Our top story with 7,291 hits covered how the Global Bioenergy Partnership (GBEP) had agreed on a set of voluntary, practical and science-based sustainability indicators with the aim of helping countries to assess and develop sustainable production and use of bioenergy. In addition the Partnership approved the launch of a capacity building initiative that seeks to promote the optimum use of modern bioenergy for sustainable development.
The hit rate for our top story in May 2011 was nearly three times that of our most popular story in January of the same year (Clean tech cooking: El Bulli goes green received a total of 2,351 hits), reflecting how traffic has been rapidly rising on our site. Indeed, in May 2011 Renewable Energy Magazine had 47,000 unique visitors a month, which has more than doubled to over 104,000 in March 2011 (latest available figures).
Our second most popular story this time last year received 6,936 and discussed how developments in offshore wind turbine foundations are critical to the ramping up of offshore wind. The article was provided by research firm, IQPC, and was published a couple of months before the company hosted the Offshore Foundations for Wind Turbines conference in Bremen (Germany) in 2011.
Third up (5,989 hits) came a piece written by one of our popular bloggers, John Joshi, on solar leasing. It was John’s first piece written as a blogger for Renewable Energy Magazine and draws on his knowledge and experience developed in his role as a finance expert for a structured finance and environmental finance advisory firm. John opened his new blog by examining Solar Lease Structures (SLS) and Solar Power Purchase Agreements (SPPA) that have developed as an alternative to the traditional financing techniques for solar in the US.
Fukushima: a turning point?
Fourth most popular among readers in May 2011 (5,911 hits) returned to Fukushima and was provided by Richard Crume, who has since become our most prolific blogger. Richard was introduced to our readers with an interesting piece posing the question: Will the on-going Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster shift public opinion away from nuclear energy in favour of sustainable energy technologies?
The piece was more wide-reaching than just Japan and analysed the need to shift to cleaner energy sources to mitigate climate change. Richard highlighted that while evidence of the energy sector’s impact on climate change is clear cut, not everyone is 100% behind renewables. “”Many investors are convinced that solar, wind, and other sustainable energy technologies will become the only viable energy options of the future as environmental and economic factors price fossil and nuclear fuels out of the market. But other investors are not so sure,” he said.
Fifth in our ranking of top stories this time last year (5,902 hits) featured an interview on Brazil with Juan Llovet from Gestamp Renewables. Starting out in iron and steel production, Gestamp made a logical move into renewables at the start of the century after identifying that the renewable energy industry would require huge amounts of steel. In this exclusive interview, we found out where its attention is focused at present. Brazil is top of its list, with Juan Llovet describing the South American country as “an emerging market with tons of opportunities for the development and growth of the renewable energy businesses”. Llovet also said that the MENA region was “definitely an important and potential area in the near future” for Gestamp’s activities in the solar thermal electric sector. “Of course, the more political stability there is, the better the framework for international investments,” he said at a time when the Arab Spring was well underway.
Sixth most popular among readers looked the findings of a white paper published by Power Partners, a leading manufacturer of adsorption chillers and solar water collectors, which claimed that a properly sized tri-generation system burning natural gas will likely emit 25% less CO2 per year than a traditional building using supplemental solar photovoltaic (PV) power. “Tri-gen systems are also 600% more effective per dollar spent,” the company claimed.
More on bioenergy
Our top ten in May 2011 is completed with a number of pieces on bioenergy. In seventh and ninth places were two articles on bioenergy entitled Biogas CHP cogeneration on the up and Improved carbon sequestration achieved by biodiesel algae grower. The first piece focused on reports by 2G-CENERGY that biogas cogeneration is on the increase in the US, following in the footsteps of more established markets such as Germany. “Cogeneration is the environmentally-friendly, economically-sensible way to produce power, simultaneously saving significant amounts of money and also dramatically reducing total greenhouse gas emissions,” said Michael Turwitt, 2G-CENERGY president and chief executive officer at the time.
The second covered news that W2 Energy, Inc. had developed an algae reactor capable of sequestering more carbon dioxide to produce algae for use in biodiesel production than ever before, “sinking carbon dioxide at 2-3 times faster”.
The eighth most read article this time last year featured Powerbuoy: Ocean Power Technologies’ (OPT) new generation utility-scale PowerBuoy device. The PB150 was the largest and most powerful wave power device designed by OPT to date, capable of delivering enough energy to meet the demand of approximately 150 homes. It was installed in the Moray Firth, off the northeast coast of Scotland. At the end of June last year, OPT reported that the device had delivered “better-than-expected initial results” averaging an electrical power of 45 kilowatts at wave heights as low as 2 metres. “These levels of power exceeded OPT's expectations of performance for this first PB150 deployment, and verifies that the system could produce up to 150 kilowatts on average, in higher wave conditions;” said the company at the time.
Geothermal power featured in the last of our top 10 for May 2011. We looked at how excellent attendance rates at the Seventh International Geothermal Conference in Freiburg (Germany) that month indicated the obvious interest in the potential of deep geothermal energy. “This trend and the increasing numbers of international participants are showing the growing interest in the geothermal energy sector in common and especially the development in Germany”, commented Dr. Jochen Schneider, chief executive officer of Enerchange, the agency responsible for the organisation of the event.
“The deep geothermal energy is an interesting part of the renewable energy mix, because of its potential for covering base load demands. That is reflected in different energy scenarios. This year’s conference has shown, that there are ways to use the potential of this energy in the next decades”, added Marcus Brian, chief executive officer of Enerchange, at the time.
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