Geothermal power. Energy left over from the original accretion of the planet and augmented by heat from radioactive decay seeps out slowly everywhere, everyday. In certain areas the geothermal gradient (increase in temperature with depth) is high enough to exploit to generate electricity. This possibility is limited to a few locations on Earth and many technical problems exist that limit its utility. Another form of geothermal energy is Earth energy, a result of the heat storage in the Earth’s surface. Soil everywhere tends to stay at a relatively constant temperature, the yearly average, and can be used with heat pumps to heat a building in winter and cool a building in summer. This form of energy can lessen the need for other power to maintain comfortable temperatures in buildings, but cannot be used to produce electricity.
CiteScore: 4.52 ℹ CiteScore measures the average citations received per document published in this title. CiteScore values are based on citation counts in a given year (e.g. 2015) to documents published in three previous calendar years (e.g. 2012 – 14), divided by the number of documents in these three previous years (e.g. 2012 – 14).
Commercial concentrating solar power (CSP) plants, also called “solar thermal power stations”, were first developed in the 1980s. The 377 MW Ivanpah Solar Power Facility, located in California’s Mojave Desert, is the world’s largest solar thermal power plant project. Other large CSP plants include the Solnova Solar Power Station (150 MW), the Andasol solar power station (150 MW), and Extresol Solar Power Station (150 MW), all in Spain. The principal advantage of CSP is the ability to efficiently add thermal storage, allowing the dispatching of electricity over up to a 24-hour period. Since peak electricity demand typically occurs at about 5 pm, many CSP power plants use 3 to 5 hours of thermal storage.
If nothing is done to check these trends, the U.S. electric utility as we know it could be utterly upended. The report compares utilities’ possible future to the experience of the airlines during deregulation or to the big monopoly phone companies when faced with upstart cellular technologies. In case the point wasn’t made, the report also analogizes utilities to the U.S. Postal Service, Kodak, and RIM, the maker of Blackberry devices. These are not meant to be flattering comparisons.
Leon, M.; Kumar, S. (2007). “Mathematical modeling and thermal performance analysis of unglazed transpired solar collectors”. Solar Energy. 81 (1): 62–75. Bibcode:2007SoEn…81…62L. doi:10.1016/j.solener.2006.06.017.
Remember, too, that these utilities are not Google or Facebook. They are not accustomed to a state of constant market turmoil and reinvention. This is a venerable old boys network, working very comfortably within a business model that has been around, virtually unchanged, for a century. A friggin’ century, more or less without innovation, and now they’re supposed to scramble and be all hip and new-age? Unlikely.
Hybrid systems consist of combining different types of energy production systems into a single power supply system. The most common type of hybrid system is combining a solar system with a wind generator; however, hybrid energy systems can integrate solar panels, diesel generator, batteries, and an inverter into the same system.
The EPA named the top 20 partners in its Green Power Partnership that are generating their own renewable energy on-site. Combined, they generate more than 736 million kilowatt-hours of renewable energy on-site each year, enough to power more than 61,000 average U.S. homes.
First-generation technologies are most competitive in locations with abundant resources. Their future use depends on the exploration of the available resource potential, particularly in developing countries, and on overcoming challenges related to the environment and social acceptance.
President Trump has derided renewable energy as “really just an expensive way of making the tree huggers feel good about themselves.” But many Western entrepreneurs see solar power in Africa as a chance to reach a large market and make a substantial profit. This is a nascent industry, which, at the moment, represents a small percentage of the electrification in the region, and is mostly in rural areas. There’s plenty of uncertainty about its future, and no guarantee that it will spread at the pace of cell phones. Still, in the past eighteen months, these businesses have brought electricity to hundreds of thousands of consumers—many of them in places that the grid failed to reach, despite a hundred-year head start. Funding, much of it from private investors based in Silicon Valley or Europe, is flowing into this sector—more than two hundred million dollars in venture capital last year, up from nineteen million in 2013—and companies are rapidly expanding their operations with the new money. M-Kopa, an American startup that launched in Kenya, in 2011, now has half a million pay-as-you-go solar customers; d.light, a competitor with offices in California, Kenya, China, and India, says that it is adding eight hundred new households a day. Nicole Poindexter, the founder and C.E.O. of Black Star, told me that every million dollars the company raises in venture capital delivers power to seven thousand people. She expects Black Star to be profitable within the next three years.
As installers have gained more experience, they’ve become much more efficient at mounting panels. Installations that used to take days now can be done in just hours, one reason the cost of solar has dropped in recent years.
With over 100% year-on-year growth in PV system installation, PV module makers dramatically increased their shipments of solar modules in 2010. They actively expanded their capacity and turned themselves into gigawatt GW players. According to PVinsights, five of the top ten PV module companies in 2010 are GW players. Suntech, First Solar, Sharp, Yingli and Trina Solar are GW producers now, and most of them doubled their shipments in 2010.
Make your visit to California Solar Expo even more productive by attending SEIA’s Annual Codes & Standards Symposium. This is your opportunity to keep current on the on-going development and completion cycles of the relevant requirements and to help shape the future of solar regulations to keep solar a viable and thriving market.
Solar dish/engine systems use a mirrored dish similar to a very large satellite dish. To reduce costs, the mirrored dish is usually composed of many smaller flat mirrors formed into a dish shape. The dish-shaped surface directs and concentrates sunlight onto a thermal receiver, which absorbs and collects the heat and transfers it to an engine generator. The most common type of heat engine used in dish/engine systems is the Stirling engine. This system uses the fluid heated by the receiver to move pistons and create mechanical power. The mechanical power runs a generator or alternator to produce electricity.
Currently, less than ten percent of all the energy we use comes from renewable sources. So, you might be wondering, ‘if renewable energy sources do not harm the environment and will not run out, then why are we not using them everywhere and all the time?’ It is because many of them are currently expensive to harness, are inefficient, or have other disadvantages. For example, using energy from the wind might be great in an area that is really windy all year-round, but it wouldn’t work so well in an area with very little wind.
The consumption of biofuels and other nonhydroelectric renewable energy sources more than doubled from 2000 to 2016, mainly because of state and federal government mandates and incentives for renewable energy. The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) projects that the use of renewable energy in the United States will continue to grow through 2040.
Forecasting solar power is next for NCAR and Xcel, but that can be even trickier than wind. For one thing, Xcel doesn’t get information about how much power private rooftop solar panels are generating, so it doesn’t know how much of that power it could lose when clouds roll in. NCAR’s new solar forecasts will use data from satellites, sky imagers, pollution monitors, and publicly owned solar panels to infer how much solar power is being generated and then predict how that amount will change.
Leasing takes the sting out of equipment and installation costs, but it spreads them out a long term deal, similar to an auto lease. “In general the lease option comes in monthly payments to the system, and then whatever electricity is generated is yours to keep,” says Kimbis. But because a company technically owns the panels, this method won’t get you the same direct tax benefits as if you bought your own system. You could reap the benefits of your solar company claiming a 30% federal tax credit, but that depends on the company passing those savings down to you.
The financial implications of these threats are fairly evident. Start with the increased cost of supporting a network capable of managing and integrating distributed generation sources. Next, under most rate structures, add the decline in revenues attributed to revenues lost from sales foregone. These forces lead to increased revenues required from remaining customers … and sought through rate increases. The result of higher electricity prices and competitive threats will encourage a higher rate of DER additions, or will promote greater use of efficiency or demand-side solutions.
Blackout (Rolling blackout) Brownout Demand response Distributed generation Dynamic demand Electric power distribution Electric power system Electric power transmission Electrical grid High-voltage direct current Load management Mains electricity by country Power line Power station Power storage Pumped hydro Smart grid Substation Super grid Transformer Transmission system operator (TSO) Transmission tower Utility pole
Agriculture and horticulture seek to optimize the capture of solar energy in order to optimize the productivity of plants. Techniques such as timed planting cycles, tailored row orientation, staggered heights between rows and the mixing of plant varieties can improve crop yields. While sunlight is generally considered a plentiful resource, the exceptions highlight the importance of solar energy to agriculture. During the short growing seasons of the Little Ice Age, French and English farmers employed fruit walls to maximize the collection of solar energy. These walls acted as thermal masses and accelerated ripening by keeping plants warm. Early fruit walls were built perpendicular to the ground and facing south, but over time, sloping walls were developed to make better use of sunlight. In 1699, Nicolas Fatio de Duillier even suggested using a tracking mechanism which could pivot to follow the Sun. Applications of solar energy in agriculture aside from growing crops include pumping water, drying crops, brooding chicks and drying chicken manure. More recently the technology has been embraced by vintners, who use the energy generated by solar panels to power grape presses.
In 2010, Helgesen won a Skoll Scholarship to Oxford, for M.B.A. students seeking “entrepreneurial solutions for urgent social and environmental challenges,” and spent the year researching the renewables market. He found two like-minded business partners, and, in 2012, they set up shop in Arusha. At first, they planned to build solar microgrids to power cell-phone towers and sell the excess electricity to locals, but, Helgesen said, “it became clear that that was a pretty expensive way to go.” So they visited customers in their homes to ask them what they wanted. “Those conversations were the smartest thing we ever did,” Helgesen said. “I remember this one customer, she had a baby, and she would keep the kerosene lamp on low all night, as a night-light. It was costing thirty dollars a month in kerosene. And I was, like, Wow, for thirty dollars a month I could do a lot better.”
Dec. 8, 2015 — Analysts are providing, for the first time, a method for measuring the economic potential of renewable energy across the United States. A study applying this new method found that renewable energy … read more