Although vanadium redox flow batteries (VRFBs) have the potential to be “the next big thing” that would enable economical storage of wind and solar energy, there are no existing or planned utility-scale installations after more than 25 years of development. One small venture capital-funded private company, Prudent Energy Corporation, is leading development.
Shares of wind and run-of-river power developer Plutonic Power Corporation (TSX: PCC.TO) are up 8% (market cap $171 milion) at mid-day after the company announced before the opening this morning it had agreed to merge with geothermal power developer Magma Energy Corp. (TSX. MXY.TO) (market cap $380 million) to form a new renewable energy company called Alterra Power Corp. Magma shares are down 2%. Both companies are based in Vancouver, British Columbia.
The University of British Columbia (UBC) continues to set the bar for advancements in global renewable energy research by working on a project that will see the production of enough green energy to power 1500 homes. In addition, the university reports that the projects will eliminate nearly 4500 tons of greenhouse gas emissions from the campus.
Plutonic Power Corporation (TSX: PCC) and GE Energy Financial Services, a unit of GE (NYSE: GE), said Wednesday their 129-megawatt (MW) $228 million Dokie wind power project in northeastern British Columbia has begun commercial operations, but the companies were mute on the progress of the larger second phrase of the project.
Shares of Aleo Solar AG (XETRA: AS1.DE) are up more than 23% since Tuesday when Robert Bosch GnbH announced it had increased its holding of Aleo from 70% to 82% and was offering to purchase the remainder of the company’s shares for 22 Euros ($30.25) each. Robert Bosch, based in Stuttgart, Germany, claims to be the world’s largest automotive supplier. Aleo, based in Oldenburg, Germany, produces solar modules and photovoltaic systems in plants in Germany, Spain and China.
It’s only a matter of time before the United States makes a serious effort to power more vehicles by burning natural gas because 1) it is 25 percent cleaner than oil, 2) it would displace an expensive, insecure, imported fuel with a domestic, cheap and plentiful one, and 3) it would reduce vehicle maintenance costs.
This theory commands more interest when worries about oil supply disruptions -- the current Mideast upheaval, for example -- push the price above $90 a barrel.
Two fuel cell companies were among the six top performers in the EnergyBoom Clean 100 Index (E•B Clean 100) over the five trading days leading up to the Christmas break.
Shares of FuelCell Energy, Inc. (NASDAQ: FCEL) were up 28.7 percent (down 44.5 percent year to date) and shares of Ballard Power Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: BLDP) were up 14.5 percent (down 16 percent YTD).