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Home Green (Renewable) Energy
GREEN ENERGY

Planning for Home Renewable Energy Systems

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Planning for Home Renewable Energy Systems

Planning for a home renewable energy system is a process that includes analyzing your existing electricity use, looking at local codes and requirements, deciding if you want to operate your system on or off of the electric grid, and understanding technology options you have for your site. | Photo courtesy of Thomas Kelsey/U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon

Planning for a home renewable energy system is a process that includes analyzing your existing electricity use, looking at local codes and requirements, deciding if you want to operate your system on or off of the electric grid, and understanding technology options you have for your site. | Photo courtesy of Thomas Kelsey/U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon

Maybe you are considering purchasing a renewable energy system to generate electricity at your home. Although it takes time and money to research, buy, and maintain a system, many people enjoy the independence they gain and the knowledge that their actions are helping the environment.

A renewable energy system can be used to supply some or all of your electricity needs, using technologies like:

  • Small solar electric systems
  • Small wind electric systems
  • Microhydropower systems
  • Small hybrid electric systems (solar and wind).

Planning for a home renewable energy system is a process that includes analyzing your existing electricity use (and considering energy efficiency measures to reduce it), looking at local codes and requirements, deciding if you want to operate your system on or off of the electric grid, and understanding technology options you have for your site.

If you're designing a new home, work with the builder and your contractor to incorporate your small renewable energy system into your whole-house design, an approach for building an energy-efficient home.

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Microhydropower Systems

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Microhydropower Systems

Microhydropower can be one of the most simple and consistent forms or renewable energy on your property.

Microhydropower can be one of the most simple and consistent forms or renewable energy on your property.

If you have water flowing through your property, you might consider building a small hydropower system to generate electricity. Microhydropower systems usually generate up to 100 kilowatts of electricity. Most of the hydropower systems used by homeowners and small business owners, including farmers and ranchers, would qualify as microhydropower systems. But a 10-kilowatt microhydropower system generally can provide enough power for a large home, a small resort, or a hobby farm.

A microhydropower system needs a turbine, pump, or waterwheel to transform the energy of flowing water into rotational energy, which is converted into electricity.

Our page on planning a microhydropower system has more information.

How a Microhydropower System Works

Hydropower systems use the energy in flowing water to produce electricity or mechanical energy. Although there are several ways to harness the moving water to produce energy, run-of-the-river systems, which do not require large storage reservoirs, are often used for microhydropower systems.

For run-of-the-river microhydropower systems, a portion of a river's water is diverted to a water conveyance -- channel, pipeline, or pressurized pipeline (penstock) -- that delivers it to a turbine or waterwheel. The moving water rotates the wheel or turbine, which spins a shaft. The motion of the shaft can be used for mechanical processes, such as pumping water, or it can be used to power an alternator or generator to generate electricity.

A microhydropower system can be connected to an electric distribution system (grid-connected), or it can stand alone (off-grid).

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Growing Green – Opportunities for Turkey

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Growing Green – Opportunities for Turkey

Submitted by Martin Raiser

iran-turkey-energy-middle-east

Can emerging markets make economic growth compatible with climate action? Can the trade-off between growth and rising emissions be influenced by policy?

For a country like Turkey – with the lowest carbon footprint in the OECD (around 5 tons per person in 2008), but also one of the highest rates of growth of carbon emissions over the past two decades – these are not idle questions. A recent talk with a senior Turkish policy maker about how Turkey is adjusting its policies to meet the challenge of growing green left me feeling optimistic about the role Turkey can play in this discussion. I believe that for Turkey, growing green is an opportunity. Let me explain why I think so:

First, there are Turkey’s endowments. We tend to think of Turkey as an energy poor country – dependent on imports for almost 60 percent of its domestic needs. But the country has significant renewables potential. For instance, Turkey’s economically viable hydro potential is estimated at 140 TWh, or close to 60 percent of total 2012 energy demand. Surrounded by three seas, Turkey is one of the most promising markets for wind power in Europe and it has lots of sunshine - as millions of tourists can confirm! Sitting on the Anatolian fault line, Turkey is geologically active and is estimated to have the 7th largest geothermal resources in the world. These are enviable endowments for a green growth future.

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Wind, Water, and Steam – a Triple Win for Turkey’s Energy Sector

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Wind, Water, and Steam – a Triple Win for Turkey’s Energy Sector

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Renewable energy in Turkey.


STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Turkey has committed to a target that 30% of its total energy come from renewable sources by 2023
  • The World Bank Group has provided more than $1 billion for renewable energy and energy efficiency projects in Turkey
  • Renewable energy and energy efficiency projects are helping to reduce CO2 emissions in Turkey by more than 3 million tons annually

Over the last two decades Turkey has been experiencing rapid economic, population, and industrialization growth – leading to economic and social improvements across the country. These improvements have been instrumental for growth and have led to increases in demands for energy by both industry and households in Turkey. Electricity demand around the country has been increasing by as much as 7-8 percent in recent years, resulting in energy transmission and peak capacity in the country increasing by nearly 60% between 2002 and 2010. Although this increase in energy consumption and intensity has been vital for Turkey’s sustained economic growth, it has also led to increases in energy imports to the country and rising carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. In response to this situation, Turkey is now embarking on an ambitious path to help ensure that future growth in the country will incorporate an energy sector strategy that is both more economically and environmentally sustainable.

In recent years Turkey has developed several energy strategies that prioritize the local production of energy from wind, hydropower, and geothermal sources by local companies and emphasize the need for improved energy efficiency in the country. With an eye toward its centennial in 2023, the country is committing itself to several ambitious action plans designed to increase power generation from different renewable sources within the country, while decreasing energy intensity and environmental impacts over the coming decade. Two key documents – the Electricity Market and Security of Supply Strategy and National Energy Efficiency Strategy – are paving the way for these improvements by respectively calling for Turkey to meet a target of 30% for renewable energy production in the country and to reduce its energy intensity levels (energy consumption of energy per unit of GDP) by 20% between 2011 and the end of its Centennial year.

With much of Turkey’s energy supply coming from outside of its own borders and fossil fuel consumption in the country on the rise – leading to rising levels of carbon dioxide – this shift toward locally produced, renewable energy and improved energy efficiency represents a potential triple win for the country – simultaneously increasing domestic energy generation, decreasing CO2 levels, and spurring growth among Turkey’s small, medium, and large energy companies. Today, Turkey imports more than 60% of its energy - much of it in the form of fossil fuels - despite an abundance of untapped, renewable energy sources throughout the country.

Although Turkey ranks number one in the world in terms of growth rate for wind energy plants today, it currently utilizes just five percent of its projected total potential in this area. Furthermore, rivers and lakes throughout Turkey represent approximately 140 Terawatt hours (TWh) of economically viable energy potential. The collective utilization of the country’s impressive hydro potential, an additional 20,000 megawatt hours (MWh) of wind-installed capacity, and an expanding geothermal sector represents the cornerstone of Turkey’s renewable energy strategy – which is already helping to boost private sector involvement in energy production in Turkey and is leading to significant reductions in both energy intensity and overall greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

As part of this continued push to increase renewable energy production and improve energy efficiency, the World Bank Group is working with Turkey to increase that country's capacity is these two key areas. More than $1 billion in World Bank funding has been leveraged by Turkey for renewable energy and energy efficiency projects, leading to significant increases in energy being produced by privately-owned, renewable energy companies in Turkey - as well as significant reductions in CO2 emissions throughout the country. Over the last decade the amount of electricity being produced by these privately-owned facilities has expanded nearly 18 fold – increasing from 1,490 gigawatt hours (GWh) in 2002 to 26,235 GWh in 2012. Furthermore, projects being developed in coordination with The World Bank Group are helping to reduce greenhouse gases in Turkey by as much as 3.3 million tons every year.

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The work in power generation that is being supported by The World Bank Group is also being complimented by ongoing work to improve energy efficiency around Turkey. By prioritizing improvements in energy efficiency measures for small and medium enterprises (SMEs), Turkey is able to boost the competitiveness of these SMEs - by lowering operating costs - while simultaneously helping to further green its economy - through decreases in energy intensity and GHG emissions. The recent Small and Medium Enterprises Energy Efficiency Project represents the latest cooperation between Turkey and The World Bank Group in this sphere. This $201 million project is designed to generate more than 300 GWh in annual energy savings for SMEs across Turkey and reduce CO2 emissions by as much as 154,000 tons by 2018.

Collectively, these actions are instrumental in helping Turkey continue to experience the kinds of economic and social growth it has seen in recent years without forcing it to increase its energy intensity and CO2 emissions. As a result, Turkey is paving the way today for a bright and beautiful bicentennial celebration in 2123.

Source: http://www.worldbank.org/en/news/feature/2013/05/30/wind-water-steam-a-triple-win-for-turkey-energy-sector

 

 

RENEWABLE ENERGY AND ENERGY EFFICIENCY

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New Euro-Mediterranean renewable energy and energy efficiency platform launched

Monday, 14 November 2016

Miguel Arias Cañete, European Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy and Ziad Jibril Sabra, Advisor to the Minister and Director, Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, Jordan, have launched a new platform for cooperation on renewable energy and energy efficiency in the framework of the Union for the Mediterranean.

The platform, launched on 14 November at the COP22 climate summit in Marrakesh, Morocco, aims to provide a forum for discussing energy policy objectives and measures, and to identify and implement joint initiatives.

It aims to promote the growth of renewables and energy efficiency measures in a way that fosters socio-economic development and boosts access to secure, affordable, reliable and climate-friendly energy.

The platform was launched alongside Osama Assran, Vice Minister of Electricity and Renewable Energy, Egypt; Fathallah Sijilmassi, Secretary General of the Union for the Mediterranean; and Nandita Parshad, Director of Power and Energy Utilities, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

This is the third of three regional cooperation platforms to be launched. Last year two other Euro-Mediterranean platforms were launched to boost cooperation on both gas and electricity.

 

Electrofuels: Tiny Organisms Making a Big Impact

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Electrofuels: Tiny Organisms Making a Big Impact

Electrofuels: Tiny Organisms Making a Big Impact
Alexa McClanahan
Communications Support Contractor to ARPA-E

They say a picture is worth a thousand words — but what happens when what you want to look at is impossible to see?

That’s where the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy’s Electrofuels program comes in. The 13 projects that make up the program seek to develop renewable liquid fuels that use microorganisms to harness chemical or electrical energy to convert carbon dioxide into liquid fuels, without using petroleum or biomass. For example, scientists at Columbia University are using bacteria to optimize the conversion of carbon dioxide and ammonia into a liquid transportation fuel similar to gasoline.

If successful, the projects supported by ARPA-E could change the game – breaking our dependence on imported oil and powering our vehicles with homegrown fuels.

Check out the infographic above to see how tiny organisms are making a big impact, or see electrofuels projects in action at ARPA-E’s 2012 Energy Innovation Summit, held February 27-29 right outside Washington, D.C. For more information, visit http://energyinnovationsummit.com/


 

A Guide to Lighting your Home with Solar Energy

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A Guide to Lighting your Home with Solar Energy

Jan 07, 2014 by Wendy Weinert

Solar energy is fast becoming the most cost-effective and realistic alternative to conventional energy production. In residential capacities, solar energy systems harness energy and heat from the sun, converting it in order to power your lights, hot water heater, appliances, and more. There are numerous types of solar energy systems, and the benefits of incorporating this environmentally friendly resource into your home are astonishing. From reducing the impact that you have on the environment to cutting your utility bills and upping your resale value, solar energy is truly a worthwhile investment.

Solar energy utilizes the natural resources of the sun to generate heat and electricity. Systems come in various sizes, from just a few panels to light your home to larger systems that essentially take you off of the grid. Most residential applications work via photovoltaic cells, which absorb light and then transfer it to a semiconductor, freeing up electrons and generating a current. The current is then fed into your home, powering everything from your table lamp to major appliances. It can also be fed directly back into the power system you're already hooked up to, sending it to the utility company as an energy surplus. Solar energy is considered an intermittent source, simply because cloud cover eliminates the availability of sunlight, halting the process. However, residential solar energy systems often come equipped with a storage feature, creating a back-up when the weather doesn't cooperate.

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2012: The International Year of Sustainable Energy for All

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2012: The International Year of Sustainable Energy for All

2012: The International Year of Sustainable Energy for AllThe United Nations General Assembly has declared 2012 the International Year of Sustainable Energy for All, recognizing that “…access to modern affordable energy services in developing countries is essential for the achievement of the internationally agreed development goals, including the Millennium Development Goals, and sustainable development, which would help to reduce poverty and to improve the conditions and standard of living for the majority of the world’s population.

In response, the Secretary-General is undertaking action to support the Year through a global initiative on Sustainable Energy for All. The initiative will mobilize action from governments, the private sector, and civil society partners globally. The Secretary-General has set three interlinked objectives for his initiative: ensuring universal access to modern energy services, doubling the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency, and doubling the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix. The International Year of Sustainable Energy for All will provide a vital advocacy platform for raising awareness of the challenge.

The UN General Assembly resolution that designates 2012 as the International Year of Sustainable Energy for All encourages Member States and other actors to increase the awareness of the importance of addressing energy issues and to promote action at the local, national, regional and international levels. Member States are at the heart of the success of the Year. To develop and promote strategies, commitments and activities related to the preparation and observance of the Year, and assume responsibility for reporting back on national contributions to the objectives of the Year, Member States are encouraged to appoint National Coordinating Mechanisms. The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has prepared a guidance note to inform the formation of National Coordinating Mechanisms that can be a driving and pivotal force in advocating for commitments and accountability towards the goal of sustainable energy for all. For information on your country’s activities in the Year’s efforts, contact your national United Nations office or the department of public affairs of the agencies responsible for energy in your country. Other resource material regarding the 2012 International Year of Sustainable Energy for All can also be found here.

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Green energy: demand drives innovation

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The growing demand for power generated from renewable energy sources also drives innovation in the sector, according to research on the German renewables industry. An increase in the number of patents granted for green technologies in Germany was linked to both increased demand – driven by renewable energy policies – and increased public spending on the sector.

SETIS is the European Commission's Information System for the SET-Plan led by the Joint Research CentreUnder the Renewable Energy Directive (2009/28/EC), the EU has set mandatory national targets for the share of total energy to be generated from renewable sources by 2020.1 Germany is an example of a country with more ambitious goals for renewable energy. While the EU as a whole is committed to achieving a 20% share, Germany has set its 2020 target at 35%. The new study provides insights into how developing energy policy in the country has shaped the market for, and driven innovation in, renewable energy over the last two decades. 

Two key pieces of national legislation on renewable energies have influenced the adoption of green technologies in Germany. The Electricity Feed Law or Stromeinspeisungsgesetz (SEG) came into effect in 1991, requiring utilities providers to connect those generating renewable energy to the grid and to buy their electricity at 65-90% of the cost charged to consumers of that electricity. In 2000, the Renewable Energy Sources Act or Erneuerbare-Energien-Gesetz (EEG) extended the range of renewable energy technologies covered and set different tariffs for different types of energy. Between 2007 and 2010, Germany more than doubled the proportion of its energy mix made up by renewables – from 7% to 17%.2 The renewables industry in Germany currently produces 20% of total electricity generated, with around 382,000 jobs linked to the industry.3

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