Volume 2, Issue 4
October 10, 2016 – October 16, 2016
Jason Mulderrig | Anushka Dasgupta

Wind Energy:
The Great Texas Wind Power Boom                                                                                                                                                                                                      http://www.forbes.com/sites/judeclemente/2016/10/11/the-great-texas-wind-power-boom/#68a2a736192b
October 11, 2016 | Jude Clemente                                                                                                                           Within the past several years, wind energy has been undergoing a quiet takeover in the state of Texas. Since 2010, wind power generation in Texas has doubled; at times during its breezy winter days, wind energy supplies nearly half of the electricity to Texas. There are several factors for this surge in wind power in Texas. First, Texas sits at the bottom of a wind corridor that travels from Canada, through the Great Plains, and into the Lone Star State. Second, about three-quarters of Texas are covered by its own power grid – the ERCOT. This allows for wind farms and transmission lines to be easily approved of politically and quickly constructed. Finally, Texas is obviously saturated with large amounts of natural gas, which provides the fuel for backup power generation to the wind energy infrastructure of the state. In order for more wind power to be developed in the state, more wind energy focused transmission lines will have continue to be constructed. -JPM

Can We Capture Energy From a Hurricane?                                                                                                                                                                                                     http://www.smithsonianmag.com/ist/?next=/innovation/can-we-capture-energy-hurricane-180960750/
October 12, 2016 | Michelle Donahue                                                                                                                           The title of this article may give you flashbacks, as the author writes, to your own “childlike notion one could solve the world’s energy problems simply by running a huge extension cord to the sun.” But this is no pipe dream – each idea discussed is a prototyped or patented method to take advantage of a tiny portion of the 1.5 TW of wind energy generated in a single hurricane. (For context, the world’s electricity generating capacity is right about 5.25 TW). The idea is not to chase hurricanes as they pop up and rage from shore to shore, but rather to be ready for them should they arrive. Particularly interesting is a proposal from a Miami-based team. Their turbine system will use the energy from severe winds to generate power, while reducing the damage such winds typically cause to roofs. Many research institutions, including Princeton, have recently become focused on this kind of “resilient” architecture. -AD

Tidal Energy:
Welsh tidal lagoon project could open way for 15 billion pound revolution in UK energy                                                                          https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/oct/08/tidal-power-swansea-bay-lagoon 
October 8, 2016 | Robin McKie                                                                                                                                         A British company called Tidal Power Lagoon, is proposing a prototype tidal lagoon in Swansea Bay that would produce 350 MW of power. The proposed lagoon structure is essentially a 9 km sea wall that encloses a section of Swansea Bay. In the progression to high tide, water would be diverted past an array of 16 turbines. When the high tide passes, the water stored in the lagoon passes by the same 16 turbines. In total, the setup could produce electricity for 14 hours a day. If the proposal passes through the government, then six major tidal projects around the United Kingdom will be immediately proposed for construction. Clean energy advocates and people hopeful for the creation of a future UK-based tidal energy industry are hoping for the quick approvals to the projects. Meanwhile, environmentalists concerned about the unforeseen consequences to the wildlife in these estuary habitats are hoping for a slower and thorough analysis of the technology before approving the proposed projects. -JPM

Energy Storage:
Siemens Tests Breakthrough Thermal Storage System for Wind                                                                                                                                                                                        http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/Siemens-Tests-Breakthrough-Thermal-Storage-System-For-Wind
October 10, 2016 | Jason Deign                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Siemens recently announced that it is entering the prototype stage with a project called “Future Energy Solution” (FES). The project combines steam turbine technology with packed-bed heat storage, two proven technologies in the energy field, into a modular unit. The working principle is that surplus electricity (particularly from renewable sources) is used to power a large-scale heater that blows hot air over a bed of basalt rocks in an insulated container. Then, when the user wants to tap into that stored energy, some water is sprayed over the rocks, which creates steam to drive a steam turbine. Even though this project combines proven energy technologies into a modular energy storage unit, the project will have to compete with battery storage systems for meaningful space in the energy storage market. -JPM