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Friday, October 6, 2017

Cleantech News for 6 Oct 2017


Elon Musk says that, if given the green light, he can power Puerto Rico

Elon Musk says that, if given the green light, he can power Puerto Rico


When Scott Stapf read a story about Puerto Rico’s “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to rethink how it gets electricity,” he had a thought: Could Elon Musk rebuild the country’s electricity system with independent solar and battery systems?

So, he posed the question on Twitter TWTR, +2.82% , probably not expecting to get an answer from the man himself.

As Musk says in his tweet, Tesla TSLA, +0.09%  is familiar with what it takes, though on a smaller scale than the one desperately needed in Puerto Rico. Check out this video of how it works on the Samoan island of Ta’u, from the SolarCity blog:

Late Thursday, Puerto Rico Gov. Ricky Rossello expressed his interest, tweeting “Let’s talk” to Musk, saying “PR could be that flagship project.”

Full story at http://on.mktw.net/2xYun0i

Source: MarketWatch

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How Oceans are Being Used to Cool Massive Data Centres

How Oceans are Being Used to Cool Massive Data Centres


As the number of people around the world who are connecting to the internet continues to mushroom, the physical infrastructure necessary to support all that data is being upgraded and improved. The International Telecommunication Union estimates that by the end of this year, 47 percent of the global population will be online. Earlier this year, Google estimated it handles, on average, about 40,000 search queries every second.

Tech giants like Microsoft and Google are forever updating their data centres—the giant server farms that handle every download and search query thrust into the ether. As the demand for these centres grows, the innovation that goes into building them gets increasingly more sophisticated.

Operating this gargantuan network of servers means that these data centres are notoriously power-hungry and pump out an enormous amount of waste heat. At the same time, these facilities often need to be as close as possible to major population centres to reduce the costs associated with transmitting all this data to where it's needed.

Microsoft attempted to reconcile the overheated output with population proximity by launching an experiment in 2015 called Project Natick. Since 50 percent of the global population lives near a coastal area, they would use the cooling power that can be obtained from seawater. Natick involved submerging a self-contained data centre underwater as a test case to see if submersible cloud computing is a viable technology.

Full story at http://bit.ly/2wre8au

Source: https://motherboard.vice.com

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How innovative startups can flourish in a changing cleantech landscape

How innovative startups can flourish in a changing cleantech landscape


Being a clean-tech startup amidst today’s uncertain political priorities and tightening R&D budgets is like being on a rollercoaster where the loops keep getting bigger and bigger and have no end in sight.

But surprisingly, this hasn’t stopped many clean energy startups bursting with outside-of-the-box ideas and innovations waiting to be taken to market. However, with a 50% decline in non-software cleantech investmentin the last few years, these promising and innovative technologies might never cross the infamous “valley of death”.

There are lots of great ideas, but less and less funding to see these ideas to market. So, promoting innovation in clean energy means that we need more efficient ways to deploy increasingly limited investment capital.

One answer is to ‘de-risk’ these technologies. De-risking new innovations through third party testing and validation shows that the technology has merit if developed, yielding valuable information on potential investments at low cost. Technology validation and prototyping reduces investor uncertainty and has been shown to double the likelihood of investments and traversing the valley of death to a successful exit.

Full story at http://tcrn.ch/2xU4Lk2

Source: TechCrunch

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The mosque that powers a village

The mosque that powers a village


The village of Tadmamet is just an hour’s drive south from the bustling city of Marrakech in Morocco. But it’s a world apart.

Nestled in the High Atlas mountains, its 400 inhabitants here are 40km (25 miles) away from the nearest village and live a simple, rural lifestyle.

Crops like barley, potatoes and apples are the main source of income. Most people don’t have cars. There are no smartphones to be seen and no internet connections. Even access to electricity can be a struggle, especially during the harsh winter.

But there may be a new way to meet their energy needs. And it’s from an unlikely source: the village’s place of worship, the mosque.

Full story at http://bbc.in/2fWAXwA

Source: BBC News

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Trump May Not Get His Wall, But He May Make Dams Great Again

Trump May Not Get His Wall, But He May Make Dams Great Again


In late August, the U.S. Department of Energy released its much-anticipated Electricity Markets and Reliability report. Back in May, I wrote in Forbesabout the Trump administration mandating the report, and I warned coal and nuclear investors not to assume it would save their bacon. It sure didn't.

Investors who bet that the report would argue for a U.S. energy policy more favorable for coal and nuclear — perhaps declaring a national emergency and putting coal on the endangered species list — guessed wrong. The report instead blames coal’s decline not on Obama-era regulations, but rather on the shale gas revolution. It preaches a market-based approach where the government shouldn’t pick winners and losers through subsidies and bailouts.

I’ve always believed in and spoken out for the value of having a very diverse energy-generation portfolio, encompassing coal, nuclear, natural gas, wind, solar and more, like my home state of Pennsylvania — truly a U.S. energy capital that has an “all of the above” energy strategy. While every sector of the energy economy scrambled to spin the DOE’s latest report for its particular special interest, I found the report’s real eye-opener to be its boost to dams: It argues that Washington should cut regulations to make it easier to license and relicense hydroelectric power projects.

Dams. Remember those? Anyone who has visited the Hoover Dam and had their breath taken away by what President Franklin D. Roosevelt called “this great feat of mankind” will forever marvel at the engineering miracle of dams. Dams have generated electricity and produced zero carbon dioxide for more than a century.

Full story at http://bit.ly/2w9vbxB

Source: Forbes

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Solar-Powered Bitcoin Mining Could Be a Very Profitable Business Model

Solar-Powered Bitcoin Mining Could Be a Very Profitable Business Model


Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are now a major business, with the global market capitalization of these coins exceeding $170 billion at their recent peak, according to Coin Market Cap.

Bitcoin alone has reached over $70 billion in value, up from nothing when it was created just eight years ago.

A major issue with Bitcoin, which may eventually undermine success unless it is remedied, is the massive amount of power required for “mining” of the coins.

The mining metaphor is apt because bitcoins are created through specialized computers looking for the correct codes (hash keys), just like digging for gold. That electronic digging takes more and more power as more and more people dig for that virtual gold. Sebastian Deetman calculated in 2016 that mining would require as much electricity by 2020 as the entire nation of Denmark currently consumes.

Full story at http://bit.ly/2jkPbM2

Source: Greentech Media

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