments in the wind market, including trends in wind installations, turbine size, turbine prices, installed project costs, project performance, wind power prices, and cost comparisons between wind power and conventional generation. It also describes developer consolidation trends, current ownership and financing structures, and trends among major wind power purchasers. See the DOE press release and DOE’s Wind and Hydropower Program Web site, or go directly to the full report (PDF 3.9 MB)