Solar Energy in the Midwest

Posts tagged ‘renewable’

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.

 

 

 

Link

The Coming Solar Electricity Transformation

The Coming Solar Electricity Transformation

John Farrell
June 11, 2013

Solar cells are unusual in that they were cost-competitive from the get-go. From the Apollo space program to highway signs to lighting for buoys, solar could replace highly expensive power from batteries or other sources and eliminate the need for the construction of electric distribution lines. 

When the Institute for Local Self-Reliance was founded in 1974, the first factory producing solar cells for terrestrial applications had just opened in Gaithersburg, Maryland. The cost of solar power was over $3.00 per kilowatt-hour (kWh), com- pared to $0.03 per kWh for grid electricity. The output from that factory the first year was sufficient to power only a few dozen homes. By the late 1980s, the price of solar was low enough that solar cells were finding their way to second homes and remote cabins off the grid. In 1990, the total installed capacity of solar was 200 megawatts (worldwide, with about 25 percent in the U.S.), sufficient to power 4,000 homes. During the ensuing decade, federal and later state incentives for solar ushered in the era of grid-connected solar. By 1999, grid connected solar projects exceeded non-grid application. Read more at Link.

The Cost Of Not Using Renewable Energy : Renewable Energy News :

The Cost Of Not Using Renewable Energy : Renewable Energy News :.

Not using renewable energy for electricity production is costing future generations over $9 billion a day – and that doesn’t costs associated with health impacts and climate change.

Solar naysayers have often used cost as a reason for not making the switch – an argument rapidly running out of steam given the plummeting prices of solar panels. Something else worth considering is the cost of not going solar.

For example, rapidly increasing electricity prices can make installing solar panels a better investment than putting money in the bank for many households.

Belgium Plans to Build Island to Store Excess Wind Energy | Renewable Energy News Article

Belgium Plans to Build Island to Store Excess Wind Energy | Renewable Energy News Article. By Renewable Energy World Editors
January 21, 2013

Government officials are confident that the island will solve intermittency issues that commonly occur in renewable energy production, such as wind and solar. The island will use a pumped-hydro system to store excess wind energy generated during off-peak hours, which will then be used to help satisfy the demand during hours when the wind isn’t blowing….

….”We have a lot of energy from the windmills and sometimes it just gets lost because there isn’t enough demand for the electricity,” said a spokeswoman for Belgium’s North Sea minister Johan Vande Lanotte to Reuters. Vande Lanotte revealed the plans last week during a presentation at the Belgian port of Zeebrugge.

For 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

New State Study Demonstrates Net Metering Benefit for Ratepayers | asavage

New State Study Demonstrates Net Metering Benefit for Ratepayers 

By Andrew Savage
January 21, 2013

The body of evidence that demonstrates the benefits of solar net metering to retail electric customers continues to grow.

 

From California and Texas to New York and now Vermont, there is a growing stack of reports that make the financial case for greater deployment of distributed solar generation and net metering.

 

On the same day that a Vote Solar Initiative report was released, which found that in California solar net metering provides over $92 million in annual benefits to ratepayers, a newly published Vermont report echoed the same growing body of evidence that documents the benefits of solar net metering.

 

recent report on New York found that solar PV delivers between a 15-cent and 40-cent benefit to ratepayers and taxpayers.  Another report from Texas by the analysts at the The Brattle Group found that the total customer benefits of adding solar capacity in the Lone Star State was valued at more than $520 million.

The Vermont legislature charged the report author, the Vermont Department of Public Service, with determining if there is a cross-subsidization with… For full article go here

Solar Power as Solution for Storm-Darkened Homes – NYTimes.com

Solar Power as Solution for Storm-Darkened Homes – NYTimes.com.

Despite the popular perception that installing solar panels takes a home “off the grid,” most of those systems are actually part of it, sending excess power to the utility grid during the day and pulling electricity back to run the house at night. So when the storm took down power lines and substations across the Northeast, safety systems cut the power in solar homes just like everywhere else.

“Here’s a $70,000 system sitting idle,” said Ed Antonio, who lives in the Rockaways in Queens and has watched his 42 panels as well as those on several other houses in the area go unused since the power went out Oct. 29. “That’s a lot of power sitting. Just sitting.”

Go to full article

Go to NY Times videos of the storm.

For more information on Indoor Battery Generators 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

A Watershed Moment: Multiple Benefits of Proposal 3 « THE WMEAC BLOG

A Watershed Moment: Multiple Benefits of Proposal 3 « THE WMEAC BLOG.

Today we hear from Nicholas Occhipinti, Policy and Community Activism Director at the West Michigan Environmental Action Council, who discusses Proposal 3, the Renewable Energy Standard that will require 25% of Michigan’s energy to come from renewable sources by the year 2025.

 

Not only will the ballot initiative help the environment through the increased use of renewable energy, but it will have other benefits as well. Currently a majority, approximately 60%, of our electricity is derived from coal. 100% of Michigan’s coal is imported from other states, relying on the use of oil for transportation, with negative economic and environmental effects. Utility companies have recognized oil as the leading cause for increased electricity prices for consumers, and with the fluctuation of oil prices, there is no guarantee for the cost of energy. The Proposal 3 initiative states that utility companies cannot increase energy rates by more than 1% per year, and has an outlook for an approximate 50 cent increase in cost, once the proposal is passed. In addition to a savings in energy bills, the proposal has a Triple Botton Line Benefit which will create 94,000 jobs.

 

The switch from using a majority of coal, to utilizing more renewable energy sources, will give Michigan more health benefits in addition to economic positives. Coal has been linked to illnesses such as heart disease and asthma, leading to an increase in health care costs. The Michigan Nurses Association has named Proposal 3, “the most important health proposal in decades.”

 

Moving toward renewable energy sources will also be reliable, as there are a variety of sources: solar power, wind power, hydropower, and biomass. There is also a grid that identifies where energy is being produced greatest across the state. This allows us to utilize the most productive areas for the most energy. With only a small increase of 25%, there is no doubt that renewable sources are and will continue to be reliable to meet the demand. “It’s the best chance for environmental progress in the last few years and probably the next few years going forward,” said Occhipinti.

 

WMEAC is reaching out to Michigan citizens during the election to vote Yes on Proposal 3: Michigan Energy, Michigan Jobs. We need volunteers at specific locations on Election Day as WMEAC representatives and supporters of Proposal 3. Other volunteers will take part in a mass telecommunications effort to encourage Proposal 3 supporters to get to the polls and vote Yes! Several shifts are available the day before the election and Election Day itself.

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