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Research may make solar PV cheaper

Research may make solar PV cheaper | Sustainable Energy | Scoop.it

Researchers at the University of Alberta in Canada believe they have created one of the cheapest nanoparticles yet developed for solar photovoltaics, and it could help to further reduce the price of solar power technology.

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The real cost impact of grid parity

The real cost impact of grid parity | Sustainable Energy | Scoop.it

Solar is a bit different in that the overall grid needed does not decrease when we have more solar. Indeed, it is doubtful that photovoltaics will be able to reduce peak power demand, which comes at a time of total darkness in Germany anyway – at around 8 PM on November workday evenings – some four hours after the sun has gone down, and hence long after daily power storage in home battery systems will make much of a difference.

Proponents of solar, especially distributed power, rightly point out that the grid does not have to be expanded when distributed solar and wind generators go up. That statement is true, but it is not the same as the one in the previous paragraph. Distributed solar does not require the grid to be expanded as much as large solar arrays; and indeed, we have reached 4.6 percent solar power without expanding the grid much at all. It does not follow, however, that distributed solar allows us to make the grid smaller.

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Solar Industry Bounces Back

Solar Industry Bounces Back | Sustainable Energy | Scoop.it

Here’s an extremely bullish report on the future of the solar industry from Deutsche Bank, suggesting that the PV industry will be able to stand and grow solely on its own (without government support) by 2014.  Such growth, in the face of continuing price declines in modules and balance-of-system will soon put solar at grid-parity, the point at which an incremental megawatt of solar comes at the same price as a megawatt from other forms of electricity generation in the region. 

Hans De Keulenaer's insight:

Good news from a conservative source is very good news.

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Energy Affordability: Short- and Long- Term Trends

Energy Affordability: Short- and Long- Term Trends | Sustainable Energy | Scoop.it

Energy is a crucial ingredient in every aspect of our lives, whether at home, school, or work. Fortunately, over the long-term, energy has become more affordable for Americans, measured in various ways. This is not a surprise, as human ingenuity and (relatively) free markets allow entrepreneurs to multiply the gifts of nature, even for so-called “depletable” resources.


However, in recent years energy has become less affordable. This too is not surprising, as the federal government has impeded the ability of firms to develop domestic energy resources, and as the Federal Reserve has weakened the dollar. If policymakers wish to raise U.S. (and world) living standards, they should move back in the direction of stable monetary policy and unfettered capitalism. The natural forces of innovation in a market economy will lead to more abundant supplies, in the economically relevant sense.

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Scaling Solar and Wind: A Hard Look At Innovation Priorities

Scaling Solar and Wind: A Hard Look At Innovation Priorities | Sustainable Energy | Scoop.it

If wind and solar have long-term ambitions of displacing fossil fuels as the dominant energy sources in America or the world, fundamental innovation challenges remain, the panelists stressed. Getting beyond 10, 20 or 25 percent shares for wind and solar though will require continued innovations to further reduce costs and address the challenges associated with the intermittent or variable nature of wind and solar energy output.

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Rescooped by Hans De Keulenaer from Green Building Operations - Systems & Controls, Maintenance & Commissioning
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Ten Ways to Slash Energy Costs in your Organization

Whether you’re a for-profit business or a non-profit municipality, your bottom line matters. Your bottom line determines whether or not you continue
Via Duane Tilden
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Duane Tilden's curator insight, December 18, 2012 10:43 PM

"...So what exactly does energy management software do? “Energy tracking” says it best. Energy management software tracks utility bills, and in doing so spots abnormal trends and suspected billing and metering errors. Some programs also track 15-minute electric meter load data, which can provide valuable insights into near real-time usage patterns and expensive power leaks.


By compiling a database of utility bills, energy management software puts the power of information at your organization’s fingertips. Comprehensive energy management software ought to help you slash energy costs, comprehensively. Here are ten ways energy management software protects your bottom line:  ..."

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How GE Hopes to Lower Wind Turbine Cost with Cloth Blades

How GE Hopes to Lower Wind Turbine Cost with Cloth Blades | Sustainable Energy | Scoop.it
GE hopes to make wind turbines far cheaper, and open up new ways to design them, by ditching the stiff fiberglass blades they use now in favor of turbine blades made out of fabric. GE says the project, which recently received nearly $4 million from the U.S. Advanced Research Projects Agency for Energy, could lower wind turbine blade costs by 40 percent.
Hans De Keulenaer's insight:

Hopefully, there will not be too many maintenance issues.


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Cost Effectiveness of Home Energy Retrofits in Pre-Code Vintage Homes

This analytical study examines the opportunities for cost-effective energy efficiency and renewable energy retrofits in residential archetypes constructed prior to 1980 (pre-code) in fourteen U.S.
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CEER - Europe's energy regulators latest efforts to put customers first

CEER and BEUC, The European Consumer Organisation, presented their vision of an energy sector which puts smaller customers first at the 2012 Citizens' Energy (London) Forum, 13-14 November.


The vision establishes a set of 4 principles - reliability; affordability; simplicity; and protection and empowerment. The CEER-BEUC vision was endorsed by 8 different bodies in the energy sector.

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The Myth of Affordable Energy

In my view it is a myth that cheap energy – “affordable energy” as many people like to say is vital to growth. The idea that there is a lockstep relationship between growth of GDP and use of energy is widespread, but the data simply does not bear it out. Instead, what they show is that the world’s best-performing economies have become dramatically more energy efficient over time.
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On-Site Energy Generation 'Not Cost-Effective'

On-Site Energy Generation 'Not Cost-Effective' | Sustainable Energy | Scoop.it
A new report questions whether small-scale renewable energy generators for office buildings make economic sense.The report about on-site renewables was prepared...
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Rescooped by Hans De Keulenaer from Solar Energy projects & Energy Efficiency
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The Big Question: What Can We Hope for in the Next 12 Months with Solar Energy?

The Big Question: What Can We Hope for in the Next 12 Months with Solar Energy? | Sustainable Energy | Scoop.it

Based on improvements in cell efficiencies and production economies of scale, today’s manufacturing cost per watt can range from as low as US$0.82 to $1.05. With a continuous progression of cost reduction inherent in production, supply chain and module technologies, the reality of mainstream global grid parity is close. In fact, continuing cost declines in PV power production are enabling unsubsidised markets to grow in emerging economies and in meeting the peak power demands being amplified with the decommissioning of old, polluting power stations. In the US we see homeowners seizing the initiative, one rooftop at a time, to break free of the wired world.


Via Pol Bacquet
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Businesses increasingly demanding renewable energy to cut costs

Businesses increasingly demanding renewable energy to cut costs | Sustainable Energy | Scoop.it

Launched today, the 2012 Corporate Renewable Energy Index (CREX) ranked over 300 companies globally according to their voluntary renewable energy procurement, as well as how and why they do it. The report found that CREX companies tend to fall into two extremes, with an emerging group of companies choosing to buy 100 per cent of their energy from renewable sources.

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Adding an electric car cut the payback point of our solar panel investment in half

Adding an electric car cut the payback point of our solar panel investment in half | Sustainable Energy | Scoop.it

When we discussed our home solar panel project in mid-2011 with friends, one of the first questions everyone asked was, “What’s the payback period before you break-even?” The second question was unsurprisingly, “How much is it costing you?” but the focus always ended up on the payback.

 

After all, if you’re going to invest in green technology, you’re hoping that at some point in the near future, you get ahead of the game. It turns out that something we didn’t plan for — our Chevrolet Volt — is actually helping us boost the ROI and cut our payback time in half.

 

Click headline to read more--


Via Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
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Rescooped by Hans De Keulenaer from Sustain Our Earth
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Counting the hidden costs of energy

Counting the hidden costs of energy | Sustainable Energy | Scoop.it
By Martin Nicholson and Barry Brook. This article was first published on The Conversation. A response was then published on Business Spectator. It is worth reading both pieces, and the comments tha...

Via SustainOurEarth
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Ten reasons why high oil prices are a problem

Ten reasons why high oil prices are a problem | Sustainable Energy | Scoop.it

A person might think from looking at news reports that our oil problems are gone, but oil prices are still high.


In fact, the new “tight oil” sources of oil which are supposed to grow in supply are still expensive to extract. If we expect to have more tight oil and more oil from other unconventional sources, we need to expect to continue to have high oil prices. The new oil may help supply somewhat, but the high cost of extraction is not likely to go away.

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Stephane Bilodeau's curator insight, February 10, 2013 4:10 PM

Why are high oil prices a problem?


1. It is not just oil prices that rise. The cost of food rises as well, partly because oil is used in many ways in growing and transporting food and partly because of the competition from biofuels for land, sending land prices up. The cost of shipping goods of all types rises, since oil is used in nearly all methods of transports. The cost of materials that are made from oil, such as asphalt and chemical products, also rises.


If the cost of oil rises, it tends to raise the cost of other fossil fuels. The cost of natural gas extraction tends to rises, since oil is used in natural gas drilling and in transporting water for fracking. Because of an over-supply of natural gas in the US, its sales price is temporarily less than the cost of production. This is not a sustainable situation. Higher oil costs also tend to raise the cost of transporting coal to the destination where it is used.

Mercor's curator insight, February 11, 2013 6:02 AM

Rescooped by Lauren Moss from Développement durable et efficacité énergétique onto green infographics

Rescooped by Hans De Keulenaer from Sustain Our Earth
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The cost of not using renewable energy

The cost of not using renewable energy | Sustainable Energy | Scoop.it
A new study finds that using up our fossil fuels now, making them less available in the future, imposes big costs down the line.

Via SustainOurEarth
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Why Solar Panel Installation Is Three Times Costlier in the U.S. than in Germany

Why Solar Panel Installation Is Three Times Costlier in the U.S. than in Germany | Sustainable Energy | Scoop.it

In 2011, residential solar system installers paid a little over $1.80 per watt for solar panels in both Germany and the United States. In Germany, installers added $1.20 to the cost of the solar panel to complete an installation. But in the U.S., they tacked on $4.36 per watt, more than three times as much.

A report released this month by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory explains why.

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UK Survey – More Would Invest In Solar If They Knew The Financial Benefits

UK Survey – More Would Invest In Solar If They Knew The Financial Benefits | Sustainable Energy | Scoop.it
The real picture — solar PV power is a good venture to invest in, surveys predict. However, there isn’t much publicity of what may be the actual financial benefits, so many are left simply guessing what they could save… if they are even asked or ask themselves. And, apparently, the large majority of citizens don’t realize how much money they could save if they installed a solar power system on their roof.
Hans De Keulenaer's insight:

Good implementation of policy is as important as good policy design.

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Connecticut Auction Cuts Clean Energy Costs : Greentech Media

Connecticut Auction Cuts Clean Energy Costs : Greentech Media | Sustainable Energy | Scoop.it
In this first round of auctions, UI and CL&P solicited bids for large and medium ZREC projects and LREC projects of any capacity. The bids were expressed as prices for renewable energy credits that the projects would be assigned on the basis of one REC per megawatt-hour of electrical generation.

The bids were limited to $350 per REC for ZREC projects and $200 per REC for LREC projects. However, the utilities won't have to pay anywhere near those numbers for the 31 megawatts that the winning bidders will produce from their 97 projects.

The resulting RECs will cost UI and CL&P a total of $8.1 million annually, which works out to an average weighted price of $90 per REC – or far less than REC prices in many other states.
Hans De Keulenaer's insight:

How markets can help technologies to achieve grid parity.

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Rescooped by Hans De Keulenaer from E-mobility and renewable energy
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Electric Car Maintenance A Third Cheaper Than Combustion Vehicles?

Electric Car Maintenance A Third Cheaper Than Combustion Vehicles? | Sustainable Energy | Scoop.it
Driving an electric car has plenty of advantages, but many owners also like the simplicity of their vehicles. An electric motor is incredibly simple in operation.
Via Sass Peress
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Is the Electric Car now a viable option?

The electric car obviously has its limitations. However, the truth is improvements are being made in the technology all the time. Batteries are lasting longer and charging times are diminishing. The electric car is becoming ever-more viable. To be viable right now you must ask yourself the following:

  • How far do I drive a day?
  • Will I save money buying an EV?
  • How convenient will it be to charge my car?

If the answers are positive you could look into buying an EV today. For the rest, it may be a case of waiting a little longer for it to be truly viable. Don’t bet against it though – the change to electric cars may be gradual but, unlike many that predicted ‘the electric car is dead’, far from impossible.

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Rescooped by Hans De Keulenaer from Développement durable et efficacité énergétique
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Infographic: How Much Money Will Solar Panels Save?

Infographic: How Much Money Will Solar Panels Save? | Sustainable Energy | Scoop.it

Even as more affordable photovoltaics and government incentives for adopting renewable energy sources have made solar a financially attractive alternative in some areas, it can still be hard to find accurate, easy-to-understand information to help make the leap. The Solar Tool, developed by the Sustainable Design Lab at MIT and Boston-based design workshop MoDe Studio, aims to solve that problem for the city of Cambridge. Simply enter your address, and a comprehensive satellite map of Cambridge shows you how efficient your own

rooftop is for soaking up the sun’s rays, from excellent to poor, down to the square meter.


Via Lauren Moss, Stephane Bilodeau
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Low users paying more for energy

Low users paying more for energy | Sustainable Energy | Scoop.it

People who use small amounts of gas and electricity are paying up to 30% more for their energy than those who use more units, according to a Which? survey.

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Rescooped by Hans De Keulenaer from E-mobility and renewable energy
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How Much to Charge a Car?

How Much to Charge a Car? | Sustainable Energy | Scoop.it

Companies that run charging stations for electric cars, many of which currently make the service free, are looking at how much they should charge in the future.


Via Sass Peress
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