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  #181  
Old Posted Mar 17, 2013, 4:18 PM
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Advanced Energy, Motech Partner For Historic Solar Project
March 16, 2013 Frank Andorka : 0 Comments

Advanced Energy Industries announced that its AE 75TX solar inverters have been selected by First Power and Light for a 147 kW solar energy system at the Mary Switzer Building, which when completed, will be the oldest federal building to use solar power in Washington. The entire system is comprised of U.S.-manufactured components and was installed by First Power and Light, a commercial, government, and large residential solar installer recently acquired by Mainstream Entertainment.

Originally built in 1939, the Mary Switzer building today houses the Department of Health and Human Services and Department of Education, among other government employees. The building was selected as a candidate for complete modernization as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, which included the installation of a solar power system to help produce clean, affordable solar energy and comply with the Office of Federal High-Performance Green Buildings‘ energy efficiency standards.
http://www.solarpowerworldonline.com...solar-project/
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  #182  
Old Posted Mar 18, 2013, 3:15 PM
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Germany — $1 Trillion Projected Fossil Fuel Import Savings From Energiewende
March 17, 2013

German Member of Parliament Josef Göppel has published an excellent speech he delivered recently at the Bundestag.

There are many remarkable ideas there, but I want to highlight only one thing mentioned at the end of the document.

Göppel notes that Germany is saving EUR 8 billion a year in fossil fuel import costs right now (about 10 percent of the whole bill) and expects that the cumulative savings up to 2040 will reach more than EUR one trillion.

If one simply adds up the remaining 27 years at 8 billion a year, one would only get a measly 216 billion in savings. Where are the missing 800 billion to go over one trillion?

One factor is that the share of renewable energy for electricity generation will go to 65% in 2040, from less than 25% in 2012. That of course means displacing more fossil fuel and saving more.
http://cleantechnica.com/2013/03/17/...-energiewende/

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Japanese solar will overtake Germany and the US in 2013
18. March 2013 | Applications & Installations, Global PV markets, Industry & Suppliers, Markets & Trends | By: Max Hall

Japan's decision to turn its back on nuclear and offer the world's most generous FIT scheme is set to see the country overtake Italy, Germany and the U.S. this year to become the world's second biggest solar market in 2013.

The PV Market in Japan report, by IHS-owned IMS Research, predicts more than a gigawatt of new photovoltaic installations will be added by the end of the month with more than 5 GW added over the remaining three quarters of 2013.

This is down largely to a FIT rate of JPY42/kWh (US$0.44/kWh), described as "perhaps overly generous" by Ash Sharma, senior director of solar research at IHS.

Even with the FIT rate expected to come down around 10% after April 1, the solar policy is expected to drive photovoltaic installations to new heights with Japanese manufacturers the main beneficiaries.
http://www.pv-magazine.com/news/deta...013_100010585/

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Softbank plans 111MW PV plant in Tomakomai, Japan
By Julia Chan - 18 March 2013, 12:13
In News, Power Generation, Project Focus

Japanese telecommunications company Softbank is continuing its investment in the solar industry and will develop an 111MW PV facility in Tomakomai, Hokkaido prefecture, Japan.

According to Bloomberg, 79MW of the large-scale project will be connected to Hokkaido Electric Power’s grids. The utility firm will purchase all electricity generated from the facility which is fed into its grids.

The news site also revealed that Softbank expects the plant to become operational by the end of March 2015.
http://www.pv-tech.org/news/softbank...omakomai_japan
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  #183  
Old Posted Mar 19, 2013, 4:27 PM
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SEIA: US PV system prices fall despite tariffs
19. March 2013 | Global PV markets, Industry & Suppliers, Markets & Trends, Investor news, Trade cases | By: Oliver Ristau

The impact of module prices are always discussed in connection with import tariffs on Chinese photovoltaic products. In the U.S. prices continue to fall, despite the tariffs imposed last year. However, the comparison is lopsided given the significantly higher price levels in the U.S. than in Germany.

Q3 2012 U.S. photovoltaic system prices declined compared to Q2 2012, despite the punitive tariffs imposed on imports of Chinese modules. In a quarterly overview of the market, conducted on behalf of the Solar Energy Industry Association (SEIA) by GTM Research, average prices have, depending on customer group, changed in comparison to the previous quarter as follows:
  • Prices for small private rooftop systems fell 4.4% to US$5.21/W
  • In the non-residential sector, prices dropped 3% to $4.18/W
  • For large photovoltaic plants in the utility sector, prices decreased 7.7% to $2.40/W
http://www.pv-magazine.com/news/deta...ffs_100010597/

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19 Mar 2013 | Germany
Breakthrough in electricity storage

Scientists at the Fraunhofer Institute for Environmental, Safety and Energy Technology UMSICHT in Oberhausen, Germany, have succeeded in significantly increasing the size of the stack and, with it, its capacity. A new design has allowed them to produce stacks up to 0.5 square meters in size. This is eight times larger than the cells in previous systems, and results in power up to 25 kW. The prototype has an efficiency of up to 80 percent, and can take a load of up to 500 amps of current.

So how have the experts managed to increase the size and capacity so remarkably? Scientists began by testing new membrane materials and researching battery management and battery design. Flow simulations helped them to optimize the cell structure. A complete redesign of the battery followed which enabled the Fraunhofer team to make their breakthrough. "The biggest challenge we faced for producing batteries with this level of performance was the development of a completely new stack structure andthe scale-up," explains Dr. Jens Burfeind, Group Manager for Electrochemical Storage Systems at Fraunhofer UMSICHT.

UMSICHT experts are working together with colleagues from the Fraunhofer Institutes for Chemical Technology ICT and for Solar Energy Systems ISE to conduct intensive research into redox flow batteries as part of a project funded by the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU). The research work is carried out at the institute in Oberhausen, home to one of Europe's largest test laboratories for redox flow batteries.
http://www.energyharvestingjournal.c...e-00005266.asp
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  #184  
Old Posted Mar 20, 2013, 3:56 PM
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Solar Creates Twice As Many Jobs As Coal, Nearly 3 Times More Than Natural Gas For Every $1 Invested
March 19, 2013 in Jobs, Science, Solar Policy, Solar Research

Just as a quick reminder, if our national goal is to create jobs, investing in clean energy, especially solar, is several times more effective than investing in fossil fuel or nuclear jobs.

Robert Pollin, the President of Pear Energy and a professor of economics at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, has studied this matter in depth with the Department of Energy and the International Labour Organization. As his Pear Energy team writes:

“The basic facts are simple. When we invest, say, $1 million in building the green economy, this creates about 17 jobs within the United States. By comparison, if we continue to spend as we do on fossil fuels and nuclear energy, you create only about 5 jobs per $1 million in spending. That is, we create about 12 more jobs for every $1 million in spending — 300 percent more jobs — every time we spend on building the green economy as opposed to maintaining our dependence on dirty and dangerous oil, coal, natural gas, and nuclear power.”


http://solarlove.org/solar-creates-t...ry-1-invested/

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New Jersey hits 1 GW installed PV capacity
20. March 2013 | Applications & Installations, Markets & Trends | By: Jonathan Gifford

Figures from a SEIA/GTM Research study released last week have confirmed that the state of New Jersey has hit the 1 GW installed photovoltaic capacity milestone. The state added 415 MW of capacity in 2012, an increase of one-third on 2011, when 313 MW was installed.

New Jersey has confirmed its status as a major photovoltaic market, coming in third place behind California and Arizona, for both the amount of cumulative photovoltaic capacity installed and the amount installed in 2012. SEIA claims that 5,700 jobs have been created by the solar industry in the state.

Net metering laws and a state solar requirement are the main drivers in photovoltaic growth in New Jersey, cites SEIA in a statement celebrating the 1 GW milestone. The statement continues that installed cost declines are a third contributing factor behind the continuing growth of photovoltaics in the state.

SEIA’s Carrie Hitt said that New Jersey policymakers continue to be at the forefront of solar development. "Although the New Jersey solar market has seen volatility, we are confident that New Jersey will continue to be a leader, both in innovating policy mechanisms to grow the industry and in installing solar to power homes and businesses," said Hitt.
http://www.pv-magazine.com/news/deta...ity_100010613/

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GCEP Scientists Make Solar Energy Chip 100 Times More Efficient
By Mike Ross
GCEP Factsheet: Photon Enhanced Thermionic Emission (PETE) for Solar Concentrator Systems

Scientists working at the Stanford Institute for Materials and Energy Sciences (SIMES) have improved an innovative solar-energy device to be about 100 times more efficient than its previous design in converting the sun's light and heat into electricity.

"This is a major step toward making practical devices based on our technique for harnessing both the light and heat energy provided by the sun," said Nicholas Melosh, associate professor of materials science and engineering at Stanford and a researcher with SIMES, a joint SLAC/Stanford institute.

The new device is based on the photon-enhanced thermionic emission (PETE) process first demonstrated in 2010 by a group led by Melosh and SIMES colleague Zhi-Xun Shen, who is SLAC's advisor for science and technology. In a report last week in Nature Communications., the group described how they improved the device's efficiency from a few hundredths of a percent to nearly 2 percent, and said they expect to achieve at least another 10-fold gain in the future.

Conventional photovoltaic cells use a portion of the sun's spectrum of wavelengths to generate electricity. But PETE uses a special semiconductor chip to make electricity by using the entire spectrum of sunlight, including wavelengths that generate heat. In fact, the efficiency of thermionic emission improves dramatically at high temperatures, so adding PETE to utility-scale concentrating solar power plants, such as multi-megawatt power tower and parabolic trough projects in California's Mojave Desert, may increase their electrical output by 50 percent. Those systems use mirrors to focus sunlight into superbright, blazingly hot regions that boil water into steam, which then spins an electrical generator.
http://gcep.stanford.edu/news/solarenergychip.html

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  #185  
Old Posted Mar 21, 2013, 3:43 PM
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MEA region PV demand to reach 1 GW in 2013
20. March 2013 | Markets & Trends, Global PV markets | By: Jonathan Gifford

In a report released today, NPD Solarbuzz has predicted that photovoltaic demand from the Middle East and Africa (MEA) will total 1 GW in 2013. This represents a 625% increase on the 136 MW of demand in 2012.

In another indication of the increasing regional diversity of the photovoltaic market, NPD Solarbuzz has predicted that demand from MEA countries will grow at a stellar rate in 2013. The region is predicted to grow to a 1 GW market, with South Africa, Israel and Saudi Arabia leading the way.

The NPD publication, the Middle East and Africa PV Market Report, sets out photovoltaic market growth to 2017 in the region, with estimates that the market could grow to 3.7 GW up to 9 GW over that period.
http://www.pv-magazine.com/news/deta...013_100010625/

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Electric vehicles + solar: an idea whose time has come
March 20th, 2013
Written by Brian Boler

You’ve likely heard about the partnerships springing up between electric vehicle (EV) manufacturers and solar (PV) system providers. Most recently, Honda and SolarCity announced a plan that allows Honda customers to install solar with a low upfront cost and see an immediate reduction in their electricity bill. This follows partnerships SunPower has formed with Nissan and Ford to offer special deals to buyers interested in both technologies. And in a slightly different take, SolarCity has teamed up with Tesla to provide residential PV owners with battery back-up based on Tesla battery technology, and to install a “Supercharger Network” of free solar-powered recharging stations.

While both EV and PV are considered alternative technologies, that’s not enough to explain why so many companies are jumping to combine EV and residential PV sales. What factors are driving this trend?

The first reason is primarily financial: combining EVs with PV allows consumers to extract the most financial value from both. Why? The right sized solar system can offset all of the electricity needed to fuel an electric vehicle. When viewed from a monthly cost of ownership perspective, the fuel savings resulting from the PV system essentially offset the EV and PV capital premiums, as shown in the figure below. Additionally, a PV system has a 20-30 year lifetime; therefore, once it’s paid off, subsequent EV purchases will experience an even lower monthly cost of ownership.


http://www.cleanpower.com/2013/elect...es-plus-solar/

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India’s Karnataka State to Tender for 130 MW of Solar Projects
21 March 2013

March 21 (Bloomberg) — India’s Karnataka state plans to tender for 130 megawatts of solar power projects next month, the state electricity utility said.

Developers may submit bids for building one or more projects having three to 10 megawatts capacity, according to a tender document from state-owned Karnataka Renewable Energy Development Ltd. Companies may submit bids for both solar photovoltaic and solar thermal projects, it said.

The developers will be responsible for laying power lines from their project to the nearest substation at their own cost and for ensuring water availability, it said.
http://about.bnef.com/bnef-news/indi...olar-projects/
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  #186  
Old Posted Mar 22, 2013, 3:26 PM
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Greece hits almost 2GW of installed capacity
By Nilima Choudhury - 21 March 2013, 15:19
In News, Power Generation

Greek grid operator Hellenic Transmission has announced Greece installed 1.615GW of solar PV capacity in February, adding 211MW in February, down from 278MW added in January.

This means Greece now has a total installed PV capacity of 1.732GW. About 329MW of the mainland's total installed capacity comes from PV systems that are 10kW in size or smaller.
http://www.pv-tech.org/news/greece_h...alled_capacity

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National Solar Installer Debunks “Top Five New York Solar Myths”
March 22, 2013 Kathleen Zipp : 0 Comments

REC Solar, solar design and installation company, announced a major expansion into New York state. The company now offers solutions to residents across the state, with an initial focus on Westchester, Rockland, Putnam and Orange Counties.



NY Solar Myth 1: Solar is too expensive
NY Solar Myth 2: Installing solar is a hassle
NY Solar Myth 3: New York isn’t sunny enough for solar
NY Solar Myth 4: Solar hasn’t caught on in New York
NY Solar Myth 5: It’s hard to find qualified solar installers in NY
http://www.solarpowerworldonline.com...k-solar-myths/
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  #187  
Old Posted Mar 24, 2013, 3:06 PM
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  #188  
Old Posted Mar 25, 2013, 3:43 PM
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Why Your Business Should Consider Solar Power
March 25, 2013

During the process of running a business, entrepreneurs are always looking for ways to reduce costs and become more profitable. One option that many businesses are now considering is investing in solar power. If you’re thinking about solar for your company, is it worth the investment?

Prices Have Fallen

Government Incentives

Accelerated Depreciation

Payback Periods
http://cleantechnica.com/2013/03/25/...r-solar-power/

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Indian State Of Punjab Launches 300MW Solar Power Tender
March 25, 2013

The north Indian state of Punjab has issued a fresh tender for installation of 300 MW of solar power capacity.

The state joins list of several others like Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh to issue huge tenders for setting up solar power capacity.

Punjab lies in the west north-west belt of India which receives significantly high solar radiation making the region suitable for large-scale solar power infrastructure development.

Other states laying in the region, Gujarat and Rajasthan, boast over 90% of India’s installed solar capacity. Both the states have been pioneers in development of solar power sector in India.
http://cleantechnica.com/2013/03/25/...-power-tender/

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2013-03-24
Nanowire solar cells raises efficiency limit

Scientists from the Nano-Science Center at the Niels Bohr Institut, Denmark and the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland, have shown that a single nanowire can concentrate the sunlight up to 15 times of the normal sun light intensity. The results are surprising and the potential for developing a new type of highly efficient solar cells is great.


- Due to some unique physical light absorption properties of nanowires, the limit of how much energy we can utilize from the sun's rays is higher than previous believed. These results demonstrate the great potential of development of nanowire-based solar cells, says PhD Peter Krogstrup on the surprising discovery that is described in the journal Nature Photonics.

The research groups have during recent years studied how to develop and improve the quality of the nanowire crystals, which is a cylindrical structure with a diameter of about 10,000 part of a human hair. The nanowires are predicted to have great potential in the development not only of solar cells, but also of future quantum computers and other electronic products.

- It turns out that the nanowires naturally concentrate the sun's rays into a very small area in the crystal by up to a factor 15. Because the diameter of a nanowire crystal is smaller than the wavelength of the light coming from the sun it can cause resonances in the intensity of light in and around nanowires. Thus, the resonances can give a concentrated sunlight, where the energy is converted, which can be used to give a higher conversion effeciency of the sun's energy, says Peter Krogstrup, who with this discovery contributes to that the research in solar cell technology based on nanowires get a real boost.
http://www.nbi.ku.dk/english/news/ne...iciency-limit/
http://www.sciencemag.org/content/33.../1057.abstract

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Gila Bend Solar Project Offsets Energy Usage By 86%
March 25, 2013 Kathleen Zipp : 0 Comments

SOLON Corporation, providers of turnkey solar power plants, has completed construction of a 459-kW solar PV system at the Reverse Osmosis Water Treatment Facility for the Town of Gila Bend, Arizona.

The system is expected to offset the energy usage of the water treatment facility by 86 percent, which will save money for the Town of Gila Bend through reduced utility bills.

“The incorporation of solar into this water treatment facility is another great example of solar’s versatility at reducing power costs across the electric demand spectrum,” said Jared Schoch, Vice President and General Manager of Power Plants at SOLON Corporation. “We are very excited to complete this PV project for the community of Gila Bend.”

SOLON engineered, designed, constructed, and commissioned the fixed-tilt system. As a full service system provider, SOLON will continue to operate and maintain the system on behalf of Gila Bend.
http://www.solarpowerworldonline.com...y-usage-by-86/
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  #189  
Old Posted Mar 26, 2013, 4:25 PM
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Trees Used to Create Recyclable, Efficient Solar Cell
Posted March 25, 2013 Atlanta, GA

Solar cells are just like leaves, capturing the sunlight and turning it into energy. It’s fitting that they can now be made partially from trees.

Georgia Institute of Technology and Purdue University researchers have developed efficient solar cells using natural substrates derived from plants such as trees. Just as importantly, by fabricating them on cellulose nanocrystal (CNC) substrates, the solar cells can be quickly recycled in water at the end of their lifecycle.

The technology is published in the journal Scientific Reports, the latest open-access journal from the Nature Publishing Group.

The researchers report that the organic solar cells reach a power conversion efficiency of 2.7 percent, an unprecedented figure for cells on substrates derived from renewable raw materials. The CNC substrates on which the solar cells are fabricated are optically transparent, enabling light to pass through them before being absorbed by a very thin layer of an organic semiconductor. During the recycling process, the solar cells are simply immersed in water at room temperature. Within only minutes, the CNC substrate dissolves and the solar cell can be separated easily into its major components.

Georgia Tech College of Engineering Professor Bernard Kippelen led the study and says his team’s project opens the door for a truly recyclable, sustainable and renewable solar cell technology.

“The development and performance of organic substrates in solar technology continues to improve, providing engineers with a good indication of future applications,” said Kippelen, who is also the director of Georgia Tech’s Center for Organic Photonics and Electronics (COPE). “But organic solar cells must be recyclable. Otherwise we are simply solving one problem, less dependence on fossil fuels, while creating another, a technology that produces energy from renewable sources but is not disposable at the end of its lifecycle.”
http://www.gatech.edu/newsroom/release.html?nid=201941

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125-MW Solar Project Planned For Arizona
March 26, 2013 Kathleen Zipp : 0 Comments

A 125-MW solar photovoltaic (PV) project is planned for Arizona’s Arlington Valley. AVSE II will be developed by a member of the LS Power Group and sited in Maricopa County.

The project consists of five Array Blocks utilizing PV panels made of crystalline silicon cells on a single axis sun tracking system, a SCADA system to monitor and control the various plant systems, including trackers, solar inverters, substations, the well water supply and treatment system, and the interface with the plant meteorological station. Relevant plant information will be made available to a remote site and to the California Independent System Operator (CAISO).

“We look forward to working with Fluor in developing this first-of-a-kind 125 MW solar PV project,” said Mark Taft, senior vice president and general manager, ABB Power Generation. “ABB brings a unique level of competence and expertise to this project, as our capabilities have been proven in some of the most demanding projects around the globe. We are excited to deliver our integrated SCADA solutions, including system engineering, integration of system components, telecommunications, and total project management and execution.”
http://www.solarpowerworldonline.com...d-for-arizona/

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Solar Power Is On Georgia’s Mind
March 25, 2013 Frank Andorka : 0 Comments

At 9:30 a.m. Eastern Time this very morning, Georgia State Representative E. Culver “Rusty” Kidd held a press conference with his cosponsors of the Rural Georgia Economic Recovery and Solar Resource Act of 2014 (aka House Bill 657 that Kidd introduced on Friday) at a press conference in the media room of the Georgia House of Representatives.

I would have loved to attend, but I’m in snowy Cleveland (spring, my left foot — 4 inches on top of my car this morning) instead of frigid Atlanta (no snow, but the high was predicted at 48 degrees).

(I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the co-sponsors of the bill: Reps. Tom Kirby, Terry Rodgers, Buzz Brockway, Gloria Frazier and Carol Fullerton are also supporting the solar industry in (usually) sunny Georgia by cosponsoring the bill.)

It’s a great bill for the solar industry (and the residents of Georgia to boot). You should read the entire bill yourself, but here are the highlights. The bill:
  • Lowers electric bills for customers across the state;
  • Opens the market for competition in the solar industry, under the supervision of the Georgia Public Service Commission;
  • Leverages private-sector investment to finance solar projects (the sponsors emphasize that these are not state subsidies; and
  • Provides a 100% voluntary solar program that would allow ratepayers to opt-in on their monthly bill.

The bipartisan support (Culver is an Independent, Kirby, Rodgers and Brockway are Republicans, and Frazier and Fullerton are Democrats) is further evidence of how much in the mainstream our industry is. The state of Georgia, which has shown some resistance in the past to the industry, is coming around.
http://www.solarpowerworldonline.com...georgias-mind/
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  #190  
Old Posted Mar 27, 2013, 4:49 PM
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Rooftop solar could power all households, slash electricity prices
By Sophie Vorrath on 27 March 2013

What would happen if every Australian household installed solar PV on their rooftops? That’s the hypothetical question a new study has set out to answer, with the main aim of proving a solar point (while rattling a few cages along the way): that solar power is a viable solution to Australia’s energy challenges and has the potential to dramatically change the nation’s energy landscape.

The study, conducted by solar provider Energy Matters using government data, found that if every suitable rooftop in Australia was turned into a solar power station, the amount of energy generated would supply more than 134.8 per cent of the country’s residential electricity needs, and would drive down power prices from an average of 30c per kilowatt-hour to 7c/kWh.

According to Energy Matters, there is just under 400 square kilometres of available roof space on residential roof tops in Australia that could accommodate solar panels – equal to the size of inner Melbourne. By the company’s calculations, each one of the suitable houses could theoretically hold an 8kW, 32-panel solar power system. The cost for each system at the current market rate would be less than $14,000.

These houses would then generate 36kWh per day; and with the average household currently consuming 18kWh per day, the excess electricity would earn the household between $2100 and $3,200 per year. This way, the study estimates each household’s solar system would be paid off in between four and six years.

And then there is what Energy Matters describes as the “knock on effect” to factor in, with energy prices and CO2 emissions reduced dramatically, and a huge boon in green jobs.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/2013/roof...y-prices-57950

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India achieves 1.4GW cumulative capacity
By Nilima Choudhury - 27 March 2013, 12:08
In News, Power Generation

India has achieved a total a cumulative capacity of 1,447MW for grid-connected solar PV.

According to statistics from the Indian Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) India added 210MW in February, taking the total grid-connected solar deployed in this financial year to 505MW.

The country is targeting a total of 800MW of new solar capacity by the end of the financial year ending this month.

For off-grid systems of more than 1kW in size, the MNRE did not supply figures for February, but its total deployment for 2012-2013 has reached 17.59MW. The country now has a cumulative capacity of 108MW, which has surpassed its 30MW target for 2013.
http://www.pv-tech.org/news/india_ac...ative_capacity

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NREL Study: Securitization Could Cut Solar LCOE by 16 Percent
A new source of capital that also lowers costs

Herman K. Trabish: March 27, 2013

“Securitization,” explained GTM Research VP Shayle Kann, “is taking a portfolio of contracted revenue from solar [or wind] projects, bundling it, and selling it as individual securities.”

In addition to providing a new source of capital, securitization could also lower the levelized cost of energy (LCOE) of best-quality solar projects up to 16 percent, according to a new report from NREL.

Michael Mendelsohn’s report on the early progress of U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)-funded research on opening up solar to public investment through securitization showed it could lower the levelized cost of solar energy-generated electricity by 8 percent to 16 percent for the best quality projects.

Another measure of the potential rewards from securitization is the prestigious list of participants in the NREL Solar Access to Public Capital (SAPC) working group, which is a renewables industry who’s who of major banks (Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Rabobank); venture capital firms (Capital Fusion Partners, CleanPath Ventures); law firms (Bingham McCutchen LLP, Chadbourne & Parke LLP); ratings agencies (Standard and Poor's, Kroll Bond Ratings); and, especially, solar financiers (Clean Power Finance, Sungevity, SunPower [NASDAQ:SPWR], Sunrun).



To head off concerns that securitization in the renewables, especially solar, would blow up the market as it did in the housing sector in 2008, NREL’s SAPC working group’s DOE grant charged it with a three-year, three-task purpose:
  • Simplify investors' due diligence by standardizing evaluation, legal practices, and documents necessary for securitization of renewables investments;
  • Evaluate securitization in other economic sectors. Identify the strengths and flaws in assumptions and proposals about how pooling project shares would work for the renewables; and
  • Collect data for the evaluation of securitization’s potential performance and credit default risk.
http://www.greentechmedia.com/articl...-To-16-Percent

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New solar leasing push Down Under
27. March 2013 | Applications & Installations, Markets & Trends | By: Jonathan Gifford

A new campaign to introduce the solar leasing model to Australian households was kicked off today. The campaign is called "Every Rooftop" and is the result of a collaboration between solar developer Ingenero and the NGO Green Cross Australia.

The residential sector still dominates the Australian photovoltaic market, and that may remain the case if a new push to promote solar leasing is taken up by homeowners. Australian solar installer and developer Ingenero is behind the move to promote solar leases in Australia.

The Every Rooftop campaign is essentially a website and referral system, where homeowners are encouraged to assess their suitability for a solar lease and to sign up for one. Green Cross Australia is supporting what is being called "a social venture" and will receive a commission for each sale.

Green Cross Australia’s CEO Mara Bún said solar leasing would expand photovoltaics in the country. "Currently nearly one million Australian homes have solar power - a number worth celebrating. Under a moderate growth scenario, the Australian Energy Market Operator expects this number to grow eight-fold by 2031," said Bún.
http://www.pv-magazine.com/news/deta...der_100010706/

Quote:
27.03.2013
Magnetic fingerprints of interface defects in silicon solar cells detected

Using a highly sensitive method of measurement, HZB physicists have managed to localize defects in amorphous/crystalline silicon heterojunction solar cells. Now, for the first time ever, using computer simulations at Paderborn University, the scientists were able to determine the defects' exact locations and assign them to certain structures within the interface between the amorphous and crystalline phases.


In theory, silicon-based solar cells are capable of converting up to 30 percent of sunlight to electricity - although, in reality, the different kinds of loss mechanisms ensure that even under ideal lab conditions it does not exceed 25 %. Advanced heterojunction cells shall affront this problem: On top of the wafer’s surface, at temperatures below 200 °C, a layer of 10 nanometer disordered (amorphous) silicon is deposited. This thin film is managing to saturate to a large extent the interface defects and to conduct charge carriers out of the cell. Heterojunction solar cells have already high efficiency factors up to 24,7 % – even in industrial scale. However, scientists had until now only a rough understanding of the processes at the remaining interface defects.

Now, physicists at HZB’s Institute for Silicon Photovoltaics have figured out a rather clever way for detecting the remaining defects and characterizing their electronic structure. "If electrons get deposited on these defects, we are able to use their spin, that is, their small magnetic moment, as a probe to study them," Dr. Alexander Schnegg explains. With the help of EDMR, electrically detected magnetic resonance, an ultrasensitive method of measurement, they were able to determine the local defects' structure by detecting their magnetic fingerprint in the photo current of the solar cell under a magnetic field and microwave radiation.
http://www.helmholtz-berlin.de/pubbi...che=en&typoid=

Last edited by amor de cosmos; Mar 27, 2013 at 5:30 PM.
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Old Posted Mar 28, 2013, 4:05 PM
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Toshiba Enters Solar Power Generation Business With 6.5MW Plans
27 March 2013

March 28 (Bloomberg) — Toshiba Corp., the Japanese maker of flash-memory chips, elevators and nuclear reactors, will enter the solar power generation business through projects with combined capacity of 6.5 megawatts.

A 1.5 megawatt plant in Kanagawa prefecture, south of Tokyo, will start running on April 1 and three more stations are planned to be set up by the end of March 2014, the company said in a statement today.

Toshiba has been supplying equipment to thermal, nuclear, geothermal, and solar power plants, according to the statement.

“We will contribute to the expansion of clean energy through power generation projects using our technology,” it said.
http://about.bnef.com/bnef-news/tosh...h-6-5mw-plans/

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From: Andy Soos, ENN
Published March 27, 2013 04:55 PM
Egyptian Solar Power

Egypt is a land of ancient mysteries. It is a desert country with one long river flowing through it. Desert means lots of sun. Egypt is preparing to build a billion dollar solar power plant with help from a suite of international donors. Construction of Kuryamatt, a 150-megawatt hybrid power plant that will use both solar energy and natural gas to generate electricity, is underway 90 kilometers south of Cairo. Plans for a second large solar plant, in Upper Egypt's Kom Ombo, are also underway. These moves come after severe power cuts crippled the country last year during the hot summer months when Egyptians blast their air-conditioning units, and power up their stoves to prepare Ramadan feasts.



The Egyptian government is preparing for the establishment of a solar power plant at Kom Ombo region in Aswan within the framework of a strategy designed to diversify energy sources as an implementation of the ministry’s plan, which provides for expanding the use of solar energy.

The Ministry of Electricity and Energy report stated that the plant will produce 100MW, yet financial sources are currently considered as the project is expected to be financed by African Development Fund and UN's Clean Development Mechanism.
http://www.enn.com/environmental_policy/article/45778

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Lancaster, CA Becomes First US City to Require Solar
Every new housing development must average 1 kilowatt per house.

Herman K. Trabish: March 27, 2013

The Lancaster, California City Council unanimously approved changes to the city’s zoning code that require housing developers to install solar with every new home they build.

This is the latest piece in what Republican Mayor R. Rex Parris described at the City Council meeting as a plan to make Lancaster “the solar capital of the universe.”

Lancaster’s now official Residential Zones Update specifies, along with a range of green building provisions, that new single family homes meet minimum solar system requirements in the same way that they must meet minimum parking space requirements.



Residential homes on lots of 7,000 square feet or more must have a solar system of 1.0 kilowatts to 1.5 kilowatts. Rural residential homes of up to 100,000 square feet must have a system of at least 1.5 kilowatts.

The standards spell out simple, commonsense rules for both roof-mounted and ground-mounted systems. They also deal with some interesting issues:
  • A builder’s model home must show the kind of solar system the builder will offer.
  • Builders of subdivisions will be able to aggregate the houses’ requirements. If ten houses in a subdivision each have a one-kilowatt requirement, the builder can install a single ten-kilowatt system, two five-kilowatt systems or four 2.5-kilowatt systems.
  • If a housing tract is built in phases, each phase must meet the requirement.
  • Multifamily developments can meet the requirement with a rooftop system or a system on a support or shade structure.
  • Finally, and importantly, builders “may choose to meet the solar energy generation requirement off-site by providing evidence of purchasing solar energy credits from another solar-generating development located within the City.”



To turn his city into “a place the solar industry comes to innovate,” Mayor Parris has led the City Council to:
  • Create the California Clean Energy Authority, which has brought in utility-scale solar developers like Silverado Power and a pipeline of 700 megawatts of large-scale solar within the city’s boundaries;
  • Create the High Desert Power Authority, which has proposed a new transmission project to the state’s grid operator that would increase the delivery of renewables-generated electricity to other municipal utilities and relieve grid congestion between Northern and Southern California; and
  • Create Solar Lancaster in partnership with SolarCity (NASDAQ:SCTY), SunPower (NASDAQ:SPWR), and other installers, which identified Creative Renewable Energy Zones (CREZs) that have spawned over 27 megawatts of distributed solar across the city, including 7.5 megawatts of solar on Lancaster’s schools at a profit to the city.

“In Lancaster, a solar installer is issued a permit within fifteen minutes,” Parris said, “but eight miles south in Palmdale, it takes two months.”

His next targets, Parris said, are:
  • Requiring all new homes to be meet LEED certification standards
  • Requiring grey water systems on all new homes
  • Requiring, when partner BYD's batteries are certified, battery systems for new homes’ solar systems so they would be energy-independent for up to four days, and
  • Using LED bulbs and batteries so the city’s street lights will be entirely off-grid.
http://www.greentechmedia.com/articl...-Require-Solar

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Bentley Motors factory hosts UK’s ‘largest’ rooftop PV array
By Nilima Choudhury - 28 March 2013, 12:13
In News, Power Generation, Project Focus

UK developer Lightsource Renewable Energy has announced the development of a 5MW rooftop solar array at Bentley Motors' factory, said to be the largest installation of its kind in the UK.

The 20,000 solar panel installation is on the roof of Bentley's factory in Crewe, making use of 3.45 hectares of roof space. Lightsource said the array would generate enough energy to power over 1,200 households and is three times more powerful than the current largest roof mounted system in the UK.

Lightsource anticipates that at peak generation times, the system will produce up to 40% of Bentley’s energy requirements and reduce CO2 usage by over 2,500 tonnes per year. With a two way connection, during the summer, weekends and shutdown periods excess energy generated can be fed back into the National Grid.
http://www.pv-tech.org/news/uks_larg...by_lightsource

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Georgia legislators introduce bill for up to 2GW of rural solar
By Felicity Carus - 27 March 2013, 23:40
In News, Power Generation

Georgia could be poised to build up 2GW of large-scale solar if a bill introduced last week passes the state legislature.

Representative Rusty Kidd introduced the Rural Georgia Economic Recovery and Solar Resource Act of 2014 and was co-sponsored by Independents, Republicans and Democrats.

“Solar energy is an abundant resource that is not going to go away,” said Kidd. “We don’t have to pay for the sun.”

Georgia currently only has 749 PV installations with a capacity of 22,101kW, according to the Georgia Solar Energy Association.

HB657 will create large-scale solar farms that produce electricity for customers who choose to opt in through their utility bill, similar to other community solar models. The programme would operate through the state's main utility, Georgia Power.

The bill does not stipulate a mandated capacity - a figure to be determined by the Public Utilities Commission – but advocates believe that 2GW would be possible, equivalent to 5% of Georgia Power's energy portfolio. The utility would work with a single developer who would be granted a statewide monopoly by the PUC.
http://www.pv-tech.org/news/georgia_...of_rural_solar

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Manufacturing: Plasma treatments on a roll
Published online 27 March 2013

A revolutionary atmospheric-pressure plasma boosts adhesion of polymer films for roll-to-roll solar-cell production

Mass manufacture of photovoltaic materials is often achieved inexpensively by screen printing organic solar cells onto plastic sheets. The polymer known as poly(ethylene terephthalate), or PET, is a key part of the technology. Well known as the inexpensive plastic used to make soda bottles, PET has garnered increasing use as an optoelectronic substrate because of its strength and flexibility. But printing conductive solar-cell coatings onto PET is a challenge: it has a non-reactive surface and is frequently contaminated with static electric charges, which makes adhesion to other materials difficult.

Linda Wu from the A*STAR Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology and co-workers have now devised an innovative plasma treatment to ‘activate’ PET surfaces for improved bonding during roll-to-roll processing1. The team’s experiments with ‘diffuse coplanar surface barrier discharge’ (DCSBD) technology show that large-area PET sheets can be microscopically abraded and chemically modified to increase surface adhesion nearly instantaneously, thanks to plasma ions generated under open-air conditions.
http://www.research.a-star.edu.sg/research/6648

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New type of solar structure cools buildings in full sunlight
Home » About » News & Updates » New type of solar structure cools buildings in full sunlight

A Stanford team has designed an entirely new form of cooling panel that works even when the sun is shining. Such a panel could vastly improve the daylight cooling of buildings, cars and other structures by radiating sunlight back into the chilly vacuum of space.

Andrew Myers | Stanford Engineering

Homes and buildings chilled without air conditioners. Car interiors that don't heat up in the summer sun. Tapping the frigid expanses of outer space to cool the planet. Science fiction, you say? Well, maybe not any more.

A team of researchers at Stanford has designed an entirely new form of cooling structure that cools even when the sun is shining. Such a structure could vastly improve the daylight cooling of buildings, cars and other structures by reflecting sunlight back into the chilly vacuum of space. Their paper describing the device was published March 5 in Nano Letters.

“People usually see space as a source of heat from the sun, but away from the sun outer space is really a cold, cold place,” explained Shanhui Fan, professor of electrical engineering and the paper’s senior author. “We’ve developed a new type of structure that reflects the vast majority of sunlight, while at the same time it sends heat into that coldness, which cools manmade structures even in the day time.”

The trick, from an engineering standpoint, is two-fold. First, the reflector has to reflect as much of the sunlight as possible. Poor reflectors absorb too much sunlight, heating up in the process and defeating the purpose of cooling.

The second challenge is that the structure must efficiently radiate heat back into space. Thus, the structure must emit thermal radiation very efficiently within a specific wavelength range in which the atmosphere is nearly transparent. Outside this range, Earth’s atmosphere simply reflects the light back down. Most people are familiar with this phenomenon. It’s better known as the greenhouse effect—the cause of global climate change.
http://engineering.stanford.edu/news...-full-sunlight

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Spatially explicit life cycle assessment of 5 sun-to-wheels pathways finds photovoltaic electricity and BEVs offer land-efficient and low-carbon transportation
4 January 2013

A new spatially-explicit life cycle assessment of five different “sun-to-wheels” conversion pathways—ethanol from corn or switchgrass for internal combustion vehicles (ICVs); electricity from corn or switchgrass for battery-electric vehicles (BEVs); and photovoltaic electricity for BEVs—found a strong case for PV BEVs.

According to the findings by the team from the University of California, Santa Barbara and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, published in the ACS journal Environmental Science & Technology, even the most land-use efficient biomass-based pathway (i.e., switchgrass bioelectricity in US counties with hypothetical crop yields of more than 24 tonnes/ha) requires 29 times more land than the PV-based alternative in the same locations.

Furthermore, PV BEV systems also have the lowest life cycle GHG emissions throughout the US and the lowest fossil fuel inputs, except for locations with hypothetical switchgrass yields of 16 or more tonnes/ha. Including indirect land use effects further strengthens the case for PV BEVs, the researchers suggested.

The functional unit of the assessment was 100 km driven in a compact passenger vehicle during one year. The team calculated three environmental indicators for each county of the contiguous US:
  1. Land area required for the corn and switchgrass fields or the PV installation—i.e., direct land use measured in m2/100 km driven.
  2. Total global warming potential from the vehicle and fuel life cycles, measured in kg CO2 equiv/100 km driven.
  3. Total fossil fuel consumption from the vehicle and fuel life cycles, measured in MJ of net calorific value (NCV) per 100 km driven.

The system boundary includes vehicle production, use, and end-of-life management, as well as fuel production and use. In the case of PV electricity, the fuel cycle consists of production, use, and end-of-life management of the PV system.

GHG and fossil fuel data for the production of corn and switchgrass and their conversion to ethanol are based on the EBAMM Model, which was combined with crop yield maps and updated with data from version 1.8c.0 of the GREET model and other recent literature. Among the assumptions were:
  • NCV of corn and switchgrass is 18 MJ per kg, and that 2.53 kg of corn and 2.62 kg of switchgrass are required to produce 1 L of ethanol with 21.2 MJ NCV.
  • Energy consumption and GHG emission values of the biorefineries include coproduction credits and in- and out-bound logistics. The crop-to-electricity conversion model assumes that half of the biomass is converted in biomass boilers and the other half is co-combusted with coal to generate electricity.
  • Inventory models for both product systems are based on Ecoinvent data and reports. A biomass-to- electricity conversion efficiency of 32% was used, and an electricity transmission and distribution efficiency of 92%.
  • The PV system life cycle is based on 2005 technology and production data.
http://www.greencarcongress.com/2013...-20130104.html
http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/es302959h
http://reneweconomy.com.au/2013/sola...iofueled-31555
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Old Posted Mar 29, 2013, 3:25 PM
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Solar Impulse Airplane Lands in California to Launch First Sun-Powered Flight Across America!
by Mike Chino, 03/28/13

So far we've seen the Solar Impulse airplane soar over Paris, Switzerland, and Morocco - and now the aircraft is set to fly across the United States on the first sun-powered cross-America flight in history. The Solar Impulse just landed at Moffett Field in Mountain View, California, and we had a chance to check it out in person before it embarks on a journey that will take it from San Francisco to New York without using a single drop of fuel. Read on for a closer look at this amazing vehicle - and find out if it's coming soon to city near you!


http://inhabitat.com/solar-impulse-a...cross-america/

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New York Solar Projects to Get $46 Million in State Funding
28 March 2013

March 28 (Bloomberg) — The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, which administers incentive programs for solar energy, is awarding $46 million to 76 projects in the state.

The funds will be paired with $100 million in private financing to support projects totaling 52 megawatts of capacity, the authority said today in a statement on its website. Units of Exelon Corp., MEMC Electronic Materials Inc. and SolarCity Corp. were among the 28 recipients.

The program caps funding at $3 million a project and requires private investments, according to the statement. Today’s awards represent the first of three rounds for current proposals under review, the authority said.

The incentives have been dropping as solar energy costs have declined. The “portfolio-weighted average” incentive awarded today was 88 cents a watt, or about 30 percent of the cost to build the projects, down from $1.30 a watt in 2011 and 93 cents a watt in 2012, the authority said.
http://about.bnef.com/bnef-news/new-...state-funding/

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Hot topic: forecasting solar for grid integration
March 28th, 2013
Written by Adam Kankiewicz

Grid-integration of distributed generation sources continues to be a hot topic for utilities and independent system operators (ISOs). Last month, the Utility Variable Generation Integration Group (UVIG) held its 6th annual workshop on Variable Generation Forecasting Applications to Power System Planning and Operations. At this event, numerous wind and solar energy forecasting topics related to power system operations were discussed from both U.S. and European perspectives.

Several excellent talks by European utility and forecasting entities focused on regional-specific concerns, foreshadowing challenges the U.S. is likely to face as PV penetration increases. According to Dr. Alejandro J. Gesino from Amprion GmbH, Germany currently has approximately 31 GW of both wind and solar generation resources installed (approximately 62 GW total), and system integration is continuing to challenge Regional Transmission Organizations (RTOs) on a daily basis.

While most German wind energy is utility scale and tends to be metered, the vast majority of solar energy in Germany is behind-the-meter in small distributed generation (DG) installations. Unlike metered PV systems, utilities have no direct way to monitor the energy production of systems installed behind-the-meter. As a variable energy source, deriving and predicting the energy produced by behind-the-meter solar is daunting at best, and will be something of a wild card as the level of installed capacity of DG solar continues to increase in Germany.

Although the penetration of behind-the-meter solar in the U.S. has not yet reached German levels, forecasting solar is becoming a challenge for several Western U.S. utilities and the California Independent System Operator (CAISO). Clean Power Research founder Tom Hoff described our efforts to help utilities and ISOs address the challenges involved in DG solar generation using SolarAnywhere® FleetView™ fleet forecasting capabilities.
http://www.cleanpower.com/2013/forecasting_solar_hot/

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Solar Cooperative Gets Panels On 1 In 10 Roofs In Neighborhood Of DC
March 28, 2013

What began as a group of neighbors hoping to reduce their impact on global warming has since become a major force for solar advocacy in Washington, DC.

The Mount Pleasant Solar Cooperative was started by two teenage boys who wanted to make solar power convenient and affordable through a bulk-purchase program. Along the way, the cooperatives new members realized that buying power wasn’t enough, and sought out changes in the district’s energy policies. Today the Mount Pleasant Solar Cooperative has helped to get solar panels on over 10 percent of the homes in the Mount Pleasant Neighborhood and has grown into a city-wide political organization.

In December 2012, John Farrell spoke to Anya Schoolman about the growing political role of the Mount Pleasant Solar Cooperative in the larger DC area. As Anya explains, their success is attributed to an on-going cycle of project development, organization, and policy work, a process that has proven successful since the cooperative started in 2006. Having achieved many of their immediate goals for more affordable community solar – and with a growing network of solar constituents – the cooperative hopes to continue pushing for legislation that will enable solar in greater DC.
http://cleantechnica.com/2013/03/28/...borhood-of-dc/
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Massive Energy Skyscraper Proposed On U.S.-Mexico Border

News from a huge solar project proposed for AZ:

A Maryland energy company is planning to deliver 500 megawatts of power to the electrical grid from a giant hollow tower on the Arizona-Mexico border that would be the second-tallest structure ever built.

Known as a downdraft tower, the project by Solar Wind Energy, Inc., is an untested and hugely ambitious endeavor. It has, however, attracted some heavyweight partners, including GE Energy and Whiting-Turner Contracting Co., which has built everything from steel foundries to the Baltimore Ravens’ football stadium. The company has sought no funding from the government.

Solar Wind Energy (which used to be called Clean Wind Energy Tower, Inc.) is negotiating for a lease from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) for a 1,700-acre parcel of flat, empty desert on the Mexican border, right next to an Air Force bombing range. The project must also win the blessing of the city of San Luis, Arizona, because the site is within city limits even though it lies five miles from any habitation.

If the tower and a proposed second one were built, San Luis — a town of less than 28,000 people, many of them migrant lettuce farmers — would have on its skyline two colossal towers that would each rise 2,250 feet, almost 500 feet taller than the uncompleted Freedom Tower in New York City. The only structure in the world that would be taller is the 2,722-foot Burj Khalifa in Dubai.


Source: http://www.forbes.com/sites/davidfer...mexico-border/

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Solar Investments Stand to Yield Millions for Local School Children
Energy cost-savings can be re-invested in at-risk children.

Rey Fuentes and James Barba: March 29, 2013

On March 11, a small elementary school district in Salinas, California took a big leap forward: with a unanimous vote, the school board approved financing for the installation of solar panels on all thirteen of its schools.

What the Salinas school board recognizes -- and what many researchers have concluded -- is that structural investments in schools are investments in the students who reside in them; largely through reinvested savings in education and learning environments, we invest in human capital for the next generation.

In fact, given the current debate around proposed funding models for Proposition 39 (the ballot proposition that raised corporate tax revenue for energy-efficient school construction), the project in Salinas can help shed some light on what these investments could do for schools around the state.

A Plan That Works

With an initial investment of $7 million, proposed as a loan by Chevron Energy Solutions from Green Campus Partners LLC, the solar panel installation in Salinas is expected to produce about 1.6 million kilowatt-hours of energy in the first year. This amounts to nearly 70 percent of the elementary schools’ total energy consumption, or $300,000 in lower energy bills each year.

After balancing loan payments with energy rebates, credits, and savings from the California Solar Initiative, the school district is projected to pocket $12,000 to $50,000 in annual savings -- up to $1.1 million annually when the loan is repaid.
http://www.greentechmedia.com/articl...chool-children
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Discovery opens door to efficiently storing and reusing renewable energy
March 28, 2013

Two University of Calgary researchers have developed a ground-breaking way to make new affordable and efficient catalysts for converting electricity into chemical energy.

Their technology opens the door to homeowners and energy companies being able to easily store and reuse solar and wind power. Such energy is clean and renewable, but it’s available only when the sun is shining or the wind is blowing.

The research by Curtis Berlinguette and Simon Trudel, both in the chemistry department in the Faculty of Science, has just been published in Science – one of the world’s top peer-reviewed journals.

“This breakthrough offers a relatively cheaper method of storing and reusing electricity produced by wind turbines and solar panels,” says Curtis Berlinguette, associate professor of chemistry and Canada Research Chair in Energy Conversion.

“Our work represents a critical step for realizing a large-scale, clean energy economy,” adds Berlinguette, who’s also director of the university’s Centre for Advanced Solar Materials.

Simon Trudel, assistant professor of chemistry, says their work “opens up a whole new field of how to make catalytic materials. We now have a large new arena for discovery.”

The pair have patented their technology and created from their university research a spin-off company, FireWater Fuel Corp., to commercialize their electrocatalysts for use in electrolyzers.



Laboratory tests – reported in their Science paper – show their new catalysts perform as well or better than expensive catalysts now on the market, yet theirs cost 1,000 times less.

Their research was supported by the university’s Institute for Sustainable Energy, Environment and Economy, Alberta Innovates, Mitacs and FireWater Fuel Corp.

FireWater Fuel Corp. expects to have a commercial product in the current large-scale electrolyzer market in 2014, and a prototype electrolyzer – using their new catalysts – ready by 2015 for testing in a home.
http://www.ucalgary.ca/news/releases...stry-discovery
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Germany Agrees: There Is A Solar-Powered Solution To Greek Debt Crisis
April 1, 2013

It was a deal that looked all but dead last year, but now Germany and Greece have formally agreed to an initiative that will enable Greece to profit from one of its most valuable natural resources: the sun. The new Germany-Greece solar power agreement calls for Germany to lend its investment dollars and its low-cost solar know-how (which we’ve been eyeballing enviously here in the U.S.) to create new green jobs in its financially strapped EU cousin, while providing that country with a sustainable export product and solve a geopolitical energy issue, to boot.

The Germany-Greece Solar Power Agreement

Greece already has the makings of a strong but slowly growing solar power sector. The Germany-Greece agreement, which was signed last Thursday, calls for Germany to take the lead in helping the country to rev up its solar power production with an investment of $319,000 (250,000 euros).

That represents one-fourth of the program’s initial phase, which was formulated by the European Union’s Task Force for Greece. Other members of the EU will chip in the rest for a total of one million euros.
http://cleantechnica.com/2013/04/01/...ar-production/

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Current Solar Module Efficiency Nowhere Near Its Potential, Especially Thin-Film Solar & CPV (Chart)
April 1, 2013

National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) Director Dan Arvizu recently gave a keynote speech during the 2013 International Renewable Energy Conference (part of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week), which I was lucky enough to attend*. His speech covered a large variety of cleantech topics, and most of the points he made have been covered extensively here on CleanTechnica. However, a couple of his points stood out to me as rather interesting and relatively uncovered.

Some of them are the foci of the interviews I conducted with him after his presentation (see the posts linked on the bottom of this article). But I decided to leave a couple of the points out of our interviews since they’re pretty straightforward and the chart presenting them is available on the NREL website, and now right here:



The takeaway points from the chart are:
  1. The current efficiencies of all types of solar modules and solar cells are nowhere near their theoretical efficiency limits. (And that’s not to say the theoretical limits can’t also increase.)
  2. Thin-film solar (CdTe) is especially ripe for efficiency improvements (commentary on that below), as are concentrated photovoltaics (CPV).


http://cleantechnica.com/2013/04/01/...lar-cpv-chart/

Quote:
Citigroup: How solar module prices could fall to 25c/watt
By Giles Parkinson on 1 April 2013

Energy analysts at global investment bank Citigroup suggest that the cost of solar PV modules could fall beyond most expectations in coming years – and reach a cost of just 25c a watt by 2020.

The prediction is included in an analysis of the market forces that are likely to shape the world’s energy future in the coming year. We reported on the major part of that report last Thursday, but Citi’s estimates on the cost of solar PV are intriguing, because they are well below most forecasts.

The rate of decline in the cost of solar PV in recent years has confounded most experts, even the optimists within the solar industry itself, and it has certainly taken the conventional power industry completely by surprise.



Citigroup’s report paints a very different picture in the two scenarios painted by the Citi team led by Jason Channell.

The first scenario, dubbed “single speed” expands on recent experience, which shows that the cost of solar PV has fallen around 22 per cent for each doubling in installed capacity. This is a variation of Moore’s Law, which held that there is a doubling of chip performance in computer hardware every 18 months.

Based on a continuation of that trend, and forecasts of solar PV capacity rising from around 100GW now to 500GW by 2020, Citi’s predictions fall in line with the market average, with a module cost of around 53c/Watt. Citigroup says any variations would be dictated by short term supply or demand effects.

But, in its “three speed” scenario, Citi works on the assumption that the cost of solar PV modules has evolved through three phases. The first was the ‘experimental’ phase, prior to 1988; the second was the ‘industry-development’ phase between 1998 and 2008; and the third was the ‘mass-production’ phase, after 2008.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/2013/citi...-25cwatt-41384

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150-MW Imperial County Solar Plant Expected Online in 2014
April 1, 2013 Kathleen Zipp : 0 Comments

First Solar, Inc. has acquired the 150-megawatt (MWac) Solar Gen 2 power project from an affiliate of The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. Energy Power Partners and a third equity partner for the project. Construction of the facility, which is located in Imperial County, Calif., near El Centro, is expected to start this year and be completed in 2014.

The photovoltaic (PV) solar plant will generate enough electricity to power more than 60,000 average California homes, displacing more than 115,000 metric tons of CO2 per year (the equivalent of taking 22,000 cars off the road) and saving 93,000 metric tons of water per year.

The electrical output of the project will be purchased by San Diego Gas & Electric Company (SDG&E) under a 25-year power purchase agreement. Solar Gen 2 is expected to provide on average more than 800 construction jobs in Imperial County, an area currently suffering from high unemployment.
http://www.solarpowerworldonline.com...nline-in-2014/
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Old Posted Apr 2, 2013, 5:07 PM
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Scientists Develop Solar-Powered Wind Turbine for Ultimate Energy Generation
by Timon Singh, 04/01/13

Why settle for one form of renewable energy when you can produce power with two? That’s exactly what scientists from the University of Liverpool have done by upgrading an everyday wind turbine with a new set of spinning solar blades. The team, led by Dr. Joe King, came up with the innovative solution to stymie critics who say wind turbines are “only useful when the wind is blowing” — their design doubles the functionality of traditional turbines by incorporating photovoltaic technology.


http://inhabitat.com/scientists-deve...-wind-turbine/

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150 MW Solar Tender For Indonesia
April 1, 2013 in Solar Policy, Solar Projects

Indonesia is about to launch a tender for 150 MW of new solar photovoltaic (PV) energy. The tender is expected to be issued next month, leading to the installation of at least 150 MW of new PV plants in the sun-drenched country. The tender will last for two months.

Indonesia’s Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry (ESDM) is also planning a substantial new feed-in tariff (FiT). The new FiT will reportedly be up to $0.25 per kWh, and they will be applicable for 20 years.

Indonesia’s renewable energy growth is coming along at a decent pace. Just last year the country announced its goal of adding 4,000 to 5,000 MW of new geothermal energy capacity by 2015, and its eventual goal of 10,000 MW of geothermal capacity by 2025.
http://solarlove.org/150-mw-solar-tender-for-indonesia/

Quote:
Plans approved for 20MW solar park at Dorset recycling facility
By Peter Bennett | 02 April 2013, 11:03 Updated: 02 April 2013, 12:55

Somerset-based British Solar Renewables has announced that it has secured planning permission for a 20MW solar park in Dorset.

The proposed solar development will be sited on land attached to a waste management and recycling facility close to Bournemouth International Airport in Parley.

The 49-hectare site is surrounded by established woodland and hedges which provide natural screening. British Solar Renewables will also plant native hedgerow to further minimise the visual impact of the site as well as encourage on-site biodiversity.
http://www.solarpowerportal.co.uk/ne..._facility_2356

Quote:
Solar panel robot doesn't need water to clean
Cleaning solar panels is tough work, but Miraikikai's duster bot apparently can get to all the nooks and crannies with its swiveling brush.

by Tim Hornyak
April 2, 2013 6:30 AM PDT

Saudi Arabia wants to spend over $100 billion to build vast solar arrays and reduce its dependency on oil to generate electricity. But desert sandstorms pose a major challenge to keeping solar panels clean and efficient.

Japanese startup Miraikikai is developing a solution to getting rid of this pesky dust and grit: a cleaning robot that doesn't need water.

The firm has produced the Wall Walker wall and ceiling robot, and recently unveiled a prototype solar panel cleaner built with researchers at Kagawa University.

It weighs about 24 pounds -- light enough to be carried by one person -- and measures about 22 inches across.
http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-...ater-to-clean/

Quote:
Indian Scientists Propose Solar Roofs For Roads
April 2, 2013

After setting up the innovative canal solar power projects, India’s Gujarat state may also set up the first solar roof on road project. The proposal is to cover major roads and highways with elevated platforms which will be fitted with solar modules.

Scientists at the Gujarat Energy Research and Management Institute (GERMI) have proposed a pilot solar power project at a Gujarat state highway. Through computer simulation the scientists believe that a solar roof cover on the 205 kilometre (km) Ahmedabad-Rajkot highway can generate 104 megawatts (MW).

The scientists have simulated the solar power generation potential for other major state and national highways as well:
  • 93 km Ahmedabad-Vadodara highway has a potential of 61 MW solar power
  • 5,839 km Golden Quadrilateral Highway that connects the four Indian metropolitan cities can host 4,418 MW through solar roof cover
  • 7,300 km North-South-East-West Corridor highway which runs across the length and breadth of India can be covered with 5,524 MW of solar power capacity


http://cleantechnica.com/2013/04/02/...ofs-for-roads/
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Old Posted Apr 3, 2013, 4:28 PM
amor de cosmos amor de cosmos is offline
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S&T's Solar Village to house microgrid project
April 2, 2013 11:50 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) |

Four solar homes built by students at Missouri University of Science and Technology will soon become home to an experimental microgrid to manage and store renewable energy. The houses, all past entries into the Solar Decathlon design competition, make up the university's Solar Village.

In its initial phase, the project involves Missouri S&T students and researchers, along with representatives from utility companies, the Army Corps of Engineers and several Missouri businesses. The goal is to demonstrate the feasibility of small-scale microgrids for future use.

"Distributed power generation is one of the key elements of a microgrid. In our case, we're using solar panels," says Dr. Mehdi Ferdowsi, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering at Missouri S&T. "It's called a microgrid because it's less dependent on the utility power grid. The idea is that if there is a blackout, it can operate in what we call 'islanded mode,' and convert to using stored solar energy.

"Utility companies are interested to see if this could be a viable business model for the future," he says. "For example, they could rent out renewable energy generators to subdivisions, creating a new paradigm for selling electricity."
http://news.mst.edu/2013/04/sts_sola...house_mic.html

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Giriraj of India Completes 33MW of Solar Capacity in Rajasthan
3 April 2013

April 3 (Bloomberg) — Giriraj Enterprises Ltd. of India completed 33 megawatts of solar-power capacity, the most to be built under the nation’s Renewable Energy Credits mechanism.

The company started output from three projects of 19, 11 and 3 megawatts in the western state of Rajasthan last week, Prafulla Khinvasara, the company’s chief executive officer for renewable-power projects, said by telephone.

Companies such as Giriraj, a tobacco trader, are building solar generators to benefit from renewable-energy incentives. Producers of clean power can earn certificates for the output they send to the grid. They can then sell the credits to state power distributors that are obliged to buy a portion of their electricity from clean sources such as wind, solar and water.

Giriraj has signed a power purchase agreement with the local state-owned electricity distributor, Khinvasara said from Sangamner in Maharashtra state, where the company is based. Giriraj will be able to sell electricity at an average price of 2.7 rupees (5 cents) a unit, and expects to trade 53,000 certificates a year, he said.

Indian demand for renewable-energy credits, or RECs, almost tripled last month to 435,481 in the run-up to the fiscal year- end. Solar credits sold for 13,400 rupees apiece on the Indian Electricity Exchange, according to REConnect Energy Solutions Pvt.
http://about.bnef.com/bnef-news/giri...-in-rajasthan/

Quote:
Stanford Report, April 2, 2013
Global solar photovoltaic industry is likely now a net energy producer, Stanford researchers find
The construction of the photovoltaic power industry since 2000 has required an enormous amount of energy, mostly from fossil fuels. The good news is that the clean electricity from all the installed solar panels has likely just surpassed the energy going into the industry's continued growth, Stanford researchers find.

By Mark Golden

The rapid growth of the solar power industry over the past decade may have exacerbated the global warming situation it was meant to soothe, simply because most of the energy used to manufacture the millions of solar panels came from burning fossil fuels. That irony, according to Stanford University researchers, is coming to an end.

For the first time since the boom started, the electricity generated by all of the world's installed solar photovoltaic (PV) panels last year probably surpassed the amount of energy going into fabricating more modules, according to Michael Dale, a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford's Global Climate & Energy Project (GCEP). With continued technological advances, the global PV industry is poised to pay off its debt of energy as early as 2015, and no later than 2020.

"This analysis shows that the industry is making positive strides," said Dale, who developed a novel way of assessing the industry's progress globally in a study published in the current edition of Environmental Science & Technology. "Despite its fantastically fast growth rate, PV is producing – or just about to start producing – a net energy benefit to society."
http://news.stanford.edu/news/2013/a...gy-040213.html

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Solar power plant: Balochistan govt inks deal with Korean firm
By Our Correspondent
Published: March 31, 2013

QUETTA: A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed between the Balochistan government and CK Solar Korea for installing a 300 MW solar power plant near Quetta, Provincial Secretary Energy Fuad Hashim Rabbani said on Saturday.

The project will cost around $900 million and will be completed by 2016, he said, while addressing the media.

Rabbani said the government has procured 1,500 acres of land in Khuchlak and Pishin on lease. “This project will help overcome the shortfall of electricity in Balochistan,” he added.

The project will provide green energy particularly in areas where is no conventional electricity option, the energy secretary said.

“Currently, the local population of targeted areas are using kerosene lanterns, which is hazardous to the health and non-economical due to the intermittent price hike,” he remarked.

He said that electricity to medical facilities such as hospitals, Basic Health Units and installation of solar street lights were amongst major benefits of the project.
http://tribune.com.pk/story/529000/s...h-korean-firm/
http://cleantechnica.com/2013/04/03/...stan-province/

Quote:
Germany: Power exporter even with fewer nuclear plants
03. April 2013 | Industry & Suppliers, Markets & Trends, Storage & smart grids | By: Shamsiah Ali-Oettinger

Germany managed to export more power in 2012 than it has in the last five years. With a net surplus of 22.8 terawatt-hours (TWh), the exported amount of energy was four times as much as that in 2011. This data was released by the Federal Statistical Office in Wiesbaden in Hesse.

Germany imported 43.8 TWh of power via the European electricity grid in 2012, costing the country €2.3 billion. At the same time, countries like Austria, the Netherlands and Switzerland bought 66.6 TWh of power from Germany to the tune of about €3.7 billion. The surplus was thereby €1.4 billion in the German coffers.

Slightly higher electricity sales were recorded in 2006 and 2008, where approximately 22.9 TWh were sold. The BDEW (German Association of Energy and Water Industries) states that 2012's figures can nevertheless be considered a new record. The earlier estimate at the beginning of the year was 23.1 TWh of surplus power.

One reason for Germany to be able to export such amounts of power is said to be the so-called "Energiewende". With the uptake of solar and wind power, Germany is still able to export power despite shutting down 8 of its nuclear power plants after the Fukushima disaster in 2011.
http://www.pv-magazine.com/news/deta...nts_100010756/

Quote:
Photovolt unveils 900 MW Japanese PV pipeline
03. April 2013 | Top News, Applications & Installations, Global PV markets, Industry & Suppliers, Investor news | By: Becky Beetz

Germany-based Photovolt Development Partners has unveiled a photovoltaic pipeline worth 925 MW (DC) in Japan. Completion is scheduled for between 2014 and 2015. The company is also planning to install 110 MWp in Israel and 35 MWp in Mexico.



Located on the island of Ukushima, the 475 MW will be spread across a number of different sites. While Photovolt is developing the project, owned by Japan’s TeraSol, it will work together with local partners and aims to appoint an EPC contractor soon.

Gerstmann would not disclose how much will be invested in the project, but did say that it is hoped financing will come from a consortium of European and Japanese banks, and will be secured in 2H 2013.

In addition to the 475 MW project, Photovolt is also planning to install:
  • A 24 MWp polycrystalline project in Hokkaido; completion is scheduled for 2014
  • A 28 MWp polycrystalline project in Hiroshima; completion is scheduled for 2014
  • A 72 MWp polycrystalline or thin film project in Cluster Miyagi; completion is scheduled for 2014/2015
  • A 20 MWp polycrystalline or thin film project in Fukushima; completion is scheduled for 2014
  • An 80 MWp polycrystalline or thin film project in Cluster Chiba; completion is scheduled for 2014/2015
  • An 83 MWp polycrystalline or thin film project in Shiga; completion is scheduled for 2014/2015
  • A 121 MWp polycrystalline or thin film project in Cluster Tochigi; completion is scheduled for 2014/2015
  • A 22 MWp polycrystalline or thin film project in Kumamoto; completion is scheduled for 2014
http://www.pv-magazine.com/news/deta...ine_100010748/

HOW MUCH GOT INSTALLED IN CANADA? ANYTHING? ANYTHING AT ALL?

Quote:
Greece: 234 MW of new PV capacity in February; renewable energy reform announced
02. April 2013 | Applications & Installations, Markets & Trends, Global PV markets | By: Ilias Tsagas

According to the latest figures, Greece added 234 MW of PV capacity in February. Meanwhile, a joint declaration of intent has been signed between Greece, Germany and the EU aimed at reforming the country’s renewable energy industry.

According to LAGIE, the Greek electricity market operator, Greece installed 221 MW of new ground-mounted photovoltaic projects and 13 MW of rooftop installations in February, thus taking the country’s cumulative capacity to 2.070 GW.

A high figure of new PV installations was anticipated on the back of the announcement of new, lower photovoltaic tariffs, which came into effect on March 11. As such, projects completed later than this date will receive the new FITs introduced last August, even if they were licensed under the old FIT regime.

Today's report also bears some relatively good news regarding the deficit of LAGIE's Renewable Energy Sources (RES) Fund, which is used to pay renewable energy producers in Greece. According to today's data the deficit at the end of February was €301.7 million, down from €317.56 million at the end of January.

Cumulative photovoltaic capacity in the main electricity system, LAGIE's report says, will reach 2.591 GW and 2.825 GW at the end of 2013 and 2014, respectively.
http://www.pv-magazine.com/news/deta...ced_100010743/

Quote:
Germany installs 211MW PV capacity in February
By Nilima Choudhury - 03 April 2013, 09:43
In News, Power Generation

Germany registered over 211MW of newly installed PV capacity in February, according to new figures from the German Federal Network Agency.

Although this is a decrease from January when 275MW were added to the German grid, this is a slight increase from the previous February when 200MW were added.
http://www.pv-tech.org/news/germany_...ty_in_february

Quote:
Alan Bartlett and Sons install 1.2MW roof-mounted solar array
By Peter Bennett | 03 April 2013, 12:48 Updated: 03 April 2013, 14:49

Alan Bartlett and Sons’ 1,456-acre carrot and parsnip farm is now benefiting two-fold from the power of the sun after installing a 1.2MW solar PV array to harvest electricity.

As farmers, the company recognised the importance of sustainability and its impact on the environment. As a result, the company decided to invest £1 million in over 4,000 solar modules to significantly reduce the farm’s carbon footprint as well as utility bills.

Commenting on the solar project, Andrew Foster, finance director at Alan Bartlett and Sons said: “The solar panel installation at the Chatteris factory is a significant investment for the company. The installation will achieve material cost savings for the business and at the same time greatly contribute to our carbon footprint reduction ambitions.”
http://www.solarpowerportal.co.uk/ne...lar_array_2356

Quote:
Homeowners Say Solar Is A Better Investment Than Buying A Car
April 2, 2013 Kathleen Zipp : 0 Comments

Seven out of 10 Massachusetts solar-owners believe solar energy is a better investment than a major property renovation or buying a car, according to a recent survey by New England Clean Energy. When asked which of the three was the best investment, 70 percent said solar, 29 percent said a property renovation, and 1 percent said buying a car.

In write-in comments, survey-takers expounded on their choices:
  • “Solar yields immediate, no-maintenance dividends, and boosts the home’s value. Renovations can be hit-or-miss.” (Eric Fix, Marlborough)
  • “It is a great investment that reduces your monthly expenses. The other two only raise your monthly expenses.” (Tom Aciukewicz, Harvard)
  • “It’s like putting money away for retirement” (Paul and Patricia Peavey, Pepperell)

The survey found that the 30 percent federal tax credit for solar electric systems is a strong motivator for going solar, seven years after its introduction, with 70 percent of respondents selecting it as one of their reasons for installing solar. And 95 percent of solar-owners are happy they installed solar, with a full 54 percent saying they “couldn’t be happier” with their solar energy systems.

“Not many products or services boast a 95 percent approval rate, especially a relatively new product like solar. I attribute this high favorability to the fact that solar electric systems are reliable and virtually maintenance-free. As one customer told us, she forgets her system is even there until she opens her monthly electric bill,” said Mark Durrenberger, president of New England Clean Energy. “Plus, solar pays you back. How many purchases do that?”

  • Shoddy Work — The survey revealed a potential concern about the state of the solar industry, as nearly one in five respondents replied they had heard of or seen shoddy or unethical work by a solar installer.
  • Trends — When questioned on industry trends, 96 percent of respondents agreed the solar industry should be subsidized by the government, with 61 percent saying the subsidy should be indefinite since fossil fuels are subsidized, and 35 percent saying until the solar industry is really established. An even 70 percent said they were aware Massachusetts is one of the most solar-friendly states in the country, and 94 percent said using a local company versus an out-of-state company is important, because buying local supports neighborhood businesses, helps the local economy and creates local jobs.
  • Savings — Savings on electric bills due to solar were across the board, roughly divided between 10-25 percent, 25-50 percent, 50-75 percent, and 75-100 percent savings.
  • Lease vs. Buy — When asked about purchasing versus leasing a solar electric system, only 9 percent said they would be interested in a lease-type agreement with no money down if going solar today, although 29 percent were undecided (and 62 percent said they would not be interested). More than half — 51 percent — felt purchasing solar was the better arrangement for the consumer. (New England Clean Energy offers both models for customers, but all survey respondents purchased their solar systems.)
  • Behaviors & Attitudes — Survey questions about solar-related behaviors and attitudes revealed the following:
    • 20 percent of respondents check their solar production online daily; 27 percent do so weekly, and 23 percent monthly
    • 78 percent know how much energy their system has generated since it was installed (which, in some cases, was years ago)
    • Most people – 63 percent – used money from a savings or other bank account to make their solar investment, followed by 28 percent borrowing money via a bank loan or mortgage re-financing
  • Saving money is the main reason people install solar energy systems on their homes, and helping the planet and increasing the country’s energy independence are the next two most common reasons.
http://www.solarpowerworldonline.com...-buying-a-car/

Quote:
Solectria Inverters May Soon Power “Area 51″
April 2, 2013 Frank Andorka : 0 Comments

Now the people who think there are alien remains being held in Area 51 in Roswell, N.M. will have yet another reason to flock to the site in homage — a 2.5 MW ground-mount PV system that will be running on Solectria Renewables inverters.
Solectria announced that Green States Energy, an independent power producer (IPP) based in Short Hills, N.J., purchased the solar farm on Feb. 12 and will power the PV system with Solectria’s PVI 95KW line of central inverters.

“This installation will be one of the largest in New Mexico and provide power to the surrounding communities,” said Stephen Clevett, CEO of Green States Energy. ”As part of a retail program, power from our projects are used right in the local community we are proud to be a part of.”

The electricity produced from the project will be sold to Xcel Energy, a local electric utility. Combined with its sister project that was installed in 2010, it will provide more than 9 million kilowatt-hours of electricity per year to the community, enough to power approximately 780 homes. The CO2 emissions saved over the lifetime of the system are estimated to be 226,125 tons, and the SO2 emissions saved will be over 994 tons.
http://www.solarpowerworldonline.com...power-area-51/

Quote:
Solar Energy In Alberta: Sunny Days Ahead
Posted: 11/13/2012 11:28 am

When you put the words 'resource' and 'Alberta' in the same sentence you're usually talking about the kind of resources that get drilled, steamed or dug out of the ground. Oil and gas are king in Alberta but a new report from the Canadian Solar Industry Association or CanSIA says Alberta has the best solar resource in Canada.

However, when you start comparing Alberta to the largest global market for solar energy technology in the world, Germany, it's time to start scratching your head.

Here's where you play the sad trombone. Sunny Alberta has 2.3 megawatts of installed solar capacity (Source). Germany has around 30 gigawatts of installed solar energy capacity. Thirty gigawatts equal 30,000 megawatts. This means Germany has 18,000 times more installed solar capacity than Alberta.

However, when you compare Calgary's solar potential to Berlin's it doesn't even come close. The yearly photovoltaic potential in Calgary is 1292 kWh/kW. Berlin's photovoltaic potential is 848 kWh/kW. (Source) This means a one-kilowatt solar system in Calgary will produce 52 per cent more electricity than one in Berlin.

In fact, Calgary has more solar potential than both Rio de Janiero and Rome. And the numbers are even better for southern Alberta cities Lethbridge and Medicine Hat.

That might be a bit counter-intuitive, but solar panels work best in cold, sunny conditions (Here's a technical explanation). It turns out cold, sunny Alberta is sitting on another gold mine.

Now, the challenges of developing solar resource are much different than the oil and gas game but the solar numbers are inescapable.



Randall Benson of Gridworks Energy Group has been supplying, designing and installing solar pv systems for the past 12 years.

"I've been optimistic for the past twelve years," says Benson.

"It's going to be huge. We're going to see a lot more players in the game as well. Not just small boutique players like me but very large players, manufacturers, installation companies that are much larger than mine. It's going to be a big game changer when it happens."

When exactly "it" happens is anyone's guess but there are some encouraging signs. John Gorman is the president of CanSIA. He presented CanSIA's study on the quality of Alberta's solar resource to a packed house at the Shaw Convention Centre at the Solar West symposium.

"We're seeing a lot of grassroots activity with municipalities, individuals, entrepreneurs, and utilities building projects. We're seeing a real grassroots movement. What is promising about Premier Redford's latest announcement is that the province is going to be introducing a framework to direct all of that grassroots, entrepreneurial approach that Albertans show in almost everything they do to make Alberta the Canadian and global leader in solar resource development."

That grassroots movement has led to creative efforts like Light Up Alberta, an electricity retailer led initiative to pay more for exported solar energy in Alberta.

Redford's minister of environment and sustainable resource development, Diana McQueen, was on hand to deliver the keynote address. We caught up with her afterward.



If Alberta devotes even a portion of the brains, money and time it devoted to turning the oilsands into a useable resource to doing the same with solar, we might be onto something. Alberta has certainly taken a lot of black eyes for the way it develops its non-renewable resources, developing it's other greatest natural resource might be a way to address them.


http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/david-d...b_2122125.html

Last edited by amor de cosmos; Apr 3, 2013 at 4:43 PM.
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Old Posted Apr 4, 2013, 3:45 PM
amor de cosmos amor de cosmos is offline
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India: solar cheaper than grid power
04. April 2013 | Global PV markets, Markets & Trends, Applications & Installations | By: Vera von Kreutzbruck

Solar power is cheaper than grid power for commercial consumers in Maharashtra, Delhi and Kerala, even with no subsidies, according to a quarterly report published by consulting company Bridge to India.

The report also states that commercial consumers in other states such as Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Gujarat, West Bengal and Rajasthan can profit from reduced energy costs with help of the subsidies.
http://www.pv-magazine.com/news/deta...wer_100010792/

Quote:
US: AZ Sun Program announces another 34 MW PV facility
04. April 2013 | Applications & Installations, Industry & Suppliers | By: Becky Beetz

The seventh photovoltaic facility is set to come online next June under Arizona-based electricity utility, APS’ AZ Sun program. Black & Veatch has been selected to design and build the 34 MW.

Construction is scheduled to begin this October, while the facility should be online by next June. It is hoped that more than 150 jobs will be created.

Overall, the polycrystalline project is expected to cover an area of 400 acres and comprise over 170,000 modules. The generated energy will power 8,000 households.

When complete, the facility will represent the seventh such project to come online under the AZ Sun Program, which aims to install over 200 MW of photovoltaics in the U.S. state of Arizona by 2015. While a variety of different developers, including First Solar, Solon Corporation and, now Black & Veatch have been brought on board to develop the facilities, APS owns them.
http://www.pv-magazine.com/news/deta...ity_100010791/

Quote:
Brazil receives requests for 300 MW of PV
04. April 2013 | Applications & Installations, Global PV markets, Markets & Trends | By: Vladimir Pekic

Twelve requests for regulatory authorization to develop and operate photovoltaic plants worth a total of 300 MW have been received since mid-March, according to Brazil’s national electricity regulator.

The notices about the received requests were published in Brazil's state gazette Diário Oficial da União (DOU).

Developer Arigó Solar Energia SPE submitted a request for registration of one photovoltaic project totaling 30 MW, which is to be developed as an independent power producer (IPP) in Pocinhos municipality, in Brazil's northeast Paraíba state. The announcement was published by ANEEL in DOU on April 3.
http://www.pv-magazine.com/news/deta...-pv_100010787/

Quote:
Report: Solar industry should team up with electric vehicle companies
By Felicity Carus - 03 April 2013, 23:21
In News

Solar and electric vehicle companies should join forces to boost their chances of market penetration, a report out this week recommends.

Solar and Electric Vehicle Cross-Marketing Strategies from Navigant research found that plug-in electric vehicle (PEV) owners prefer clean renewable power such as solar.

"These customers are prime targets for residential solar installers, as many PEV owners own homes that can accommodate a sufficiently sizable solar array to generate all of the power that their vehicles would consume on an annual basis.

"Historically, the solar energy industry and the automobile industry have operated in separate markets," said the report. "The convergence of the two technologies represents significant opportunities for players in both spaces – although solar companies may have more to gain."

For example, in the United States alone, approximately 250,000 homes are equipped with photovoltaic systems (PV). The PEV market sold approximately 52,000 plug-in cars in the United States in 2012, and Navigant Research forecasts that by 2017 there will be 1 million PEVs on US roads.
http://www.pv-tech.org/news/solar_in...icle_companies

Quote:
18.7% black silicon solar cells
03.04.2013

Scientists at Aalto University, Finland and Fraunhofer ISE, Germany report an efficiency of 18.7% for black silicon solar cells, the highest efficiency reported so far for a black silicon solar cell.

The researchers were able to apply a boron diffusion to create a pn-junction, maintaining the excellent optical properties of the black silicon structure. By applying atomic layer deposited Al203, an effective passivation of the nanostructured surfaces was achieved. The previous efficiency record of 18.2% was held by the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) using thermal oxidation as a passivating layer.

- The quantum efficiency measurements reveal that the nanostructured front surface is of a high electrical quality comparable to a pyramidal textured surface, says Assistant Professor Hele Savin of Aalto University.

Routes for improving the cell efficiency are already identified, and efficiencies clearly above 20% should be within reach.
http://www.aalto.fi/en/current//news...013-04-03-002/
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Old Posted Apr 5, 2013, 4:04 PM
amor de cosmos amor de cosmos is offline
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http://www.solarincomefund.com/inter...ad1ead82_w969/

Quote:
Solar milestone: 1,000,000 PV systems installed in Australia
By Sophie Vorrath on 5 April 2013

The number of Australian homes with rooftop solar power systems has passed the magic one million mark, according to figures from the Clean Energy Regulator, confirming that the milestone was reached in March.

With Queensland leading the charge – it now has more than 300,000 rooftop PV systems installed, NSW comes in second with just under 230,000 – the one millionth PV system was registered in Australia on March 12; a number the industry says translates to around 2.5 million Australians now living in a home with a set of solar panels on the roof – more than the entire population of Western Australia.

“It is remarkable when you think that just five years ago in 2008 there were only about 20,000 systems installed across the entire country,” Clean Energy Council chief executive David Green said.


http://reneweconomy.com.au/2013/sola...ustralia-44201

Quote:
Chipping in: Aust crowdfunding site to help bring solar to India slums
By Sophie Vorrath on 5 April 2013

Pollinate Energy – a Sydney and Bangalore-based social enterprise NGO dedicated to using renewable resources to eradicate energy poverty in India – has joined forces with ChipIn, a new Australian website designed to raise funds for Australian non-profits, to launch a new clean energy crowdfunding campaign.

The campaign will start by raising funds to establish five new mini-franchises to sell solar lighting kits to temporary tent communities in Bangalore, India.

Crowdfunding, with a little help from the internet, is fast becoming a popular way to fund NGO clean energy projects, and for people to do their bit to provide free renewable or energy efficient equipment to developing countries. But, as Justin Guay notes in his story today on RenewEconomy, not all of these campaigns are destined for success.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/2013/chip...ia-slums-75159

Quote:
India to Auction Unsold Rooftop Solar Projects Across 7 Cities
5 April 2013

April 5 (Bloomberg) — India, which plans to raise solar capacity eightfold by 2017, will auction projects for setting up grid-connected photovoltaic systems on rooftops across seven cities in the next two weeks.

The government received bids for half the planned 10 megawatts of rooftop solar capacity in the first round that was completed on April 3, prompting the sale of unsold capacities, said Tarun Kapoor, joint secretary at the ministry of New and Renewable Energy, in a phone interview today.

Azure Power India Pvt., Thermax Ltd. and SEI Green Technology Pvt. won contracts to set up a total 5 megawatts of rooftop photovoltaic capacity across the cities of Bangalore, Chennai, New Delhi and Gurgaon, according to a ministry statement.

The government will seek bids for unsold capacities in the first round and for similar projects in Hyderabad, Jaipur and Greater Noida, Kapoor said.
http://about.bnef.com/bnef-news/indi...ross-7-cities/
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