FORUM: Alternative Energy — Converting to clean, renewable energy sources

Published: September 4th, 2015 at 12:01 am ET


To get things started, here are some links regarding the work of Stanford professor Dr. Mark Z. Jacobson

  1. A path to sustainable energy by 2030 (Scientific American, November 2009) (pdf).
  2. Providing all global energy with wind, water and solar power, Part I: Technologies, energy resources, quantities and areas of infrastructure, and materials (Energy Policy, 2011) (pdf-Part I)
  3. Providing all global energy with wind, water and solar power, Part II: Reliability, system and transmission costs, and policies (Energy Policy, 2011) (pdf-Part II)
  4. Spreadsheet accompanying Parts I and II (xls-Spreadsheet)
  5. Energy and Environmental Science article ranking energy solutions to global warming, air pollution, and energy security (link)
  6. Studies on matching hourly and peak demand by combining renewables (link)
  7. Studies on wind energy resources and transmission (link)
  8. April 20, 2012 Tri-Agency (NSF-NOAA-NASA) PI Meeting Presentation (pptx)
  9. November 14, 2011 HEAL Utah Presentation (pptx) (video)
  10. May 16, 2011 Seminar, Woods Institute for the Environment (video)
  11. February 4, 2011 Seminar, Cornell University (video)
  12. January 13, 2011 Stanford Grid Integration Workshop Presentation (pptx)
  13. TED/CNN debates on renewables versus nuclear (link)
  14. April 1, 2008 U.S. House of Representatives hearing. Rep. Jay Inslee tells Exxon-Mobil executive that the vision in the “Renewable Energy Solution to Global Warming” by the Atmosphere/Energy Program at Stanford University is “one that the United States really needs” (starting at 1:35:00 in hearing video) (video) (transcript)
  15. February 7, 2012 op-ed (invited), “Securing public health forever with clean energy” (link)

h/t chemfood, MaidenHeaven

Published: September 4th, 2015 at 12:01 am ET


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1,861 comments to FORUM: Alternative Energy — Converting to clean, renewable energy sources

  • HillbillyHoundDog HillbillyHoundDog

    The intermittent nature of both wind and solar power allows them to generate massive amounts of electricity at unpredictable times. This can overload an established energy grid, which can lead to unexpected costs and limiting the capability of the grid to provide electricity to consumers. Cutting down on the amount of energy wind and solar farms can produce may help prevent mitigate any damage being caused to the grid during times when too much electricity is being generated. Per the draft law from the European Commission, renewable energy companies may only need to provide electrical power when it is needed the most.

  • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar PraisingJesus(Eashoa’ M’sheekha)

    Google Says It Will Run Entirely on Renewable Energy in 2017
    H/T Fairewinds emali

    • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar PraisingJesus(Eashoa’ M’sheekha)

      "For one company to be doing this is a very big deal. It means other companies of a similar scale will feel pressure to move,” noted Stanford University lecturer Jonathon Koomey.

      “It’s good for the economy, good for business and good for our shareholders,” Google's senior vice president of technical infrastructure Joe Kava emphasized. Adding, 'We are the largest corporate purchaser of renewable energy in the world.'…”

      from Fairewinds email about Google on renewables entirely in 2017

  • Jebus Jebus

    The Solar Industry Has Paid Off Its Carbon Debts

    For consumers, the researchers’ most general finding might be the most important. The solar industry is poised to prevent more carbon emissions than it has caused, if it hasn’t passed that mark already. People who want to participate in the industry—whether that’s by investing in companies or buying rooftop panels—should do so without feeling like they’re getting involved in a crypto carbon-emitting boondoggle.

  • Jebus Jebus

    2016 was the year solar panels finally became cheaper than fossil fuels.

    Just wait for 2017…

    The renewable energy future will arrive when installing a new solar panels is cheaper than a comparable investment in coal, natural gas or other options. If you ask the World Economic Forum (WEF), the day has arrived.

    Solar and wind is now the same price or cheaper than fossil fuels in more than 30 countries, the WEF reported in December (pdf). As prices for solar and wind power continue their precipitous fall, two-thirds of all nations will reach the point known as “grid parity” within a few years, even without subsidies. “Renewable energy has reached a tipping point,” Michael Drexler, who leads infrastructure and development investing at the WEF, said in a statement. “It is not only a commercially viable option, but an outright compelling investment opportunity with long-term, stable, inflation-protected returns.”

  • Jebus Jebus

    Solar Could Beat Coal to Be the Cheapest Power on Earth

    Solar power is now cheaper than coal in some parts of the world. In less than a decade, it’s likely to be the lowest-cost option almost everywhere.

    In 2016, countries from Chile to the United Arab Emirates broke records with deals to generate electricity from sunshine for less than 3 cents a kilowatt-hour, half the average global cost of coal power. Now, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Mexico are planning auctions and tenders for this year, aiming to drop prices even further. Taking advantage: Companies such as Italy’s Enel SpA and Dublin’s Mainstream Renewable Power, who gained experienced in Europe and now seek new markets abroad as subsidies dry up at home.

    “We’re seeing a new reality where solar is the lowest-cost source of energy, and I don’t see an end in sight in terms of the decline in costs,” said Enviromena’s Khoreibi.

    • HoTaters HoTaters

      Jebus, thanks for posting the article re: the "death knell" of nuclear and modular reactors. That was at the Nuclear topics forum, right? Very good read. I had to laugh….

      Hope it's not too late.

      • Jebus Jebus

        Hopefully when someone search's for information like that, they will not be presented with a bunch of political paedo pron, in their browser.

        I hope this "epiphany" is not lost on others…

  • freebywill

    Costa Rica barely used any fossil fuels in 2016

    Renewables supplied about 98.1 percent of Costa Rica's electricity for the year, the Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE) said in mid-December. Fossil fuels provided the remaining 1.9 percent.

    The country of 4.9 million people gets most of its electricity from large hydropower facilities, which are fed by multiple rivers and heavy seasonal rains.

    Geothermal plants and wind turbines are also prominent sources of power, while biomass and solar power provide a tiny but growing share of electricity.

    A few diesel-burning power plants round out the electricity mix, but Costa Rica has barely used them in the last two years.

    The country enjoyed a 110-day stretch of carbon-free electricity from June 17 through Oct. 6, when the power company briefly turned on its fossil fuel plants. After that blip, Costa Rica resumed its run of consecutive, fossil fuel-free days, a spokesman for ICE told Mashable on Dec. 13.

  • freebywill

    The Mother Of All Promises And How Science Failed To Maintain It

    In the 1950s, during the high times of the “atomic age”, someone had the unfortunate idea of claiming that nuclear technologies would give us, one day, “energy too cheap to meter.” We might call it “the mother of all promises” and, of course, it was not maintained. But, as propaganda often does, it stuck in people’s minds and it seems that many people still believe in the concept that energy too cheap to meter is just around the corner and they expect it to come with one of the many scams about “free energy” or “cold fusion” that litter the Internet today.

  • search4kids

    Truly an amazing post.I really like it.Thanks for sharing with us.

  • freebywill

    China Leaves U.S. in Dust With $361 Billion Renewable Energy Investment

    While climate activists in the U.S. mount a resistance to the incoming climate-change-denying Trump administration, on the other side of the Pacific, environmentalists have reason to celebrate: China on Thursday announced that it will invest $361 billion in renewable energy by 2020.

    Reuters reports:

    The investment will create over 13 million jobs in the sector, the National Energy Administration (NEA) said in a blueprint document that lays out its plan to develop the nation's energy sector during the five-year 2016 to 2020 period.

    The NEA said installed renewable power capacity including wind, hydro, solar, and nuclear power will contribute to about half of new electricity generation by 2020.

    [ notice newkiller is included as a " renewable ". Tell a lie, repeat it often enough, and people will accept it as truth. ]

  • HillbillyHoundDog HillbillyHoundDog
    Sweden is generating energy by using wind turbines. It was revealed that these are able to generate the power as 6 nuclear power stations.

    A huge proportion of Sweden’s energy has come from wind power in recent days.

    Sweden has generated more energy from wind power than it ever has before.

    Nearly 5.7 million kWh of wind power was generated as the country harvested the effects of “Storm Urd” and intense weather across the south of the country. That smashed through the previous record, set almost exactly a year ago, beating it by more than half a million kWh.

    As well as helping to reduce power generated through less clean ways, this also means that the price of energy is being pushed down. The cost of electricity has decreased by about a third for people in Sweden, and it has been reduced in nearby countries like Denmark and Sweden too.

  • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar

    No more burning batteries? Scientists turn to AI to create safer lithium-ion batteries
    December 15, 2016

  • freebywill

    Solar energy powers an entire island in American Somoa thanks to Tesla, SolarCity

    Back in November, SolarCity announced in a blog post that a microgrid of 5,300 solar panels and over 60 battery packs had been completed on the island within a year’s time. The solar panels can generate 1.4 megawatts of energy, while Tesla Powerpacks provide 6 megawatt hours of battery storage.

    Unlike with diesel generators, which can lose power when powerful storms hammer the island, Tu'a's microgrid is able to store energy for several days, which is a huge benefit to the island of nearly 600 people.

    The Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Interior and American Somoa Power Authority, which operates the system, funded the project. The island was chosen as part of an initiative by the Manu'a islands, which include Ta'u, to become fully free of fossil fuel-generated electricity.

    According to SolarCity, the project will offset the use of more than 109,500 gallons of diesel per year.

  • freebywill

    Solar Power to Rise From Nuclear Ashes

    LONDON—It was the worst nuclear accident in history, directly causing the deaths of 50 people, with at least an additional 4,000 fatalities believed to be caused by exposure to radiation.

    The 1986 explosion at the Chernobyl power plant in Ukraine also resulted in vast areas of land being contaminated by nuclear fallout, with a 30-kilometre exclusion zone, which encompassed the town of Pripyat, being declared in the area round the facility.

    Solar power plant

    Now two companies from China plan to build a one-gigawatt solar power plant on 2,500 hectares of land in the exclusion zone to the south of the Chernobyl plant.

    Ukrainian officials say the companies estimate they will spend up to $1 billion on the project over the next two years.

    A subsidiary of Golden Concord Holdings (GLC), one of China’s biggest renewable energy concerns, will supply and install solar panels at the site, while a subsidiary of the state-owned China National Machinery Corporation (SINOMACH) will build and run the plant.

    “It is cheap land, and abundant sunlight constitutes a solid foundation for the project,” says Ostap Semerak, Ukraine’s minister of environment and natural resources.

    “In addition, the remaining electric transmission facilities are ready for reuse.”

    In a press release, GLC state work on the solar plant will probably start this year …

  • freebywill

    14 mins How You Can Save the Bees, Our Food & Our Land – All from Your Backyard

    Bees are dying and that doesn't bode well for those of us who enjoy food BUT here's something you can do about it.

    [ novel idea for the micro/urban growers ]

  • Fracking, the latest and greatest threat today!

    There's even fracking happening right now (today, as I type this) within a mile of more than one active nuclear plant in the US!!!!!!!!!

    Completely insane…

    Fracking will also destroy our water supply in short order…

    If the earthquakes don't get us (or the neighboring nuke plants) the contaminated water supply will.

    Diabolical energy, silent in it's damage to most!

    I liken fracking to taking the slats under your bed and beating them into splinters and then trying to jump into the bed at the end of the day, your'e simply going to lose some altitude…

    Add water contamination from things like benzene that are routinely pumped into the ground at these sites or the many other chemicals a unscrupulous company can and will pump into the ground to save millions in disposal fees and you get the ultimate witches brew in your (and my) water for hundreds of miles around…

    …maybe for decades or more!

    Admin please think about creating a new forum for this subject

    Too scary to leave out of the equation from both a water pollution and earthquake (nuclear power plant) perspective…

    We should all get on board to stop this real problem ASAP…

  • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar

    “…But the surge of solar and wind in red states, as well as in blue states, has created jobs and powerful Republican backers of these tax incentives. Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, for instance, takes credit for securing the tax incentives and wind provided nearly a third of Iowa’s electricity in 2015, a larger share than any other state. Some analyses show solar jobs exceeded oil and gas jobs starting in 2015. Even without federal tax incentives, there still would be strong demand for new renewable energy. States like California and Oregon have ambitious renewable energy requirements, aiming to get half of their electricity by 2030 and 2040, respectively….”

  • freebywill

    New Bill Could Kill Indiana's Rooftop Solar Sector by Lorraine Chow Jan. 28, 2017 02:29PM EST

    Lawmakers in Indiana have introduced a new measure that could wipe out the state's net metering system within a decade and squash the state's burgeoning solar energy sector.

    For the past 12 years, Indiana's net metering policy has credited homeowners and businesses with rooftop solar systems for the excess power their panels generate and send to the grid. However, Senate Bill 309 (SB309),

    authored by Republican State Senator Brandt Hershman,

    aims to eliminate this scheme by 2027 and replace it with a controversial "sell all, buy all" system.

    Under this proposed bill, rooftop solar owners would be forced to sell their electricity to the utility at a lower rate and buy it back at a higher rate.

    According to PV-Tech, solar consumers would have to sell their energy to the utility at wholesale rate of around US$0.03/kWh and then buy it back at the higher retail rate of around US$0.11/kWh.

    [ much more in the article. ]

    The pairing also speaks eloquently to the "squishiness" of American art, not only with regard to which artists we include in that cultural conversation, but also how we evaluate and critique artists who have traditionally been considered part of the.

  • HillbillyHoundDog HillbillyHoundDog

    DOE Report: Solar Creates More U.S. Electricity Jobs Than Oil, Gas, Coal, Nuclear Combined

  • unincredulous unincredulous

    9:00 mark Don't those advanced species know how to boil water with MOX nuclear fuel? FOOLS!

  • freebywill

    European Trains Go the Renewable Route

    Posted on Feb 13, 2017 By Alex Kirby / Climate News Network

    LONDON—Renewable energy is helping to power increasing numbers of the world’s road vehicles. Now several European countries are exploring the potential for using renewables to fuel their trains.

    In the Netherlands, every electric train running on the Dutch railway network has relied entirely on wind energy since 1 January. The network, NS Dutch Railways, is using an energy company’s turbines to generate the energy needed to power its entire electric fleet.

    Imperial College London is working with the 10:10 group in the Renewable Traction Power project, in which university researchers will look at connecting solar panels directly to the lines that provide power to trains. This would bypass the electricity grid in order to manage power demand from the trains more efficiently.

    A rail tunnel in Belgium has already been fitted with solar panels that provide current to passing trains. But the university says the UK researchers will be the first in the world to test the “completely unique” idea of trackside generation, which would have a “wide impact with commercial applications on electrified rail networks all over the world”.

    “[…] peak generation from solar and peak demand from the trains more or less match, but we can’t connect the two,” says10:10’s Leo Murray […]

  • HillbillyHoundDog HillbillyHoundDog

    Hiya, free! Fancy meeting you here! 😉
    In A First, Indian Navy Installs Solar Power System On Its Survey Ship
    Sun, Wind + Hydrogen to Power Energy Observer Boat For Six Years Around The World

  • freebywill

    Victory: These Two Cities Just Committed to 100% Renewable Energy

    Pueblo, Colorado and Moab, Utah, this week became the 22nd and 23rd cities in the U.S. to commit to transition to 100 percent clean, renewable energy. The Pueblo City Council approved Monday a measure committing to power the community entirely with renewable sources of energy like wind and solar by 2035. The vote was immediately followed on Tuesday by the Moab City Council approving a resolution committing Moab to 100 percent renewable energy by 2032.

  • freebywill

    Massachusetts Might Become America's First State to Commit to 100% Renewables

    The legislation, introduced in the House of Representatives by Rep. Sean Garballey and Marjorie Decker and in the Senate by Sen. Jamie Eldridge, establishes targets for Massachusetts to meet its electricity needs from renewable energy by 2035 and all of its energy needs, including heating and transportation, from renewable sources by 2050.

  • freebywill

    10 mins | Hot Dry Rock EnviroVideo Documentary #303 |

    Uploaded on Feb 13, 2007

    Hot Dry Rock – An energy free lunch! Yes, Hot Rock Geothermal Energy can supply all the energy we'll ever need, say scientists and environmentalists familiar with the technology. It taps the heat in the rock just below the ground. There is no environmental cost, no safety problems, no waste. And it works! This program explains how Hot Dry Rock Geothermal Energy functions – and why it's not being fully developed.

    [ here is an in depth paper concerning this technology ]

    " Short-term objectives will seek to increase steam production from a commercially developed hydrothermal field, […] knowledge achieved from the Fenton Hill experiments should now be transferred to The Geysers field in northern California. "
    [ translation: Taxpayer funded technology is to be given to corpopshychopirates. ]

    The Geysers |
    " The Geysers is the world's largest geothermal field, containing a complex of 22 geothermal power plants, drawing steam from more than 350 wells, located in the Mayacamas Mountains approximately 72 miles (116 km) north of San Francisco, California."

    [ owned by the Calpine Corp ] http://www.geysers

  • Jebus Jebus

    Action by those who can do…

    Tesla's Musk offers to fix South Australia's power crisis in 100 days

    Musk on Friday offered to save Australia's most renewable-energy
    dependent state from blackouts by installing $25 million worth
    of battery storage within 100 days, and offering it for free if
    he missed the target.

    "The government stands ready through ARENA and the CEFC to
    work with companies with serious proposals to support the
    deployment of more storage," Environment and Energy Minister
    Josh Frydenberg said in an email to Reuters.

  • freebywill


    From the very beginning, as we developed our company and technology, our motto has been "Go Big or Go Home." With that idea, we have developed the comprehensive, continuous flow technology required to cultivate algae on a large commercial scale for its oil and cellulose.

    " continuous flow algae oil "factory." Scipio Biofuels is the only company in the algae-to-biofuel industry that has a comprehensive system for the continuous high volume production of algae oil, from the solar collector thru the algae press. From start to finish, there are no queues or batch processing. We can process the algae as fast as our solar collector can grow it. In addition to this capability, our system has multiple proprietary features to maximize growth of the algae circulating in the solar collector. "

    [ this page provides basic info on some of the process segments ]

  • freebywill

    New Data Will Rank US Cities By Installed Solar Power

    As the Trump administration carries out significant rollbacks to Obama-era climate policies, Environment America Research & Policy Center will show that local governments can lead the transition to renewable energy.

    On Tuesday, April 4, Environment America will release new data ranking U.S. cities for installed solar power capacity in our annual "Shining Cities" report.

  • freebywill

    California Leads the Way in Solar Power

    For the first time, on the day of March 23, 40 percent of Californian grid power between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. was generated by utility-scale solar plants.

    California has so much solar power now that sometimes the price of electricity turns negative. Natural gas plant owners actually have to pay the state to take their electricity when that happens. But they make up for it during high-demand periods.

    The negative prices were not passed on to consumers because they get charged for the whole mix, and California electricity rates are among the highest in the country.

    California now has nearly 10 gigawatts of solar power. That is more than all of Britain. It is more than the entire country of France. Even more than the entire country of India.

  • obewanspeaks obewanspeaks

    Thor! 🙂

    If successful, the experimental project could produce up to 10 times more energy than an existing conventional gas or oil well, by generating electricity from the heat stored inside the earth: in this case, volcanic areas.

    Read more:
    Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

  • freebywill

    EU Clears France’s Support of Clean-Energy Expansion
    WILLIAM DOTINGA May 5, 2017

    (CN) – The European Commission on Friday approved France’s financial support of three renewable-energy schemes that will eventually produce 17 gigawatts of clean electricity – enough to power nearly 12 million homes.

    France’s efforts will help it achieve an EU-mandated target of producing 23 percent of its energy needs from renewable sources by 2020. The projects include an expansion of onshore wind farms, small-scale solar installations on residences and commercial buildings, and bringing efforts to turn sewage gas into electricity to full capacity.

    The wind-farm expansion will provide the bulk of the new clean energy: 15 gigawatts over the next 10 years. France expects the solar expansion will provide an additional 2.1 gigawatts of clean power, while expansion of the sewage gas power plants will net 160 megawatts.

    The three schemes have a combined annual budget of just under $1.4 billion.

    Use of public funds for the projects is within acceptable limits and in line with the EU’s environmental goals, while any competition distortion caused by France’s financial support of the project is minimal, the commission said.

    [ so $1.4b to produce 17gW … $14b (one nuke unit) to produce 1gW ]
    [ best is the solar plan here, " small-scale " – each building becomes self sufficient ]

    • freebywill

      [ cont. ] EU Clears France’s Support of Clean-Energy Expansion – the other thing interesting in this statement is " Use of public funds for the projects is within acceptable limits and in line with the EU’s environmental goals, >>>> while any competition distortion caused by France’s financial support of the project is minimal <<<<< , the commission said."

      [ competition is nuclear, I take the distortion to be either subsidies to the nuke industry due to falling electric rates, or phase out timelines, or maybe a little of both. ]

  • freebywill

    UK’s new record for solar power generation – beating nuclear and coal power on 26 May

    Ambrose 26 MAY 2017 The bank holiday heatwave has started with a new record for solar power generation which blazed to a quarter of the electricity mix on Friday afternoon.

    The nation’s solar panels scorched the previous record set last month by generating 8.7GW of power, more than nuclear and coal power combined.

    Solar power was the second most used generating technology behind gas-fired power and made up around 25pc of the UK’s electricity, its highest ever share of the market on a working week day.The UK now has just over 12GW of solar power in place, the same production capacity as eight new-generation nuclear reactors.

    [ more at the link ]

  • freebywill

    Solar Tents Improve Nutrition in Highlands Villages in Bolivia

    PHUYUWASI, Bolivia, Jun 7 2017 (IPS) – In this remote highlands valley community in central Bolivia, a group of Quechua indigenous women have learned how to combat the intense frosts and the shortage of water in solar tents, and to use what they grow to prepare nutritious new meals for their families.

    “I used to buy vegetables for 100 Bolivian pesos (about 12 dollars), but now I save that money,” said Vallejos, the only participant in the project who speaks Spanish as well as their mother tongue, Quechua.

    After two years of skills training, “there is no more (child) malnutrition. We used to not eat well, now we eat clean and we know what we are eating. We are stronger eating these vegetables,” said Vallejos.

    When the extension workers arrived in 2015, the local diet consisted mainly of rice, eggs and occasionally chicken. Today the daily intake of the members of the families involved in the project has increased by about 800 calories in proteins, vitamins and minerals provided by the vegetables they grow, said Crespo.

    Local farmers did not used to grow radishes, beets, cucumbers, squash, green beans, broccoli or spinach, but today “my father is interested in expanding the solar tent so that his children grow strong” with the production and intake of vegetables, said Rojas.

    [ more at link ]

  • freebywill

    Solar Soars as Suniva Case Looms

    There is never a dull moment in the solar industry, but one thing that has been consistent is growth. The Solar Energy Industries Association and GTM Research Q2 2017 U.S. Solar Market Insight report shows just that. The U.S. solar industry added more than 2,044 megawatts of new capacity in the first quarter of this year, marking the sixth straight quarter in which more than two gigawatts of solar was installed.

    States such as Utah, Texas and South Carolina continue to scale in the residential sector and are growing into significant national solar players. New York was welcomed into the "Solar Gigawatt Club," as all top 10 solar states now have more than one gigawatt of capacity installed.

  • freebywill

    World's Largest Floating Solar Farm Now Online

    Just last week, around the same time President Donald Trump announced the U.S. is pulling out of the landmark Paris climate agreement, China officially switched on the world's largest floating solar farm.

    Located near the city of Huainan, the power station can generate 40 megawatts of electricity—or enough to power 15,000 homes, according to operator Sungrow. The panels float on a surface of the water that ranges in depth from four to 10 meters.

    The clean power plant is a symbolic turnaround for the Anhui province, "an area that for years saw intensive coal mining," as the South China Morning Post reports. The New York Times also notably points out that the solar facility was even built on top of a lake that was created by the collapse of abandoned coal mines.

    "The plant not only makes full use of this area, reducing the demand for lands, but also improves generation due to the cooling effects of the surface," a local government official explained.

    Installing solar panels on top of water bodies can be ideal for a number of reasons. For instance, compared to mounted rooftop panels, floating panels are cooled by the water they sit on, boosting power production efficiency. The panels also shade the water itself, and limits the growth of algae.

  • Jebus Jebus

    Future looks bright for solar in South Carolina

    With President Donald Trump's recent announcement the U.S. would pull out of an international climate change agreement, it's comforting to know that South Carolinians will still bask in the sunlight as the future of solar energy appears vibrant.

    Once considered cost prohibitive and even gimmicky to some, solar power is gaining more acceptance in the mainstream. Demand is rising, making solar more marketable. Evidence of that can be seen in remarks from company officials.

    "Power from this project will be sold for under 4 cents per kilowatt-hour, one of the lowest prices for solar seen yet in the state," said William Moore, principal of Adger Solar. "Because this price is fixed over the 20-year purchase contract, it should create significant savings for utility companies and their ratepayers."

    Decreasing ratepayer costs should be music to Aiken County homeowners' ears, especially with cost overruns at a nuclear plant partially owned by SCANA coupled with surging gas prices this past spring due to a controversial fee imposed by a subsidiary of the private utility, a fee many say discourages energy conservation.

  • freebywill

    New ‘Solar Paint’ Turns Your Entire House into Source of Clean Energy

    By Matt Agorist – June 16, 2017

    Researchers in Australia, from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT), have developed a solar paint that can absorb water vapor and split the molecule to separate it into hydrogen — the cleanest source of energy.

    The research has recently been published as “Surface Water Dependent Properties of Sulfur Rich Molybdenum Sulphides – Electrolyteless Gas Phase Water Splitting” in ACS Nano, a journal of the American Chemical Society.

    As Inverse reports, Although Daeneke thinks it will take at least 5 years to engineer the final product, he expects the paint will be very cheap. Since there are already cars and buses that are hydrogen powered today, Daeneke says, once the collection process is completed this could be a powerful source of clean energy in the future.

    [ more at the article ]

    • earthsmith earthsmith

      Interesting but how long before those nanos start splitting molecules in humans?
      Never was a fan of nano machines…at least not the ones engineered by human. No foresight. <It's already been proven, dare I say planet Earth. Team Science!

  • freebywill

    Local Govt Bans Solar Panels, Fearing they Would “Suck Up All the Energy from the Sun”

    By Matt Agorist – December 14, 2015

    Woodland, NC

    Strata Solar was attempting to get a section of land rezoned at a council meeting last week, so they could begin construction on the new farm.

    During the period for public comment, a science teacher, Jane Mann took to the podium to explain why she didn’t want any solar in her town.

    Jane Mann told the council that she is “concerned that photosynthesis, which depends upon sunlight, would not happen and would keep the plants from growing.” She then went on to question the safety of the passive energy production of solar, citing a number of cancer deaths in the area.

    After Jane Mann expressed her concern, her husband Bobby Mann took to the pulpit to drive home their case by saying the “solar farms would suck up all the energy from the sun and businesses would not come to Woodland.”

    “You’re killing your town,” he said. “All the young people are going to move out.”

    In a 3 to 1 vote, the council made the most ridiculous decision ever made by a government – and the residents couldn’t be happier.

    After the council voted to reject the rezoning and deny the solar farm production, they later voted for a moratorium on all future solar production as well, solidifying their place in history as the town that banned renewable energy.

  • Jebus Jebus

    10 Predictions for Rooftop Solar in 2017

    December 23, 2016

    10. President Trump will embrace solar because it is cheaper and continues to be a jobs engine. He will follow in Obama’s footsteps as he welcomes a solar system on the top of his new house for the next four to eight years.


    Rooftop Solar Boom Set to Spread Worldwide as Costs Plunge

    June 15, 2017

    Solar and energy storage will help contribute to a global reduction in the burning of fossil fuels and emissions of carbon dioxide. Emissions of the greenhouse gas will peak in 2026, and be 4 percent lower in 2040 than in 2016, the report showed.

  • freebywill

    For First Time Ever, U.S. Gets 10% of Electricity From Wind and Solar

    Renewable energy set a new record this past March, accounting for 10 percent of electricity generation in the U.S., according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).

    Specifically, wind power comprised 8 percent and solar came in at 2 percent.

    The EIA expects April's renewable energy slice to also exceed 10 percent of total generation when the numbers are finalized. The agency said that wind and solar generation usually reaches its highest level in either the spring or fall due to low electricity demand.

    Sure, the renewable energy bump can be attributed to seasonal bouts, but March's 10 percent benchmark is still a remarkable increase from the same time last year. As Quartz pointed out, the U.S. produced 65 percent more solar and 17 percent more wind in March 2017 than it did in March 2016.

    This chart shows a number of states where wind and solar made up more than 10 percent of electricity generation in 2016. More than a third of Iowa's energy now comes from wind and solar and Texas generates more wind than any other state.

  • freebywill

    12 Girls Create Solar-Powered Tent to Tackle Homelessness

    They didn't know how to sew. They didn't know how to code. They didn't know how to solder. And they had never used a 3D printer before. But 12 girls at San Fernando High School taught themselves all these skills—and more—to create a solar-powered tent for homeless people.

    It's a feat of scientific ingenuity that shows how much potential is squandered every day when girls aren't encouraged to pursue STEM careers as much as boys traditionally have been. And it shows the astonishing imaginative reach of young people.

    The solar-powered tent has button-powered lights, USB ports, and a sanitizing UVC light. It features insulated fabric and has a safety locking system. Taking into account the vagrant experiences of most homeless people, the tent even collapses into a backpack that can be rolled around or worn with straps.

    [ great story – more at the link ]

  • Not long ago, solar was barely a rounding error for California’s energy producers.

    In 2010, power plants in the state generated just over 15% of their electricity production from renewable sources. But that was mostly wind and geothermal power, with only a scant 0.5% from solar. Now that overall amount has grown to 27%, with solar power accounting for 10%, or most of the increase. The solar figure doesn’t include the hundreds of thousands of rooftop solar systems that produce an additional 4 percentage points, a share that is ever growing.

    A key question in the debate is when California will be able to rely on renewable power for most or all of its needs and safely phase out fossil fuel plants, which regulators are studying.

    The answer depends in large part on how fast battery storage improves, so it is cheaper and can store power closer to customers for use when the sun isn’t shining. Solar proponents say the technology is advancing rapidly, making reliance on renewables possible far sooner than previously predicted, perhaps two decades or even less from now — which means little need for new power plants with a life span of 30 to 40 years.

  • freebywill

    Cheaper Solar Power Forces World’s Largest Coal Company to Close 37 Mines

    From an article by The Independent:

    “The largest coal mining company in the world has announced it will close 37 mines because they are no longer economically viable.”

    “Coal India, which produces around 82 percent of India’s coal, said the mines would be decommissioned by March 2018.”

  • freebywill


    The Columbia City Council on Tuesday unanimously approved a resolution establishing a community-wide goal of transitioning to 100 percent clean and renewable energy by 2036.

    Columbia represents the first city or town in South Carolina to commit to 100 percent renewable energy and the 36th city in the United States to make such a commitment.

    Columbia’s move to 100 percent renewable energy comes just one day after Sarasota, Florida became the 35th city in the country to adopt a goal of moving to 100 percent clean energy.

    Columbia mayor Steve Benjamin is a co-chair of the Mayors for 100% Clean Energy initiative.

    In May, Columbia Mayor Benjamin issued a new mayoral proclamation endorsing a goal of powering Columbia entirely with clean and renewable energy.

    The mayor also introduced a landmark resolution to the U.S. Conference of Mayors that would formally establish support from the nation’s mayors for the goal of 100 percent renewable energy in cities nationwide.

    The resolution will be voted on at this weekend’s U.S. Conference of Mayors annual meeting in Miami Beach.

    [ This is substantial, apprx 40km NW of Columbia is the Virgil Summer NPS. Currently one operating unit with 2 AP1000 units under construction. ]

    • freebywill

      Columbia, SC commits to 100 percent clean energy

      The Columbia City Council on Tuesday unanimously approved a resolution establishing a community-wide goal of transitioning to 100 percent clean and renewable energy by 2036.

      Columbia represents the first city or town in South Carolina to commit to 100 percent renewable energy and the 36th city in the United States to make such a commitment.

      Columbia’s move to 100 percent renewable energy comes just one day after Sarasota, Florida became the 35th city in the country to adopt a goal of moving to 100 percent clean energy.

      Columbia mayor Steve Benjamin is a co-chair of the Mayors for 100% Clean Energy initiative.

      In May, Columbia Mayor Benjamin issued a new mayoral proclamation endorsing a goal of powering Columbia entirely with clean and renewable energy.

      The mayor also introduced a landmark resolution to the U.S. Conference of Mayors that would formally establish support from the nation’s mayors for the goal of 100 percent renewable energy in cities nationwide.

      The resolution will be voted on at this weekend’s U.S. Conference of Mayors annual meeting in Miami Beach.

      [ This is substantial, apprx 40km NW of Columbia is the Virgil Summer NPS. Currently one operating unit with 2 AP1000 units under construction. ]

  • freebywill

    Huge Milestone: Renewables Now Provide More Electricity Than Nuclear Power

    The latest issue of the U.S. Energy Information's "Electric Power Monthly" (with data through April 30) reveals that—for the first time since the beginning of the nuclear era—renewable energy sources (i.e., biomass, geothermal, hydropower, solar—inc. small-scale PV, wind) are now providing a greater share of the nation's electrical generation than nuclear power.

    For the first third of this year, renewables and nuclear power have been running neck-in-neck with renewables providing 20.20 percent of U.S. net electrical generation during the four-month period (January to April) compared to 20.75 percent for nuclear power. But in March and April, renewables surpassed nuclear power and have taken a growing lead:
    21.60 percent (renewables) vs. 20.34 percent (nuclear) in March, and
    22.98 percent (renewables) vs. 19.19 percent (nuclear) in April.

    [ more at the link ]

  • freebywill

    Solar Costs Are Hitting Jaw-Dropping Lows in Every Region of the World

    This may sound a little repetitive, but it's impossible to ignore: The decline in solar costs is not slowing down.

    GTM Research expects a 27 percent drop in average global project prices by 2022, or about 4.4 percent each year. Those improvements are not limited to the U.S. They are occurring globally, and in some cases resulting in even sharper price declines than those America is experiencing.

    The data comes from a new PV system pricing forecast from GTM Research Solar Analyst Ben Gallagher.

    [ many charts and trend analysis at the link ]

  • freebywill

    U.S. Mayors Back 100% Renewable Energy, Vow to Fill Climate Leadership Void

    As the nation's mayors closed their annual meeting on Monday in Miami Beach, they sent a clear signal that cities are looking for action on climate change and are eager to fill a policy gap created by the Trump administration.

    The United States Conference of Mayors, which includes both Republican and Democratic mayors from cities across the nation, adopted a series of resolutions that are far more assertive than federal climate policy, including a pledge supporting cities' adoption of 100 percent renewable energy by 2035.

    A move toward renewable energy could be among the most consequential steps taken by cities. According to an analysis by the Sierra Club, which has been working with a group of mayors on the issue, if all the conference's cities were to adopt 100 percent renewable energy, they could cut carbon dioxide emission by 619 million metric tons, equivalent to the emissions of about 180 coal plants. So far, mayors of 120 cities have signed the Sierra Club's pledge supporting a transition to using only renewable power.

  • freebywill

    Standing Rock Sioux Tribe receives $1 million investment to transition away from fossil fuels

    This week the Wallace Global Fund awarded the prestigious Henry A. Wallace Award and a $250,000 prize to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe for its role in the fight against the Dakota Access Pipeline and its commitment to transitioning to renewable energy.

    The tribe will also receive up to $1 million in investments from the Wallace Global Fund to support its transition toward fossil fuel independence.

    Tribal Chairman David Archambault II accepted the award on Thursday during a ceremony in New York. Following the ceremony was a briefing on the upcoming solar and wind energy projects taking place on the Standing Rock Reservation.

    This new award was established this year by the Wallace Global Fund to highlight organizations that stand up to oppressive corporate and political power.

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