Category Archives: PV Energy

Solar project fail in India

The international NGO Greenpeace was involved in a Solar Energy Project in rural India, which fell apart and into disuse when overloaded with domestic appliances. Villages then demanded  “We want real electricity, not fake electricity!”

1st World good intentions meets 3rd world realities? How many funded projects like this lay waste essentially because the solution was not thought through in all aspects? or was perhaps even inappropriate? The technology is just part of the solution to societal problems.

Read the full article on Scientific America, published October 19, 2015.

 

Cities and Towns Choose Renewables to Save Money

Cities_and_Towns_Renewables

‘Georgetown, Texas, is home to the oldest university in the Lone Star State and is affectionately called the “red poppy capital” of Texas. It will soon add another accolade to the mix: the state’s first city-owned utility to run on 100 percent renewable energy.

Last Wednesday, the city announced a 25-year contract with SunEdison to buy 150 megawatts of solar energy. In order to supply the power, SunEdison will build a solar farm in West Texas. The solar will complement a deal Georgetown signed last year with EFD Renewables for 144 MW of wind power from its West Texas wind farm through 2039.

Between the two sources, the city of about 50,000 people will have more than enough power even with projected population growth, said Keith Hutchinson, a spokesman for the city.

When it came down to it, Hutchinson said the price was right for renewable power.

“With renewables, you avoid the price volatility of fossil fuels,” he said. “We’ve certainly seen plenty of volatility in the price of natural gas and gasoline. This removes that uncertainty and locks in a long-term low cost.”

Georgetown is the latest city to join the renewables quest, which has been slowly growing across the country.

Technological innovations have dropped the price of wind and solar in some markets to be not only competitive with traditional fossil fuel power generation, but sometimes less expensive, said Malcolm Woolf, senior vice president of policy and government affairs for Advanced Energy Economy. In many other places, renewables are gaining ground quickly. Coupled with increased transmission infrastructure, favourable policies, subsidies, and renewable energy goals in states and cities, it’s becoming more common to see wind, solar, hydropower and biomass use.

By 2017, more than 13,000 MW of new wind energy capacity is expected to come online in the United States (ClimateWire, March 17). Solar grew 39 percent in 2014, according to the AEE 2015 Market Report.

As states consider cutting emissions 30 percent by 2030 under EPA’s Clean Power Plan, renewable energy is increasingly becoming part of the conversation, as well.’

March 26, 2015  by Brittany Patterson and ClimateWire

Full article here on Scientific America

 

Rooftop solar cost competitive with the grid in much of the U.S.

“Rooftop solar panels on have always been the province of well-to-do, eco-friendly folks willing to shell out extra bucks to be green, but that is all starting to change. According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), the cost of putting solar panels on a typical American house has fallen by some 70 percent over the last decade and a half. And a recent report from Deutsche Bank shows that solar has already achieved so-called “price parity” with fossil fuel-based grid power in 10 U.S. states. Deutsche Bank goes on to say that solar electricity is on track to be as cheap or cheaper than average electricity-bill prices in all but three states by 2016—assuming,that is, that the federal government maintains the 30 percent solar investment tax credit it currently offers homeowners on installation and equipment costs.”

Full article here on Scientific America

 

Solar Panels Floating on Water Will Power Japan’s Homes

Clean energy companies are turning to lakes, wetlands, ponds, and canals as building grounds for sunlight-slurping photovoltaic panels.

photo-of-a-similar-floating-solar-plant_87863_990x742[1]

The biggest floating plant, in terms of output, will soon be placed atop the reservoir of Japan’s Yamakura Dam in Chiba prefecture, just east of Tokyo. When completed in March 2016, it will cover 180,000 square meters, hold 50,000 photovoltaic solar panels, and power nearly 5,000 households. It will also offset nearly 8,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually. (Since the EPA estimates a typical car releases 4.7 tons of CO2 annually, that’s about 1,700 cars’ worth of emissions.)

Full story here  (National Geographic)

Added 17th January 2015