Microgrid Expansion Could Lock In Carbon Emissions Without Policy Safeguards

The decentralization of the grid could lead to a future where localized microgrids power much of the country with clean energy.

Microgrids, though, are not synonymous with clean power. Many of them rely on fossil fuels like diesel generators or natural-gas-powered fuel cells and microturbines. Currently, those technologies tend to cost less and offer greater dispatchability than solar and batteries.

If the young markets for localized generation via microgrids are left to their own devices, we can expect a largely gas-driven microgrid future, University of California at San Diego researchers found in a new study published in the journal Energy Policy.

In many

Tesla Reveals Details About Its New Panasonic Solar Panels With a ‘Clean, Streamlined Look’

Electrek: Tesla Unveils Its New ‘Sleek and Low-Profile’ Exclusive Solar Panel Made by Panasonic

The attention around Tesla’s solar products is mostly focused on its solar roof tiles, but those address only a new segment in the market -- the new roof segment. Tesla is also trying to innovate for homeowners who don’t need a new roof, but who still want to generate their own solar energy.

This weekend, Tesla updated the ‘Energy’ section of its website to unveil new pictures of a new exclusive solar panel made by Panasonic. Electrek has also learned some details about this new product that will apparently shape the

2017 could be the year that fuel-cell technology finally breaks out. Here's why that may or may not happen. 

First, the potentially good news.

Plug Power feels like an Amazon

Last week, fuel-cell builder Plug Power announced that Amazon, the world's largest online retailer, had gained the rights to buy up to 23 percent of the firm, in a deal that has Amazon spending $70 million in cash for fuel cells this year and $600 million over the course of the engagement. That's a big deal with the globe's pacesetter in the $20 billion materials-handling market.

Plug Power's system speeds

America's energy transition is no longer theoretical.

Wind and solar are increasingly the lowest-cost resources getting connected to the grid, changing the investment calculus for utilities and dominating new capacity builds. Electricity demand nationwide continues to fall, even as millions more square feet of buildings are constructed. And in states across the country, distributed solar is decimating load growth

These trends are adding up. In fact, renewables and efficiency together will cut the equivalent of 2 billion cubic feet of fossil fuel demand per day by 2020.

The chart below comes from Prajit Ghosh, the head of

The 2017 Grid Edge Awards: Projects Defining the Future Integrated, Interactive Electric Grid

For the past four years, Greentech Media has been giving its Grid Edge Awards to the leading companies and projects that incorporate distributed energy resources, energy-enabled customers, and other emerging trends that are upending the century-old concept of centralized, unidirectional electricity delivery.

This year’s award winners -- nominated by and voted on by energy industry stakeholders, including the team of analysts at GTM Research -- represents an even broader set of participants in this energy revolution. First, the awards were expanded to accept submissions from companies or projects based outside the U.S., as well as individual commercial, industry or public energy consumers who have deployed distributed energy solutions

Toyota Invests in Artificial Intelligence for Cheaper Batteries, Electric Cars and Fuel Cells

Carmaker Toyota is pursuing advanced technology in pursuit of electric vehicle battery cost cuts.

The Japanese manufacturer recently announced it would be using artificial intelligence (AI) to help in the design and production of electric cars and fuel cells.

The move follow’s Tesla’s acquisition of Grohmann Engineering last year, which gave Elon Musk’s firm access to automation technology that could cut manufacturing costs.

Toyota’s AI-based approach, being led by the Toyota Research Institute (TRI) with offices in Palo Alto, CA, Ann Arbor, MI, and Cambridge, MA, is more focused on primary research.

“In materials problems in general you

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