Saturday, September 3, 2011

Which Renewable to Power Your House?

Prices have decreased by about a third over the last year because there are so many suppliers now. Chinese solar panel manufacturers have multiplied tenfold over the last year and many are already meeting European standards.Two years ago, potential buyers would have to ask suppliers if and how many solar panels they might be able to buy. The manufacturers could pretty much set the prices. Now we have a surplus of solar panels.t’s a good investment for pretty much everyone in Germany--apart from people living in the northwest--because people here produce electricity not for their own consumption needs but for the grid.The government guarantees a fixed price for solar power that is much higher than what you pay for electricity from non-regenerative sources. Home owners in Germany aren’t interested in energy independence, but selling at a good price.Many European countries now have similar feed-in tariffs. In southern Europe and northern Africa it also makes sense to use solar for home consumption. And the U.S. is now starting to deploy solar panels on a large scale. California is already a global leader.We think that on a global scale grid parity could be achieved by 2015, especially in regions with high electricity prices and lots of sun. Solar power should then be able to hold its own without subsidies, even against electricity from natural gas or nuclear power.In Germany, you should invest before the end of 2010. Electricity from solar panels built before 2011 can be sold at a guaranteed price that will remain stable for 20 years. After that, the guaranteed price will decrease every year.But there is an interesting paradox. Solar panels are usually more expensive in countries with a lot of sun, because profits would be much higher here otherwise. Even in Germany, solar panels are more expensive in the sunnier south than in the north.

Types of Solar Energy

Solar energy technologies use the sun's energy and light to provide heat, light, hot water, electricity, and even cooling, for homes, businesses, and industry. There are a variety of technologies that have been developed to take advantage of solar energy. These include: Photovoltaic Systems Producing electricity directly from sunlight. [learn more] Solar Hot Water Heating water with solar energy. [learn more] Solar Electricity Using the sun's heat to produce electricity. [learn more] Passive Solar Heating and Day lighting Using solar energy to heat and light buildings. [learn more] Solar Process Space Heating and Cooling Industrial and commercial uses of the sun's heat.

Increase in Green Energy Investment

Spending on green power soared by 60 per cent in 2007 as companies looked for alternative energy sources following huge cost rises in oil. The UN Environment Programme (UNEP), found that spending on green power hit $148 Billion in 2007. UNEP's Global Trends in Sustainable Energy Investment 2008 report, revealed that it expects spending on green energy to rise substantially by 2012. "Investment in the sustainable energy sectors must continue to grow strongly if targets for greenhouse gas reductions and renewable and efficiency increases are to be met," it said.

Advantages of Solar Power

Solar energy makes use of a renewable natural resource that is readily available in many parts of the world. -The process used to generate solar energy is emission free. -Technological advances have reduced costs to a point that it can compete with fossil fuel alternatives in specific circumstances. -The technology is scalable in that it can be used for domestic heating purposes or on a larger scale for commercial electricity generation, as solar water heaters are an established technology, widely available and simple to install and maintain. Disadvantages. The biggest barriers to increasing solar power generation are the cost, the amount of land required for large scale electricity production, and the intermittent nature of the energy source. Outlook Although wind power is more economical and has been more widely adopted than solar energy, solar power is the most flexible in scale and application. It also is widely available and an environmentally benign source of renewable energy. It is currently a $7 billion per year business that is growing at 40 percent per annul, but we believe it has even greater potential for growth in the future. Venture capital companies have increased funding in this area over the past few years, and there is a positive investment environment in both Europe and Japan for these types of companies. [Excerpts from Wells Fargo, Special Report Identifying the Opportunities in Alternative Energy.

Identifying the Opportunities in Alternative Energy

Solar energy is, perhaps, the first energy source that comes to mind when most people think of renewable sources of energy, but solar power is still a long way from being mainstream. It accounts for less than 1 percent of the world?s energy today. There are two main ways to harness the power of the sun to generateelectricity: photovoltaic (PV), where sunlight is directly converted into electricity via solar cells, and solar thermal power. PV is a proven technology that is most appropriate for small?scale applications to provide heat and power to individual houses and businesses. Sunlight falls on a layer of semiconductors, which jostles electrons. This, in turn, creates an electrical current that can be used as a source for heat. Solar PV cells are already cost effective for powering houses and businesses in some regions. Technological developments have reduced costs considerably over the last few years. However, largescale electricity production using solar energy costs about 22 cents per kilowatt?hour, significantly more expensive than its fossil fuel competitors and nuclear energy. This makes it more appropriate for specific applications rather than large scale power generation at this stage of development. Hopes to reduce these costs lie with newer technologies. As is the case with wind energy, solar power has most traction in countries such as Germany, Spain, Cyprus and Japan, all of which offer incentives to improve the uptake of renewable energy sources as part of their implementation of a diversified energy policy. In Cyprus, more than 50 percent of hotels and 90 percent of homes have solar water heating.
Pure Energy Production without affecting food chain Positioned to capitialise on newest technology Structured to deliver multi-faceted alternative energy solutions Steadily increasing revenues for our business Drastically decreased energy costs for our clients A unique target client experience in this market Steadily improving solar technology efficiency for our clients Steadily increasing market share for our business Strong client retention levels for our business

Investment in Solar Energy

Solar energy is emerging as an investment opportunity: As current technology improves, costs predicted to drop Solar power does not affect the food chain, like bio fuels Solar power is expected to play a larger role than wind in providing future electricity supply of the nation Solar power market is expected to grow 40% a year through 2011 ....

Nevada Solar One

Nevada Solar One has a 64-MW generating capacity and is located in Boulder City, Nevada. It was built by the U.S. Department of Energy, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and Acciona Solar. Nevada Solar One uses parabolic troughs as thermal solar concentrators, heating tubes of liquid which act as solar receivers. These solar receivers are specially coated tubes made of glass and steel, and about 19,300 of these four meter long tubes are used in the newly built power plant. Nevada Solar One also uses a technology that collects extra heat by putting it into phase-changing molten salts. This energy can then be drawn at night. Solar thermal power plants designed for solar-only generation are well matched to summer noon peak loads in prosperous areas with significant cooling demands, such as the south-western United States. Using thermal energy storage systems, solar thermal operating periods can even be extended to meet baseload needs. The cost of Nevada Solar One is in the range of $220–250 million. The power produced is slightly more expensive than wind power, but less than photovoltaic (PV) power.

Mojave Desert's Solar Plant

There are several solar power plants in the Mojave Desert which supply power to the electricity grid. Solar Energy Generating Systems (SEGS) is the name given to nine solar power plants in the Mojave Desert which were built in the 1980s. These plants have a combined capacity of 354 megawatts (MW) making them the largest solar power installation in the world.Nevada Solar One is a solar thermal plant with a 64 MW generating capacity, located near Boulder City, Nevada.The Copper Mountain Solar Facility is a 48 MW photovoltaic power plant in Boulder City, Nevada. The Blythe Solar Power Project is a 968 MW solar thermal power station under construction in Riverside County, California. The Ivanpah Solar Power Facility is a 370 MW facility under construction which will consist of three separate solar thermal power plants. There are also plans to build other large solar plants in the Mojave Desert.[4] Insolation (solar radiation) in the Mojave Desert is among the best available in the United States, and some significant population centers are located in the area. These plants can generally be built in a few years because solar plants are built almost entirely with modular, readily available materials, although financing has been difficult and the projects typically receive government-backed financing.