Archive for Global

America is making lots of solar energy. What’s holding it back from making solar panels?

The solar industry is positively booming in the U.S. The annual installation of solar systems rose from 1.265 megawatts in 2008 to 4.75 gigawatts in 2013. From nowhere, America has emerged as the third-largest market for solar. Installers are carpeting the nation’s deserts, parking lots, and rooftops with polysilicon panels that convert sunlight into electrons.

While the U.S. is manufacturing a lot of solar energy, production of solar panels has been another story entirely.

NREL labThe two biggest solar panel manufacturers headquartered in the U.S., First Solar and SunPower, have located most of their manufacturing capacity in Southeast Asia. U.S. module production fell from 1,200 megawatts in 2011 to 541 megawatts in 2012 and bounced back up to 988 megawatts in 2013, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association. “U.S.-based module production is currently limited to about 1 GW in practice,” says Finlay Colville, vice president at the solar-market research and analysis firm NPD Solarbuzz. “This represented just 2.5 percent of global demand in 2013.”

As the solar industry grows, other factors are pushing the production and consumption of U.S-made panels. Government agencies such as the military are among the most prolific purchasers of solar panels, which means their contractors may have to comply with the Buy American Act and the Buy America provisions of the 2009 stimulus bill. In addition, many of the entities arranging large solar installation are cities, states, nonprofits, or public institutions such as universities that tend to ask about the source of the materials used. “Over the last 24 months we’ve also seen a rise in what I term ‘emotional Buy American buyers,’ ” said Matt Card, vice president of global sales and marketing at Suniva. Industry experts say panels produced in the U.S. can cost only 10 percent more than panels made in China. “These are private companies or citizens who decide they are going to choose American-made panels.”

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TREEDC CONFERENCE AT TENNESSEE TECH UNIVERSITY

The Tennessee Renewable Energy and Economic Development Council  Conference will be held at Tennessee Tech University in Cookeville on October 12 through the 14th this year.  

Registration is OPEN for all exhibitors/sponsors/advertisers as well as conference attendees for the October 12-14 renewable energy conference hosted by Tennessee Tech University and University of Tennessee MTAS. The Tennessee Renewable Energy & Economic Development Council (www.treedc.us) is a statewide organization  which now has 96 Tennessee mayors as members and works with Tennessee and world-wide stakeholders to advance renewable energy for Tennessee communities and businesses.

TREEDC is pleased to announce that our Annual Conference Keynote Speaker will be Neil Petchers, President, Chief Executive Officer of NORESCO. NORESCO  is a unit of United Technologies Corporation. one of the largest energy services companies in the U.S., NORESCO performs energy and maintenance savings and significant infrastructure upgrades to existing facilities.

A preliminary program can be seen here

Early Bird Registration Rates of $89 End September 1, 2014

 

 

 

New Business Member – MOUNTAIN VIEW SOLAR

Our latest business member is Mountain View Solar. They are now installing solar systems in our local region. What is particularly interesting about them is the focus on electric vehicle charging at your home. Chances are that if you are a commuter that drives less than 30 miles a day round-trip to work and home, then you are probably thinking about an electric vehicle.

Mountain View Solar is West Virginia’s largest solar PV installation company and has been recognized by various state and national organizations. Specializing in residential, commercial, municipal and government solar installations, Mountain View works throughout West Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Virginia and now in Tennessee.

We now offer installation of solar-powered charging stations for electric vehicles, and have provided residential and commercial customers with a source of free fuel for their electric vehicles!

Be sure to contact:
Jon Bates
Regional Operations Director
Mountain View Solar
1200 Deaton Rd
Lenoir City,Tn. 37772
865-964-5091
jon@mtvsolar.com
www.mtvsolar.com/tn

ARIZONA PUBLIC SERVICE COMPANY FOR APPROVAL OF ITS 2014 RENEWABLE ENERGY STANDARD IMPLEMENTATION PLAN FOR RESET OF RENEWABLE ENERGY ADJUST-OR

This illustrates the concept of distributed generation

I have included this entry because of Tennesseans interested in solar photovoltaic (PV) energy. Maybe a model for our state and TVA

Responding to clear customer interest, Arizona Public Service (APS) proposes a 20 MW
utility-owned residential distributed generation (DG) program that will help APS meet
the 2015 renewable energy requirement. Under this program,
APS would strategically deploy DG to maximize system benefits. APS would also support the local
solar community by competitively selecting third-party local solar vendors to install
these DG systems across APS’s service territory. To benefit all customers, APS would
install the DG on customer rooftops and on the utility side of the meter. APS would
“rent” these rooftops in exchange for a $30 per month bill credit. This simple bill credit
structure will provide all customers-including those who cannot currently afford it-an
opportunity to “go solar.”
To install 20 MW of residential DG, APS would deploy systems on
approximately 3,000 customer rooftops. On these rooftops, APS would install 4-8 kW
photovoltaic systems, depending on the roofs’ configurations. Just as APS might lease
land to locate a large-scale solar facility, APS will “rent” these 3,000 customer rooftops
for 20 years

reference here

Big Box Stores Unmet Renewable Energy Demand

12 companies have signed the Renewable Energy Buyers’ Principles to better communicate their purchasing needs and expectations to the marketplace. The companies – Bloomberg, Facebook, General Motors, Hewlett-Packard, Intel, Johnson & Johnson, Mars, Novelis, Procter and Gamble, REI, Sprint, and Walmart – hope the principles will open up new opportunities for collaboration with utilities and energy suppliers to increase their ability to buy renewable energy sharing a combined renewable energy target of 8.4 million MWh per year through 2020.

The 12 participating companies are seeking a market shift to achieve their sustainable energy goals.
The Buyers’ Principles outline six criteria that would significantly help companies meet their ambitious purchasing goals:
1. Greater choice in procurement options;
2. More access to cost-competitive options;
3. Longer- and variable-term contracts;
4. Access to new projects that reduce emissions beyond business as usual;
5. Streamlined third-party financing; and
6. Increased purchasing options with utilities.

More information can be found here

Policy for Water Conservation for the Power Sector “doesn’t exist”

Water cooling leading to increased water temperature and loss of water as fog

“There are cost effective things that the power sector can do that would conserve water that will also reduce the amount of greenhouse gas emissions,” said Paul Faeth, director of energy, water and climate at the CNA think tank’s Institute for Public Research.

CNA Corporation in its July 2014 report, “A Clash of Competing Necessities” documents the use of water for generating electric power as follows: an estimated 40% of all freshwater withdrawal in the US is used for thermal cooling. Coal with carbon capture and storage (CSS) came out top, using 4.3 cubic metres of water for every MWh.
Nuclear is a close second using 4.2, coal alone uses 2.3, natural gas 1, wind uses zero, and PV uses 0.1 cubic metres per MWh.

For ‘consumption’ of water, whereby water is completely removed from the local environment, CCS uses 3.2 cubic metres per MWh, nuclear 2.5, coal 1.9, natural gas 0.7 – and again wind uses zero and PV uses 0.1.

Water concerns “for policy makers and for many people are also a higher priority than climate change,” he said, adding that in drought it “doesn’t matter what the cause of drought is you still have to respond, and if you can respond in a way that is cost effective and mitigates emissions, such as using wind and PV, then that is a real plus.”

TVA to study value of small providers like solar

KNOXVILLE, TENN. — The Tennessee Valley Authority is studying the value of electricity produced from small, dispersed sites, such as solar, wind or small gas turbine installations.

According to a news release from the utility, the initiative will develop methods to set the value of distributed generation to the electric grid and the value of the grid to the small energy producer. TVA will undertake the study with the help of local power companies and other stakeholders.

Solar energy will be the first resource investigated. The process is expected to last through the end of 2014. Public comments will be accepted and stakeholder group information will be posted at http://www.tva.gov/dgiv .

Note: Stakeholder group meeting should be available to the public as utube, webinar or as published on the TVA site..

Great Offer from ASES

ASES logo 2 Give ASES Your Attention[/caption]American Solar Energy Society via ases.ccsend.com Unsubscribe
Jun 12 (1 day ago)

to everyine

ASES Sunrise logo web
Trouble reading this email? Go to the web version.

ASES Sixtieth Anniversary Membership Discount Offer
Our birthday gift to you: Save money on your membership or renewal

To celebrate our 60th anniversary, the American Solar Energy Society today launches its 2014 drive for new membership. Our goal: double ASES membership by this time next year.

To kick off the campaign, ASES is pleased to offer one month of discounts on new memberships and membership renewals, as our gift to members and ASES newsletter subscribers.

This is an opportunity to save money on

New memberships for colleagues and friends
An upgrade to Professional, Business or Life membership
Your membership renewal (if your membership will expire before the end of 2014)

Remember: Professional Members are entitled to a 25 percent discount on registration at SOLAR 2014, the 43rd National Solar Conference in San Francisco, July 6-10. Don’t delay: Join or upgrade now and save on Conference registration!

This offer ends July 10, 2014.

Just click here. Then choose your level of membership and enter the appropriate discount code:
Basic Membership (usually $39)
This month $30, save 23 percent: discount code ASES60th-Basic
Professional Membership (usually $89)
This month $60, save 32 percent: code ASES60th-Pro
Business Membership (usually $300)
This month $240, save 20 percent: code ASES60th-Business
Life Membership (usually $1200)
This month $900, save 25 percent: code ASES60th-Life

Established in 1954, the nonprofit American Solar Energy Society (ASES) is the nation’s leading association of renewable energy professionals and advocates. ASES is the United States Section of the International Solar Energy Society (ISES). Our mission is to speed the transition to a sustainable energy economy.

Programs
ASES publishes the award-winning SOLAR TODAY magazine, and the newsletters Solar@Work (for renewable energy professionals) and Solar Citizen (for renewable energy advocates).
We organize and present the ASES National Solar Conference, and publish its Proceedings.
We lead the ASES National Solar Tour – the largest grassroots solar event in the world.
ASES brings the renewable energy communities together with:
Regional chapters in 41 states and the District of Columbia
7 Student Chapters at colleges across the country
9 Technical Divisions, with academic and engineering members from all disciplines, to serve as a clearing house for basic research across all renewable-energy and energy-efficiency technologies

Contact: ASES 303.443.3130 crixham@ases.org

More Affordable Solar PV Systems by Richard Swanson

In answer to the question What new technology will it take, Dr. Swanson replied.

Richard Swanson1“Solar panels now account for less than half of the cost of a solar panel system. For example, installers spend a lot of time and money designing each rooftop solar system. They need to have a certain number of panels in a row, all getting the same amount of sunlight. A bunch of companies are automating the process, some with the help of satellites. One of the most exciting things is microinverters [electronics that control solar panel power output] that allow you to stick solar panels anywhere on a roof—it’s almost plug and play.

To almost everyone’s surprise, silicon is still chugging along. The new developments are pretty amazing. Panasonic just announced a record solar cell efficiency. We need to do things like keep improving efficiency with new solar cell architectures, like the one Panasonic used. There are three basic new cell structures, and all of them are nearing or are already in production. We need to make thinner silicon wafers, improve ways of growing crystalline silicon. We need to switch to frameless solar panels because the cost of the aluminum frame hasn’t been going down much. We need to get rid of silver electrical contacts and replace them with cheaper copper. It’s tricky, but it can be done.”

Obama Climate Plan Relies on States

President Obama’s new plan to fight climate change depends heavily on states’ devising individual approaches to meeting goals. The regulation unveiled on Monday offers the states flexibility to pick from a menu of policy options. Intended to cut carbon pollution from power plants by 30 percent from 2005 levels by 2030 — represented Mr. Obama’s boldest step in using his executive authority to halt the warming of the planet. In order to comply with the new national rule, states can, among other actions, shut down coal plants, install wind and solar power and energy-efficiency technology, or join the California or Northeastern cap-and-trade programs. E.P.A. officials said states could even choose to comply by enacting a state-level tax on carbon pollution.

It will be interesting to see what the Tennessee state legislature plans to do, if anything, to comply with the EPA order. It will be up to the supramajority of state Republicans to decide on how to implement the reduction in carbon emissions. Ask your legislator why Tennessee does not have a master energy plan for the state. Might get some interesting answers.

relevant article on the subject