Archive for March, 2014

26 March

The Magnificent Solar Project of Royal Adelaide Showground of Australia

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Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers, (Please click on red links below),

I’ve got quite a treat for you today!

Panoramic view of Adelaide Showground Solar Panels at Rooftop (generating 1,400 megawatt-hour of solar electricity every year) (credit: sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker)

Besides the Australian Federal Solar Incentives and Australian State Feed-In-Tariffs, Australian government also provided other forms of encouragement for solar/renewable energy projects. In 2008, Premier Mike Rann announced the $8 million investment in the largest rooftop solar installation to take place at The Royal Adelaide Showground (locally known as the Wayville Showground). The Showground is located in the inner-southern Adelaide suburb of Wayville, just south of Greenhill Road. It is bordered by Goodwood Road (east), Leader Street (south), the railway line (west) and Rose Terrace (north). The Royal Agricultural and Horticultural Society of South Australia (RAHS) has controlled the site since the 1920s, the land having been purchased by the South Australian government prior to the First World War. The Royal Adelaide Showground  moved to the present site in 1925. The Adelaide Showground has one of the largest under-cover exhibition spaces in the Southern Hemisphere, hosting over 140 exhibitions and conferences,  attracting over 1.3 million visitors each year. From its 3.5 million liter underground water tanks to its solar installation generating 1,400 megawatt hour of solar electricity each year (equivalent to the capacity of powering 250 South Australian homes, powering 40% of the total average annual Showground’s power needs, saving 1,400 tonnes of greenhouse gas emission annually), Adelaide Showground is arguably the most environmentally friendly multi-purpose venue in Australia. It also provides a valuable educational resource for the wider community (check out its Solar Power Meter below, rarely seen at any other solar rooftop installations).

We were quite fortunate to have Mr. Ross Hocking of The Adelaide Showground, showing us the Showground, talking about its history, power generation, and showing us the simple but wonderfully educational Solar Power Meter

Adelaide Showground's Solar Power Meter, indicating the solar panels are functioning at about 40% of the maximum capacity...pretty good efficiency level for a cloudy day! Standing next to the Solar Power Meter, our technical advisor at Sun Is The Future, Mr. Michael Nunamaker (credit: sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker)

Ross Hocking of Adelaide Showground (credit: sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker)

 

that I have never seen at any other solar installation sites. It is easy to see the pride of the local people in their Royal Adelaide Showground solar rooftop through the eyes of Mr. Ross Hocking.

The project is the first MW-scale industrial rooftop  solar plant in Australia and the first commercial installation of First Solar Cd-Te thin film technology. The total area of the panels is 9,239 square-meters, installed on six buildings: Goyder, Jubilee, Wayville, Dairy/Goat Pavilions, Duncan Gallery, and Ridley Center. 12,612 First Solar 77.5 watt thin film CdTe modules, manufactured in Malaysia, and 108 Suntech 210 watt polycrystalline Si modules, manufactured in China, were installed on northern facades, Jubilee and Goyder Pavilions and screens. It took just three months to complete. The system is divided into 184 sub-systems, each is monitored for power production. The thin film technology chosen for this project has better temperature tolerance than typical mono- or poly- crystalline panels. These panels are warrantied for 25 years, but are expected to last at least 30-40 years. Its estimated average 1,400 annual power production will generate a gross saving of approximately $126,000 pa. Furthermore, as an Accredited Power Station, Renewable Energy Credits (REC’s) are received for MW’s generated, estimated at about $46,000 (traded at market value).

Adelaide Showground layout, where multiple pavilions have solar installations either on the rooftop or on the side of the building (credit: sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker)

Adelaide Showground Solar Panels at Duncan Gallery (credit: sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Adelaide Showground rooftop solar panels seen on multiple pavilions' rooftops (credit: sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Adelaide Showground solar rooftop (credit: sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Installation of the solar panels and associated systems was managed by building and engineering company Built Environs in partnership with grid-connect solar systems provider Solar Shop Australia. Usually the panels are washed once a year. Maintenance was contracted for the first ten years by the systems integrators, Solar Shop Australia Pty Ltd, to ensure the correct functioning of all structural and electrical components.

Once again, we see the importance of effective government policy and/or actions that would benefit both the consumers and growth of solar energy industry, insuring local economic prosperity while solving a nation’s concern for energy security and environmental quality. Australian government and politicians have accomplished a great deal. Bravo!

~have a bright and sunny day~

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

Any of your comments/suggestions/questions will be welcomed at sunisthefuture@gmail.com

Please also get into the habit of checking at these sites below for more on solar energy topics:

www.sunisthefuture.net

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www.pinterest.com/sunisthefuture

www.facebook.com/sunisthefuture

www.youtube.com/user/sunisthefuture

www.kiva.org/team/sunisthefuture

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24 March

Australian State Feed-In-Tariffs

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Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers, (Please click on red links below),

Solar Panel w/Cloud (credit: sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker). This design is also available at www.sunisthefuture.com

To continue our series of discussion on Australian Solar Incentives, in addition to Australian Federal Solar Incentives, most states also offer support for solar and other renewables via Feed-In-Tariff (FIT) schemes. Under the FIT scheme owners are paid for each unit of power that they export to the electricity grid. The FIT rates offered range from zero to as much as  66c or 68c per kWh. Most Australian states and territory governments either currently have or previously had a Solar Feed-In-Tariff  (Solar FIT) (also known as a Solar Bonus Scheme or Solar Buy-Back Scheme) in place. A uniform federal scheme to supersede all State schemes has been proposed by Tasmanian Greens Senator Christine Milne, but not enacted. National feed-in tariff systems have been enacted in numerous countries including Brazil, Canada, China and many EU countries.

There have been many changes to Feed-In-Tariff legislation in all Australian states and territories within the past two years. For an overview of these state incentives offered, please see the summary table of Australian State Government Feed-In-Tariffs Schemes, available at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feed-in_tariffs_in_Australia

Feed-in-Tariffs were introduced by a number of states in Australia to increase the amount of solar PV power generated. They can be classified by a number of factors including the price paid, whether it is on a net or gross export basis, the length of time payments are guaranteed, the maximum size of installation allowed and the type of customer allowed to participate. The Solar Feed-In-Tariff schemes currently available in Australia are predominantly “net” schemes. A net Feed-In-Tariff rewards one for each unit of solar power that one had exported to the electrical grid. The governments of New South Wales (NSW), Victoria (VIC), South Australia (SA), and Queensland (QLD) are operating under net Feed-In-Tariff scheme. Net FIT’s generally pay comparatively little to the producer (generally a household) because electricity produced by solar photovoltaic or other renewable energy just offsets the producer’s usage. Net FIT’s are referred to as “fake feed-in tariff” and is actually net metering, with a monthly payment for net generation, instead of the normal roll over. Gross tariffs conform to the normal definition of a feed-in tariff, and provide a more certain financial return, paying for all electricity produced, even if it is consumed by the producer, reducing or helping meet peak demand. If you are still not clear about the difference between gross vs net feed-in-tariff, think of net feed-in-tariff as having a cap on the amount of energy one can sell back to the grid at the level of one’s energy consumption whereas gross feed-in-tariff does not have such a cap. Many Australian state feed-in tariffs were net export tariffs, whereas conservation groups argued for gross feed-in tariffs. In March 2009, the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) started a solar gross feed-in tariff. For systems up to 10 kW the payment was 50.05 cents per kWh. For systems from 10 kW to 30 kW the payment was 40.04 cents per kWh. The payment was revised downward once before an overall capacity cap was reached and the scheme closed. Payments are made quarterly based on energy generated and the payment rate is guaranteed for 20 years.

The ACT , TAS, and New South Wales have  or had gross feed-in tariffs. Other State Governments have enacted net feed-in tariff schemes which have been criticised for not providing enough incentive for households to install solar panels and thus for not effectively encouraging the uptake of solar PV.

Australian FIT laws tend to focus on providing support to solar PV particularly in the residential context, and project limits on installed capacity (such as 10kW in NSW) mean effectively that FITs do not support large scale projects such as wind farms or solar thermal power stations.

Solar FITs are one of the key incentive mechanism for the promotion of renewable energy generation across the globe. Through FITs, Germany was able to become the world leader in rooftop solar power. China has also introduced a national FIT program in an effort to expand domestic demand for solar PV systems.

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

Related link/URL:

Feed-In-Tariff

Decarbonisation on the Cheap, How an Electricity Efficiency Feed-In-Tariff Can Cut Energy Costs

Why FITs (from Alliance For Renewable Energy)

Any of your comments/suggestions/questions will be welcomed at sunisthefuture@gmail.com

Please also get into the habit of checking at these sites below for more on solar energy topics:

www.sunisthefuture.net

www.instagram.com/sunisthefuture

www.pinterest.com/sunisthefuture

www.facebook.com/sunisthefuture

www.youtube.com/user/sunisthefuture

www.kiva.org/team/sunisthefuture

www.sunisthefuture.com

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20 March

Australian Federal Solar Incentives

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Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers, (Please click on red links below),

Sun Above Brisbane, Australia (credit: sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker)

As I’ve promised in our previous post on “Aussie’s Transition Into Renewable Energy Age“, let’s have a closer look at Australian incentive policies designed to encourage the uptake of solar and other types of renewable energy. In essence, there are two types of financial incentive schemes, the Federal Solar Incentives and the State Incentives. In today’s post, I’d like to concentrate on the Federal Solar Incentives.

Firstly, I want to clarify that MRET (Mandatory Renewable Energy Target) and RET (Renewable Energy Target) are not exactly the same policy, even though both MRET and RET are under the category of Federal Incentives.

The MRET of Commonwealth Government began on April 1, 2001, by means of the Renewable Energy (Electricity) Act 2000 (the Act), targeting the generation of 9,500 GWh (gigawatt hour) of extra renewable electricity per year by 2010. In 2009, the Renewable Energy (Electricity) Bill 2009 amended the Act and replaced the MRET with the RET. This altered the target from 9,500 GWh per year by 2010 to 45,000  GWh by 2020 and introduced the Solar Credits scheme. Definitely, RET has much more ambitious goals.

The Renewable Energy Target (RET) requires that 20 per cent of Australia’s electricity be produced from renewable energy sources by 2020. To achieve this, the Government has set annual targets for each year of the scheme and requires Australian electricity retailers and large wholesale purchasers of electricity to demonstrate that they meet these targets. Compliance is demonstrated by surrendering renewable energy certificates (RECs), where one REC is equivalent to one additional megawatt hour (MWh) of electricity generated from renewable energy sources (above a 1997 benchmark). Failure to surrender adequate RECs would lead to a penalty charge of $65 per MWh. Electricity retailers and wholesale buyers can choose to either generate the electricity from renewable energy sources themselves or purchase the RECs from others that have done so. This creates a market for RECs.

RECs come in 2 forms: Small-scale Technology Certificates (STCs) for renewable energy generators up to 100 kilowatts (kW), and Large-scale Generation Certificates (LGCs) for systems whose capacity is greater than 100kW.

The most recent review of the RET has recommended that the size of renewable energy generators eligible for STCs be decreased to 10kW in 2013.

Shortly after the passage of the 2009 legislation, REC prices fell sharply.  This may had been caused by the intricacies and practicalities of the new RET, as well as its interaction with some State-level policy. This price crash created uncertainty in the market and threatened to deter potential investment in large-scale renewable energy projects. So the Australian Government announced a series of reviews and ultimately amended the legislation to create the LRET and SRES.

  • The Large-scale Renewable Energy Target (LRET) has a target of 41,000 gigawatt hours (GWh) by 2020 and only large-scale renewable energy projects are eligible.
  • The Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme (SRES) targets a theoretical 4,000 GWh annually and is eligible only to small-scale or household installations.

As part of the SRES, a program known as the Solar Credits scheme allows households, businesses or community groups to generate more than just one SREC for each megawatt hour generated. In fact, depending on the set ‘multiplier’, they have been able to generate up to five SRECs per megawatt hour of electricity that they produce. The scheme is based on the capacity of the solar energy system, and on the likely amount it will generate over a given period. The Solar Credits scheme applies only to the first 1.5 kW of installed renewable energy capacity of an eligible small generation unit. For units bigger than this, each megawatt hour generated from the extra capacity is eligible for only the standard 1 to 1 rate of SREC creation. The SREC ‘multiplier’ is set at five until 2011, and then declines to three on July 1, 2011, and then decline by one for each year after 2011 until the Solar Credits scheme ends in 2013.

While the LRET target is certain and capped, target of the SRES is not; it is only notional. As the LRET is capped, the prices of LRECs fluctuate on the market and can vary daily with any number of external and internal factors up to the level of the penalty charge. The price of SRECs, however, is fixed by the Government (initially at $40). The actual amount of electricity generated under the SRES may or may not exceed the 4,000 GWh estimate.

Australian electricity retailers and large wholesale purchasers of electricity are therefore required to surrender a fixed proportion of LRECs annually, but an uncertain and changing proportion of SRECs (since this depends on the total number of SRECs generated each year).

Related sites/links:

Small Generation Unit STCs Calculator

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

Any of your comments/suggestions/questions will be welcomed at sunisthefuture@gmail.com

Please also get into the habit of checking at these sites below for more on solar energy topics:

www.sunisthefuture.net

www.instagram.com/sunisthefuture

www.pinterest.com/sunisthefuture

www.facebook.com/sunisthefuture

www.youtube.com/user/sunisthefuture

www.kiva.org/team/sunisthefuture

www.sunisthefuture.com

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18 March

Aussie’s Transition Into Renewable Energy Age

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Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers, (Please click on red links below),

Adelaide Airport, where solar PVs are installed on the roof, resulting from solar feed-in-tariff introduced by Premier Mike Rann (credit: sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker)

Due to our previous post on Darwin’s Blackout, let’s take a look at some of the recent developments of Renewable Energy policies in Australia.

Back in 2006, about 9,500 GWh (gigawatt-hours) of Australian electricity came from renewable sources, representing less than 4% of  nationally generated electricity. By 2011, that number moved up to approximately 29,302 GWh and to 29,678 GWh by 2012, representing 13.14% of the total production in Australia.

Similar to many other countries, government policy in response to concern for climate change, energy independence, and economic stimulus has been the driving force behind encouraging the development of renewable energy. A key policy that has been in place since 2001 to encourage large-scale renewable energy development is a mandatory renewable energy target (MRET), which in 2010 was increased to 41,000 GWh of renewable generation from power stations. There is also the Small-Scale Renewable Energy Scheme, an uncapped scheme to support rooftop solar power and solar hot water and several State schemes providing feed-in tariffs to encourage photovoltaics. In 2012, these policies have been supplemented by a carbon price and a 10 billion-dollar fund to finance renewable energy projects.

Based on a survey result indicated in Angus Reid Global Monitor (June 25, 2007), there is/was considerable public support for the use of renewable energy and energy efficiency in Australia.

It has also been suggested that with sufficient public and private sector investment and government policy certainty, Australia could switch entirely to renewable energy within a decade by building additional large-scale solar and wind power developments, upgrading to transmission infrastructure and introduction of appropriate energy efficiency measures.

The amount of installed PV capacity in Australia has increased 10-fold between 2009 and 2011. Feed-in-tariffs and mandatory renewable energy targets specifically designed to assist renewable energy commercialization in Australia have largely been responsible for the rapid increase.  In South Australia, Premier Mike Rann introduced a solar feed in tariff for households and an educational program that involved installing photovoltaics on the roofs of major public buildings such as the Adelaide Airport, State Parliament, Museum, Art Gallery and several hundred public schools. In 2008 Premier Rann announced funding for $8 million worth of solar panels on the roof of the new Goyder Pavilion at the Royal Adelaide Showgrounds, the largest roof top solar installation in Australia, qualifying it for official “power station” status. South Australia has the highest per capita take up of household solar power in Australia. The first commercial-scale PV power plant was opened in 2011, the Uterne Solar Power Station, a 1MW capacity grid-connected solar photovoltaic system located 5 km south of Alice Springs in the Northern Territory. The second opened in 2012 at Greenough River Solar Farm with a capacity of 10 MW. The price of photovoltaics has been decreasing, and in January of 2013, was less than half the cost of using grid electricity in Australia.

A closer look at some of the incentive policies mentioned above will be presented in the following posts.

Related article/site below:

http://ret.cleanenergyregulator.gov.au/

http://www.adelaideairport.com.au/assets/pdfs/sustainability/factsheets/AAL_Solar_display_fact_Sheet.pdf

~have a bright and sunny day~

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

Any of your comments/suggestions/questions will be welcomed at sunisthefuture@gmail.com

Please also get into the habit of checking at these sites below for more on solar energy topics:

www.sunisthefuture.net

www.instagram.com/sunisthefuture

www.pinterest.com/sunisthefuture

www.facebook.com/sunisthefuture

www.youtube.com/user/sunisthefuture

www.kiva.org/team/sunisthefuture

www.sunisthefuture.com

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14 March

Darwin’s Blackout

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Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers, (Please click on red links below),

Australian Sun seen from Brisbane Botanic Garden (credit: sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker)

As cities expand, population density increases, but without sufficient redundancy built-in the grid system, incidents such as this, below, will likely to appear.


On Wednesday, March 12, 2014, a tripped circuit breaker at Hudson Creek substation activated a protection system at the Channel Island power station, shutting down its transmission capacity, affecting more than 130,000 people. This power failure brought the city of Darwin, Australia, almost to a complete standstill. This blackout stretched all the way to Katherine (about 320 km south-east), Palmerston, and Pine Creek.

During this period of shut down (it took about 14 hours before 80% of the Darwin residents had their power restored),  the public service and most businesses shut down, the city bus service suspended, traffic light across the city were out (with police manning intersections), air conditioning was not available, etc.

“While it wasn’t an emergency situation, it was a crisis,” Chief Minister Adam Giles told reporters on Wednesday afternoon.

“We’ve never, ever experienced anything like this,” said Opposition Leader Delia Lawrie.

To quote from a petition to the Prime Minister Singh of India in 2012 when India was experiencing blackout:

It’s time to invest in energy efficiency and decentralized renewable energy/solar energy for all.

It is time to deploy lots of distributed solar and efficiency because solar is available when most needed, during peak hours. And efficiency makes the peak smaller so less power is needed in the first place.

~may we all have a bright and sunny day~

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

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

www.sunisthefuture.net

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13 March

Revolving Fund For Community Solar Energy

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Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers, (Please click on red links below)

Capturing The Sun is also available at www.sunisthefuture.com (credit: sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker)

Just a quick note to let you all know that  another solar project has been helped by crowdfunding platform Indiegogo. This time, by helping installation of 22 kW solar array at the Kehilla Community to go solar today, hopefully there will be more communities to go solar tomorrow!  The  Re-volv project campaign  at Indiegogo (a crowdfunding platform), located in San Francisco, CA, had a goal of $55,000 that ran between December 3, 2013-January 23, 2014. At the end of its campaign period, over 300 people from 20 states and 7 countries came together collectively to fund a total of $56,070 was raised. Below, you will see/hear Andreas Karelas, the RE-volv project organizer sharing RE-volv and Solar Seed Fund with us, below:


For every $1 donated Kehilla will save $2 over the life of the solar energy system. For every $1 donated RE-volv will be able to invest $3 more in solar. So, for every $1 donated, it generates an additional $5 worth of benefit. By supporting this campaign, those  who helped not only helped to finance a solar energy system for the Kehilla Community Synagogue, saving them $130,000 during the life of the system, but also helped replacing grid electricity that would have emitted 14,490 lbs of carbon dioxide each year with clean solar energy. Furthermore, each donor is paying forward to create solar energy projects today and tomorrow through a revolving fund, the Solar Seed Fund.

When donating to the Solar Seed Fund, one is investing in this solar energy project and future projects for other nonprofits and cooperatives. The Solar Seed Fund pays for solar energy installations on local community centers that pay RE-volv back over time through the savings on their energy bill. Then RE-volv reinvests the principles and revenues it makes on each project into additional solar projects-an average of 3 to 5 projects. So investing in the Solar Seed Fund would multiply the donation amount over time as RE-volv invests in more projects. All of the donations to RE-volv are tax-deductible since RE-volv is a non-profit organization.  Perks such as: photos of the completed solar installation ($25 donation level), tote bag ($50 level), Danny Kennedy’s optimistic book on energy and sustainability in America “Rooftop Revolution” ($100 level), solar phone charger ($250 level), framed photo of the solar panel funded ($500 level), listed as an Executive Producer in Kehilla solar project and listed in RE-volv’s annual report ($1000 level), VIP Solar Tour ($2,500 level), dinner with RE-volv team ($5,000 level), RE-volv’s Executive Director will come to your community to speak about solar energy ($2,500 level), are in place.

During a previous project (RE-volv’s first solar project), 300 people from 26 states and 5 countries came together and donated to make their first solar installation possible at Shawl-Anderson Dance Center in Berkeley, CA. This 10 KW project will not only save Shawl-Anderson thousands on the electricity bill, but their lease payments will be reinvested to finance four additional solar energy projects.

To quote from website, www.re-volv.org, below:

The idea behind RE-volv is simple: Let’s all get together, chip in a few bucks, and create a society powered by renewable energy. RE-volv, a nonprofit organization, finances local community-based solar projects through the Solar Seed Fund—a revolving fund for solar projects that raises money through crowdfunding.

We will look forward to more future projects with this organization as it expands from CA to elsewhere, for it is brilliant, collaborative, and serves its respective communities well. If your community is interested in renewable energy, RE-volv can help you to assess the renewable energy potential in your community and provide low-cost financing for your community’s renewable energy needs. For free consultation, please contact RE-volv via email at info@re-volv.org or phone 415-314-7719.

Yes, together, we earthlings may be able to invest in a brighter, cleaner future for all of our communities everywhere.

If your community is interested in renewable energy, RE-volv can help you to assess the renewable energy potential in your community and provide low-cost financing for your community’s renewable energy needs. For free consultation, please contact RE-volv via email at info@re-volv.org or phone 415-314-7719.

Please also get into the habit of checking at these sites below for more on solar energy topics:

www.sunisthefuture.net

www.instagram.com/sunisthefuture

www.pinterest.com/sunisthefuture

www.facebook.com/sunisthefuture

www.youtube.com/user/sunisthefuture

www.kiva.org/team/sunisthefuture

www.sunisthefuture.com

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5 March

U.S. Solar Market Had Record Growth of 41% In 2013!

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Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers, (Please click on red links below)

Hubbert Peak Oil Plot (credit: Hankwang at en.wikipedia & sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker)

Great News from SEIA (Solar Energy Industries Association) Press Release, below:

New Report: U.S. Solar Market Grows 41%, Has Record Year in 2013 

WASHINGTON, D.C. AND BOSTON, MA – Continuing its explosive growth, the U.S. solar industry had a record-shattering year in 2013. According to GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association’s (SEIA) Solar Market Insight Year in Review 2013, photovoltaic (PV) installations continued to proliferate, increasing 41% over 2012 to reach 4,751 megawatts (MW). In addition, 410 MW of concentrating solar power (CSP) came online. Solar was the second-largest source of new electricity generating capacity in the U.S., exceeded only by natural gas. Additionally, the cost to install solar fell throughout the year, ending the year 15 percent below the mark set at the end of 2012.

At the end of 2013 there were more than 440,000 operating solar electric systems in the U.S. totaling over 12,000 MW of PV and 918 MW of CSP.

FIGURE: New U.S. Electricity Generation Capacity, 2012 vs. 2013


Source: GTM Research, FERC

The U.S. installed 2,106 megawatts in the fourth quarter alone, 44 percent of the annual total. This makes Q4 2013 by far the largest quarter in the history of the U.S. market, exceeding the next largest quarter by 60 percent.

“Perhaps more important than the numbers,” writes Shayle Kann, Senior Vice President at GTM Research, “2013 offered the U.S. solar market the first real glimpse of its path toward mainstream status. The combination of rapid customer adoption, grassroots support for solar, improved financing terms, and public market successes displayed clear gains for solar in the eyes of both the general population and the investment community.”

FIGURE: U.S. PV Installations and Average System Price, 2000-2013


Source: GTM Research/SEIA U.S. Solar Market Insight: 2013 Year-in-Review

“Today, solar is the fastest-growing source of renewable energy in America, generating enough clean, reliable and affordable electricity to power more than 2.2 million homes – and we’re just beginning to scratch the surface of our industry’s enormous potential,” said SEIA President and CEO Rhone Resch.  “Last year alone, solar created tens of thousands of new American jobs and pumped tens of billions of dollars into the U.S. economy.  In fact, more solar has been installed in the U.S. in the last 18 months than in the 30 years prior.  That’s a remarkable record of achievement.”

California continues to lead the U.S. market and installed more than half of all U.S. solar in 2013. In fact, the state installed more solar last year than the entire United States did in 2011. Despite installing the second-most PV in 2013 with 421 megawatts, Arizona didn’t live up to its 2012 total of 710 megawatts. On the other side of the spectrum, North Carolina, Massachusetts, and Georgia had major growth years, installing a combined 663 megawatts, more than doubling their combined total from the year before. On the whole, the top five states (California, Arizona, North Carolina, Massachusetts, and New Jersey) accounted for 81 percent of all U.S. PV installations in 2013.

FIGURE: US SOLAR INSTALLATION MAP

Source: GTM Research/SEIA U.S. Solar Market Insight: 2013 Year in Review

GTM Research and SEIA forecast another strong year in 2014 with 26% growth in the U.S. solar market. This will bring annual installations up to nearly 6 gigawatts and the cumulative total will be just shy of the twenty gigawatt milestone.

Report Key Findings:

  • The U.S. installed 4,751 MW of solar PV in 2013, up 41 percent over 2012 and nearly fifteen times the amount installed in 2008.
  • There is now a total of 12.1 GW of PV and 918 MW of CSP operating in the U.S
  • There were 140,000 individual solar installations in the U.S. in 2013, and a total of over 440,000 systems operating in total today.
  • Q4 2013 was by far the largest quarter ever for PV installations in the U.S. with 2,106 MW energized, up 60 percent over the next largest quarter (Q4 2012).
  • More solar has been installed in the U.S. in the last 18 months than in the 30 years prior.
  • The market value of all PV installations completed in 2013 was $13.7 billion.
  • Solar accounted for 29 percent of all new electricity generation capacity in 2013, up from 10% in 2012. This made solar the second-largest source of new generating capacity behind natural gas.
  • Weighted average PV system prices fell 15% in 2013, reaching a new low of $2.59/W in the fourth quarter.
  • We forecast 26 percent PV installation growth in 2014, with installations reaching nearly 6 GW. Growth will occur in all segments but will be most rapid in the residential market.
  • The U.S. installed 410 MW of concentrating solar (CSP) in 2013, increasing total CSP capacity in the U.S. more than 80%.
  • The wave of concentrating solar power installations slated for completion at the end of 2013 into 2014 kicked off with the 280 MWac Solana project and the Genesis Solar project’s initial 125 MWac phase. In early 2014, Brightsource’s iconic Ivanpah project also began operating and SolarReserve’s Crescent Dunes project began commissioning.

About U.S. Solar Market Insight:
The U.S. Solar Market Insight: Year-in-Review 2013 report is the most detailed and timely research available on the continuing growth and opportunity in the U.S. The report includes deep analysis of solar markets, technologies and pricing, identifying the key metrics that will help solar decision-makers navigate the market’s current and forecasted trajectory.

For more information, visit www.greentechmedia.com/research/ussmi

Downloadable charts are available at: http://www.seia.org/research-resources/solar-market-insight-report-2013-year-review

About GTM Research:
GTM Research, a division of Greentech Media, provides critical and timely market analysis in the form of research reports, data services, advisory services and strategic consulting. GTM Research’s analysis also underpins Greentech Media’s webinars and live events. Our coverage spans the green energy industry including solar power, smart grid, energy storage, energy efficiency and wind power sectors. www.gtmresearch.com

About SEIA®:
Established in 1974, the Solar Energy Industries Association® is the national trade association of the U.S. solar energy industry. Through advocacy and education, SEIA and its 1,000 member companies are building a strong solar industry to power America. As the voice of the industry, SEIA works to make solar a mainstream and significant energy source by expanding markets, removing market barriers, strengthening the industry and educating the public on the benefits of solar energy. www.seia.org

Media Contacts:
Ken Johnson, SEIA Vice President, Communications:  202.556.2885, kjohnson@seia.org
Mike Munsell, GTM Research, Marketing Manager: 617.500.7764, munsell@gtmresearch.com
Shayle Kann, GTM Research, Senior Vice President: 617.500.4216, kann@gtmresearch.com

 

~have a bright and sunny day~

Gathered and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

Any of your comments/suggestions/questions will be welcomed at sunisthefuture@gmail.com

Similar Topic in one of our previous posts: Are We Moving Fast Enough Toward Solar-Wind-Water-Geothermal-Biomass?

Please also get into the habit of checking at these sites below for more on solar energy topics:

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www.kiva.org/team/sunisthefuture

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4 March

Upcoming SEPA’s Webinar Series

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Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers, (Please click on red links below)

Florida Sun (credit: sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker)

Just received this announcement about the upcoming SEPA Webinar Series

Join us for the next SEPA Webinar Series

Focus on Forecasting with SEPA’s March 6 Webinar

Join SEPA Thursday at 11am Pacific/2pm Eastern for Predicting Solar Power Production: Irradiance Forecasting Models, Applications and Future Prospects. Learn about forecasting methods; evaluate factors that impact accuracy; assess challenges and hear how solar forecasting can be a tool to accommodate expanding solar deployment. Register here.

 

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3 March

Let’s Move Our 50 States Toward Clean Energy! The Clean, Renewable Energy Movement Is Here!

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Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers, (Please click on red links below)

The Solutions Project Story, www.thesolutionsproject.org (image by sunisthefuture.net)

Have you heard about the 50-state roadmap developed by Stanford University scientist/professor Mark Jacobson and his colleagues ? It is transforming the United States from dependence on fossil fuels, replacing coal, oil, and natural gas to 100% renewable energy by 2050, using solar, wind, and water. The plan for this roadmap was unveiled at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Chicago. This 50-state plan is posted at The Solutions Project website, a nonprofit outreach effort led by Professor Jacobson, Actor Mark Ruffalo (co-star of The Avengers), movie Director Josh Fox, etc., to raise public awareness about the necessity of our transition from fossil fuels to clean/renewable energy (solar, wind, and water). This transition would help to significantly reduce carbon dioxide emissions that contribute to global warming and spare the lives of the estimated 59,000 Americans who die from exposure to air pollution annually. Let’s hear what Dr. Mark Z. Jacobson has to say about this, below:


Similar talks with Dr./Prof. Jacobson available at links below:

Economics of Climate Change: Mark Z. Jacobson, uploaded by The New School

Wind, Water, and Sunlight, uploaded by StanfordUniversity

QnA after Mark Z. Jacobson’s Presentation in Toronto on Oct. 15, 2012

According to Professor/Dr. Jacobson, the motivation for this 50-state plan is to address the negative impacts on climate and human health from widespread use of coal, oil, and natural gas. “Drastic problems require drastic and immediate solutions….Global warming, air pollution, and energy security are three of the most significant problems facing the world today,” commented Dr. Jacobson, a professor of civil and environmental engineering, “Our new roadmap is designed to provide each state a first step toward a renewable future.” Conversion of energy infrastructures of New York, California, and Washington states to 100% clean energy (composed of solar-wind-water power) by 2050 have been developed by Jacobson and his colleagues, with an online interactive map tailored to maximize the renewable resource potential of each of the 50 states. For example, as one hovers a cursor over region of CA on the map, one sees that CA can meet almost all of its power demands (transportation, electricity, heating, etc.) in 2050 by a clean energy portfolio composed of 55% solar, 35.5% wind (on-and offshore), 5% geothermal, and 4% hydroelectric, and 0.5% wave power. Florida, on the other hand, will be meeting its power demands by 77.9% solar, 21% wind, 1% wave device, and 0.1% hydroelectric power by 2050. Nuclear power, ethanol, and other biofuels are not included in the energy mix of any of the 50 states by 2050.

Professor Jacobson added, “The new map provides all of the basic information, such as how many wind turbines and solar panels would be needed to power each state, how much land area would be required, what would be the cost and cost savings, how many jobs would be created, and how much pollution-related mortality and global-warming emissions would be avoided.”

The goal of The Solutions Project is in combining science, business, policy,  outreaching through social media and artists and entertainers who can facilitate in circulating the information among general public, and in researching for solutions to these global challenges.

The goal of The Solutions Project  is definitely in sync with that of Sun Is The Future…spreading the information about solar energy (www.sunisthefuture.net), helping entrepreneurs to establish small businesses in solar energy/renewable energy/energy efficiency/recycling (www.kiva.org/team/sunisthefuture),  and operating online store (www.sunisthefuture.com). Let’s join The Solutions Project and sign up to support the movement of your/our respective states’ Transition Toward Clean Energy!

~have a bright and sunny day~

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

Related posts below:

Fellow Earthlings, We Need To Go Renewables (Solar-Wind-Water) Quickly!

Pathway To 100% Renewables Is Not A Pipedream (3)

Bold, Visionary Thinking On Pathways To 100% Renewable Energy

Do You Want Energy Independence or Our Democracy to Return To Us?

Any of your comments/suggestions/questions will be welcomed at sunisthefuture@gmail.com

Please also get into the habit of checking at these sites below for more on solar energy topics:

www.sunisthefuture.net

www.instagram.com/sunisthefuture

www.pinterest.com/sunisthefuture

www.facebook.com/sunisthefuture

www.youtube.com/user/sunisthefuture

www.kiva.org/team/sunisthefuture

www.sunisthefuture.com

Homepage: http://www.sunisthefuture.net HTML adl Google+

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