The grid can hide a lot of the waste we produce from our sight and thus makes it easier to be less efficient. When you are off the grid, suddenly you become truly independent and efficient.
The grid can hide a lot of the waste we produce from our sight and thus makes it easier to be less efficient. When you are off the grid, suddenly you become truly independent and efficient.
Solvatten-Water Cleaned by The Sun
Solvatten is Swedish for “sun water.” The Swedes have come up with a device that uses solar technology to purify water. It’s aptly named “Solvatten” and is being used right now mostly in third world countries to help clean water for drinking and hygienic purposes.
The faq that you download from the site spells out what can be done with the device. It takes approx. 3 to 5 hrs. for the water to heat up to the point it kills bacteria. If the water is for drinking then the device is put in the shade to cool. In 3 to 4 hours bacteria can be eliminated from turbid water. On a cloudy day, 5 to 6 hours.
They suggest it can be used twice a day and Solvatten lasts approx. 5 years.
They claim a special technological design that stirs up and filters the water. No bad taste and the materials are FDA approved. The technology can also be scaled up to meet the needs of public entities like schools, health clinics, as well as for tourism and disaster relief.
You can see how this would be useful in hurricanes and earthquakes. As it upgrades and is more widely distributed it would be great for disaster relief centers to have lots of these on hand.
From their faq:
* “How will SOLVATTEN reach the market?
SOLVATTEN is suitable for local water, hygiene and sanitation programs and will
initially be distributed through International Organizations. The aim is to find local
entrepreneurs and through them and maybe also by local production reach the local
market to gain acceptance for the new technology.
• What are the advantages with SOLVATTEN?
SOLVATTEN can be a water-purifying tool in vast areas around the world where you
do not have electricity but polluted water and a lot of sun!
You gain health advantages, save time (especially for women who are commonly
responsible for the water) and save the environment.
And at last, SOLVATTEN can hopefully inspire people to invent more uses for solar
energy in other areas.”
Currently distribution is aimed at local organizations that help out in third world countries.
Check out the solar water purifying device here at Solvatten.
Here’s a demo of how the device works Here.
REC Solar Gives IDEC Corporation an Energy Makeover
Lime Energy and REC Solar together with IDEC announced the completion of a 162kW solar electric system as part of IDEC?s mission to ?green? its US corporate headquarters in Sunnyvale, CA.
SunEdison Partners with Developers Diversified Realty on Shopping Center PV Deployment
SunEdison has the rights to deploy solar energy systems at more than 200 shopping centers, covering up to an estimated 30 million square feet, located in 24 states and in Puerto Rico. The potential capacity of the program is up to 259 MW.
REI Goes Solar
Photovoltaic (PV) solar installations on three of its Portland-area locations are the latest move by outdoor gear retailer Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI) toward its energy efficiency targets.
Council Delays Solar Panels Bonds Vote
The City Council did not vote Tuesday on approving $7.6 million in bonds to build new solar panels on seven city buildings, opting instead to delay for three weeks to find out more about the cost.
Hamilton Seeks Solar Park at Old Dump
Local officials want to convert the township’s old landfill into what they say would be the biggest solar-energy park in NJ. Preliminary plans involve covering the 16-acre site with enough solar panels to power about 6,000 homes.
SpectraWatt stops construction on Solar Cell Plant in Oregon, May Relocate, Local News Story Says
SpectraWatt, the solar cell spinoff from Intel, has stopped construction on its Hillsboro, OR, manufacturing facility and may seek another plant location because of financing difficulties.
Sunrise Solar to Provide Solar Energy for Brazilian Hospitals
San Antonio-based Sunrise Solar Corp. says it has been selected to provide solar power resources to four major hospitals in Brazil. The project is part of a multimillion dollar alternative energy development initiative.
Interest in Energy Sustained
Wyoming’s average energy price is the lowest in the nation. California has more than 150 programs to make purchasing sustainable energies more affordable. Wyoming has about 15. In spite of this, people are still buying renewable energy.
Solar Energy Firm Has City in Sights
An alternative energy firm is eyeing sites in the city to lease for a planned $750 million solar power project.
Grand Canyon Goes Solar
The Grand Canyon’s Visitor Center, located near the Canyon’s south rim, will soon have a portion of its energy provided by the sun.
UTILITY INDUSTRY & REGULATORY NEWS
Smart Meters Gaining U.S. Foothold
Smart meters now represent 4.7% of installed meters in the U.S., up from 1% in 2006, according to a new Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) report on demand response and advanced metering programs.
FINANCIAL NEWS & MARKETS
Forbes.com Sees Bad Year for Entire Solar Sector as Solar Stocks Fall
Forbes.com notes that the stock prices of major solar power companies like LDK and JA Solar Holdings fell yesterday, as the companies continue to face difficulties from reduced demand and lack of credit.
Start-up Claims it Can Halve the Cost of Residential Solar
The company’s major product is a solar panel mounting system that uses brackets to weave in with roof shingles. These can be installed during construction or retrofitted. After the brackets are installed, the solar panels quickly snap into place.
Thin Film Technologies Changing the Solar PV Business
Since they were first developed in the 50′s there have been no major changes to the basic crystalline silicon solar cell. But significant improvements are now taking place with several competing innovations vying for position.
AES Solar Closes 70 million for Spanish PV Projects
The loan was extended by UniCredit Mediocredito Centrale of Italy and Rabobank of the Netherlands. The financing is at an initial margin of 255 bps to EURIBOR per annum and it is amortized based on an underlying tenor of 18 years.
Masdar PV Signs Letter of Intent with Parabel AG
Masdar PV GmbH, producer of large-scale PV modules, has signed a letter of intent for the delivery of silicon based thin-film modules with Parabel AG, a German system integrator marketing green-field and rooftop solar power plants as well as a technology leader in the area of large solar thermal installations.
Suntech Achieves 1GW Solar Cell and Module Production Capacity
Suntech announces ppening of new, state of the art headquarters powered by world’s largest on-grid solar facade system.
Q-Cells Confirms Aggressive Growth Targets
Q-Cells said it is still on target to produce 1 GW of solar cells in 2009 even after Elkem Solar, a supplier of upgraded metallurgic silicon, announced a delay in production that will cut deliveries.
AU Optronics to Create Thin Film Solar Pilot Line
Taiwan-based AU Optronics Corp. (AUO) has established an energy project office that will concentrate on renewable energy solutions, including setting up a pilot line for thin-film solar technology at its Taichung, Taiwan, site this year.
Are you in California and interested in solar for your home? Call us at 877.SUN.MOJO or visit our website to learn more.
I hate doing the dishes. That’s one chore I really would not like to do. Now if you are the person who hates mowing the grass, then be thankful for the Automower.
The Automower is a lawnmower. But what makes this one different is that it is a hybrid so much so that it runs using electricity and solar power. It gets its share of power from the sun through the solar panel that has been mounted on its top.
Using this solar lawnmower is easy. All you have to do is tell it where you would like it to mow the grass. Then you just turn it on and let it do its work while you just sit back, relax, and enjoy a lemonade.
Are you now ready to get an Automower for your very own yard? Well, it’s for sale and it’s going to make you spend $3000 for a unit.
Plus 2008 prediction scoring and 2009 predictions
As promised in Top 10 GUNTHER Portfolio Posts of 2008, it’s time to cover 2009 trends and predictions while scoring my 2008 predictions from Photovoltaics: 2007 Post Review and 2008 Trends to Watch – Part 2.
Photovoltaic Market Demand Growth (new for 2009)
Bringing an end to eight consecutive years of growth, global revenue for Photovoltaic (PV), panels is expected to plunge by nearly 20 percent in 2009, as a massive oversupply causes prices to drop, according to iSuppli Corp.
The plunge in revenue will come despite an 9.6 percent rise in Gigawatt (GW) installations of solar panels in 2009, growing to 4.2GW for the year, up from 3.8GW in 2008.
I find it too easy to join the pessimism about Photovoltaic (PV) Industry growth in 2009. Going contrarian, my rosy nominal forecast for 2009 is 45% growth in PV module demand on a GigaWatt-peak (GWp) basis while 20% to 30% lower PV module pricing limits revenue growth to only 20% or 10% respectively.
This forecast is contingent upon normalization of credit markets by Spring 2009 with adequate financing available for large photovoltaic projects at attractive interest rates. Renewed PV market growth in Japan and the United States along with strong new PV market growth in Italy and Greece are required to achieve this forecast. Perhaps the Chinese government will fund large PV projects to stimulate production by domestic PV manufacturers?
Polysilicon and solar grade silicon outlook
Last year, my heading was Polysilicon and solar grade silicon shortages persist, and I said: This silicon shortage seems set to continue until at least 2010 regardless of the self serving predictions of certain Solar CEOs.
Towards the end of 2008, “Poly-Si spot prices fall to US$150-175/kg, say Taiwan makers” by Nuying Huang and Adam Hwang for DIGITIMES. It now looks as though polysilicon supply will be in balance to oversupply in 2009. The polysilicon supply situation is tempered by the financial crisis which will cause silicon start-ups to fail, slow planned capital expansions, or delay production reinforcing REC Silicon’s view that one-quarter (25%) or less of all announced, planned, and rumored polysilicon capacity expansions by new entrants (Tier 2 and Tier 3) will succeed by 2012 (please see REC Group Capital Markets Day 2008). However, if global semiconductor demand declines by 25% in 2009 per “Top 20 predictions for semis in 2009” by Mark LaPedus at EETimes.com, will excess polysilicon be redirected to solar? What will happen if polysilicon spot prices dip below long term contract pricing? Will this trigger automatic price adjustments or demands for contract renegotiations?
Thin Film Photovoltaics
At the start of 2008, First Solar is the king of the hill in thin films and photovoltaics with the lowest variable production cost per Watt in the industry.
I did not have a proper thin film prediction last year, but First Solar still rules the PV roost even if the “Report: First Solar Reaches Grid Parity” was a bit premature.
I have a trio of predictions for thin film photovoltaics in 2009:
CSP (Concentrating Solar Power)
CSP is positioned to remain the hottest segment in solar power. I expect the drawbacks of CSP to become better known in 2008 though these may be offset by progress in energy storage (see the Ausra, Inc. portion of my Energy Storage post).
CSP made progress with “Ausra’s Kimberlina Solar Thermal Plant” by Ed Ring at EcoWorld but the credit crunch has slowed the development of planned multi-hundred MegaWatt solar thermal power plants offset by the new ITC rule allowing utilities to take advantage of the tax credits (please see Solar Investment Tax Credits ride the $700 Billion Bailout Wake).
The approval of the Sunrise Powerlink Transmission Project (please see “California OKs Controversial Transmission Project” by Ucilia Wang at Greentech Media) was a boost for similar grid infrastructure needed by California CSP projects to deliver power from desert facilities to coastal California cities.
HCPV (High Concentration PhotoVoltaics)
In 2008, I am expecting the next major High Concentration PhotoVoltaics project to be announced and located in the southwestern United States, Spain, or Greece. Construction may even begin in 2008.
As I have mentioned in passing before, “SolFocus and EMPE Solar Sign $103 Million Deal for 10+MW UtilityScale Project” was the megadeal HCPV project announcement of 2008 located in southern Spain. “SolFocus and Samaras Group to Develop First Commercial Solar Project in Greece Using Concentrating Photovoltaic (CPV) Technology” was a follow-on 1.6 MWp (MegaWatt-peak) deal. I predict a 30 MWp plus HCPV project deal in 2009.
My fear is the US housing bubble and its liquidity crunch aftermath will result in a slowdown or recession in 2008 later impacting the world economy.
My thesis is Photovoltaics and renewable energy will be leading indicators of a 2010 global economic recovery. In my opinion, the economic situation is still deteriorating and has not bottomed. Sorry, there won’t be a recovery from the recession in the second half of 2009.
Solar Stocks, Oil, and Gold
Solar stocks traded on the NYSE and NASDAQ exchanges in the United States are overdue for a significant correction. I think oil may revisit $50 per barrel if the recession goes global by the second half of 2008 barring an unforeseen calamity and even if Peak Oil is here. Gold is your best bet if stagflation takes hold or the US dollar continues to decline in value or both.
Solar stocks did suffer a significant correction in 2008. For example, the stock price of thin film high flyer First Solar, Inc. (NASDAQ:FSLR) declined over 48% in calendar year 2008. Oil dropped below $50 per barrel by the end of 2008, but I had no idea it would round trip from a record high of $147.27 a barrel driven by rampant speculation! Gold outperformed credit crunch plagued stock markets by increasing almost 3% in 2008 after peaking at $1,030.80 per troy ounce.
I predict oil will test $25 per barrel in 2009; oil will recover to over $100 per barrel but not until the end of 2010 or the 2011 timeframe when the economic recovery picks up. Enjoy the low gasoline prices while they last. Cash strapped US state governments, California and New Jersey for example, may enact gas tax hikes to reduce huge budget deficits.
I intend to look at energy policy in a future post.
If nothing else, politics is about showmanship, grandstanding and appearances. If you’ve ever watched a Congressional hearing on C-Span you might have noticed that members of Congress tend to spend a lot more time speechifying than actually asking questions of the witnesses and listening to answers. I think it’s safe to say that new Congressman Eric Massa (D-NY) will fit right in. For his trip from his upstate New York District to DC earlier this week for the new session of Congress, Massa decided to set an example by driving down in a zero emissions vehicle. General Motors’ fuel cell research center in Honeoye Falls sits in Massa’s district, so Massa decided to drive a fuel cell Chevy Equinox from his home in Corning to Washington.
The problem is that the Equinox has a maximum range of about 200 miles and it’s about 280 miles from Corning to the Shell hydrogen station on the outskirts of Washington. To get around this little unfortunate detail, Massa drove from Corning to Harrisburg, PA where a second, fully-fueled Equinox was waiting. That second vehicle was towed from the DC hydrogen station behind a Tahoe hybrid. At the changeover point, the Tahoe hooked up the used Equinox and towed it back to Honeoye Falls. Just like other “zero emission” vehicles transfer their emissions to some remote location, this one transferred emissions to the Tahoe hybrid. Not a jet, but most certainly not zero emissions, either.
[Source: New York Times]
Freshman NY Congressman’s “zero emissions” trip to DC originally appeared on AutoblogGreen on Thu, 08 Jan 2009 20:05:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
Two days ago I talked about how newbie New York Congressman Eric Massa had decided to drive from upstate New York (Corning) to be sworn-in at Washington DC. The 280-mile drive was accomplished in a Chevy Equinox Fuel Cell which has a range of around 200 miles.
So, today the New York Times is reporting a public relations snafu with this journey citing that Mr. Massa couldn’t complete the trip using one fuel cell Equinox and had to use two. In fact, the NYT has stated that as there were no hydrogen fueling stations along the journey, two Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid SUVs were used to tow the two Equinox FCVs, along different parts of the route, burning more fossil fuels than the congressman would have done in just driving the Tahoe without a tow.
Here is my comment in the NYT thread, “The point is that Mr. Massa tried to do too many things with his statement such as promote both hydrogen cars and American made vehicles. Had he chosen to promote hydrogen cars only, he could have driven a Toyota FCHV that has over a 500 mile range, refueled at the Shell Hydrogen station in Washington DC and driven back with hydrogen fuel to spare.”
The problem with politicians promoting alternative fuels such as hydrogen is they still sometimes act like politicians and underestimate the rest of the public. The message of the advancements in hydrogen technology has now been clouded by the method the Congressman employed to get this message across.
To be fair Congressman Massa said one of the points of the journey was to point out the lack of hydrogen fueling infrastructure in this country. But, for his journey, employing the services of a portable hydrogen fueling station would have made the same point with less embarrassment.
Perhaps an appearance on the David Letterman Show is now in order where Congressman Massa can say, “I screwed up.”
U.S. Drilling Expenditures Shatter Previous Record
For those who don’t think U.S. oil companies are spending enough to find new oil:
WASHINGTON, DC, Jan. 5 — US oil and gas drilling expenditures soared to a record $226.4 billion in 2007, more than doubling the previous record of $109.8 billion a year earlier, the American Petroleum Institute said on Jan. 5.
API said the Joint Association Survey of Drilling Costs for 2007, the latest year for which figures are available, showed that records also were set in average costs per well and per foot.
Average costs per US oil well grew 82% to $4 million in 2007 from $2.2 million, while per foot costs climbed 78% year-to-year to an average of $717 from $412, according to API. It said that average costs per domestic natural gas well rose 105% to $3.9 million in 2007 from $1.9 million in 2006 as average costs per foot grew 74% year-to-year to $604 from $348.
I guess for those who would argue that they aren’t spending enough, how much should they spend? Part of this was due to much higher costs for drilling rigs – driven by high demand, but companies also drilling more wells:
“But despite a doubling of the cost to drill and develop wells, we also witnessed a rise in both the number of wells drilled, which increased 4% from 2006, and the average depth of those wells, which increased 9%,” he continued.
I think it’s a safe bet, though, that drilling outlays will fall substantially in 2008.
Apparently, a group of TV zombies have taken over the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Why? Because all those supposedly “green” electronics being exhibited are actually heading to the dumpster after they’ve died.
In Northern Virginia today, President-elect Barack Obama addressed the nation, introducing a few basic goals and guidelines for an economic stimulus package that could cost as much as a trillion dollars.
Well aware that the large price tag on the stimulus, referred to as the “American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan,” Obama included language about setting a foundation for economic growth now in order to return to a place of fiscal responsibility as the economy gets back on his feet. However, Obama was not shy about the need for the government to step in and spend, now:
“It is true that we cannot depend on government alone to create jobs or long-term growth, but at this particular moment, only government can provide the short-term boost necessary to lift us from a recession this deep and severe. Only government can break the vicious cycles that are crippling our economy – where a lack of spending leads to lost jobs which leads to even less spending; where an inability to lend and borrow stops growth and leads to even less credit.”
Obama’s plans consist of programs for immediate relief and long term economic revitalization in six key areas:
“To finally spark the creation of a clean energy economy, we will double the production of alternative energy in the next three years.”
“To build an economy that can lead this future, we will begin to rebuild America.”
“And it means investing in the science, research, and technology that will lead to new medical breakthroughs, new discoveries, and entire new industries.”
“To improve the quality of our health care while lowering its cost, we will make the immediate investments necessary to ensure that within five years, all of America’s medical records are computerized.”
“To give our children the chance to live out their dreams in a world that’s never been more competitive, we will equip tens of thousands of schools.”
“Finally, this recovery and reinvestment plan will provide immediate relief to states, workers, and families who are bearing the brunt of this recession.”
While Obama outlined a solid framework for stimulus and recovery, as usual, the devil is in the details, and the President-elect’s speech was lacking in that capacity. For example, what does he have in mind when he talks about “alternative energy?” Is he only referring to the electricity sector, or does he have transportation and heating fuels in mind as well? Will doubling America’s capacity for “alternative energy” include increasing the production of coal-fired power plants using carbon capture and storage technology? Does the baseline we’re doubling from include hydropower? If hydropower is included, Obama is pledging to take “alternative energy” to around 20% of US electricity supply; if it’s not we’ll be taking it to just 7% of US electricity supply, so nuances like this can clearly make a big difference in the way we parse Obama’s speech today.
Obama also provided very little specificity as to the policy tools he plans to use to accomplish these priorities. Will he beef up the clean energy production tax credit, or will the government invest directly in the production of energy with financing, procurement and fully refundable credits?
The lack of specificity in today’s speech likely indicates that Obama still has a lot of details to work out with Congress, and it’ll be important to watch as these details are unveiled in the weeks ahead.
But for what it was–a political speech laying the groundwork for Obama’s vision of governance, it was a reassuring sign that the President-elect has the right objectives for stimulus spending. Obama identified six areas of domestic policy in which he would prioritize expending his political capital, each framed centrally around an effort to use stimulus spending to lay the groundwork for sustained economic growth. Investments in clean energy technology, innovation and R&D, critical public infrastructure like a unified national smart grid and broadband networks, digitizing medical records, building modern schools and research facilities, and helping out state budgets are all smart investments that create both short-term economic stimulus and lay the groundwork for long-term productivity and economic competitiveness.
He also included language about bipartisanship, and worked to appease perhaps his biggest barrier to a sizable stimulus plan, Congress’s Blue Dogs. This faction of moderate Democrats from centrist districts who preach fiscal responsibility and adherence to pay-as-you-go fiscal standards seem receptive to Obama, and have already started rallying behind the stimulus.
Perhaps most importantly, Obama identified a vision for a brighter American future – a nation prosperous again, more competitive in a global 21st century economy, and powered by a cleaner, more efficient energy system – and then sketched out a plan that will put us on the road to that future. And, with Speaker Pelosi already saying that Congress will not be taking a recess until an economic stimulus bill has been passed into law, it seems that we might be starting down that road sooner rather than later.
Study: Spraying Water In The Air Reduces Global Warming
New patent to reduce global temperature: inventor Ron Acer said that spraying ocean water in the air around deserts, major arid areas or windy places near to water will cool down the Earth temperature.
Visit the original post at: Energy News
“…in regions where homeowners have long rolled their eyes at shoveling driveways, add another cold-weather chore: cleaning off the solar panels. “At least I can get to them with a long pole and a squeegee,” said Alan Stankevitz, a homeowner in southeast Minnesota.” As he patiently squeegees off his stationary solar panels, day, after day, after day, throughout the long arduous winter in Minnesota…
Do you just accept this story as further proof that “it isn’t easy being green”? Do you see no alternative for this poor man but to just go out there and work this backbreaking labor for green energy? Do I hear you snort derisively?
Or… are you able to think creatively? Come on; give me your ideas for solving this. How hard would it be to plan for this kind of weather condition? Couldn’t cold weather solar providers offer a solution to this problem? I can see two very easy possible fixes right away. What solutions can you think of?
VeruTEK completes new green chemistry remediation project
Company that uses plant extracts to remedy toxic pollution claims another customer win.
Visit the original post at: Energy News