by Ken Silverstein for Forbes
Smaller enterprises want energy developers to spread the green, allowing them to get in on the renewable wave rolling through America. The dynamic has made it easier for larger corporations with more demand to buy wind and solar electricity but it has nudged out the less brawnier brands.
The guys at Google and Facebook, for example, are stimulating the need for wind and solar energy that they are using to feed their electricity-starved data centers. The developers of those energy projects, in return, are getting solid customers that are buying their output at a fixed price over a certain period of years.
But individual commercial and industrial customers aren’t generating the type of demand that can propel big energy projects into the market. Now, though, that may change. The same so-called power purchase agreements that are used to attract the likes of Microsoft, Intel and SA…
So when the sun isn’t shining and the wind isn’t blowing, solar and wind energy may be nonexistent, but renewable energy can still be economically produced from the smelliest of sources. The more the stink, the greater the energy–Biogas energy. Local farmers use the waste their animals produce and send it into a biogas facility on their farm that produces electricity. They can also add corn and the fermentation substrate is then sprayed on the fields as fertilizer. This closed-loop system provides steady and sustainable energy to supplement the energy needs of larger but less predictable outputs from solar and wind sources.
Next Power Plants co-Founder, Hendrik Samisch networks over 1,000 renewable energy plants comprised of individual farms in Germany through a data grid and a bank of computers that make up a powerful virtual power plant that trades annually over $100 million euros of electricity in biogas energy.
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