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Solar Could Provide One-Sixth Of the World’s Heating and Cooling

Solar Could Provide One-Sixth Of the World’s Heating and Cooling

Solar could provide one-sixth of the world’s heating and cooling needs by 2050, according to a report by the International Energy Agency (IEA). This would eliminate 800 megatons of carbon dioxide emissions a year, which is more than Germany’s total carbon emissions in 2009. It would also save money since heating and cooling account for about 56 percent of the energy use in an average U.S. home.

Specifically, solar could provide more than 16 percent of total energy use for heating and 17 percent for cooling. Meeting that goal would include using solar collectors for hot water and space heating, solar collectors for low-temperature process heat in industry, and heating for swimming pools. It would also require a “rapid expansion of solar hot water heating in the building sector, including in solar supported district heating, as well as in industrial applications.”

“We can and must change our current path, but this will take an energy revolution and low-carbon energy technologies will have a crucial role to play,” IEA Executive Director Maria van der Hoeven said.

The report recommends that governments take the following actions over the next 10 years:

  • Create a stable, long-term policy framework for solar heating and cooling
  • Establish medium-term targets to maximize the effective use of mature and nearly mature technologies, and long-term targets for advanced technologies that have yet to reach the market
  • Introduce different economic incentives on the basis of competitiveness per technology by means of transparent and predictable frameworks to bridge competitive gaps
  • Address barriers such as information failures, up-front investment of technologies, and lack of quality standards
  • Provide research and development (R&D) funding and support mechanisms
  • In developing countries, expand the efforts of multilateral and bilateral aid organizations to accelerate the deployment of mature and competitive solar heating and cooling technologies

“Given that global energy demand for heat represents almost half of the world’s final energy use – more than the combined global demand for electricity and transport – solar heat can make a significant contribution in both tackling climate change and strengthening energy security,” said Paolo Frankl, Head of the IEA’s Renewable Energy Division.

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Photo: Flickr user, david.nokonvscanon

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11:40PM PDT on Oct 21, 2012

Exactly, STOP TALKING ABOUT and DO IT is the right thing to do. I wanted to heat my home using passive solar. But these heaters were hovering around $2000 a piece. So I built a solar heater for the rest of us. Learn how to build it and build it! We are not dependent on companies to build our technology for us. We can build it ourselves. Learn how to build my solar air heater at http://diy-solar-heater.com. The manual is $4.95 and the heater can be built for under $500 and that includes a computer controlled fan and fancy wall vents with a filter. Just about anyone can build one of my heaters so I invite anyone who wants to supplement their furnace and even their clothes dryer's heating element with the heat of the sun to simply build a solar furnace for their home.

4:40AM PDT on Sep 13, 2012

Clinton to Solar Companies: "You Just Can't Be Deterred"

This afternoon at Solar Power International 2012, Former President Bill Clinton offered words of encouragement and admiration for solar companies in America and around the globe.

Addressing the crowd whom he acknowledged are “people who represent what I believe in,” the former president said that “creative cooperation” is the only way for industry to make big accomplishments at home and abroad. “There is not a single successful example on earth of a country that is succeeding who doesn’t have shared cooperation,” he said.

According to the Solar Electric Power Association’s Julia Hamm, who introduced Clinton, he had always wanted to speak at Solar Power International but his schedule and the show schedule were simply never aligned. This year, however, to the delight of show organizers SEPA and SEIA, he showed up in Orlando at precisely 4pm on Wednesday to address a packed auditorium.

In his speech, Mr. Clinton acknowledged that he was “preaching to the saved” but emphasized the dire need for the solar industry to set the record straight regarding the economic and environmental benefits that solar power and other renewables are already providing to various parts of the globe. He said that most Americans don’t know that Germany has netted 300,000 jobs in solar energy even accounting for the draw that the feed-in tariff has had on its economy. He said th

3:43PM PDT on Jul 22, 2012

We have had solar and wind power for 30 years, when it was really expensive. We simple realized that we had No other choice.

We have produced our own fuel for 15 years @ $1.00/gal+, BioDiesel.

We have an Organic Aquaponics station, where we raise Tilapia, fruits, veggies and herbs. What we do not utilize, we sell at our various Farmers Markets.

In the end, it is not at all difficult, it is only a matter of ones priorities and conscience.

9:12AM PDT on Jul 21, 2012

We just installed more solar panels on our organic farm.

4:26PM PDT on Jul 20, 2012

Continued from below; with corrections:

Pam W. It is an individual thing, either one gets it or they don't. For some it is nearly impossible. But have an idea, let us all think of Solar as something really important to our lives...like a SUV, a motorhome, an ATV, our many guns, that second home that we so seldom get to.

If we all took that approach, there would backorder of installs into the next century.

By the way, 30 years ago, solar was REALLY expensive, we just didn't need a SUV, a motorhome, an ATV, our guns, that second home that we so seldom get to.

Do you?

4:23PM PDT on Jul 20, 2012

Continued from below:

Pam W. It is an individual thing, either one gets it or they don't. For some it is nearly impossible. But have an idea, let us all think of Solar as something really important to our lives...like an

If we all took that approach, there would backorder of installs into the next century.

By the way, 30 years ago, solar was REALLY expensive, we just didn't need a SUV, a motorhome, an ATV, our guns, that second home that we so seldom get to.

Do you?

4:22PM PDT on Jul 20, 2012

Ron B. 247-365, unfortunately, we only see ⅓ of that number in summer and far less in winter. Now, if we were to include wind power, such as the SouthWest Sky Stream, we could realize a potential of the better part of 24 hours per day. That does require proper siting, height, which exclude many installations, due to zoning codes, and insurance difficulties.

Joe, The opportunity is out there, all you have to do is make the call.

Dianne D, Make the call, you might be surprised at to the answer.

Robert R, I having not been able to ignore your many postings, but this one reminds me of a thought I had while reading it. If you won the National Lottery for, lets say, $90,000, you would be pissed because it was not the $100,000. Another thought has come to mind...have you ever tried the game of golf, it will get you out of the house and off the computer.
I wonder if he will be able to sort out the clues, god, I for one, hope so.

WoW, Solar Power, who would have thought.

We have been solar and wind powered for over 30 years, we have produced our own fuel, biodiesel, for 15 years.
We also power our Aquaponics station, and many said that it could not be done.

Who would have thought.



The trick to producing your own power...stop talking about it and do it. 


Pam W. It is an individual thing, either one gets it or they don't. For some it is nearly impossible. But have an idea, let us all think of Solar as something really im

3:23PM PDT on Jul 20, 2012

Esta aí uma oportunidade para governos, subsidiar esta alternativa de energia.

3:23PM PDT on Jul 20, 2012

Esta aí uma oportunidade para governos, subsidiar esta alternativa de energia.

2:05PM PDT on Jul 20, 2012

Ground was just broken for a solar farm near our town this month, and there are solar companies who are installing panels for houses and businesses in our region. I can list several companies in our county that have switched to solar panels to help offset electrical costs (the power goes into the grid, but they get PAID for it by the electric company, or something of that sort), one of which is the pharmacy right in our town!

I even heard something about how they make solar panels now that are the size of a roof shingle, but are incredibly powerful. If so, that's going to revolutionized the rooftop-solar industry, and it's a fascinating idea. My husband and I want to put solar panels on our roof to help with the electric bills, but that's an idea down the road. I just hope they still have federal grants available then!

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