Archive for Solar

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.

more

Why We Need Professional Solar Installers

fire_SCHOOL-FIRE-MAY15-14_051414kc_001_0A Wednesday afternoon blaze at Faith Lutheran Middle School and High School means Thursday classes are canceled.

The fire was reported about 4:45 p.m. Clark County firefighters arrived at the school, near Hualapai Way and Charleston Boulevard, and found several roof solar panels on fire. The school had already been evacuated, firefighters said.

Firefighters checked inside of the building and went to the roof to extinguish the flames. They removed some roofing materials while putting the fire out. Three classrooms had water damage as a result, the fire department reported.

Because of the damage, the smell of smoke and the failure of the cooling system, school officials decided to cancel classes on Thursday, with the exception of the class taking the advanced placement world history test.

Firefighters are still investigating what started the fire, which caused an estimated $60,000 in damage.

- See more at: http://www.reviewjournal.com/news/fire-rescue/faith-lutheran-cancels-classes-after-blaze-causes-60000-damage#sthash.hd61TNjl.dpuf

White House on Climate Change

Solar panels on the White House

President Obama to Announce Solar Job Training and REIT Guidance

Obama_in_Georgetown-200x150President Obama is scheduled to speak from a WalMart store in Mountain View, California today.

The President is expected to announce specific commitments from approximately 200 prominent American companies related to solar and energy efficiency. Also, highlighted will be the Administration’s pursuit for solar job training and potential guidance on REIT status for solar energy projects. Expected commitments include:
• WalMart
• Home Depot
• Goldman Sachs
• and Many More!
Stay tuned throughout the day as President Obama makes the announcements.

The White House has released more information on changes to the President Obama’s solar program here