Solar Energy in the Midwest

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Chinese Zombie Solar Companies Emerging After Years of Subsidies

Interesting read about the evolution of solar and the influence of China in the global picture. Puts new light on Solyndra. Read Here.

 

 

 

Postcode Lottery Green Challenge – Are you the one?

Postcode Lottery Green Challenge – Home.

The Postcode Lottery Green Challenge is the largest annual worldwide competition for sustainable entrepreneurs who can instigate change. The challenge is looking for products or services that combine sustainability, entrepreneurship and creativity.

 

The products or services should:

1. Reduce greenhouse-gas emissions by an amount you can roughly estimate

2. Be developed enough to execute

3. Be realisable as usable product or service within the next two years

4. Preferably have integrated Cradle2Cradle principles in their designs

Besides these criteria, the jury will also look at factors as: Communication potential, courageousness and creativity.

 

Entry for the seventh edition of this competition will be open from 17 April – 17 July 2013. Sign up for the newsletter and stay informed of the latest developments!

Report: Solar Could Meet All The World’s Electricity Needs In 2050 Using Under One Percent Of World’s Land | ThinkProgress

Report: Solar Could Meet All The World’s Electricity Needs In 2050 Using Under One Percent Of World’s Land | ThinkProgress.

Highlighting the fact that a global switch to renewable energy is not just necessary, but doable, a new report released by the WWF concludes that the solar arrays necessary to meet all the world’s projected energy needs in 2050 would cover under one percent of global land area. Obviously this is a theoretical exercise, and 100 percent of the planet’s electricity needs are not actually going to be filled through solar. But several credible scenarios suggest that solar could provide about 30 percent of global total electricity in 2050, up from the 0.1 percent it provides now.

By going through the numbers, the Solar PV Atlas demonstrates both the practical feasibility of renewable energy, and the possibility of harmonizing solar energy with conservation goals:

The atlas considers electricity demands in seven diverse regions and calculates the area (land or roof) that would be needed for PV to meet these demands. In each of these cases, less than one per cent of the region’s total land cover would be required to host solar PV panels in order to meet one hundred per cent of the region’s projected electricity needs in 2050, taking into account solar resources and predicted electricity consumption and demographic changes. […]  Full Article

Renewable Energy Provides Half of All New US Electrical Generating Capacity in 2012 | Renewable Energy News Article

Renewable Energy Provides Half of All New US Electrical Generating Capacity in 2012 | Renewable Energy News Article.

Wind led the way in 2012 with 164 new “units” totaling 10,689 MW followed by solar with 240units totaling 1,476 MW. Biomass added 100 new units totaling 543 MW while geothermal steam and water each had 13 new units with installed capacities of 149 MW and 99 MW respectively.

By comparison, for the full 12 months of 2012, new natural gas generation in service totaled 8,746 MW (33.15%) followed by coal (4,510 MW – 17.09%), nuclear (125 MW – 0.47%), and oil (49 MW – 0.19%).

For full article go here

Hurricane Sandy Uncovers Strength and Simplicity of Renewable Energy Systems | Renewable Energy News Article

Hurricane Sandy Uncovers Strength and Simplicity of Renewable Energy Systems | Renewable Energy News Article.

By Elisa Wood, Contributor  November 1, 2012
Superstorm Sandy can’t kill wind and solar.

First of all, wind and solar do not need additional energy inputs to produce electricity or cool a reactor, said John Kourtoff, president and CEO of Toronto-based Trillium Power Wind. There is no need for natural gas, oil or coal to be excavated, transported and applied to the system. Instead, they produce electricity by taking advantage of a form of energy that is already available – wind and sun.

Second, they mimic nature in design, so they tend to be more resilient and withstand natural disasters better, he said.

“Renewables at their core are simple bio-mimicry based on nature. This simple and closed aspect makes them successful when storms and natural disasters happen, whether hurricanes, earthquakes, or tsunamis,” Kourtoff said.

He pointed out that last year’s tsunami in Japan devastated a nuclear plant, but wind turbines near the shore suffered no harm.   For Full Article

PWIR: President Clinton Endorse Prop 3 | MLCV-Michigan League of Conservation Voters

PWIR: President Clinton Endorse Prop 3 | MLCV-Michigan League of Conservation Voters.Submitted by Michigan LCV on Mon, 10/29/2012 – 4:06pm

… Former President Clinton championed the cause because he knows that the jobs created by Prop 3 will help spur the kind of economic activity that defined his Presidency. On the opposite side of the debate, campaign finance reports show that Enbridge – yes, that Enbridge (the one whose faulty oil pipeline dumped more than 1 million gallons of oil into the Kalamazoo River) – has joined the opposition to Prop 3. After all, why have more renewable energy in Michigan when we can have record-breaking oil spills into our rivers, instead? To read more go here

Putting the A123 Bankruptcy in Context | Renewable Energy News Article

Putting the A123 Bankruptcy in Context | Renewable Energy News Article. By John Rogers, Senior Energy Analyst, Clean Energy
October 19, 2012

… To date, 30 battery and electric drive firms have received stimulus funding. A full list is here. Two of them, A123 Systems and EnerDel, have filed for bankruptcy so far. (They haven’t disappeared, however: EnerDel continues to operate and A123′s stimulus-funded facilities will remain open under the deal with Johnson Controls.)

Those two companies represent 18% of the vehicle battery grants, which means that 82% of that portfolio is still “performing”.

Plumer also offers as context another stimulus-funded program that’s gotten a lot of attention but has an even more impressive performance to date:

In a similar vein, of the 26 clean-energy projects that have received federal loan guarantees under a separate 1705 program, just three have filed for bankruptcy, including Solyndra, Abound, and Beacon Power. (Though Beacon is still operating and has largely paid back its federally backed loans.)

Even the full amount at risk from those three companies adds up to 6% of the portfolio, meaning that the performing piece of the investments is 94% of the whole… Read the full article

Green Growth Still Setting the Pace | Renewable Energy World Magazine Article

Green Growth Still Setting the Pace | Renewable Energy World Magazine Article.

By Janet L. Sawin, Contributor
October 18, 2012

REN21’s Renewables Global Status Report — an overview of renewable energy market, industry, investment and policy developments worldwide, relying on an international network of more than 400 contributors — reveals that the sector continued to expand across all its various segments.

Renewable sources supplied an estimated 16.7 percent of global final energy consumption in 2010. Of this total, modern renewable energy (as opposed to traditional biomass) accounted for an estimated 8.2 percent, a share that has increased in recent years, while the share from traditional biomass has declined slightly to an estimated 8.5 percent. During 2011, modern renewables continued to grow strongly in all end-use sectors.

In the power sector, renewables accounted for almost half of the estimated 208 GW of electric capacity added globally during 2011. Wind and solar photovoltaics (PV) accounted for almost 40 percent and 30 percent of new renewable capacity respectively, followed by hydropower (nearly 25 percent). By end 2011, total renewable power capacity worldwide exceeded 1360 GW, up 8 percent over 2010; renewables comprised more than 25 percent of total global power-generating capacity (estimated at 5360 GW in 2011) and supplied an estimated 20.3 per cent of global electricity. Non-hydropower renewables exceeded 390 GW, a 24 percent capacity increase over 2010. For full article

What’s the deal with EPA carbon rules for existing power plants? | Grist

David Roberts

 

What’s the deal with EPA carbon rules for existing power plants?

Photo by Karen Eliot.

In my post on the new EPA carbon pollution rule, I drew attention to an important distinction: The rule issued today governs new power plants only; carbon pollution from existing power plants has not yet been regulated.

This matters a great deal. Today’s rule effectively means there will be no more coal plants built in the U.S., but that was more or less a fait accompli due to market forces. What to do about existing plants is in many ways a more fraught and important question. It could have much larger effects on near-term pollution from the power sector.

On a conference call with reporters this morning, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson said, “We have no plans to regulate existing sources.” That caused me a few moments of panic (and, um, a few outbursts on Twitter). If there are really not going to be any existing-source regulations, that would make this whole process a massive, massive fail. For full story go here.

Why We Pay Double for Solar in America (But Won’t Forever) | Institute for Local Self-Reliance

Why We Pay Double for Solar in America (But Won’t Forever) | Institute for Local Self-Reliance.

This is an excellent article that we agree with completely.  The beautifully easy to understand graph mirrors our experience in pricing systems. We found that regardless of the panel price the extraneous expenses attached such as permitting fees, permitting requirements, engineering stamps, roof load studies, fire studies, among a few, that may or may not be required from city to city and township to township are the real expenses that add to the cost of solar. Also slowing down a job to educate the inspector step by step, while important and beneficial in the long run, but adds to labor costs. – Val

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