My friends and readers, Dow Solar Shingles were not just discovered yesterday. In the 1970’s PV (photovoltaics) applications for buildings began appearing, with aluminum-framed PV modules connected to, or mounted on buildings that were usually in remote areas without access to an electric power grid. In the 1980’s PV module add-ons to roofs surfaced. These PV systems were usually installed on utility-grid-connected buildings in areas with centralized power stations. In the 1990’s building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV), construction products designed to be integrated into a building envelope (physical separator between the interior and exterior environments of a building) such as the roof, skylights, or facades, became commercially available. These materials are increasingly being incorporated into the construction of new buildings as a principal or ancillary source of electrical power, although existing buildings may be retrofitted with BIPV modules as well. According to Business Wire of April 5, 2011, “the global BIPV market will see strong growth in the coming years, with annual wholesale revenues rising from $744 million in 2010 to nearly $4 billion in 2016….”
Building-Integrated Photovoltaic modules are available in different forms: Flat roofs (a thin film solar cell integrated to a flexible polymer roofing membrane is the most widely installed flat roofs to date);Pitched roofs ( solar shingles are modules designed to look and act like regular shingles, while incorporating a flexible thin film cell and extending normal roof life by protecting insulation and membranes from ultraviolet rays and water degradation…this is accomplished through elimination of condensation because the dew point is kept above the roofing membrane.);Facades (modules are mounted on the facade of the building, over the existing structure, providing old building a new look and increase the appeal of the building and its resale value);Glazing (semitransparent modules can be used to replace elements made with glass or similar materials, such as windows and skylights.).
In some countries, additional incentives are offered for building-integrated photovoltaics in addition to the existing feed-in tariffs for stand-alone solar systems. (I promise I will go into details in explaining “feed-in-tariffs” in future posts). Since July 2006 France offered the highest incentive for BIPV, equal to an extra premium of EUR 0.25/kWh paid in addition to the 30 Euro cents for PV systems. These incentives are offered in the form of a rate paid for electricity fed to the grid.
Further to the announcement of a subsidy program for BIPV projects in March 2009 offering RMB20/watt for BIPV systems and RMB15/watt for rooftop systems, the Chinese government recently unveiled a photovoltaic energy subsidy program “the Golden Sun Demonstration Project”. The subsidy program aims at supporting the development of photovoltaic electricity generation ventures and the commercialization of PV technology. The Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Science and Technology and the National Energy Bureau have jointly announced the details of the program in July 2009. Qualified on-grid photovoltaic electricity generation projects including rooftop, BIPV, and ground mounted systems are entitled to receive a subsidy equal to 50% of the total investment of each project, including associated transmission infrastructure. Qualified off-grid independent projects in remote areas will be eligible for subsidies of up to 70% of the total investment. In mid November, China’s finance ministry has selected 294 projects projects totaling 642 megawatts that come to roughly RMB 20 billion ($3 billion) in costs for its subsidy plan to dramatically boost the country’s solar energy production.
What can I say….we need MORE INCENTIVES FOR SOLAR in US if we are truly aiming for SunShot Initiative and truly aiming to lead in the renewable energy era !!
More discussions remain in future posts on incentive for solar….
I am quite impressed by what I have seen in Dow Solar Shingles. So let’s have a closer look at these shingles. I’ve prepared two video clips for you in Incentive For Solar (6) and Incentive For Solar (7). Keep in mind that there are many incentive programs via federal tax credits, SunShot Initiative, Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy of Department of Energy, various state and local incentive programs (please feel free to review relevant posts on April 18, 2011-Incentive For Solar (2) and on April 24, 2011, Incentive For Solar (4)) that would help to reduce the cost of your purchase in your decision to head toward the Sun. Without further ado, here is the clip at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5P8fOQ9V9mg&feature=related
For many years, in my fantasy world, all homes and buildings would be self-sufficient in terms of energy use, via solar cells in roof shingles, windows, and even paint. I have discovered that this no longer needs to remain in the fantasy world, but now is ready to surface into the reality, thanks to companies such as Dow Chemical, DowSolar’s solar shingles. Solar shingled roofs have a deep dark, purplish-blue color, and therefore look quite similar to other roofs. Solar shingles (photovoltaic shingles) are solar cells designed to look like conventional asphalt shingles. There are several varieties of solar shingles, including shingle-sized solid panels that take the place of a number of conventional shingles in a strip, semi-rigid designs containing several silicon solar cells that are sized more like conventional shingles, and newer systems using various thin film solar cell technologies that match conventional shingles both in size and flexibility. Currently, Solar shingles are manufactured by companies including (Ecotech) ecotechshingles.com, SunPower Corporation, United Solar Ovonic (Uni-Solar), Solar Components Corporation, Atlantis Energy Systems, and Dow Chemical.
All photovoltaic power is produced in the form of direct current (DC). Homes use alternating current (AC). Therefore part of the cost of installation of solar shingles is the price of an inverter to make the conversion.
Older solar shingle designs were more expensive to install than traditional PV panels, but new, more efficient designs such as thin-film copper indium gallium selenide (CuInxGa(1-x)Se2) cells can be installed in 10 hours, compared with the 22 to 30 hours required for the installation of traditional panels. The lower cost of installation dramatically reduces the cost of solar power implementation.
Large homebuilders in California like Lennar are partnering with SunPower to offer new construction solar homes that have solar systems installed prior to moving in. Reducing the overhead and using solar roof tile technology makes solar a standard option like granite countertops, making solar an affordable solution to reduce electricity costs.
I have prepared a video clip for you, available at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qCClje-k7g4 to get you used to the idea of Solar Shingles.
Please look into the possibility of how you may be able to incorporate these solar shingles into your life/homes in conjunction with all federal tax credits, state incentives mentioned in previous posts of Incentive For Solar series. More clips will be forthcoming. We are certainly living in a very dynamic world!
In the effort of trying to help my readers to speed up loading time, I will be emailing you directly rather than responding to you at my site. Thank you so much for your support and positive comments. You are the reason that I am continuing posting with such consistency and enthusiasm. Please feel free to spread the words on use of solar energy and this site, http://sunisthefuture.net, with your friends, relatives, and neighbors. I will try to find information that may be of use to you, so please feel free to let me know what areas of interest, your concerns, and your questions concerning solar energy (or how transitioning into solar energy may benefit you). I will try my very best to respond and obtain information for you. I hope as time continues, you will get into the habit of looking for opportunities toward the direction of the sun. My most recent series on Incentive For Solar will hopefully be able to help readers to identity possible financial opportunities and potential community projects and activities any where on planet earth. More will be continuing in this series.
Some of the readers from CA notified me of blank rectangular spots in my posts resulting from blocking software. Apparently some of the blocking software out there would block any graphical images (even including RSS feed symbol), so if you are viewing these posts with blank rectangles, please be sure to also check out the posts else where for more complete posts (because a lot of graphical images also include maps, charts etc. that would be of use to you). Sun Is The Future is now also available via Amazon Kindle. Please feel free to leave a review or comment for Sun Is The Future at Amazon Kindle store.
Lastly, at some of your request, I will try to load more video clips and translator (thus far Sun Is The Future has reached over 33 countries) in the near future. Some of you also would like to see a forum being developed at Sun Is The Future. I promise I will look into this. I hope, with all of your help, Sun Is The Future will accelerate the momentum of our planet earth’s movement toward the Sun.
Thank you for all of your input.
Have a sunny day and a lovely week.
sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker, email@example.com
Yes, artificial photosynthesis or artificial leaf may become a reality in the future, but it is not commercially available any time soon (within 2-5 years). The high cost of catalyst and fuel cell (in the process of achieving artificial photosynthesis) may take a while to overcome. So, let’s bring ourselves back to our present reality. Each and every one of us, consumers, can do something now, in participating in bringing down the cost of solar technology while benefiting financially. In addition to various financial opportunities under the SunShot Initiative that I’ve mentioned in April 18, 2011 post, various solar projects and incentives may also come under the heading of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy of Department of Energy
Various tax credits, loan programs, rebate programs, incentive programs, and feed-in-tariff programs in association with solar projects may be found under DSIRE (Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency),available via this link:
Hi, I just want to quickly thank friends and readers from CA who helped me to realize that some of the blocking software out there are not only blocking my graphics, charts, images…even the RSS feed symbol that are all pertinent to each post. So, please be sure to also check out these posts elsewhere if your viewing location is using these software (if you are seeing blank rectangles in different locations of various posts). Thanks. And I will try to upload more informative video clips for you all since ad blocking software apparently have no problem with video clips.
Yes, onward and forward with the saga of Incentive For Solar. Before I will bring up some incentive programs tried in many countries, in this post, I want to discuss part of the reason why I feel there should be more funding funneling toward the Sun. We are living in a time when the rules of the game is changing on us, the consumers. So, we need to spend some serious attention, time, energy, and of course, money in different directions for different games. Some of the very promising potential future game(s) may involve understanding of what’s referred to as Artificial Photosynthesis or Artificial Leaf:
Artificial photosynthesis is the field of research that attempts to replicate natural process of photosynthesis by splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen using sunlight. Those of you who did not fall sleep during chemistry class may remember that photosynthesis is the process of converting sunlight, water, and carbon dioxide into carbohydrates and oxygen. The actual process that allows half of the overall photosynthetic reaction to take place is photo-oxidation (which is essential in separating water molecules by releasing hydrogen and oxygen ions). These ions are needed to reduce carbon dioxide into a fuel. As of now, the only way this is possible is through an external catalyst (a substance that allows a change in the rate of chemical reaction simply by its presence), catalyst that can react quickly and constantly absorb the sun’s photons (basic form of light and all other forms of electromagnetic radiation). The general basis behind the theory of artificial photosynthesis is the creation of an “artificial leaf” type of fuel source.
Photo by Kumaravel via Flickr Creative Commons
Researches in this field are currently heading in directions mentioned below.
dye-sensitized solar cell
photocatalytic water splitting under solar light
I invite you to a few minutes of video clip at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bBylSGTHMkw&feature=grec_index for better understanding of artificial photosynthesis or artificial leaf that may be the potential answer to our future energy hurdle.
This is a quick post/response to clarify the policy regarding the use of material here at Sun Is The Future. Some of the readers enjoyed these posts so much that they inquired if they may use their favorite articles/posts elsewhere. You may use excerpt (a passage or quotation taken or selected from a book, document, film, or the like; extract. ) of any of the posts and have it linked back to the site http://sunisthefuture.net . I hope this is clear. If you have any additional questions, please email me via firstname.lastname@example.org Thank you. I will continue our discussion regarding Incentive For Solar in the next post.
Posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker
Yes, yes, yes, I will share some more details of the SunShot Initiative that was mentioned in the previous post of April 15, 2011, before going into details of any other incentive programs. Here are some program highlights of current financial opportunities, divided into four main groups, under the umbrella of Solar Energy Technologies Program: photovoltaics; concentrating solar power; systems integration; and marketing transformation. These DOE funding opportunities encourage collaborative partnerships among industry, universities, national laboratories, federal, state, and local governments’ and non-government agencies and advocacy groups through an open and competitive solicitation process. To explore these financial opportunity solicitations, please refer to links below:
These current financial opportunities (below) had just been made available this month under the umbrella of Solar Energy Technologies Program
Here is a special note for my Midwestern friends (a special wave to Rose, who emailed me multiple times regarding concern for availability of amount of sunlight in IL), if Boston, New York City, Ann Arbor, and Minneapolis-Saint Paul can all be one of the Solar America Cities, I am certain that Chicago and many other Midwestern cities can also be part of the Solar America Cities. Here, you will see the 25 Solar America Cities partnerships
The 25 Solar America Cities partnerships represent the foundation of DOE’s Solar America Communities program
that represent the foundation of DOE’s Solar America Communities program. Local governments and citizens across the country are taking action to make solar energy a more viable option for their communities. These forward cities and counties are using innovative approaches to remove market barriers to solar and encourage adoption of solar energy technologies at the local level. In 2007 and 2008, the U.S. Department of Energy designated 25 major U.S. cities as Solar America Cities and provided financial and technical assistance to help the cities develop comprehensive approaches to increasing solar energy use. Sixteen of these designees also received additional Recovery Act funding in 2009 for special projects that tackle specific barriers to urban solar energy use. Here you can also see a chart showing various activities that the 25 Solar America Cities have undertaken to advance solar energy and build sustainable local solar markets. Communities throughout US can use this chart to identify cities working on similar issues to leverage their experience and lessons learned. More details regarding these communities and their activities can be found at this site http://solaramericacommunities.energy.gov/solaramericacities/action_areas/
It is time for all of us, throughout US, to cooperate and help one another in sharing our experiences in our journey toward the sun. Department of Energy has already provided us with the basic ground work and budget to start in our transition toward solar energy. We look forward to continued support and additional financial opportunities that will be forthcoming. But in the meantime, citizens of US, take a close look at these activities and programs and see how you may take part in this exciting transitioning period. You may be an entrepreneur with business ideas, a university faculty or researcher, a college student, a home maker trying to find more efficient way to provide household energy sources, you may all take part in these programs, benefiting financially while participating in this global movement toward the sun. So, let’s be optimistic! Let’s head toward the sun with confident and giant leaps. If you have any other questions regarding the SunShot/Dollar-a-Watt Initiative, please refer to contact below:
U.S. Department of Energy
SunShot Initiative and Solar Energy Technologies Program
1000 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, DC, 20585
Remember I’ve previously mentioned the importance of bringing down the cost of solar technology and increasing incentives from the government to stimulate solar energy use. Incentives are crucial in speeding up the process of conversion to the renewable energy era! So, my feelings had been rather mixed in recent months as a result of finding out more about SunShot Initiative.
Our current administration, President Obama, is keenly aware of the need to develop clean/renewable (specially solar) energy and wise enough to bring some one who is actually technologically savvy (and who is not simply in office to maintain the status quo) yet pragmatic enough to suggest painting our roofs white, the Nobel Laureate Steven Chu, on board to head the Department of Energy (DOE), at this critical juncture in history. Much work needs to be done during this time of transition into the clean and renewable energy era and we need to see a lot of actions! Building on the legacy of President Kennedy’s 1960s “moon shot” goal, which laid out a plan to regain the country’s lead in the space race and land a man on the moon, the SunShot Initiative will aggressively drive innovations in the ways that solar systems are conceived, designed, manufactured, and installed. As spoken in President Kennedy’s September 12, 1962, speech, “We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard.” So now, we are facing the hour of change and we choose solar energy, not because it is easy, but because it is the best route/energy for the future of planet earth. In addition to investing in improvements in cell technologies and manufacturing, the SunShot initiative will also focus on steps to streamline and digitize local permitting processes that will reduce installation and permitting costs. To achieve the SunShot goal of reducing the total installed cost of large scale solar electricity by about 75 percent (to roughly $1 per watt, corresponding to 6 cents per kilowatt-hour) so that it will be cost competitive at large scale with other forms of energy without subsidies before the end of the decade (2020). This would translate into rapid large-scale adoption of solar electricity across the United States, re-establish American technological leadership, improve the nation’s energy security, and strengthen U.S. economic competitiveness in the global clean energy race. In this effort, DOE will be working closely with partners in government, industry, research laboratories and academic institutions across the country.
I was all pumped up until…. I looked at the budget/money allotted for the SunShot Initiative. at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IfL57T8ZGfc
Comparing it to the MoonShot program would not be quite on target! The MoonShot/Apollo program had a budget of close to $200 billion (totaled about $170 billion in 2005, according to Wikipeida) in today’s dollar, in a span of about 11 years. That (Apollo Program) would translate into approximately $20 billion per year. The SunShot Initiative, as far as I have seen any figure, has totaled to less than $0.5 billion per year (federal loan guarantee cannot be included). That means the ratio of amount of money that will be spent on SunShot Program to the amount of money spent on Apollo Program is less than 0.5/20 or less than 1/40 . So the two programs/initiatives are not in the same magnitude or ball park, my friends. Last I checked 1/40 is a far cry from 1/1. The optimistic side of me reasoned: perhaps this is just a beginning. Historically, most of the budget of Department of Energy would spend far more on nuclear energy and essentially nothing for wind or solar or geothermal. We are at least seeing a number that is greater than zero. But the more anxious pessimistic side of me exclaimed: if we (citizens of USA) truly want to re-establish American technological leadership, we need to take giant leaps rather than baby-steps. We cannot sit idly by while cost of fossil fuels continue to rise, while having learned from the experience of Fukushima. Our friends in Germany have already taken the more responsible and ethical approach/step in bearing much of the cost of early research and development in solar energy. In our land of democracy, if we truly want to see some actions, we need to gather the strength of our people, our friends online, our neighbors, our family, every where. We need to let our government know that we want clean, safe, and least-war-driven energy. While our President and Secretary of Department of Energy have to abide by the rules of politics, we need to help uncuff their hands and truly let them lead us into the renewable energy era. We need to let our administration know that we are ready to take giant leaps, rather than baby-steps, toward solar energy.
In the next post, I will go into details of certain incentive programs that have been tried and tested in many other countries . My friends and readers, this is an exciting time, I hope you are all getting ready to move toward the sun because there will be plenty of opportunities for all of us!
I didn’t understand why so many of you wanted me to make Sun Is The Future available via Kindle….why would any one want to pay for a subscription to my blog if they can read it for free on the web? I found out these are the reasons:
1. Kindle blogs are fully downloaded onto your Kindle so you can read all of the posts even when you’re not wirelessly connected.
2. Unlike RSS readers which often only provide headlines, blogs on Kindle give you full text content and images, and are updated wirelessly throughout the day.
3. Kindles are extremely portable and are easier on the eyes for reading.
4. If you subscribe to blogs on your Kindle, when new content is published, that blog moves to the top of the list in your Home screen so that you never have to search around looking to see who has updated.
5. The monthly subscription fee costs less than a cup of coffee or tea, in many places, in exchange for a lot of time saved.
6. For those of you who don’t want to be bothered with ads, Kindle edition would take care of that.
I am learning something new every day about this publishing world. Much of it is also through your requests and comments. So, please don’t be bashful…let me know if there is any way for me to make it more convenient for you to read all the posts at Sun Is The Future. Remember, we are all working together toward a brighter tomorrow~