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However, there are alternative GTL technologies available that are optimised for small-scale integration within refineries and chemical plants to significantly reduce flaring and venting while allowing for environmental and economic returns. For example, our company took the approach of building modular GTL systems with minimal utility requirements that can be fully met by existing onsite electricity and cooling water systems, keeping the total project cost low. They are built offsite at a fabrication facility and then transported to the refinery or chemical plant site, where they are assembled and then commissioned, keeping construction time and onsite labor costs down by comparison with the traditional stick-built approach. Once in operation, the GTL systems produce high-quality gasoline or methanol from off-gas streams, while also producing a separate stream of hydrogen-rich vent gas that can be used as an additional onsite hydrogen or fuel source.

In the 1980s and early 1990s, most photovoltaic modules provided remote-area power supply, but from around 1995, industry efforts have focused increasingly on developing building integrated photovoltaics and power plants for grid connected applications (see photovoltaic power stations article for details). Currently the largest photovoltaic power plant in North America is the Nellis Solar Power Plant (15 MW).[20][21] There is a proposal to build a Solar power station in Victoria, Australia, which would be the world’s largest PV power station, at 154 MW.[22][23] Other large photovoltaic power stations include the Girassol solar power plant (62 MW),[24] and the Waldpolenz Solar Park (40 MW).[25]

^ “Solar Photovoltaics competing in the energy sector – On the road to competitiveness” (PDF). EPIA. Archived from the original (PDF) on 26 February 2013. Retrieved August 2012. Check date values in: |access-date= (help)

Every few seconds, almost every one of the hundreds of turbines records the wind speed and its own power output. Every five minutes they dispatch data to high-performance computers 100 miles away at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder. There artificial-intelligence-based software crunches the numbers, along with data from weather satellites, weather stations, and other wind farms in the state. The result: wind power forecasts of unprecedented accuracy that are making it possible for Colorado to use far more renewable energy, at lower cost, than utilities ever thought possible.

Fossouo nodded. “What if I gave you a way to pay for it?” he asked. “So the dollar wouldn’t even come from your pocket? If you get a system, people will pay you to charge their phones. Or, if you had a TV, you could charge people to come watch the football games.”

Beginning with the surge in coal use which accompanied the Industrial Revolution, energy consumption has steadily transitioned from wood and biomass to fossil fuels. The early development of solar technologies starting in the 1860s was driven by an expectation that coal would soon become scarce. However, development of solar technologies stagnated in the early 20th century in the face of the increasing availability, economy, and utility of coal and petroleum.[107]

Because it is a renewable resource which is non-polluting and renewable, wind turbines create power without using fossil fuels, without producing greenhouse gases or radioactive or toxic waste. Wind power is one of the best ways to combat global warming.

Even when aid agencies are well funded, they haven’t always delivered. Over the last decade, a strong critique of aid, ranging from William Easterly’s “The White Man’s Burden” to Dambisa Moyo’s “Dead Aid,” has laid much of the blame for Africa’s continued underdevelopment on the weaknesses of sweeping programs planned from afar. Still, aid agencies and global-development banks have a useful role to play in the energy transition. It will be years before it makes financial sense for solar companies to expand to the most remote and challenging regions of the continent. As new companies launch, they will need an infusion of what Helgesen calls “ultra-high-risk capital.” Private investors will supply it, he says, “but they want forty per cent of your company in return, which makes it hard to raise capital later on, because you’ve already sold off such a big chunk.” Some aid agencies have funded private ventures in the early stages, to help them get off the ground or reach new geographic areas. U.S.A.I.D. gave Off-Grid five million dollars toward its early costs, and, over the past few years, a Dutch development agency has given the company several hundred thousand euros as it has extended into the impoverished lakes region of Tanzania, where it otherwise wouldn’t have been profitable to go. Currency risks pose another problem: Poindexter told me that when she builds a Ghanaian microgrid she has invested in an asset with a twenty-year life span in a country where inflation is highly unpredictable. “We just had an election in the U.S. with huge consequences for policy,” she said. “But over here every election is potentially like that.” And, like anywhere in the world, national governments can make things easier by establishing clear policies. Rwanda’s leaders, for instance, specified the regions in which the rapidly developing country planned to extend its grid, thereby delineating where solar would be needed most.

But not every state and county in the country is operating on the newest version of the codes—or any at all. New Hampshire, where the January fire occurred, is still using the 2009 version of the NFPA codes, which don’t include safety requirements for photovoltaic panels.

The NFPA and ICC publish their codes as model documents. It’s up to individual counties to decide which edition to implement, and if they want to make adjustments on a local level. “You can go across the country and some are on the 2015 [codes] already, some are on the 2012, some on 2009,” says fire code consultant Bob Davidson, who helps write the codes. Florida uses the 2012 NFPA code. Alabama, right next door, still uses the 2009 version of the International Fire Code.

The World Wide Fund for Nature and several green electricity labelling organizations created the (now defunct) Eugene Green Energy Standard under which the national green electricity certification schemes could be accredited to ensure that the purchase of green energy leads to the provision of additional new green energy resources.[73]

Batteries were usually only used in stand alone power systems – such as a rooftop solar power system or wind turbine system – however, stand alone power systems can be designed to run without battery backup.

And, despite critics’ complaints that moving to renewables would stymie economic growth and increase the electric bills of customers throughout the state, it’s actually been quite the opposite. In the last seven years, California has seen a massive construction boom in the solar- and wind-energy sectors. The price of solar power has dropped to under $30 in 2016 from around $136 per megawatt-hour in 2008, while wind power prices have fallen to $51 in 2015 from $97 per megawatt-hour in 2007, per the report. Over the same period, the state has seen greenhouse-gas emissions from electricity generation decrease nearly every year.

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Jump up ^ ‹See Tfd›”DOE Finalizes $737 Million Loan Guarantee to Tonopah Solar Energy https://www.youtube.com/edit?o=U&video_id=QSTaV_DX6ec Nevada Project” (Press release). Loan Programs Office (LPO), Dept. of Energy (DOE). September 28, 2011. Retrieved 29 September 2011.

High efficiency10 W 12V Polycrystalline Solar Module Panel W/ 3ft Wire. Our goal is to provide you quality solar products, with reasonable price. Anodized aluminum frames & high transparent low iron tempered glass, providing exceptional panel rigidity.

The California Solar Initiative offers cash incentives on solar PV systems of up to $2.50 a watt. These incentives, combined with federal tax incentives, can cover up to 50% of the total cost of a solar panel system.[102] Financial incentives to support renewable energy are available in some other US states.[103]

A Green Energy Supply Certification Scheme was launched in the United Kingdom in February 2010. This implements guidelines from the Energy Regulator, Ofgem, and sets requirements on transparency, the matching of sales by renewable energy supplies, and additionality.[77]

A PV cell is made of semiconductor material. When photons strike a PV cell, they may reflect off the cell, pass through the cell, or be absorbed by the semiconductor material. Only the absorbed photons provide energy to generate electricity. When the semiconductor material absorbs enough sunlight (solar energy), electrons are dislodged from the material’s atoms. Special treatment of the material surface during manufacturing makes the front surface of the cell more receptive to the dislodged, or free, electrons so the that the electrons naturally migrate to the surface of the cell.

Technology advances are opening up a huge new market for solar power: the approximately 1.3 billion people around the world who don’t have access to grid electricity. Even though they are typically very poor, these people have to pay far more for lighting than people in rich countries because they use inefficient kerosene lamps. Solar power costs half as much as lighting with kerosene.[134] As of 2010, an estimated 3 million households get power from small solar PV systems.[135] Kenya is the world leader in the number of solar power systems installed per capita. More than 30,000 very small solar panels, each producing 12 to 30 watts, are sold in Kenya annually. Some Small Island Developing States (SIDS) are also turning to solar power to reduce their costs and increase their sustainability.[136]

The 1973 oil embargo and 1979 energy crisis caused a reorganization of energy policies around the world and brought renewed attention to developing solar technologies.[108][109] Deployment strategies focused on incentive programs such as the Federal Photovoltaic Utilization Program in the U.S. and the Sunshine Program in Japan. Other efforts included the formation of research facilities in the U.S. (SERI, now NREL), Japan (NEDO), and Germany (Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE).[110]

In Oklahoma City, where solar panels haven’t caught on, the fire department hasn’t felt the need to adopt any new protocols, says Julian Gaona, a captain at the Oklahoma City Fire Department. “In my 20 years, I’ve never seen a solar panel on a roof. It’s really not necessary,” he says. He’s not an outlier: Oklahoma has just 5.2 megawatts of solar capacity, compared with Vermont’s 168.5 megawatts. Though his department isn’t trained to deal with a solar panel fire today, he says they’ll be ready to train for it if and when locals start installing the systems.

America needs energy that is secure, reliable, improves public health, protects the environment, addresses climate change, creates jobs, and provides technological leadership. America needs renewable energy. If renewable energy is to be developed to its full potential, America will need coordinated, sustained federal and state policies that expand renewable energy markets; promote and deploy new technology; and provide appropriate opportunities to encourage renewable energy use in all critical energy market sectors: wholesale and distributed electricity generation, thermal energy applications, and transportation.[16]


  1. Molly

    For example, a 2009 UCS analysis found that a 25 percent by 2025 national renewable electricity standard would lower power plant CO2 emissions 277 million metric tons annually by 2025—the equivalent of the annual output from 70 typical (600 MW) new coal plants [4].
    You can check how much renewable energy your supplier (or any other) is producing by looking at its ‘fuel mix’ information. This information should be on their website, because suppliers are required by Ofgem to publish these figures annually. It shows how much of the power they sell has come from coal, gas, nuclear sources, renewable sources and other sources.
    The amount of solar energy that the earth receives each day is many times greater than the total amount of all energy that people consume. However, on the surface of the earth, solar energy is a variable and intermittent energy source. The amount of sunlight and the intensity of sunlight varies by time of day and location. Weather and climate conditions affect the availability of sunlight on a daily and seasonal basis. The type and size of a solar energy collection and conversion system determines how much of the available solar energy we can convert into useful energy.
    Nuclear fission is one method, but it would require widespread implementation of breeder reactors (11). Estimated terrestrial U resources are sufficient to produce ≈100 TW-yr of electricity using conventional once-through U reactor technology. Hence, if 10 TW of power were obtained from conventional nuclear fission, the terrestrial U resource base would be exhausted at that level in less than a decade (in fact, it would be exhausted after the first 30 yr of reactor construction because of the fuel consumed during the rampup phase). Moreover, construction of nuclear power plants would need to proceed at a very rapid rate by historical standards (one 1-GWe (gigawatt-electric) power plant every 1.6 days for the next 45 yr). The international tokamak (magnetic confinement fusion) experiment (ITER) is now scheduled to demonstrate an energy breakeven point in 35 yr for a few minutes of operational time. Although fusion might possibly provide significant commercial energy late in the 21st century, the ITER time line is much too far in the future to provide a credible option to make a significant contribution to the amount of cost-effective carbon-neutral energy production needed to meet any reasonable atmospheric CO2 concentration target in the next 40–50 yr.

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