UCS analysis found that a 25-by-2025 national renewable electricity standard would stimulate $263.4 billion in new capital investment for renewable energy technologies, $13.5 billion in new landowner income from? biomass production and/or wind land lease payments, and $11.5 billion in new property tax revenue for local communities .
^ Faunce TA, Lubitz W, Rutherford AW, MacFarlane D, Moore GF, Yang P, Nocera DG, Moore TA, Gregory DH, Fukuzumi S, Yoon KB, Armstrong FA, Wasielewski MR Styring S. Energy and Environment “Policy Case for a Global Project on Artificial Photosynthesis.” Energy and Environmental Science 2013, 6 (3), 695 – 698 doi:10.1039/C3EE00063J
Third-generation technologies are not yet widely demonstrated or commercialised. They are on the horizon and may have potential comparable to other renewable energy technologies, but still depend on attracting sufficient attention and RD&D funding. These newest technologies include advanced biomass gasification, biorefinery technologies, solar thermal power stations, hot dry rock geothermal energy and ocean energy.
Biomass, biogas and biofuels are burned to produce heat/power and in doing so harm the environment. Pollutants such as sulphurous oxides (SOx), nitrous oxides (NOx), and particulate matter (PM) are produced from the combustion of biomass; the World Health Organisation estimates that 7 million premature deaths are caused each year by air pollution. Biomass combustion is a major contributor.
^ Sheehan, John; et al. (July 1998). “A Look Back at the U. S. Department of Energy’s Aquatic Species Program: Biofuels from Algae” (PDF). National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Retrieved 16 June 2012.
At times of peak demand, transmission lines can get congested, like Los Angeles highways. That’s why CAISO, utilities and regulators argue that new natural gas plants are needed closer to big cities. In addition, they say, the state needs ample electricity sources when the sun isn’t shining and the wind isn’t blowing enough.
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When we talk about green energy, we mean electricity and gas made from renewable sources: green electricity made from the wind, the sun and the sea, and green gas made from organic material and, soon, grass.
The PV industry is beginning to adopt levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) as the unit of cost. The electrical energy generated is sold in units of kilowatt-hours (kWh). As a rule of thumb, and depending on the local insolation, 1 watt-peak of installed solar PV capacity generates about 1 to 2 kWh of electricity per year. This corresponds to a capacity factor of around 10–20%. The product of the local cost of electricity and the insolation determines the break even point for solar power. The International Conference on Solar Photovoltaic Investments, organized by EPIA, has estimated that PV systems will pay back their investors in 8 to 12 years. As a result, since 2006 it has been economical for investors to install photovoltaics for free in return for a long term power purchase agreement. Fifty percent of commercial systems in the United States were installed in this manner in 2007 and over 90% by 2009.
Historically hydroelectric power came from constructing large hydroelectric dams and reservoirs, which are still popular in third world countries. The largest of which is the Three Gorges Dam(2003) in China and the Itaipu Dam(1984) built by Brazil and Paraguay.
To meet the (arguably optimistic) Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change projection in the Table 1 scenario for the average carbon intensity in 2050, the projected carbon intensity in 2050 is ≈0.45 kg of C yr−1 W−1, which is lower than that of any of the fossil fuels. The only way one can reach this value of the mean carbon intensity is through a significant contribution of carbon-free power to the total energy mix. This conclusion holds for an economy entirely based on natural gas; to the extent that the mix of consumed fossil fuels is not 100% natural gas but is roughly also equal parts oil and coal, even more carbon-free energy is required to maintain the average of the energy mix at the 0.45 kg of C yr−1 W−1 value. In fact, the amount of carbon-free power required in 2050 to meet these carbon intensity targets is >10 TW and is much greater than 10 TW if emissions are to be lowered such that CO2 can be stabilized at 550 ppm. Even more carbon-free power will be required later in the 21st century if CO2 levels are to be kept below 550 ppm or if a lower atmospheric CO2 target level is desired. By almost any reasonable estimate, stabilization of atmospheric CO2 levels at 550 ppm or lower will require as much carbon-neutral power by approximately the year 2050 as the amount of power produced at present from all energy sources combined (4). Furthermore, because CO2 emissions are cumulative on a century-level timescale, even higher levels of carbon-neutral power are required by 2050 if their introduction does not start immediately with a constant rampup but instead are delayed by 20 yr for their commissioning while awaiting technology development and/or policy and socioeconomic interventions.
^ Rizzi; et al. (2014). “The production of scientific knowledge on renewable energies: Worldwide trends, dynamics and challenges and implications for management. In”. Renewable Energy. 62: 657–671. doi:10.1016/j.renene.2013.08.030.
Humans have used the solar power to heat water for thousands of years, but solar electric power, also called photovoltaic or PV, got its start in the 1950s. Since then, there have been great advances in the technology, which is helping make solar so attractive today.
At Solar Energy International (SEI) we are committed to providing the best possible education in renewable energy, which is why our curriculum is frequently updated by our team of IREC (Interstate Renewable Energy Council) certified instructors to always be at the forefront of the industry. Our free online course RE100: Introduction to Renewable Energy covers the […]