photovoltaic panels


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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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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Especially if you listen to the Bernie Sanders supporters. (I also must quickly add that as a nonprofit organization CES doesn’t endorse any political candidates, just their energy policies) Her opponents say that she is for Fracking. I see no evidence of that. They say she is a Wall Street sellout. Compared to the rest of the field, I do not see that either. But here is what I do see.

https://ballotpedia.org/2016_presidential_candidates_on_natural_resources

Hillary Clinton

See also: Hillary Clinton presidential campaign, 2016/Natural resources
Energy development
  • In a December 17, 2015 radio interview with South Carolina radio station WGCV-AM Hillary Clinton said she is doubtful of the need to drill for oil or gas off the eastern seaboard of the U.S. She said, “I am very skeptical about the need or desire for us to pursue offshore drilling off the coast of South Carolina, and frankly off the coast of other southeast states.” Her comments came despite the Obama administration putting forward proposals that would open up vast tracts of the ocean for fossil fuel extraction.[1]
Climate change
  • Hillary Clinton, on January 18, 2016, signed a pledge to power at least half of the nation’s energy needs with renewable sources by 2030. The pledge was devised by NextGen Climate, a San Francisco-based environmental advocacy organization, which was founded by philanthropist, environmental activist and Democratic donor Tom Steyer in 2013. The group is affiliated with NextGen Climate Action, a super PAC[2]
  • In response to the Paris Agreement adopted on December 12, 2015, Clinton released the following statement, in part: “I applaud President Obama, Secretary Kerry and our negotiating team for helping deliver a new, ambitious international climate agreement in Paris. This is an historic step forward in meeting one of the greatest challenges of the 21st century—the global crisis of climate change. … We cannot afford to be slowed by the climate skeptics or deterred by the defeatists who doubt America’s ability to meet this challenge.”[3]

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The November issue of National Geographic magazine is totally devoted to Climate Change. Please read the whole thing, but here is as small taste.

 

http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2015/11/climate-change/germany-renewable-energy-revolution-text

How Do We Fix It?

Germany Could Be a Model for How We’ll Get Power in the Future

The European nation’s energy revolution has made it a leader in replacing nukes and fossil fuels with wind and solar technology.

By Robert Kunzig
Photographs by Luca Locatelli
Published October 15, 2015

Hamburg knew the bombs were coming, and so the prisoners of war and forced laborers had just half a year to build the giant flak bunker. By July 1943 it was finished. A windowless cube of reinforced concrete, with seven-foot-thick walls and an even thicker roof, it towered like a medieval castle above a park near the Elbe River. The guns protruding from its four turrets would sweep Allied bombers from the sky, the Nazis promised, while tens of thousands of citizens sheltered safely behind its impenetrable walls.

Coming in at night from the North Sea just weeks after the bunker was finished, British bombers steered for the spire of St. Nikolai in the center of the city. They dropped clouds of metallic foil strips to throw off German radar and flak gunners. Targeting crowded residential neighborhoods, the bombers ignited an unquenchable firestorm that destroyed half of Hamburg and killed more than 34,000 people. Towering walls of fire created winds so strong that people were blown into the flames. Church bells clanged furiously.

The spire of St. Nikolai, which somehow survived, stands today as a mahnmal—a memorial reminding Germany of the hell brought by the Nazis. The flak bunker is another mahnmal. But now it has a new meaning: An urban development agency (IBA Hamburg) and the municipal utility (Hamburg Energie) have transformed it from a powerful reminder of Germany’s shameful past into a hopeful vision for the future.

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Go there and read 1000 pages. More next week.

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As I continue my mad cap romp over the internet search for “home energy services”, this website is the next one I like.

https://www.directenergy.com/home-services/solar

Power Your Home for Less!

Take control of your electricity bill. Go solar.

Direct Energy Solar

Your Sun. Your Power. Your Way.TM

People everywhere are discovering the quality of our custom system design, the ease of our premier process, the accuracy of our system performance, and the peace of mind of our worry-free guarantees.

Why are People Going Solar?

  • Financial Savings — your monthly bill will be less that your current bill.
  • Energy Independence — lock in your own electricity rates!
  • Home Value Increases — solar panels have been shown to increase value.
  • It’s Great for the Planet — reduce your carbon footprint!

Why choose Direct Energy Solar?

We’re Up On Your Roof First
Before we present you with a sales proposal, we come to your home, measure how much sunlight your roof receives and custom-design your system. We don’t guess by looking at your house online. Because we take accurate measurements before you meet with one of our solar consultants, you will know exactly what your system will produce, and we guarantee it. You will also receive accurate forecasts of your solar payback and ROI.

Our Installation Process is Worry-Free
We want to make the process of going solar easy for you. Our team of solar experts personally handles every detail throughout your entire experience to turn a complex process into one that’s smooth and carefree for you. Our professionals take care of everything, from precise measurements of your roof to post-installation paperwork for grants and rebates, and everything in between. Our installation process is fast and efficient, so you’ll be saving in no time.

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Go there and read. More next week.

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I hope things are even better this year.

http://www.fierceenergy.com/story/2014-hot-topics-renewables/2014-01-14

2014 hot topics in renewables

excerpt on solar…

The year 2013 was one for the record books for solar. According to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), the third quarter of 2013 was the second largest for the U.S. solar industry, and new solar electric capacity added in 2014 will generate enough clean energy to power more than 850,000 average American homes.

Solar became one of the leading sources of new generation in 2013 with the continued decline in equipment costs

“[This gives] the industry the opportunity to focus on soft cost reduction as well,” said Tom Solazzo, principal, PwC Power & Utilities. “Initial efforts at addressing permitting, labor, financing, and contract costs through operational efficiency and standardization are bearing fruit, with more upside potential in the future.”

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I love the name Fierce Energy. Go there and read. More next week.

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Because we have been talking about residential energy savings. I felt the need to end on a generation note. I mean if you are making your own, isn’t that the ultimate energy savings?

 

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/solar-power-sees-unprecedented-boom-in-u-s/

 

Solar Power Sees Unprecedented Boom in U.S.

Photovoltaics and solar thermal both enjoyed banner years, despite uncertainties

U.S. solar power grew by 6.2 gigawatts in 2014, a 30 percent increase over the previous year and representing nearly $18 billion in new investment, according to data released this morning by the Solar Energy Industries Association and GTM Research.

The new power systems, comprising tens of thousands of photovoltaic (PV) arrays for homes, schools, businesses and utilities, as well as a handful of large concentrated solar power facilities in places like the Mojave Desert, raised the United States’ profile as one of the world’s leading adopters of solar power, officials said.

But the future for U.S. solar isn’t without its bumps.

New installations of nonresidential solar panels, while accounting for more than 1 GW of power, shrank by 6 percent year over year, a condition caused by a variety of factors “ranging from tight economics to difficulty financing small commercial installations,” GTM analysts said in their latest “U.S. Solar Market Insight Report.”

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Go there and bask. More next week.

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But it appears that the world is changing.

 

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/big-utilities-push-into-booming-home-solar-market/

 

Big Utilities Push into Booming Home Solar Market

By Nichola Groom (Reuters) – For years, the utilities responsible for providing electricity to the nation have treated residential solar systems as a threat.

By Nichola Groom

(Reuters) – For years, the utilities responsible for providing electricity to the nation have treated residential solar systems as a threat. Now, they want a piece of the action, and they are having to fight for the chance.

If utilities embrace home solar, their deep pockets and access to customers could transform what has been a fast-growing, but niche industry. Solar powers only half a million U.S. homes and businesses, according to solar market research firm GTM Research.

But utility-owned rooftop systems represent a change the solar installation companies who dominate the market don’t want, and whether the two sides can compromise may determine if residential solar truly goes mainstream.

In Arizona, the state’s largest utility has proposed putting solar panels on 3,000 customers’ homes, promising a $30 monthly break on their power bills. In New York, regulators are weighing allowing utilities to get into the solar leasing business to meet the state’s aggressive plan to incorporate more decentralized, renewable power onto the grid.

 

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Go there and read. More tomorrow.

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