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Utility vs. Homeowners Over Solar Power | The New York Times

Utility vs. Homeowners Over Solar Power | The New York Times

In Hawaii, where 12 percent of the homes have solar panels, handling the surplus power is putting pressure on the state’s biggest utility, which is fighting to reduce what it pays for the energy.

Produced by: Erik Braund and Eugene Yi

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Utility vs. Homeowners Over Solar Power | The New York Times
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Why renewables can’t save the planet | Michael Shellenberger | TEDxDanubia

Why renewables can’t save the planet | Michael Shellenberger | TEDxDanubia

Environmentalists have long promoted renewable energy sources like solar panels and wind farms to save the climate. But what about when those technologies destroy the environment? In this provocative talk, Time Magazine “Hero of the Environment” and energy expert, Michael Shellenberger explains why solar and wind farms require so much land for mining and energy production, and an alternative path to saving both the climate and the natural environment. Michael Shellenberger is a Time Magazine Hero of the Environment and President of Environmental Progress, a research and policy organization. A lifelong environmentalist, Michael changed his mind about nuclear energy and has helped save enough nuclear reactors to prevent an increase in carbon emissions equivalent to adding more than 10 million cars to the road. He lives in Berkeley, California. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at https://www.ted.com/tedx

TEDxWarwick – David MacKay – How the Laws of Physics Constrain Our Sustainable Energy Options

Department of Climate Change Chief Scientific Advisor, Professor David MacKay FRS, is responsible for ensuring the best science and engineering advice underpins DECC’s policy and decision-making.
In addition to his role at DECC, David is Professor of Natural Philosophy in the Department of Physics at the University of Cambridge. He studied Natural Sciences at Cambridge and then obtained his PhD in Computation and Neural Systems at the California Institute of Technology. He returned to Cambridge as a Royal Society research fellow at Darwin College. He is internationally known for his research in machine learning, information theory, and communication systems, including the invention of Dasher — a software interface that enables efficient communication in any language with any muscle. He has taught Physics in Cambridge since 1995 and he is a Fellow of the Royal Society.
David is the author of the critically acclaimed book, Sustainable Energy — Without the Hot Air, which is intended to help people understand the numbers around sustainable energy.

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)

New Tool Diagnoses ‘Sick’ Solar Panels In Real-Time

New Tool Diagnoses ‘Sick’ Solar Panels In Real-Time

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BY: KAYLA WILES-PURDUE Researchers have created a new tool that analyzes how well a solar farm is generating electricity. Diagnosing degraded, or “diseased,” solar panels would contribute to lower electric bills on clean energy and cut manufacturing costs. Companies and governments have regularly invested in solar farms and lost money when weather degradation unexpectedly cut […]

Published at Sun, 30 Sep 2018 14:24:10 +0000

New Push To Target Low-Income Communities For Solar Projects

New Push To Target Low-Income Communities For Solar Projects

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By: Tom Johnson Low- and moderate-income New Jerseyans have for the most part been left out of growing renewable-energy developments in the state. That may be about to change. At least half of a new community solar program will be targeted to low- and moderate-income populations that have been largely left out of the huge […]

Published at Tue, 02 Oct 2018 13:02:03 +0000

Can 100% renewable energy power the world? – Federico Rosei and Renzo Rosei

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Every year, the world uses 35 billion barrels of oil. This massive scale of fossil fuel dependence pollutes the earth, and it won’t last forever. On the other hand, we have abundant sun, water and wind, which are all renewable energy sources. So why don’t we exchange our fossil fuel dependence for an existence based only on renewables? Federico Rosei and Renzo Rosei describe the challenges.

Lesson by Federico Rosei and Renzo Rosei, directed by Giulia Martinelli.

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How Do Solar Panels Work?

How Do Solar Panels Work?

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By: Tibi Puiu If you told the average person only thirty years ago that black panels left in the sun would generate copious amounts of electricity for homes and businesses, the likeliest reaction would have been a condescending grin. Luckily the technology to capture energy from the sun — which shines enough light on Earth’s […]

Published at Thu, 04 Oct 2018 07:16:24 +0000

Renewable Energy 101 | National Geographic

Renewable Energy 101 | National Geographic

There are many benefits to using renewable energy resources, but what is it exactly? From solar to wind, find out more about alternative energy, the fastest-growing source of energy in the world—and how we can use it to combat climate change.
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Renewable Energy 101 | National Geographic

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Nearly 140 Countries Could Be Powered Entirely by Wind, Solar and Water by 2050

Nearly 140 Countries Could Be Powered Entirely by Wind, Solar and Water by 2050

‘Our findings suggest that the benefits are so great that we should accelerate the transition to wind, water, and solar, as fast as possible, by retiring fossil-fuel systems early wherever we can’

By: Ian Johnston

More than 70 per cent of the countries in the world – including the UK, US, China and other major economies – could run entirely on energy created by wind, water and solar by 2050, according to a roadmap developed by scientists.

And they pointed out that doing so would not only mean the world would avoid dangerous global warming, but also prevent millions of premature deaths a year and create about 24 million more jobs than were lost.

One of the scientists said the social benefits of following their roadmap were so “enormous” and essentially cost free that human society should “accelerate the transition to wind, water and solar as fast as possible”.

Rooftop solar panels and major solar power plants; offshore and onshore wind turbines; wave, hydroelectric and tidal schemes; and geothermal energy would also be used to replace fossil fuels to generate electricity, power vehicles and heat homes.

The UK is about to publish its own Emissions Reduction Plan, which is supposed to set out how Britain will meet its international commitment in the fight against climate change – to cut emissions by 57 per cent below 1990 levels by 2030.

While the UK has been making good progress on decarbonising electricity generation, the transport and domestic heating sectors remain problematic.

As part of its attempts to improve air quality, the Government has announced it will ban the sale of new fossil fuel-powered vehicles in 2040. It remains to be seen how radical it will be in encouraging the switch from gas-central heating to low or zero-carbon methods.

Writing in the journal Joule, a team of researchers led by Professor Mark Jacobson, of Stanford University in the US, warned the stakes were high.

“The seriousness of air-pollution, climate, and energy-security problems worldwide requires a massive, virtually immediate transformation of the world’s energy infrastructure to 100 per cent clean, renewable energy producing zero emissions,” they said.

“For example, each year, four to seven million people die prematurely and hundreds of millions more become ill from air pollution, causing a massive amount of pain and suffering that can nearly be eliminated by a zero-emission energy system.

“Similarly, avoiding 1.5C warming since pre-industrial times requires no less than an 80 per cent conversion of the energy infrastructure to zero-emitting energy by 2030 and 100 per cent by 2050.

“Lastly, as fossil-fuel supplies dwindle and their prices rise, economic, social, and political instability may ensue unless a replacement energy infrastructure is developed well ahead of time.”

The roadmaps were developed for 139 countries for which information about energy systems was available, out of the total of 195.

They “describe a future where all energy sectors are electrified or use heat directly with existing technology, energy demand is lower due to several factors, and the electricity is generated with 100% wind, water and sunlight (WWS)”, the researchers said.

“The roadmaps are not a prediction of what might happen. They are one proposal for an end-state mix of WWS generators by country and a timeline to get there that we believe can largely solve the world’s climate-change, air-pollution, and energy-security problems,” they added.

Professor Jacobson, director of Stanford’s atmosphere and energy programme, said political leaders needed reassurance that the transition to a zero-carbon economy would work.

“Both individuals and governments can lead this change. Policymakers don’t usually want to commit to doing something unless there is some reasonable science that can show it is possible, and that is what we are trying to do,” he said.

“We are not saying that there is only one way we can do this, but having a scenario gives people direction.”

Fellow researcher Mark Delucchi added: “It appears we can achieve the enormous social benefits of a zero-emission energy system at essentially no extra cost.

“Our findings suggest that the benefits are so great that we should accelerate the transition to wind, water, and solar, as fast as possible, by retiring fossil-fuel systems early wherever we can.”

The researchers decided to exclude nuclear power, coal with carbon-capture-and-storage, biofuels and bioenergy from their vision of the future.

On nuclear, they highlighted the risks of weapons proliferation and the chance of a power plant meltdown.

“There is no known way at this time to eliminate these risks. By contrast, WWS technologies have none of these risks. Thus, we are proposing and evaluating a system that we believe provides the greatest environmental benefits with the least risk,” the researchers wrote.

Courtesy: http://www.independent.co.uk

 

(Why?)

Published at Tue, 29 Aug 2017 07:09:11 +0000

Otterburne Farm Gets Manitoba’s Biggest Solar Power Installation

Otterburne Farm Gets Manitoba’s Biggest Solar Power Installation

Solar panels will bring farm’s annual energy consumption to net zero

By: Cameron MacLean

Workers install solar panels at a dairy farm in Otterburne, Man. The firm doing the installation says when it’s complete, it will be the biggest solar project in the province. (Pierre Verriere/CBC)

A dairy farm in southern Manitoba will soon boast the largest solar energy installation in the province.

Hans Gorter is getting 540 panels, each with an area of 1.4 to 1.6 square metres, installed on his 130-cow dairy farm in Otterburne, about 45 kilometres south of Winnipeg.

The system, which cost Gorter $500,000, received a $175,000 rebate through a program offered by Manitoba Hydro. It will generate close to 200,000 kilowatt hours of energy annually.

If everything works properly, the system will bring Gorter’s annual energy consumption to net zero.

“For us, that is a logical choice. If there’s technology out there that is beneficial for that, then we are looking into it to see if we can use it.”

The installation costs will be paid off in the next eight to 10 years, Gorter said.

In addition to reducing his carbon footprint, Gorter said the solar system gives him control over his energy costs.

“We know for the next 25 years what Hydro will cost us. If this thing works, the investment we make today will pay off. We will [have] zero electricity bill until these panels are worn out,” he said.

Winnipeg-based Sycamore Energy, which operates as Solar Manitoba in this province, is installing the panels on Gorter’s farm. Sycamore president Justin Phillips said the company has either installed or plans to install solar panels on close to 60 farms in Manitoba.

Over the last six months, the company has repeatedly broken its own records for the largest solar projects in Manitoba, Phillips said, starting with a 20-kilowatt job in MacGregor in February, then a 70-kilowatt project in Rivers completed in April.

“Solar technology is new here in the province. We’re not used to seeing this type technology, but it’s not new to the world. This is 30-, 40-year-old technology that has been around a long time.”

Gorter, who moved to Canada from the Netherlands in 1987, said friends and family in Europe are already familiar with solar technology.

“Europe seems to adapt quite quickly and in Canada we seem to think that we’re very comfortable the way we are. I think that there is a change coming and there’s a benefit for my farm to change energy from a commodity to a production thing,” he said.

Wayne Clayton, chair of the Manitoba Sustainable Energy Association, said farmers can benefit from solar energy in a variety of ways.

“Manitoba farmers are very conscious about their impact on the environment as well as the impact the environment has on them and their businesses, as they live in it every day,” he said.

“Just with the sun that we have in Manitoba, we’re an ideal place to put solar panels in Canada.”

The economic benefits of switching to solar also extend to the rest of Manitoba by reducing the amount of money flowing out of the province through the purchase of carbon fuels, potentially saving money and creating jobs, Clayton said.

Manitoba Hydro’s solar energy program, which ends in 2018, has approved 368 applications for funding. As of Aug. 10, 2017, the program has given $1,083,415 to 88 completed installations, generating a combined total of one megawatt of DC power, a Manitoba Hydro spokesperson said.

For comparison, the total capacity of the Limestone Generating Station is approximately 1350 megawatts (AC), the spokesperson said.

Courtesy: http://www.cbc.ca/

(Why?)

Published at Wed, 23 Aug 2017 07:00:28 +0000