Exciting Renewable Energy Breakthroughs seen in 2013

Solana solar farm

Solana solar farm’s salt battery lets it keep generating energy when the sun isn’t shining

As we wind down towards the end of the year, it’s worth taking a moment to review some of the remarkable technological and environmental breakthroughs we saw occur during 2013. Here are some of these great innovations.

  1. The 280-megawatt Solana Concentrating Solar Power farm in Gila Bend, Arizona came online this year. It uses a ‘salt battery’ that will allow it to keep generating electricity even when the sun isn’t shining.
  2. Nissan’s groundbreaking ‘Vehicle-To-Building‘ technology will utilize the batteries from Nissan LEAF electric vehicles to power office buildings during peak demand times.When demand is low, electricity flows back to the vehicles, ensuring they’re charged for the drive home.
  3. Nissan's Vehicle to Building program will power buildings during peak demand times
    Nissan’s Vehicle to Building program will power buildings during peak demand times

    General Electric introduced its new innovative line of wind turbines, which marries two technologies within the turbines to address storage and intermittency concerns. They’re a more efficient, less expensive solution to help meet peak energy demands.

  4. The cost of solar energy fell dramatically, making it competitive with fossil fuel-based energy sources.
  5. Renewable energy generated from ocean waves expanded, with no detrimental impact on the marine environment found.
  6. The first U.S. floating wind turbines off the coast of Maine
    The first U.S. floating wind turbines off the coast of Maine

    Solar film saw a jump in energy efficiency this year with Alta Devices, a solar manufacturer based in Silicon Valley, setting a new record of 30.8 percent conversion efficiency.

  7. Electric car batteries became safer, lighter and have an increased ability to store more power, thanks to researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
  8. New offshore wind farms will now float, thanks to Statoil, the Norwegian-based oil and gas company whose floating turbines off the coast of Scotland will only require a few cables to keep them anchored, and can be placed in water up to 700 meters.
  9. AC current will soon be available to help customers cut their electricity bills through the use of USB technology.

To learn more about these and other breakthroughs we saw this year, go to http://bit.ly/1ee0OH2.

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