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Spectrolab Sets World Record for Solar Cell Efficiency By Staff Writers Sylmar, CA (SPX) Apr 11, 2013 // LET'S GO SOLAR!


Science & Tech  (tags: business, climate, concept, design, discovery, energy, environment, computers, habitat, NewTechnology, performance, research, science, scientists, society, study, technology, world )

Ruth
- 751 days ago - solardaily.com
"A Spectrolab solar cell recently set a world record by converting more energy from the sun into electricity than any other ground-based solar cell without solar concentration." PLEASE NOTE,SHARE. LET'S GO SOLAR!



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Comments

R T. (14)
Wednesday May 1, 2013, 6:20 am
Thanks for the article Ruth.
As expected Solar technology will improve as it becomes more popular.
The cost will also come down as the competition and volumes increase.
All good news for the environment.
 

lee e. (114)
Wednesday May 1, 2013, 7:36 am
I could repeat my previous comment - but I'm too impressed! Thanks for this encouraging news!
 

Carol H. (229)
Wednesday May 1, 2013, 9:17 am
noted, thanks Ruth
 

Theodore Shayne (56)
Wednesday May 1, 2013, 4:51 pm
Noted & posted
 

Alice C. (1797)
Thursday May 2, 2013, 3:19 am
Reaching the goal of getting 100 percent of the world's energy from renewable resources is technically and economically feasible today. The challenges lie in the realms of public policy and political will, as well as in finance, market development, and business development.

That was the message delivered by numerous distinguished energy experts in San Francisco on April 16th at Pathways to 100 Percent Renewable Energy, the first international conference specifically focused on accelerating the transition to 100 percent renewable energy.

Citing a number of recent authoritative energy studies, Dr. Dave Renne, President of the International Solar Energy Society said all the studies agree that there are no technical barriers to getting 100 percent of our energy from renewable resources. Their technical potential, he said, “far exceeds even our wildest future (demand) projections.”

Some renewable technologies in themselves are sufficient to supply 100 percent of the world’s energy demand by themselves, though of course this would not be an optimal global energy solution. Professor Alexa Lutzenberger from the University of Leuphana, Germany noted that the world could meet 100 percent of its energy needs just from biomass fuels and biogas.

This versatile fuel can be used to produce power, or power and heat in a combined heat and power plant. It can also be used to produce biodiesel or other fuels, such as biomethane and bioethanol. When cleaned, biogas can utilize the world’s vast natural gas pipeline infrastructure.

Germany now has some 8,000 mostly small agricultural biogas plants which afford farmers the opportunity to become energy independent and enjoy relatively stable, reasonably priced energy.

100 Percent Renewables Possible for the Planet

Marc Z. Jacobson, a professor of civil and environmental engineering discussed his landmark 2009 feasibility study for completely powering the planet with “wind, water, and solar (WWS).”

Jacobson said that 2.5-3 million people die prematurely from fossil fuel air pollution worldwide each year and that cumulativly, 100 million people have perished from air pollution over the past 100 years.

Referring to climate change, growing global population, rising energy demand, and air pollution, Jacobson said, “These are drastic problems, and they require drastic solutions.”

He found that by producing 100 percent of the planet’s energy from a mix of wind, concentrating solar, geothermal, tidal power, photovoltaics, wave power, and hydroelectricity, air pollution deaths would be eliminated along with the emission of climate-disturbing greenhouse gases generated from fossil fuels.

Global energy use would also decline sharply. Just by replacing the fuels in the global energy mix with electricity, Jacobson found that total energy demand would decline 32 percent by 2030, even without accounting for energy efficiency measures that would also be adopted.

In the U.S., the study found that a similar shift to electricity and electrolytic hydrogen would cut primary energy demand by 37 percent, also before other efficiency measures. The switch would reduce California’s energy demand by 44 percent, largely as a result of converting the transportation sector to more efficient electric propulsion.

Jacobson did not recommend nuclear power, coal with carbon capture, natural gas, or biofuels that involve combustion and may release air pollutants and carbon dioxide.

Under the plan’s assumptions, electricity costs would fall compared with fossil fuel power and more new jobs would be created than lost in the energy transition. Global energy security and price stability would both be vastly enhanced and the renewable facilities needed would require only 0.4% of the world’s land.

New York

Jacobson also reported on a new Stanford University study he led recently which contends that it would be technically and economically feasible for New York State to get all its energy from renewable sources by 2030. RenewableEnergyWorld.com reported on that study here and there is an active discussion following the article. Jacobson said that, if implemented successfully, the plan would save money, energy, and create jobs while reducing the health impacts and costs of air pollution in New York.

Renewables in California

Also at the conference, Stephen Berberich, President and CEO of the California Independent System Operator Corp. said that today’s power industry won’t be recognizable by 2050. The vast majority of the state’s energy demand will by then be met by renewable energy, and the utility industry will be completely transformed.

Many homes will be effectively off the grid, doing their own generation, and using their own energy storage systems. Berberich expects that the largest power consuming sector in the California economy in 2050 will likely be the state’s transportation fleet, which by then will be electrified to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions.

Berberich said that the move to renewables will be driven by economic imperatives, the development of new technology, and concern over climate change. “The costs of distributed technologies are falling dramatically.”

Berberich himself said he pays about 35 cents per kilowatt-hour for electricity at his home in the PG&E service territory but that he can get a solar array for 20 cents a kilowatt-hour. “Why wouldn’t I do that?” he asked.

Customers in the future will enjoy transparent pricing and, with the help of online applications and advanced networking devices, “will be able to see, shape, and control their energy usage,” he said.

During the transition to a renewable energy powered economy, Berberich cautioned that ramping renewables up too quickly could drive costs up and provoke a backlash. “If a rate bomb goes off, there’s going to be a hue and cry,” he warned. Likewise, problems with system reliability would also undermine progress toward 100 percent renewable energy.

Dr. Eric Martinot, senior research director at the Institute for Sustainable Energy Policies provided the conference with a summary of the Renewables Global Futures Report produced by REN21, a global, multi-stakeholder network of experts from many sectors of society, seeking to accelerate the global transition to renewable energy.

Based on the opinions of 170 leading experts and 50 energy scenarios, the report forecasts rapid increases in global investment in renewable energy supply, accompanied by continued declines in cost and advances in technology. Global investment in renewable energy was $260 billion in 2011 and, according to the report, may reach $400-500 billion by 2020.

While recognizing that challenges remain in integrating renewable energy into utility power grids, buildings, transport, and industries, the report concludes that the primary challenges, “relate to practices, policies, institutions, business models, finance,” and other factors.

The report takes note of a growing number of regions, cities, towns, and communities that are planning to eventually become 100 percent reliant on renewable energy. Rather than expecting renewables just to fit within modestly restructured existing energy systems, it envisions the co-evolution of renewable technologies over time into profoundly transformed new energy systems.

More information about the Pathways to 100 Percent Renewable Energy conference and its sponsor, the Renewables 100 Policy Institute, can be found at www.go100percent.org. Organizers are planning to post videos of the conference on the website in the near future.
 

Fi T. (18)
Thursday May 2, 2013, 7:29 am
We need more green energy
 

Alice C. (1797)
Monday May 6, 2013, 6:01 am
Dominion Virginia Power Selects Old Dominion University For First Rooftop Solar Power Installation
by Staff Writers
Norfolk VA (SPX) May 06, 2013


File image.
Dominion Virginia Power has selected Old Dominion University to be the first participant in the company's Solar Partnership Program. More than 600 solar panels will be installed this summer on the roof of ODU's Student Recreation Center in the heart of the campus and generate 132 kilowatts for the electric grid.

"This installation will pave the way for us to assess the benefits of solar facilities on our electrical distribution system," said Ken Barker, Dominion Virginia Power vice president-Customer Solutions.

"This new program is already encouraging the growth of solar energy in Virginia as many other customers have contacted us and shown interest."

The Solar Partnership Program was approved by the Virginia State Corporation Commission last November. Dominion will construct and operate up to 30 megawatts of company-owned solar facilities on leased rooftops or on the grounds of commercial businesses and public properties throughout the company's Virginia service area. Fully implemented, the program would generate enough power for 7,500 homes. Each installation could generate as much as two megawatts of electricity.

"When the program was announced last year, it was readily apparent that Old Dominion University was a perfect fit for this innovative project," said ODU President John R. Broderick.

"Our Student Recreation Center is one of the main hubs of activity on our campus and our university, as a whole, is a hub of alternative energy research. This installation is yet another example of ODU's leadership in the development of solar installations and ground-breaking solar energy research."

The 132-kilowatt solar project should generate enough power during daylight hours to supply the energy needs of approximately 35 homes. The project is expected to be completed late this summer. Energy information from the installation will be available at a lobby kiosk inside the Student Recreation Center and in Kaufman Hall, ODU's engineering school.
 

Alice C. (1797)
Tuesday May 14, 2013, 5:23 am
KDC Solar and North Jersey Media Group Cut Ribbon on Large Solar Facility
by Staff Writers
Bedminster NJ (SPX) May 10, 2013


The solar operation will cover more than 60 percent of the power needs at North Jersey Media Group's printing plant.
KDC Solar LLC, headquartered in Bedminster, New Jersey, through its wholly owned subsidiary, KDC Solar NJMG, has commenced commercial operations at North Jersey Media Group's (NJMG) printing facility in Rockaway, New Jersey.

The solar project is the largest PV solar system (4.96 megawatts) at any printing facility in the State of New Jersey. The new system, which will generate approximately 6.2 million kilowatt hours of solar electricity per year, will allow North Jersey Media Group's facility to receive approximately 60% of its annual electric needs from clean renewable solar energy and substantially reduce its carbon footprint.

This is the equivalent of 700 homes being supplied with all their electricity for the year. In addition, there are discussions underway to add additional solar capacity when a new roof is installed on a portion of the facility.

A ribbon cutting ceremony marking the commencement of commercial operations was held at NJMG's facility on May 6th. Among the local dignitaries in attendance were Don Reddin, Rockaway Township Council Member, Dave Washington, Rockaway Township Council Member, Gregory Poff, Rockaway Township Business Administrator, Vincent Brennan, Rockaway Township Police Captain and Planning Board Member, Jim Lutz, Rockaway Township Engineer and Craig Babcock, Rockaway Fire Marshall.

KDC Solar signed an engineering and construction contract for the installation of the facility with Samsung C and T. J. Fletcher Creamer and Son, a fifth-generation contractor headquartered in Hackensack, New Jersey, was the general contractor.

The solar facility uses over 20,400 photovoltaic panels, 10 SMA America 500 kilowatt inverters and is ground mounted, roof mounted and on car ports across 50 acres of land.

"North Jersey Media Group is pleased and proud to have served as the host and electric off-taker of this solar project," said Stephen Borg, President of NJMG.

"This use of clean energy helps us continue our environmental stewardship as well as reduce costs. KDC Solar is a wonderful partner and I strongly recommend them to those considering similar projects," he said.

"We are very pleased to have worked with North Jersey Media Group and, in particular, the Borg family to bring this concept to reality. This facility is the largest PV solar facility at any printing facility in the State of New Jersey and will supply clean, lower cost, long-term solar energy to North Jersey Media Group for many years," said Hal Kamine, KDC Solar's Chief Executive Officer.

"This project is another example of a successful 'behind-the-meter' clean solar electric system for business/government and institutions, which in turn create or preserve both short and long-term jobs for the state."
 

Alice C. (1797)
Thursday May 16, 2013, 7:17 am
The Future Of Solar Is Brighter Than Ever

May 16, 2013Guest Contributor
By Richard Swanson, IEEE Fellow; Co-founder and President Retired of SunPower Corporation

In 1973, I was a young man just out of graduate school. That was the year of the oil crisis. I remember standing in the gas lines along with everyone else wondering, how in the world did we ever get into this mess?

That’s when I came to the realization that we had to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels. Personally, I was very eager to do something about it. I earned my degree in the field of microelectronics, but that was already a maturing field. My chances of making a significant impact were small. By contrast, the renewable energy field was new and exciting. I felt I could get in early and help bring about real change.


Image Credit: Photo Mojo Mike / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-SA

I chose photovoltaics (PV) over other forms of renewable energy because I was trained as a solid state physicist. I thought it was an area where my background was well suited. Solar cells were being used on satellites, a concept I found extremely intriguing. The challenge was to figure out how to make the cells — which were extremely expensive to produce — more cost-effective.

Now that the price of generating solar power is, in some cases, on par with the price of electricity generated from fossil fuels, I can say with confidence that all these years of hard work have paid off. PV has gone mainstream. On an annual installation basis, the global solar industry has grown 10-fold in the past five years. Over the past 10 years, its grown 60-fold.

Frankly, I always knew this day would come. I also knew it would be a long-term commitment – I just didn’t know it would take quite as long as it did. The biggest lesson I’ve learned over the years is that you have to stick with it through thick and thin. Since 1975, the PV industry has been through many ups and downs. There have been periods where PV was touted as the next big thing. There have been other periods where no one seemed to care at all.


Read more at http://cleantechnica.com/2013/05/16/the-future-of-solar-is-brighter-than-ever/#7VjEM5UJfdq4lfZK.99
 
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