Business Standard: Indian Wind Manufacturer Suzlon Plans to Focus on Solar

After wading through the troubled waters of debt and falling revenues, Suzlon, India's first and the world's fifth-largest wind turbine energy maker, is bracing for a leap of faith, on several fronts. From investing in solar energy to repowering of old sites to the second generation of the Tanti family taking charge of different business, the company is reorienting.

Suzlon, the leading Indian player in the wind energy business, is now looking to expand its portfolio by venturing into solar power.

New York Times: Energy Bills Send Shivers in New England

Like turning back the clocks and putting on snow tires, bracing for high energy bills has become an annual rite of the season in New England. Because the region’s six states -- Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont -- have an integrated electrical grid, they all share the misery.

These latest increases are salt in the wound. New England already pays the highest electricity rates of any region in the 48 contiguous states because it has no fossil fuels of its own and has to import all of its oil, gas and coal. In September, residential customers in New England paid an average retail price of 17.67 cents per kilowatt-hour; the national average was 12.94 cents.

Beyond that, the increases confound common sense, given that global oil prices have dropped to their lowest levels in years, and natural gas is cheap and plentiful from the vast underground shale reserves in nearby Pennsylvania.

ClimateWire: A Cautionary Tale About Advanced Batteries

At 10:21 a.m. on Jan. 7, 2013, about a minute after all 183 passengers and 11 crew members from Japan Airlines Flight 008 disembarked at Boston's Logan International Airport, a member of the cleaning crew spotted smoke in the aft cabin of the Boeing 787-8.

A mechanic then opened the aft electronic equipment bay of the plane, parked at the airport gate, and saw billowing smoke and flames coming from the batteries for the 787's auxiliary power unit (APU). He tried to use a fire extinguisher, but the blaze didn't go out.

Penn State: Low-Grade Waste Heat Regenerates Ammonia Battery

An efficient method to harvest low-grade waste heat as electricity may be possible using reversible ammonia batteries, according to Penn State engineers.

Low-grade waste heat is an artifact of many energy-generating methods. In automobiles, waste heat generated in winter is diverted to run the vehicle heating system, but in the summer, that same waste heat must be dissipated to the environment.

The researchers want to take this waste heat and capture it to produce more power. Other researchers have tried a variety of methods, but most produce too little power to be workable, or they cannot provide a continuous resource. Bruce E. Logan and his team are using a thermally regenerated ammonia-based battery that consists of copper electrodes with ammonia added only to the anolyte -- the electrolyte surrounding the anode.

Guardian Opinion: Renewables Need to Commit to Getting Off Subsidies

The industry needs to see things from the customer perspective and confront the subsidy issue head-on. Renewables policy has suffered a deplorable lack of clarity and consistency; but this doesn’t change the fact that from the customer’s point of view, the idea of subsidies does not make sense. Whether bills will theoretically be cheaper or not in 2020, or whether fossil fuels are also subsidized, is irrelevant. Consumers just want to know they aren’t writing a blank check.

In reality, renewables are a huge success story, here and around the world.

Technology is evolving, costs plummeting, deployment is steaming ahead. But that’s not the way the story is told and that, in part, is because the industry has been so loathe to talk about becoming financially self-sufficient. To the public, justification of subsidies (in terms of growth and jobs, for example) just looks like a tug of war between industry wanting more and government pushing back. Now, the political reality is that cost trumps all.