solar

Inside Duke Energy’s renewables strategy | Utility Dive

July 7, 2015 // 0 Comments

Today, most rooftop solar arrays are installed by third party providers like SolarCity and SunRun — not regulated utilities. But as solar proliferates, its residential adopters pay less money to the utility because they can generate or offset a portion of their electricity demand. That means utilities — many of them already facing stagnant or negative load growth — can see significant portions of their revenue lost if solar catches on among their customers. Worse, they argue, solar adopters still use the grid, but pay less for its upkeep, forcing those costs onto other customers. Source: Inside Duke Energy’s renewables strategy | Utility Dive

China To Build 50MW Solar Power Plant In Kenya Amid Investment Boom

June 15, 2015 // 0 Comments

China is set to construct a solar power plant in Kenya as part of an ongoing investment plan between the two countries, media reports said Sunday. The 50-megawatt plant, which is planned to be built in the city of Garissa, will be financed by the Export-Import Bank of China, reports said, citing China’s ambassador to Kenya, Liu Xianfa. Source: China To Build 50MW Solar Power Plant In Kenya Amid Investment Boom

POWER, PEOPLE, PLANET

June 15, 2015 // 0 Comments

For Sub-Saharan Africa, 2015 is a turning point. The summits on sustainable development, financing and climate change are swinging the spotlight not only onto Africa’s needs to accelerate development and adapt to global warming, but also onto the region’s urgent energy crisis. Two in three Africans lack access to electricity. http://www.africaprogresspanel.org/publications/policy-papers/2015-africa-progress-report/

US solar PV grows 1.3 GW in Q1, installed cost drops 10% | Utility Dive

June 12, 2015 // 0 Comments

U.S. residential solar photovoltaic (PV) installed capacity grew by 437 MW in Q1 2015, a 76% increase over Q1 2014, according to the “Q1 U.S. Solar Market Insight report” from GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association. The average residential installed cost was $3.48 per watt, 10% below Q1 2014’s installed cost. Source: US solar PV grows 1.3 GW in Q1, installed cost drops 10% | Utility Dive

EEI 2015: Why Elon Musk thinks the future is bright for utilities | Utility Dive

June 10, 2015 // 0 Comments

Interview with Elon Musk and SoCal CEO Ted Craver on Utility Dive, excellent read The key, Musk said, is the shift toward an electricity-based economy. As consumers transition from petroleum-fueled vehicles to electric ones, Musk predicted that electricity demand would double or more, creating a huge new market for utility services. In the long run, distributed generation will likely account for about a third of electricity generation, Musk said, so there will still be plenty of need for central station power and the grid. Source: EEI 2015: Why Elon Musk thinks the future is bright for utilities | Utility Dive

How utilities can thrive through the ‘all-encompassing evolution’ of the grid | Utility Dive

June 10, 2015 // 0 Comments

.. But the changes in how energy is marketed and distributed has also thrown a wrench into the traditional utility business model, and has left utilities struggling to understand their revenues and where they fit into the new energy future.“So many of the assumptions that have traditionally underpinned the grid are changing so quickly that the rules of the game, from a revenue perspective, are being rewritten,” Lawrence said. Source: How utilities can thrive through the ‘all-encompassing evolution’ of the grid | Utility Dive

Innovative battery technology can benefit utilities | The Big Data Hub

June 9, 2015 // 0 Comments

IBM’s Jennifer Potter published a post about energy storage and the possible benefits for utilities: Tesla’s Powerwall Home Battery seems poised to wean consumers off the big grid. A recent TechCrunch article claims that a single battery pack, valued at $3,000, will let a household run entirely on solar energy. On the other hand, Wired’s Rhett Allain challenges these claims by explaining the physics of energy storage. According to Allain, a single 10 kWh Powerwall could not meet the electricity demands of a typical household. Surveys conducted by the U.S. Energy Information Administration average typical household use at 30 kWh a day, therefore, a customer would need three Powerwalls to stay off the grid entirely. Three powerwalls can be arranged, but this would only work for sunny states and countries. I don’t think that west- and nordic European countries have enough sunshine in the winter to even supply themselves with solar power. Source: Innovative battery technology can benefit utilities | The Big Data Hub

Researchers Use Graphene to Push the Speed Limit of Light to Electricity Conversion – Solar Thermal Magazine

June 5, 2015 // 0 Comments

The ultrafast creation of a photovoltage in graphene is possible due to the extremely fast and efficient interaction between all conduction band carriers in graphene. This interaction leads to a rapid creation of an electron distribution with an elevated electron temperature. Thus, the energy absorbed from light is efficiently and rapidly converted into electron heat. Next, the electron heat is converted into a voltage at the interface of two graphene regions with different doping. This photo-thermoelectric Source: Researchers Use Graphene to Push the Speed Limit of Light to Electricity Conversion – Solar Thermal Magazine

NRG Energy sees shining future for solar

June 4, 2015 // 0 Comments

Nice to see that big companies are thinking along innovative lines ! For Crane, the CEO of NRG Energy (NRG), the biggest independent producer of electricity in the U.S., conventional coal, natural gas and nuclear plants provide the bulk of his company’s $3.8 billion in revenue. But Crane foresees a day not so far off when new technologies like rooftop solar and batteries will turn the electric power industry upside down, and NRG is moving in that direction.”I think electricity today is where the telecom industry was about 1990,” Crane said in an interview with USA TODAY. “The fixed line is still out there, right? But I can’t tell you the last time I made a long-distance call from my home phone.” Source: NRG Energy sees shining future for solar