photovoltaic panels


The news only gets better for renewables. Wind did not keep pace with Solar but wind had a huge head start. Coal is fading in the rear view mirror and natural gas is neck and neck. I think the US is finally catching on, but you can bet the first things Trump will go after will be subsidies and the EPA.

http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1108084_more-solar-energy-was-added-in-2016-than-natural-gas-or-wind

More solar energy was added in 2016 than natural gas or wind

Renewable-energy growth has accelerated in 2016, but this may go down as a milestone year for one renewable-energy source in particular.

Together, all renewable-energy sources are expected to account for 8 percent of U.S. electricity-generation capacity in 2017, according to the Department of Energy, and solar energy is responsible for most of that growth.

For the first time ever, new solar-generating capacity is expected to exceed new generating capacity for wind and natural gas.

DON’T MISS: We’re there! Renewables now cheapest unsubsidized electricity in U.S.

The final tally won’t be available until March, but enough new solar installations were expected to be completed in 2016 to outpace wind and natural gas, according to Scientific American.

A total of 9.5 gigawatts of solar-generating capacity were expected to be built in 2016, tripling the amount installed in 2015, the magazine said, citing Energy Department data.

That amount would exceed the anticipated 8.0 GW of natural gas capacity, and 6.8 GW of wind capacity.

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Go there and cheer. More next week.

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Natural gas is cheap. Solar Photovoltaics are even cheaper. The job prospects in renewables are growing as fast as miners jobs are falling. Donald Trump may think he is all powerful but even if the Russian mob boss Putin joins in, China, India and Australia never will. Seems to me that is the end of the story.

http://www.computerworld.com/article/3166897/sustainable-it/report-1-in-50-new-us-jobs-came-from-solar-last-year.html

Report: 1 in 50 new U.S. jobs came from solar last year

Employment in the industry rose in 44 states and is expected to continue growing

One out of every 50 new U.S. jobs last year came from the solar industry, with growth in that industry outpacing the overall U.S. economy by 17 times, according to a new report.

Overall, there were 260,077 solar workers in 2016, representing 2% of all new jobs, according to The Solar Foundation’s Solar Jobs Census 2016.

Solar employment increased by more than 51,000 workers, a 25% increase over 2015, according to the report. Solar industry employment has nearly tripled since the first National Solar Jobs Census was released in 2010 — rising at least 20% annually for the past four years.

Along with growth in solar and other forms of renewables, energy storage is a rapidly growing industry, comprising 90,831 jobs — of which 47,634 are focused on battery storage.

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Go there and cheer, I mean read. More next week.

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To Not talk about how disastrous Trump’s Presidency will be for the environment and the energy industry I decided to return to my roots in the residential market. Todays article is a bit old but its message is timeless. We have been concentrating on single devices like furnaces, refrigerators, windows seen as a whole instead of a holistic approach to a house.

https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/the-real-problem-with-energy-efficiency

We’re Doing Residential Energy Efficiency All Wrong

Utilities are now spending nearly $7 billion a year on energy-efficiency programs. It seems we have little to show for it aside from expensive consultants who will model any results you would like.

These programs tend to focus their marketing on the energy savings or money savings from the projects. Consumers don’t care. If they did, we would see geometric growth instead of a resounding “meh.”

Others focus on better financing products, slicker sales pitches, faster energy audits, higher rebates or any of a myriad of other things.

In the residential sector, none of these are the problem. The lack of sales is the problem.

Projects are not being sold and implemented in substantial numbers. We need to slow it down, build relationships with consumers and educate them, learn and think systemically about the problems they have, and arrive at solutions that fit homeowner budgets.

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Go there and read alot. It is a long article. More next week.

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Instead of investing in renewables and conservation. They fought them tooth and nail. Now they are paying the price.

http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/06/29/power-to-the-people

Power to the People

Why the rise of green energy makes utility companies nervous.

     Mark and Sara Borkowski live with their two young daughters in a century-old, fifteen-hundred-square-foot house in Rutland, Vermont. Mark drives a school bus, and Sara works as a special-ed teacher; the cost of heating and cooling their house through the year consumes a large fraction of their combined income. Last summer, however, persuaded by Green Mountain Power, the main electric utility in Vermont, the Borkowskis decided to give their home an energy makeover. In the course of several days, coördinated teams of contractors stuffed the house with new insulation, put in a heat pump for the hot water, and installed two air-source heat pumps to warm the home. They also switched all the light bulbs to L.E.D.s and put a small solar array on the slate roof of the garage.

The Borkowskis paid for the improvements, but the utility financed the charges through their electric bill, which fell the very first month. Before the makeover, from October of 2013 to January of 2014, the Borkowskis used thirty-four hundred and eleven kilowatt-hours of electricity and three hundred and twenty-five gallons of fuel oil. From October of 2014 to January of 2015, they used twenty-eight hundred and fifty-six kilowatt-hours of electricity and no oil at all. President Obama has announced that by 2025 he wants the United States to reduce its total carbon footprint by up to twenty-eight per cent of 2005 levels. The Borkowskis reduced the footprint of their house by eighty-eight per cent in a matter of days, and at no net cost.

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Go there and read. More next week.

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I heard this on NPR and I just had to put it up here. I especially like that people like Bruce Rauner and Donald Trump are so out of touch with their base. But what does it say about the Democrats.

https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/california-republicans-are-5-times-more-likely-to-buy-solar-than-democrats

California Republicans Are 5 Times More Likely to Own Solar Than Democrats

Republican voters and elected officials are generally considered hostile toward renewable energy. That’s likely because many prominent Republicans deny humanity’s contribution to climate change and oppose subsidies for clean energy technologies, despite the fact that fossil fuel industries benefit from billions of dollars in tax breaks.

Instances like the snowball toss made by Republican Senator James Inhofe, chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee, coupled with his record of voting against clean energy legislation, help to cement the perception that conservatives widely oppose the adoption of low-carbon technologies like solar and wind.

This year’s GOP platform states, “We encourage the cost-effective development of renewable energy sources — wind, solar, biomass, biofuel, geothermal and tidal energy — by private capital.” However, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has repeatedly bashed the clean energy sector, called climate change a hoax created by the Chinese, and recently called the solar industry “a disaster.”

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Go there and read. Mores next week. Oh and Happy Holidays everybody.

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1 0 years ago if you would have tried to hold this tour there would have been 2 stops in Springfield, and the rest would have been as far away as Decatur and Peoria. Now there are 16 in Springfield alone. Give me a big HallelujaH!

http://www.sj-r.com/news/20160925/16-springfield-sites-part-of-saturdays-illinois-solar-tour

16 Springfield sites part of Saturday’s Illinois solar tour

  • By David Blanchette, Correspondent

Posted Sep. 25, 2016 at 6:56 PM

  • Updated Sep 25, 2016 at 8:48 PM

    More than 130 sites across the state will hold open houses Saturday for people to learn about sun-generated power, including 16 sites in Springfield.

    “The solar tour is an opportunity to educate the public about how affordable and reliable clean energy, particularly solar energy, is,” said Lesley McCain, executive director of the Illinois Solar Energy Association, which is coordinating the tour. “I hope that people understand how easy this is. It is much cheaper and cleaner to get our energy from above, the sun, instead of having to dig under the ground to get coal, oil or gas.

McCain said only a lack of state solar incentives, a victim of Illinois’ ongoing budget problems, may be holding back some who have considered solar power as an option. The federal incentive has been extended, and many local utility companies like Springfield’s City Water, Light and Power also offer enticements to use alternative energy sources like solar, she said.

Making own ‘juice’

Saturday’s tour of solar installations can be taken the “green” way in Springfield with the Springfield Bicycle Club, which will offer a morning ride starting at 10 a.m. at Southwind Park and an afternoon ride that leaves at 1 p.m. from the Capitol Complex Visitors Center at 425 S. College St. Bicycle Doctor owner Robert LaBonte is helping to set up the bicycle tours, and he also will showcase the solar installations at his business and an adjacent residence.

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Go there and read a lot more. I am going on vacation. More in a couple of weeks.

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This could be a huge boost for both the solar panel and the automobile industry. It could finally show a way to wean the world off gasoline as a fuel and on to clean electricity. Then again it could just crash and burn. I think it is a good thing. I hope for the best.

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/jun/22/musk-tesla-solarcity-energy-electric-car-solar

Musk’s Tesla makes a bid for Musk’s SolarCity energy company

Electric car company attempts to acquire solar panel seller to create a Silicon Valley one-stop-shop for clean energy for car and home

Elon Musk’s Tesla electric car company has made an offer to buy Musk’s solar power company, SolarCity, for as much as $2.8bn in stock in an attempt to make a one-stop-shop for cleaner energy.

SolarCity, for which Musk is both chairman and its largest shareholder, is the market leader in residential solar panel installations in the US, but has about $6.24bn in liabilities, including debt.

Musk described the deal as a “no-brainer”, saying: “Instead of making three trips to a house to put in a car charger and solar panels and battery pack, you can integrate that into a single visit. It’s an obvious thing to do.”

If the deal goes through, SolarCity will adopt the Tesla brand and sell its solar panels alongside Tesla’s PowerWall home batteries to store electricity created during the day for when it is needed at night.

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Go there and read. More next week.

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This article claims that solar power could be as cheap as 4 cents a kilowatt. It speculates that solar power might even reach the 3 cent level. I have doubts about those prices, but it is good news however low it goes.

Solar Is Going to Get Ridiculously Cheap

Solar Is Going to Get Ridiculously Cheap

Costs of the clean energy tech will keep falling over the next decade.

Solar will become the cheapest source to produce power in many countries over the next 15 years, according to a new report from Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

Part of the cheap solar power will be unleashed because the cost of installing solar panels at big solar farms and on rooftops will drop 60% to an estimated average of around four cents per kilowatt hour by 2040, the report said. That’s cheaper than coal and natural gas power in many regions.

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Go there and read. More next week.

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But I am betting that those kinks will be worked out. They do need create a Southern Grid and really grow the system to take care of a growing population. They also will need to plan for a growing industrial base.

http://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/a21228/chile-solar-energy-surplus/

Chile Generates So Much Solar Power That It Just Gives the Extra Away

It sounds great, but it’s actually bad news for the energy industry.

Chile has so much solar energy that the price of solar frequently drops to zero, which is great news for consumers but frustrating for energy companies and investors.

Under President Michelle Bachelet, Chile has been aggressively expanding its solar energy generation, adding 371 megawatts of solar power last year alone. However, construction of new energy infrastructure has lagged behind, with no national power grid and many unserviced areas. This leads to an overabundance of power in certain areas while others get left out.

 This overabundance has led to the spot price, or current price, of solar dropping to zero over a hundred times so far this year through April. Bloomberg reports that this number is set to beat 2015’s total, which saw 192 such price drops for the whole year.
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Go there and read. More next week.

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The budget impasse is hurting Illinois when it comes to investing in renewable energy. This is getting ridiculous. Rauner’s quest to destroy public sector unions has got to stop. This lady spells it out in no uncertain terms.

http://www.sj-r.com/opinion/20160419/michelle-knox-illinois-must-act-now-to-fix-its-clean-energy-policies/?Start=1

Michelle Knox: Illinois must act now to fix its clean energy policies

Posted Apr. 19, 2016 at 10:05 PM

In 1970, more than 20 million people worldwide took part in the first Earth Day. Millions more will take part in Earth Day 2016.

As someone who delivers both wind and solar energy to customers in Central Illinois, I can attest to the need to fix Illinois’ energy policy — and quickly. I plan to be among those participating in a rally at the state Capitol in Springfield this week, during which we will deliver a strong message to Illinois leaders: by the time Earth Day 2017 arrives, it is critical that Illinois will have taken steps to reform our state’s out-of-date energy policies or we will lose clean energy jobs to other states.

Any day that goes by — let alone another year — without such a fix puts our state at risk of losing out on jobs and investments in this competitive field.

Fortunately, lawmakers have the chance to bolster our clean energy economy at the time we need it most. The Illinois Clean Jobs Bill (SB1485/ HB2607) would create more than 32,000 jobs and deliver more than $1.6 billion in savings to electricity consumers, while making vast improvements in public health. This bipartisan legislation would double the current standards for energy efficiency while increasing the targets for electricity generated by renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar, to 35 percent by 2030, up from the current target of 25 percent by 2025.

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Go there and read. More next week.

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