Posts Tagged ‘Austria’

3 October

Despite the U.S. Government Shut-Down, U.S. Department of Energy Maintains, “Solar Decathlon 2013 (at Orange County Great Park, CA) Must Go On!”


Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers,

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During this first half of the month of October, Sun Is The Future will be bringing you two very special events: Solar Decathlon 2013 (in Irvine, CA in USA) and World Solar Challenge 2013 (between Darwin and Adelaide, Australia).


Please show your support for Renewable Energy by visiting-signing-sharing Renewable-FIT For Sunshine State!


Sharing the press release I’ve just received regarding the Solar Decathlon 2013 of Solar-Powered Houses Opened to the general public at Orange County Great Park in Irvine, CA of USA.

Despite the U.S. government shut-down, Solar Decathlon 2013 of U.S. Department of Energy Goes On!

The Show Goes On, Despite U.S. Government Shut-Down:Solar Decathlon 2013 Village (Credit: Richard King)

Below, is a video summarizing the goal of Solar Decathlon of U.S. Department of Energy:

For On-Site Inquiries and Logistics: Jason Lutterman, U.S. Department of Energy, (202) 779-3295

Solar Decathlon 2013 Kicks Off Today, Solar-Powered Houses Open to Public at Orange County Great Park in Irvine, California

Collegiate Teams Showcase Affordable, Energy-Efficient Houses in Global Competition

Irvine, Calif. – Collegiate teams involving more than 1,000 students from around the world have assembled at the Orange County Great Park in Irvine, Calif., to showcase their highly energy-efficient, solar-powered houses for the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2013. Today’s opening ceremony kicks off the highly anticipated biennial competition that challenges collegiate teams to design, build, and operate houses powered by the sun that are affordable, energy efficient, attractive, and easy to live in.

These inspiring collegiate teams show our onsite visitors and online Solar Decathlon audience around the world how efficient building design and clean energy products available today can help families and businesses save money by saving energy,” said Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz. “The event provides student competitors with unique real-world training to become the clean energy workforce of the future and helps ensure that our nation remains competitive in the global race for clean energy.”

In addition to educating the public about money-saving and energy-saving opportunities available today, this award-winning competition engages students from across the nation and around the world to develop the skills and knowledge to become the next generation of architects, engineers and clean energy entrepreneurs. Over the last decade, the competition has prepared approximately 17,000 students to become future innovators in clean energy technologies and efficient building designs that cut carbon pollution and help slow the effects of climate change to leave a cleaner, more stable environment for future generations. The Solar Decathlon also supports the Obama Administration’s goal of transitioning to a clean energy economy while saving families and businesses money.

Student teams in the 2013 competition span two continents, including teams from the United States, Canada, Austria, and the Czech Republic. Over the next 10 days, they will compete in 10 contests that gauge each house’s performance, livability, and affordability, rewarding teams that build houses with estimated costs at or below $250,000. The teams will have to perform a variety of everyday tasks, including cooking, laundry, and washing dishes, to test the livability and energy use of their houses. The winner of the overall competition is the team that best blends affordability, consumer appeal, and design excellence with optimal energy production and maximum efficiency.

Thousands are expected to visit the houses, which will be open to the public free of charge on eight days over two weekends:  from Thursday, October 3, through Sunday, October 6, and again from Thursday, October 10, throughSunday, October 13, from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. PDT. Visitors are able to tour the houses, gather ideas to use in their own homes, and learn how energy-saving features can help them save money today. The overall winner will be announced on Saturday, October 12 at 10:00 a.m. PDT. This Solar Decathlon is the sixth such competition since 2002.

This year’s collegiate teams were chosen nearly two years ago through a competitive process. The selected teams and their projects represent a diverse range of design approaches, building technologies, and geographic locations, climates and regions – including urban, suburban and rural settings. They also aim to reach a broad range of target housing markets, including veterans, disaster relief, retirement, and single family. Teams have gathered their combined interdisciplinary talents to design and build the houses, as well as to raise funds, furnish and decorate the houses, and optimize the houses’ performance.

Solar Decathlon 2013 teams competing at the Orange County Great Park


  • ·         Arizona State University and The University of New Mexico
  • ·         Czech Republic (Czech Technical University)
  • ·         Kentucky/Indiana (University of Louisville, Ball State University, and University of Kentucky)
  • ·         Middlebury College
  • ·         Missouri University of Science and Technology
  • ·         Norwich University
  • ·         Santa Clara University
  • ·         Southern California Institute of Architecture and California Institute of Technology
  • ·         Stanford University
  • ·         Stevens Institute of Technology
  • ·         Team Alberta (University of Calgary)
  • ·         Team Austria (Vienna University of Technology)
  • ·         Team Capitol DC (The Catholic University of
America, George Washington University, and

American University)

  • ·         Team Ontario (Queen’s University, Carleton University, and Algonquin College)
  • ·         Team Texas (The University of Texas at El Paso and El Paso Community College)
  • ·         University of Nevada Las Vegas
  • ·         The University of North Carolina at Charlotte
  • ·         University of Southern California
  • ·         West Virginia University

For the first time, the Solar Decathlon will be hosted alongside XPO, a clean, renewable and efficient energy exposition, featuring visionary and innovative companies, products, and educational opportunities, organized by the City of Irvine and Orange County Great Park. Through fun, interactive exhibits and activities, the XPO will provide visitors with information about the broad spectrum of energy efficiency in home design, transportation, consumer products, food production and education. Visitors will experience a 21st century festival of creativity, technology, design, and educational experiences that will inspire children and adults alike. Learn more at

For full event information, current standings, high-resolution photos, videos, an event schedule and daily results, visit You may also follow the competition in real time on Facebook at and Twitter at @Solar_Decathlon. Photos are also available on Flickr at


My dear viewers/readers, it’s been a great pleasure of mine to share with you a glimpse of our future world, where people are/will be driven by their passions and optimism for our future world rather than purely for the immediate monetary rewards. Let’s applaud for those who are sweating away at Solar Decathlon 2013 (Orange County’s Great Park, CA, in USA)!

~have a bright and sunny day~

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

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30 May

Art & Function Via Solar Tree


Dear Readers,

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If you are in favor of renewable,  clean, or solar energy, please sign this petition for FIT/CLEAN Program, accessible at Thank you very much.


Dear Friends & Readers,

Did you ever read  that Dr. Seuss’ story of the Lorax when you were a kid?  “I am the Lorax. I speak for the trees. I speak for the trees for they have no tongues.”–Dr. Seuss (The Lorax)

I suspect when the young Aidan Dwyer (of New York) first read this book, Dr. Seuss‘ words must have made a great deal of impression upon his curious mind.   For he subsequently designed/invented (when he reached age thirteen) the solar tree, a decorative means of producing solar energy using multiple solar panels which form the shape of a tree via assistance of poles.  This design of solar tree can also double as street lights, producing 50% more power than a flat solar power layout during winter and 20% more power during other seasons.

Such ingenious concept was further evolved, now also found around streets of Austria

Solar Tree in Gleisdorf, Austria (Wikimedia Commons)

, or through the lens of the industrial designers Ross Lovegrove and founder of Artemide Ernesto Gismondi,  utilizing the synergy between solar and LED technology, into something that is low in maintenance and yet high in performance and may be totally off-grid and even feed back any excess electricity back into the grid.  Some believes that such an evolved design of solar tree represents more than just a light, but also a humanitarian statement about how to harness the power for free and then give it back to the society. Manufactured by Italian lighting brand Artemide and designed by Ross Lovegrove, the Solar Tree (it was previously located outside of the MAK Museum in Vienna) opened to Londoners on May 24, 2012 at St. John’s Square will remain there until late September.  It is seen in the video clip below:

This (Lovegrove’s) Solar Tree installation has an array of LED lit solar pads held up by 20 green stems.  The Solar Tree contains embedded artificial intelligence that automatically switches the LED lights on after dark and is smart enough to decipher the appropriate light intensity with consideration of the natural light conditions and the battery’s energy level. Lovegrove’s Solar Tree is designed to work with both on and off grid applications;when connected to a grid, the Tree is able to feed back any excess electricity back into the grid. When connected to an off-grid application, the Tree is able to provide lighting for up to three days before its battery runs flat.

Let’s hope the challenges that we face during this time of transition into the renewable energy era will continue to provide us with inspirations for our perceptions of nature, function, and beauty.

~have a bright and sunny day~

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

Any comments and suggestions are welcomed at

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8 May

Incentive For Solar (8)-Feed-In-Tariff


Greetings, Fellow Sunshine Lovers & Supporters for Solar Energy,

Firstly, Happy Mother’s Day!

If you are in favor of renewable/CLEAN energy, please sign the petition page showing support for FIT/CLEAN Program at Thank you.

Sorry about the delay of this week’s postings…I tend to procrastinate when the issue seems to carry more weight in my heart…for I sincerely believe the thorough implementation of optimal Feed-In-Tariff (FIT) for solar and all other renewable energies have the potential of accelerating our transition into renewable energy era at such an incredibly tremendous pace that it will help to bring down the cost of solar technology like you won’t believe! It had both perplexed and troubled me how snail- paced Feed-In-Tariff (FIT) had been spreading/implementing within US, considering the fact that the first form of feed-in-tariff was actually implemented in US in 1978, under President Jimmy Carter’s administration, telling Americans that the energy crisis was a “clear and present danger to our nation” and drew out a plan to address it. Thirty-three years later, here we are now, in 2011, when feed-in-tariff had been enacted in more than sixty four other countries including Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, India, Iran, Republic of Ireland, Israel, Italy, the Republic of Korea, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Mongolia, the Netherlands, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, UK, while only about a dozen states in the United States, have implemented this fantastic policy mechanism designed to encourage the adoption of renewable energy sources and to help accelerate the move toward grid parity (grid parity is the point at which alternative means of generating electricity is at least as cheap as grid power.)

Put it simply, Feed-In-Tariff is an incentive policy that requires the power company to buy renewable energy from any one who produces it. No matter how small the producer is, the power company has to buy the renewable energy from the producer. Different tariff rates are set for different renewable energy technologies, linked to the cost of resource development in each case.  Typically, FITs include three key provisions:

  • guaranteed grid access
  • long-term contracts (often 15-25 years) for the electricity produced
  • purchase prices that are based on the cost of renewable energy generation and tend towards grid parity

The cost based prices therefore enable a diversity of projects (wind, solar, etc.) to be developed while investors can obtain a reasonable return on renewable energy investments.  This principle was first explained in Germany’s 2000 RES Act:

“The compensation rates…have been determined by means of scientific studies, subject to the provision that the rates identified should make it possible for an installation – when managed efficiently – to be operated cost-effectively, based on the use of state-of-art technology and depending on the renewable energy sources naturally available in a given geographical environment.” (RES Act 2000, Explanatory Memorandum A)

In 2008,  the European Commission concluded that well-adapted feed-in-tariff regimes are generally the most efficient and effective support schemes for promoting renewable electricity.  This conclusion is also supported by International Energy Agency, the European Federation for Renewable Energy, and Deutsche Bank.

Now I would like to share with you a video clip on discussion (of New America Foundation) of a panel of Americans who have seen and learned from the experience of other countries with Feed-In-Tariff (at


Countries with the best policies (such as Feed-In-Tariff) tend to be able to attract more investments and ultimately leading to better local economy and job opportunities. It does appear to me, that if US would be able to implement Feed-In-Tariff effectively, there would be a better chance for US to regain its leadership position in renewable energy world.


Posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker,
Any comments and suggestions are welcomed at

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