Archive for October, 2012

31 October

In The Aftermath of Sandy, A Call For More Solar Energy !

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Dear Friends & Visitors/Viewers/Readers from 149 countries,

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One of the comments I’ve received from one of our Visitors/Viewers/Readers, via FaceBook, with regard to our Oct. 30, 2012 post “In Light of Hurricane Sandy, We Need More Solar Power ! We Need More Distributed Solar Power !, below:

My guess Susan is that solar energy provided less than .0001% of the energy in the storm region during this storm.”

I am glad that J had brought this up and my response to J is:  But J, we’re talking about after the storm…these regions will be out of power for days to weeks because they are not on distributed solar power. And they’re much more likely to be able to have power if they were on distributed solar power….not to mention the fact that if there were greater dependence on solar power and less dependence on fossil fuels, Hurricane Sandy would probably have been of much lower intensity level.   At this point, I’d like to reiterate item 10. and item 17. of  our Oct. 30 post:

  • 10.This afternoon, the climate activist group 350.org said it had asked its nationwide network of supporters to not only donate to the Red Cross in the aftermath of this week’s  devastating storm, but also to “urge the fossil fuel industry to divert the millions of dollars they are spending to influence the election towards vital recovery efforts.”  The group posted a petition on its website and claimed that “thousands” had already signed it.  Scientists say pollution arising from the burning of fossil fuels like oil, gas and coal significantly contributes to global warming, which in turn can increase the intensity of storms like Hurricane Sandy.  If you are interested in supporting 350.org  members in 189 countries, please go to 350.org
  • 17. Former VP Al Gore’s  blog post warned today, “the storm that ravaged the East Coast Monday is “a disturbing sign of things to come. We must heed this warning and act quickly to solve the climate crisis. Dirty energy makes dirty weather.”
  • I would also like to invite you to see this clip below, on “Hurricane Sandy Aftermath: Widespread Power Outages Expected”, with forecast of potentially 10 millions without electricity (whereas Irene left 7 millions without electricity) for a week or more:


    Here, at Sun Is The Future, we are calling for more Solar Power, we are calling for more Large-Scale and Distributed Solar Power! We need more  Solar Power everywhere ! Not only is Solar Power the cleanest power that would help to reduce the dumping of global warming pollution into the atmosphere every day, reduce the climate crisis, it is also more likely to allow us to have distributed power that would enable us to respond during crisis, enabling us to still have power individually rather than massively be without power. Write to your state (current and future) legislators and show your concern and support for policies that would encourage installations of Solar and Renewable Energy!  Time to Act!  At this point, I would like to invite you to visit several sites below, to help further your understanding and appreciation of some of the initiatives that have taken place.  Right now more than 16 states are in the process of working on State Initiatives for Solar. Please visit votesolar.org .  Nebraska state has a group working on this also, even though they may not be currently listed under the State Initiatives at votesolar.org and the same is true for Florida and others. So keep checking back for other states that will be added in the future.  To find out your state candidates’ past voting record, please go to votesmart.org .  For more information on how you may be able to take part in helping to make the transition into our Renewable/ Solar Energy Age, please visit these sites below:

    1. votesolar.org & VoteSolar YouTube Channel
    2. American Solar Energy Society
    3. Alliance For Renewable Energy
    4. Solar Electric Power Association
    5. Solar Energy Industries Association
    6. Sun Is The Future & sunisthefuture YouTube Channel

    Please also keep in mind to check on the voting record of your respective state candidates and choose to support those who will support Effective/Sound  Renewable/Solar Energy bills !  If you have any questions/comments/suggestions/concerns, please feel free to email sunisthefuture@gmail.com and I will try to answer/respond/try to set your mind at ease or redirect you to better source. Please let us know if you’ve had some experience (in working toward/making the transition toward the solar/renewable energy age) that you’d like to share with others/us.

    gathered, written, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker, sunisthefuture@gmail.com

    There will always be more at http://www.sunisthefuture.net
    Homepage:  http://www.sunisthefuture.net


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    30 October

    In Light of Hurricane Sandy, We Need More Solar Power ! We Need More Distributed Solar Power !

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    Dear Friends & Visitors/Viewers/Readers from 149 countries,

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    I understand many of you are very concerned about our family and friends living at the Eastern Seaboard, heavily influenced by the Hurricane/Superstorm Sandy.  For Hurricane Sandy is the largest Atlantic hurricane in diameter on record, a late-season tropical cyclone that affected Jamaica, Cuba, the Bahamas, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, and the Eastern Seaboard of the United States, reaching the area south of the Great Lakes region of the United States and Eastern Canada.  It is the 18th named and tropical cyclone and 10th hurricane of the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season, developed from an elongated tropical wave in the western Caribbean Sea on October 22, 2012. It became a tropical depression, quickly strengthened, and was upgraded to a tropical storm six hours later.  Sandy moved slowly northward toward the Greater Antilles and gradually strengthened.  Sandy’s impact on the United States stretched from North Carolina to New England with tropical storm force winds stretching far inland and significant mountain snows in West Virginia.  The cyclone brought a significant storm surge to New York City on the evening of October 29, 2012, with numerous streets and tunnels flooded in Lower Manhattan and other areas of the city.  Hurricane Sandy is now officially listed as the largest hurricane to ever form in the Atlantic Basin, according to the National Hurricane Center,  having reached 1,000 miles in diameter. Below is a news coverage on Oct. 27, 2012.


    Hurricane Sandy at East River Manhatten (by David Shankbone, wikimedia)

    Flooding in Marblehead, MA caused by Hurricane Sandy (by The Birkes, wikimedia)

    Hull, MA, weathering Sandy (by Ashstar01, wikimedia)

    Satellite image of Hurricane Sandy on Oct. 29, 2012 (wikimedia, NASA)

    Let’s take a look at some of the recommendations by FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) for Hurricane Sandy and other tropical storms, FEMA site for Hurricane preparations:

    President Barack Obama receiving update to Hurricane Sandy (by Pete Souza, wikimedia)

    NJ National Guard prepares for Hurricane Sandy (by Sgt. Mark C. Olsen, wikimedia)

    • 1. Before the hurricane: 1. Determine where you would go and how you would get there, if you were ordered to evacuate 2. Cover your home’s windows, either with permanent storm shutters or marine plywood at least 5/8 of an inch thick. 3. Be sure trees and shrubs around your home are well-trimmed 4. Clear clogged rain gutters. 5. Secure all outdoor furniture, decorations, trash cans and anything else that could blow away. 6. Install a generator for emergencies (never never use the generator inside the house, too dangerous).

      Empty supermarket shelves before Hurricane Sandy at Montgomery, NY (by Daniel Case, wikimedia)

    • 2. During the hurricane: 1. Listen to the radio or TV for information. 2. Secure your home, close storm shutters, and secure outdoor objects or bring them indoors. 3. Turn off propane tanks. 4. Avoid using the phone except for serious emergencies. 5. Ensure a supply of water for sanitary purpose such as cleaning and flushing toilets.  Fill the bathtub and other larger containers with water. 6. Stay indoors during the hurricane and away from windows and glass doors. 7. Do not drive into low-lying areas or over roads and bridges that are already under water.
    • 3. If evacuating: Be sure to bring checkbooks, driver’s license, credit card information, birth certificates, social security cards and don’t forget your pets.

    Recent Updates:

    • 1.  weather.com recorded a record number of webpage page views, totalling nearly  300 million.  According to a press release from the Weather Company, their properties recorded nearly half of a billion page views on Monday alone, close to doubling a previous record of 249 million. Nearly 10 million people reportedly tuned in to live streams on weather.com or Youtube as well.
    • 2.  Monday night, Oct. 29, 2012, as health care workers worked through the night to evacuate New York University’s Langone Medical Center after heavy flooding from Hurricane Sandy caused the hospital to lose power (backup power generators are outdated). Because the hospital’s respirators for infants do not have backup batteries, each of the 20 infants from intensive care unit required extra attention from nurses at the hospital.  At least four babies had to be carried to a waiting ambulance down nine flights of stairs while  nurses “breathed” for the infant by manually squeezing a bag to drive oxygen into the lungs.
    • 3.  A nameless cabbie frantically ferried people after the construction crane at One57 collapsed in Manhattan yesterday (Monday, Oct. 29, 2012),to emergency crew at hospitals who tirelessly evacuated patients through the night, stories of bravery and kindness are slowly beginning to filter through.
    • A construction crane on One57 partially collapsed in Manhatten (wikimedia, shot by Jordan Balderas, Oct. 29, 2012)

    • 4.  Roughly 17,062 flights have been canceled through Wednesday.  Highest volumes of canceled flights for Tuesday & Wednesday are: Philadelphia International Airport, Newark Liberty International Airport, La Guardia Airport, JFK International Airport, Ronald Reagan National Airport, Logan International Airport, Dulles International Airport, Baltimore/Washington International Airport.
    • 5.  In Pennsylvania, Dauphin County Commission Chairman Jeff Haste cautioned local residents to be wary of people offering to do repair work, be wary of crooked contractors, charities.
    • 6.  A New York City hedge fund analyst, tweeting under the pseudonym @comfortablysmug, drew ire in the wake of the havoc wrought by Hurricane Sandy after he published a series of misleading tweets Monday night that suggested, among other false assertions, that the New York Stock Exchange’s trading rooom floor was udner water.
    • 7. New York University School of Medicine, founded in 1841, (hosts of some of the top scholars in medicine, and Lagone Medical Center is home to much of the school’s research) was forced to evacuate Monday (Oct. 29, 2012) night after a power failure due to Hurricane Sandy, and a significant amount of research also could be washed away.  In one case, scientists were rolling a big freezer, the size of a big refrigerator, to an area of the hospital with emergency power.
    • 8. 50-foot section of the Atlantic City’s iconic boardwalk was wiped out by strong waves, NBC reports. But the New Jersey city’s 12 waterfront casinos came through Sandy relatively unscathed and some tell the news service that could even open today.
    • 9. Con Edison‘s latest power estimate: @ConEdison:@willholmes-Restoration to customers in areas by overhead power could take at least a week and Underground could take 4 days.

      Power outage at Manhatten due to Hurricane Sandy (by Hybirdd, wikimedia)

    • 10.This afternoon, the climate activist group 350.org said it had asked its nationwide network of supporters to not only donate to the Red Cross in the aftermath of this week’s  devastating storm, but also to “urge the fossil fuel industry to divert the millions of dollars they are spending to influence the election towards vital recovery efforts.”  The group posted a petition on its website and claimed that “thousands” had already signed it.  Scientists say pollution arising from the burning of fossil fuels like oil, gas and coal significantly contributes to global warming, which in turn can increase the intensity of storms like Hurricane Sandy.  If you are interested in supporting 350.org  members in 189 countries, please go to 350.org
    • 11.Power outages and flooding caused by Hurricane Sandy disrupted telecommunications services on Tuesday resulting in spotty coverage for cellphones, home telephones, and internet services.
    • 12.NYC Village Halloween Parade postponed (rather than canceled) for the first time in its 39 year history.
    • 13. To get New York City subway system back to 90 percent capacity could take weeks or months.

      Time Square subway station shutdown during Hurricane Sandy (by Metropolitan Transportation Authority/Aaron Donovan, wikimedia)

    • 14. Southeastern Michigan residents felt the effects of Hurricane Sandy on Mon. and Tues. 110,000 DTE Energy customers lost power, with outages still affecting 80,000 as of Tuesday afternoon.
    • 15. Mandatory evacuation to continue through Day 3 in Ocean City, NJ.
    • 16. As of 1:09 PM EDT today, it is noted in HuffPost that Sandy Power outages hit more than 8.1 million homes and businesses.
    • 17. Former VP Al Gore’s  blog post warned today, “the storm that ravaged the East Coast Monday is “a disturbing sign of things to come. We must heed this warning and act quickly to solve the climate crisis. Dirty energy makes dirty weather.”
    • Time Square Connect The Dots Action "End Climate Silence" before Hurricane Sandy (by 350.0rg)

      Time Square Connect The Dots Action "End Climate Silence' before Hurricane Sandy (by 350.org)

    Scientists tell us that by continually dumping 90 million tons of global warming pollution into the atmosphere every single day, we are altering the environment in which all storms develop. As the oceans and atmosphere continue to warm, storms are becoming more energetic and powerful. Hurricane Sandy, and the Nashville flood, were reminders of just that,” Al Gore reminded us.

    Here, at Sun Is The Future, we are calling for more Solar Power, we are calling for more Distributed Solar Power! We need more distributed Solar Power every where ! Not only is Solar Power the cleanest power that would help to reduce the dumping of global warming pollution into the atmosphere every day, reduce the climate crisis, it is also more likely to allow us to have distributed power that would enable us to respond during crisis, enabling us to still have power individually rather than massively be without power.  Write to your state legislators and show your concern and support for policies that would encourage installations of Solar and Renewable Energy! Time to Act!

    gathered, written, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker, sunisthefuture@gmail.com

    There is always more on solar energy at: http://www.sunisthefuture.net

    Homepage:  http://www.sunisthefuture.net


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    19 October

    Closer Look of World’s Largest Solar PV Project, Agua Caliente Solar Project, & Call For Consistent Standard !

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    Dear Friends & Visitors/Viewers/Readers,

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    As I’ve promised you, let’s take a look at the largest solar PV project, Agua Caliente Solar Project, currently under construction in Yuma County, AZ, having achieved a peak generating capacity of 250 MW connected to the electrical grid and will have a generating capacity of 397 MW (DC) or the equivalent of 310-320- MW (AC) when completed.

    Recalling from our previous post of October 17, 2012, there was an issue/discrepancy between the maximum generating capacity listed in wikipedia (397 MW in wikipedia vs. many other sources’ 290 MW).  After further digging/investigation, I’ve discovered two things:

    1.  In PV Tech Oct. 14, 2011 issue,  please note the quote below:

    The original nameplate for the entire plant was 290MW (AC), but Christian said that a 12th block is in the engineering stage and should start early construction soon.

    The additional set of arrays would add another 20–30MW (AC), bringing the total to 310–320MW (AC), or about 397MW (DC) after conversion – an amount estimated

    to require in the neighborhood of 5.2 million PV panels.

    2. Upon careful overview of multiple journals/articles,  I’ve come to realize that the industry as a whole needs a much more consistent standard (AC or DC) for basis of comparison.  Case in point, above, different power plants may provide information/data in AC or DC (AC and DC data may differ approximately 15%), presenting much confusion for the consumers and readers alike.  At this point, I’d like to share an article that would help to shed more light on this subject: AC-DC conundrum: Latest PV power-plant  ratings follies put focus on reporting inconsistency (update).   Please do not get too alarmed by this, for this, to me, is part of the growing pain;a sign that the solar industry is still young enough that it needs to work out some of its kinks;a sign  indicating that solar industry still has much room to grow.  It simply needs a unified voice.  So perhaps in future Solar Power (Generation, International, etc.) conventions/conferences, there should be one more topic added to the list of discussions: AC or DC, That Is The Question ?!

    Below, is a clip on Agua Caliente Solar Project by First Solar:


    Related articles:

    1. Agua Caliente Solar, LLC (Loans, Award Summary)  at www.recovery.gov
    2. Agua Caliente Solar Project, Case Study at www.CleanEnergyActionProject
    3. Uncompleted Agua Caliente solar farm already winning awards
    4. Agua Caliente Solar Project at wikipedia
    5. List of photovoltaic power stations

    ~have a bright and sunny day~

    gathered, written, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

    Any of your commentes/suggestions/questions are welcomed at sunisthefuture@gmail.com

    There is always more on solar energy at http://www.sunisthefuture.net
    Homepage:  http://www.sunisthefuture.net


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    17 October

    World’s Top PV Power Stations, as of Oct., 2012

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    Dear Friends & Visitors/Viewers/Readers,

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    Solar PV cells convert sunlight into electricity and many solar PV stations have been built over the years. For a quick recap of  “What Is Solar Cell” at Sun Is The Future, take a look at these links below:

    1. What Is Solar Cell (1)
    2. What Is Solar Cell (2)
    3. What Is Solar Cell (3)
    4. What Is Solar Cell (4)
    5. What Is Solar Cell (5)
    6. What Is Solar Cell (6)
    7. What Is Solar Cell (7)Please allow me to share with you some of the top photovoltaic  power stations that are larger than 25 MW in current net capacity. These stations have progressively increased in size over the past decade.  At this very moment, October of 2012, the largest three individual photovoltaic (PV) power plants in the world are Agua Caliente Solar Project (Arizona of USA, 247 MW connected and to increase to 397 MW when completed), Charanka Solar Park (India, 214 MW connected and to increase to 500 MW when completed), Golmud Solar Park (China, 200 MW connected with annual production of  317 GWh and completed in October, 2011). But keep in mind that solar industry is very dynamic and therefore these order may be in flux.  Here at Sun Is The Future, we will keep you informed of these fluctuations.  Please see the chart below, as of October, 2012:  *Note: I need to check on Agua Caliente’s maximum generating capacity because many sources indicated 290 MW whereas Wikipeida indicated 397 MW. I will get back to you on this after further investigation.

    World's Top PV Power Stations As of Oct., 2012 (Source: Wikipedia)

    More on these top three Solar projects will follow in our future posts at http://www.sunisthefuture.net

    Any questions/comments/suggestions are welcomed at sunisthefuture@gmail.com

    ~have a bright and sunny day~

    gathered, written, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker, sunisthefuture@gmail.com
    Homepage:  http://www.sunisthefuture.net


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    15 October

    Julia Hamm & Rhone Resch Spoke With Gusto at Solar Power International SPI2012

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    Dear Friends & Visitors/Viewers/Readers,

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    I’ve reserved this piece for a special and later spot than other SPI videos because it deserves some special attentions.  The two speakers below spoke with clarity and gusto, summarizing the path of past and present solar energy industry, then call for action for the future direction in a unified voice for solar industry.


    This is a video recording of the introduction speeches by Julia Hamm (President and CEO of SEPA, Solar Electric Power Association) and Rhone Resch, President and CEO of SEIA, Solar Energy Industry Association) on the first day of Solar Power International SPI2012 on September 10, 2012, at Orange County Convention Center of Orlando, FL.  As the President of SEIA, Rhone Resch, indicated the solar industry has more than doubled during 2011 and is the fastest growing industry in USA, installing more than 1.8 gigawatt last year. Julia Hamm, President of SEPA, also announced that our utility has interconnected more than 62,000 PV systems in 2011 and quite possibly even more in 2012.

    One of three possible future scenarios (<2%, 5-10%, 30%) presented by President of SEPA Julia Hamm,  where the solar energy would reach its true potential, providing 30% of nation’s electricity needs, involves four main driving forces: social dynamics, political issues, technological issues, and economic issues. President Hamm clearly presented and summarized why  we need a widespread comprehensive support and partnership culture for solar energy, therefore we need future policy direction to be supportive of solar energy.  Julia Hamm ended her portion of the speech reminding us of former President Clinton’s quote, “The future is not an inheritance. It is an opportunity and an obligation.”

    President of SEIA, Rhone Resch, opened his speech with the classic quote in A Tale of Two Cities by Dickens, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times;it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness; it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity;it was the season of Light,it was the season of Darkness;it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair; we had everything before us, we had nothing before us“.  This truly reflects the position of our current solar industry. There has been tremendous growth both in residential and utility solar installations in the past year and expectation of 3.2 gigawatts of solar installations in USA during 2012.  But at the same time, solar energy/CLEAN energy is under attacks by SuperPacthere;there is also attacks on CLEAN energy tax credits (bills introduced to eliminate investment tax credits for renewable energy); CO RPS is under threat; Net Metering is also under challenge in CA.  A unified voice is needed, especially in key swing states. Rhone Resch is calling for : Let’s not let solar industry go down the path of the dark days of solar industry of the late 1980’s. Let’s make sure that all members in the industry are legitimate and not there just for a quick buck.  Working together with the utility companies, there will be a greater certainty that the solar industry will complete its journey toward its true potential of providing nation’s 30% power needs.  Then we should lead our nation down the path toward the best of times (rather than the worst of times).

    ~have a bright and sunny day~

    There is always more on solar energy at http://www.sunisthefuture.net

    gathered, written, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker, sunisthefuture@gmail.com

    Homepage:  http://www.sunisthefuture.net


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    12 October

    Renewable /Solar Energy, As The Rising Sun of Gold Coast, Australia

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    Dear Friends & Visitors/Viewers/Readers,

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    I’d like to share with you this  footage of the rising sun of Gold Coast, Australia, on an October day, in 2012, at a 60x speed.


    It is with this kind of hope, optimism, and energy that we here at Sun Is The Future of http://www.sunisthefuture.net gather and share information and knowledge on solar energy and sustainability.

    If you’re interested in viewing  this sunrise at different speeds:

    1.   7 x speed at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OnhtwdgwMQs
    2.   real time speed at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lHl68wgtkZ8

    We look forward to any of your comments/questions/suggestions at:  sunisthefuture@gmail.com

    Please visit http://www.sunisthefuture.net often and even consider joining us at http://www.kiva.org/team/sunisthefuture

    ~have a bright and sunny day~
    written and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker
    Homepage:  http://www.sunisthefuture.net


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    11 October

    Australia’s Biggest Solar PV Project, Greenough River Solar Farm, Is Officially Connected!

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    Dear Friends & Visitors/Viewers/Readers,

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    I am tickled to find out about Australia’s biggest solar farm being officially connected during the week of our visit in Australia! This 10 megawatt Greenough River Solar Farm, 50 km southeast of Geraldton, in Western Australia is a joint project of First Solar, Inc., GE Energy Financial Services and Western Australian state-owned power utility Verve Energy, and is expected to generate enough solar energy to power 3,000 homes and eliminating 20,000 tons of greenhouse gases annually.  The plant consists of 150,000 First Solar’s advanced thin film PV modules solar PV panels spread over 198 acres (or over 80 hectares).

    Verve Energy Chief Executive Officer Jason Waters said in a release, “As the largest photovoltaic solar plant in operation in Australia, the Greenough River Solar Farm demonstrates that renewable technologies can contribute to meeting Australia’s future energy needs on a sustainable, cost-competitive basis…This is a positive first step in validating the bright future that large-scale solar represents in Australia.”  He also commented that Verve Energy and GE are evaluating the possibility of a plant expansion up to 40 megawatts to satisfy growing demand for renewable energy.


    With the highest average solar radiation per square meter of any continent in the world (according to Australian government), Australia aims to generate at least 20% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020.  About 858,000 homes in Australia currently have solar PV panels, accounting for a total installed capacity of almost 2 gagawatts (based on data from Australian Clean Energy Regulator), translating into approximately 10% of the rooftop with solar installations. Growth in the amount of installed PV capacity in Australia has been dramatic with a 10-fold increase between 2009 and 2011.  Feed-In-Tariffs and mandatory renewable energy targets designed to assist renewable energy commercialisation in Australia have largely been responsible for the rapid increase. Ray Willis, the chief adviser to the Sustainable Energy Association (an industry lobby group) expects the one millionth home to be with rooftop solar installation by end of June of 2013, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

    ~have a bright and sunny day~

    gathered, written, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker, your comments/suggestions are welcomed at sunisthefuture@gmail.com
    Homepage:  http://www.sunisthefuture.net


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    7 October

    What Impact Do Decreased Solar PV Cost and Carbon Tax Have On Solar Dawn Project of Australia?

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    Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers,

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    When I first heard about the Australian Solar Dawn Project coming to a halt, in the limbo stage, I was both shocked and disappointed.  Upon further investigation, I have a better grasp of the situation and please allow me to share some of these details with you.

    For some background information on the Australian Solar Dawn Project:   the originally proposed 250 megawatt Solar Dawn power plant project was the preferred solar thermal power project of the Australian Government’s Solar Flagships Program.  It  was to be built near Chinchilla in South West Queensland to provide clean and safe energy, using Australia’s abundant solar resource to contribute to a sustainable solar industry in Australia, by offering an international showcase for utility scale, standalone CLFR (Compact Linear Fresnel Reflector) technology power project.  In the process of positioning Australia as a global leader in utility-scale solar thermal power generation, Solar Dawn Project would provide significant local employment and training opportunities and also involve long-term research collaboration with the University of Queensland.  This project would have consisted of approximately 450 hectares of infrastructure including a ‘solar field’ containing the mirrors and steam boiler tubes and a ‘power block’ with the steam turbine generators and ancillary equipment.  Originally, it was expected that the proposed project would have commenced operation in early 2015 following a three-year construction time frame. Below, is a video on AREVA’s Solar Thermal Technology, Solar CLFR (Compact Linear Fresnel Reflector) solar steam generators producing super-heated, high-pressured steam directly from the sun. The steam can then be used to spin an electricity-producing turbine:


    But my friends, when one lives in an extremely dynamic time and dynamic industry (solar), there may be fluctuations and changing factors entering on scene: Firstly, the Australian Carbon Tax/Price ( $23 AUD per tonne of emitted CO2 on selected fossil fuels consumed by industrial emitters only) entered the scene on July 1st of 2012. This new development renders it unnecessary for solar energy to have government subsidies by the shear fact that the carbon tax/price has leveled the playing field for all energy forms (the original argument to have solar subsidies was due to uneven playing fields resulting from external factor, such as the cost of environmental cleanup, not being considered) . Secondly, the fact that solar PV panel price has been declining relentlessly in recent years;a critical decision in any business or policy decision is to minimize the cost of production.  Energy/electricity production via solar PV is now much lower than the cost of energy/electricity production via solar thermal using CLFR. (At this point, please allow me to clarify: solar thermal directly producing hot water is at a cost lower than that of solar PV producing hot water, but solar thermal converting into electricity is at a cost higher than the cost of solar PV producing electricity).   Thirdly, the Solar Dawn was unable to negotiate a power purchase agreement (PPA) with the Queensland government-owned electricity utility Ergon Power to meet the June 30 deadline, and so could not attract bank finance.  The question I pose here is how was the decision arrived by Ergon Power? If it were purely due to minimizing cost, the current lower cost of solar PV does weaken solar thermal’s position;but in our changing world, the cost of energy production in any form may still be subject to change, depending on how much R & D  support there will be ( electricity produced from  solar thermal via CLFR may cost more than solar PV now, but this may not hold true in the future) . If Ergon Power’s unwillingness to negotiate a PPA were due to concern/unfamiliarity with large scale solar thermal, then will it be possible for Solar Dawn to modify its plan into series of smaller scale solar thermal projects?  In the final analysis, in order to assure the success of any energy/power business,  it is necessary to have a purchaser/client once the power is produced.

    Now, let’s look at the other side of the coin.  I believe that I am a rational solar advocate.  It is important to keep the cost in mind, but also make the argument for the need of more favorable playing field for solar.  Personally, of many many reasons in favor of solar, the two most critical reasons for me are: 1.  the speed at which our Arctic Ice is melting 2. potential  wars among nations fighting over the oil reserves.  Both of these will dramatically impact the lives of countless human beings.  One of my detractors commented, “my parents and I have all lived through wars, so what….”  I contend that we are living in a very different time from previous generations (WWI or WWII).  It is quite possible that any future large-scale war will cost the lives of billions of earthlings and make over half of our planet uninhabitable for decades.  So, my questions here are: How quickly is our Arctic Ice melting? How likely are we going to be at large scale war? By providing more favorable playing field for solar/renewables through policies/incentives, will these efforts avert my two main concerns ? Again, from the bottom of my heart, I have to thank Hermann Scheer of Germany for having made the most moral and ethical decision decades ago in having convinced the German Parliament to establish the equivalent of Feed-In-Tariff and German Renewable Energy Act.  He made an ethical decision, although not necessarily an economic one at the time…decades later, now people of Germany have benefited from that decision economically and renewably. Germany is a leader in Renewable Energy world/industry and has an extremely low unemployment rate compared to other developed nations (Please refer to European Commission Eurostat’s Unemployment Statistics)

    Solar Dawn project director Anthony Wiseman said discussions would continue with the Queensland government, and with ARENA (Australian Renewable Energy Agency). “It’s important to understand that we have not ceased work on project,” he said.  He also commented that while the project delay represented a set-back, the consortium made up of AREVA Solar and Wind Prospect, University of Queensland, after CS Energy pulled out, will pursue discussions with the Australian Renewable Energy Agency and the Queensland Government to move Solar Dawn forward based on the project’s advanced status and the strong economic and environmental benefits it offers to the state and the country.  The Australian Solar Energy Society (AuSES) said that it is deeply disappointed with the Queensland Government’s decision to axe funding to the project, as it will put Australia at the forefront of the global solar thermal industry. Here, at Sun Is The Future, we wish Director Wiseman the best in coming up with a modified plan that will be able to attract an agreeable purchaser.  Then pursue the negotiation with Queensland government and ARENA. We have learned that time and time again, people in solar industry tend to have that extra ounce of optimistic energy, supplied by the magical dust from the Sun….

    ~have a variation of bright and sunny day~

    Any of your comments or suggestions for any of the above questions are welcomed at sunisthefuture@gmail.com

    gathered, researched, written, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker, sunisthefuture@gmail.com
    Homepage:  http://www.sunisthefuture.net


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    6 October

    Random Sunny Encounter of John Farnhams Brigade’s “You’re The Voice” in Royal Botanic Garden of Melbourne

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    Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers,

    (Please click onred linksbelow)

    During our quest for more on solar energy in 2012, on October 6, we happened to be in Melbourne, Australia. On the Saturday morning, we strolled through the lovely Royal Botanic Garden of Melbourne, taking in as much of the sight, scent, and sound of its beauty, downloading into our memory bank. Suddenly, we came upon this group of boisterous young lads, obviously in blond wigs and black robes, serenading random joggers/walkers passing their way. At some point in time, one of their members pointed toward us and started to sing at us, literally, sing at us with these refrains:

    You’re the voice, try and understand it
    Make the noise and make it clear, oh, woah
    We’re not gonna sit in silence
    We’re not gonna live with fear, oh, woah

    After I’ve posted the video clip on sunisthefuture Youtube Channel, I found out this is actually a group of John Farnham Brigades/Impersonators singing out the refrain of “You’re The Voice”.  So, please allow me to share this very random but sunny encounter of John Farnham’s Brigades’ “You’re The Voice” in Royal Botanic Garden of Melbourne, Australia, below:


    John Farhnahm turned out to be a famous Australian singer who had popularized the song “You’re The Voice“.  Once I’ve looked over its lyrics, I am amazed at how much it resonates with our time and what Sun Is The Future is trying to do…. aren’t we all someone’s daughter or son, living at a transitional time in history, trying not to sit in silence but to spread/share the message of hope and optimism of solar energy, the solution that will hopefully be able to free us from wars among nations…. lyrics of  “You’re The Voice”, below:

     

    We have the chance to turn the pages over
    We can write what we want to write
    We gotta make ends meet, before we get much older

    We’re all someone’s daughter
    We’re all someone’s son
    How long can we look at each other
    Down the barrel of a gun?

    You’re the voice, try and understand it
    Make the noise and make it clear, oh, woah
    We’re not gonna sit in silence
    We’re not gonna live with fear, oh, woah

    This time, we know we all can stand together
    With the power to be powerful
    Believing we can make it better

    Ooh, we’re all someone’s daughter
    We’re all someone’s son, oh
    Give a look at each other
    Down the barrel of a gun

    You’re the voice, try and understand it
    Make the noise and make it clear, oh, woah
    We’re not gonna sit in silence

    (Source: http://www.elyrics.net/read/j/john-farnham-lyrics/you_re-the-voice-lyrics.html)

    For a concert of John Farnham’s  “You’re The Voice” With Olivia Newton-John and Anthony Warlow, please click on: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RBCaZSC8RDM

    Hope you’ve enjoyed this post.  Hope you will also do what you can in making your voice clearly heard in spreading the message of peace, hope, and optimism in solar energy.

    ~have a bright and sunny day~

    gathered, written, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker, sunisthefuture@gmail.com

    Any of your comments/suggestions/questions/concerns are welcomed at sunisthefuture@gmail.com

    Homepage:  http://www.sunisthefuture.net


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    3 October

    Game Changer:Tesla’s Supercharger, Using Solar Power, Fills Your Tank For Free !

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    Hi, Friends & Visitors/Viewers/Readers,

    (please click on red links below)

    More of Solar Decathlon Europe 2012 clips will continue to be uploaded on sunisthefuture Youtube Channel and http://www.sunisthefuture.net between/under September 30-October 2, 2012.

    But right now, I am so excited about Tesla’s Supercharger that I’ve got to share this pieces of news/clip I’ve just received with you! Apparently, on Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2012, the U.S. auto maker Tesla (specializing in electric cars), just opened a large network of service stations that provides free charges from the sun for their electric cars. The company Tesla Motors unveiled six stations called Supercharger (west) where it is based and will open more in high traffic corridors throughout continental USA. Tesla also indicated that Supercharging stations will be installed in Europe and Asia during second half of 2013, aiming to have more than 100 such stations in operation by 2015 and covering all of USA and lower part of Canada within 4-5 years. Take a look at this clip, below:

    “The Tesla Supercharger network is a game changer for electric vehicles, offering long distance travel with a comfort level equivalent to that of gasoline cars in practical terms,” said Tesla CEO, Elon Musk. “We are giving the (auto) Model S’s ability to travel almost anywhere for free with pure sunlight.” The electricity used by stations Supercharger is generated by solar systems designed for more power to be used by cars, the company said. The Supercharger is able to charge to about 100 kW (perhaps even up to 120 kW in the future, translating to long distance driving of up to about 3 hours and stop to recharge for 30 minutes and be ready to go again).  Right now, one can drive almost any where using free power from the sun in California.  Soon, the Supercharging stations will also become available to a location near you!  Supercharging station will actually be able to produce more energy than it uses, therefore, be able to put excess energy into local power grid for general use.

    The company, founded by Musk, co-founder of PayPal and SpaceX, in 2003, has a factory in Fremont, in northern California. Tesla sports car sold in more than $ 100,000 and launched its Model S at an initial price of USD 49 900. Without an internal combustion engine or transmission tunnel, the Model S has more cargo space than any other sedan, and includes a second trunk under the hood. This car reaches 100 mph in just 4.4 seconds, and includes an in-dash touch screen, Internet access, allowing listening to the radio and getting round navigation instructions from the web.

    This is fantastic news! I will look forward to all future electric cars being able to run on free power/fuel from the sun and Supercharger possibly even supply some more energy for our power grid.  The future is looking brighter all the time!

    ~have a bright and sunny day~

    gathered, written, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker, sunisthefuture@gmail.com

    Homepage:  http://www.sunisthefuture.net


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