Tag Archives: wind power

Floating energy: a new era of renewables

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As land becomes increasingly expensive and planning consent for large-scale renewable energy projects is more difficult to acquire, floating renewables projects, especially solar-powered ones, are on the rise worldwide. The global market for ‘floatovoltaics’ – floating solar panel installations – is expected to reach $2.7 billion by 2025.

Although floatovoltaics are not new, floating solar panel projects are now being installed all over the world on a massive scale. In 2016, a floating energy farm was installed on the Queen Elizabeth II Reservoir in Surrey, England. With more than 23,000 solar panels and the size of eight soccer fields, it is the largest floating solar installation in Europe. Coming in at twice that size is the floating solar project currently being installed on the Yamakura Dam reservoir in Japan. Once completed, the project’s more than 50,000 floating solar panels will generate enough electricity to power 5,000 homes.

In 2017, however, the rule book was rewritten when China switched on what is now the world’s largest floating renewable energy plant in the nation’s Anhui province. With a $45 million price tag, the giant installation of 120,000 solar panels covers an area equivalent to over 160 football fields and generates enough energy to power 15,000 homes.

Why floatovoltaics are rising to the top

One of the prime reasons for floatovoltaics’ worldwide popularity is their unique design, which addresses multiple efficiency and planning issues. These floating apparatuses are convenient to install in areas with limited land availability and, due to their small size, can be arrayed in unusual shapes. Additional benefits include reduced water evaporation and algae growth and increased solar cell performance.… Read More

Thinking small for big impact: powering a green future with microgrids

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Though still sparsely utilized due to the infancy of the concept, microgrids are seeing a surge in growth as they offer unique opportunities to harness green energy.

Microgrids—a small power system that can operate independently of the macrogrid—use less than 0.2 percent of all U.S. electricity, according to the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions. However, that capacity is expected to more than double by 2020, as certain states create funding opportunities and attract developers.

iStock_000074821533_LargeThese self-contained power systems can light up commercial facilities, residential neighborhoods or remote communities. They can operate on a range of sources, including emerging technologies like fuel cells and modular nuclear reactors and are able to harness the power of on-site energy by collecting the heat from a nuclear reactor or the wind or sunlight over surrounding land. Using renewable resources, the microgrid can generate zero-emission electricity. And finally, the microgrid can keep running when storms or blackouts cause the macrogrid to lose power.

Most microgrids are located in seven states—Alaska, California, Georgia, Maryland, New York, Oklahoma and Texas. In Brooklyn, a project is moving forward to power a low-income housing community with a lithium-ion-battery microgrid. A public-private development in Denver is using a solar-powered microgrid. And another public-private partnership in Maryland is developing two microgrids to power county facilities.

Because microgrids are a relatively new concept, they face unique financial and legal hurdles. … Read More

Go off the grid with offsite renewable energy solutions

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Alternative energy is a hot topic these days. But did you know that you don’t necessarily need to produce renewable energy onsite to take advantage of the benefits? JLL’s Lauren McAdam explains what your options are for offsite renewable energy – and what you need to know when evaluating your opportunities. 

It’s no secret that renewable energy alternatives present attractive new options for commercial and industrial real estate owners and occupiers. But the reality is that most commercial and industrial (C&I) organizations can’t achieve their sustainability goals such as carbon reduction and energy savings solely through onsite renewable energy solutions – site size limitations, site intrusion, operational interruptions, contract commitment lengths, and other factors all can limit the opportunities.

Many large companies are increasingly looking to offsite renewable energy solutions as an alternative way to achieve their sustainability goals– and approximately 75% of S&P 500 companies have some form of sustainability goals.Read More