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Renewable energy industry news roundup: March 13–20, 2016

Renewable energy industry news roundup: March 13–20, 2016

A new app calculates the carbon-footprint of employees' daily commutes, a South Korean company develops a hydroelectric turbine that can fit in your backpack and solar energy heats up in the state of Virginia. Read these stories and more in this week’s news roundup:

Phone-charging hydroelectric turbine fits in a backpack

A tiny hydroelectric generator about the size and shape of a Thermos bottle can be plunged into any source of moving water to generate electricity to charge a mobile device. The device, developed by South Korean company Enomad, deploys fins that turn a turbine to charge an internal battery that in turn can charge a phone or power an included lantern.

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U.S. offshore wind cost may drop 55% with experience

The cost of building wind farms off the U.S. coast may decline as much as 55 percent within 13 years, letting developers offer clean power at rates competitive with market prices, according to a study released by the University of Delaware.

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New solar facility to be built in Virginia

Dominion Virginia Power will build and operate a 20-MW solar project in Fauquier County, Va., as part of a public-private partnership with the commonwealth of Virginia and Microsoft Corp. The energy will be placed onto the grid and is enough to power 5,000 homes.

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Small-scale wind energy on the rise

China and parts of North America lead the market in terms of installation of small-scale wind energy components, the World Wind Energy Association said. The WWEA released data on the installation of smaller wind-energy units, saying the number increased 8.3 percent at the end of 2014, the last full year for which it has data. That follows a 7.3 percent increase in 2013.

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App counts the carbon cost of employees' commutes

A new app named Ride aims to help calculate the carbon-footprint of employees' daily commutes. Companies can reduce commute-related emissions by encouraging carpooling, explains Ride CEO Ann Fandozzi. "This is absolutely part of a company's supply chain. It's part of the people workforce and how they get there," she says.

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