Archive for National

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.”

SolarCity follows Tesla’s “Gigafactory” path, will manufacture own solar panels

GigafactorySolarPlant

SAN MATEO—In a recent move by SolarCity, the company will attempt to bring solar energy into the hands of a much larger portion of the population. Currently, photovoltaic solar panel systems are out of reach for many people because of their prices, forcing them to continue to rely on energy produced using fossil fuels. However, SolarCity’s goal is to change this, producing solar energy grid components on such a large scale that their prices will become low enough so as to become more economically viable than fossil fuels. In order to achieve this goal, SolarCity has purchased Silevo, a solar panel manufacturing firm, which SolarCity will expand, opening a new manufacturing plant in New York, and potentially more in the future. SolarCity will target a true “Gigafactory” to produce more than a gigawatt of solar power capability.  “What we are trying to address is not the lay of the land today, where there are indeed too many suppliers, most of whom are producing relatively low photonic efficiency solar cells at uncompelling costs, but how we see the future developing,” the company’s blog post read. “Without decisive action to lay the groundwork today, the massive volume of affordable, high efficiency panels needed for unsubsidized solar power to outcompete fossil fuel grid power simply will not be there when it is needed.”

Silevo is known for its ‘tunneling junction’ solar cell structure.  Combining the benefits of increased carrier generation, back of the cell contacts, matrix redundant cell connections, and eliminating bussbar current collection will create the next generation of silicon solar cells and panels that will reduce the cost of the panel by increasing the overall efficiency.  The target is rooftop solar which is the kernel of SolarCity’s business.

With TVA sales on the down side, it would be a great coup if TVA could entice SolarCity to build a plant here in Tennessee.  One gigawatt sized factory would create a $200 million yearly income for TVA and employ hundreds of workers with high paying manufacturing jobs.

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)

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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

Carly Rixham Named Executive Director at the American Solar Energy Society

Boulder, Colo., June 2, 2014 — The American Solar Energy Society is pleased to announce the appointment of its new executive director, Carly Rixham. Rixham is a renewable energy professional with a diverse background in solar, biofuels, education and wastewater management.

New Leader of ASES Carly Rixam

Rixham served as a volunteer on several ASES membership and fundraising projects, establishing a close relationship with the staff and executive committee. She is passionate about nonprofit organizational development, and plans to take ASES into the next generation, reaffirming the organizations role as a leader in the renewable energy community.

As solar energy gains success in the market place, Rixham is interested in pushing the solar agenda on a grassroots level. Dedicated to connecting science with the greater community of solar advocates, she is eager to support local chapters to help get real people involved in solar. She envisions a stronger connection with universities, as a way to recruit a new generation of professionals in renewable energy.

We will be Breathing Cleaner Air

What Is Cleaner Air Worth to You?

Clean Air is Nice to Breathe

Knoxville Citizens Support President in Reducing Carbon Emissions

Support for Carbon Limitations here in Knoxville

Knoxville, TN– Today, Tuesday June 3, in front of children playing in Market Square’s fountains, volunteers and supporters from Organizing for Action Tennessee (OFA-TN), the Harvey Broome Group of the Sierra Club, and Oak Ridge’s Citizens’ Climate Coalition are holding a community action event, If Not Now, When?, as part of a nationwide Day of Action to support the Environmental Protection Agency’s new Carbon Pollution Standards for existing power plants, which will help curb the dangerous carbon pollution causing climate change and threatening our health. While climate change deniers still ignore the basic science of climate change and try to block progress, President Obama is proposing what the New York Times called

“the strongest action ever taken by an American president to tackle climate change.”

Scheduled speaker Rose Williams said,

“A child born this year will be 36 in 2050, a benchmark year that scientists mention when they warn us about the consequences of inaction. You realize that it’s not the distant future when you think about it that way. That’s all we want, is for our children to have the same opportunities that we have. That’s why we are staging our event with the water-play fountain in the background where children are having fun, children who count on us to leave them a healthy planet.”

“Climate change is real, it is now, and it is dangerous to our health, our economy, and our communities,”

Williams said.

“The good news is that we have the solutions we need to keep the lights on, create jobs, and protect our children. The President’s plan is an essential step,” Williams said.

We are customers not ratepayers

The idea of the utility as a service provider is increasingly important as our system evolves into a complex web of distributed (and increasingly low- and zero-carbon) resources connected through advanced data communications systems. Customers are no longer just “ratepayers” — they are people and organizations with many choices, some of which may compete with utility generation.

Reshaping our energy systems to accommodate more energy efficiency and distributed energy will require getting the policy and regulation of those systems right. It will also include changing our language to reflect the changing role of the consumer.

The job of the utility is to provide an energy service, reliably and at a reasonable price. Whether that energy comes from a distant power plant, a solar panel on their roof, or a Tesla battery hanging on the wall is usually a matter of secondary importance to the customer.

People don’t pay the electric bill because they lie awake at night hoping for kilowatts. They just want the refrigerator, the toaster, the television and the cell-phone charger to work.

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