We're extremely close to reaching the point at which renewable electricity costs as little to generate as electricity from fossil fuels, so it's imperative that we don't take a backward step.
Brad Plumer for VOX: In the coming months, Hillary Clinton's campaign is planning to release a series of proposals for dealing with global warming. Her first installment is out Sunday evening, and it calls for a large increase in renewable power. Specifically, she's proposing to boost the amount of wind, solar, and other renewables so that they provide 33 percent of America's electricity by 2027 — enough to power every home in the country. Part of her plan would involve accelerating the recent rapid growth of solar installations nationwide. In her proposal, Clinton calls for US solar power to grow 700 percent from current levels. That sounds like an impossibly large number, but it's not implausible on its face. US solar capacity grew 418 percent between 2010 and 2014 (because it was starting from a small base). So 700 percent growth by 2027 is at least within the realm of possibility. But it would require additional policy changes — and clean energy prices would have to keep dropping. Cont'd...
The Nature Conservancy has completed its first phase of installation of SheerWind's INVELOX funnel-based wind power technology. Because Palmyra is home to a national wildlife refuge and more than a million nesting seabirds, conventional wind turbines were not an option due to the risk of bird strikes. What's more, the low wind speeds on the island would provide little to no energy production with traditional turbines. The Conservancy turned to the Minnesota firm SheerWind to design the system resembling an hourglass turned on its side. Extending 83 feet horizontally with a big wind scoop at one end, an exhaust on the other, a Venturi section in the middle increases wind speed potentially three to six times. Nets over the intake and enclosed blades keep it bird friendly. The first phase of the installation includes a single turbine inside the Venturi, allowing for two additional to be installed in the near future. The first phase of the INVELOX project is successfully charging batteries at night and on cloudy days to supplement the photovoltaic system also installed on Palmyra.
Geothermal heat pumps are ideal for use in buildings looking to reduce consumption to net zero.
The current suggested guideline by the NRCA (National Roofing Contractor Association) for the installation of a PV system on a steep slope asphalt shingle roof as far as the flashing of the PV system stanchions, shows the metal flange to be applied underneath the roofing paper.
On July 20, SunEdison, the world's biggest renewable energy development firm, along with TerraForm Power, an owner and operator of clean energy power plants, announced the acquisition of Vivint Solar, a major supplier of residential solar systems in the U.S. The merger will be worth approximately $2.2 billion in cash as the two major solar companies acquire the residential solar firm. Additionally, SunEdison has agreed to enter a power purchase agreement with TerraForm Power. Roughly 523 megawatts of solar power will be installed by Vivint Solar by the end of 2015, which will now all be moved over to SunEdison. Through the $922 million power agreement, TerraForm Power will install the solar panels for residential solar protections through a "10-year average levered cash-on-cash yield of 9.5 percent," the release stated. Also, TerraForm Power will obtain future small commercial solar and completed residential projects from SunEdison's Residential and Small Commercial business unit. Cont'd...
Featuring the Cap-Rack™ System by DCE Solar
A team of researchers has come up with a solar cell that produces fuel rather than electricity. A material called gallium phosphide enables the solar cell to produce clean fuel hydrogen gas from liquid water. To connect an existing silicon solar cell to a battery that splits the water may well be an efficient solution; but it is very expensive. So, researchers were streamlining their search to a semi-conductor material that is able to both convert sunlight into an electrical charge and split water. The team found gallium phosphide (GaP), a compound of gallium and phosphide, useful in this respect. GaP has good electrical properties but the drawback is that it cannot easily absorb light when it is a large flat surface as used in GaP solar cells, said the study thatappeared in Nature Communications. The researchers overcame this by making a grid of very small GaP nanowires, measuring five hundred nanometres (a millionth of a millimetre) long and ninety nanometres thick. "That makes these kinds of cells potentially a great deal cheaper," said lead author Erik Bakkers from Eindhoven University of Technology, the Netherlands. Cont'd...
There have been enough successful low-income solar pilot programs at the state and federal level that it is now possible to launch a larger initiative with confidence that it can succeed.
By Lucas Mearian, ComputerWorld: Renewable energy, combined with prolific battery storage, will soon result in vastly cheaper electricity -- and solar power that's less expensive than what fossil fuel-based power plants can produce. Additionally, solar power with lithium-ion and flow-battery storage systems will make the combination of renewable energy so inexpensive that it will surpass nuclear power and obviate the need for futuristic power sources such as fusion. That was consensus view from a several keynote speeches delivered at the Intersolar Conference in San Francisco this week. Eicke Weber, director of the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems, said that in sun-rich countries, the cost of solar power is already below 5 cents per kilowatt and it will continue to plummet as battery storage systems become more prolific and less expensive. Cont'd...
AltEnergyMag.com has once again partnered with Intersolar to bring all the industry news and exciting new products to help our readers make sense of this key tradeshow. Here we have compiled a list of some product releases from this years show.
News and Product Announcements from InterSolar North America 2015
The use of a tracking system for a utility-scale project not only reduces LCOE, but also provides more usable power by broadening the power production curve to provide a smoother flow of energy from dawn to dusk.
PVWatts performs simplified PV system performance calculations using information about the array's geographic location, orientation, and a set of user-input loss factors
By JASON DEAREN, Associated Press: On a vast tract of old North Carolina farmland, crews are getting ready to build something the South has never seen: a commercial-scale wind energy farm. The $600 million project by Spanish developer Iberdrola Renewables LLC will put 102 turbines on 22,000 acres near the coastal community of Elizabeth City, with plans to add about 50 more. Once up and running, it could generate about 204 megawatts, or enough electricity to power about 60,000 homes. It would be the first large onshore wind farm in a region with light, fluctuating winds that has long been a dead zone for wind power. After a years-long regulatory process that once looked to have doomed the plan, Iberdrola spokesman Paul Copleman told The Associated Press that construction is to begin in about a month. Right now, there's not a spark of electricity generated from wind in nine states across the Southeast from Arkansas to Florida, according to data from the American Wind Energy Association, an industry trade group. But taller towers and bigger turbines are unlocking new potential in the South, according to the U.S. Department of Energy, and the industry is already looking to invest. Cont'd...
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The IMO FireRaptor provides three forms of Solar Panel Rapid Shutdown to ZERO VOLTS in case of fire or other emergency: Manual Panel Shutdown to 0V Operated from Ground Level, Automatic Panel Shutdown to 0V at >85°C (185°F) Temperature, and an automatic Panel Shutdown to 0V on External Power Loss. The FireRaptor can be installed without any set-up and with any string inverter as its functionality is completely independent. "Plug & Play" style installation using industry standard connectors is easy, whether fitted to new installs or retrofitted to existing projects to upgrade fire safety functionality. Meeting NEC2017's regulation to switch DC current at the PV panel in under 30 seconds, FireRaptor is remains one of the safest and most effective means of isolating DC current at the source, and the only rapid shutdown with a 20 year warranty.