Solar power has always seemed on its surface to be the perfect solution to the world’s reliance on fossil fuels. After all, sunlight is free and abundantly available. The problem has always been efficiency, since solar panels generate power far less efficiently than other options. In fact, it takes about 40 square meters of solar panels to generate enough energy to power just one American home for a day, based on average use.
Driving down the cost of solar energy could create $400 billion in environmental and public-health gains.
It’s been nearly five years since the Department of Energy rolled out plans to make solar power a cost-competitive electricity source by the end of the decade. Also known as the SunShot Initiative, the goal of the program is to drop the cost of solar power 75 percent by 2020. Once prices reach $0.06 per kilowatt-hour, solar power will officially become cost-competitive and could supply as much as 27 percent of the country’s electricity by 2050 as more homeowners, businesses, and communities switch over.
What's the most difficult conundrum in investing right now? We're not short of challenges. There are the big macro-economic questions: When will interest rates rise? Will the economy tank when they do? Will the stock markets? There are the political questions: Will the UK vote to leave the European Union? Will Donald Trump be the next President of the United States? Can anything be done to halt the slide into terror in the Middle East?
Patent-pending 5D Watts system increases solar energy production four times vs. conventional non-composite flat panels while lowering weight and installation cost.
After completing a production prototype and two years of in-house testing, 5D Watts (Sarasota, FL, US), a spin-off of composites fabrication specialist 5D Composite (Sarasota, FL, US), has initiated certification testing with the renewable energy test center (RETC, Fremont, CA, US) for its 5D Watts Hybrid Solar Concentration Photovoltaic and Heat Energy System, made used glass fiber and thermoset resin composites.
Dynamic. Open. Fast. Innovative. These are not words we typically associate with the energy industry. But amid the noisy debate between climate change activists and deniers, supporters of fossil fuels and renewables, most have overlooked profound changes that are creating an energy future that is more affordable, resilient, customer-oriented–and cleaner. Energy is transitioning from large, centralized, monolithic systems that take years to build, last for decades, and seem immune to innovation to smaller, distributed, networked systems that can be built in weeks or months and repurposed as needed.
An Innovate UK-funded industry group is working on a new generation of transparent solar panel technology that matches the costs and performance of standard high-performance glazing while delivering clean, renewable energy to the buildings in which they are installed. Developer Polysolar is collaborating with chemical giant Merck and the Centre for Process Innovation (CPI), to promote a new age of zero-carbon buildings.
Several years ago, when I was working on my book Power Plays, I spent a lot of time thinking about the future of energy. One thing I concluded was that solar power would become one of the world’s most important sources of energy – if not eventually the most important source of energy. There are a couple of reasons I still believe this. But first, I should make it clear that it will be a long time before solar power rivals the consumption of oil in the global energy market.
Indian Railways is harnessing solar energy to power lights and fans inside train coaches and the first such train is all set to conduct trial in Jodhpur, Rajasthan, railway officials said, adding that trial run of the train will be conducted by the end of this month.
With rising concerns about climate change, countries around the globe are looking to alternative energy sources to sustain their future energy needs. In Southeast Asia alone, energy consumption is expected to grow by 80 per cent from 2014 to 2040, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA).
The growth of solar energy will be driven by three factors. First and most important, costs are falling sharply. Solar module costs have fallen roughly 80 percent since 2007 and are projected to keep falling. Already, solar power is cheaper than the competition in many sunny places. Solar power’s competitive strength will continue to grow in the years ahead.
If in the future you find yourself selling your excess solar panel energy to your neighbor via secure blockchain, you'll have one startup's actions on President Street in Brooklyn to thank. That’s where experimental microgrid provider TransActive Grid has posted its first two TransActive Grid Element meters inside residential units so that residents can exchange energy via a nascent blockchain marketplace.
Researchers from Rice University in the US have found a more effective way of harvesting sunlight for energy through the use of tiny light-activated gold nanoparticles. New technologies such as this are contributing to the falling costs of solar power implementation, which could solidify its place in future energy production.
One million solar power installations now dot America's rooftops and landscape, an achievement being hailed as a milestone by advocates of solar energy. There were just 1,000 such projects at the turn of this century, and only six years ago, going solar cost twice as much. Still, those one million installations deliver just 1 percent of electricity in the U.S., the world's second-largest energy consumer after China. Globally, the figure is roughly the same.
Just how cheap has solar energy gotten? To give you an indication, Middle Eastern countries from Saudi Arabia to the United Arab Emirates are betting on solar to power their future, now the oil that has fueled their electricity plants for the past century. The decision to invest in solar isn't about climate change or any altruistic reason. It's based on simple economics. And a recent bid in Dubai shows just how powerful the solar industry could be in the Middle East.
With solar energy becoming more affordable and efficient, a host of developing countries are using the technology for electricity. For the first time, developing countries installed more renewable energy than developed countries in 2015. Countries such as India, Brazil, Chile, and Mexico are producing clean, sustainable energy with solar power. China is the world’s largest investor in renewable energy and is leading the world in solar expansion. In the United States, analysts are forecasting the solar market could soar nearly 120 percent this year.
The future is now for eight technology innovators whose projects were selected for funding through the NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) program this past week. The NIAC funding was granted to proposals "that have the potential to transform future aerospace missions, introduce new capabilities, and significantly improve current approaches to building and operating aerospace systems," according to the agency.
While powerful rockets and fast cars might be the most exciting of Musk’s products, his hopes of changing the way we live are much more likely to be delivered by something much more prosaic – Tesla’s Powerwall. Much less glamorous than Musk’s other concepts, this plain white battery, intended to harness energy from renewable sources such as the wind and sun and make it available for household use or feed back into the power network, could have a far bigger impact than anything else the billionaire has dreamt up.
Public policy drives the benefits and costs homeowners, farmers, schools, towns and businesses will realize when they invest in solar power. The successful growth of Vermont’s clean energy economy, similar to that in many other states across the nation, has been made possible through favorable net-metering rules. Current rules require utility companies to purchase solar-generated electricity from a net-metered system at the retail rate that all Vermonters pay, plus a “solar adder,” which depends on when the system was installed and its size.
"The future of smart energy is very bright," says Jasandra Nyker, CEO of BioTherm Energy. "There is this great potential of smart energy on the African continent. Given the growth rates in Africa, given that a large portion of people will migrate to large cities in the next 20 years, there is an opportunity for on and off-grid technology.”
Within a year's time, an 18,000-acre patch of land in southwest Florida could become the most sustainable town in America. Built upon small-town values with an eye toward the future, Babcock Ranch will run entirely on solar power drawn from a 443-acre power plant. Even with a bustling downtown, more than half of the total land area will be reserved for green spaces, such as parks, lakes, and trails.
The solar industry is booming. The millionth set of solar panels in the United States was installed sometime in the last two months, and industry leaders expect the number of solar-powered systems to double within two years. That’s a huge deal, experts say. While solar still only makes up 1 percent of the country’s energy mix, the swift rise in solar capacity portends a bright future for an energy source that, less than 10 years ago, a leading solar tech scientist dismissed as “green bling for the wealthy.”
It has taken 40 years for the US to hit 1 million solar energy installations, but it will take only another two years for that figure to double. Meanwhile, the current total solar capacity of 27 GW is expected to triple by 2020. In short, officials said Wednesday, solar's future is bright as the sun. Climate Nexus, a New York-based strategic communications organization that promotes clean energy solutions, hosted an online conference call to mark the major milestone of 1 million solar installations.
Dubai received bid of $.0299/kWh for 800MW of solar power. This price represents the lowest yet recorded for solar power. Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) has received 5 bids from international organisations for the third phase of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, said HE Saeed Mohammed AlTayer, MD & CEO of DEWA. The lowest recorded bid at the opening of the envelopes was US 2.99 cents per kilowatt hour. The next step in the bidding process will review the technical and commercial aspects of the bids to select the best one.
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