Posts Tagged ‘Department of Energy’

16 April

1366 Technologies May Truly Be A Solar Constant ?!

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Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers,

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Watching the list of solar energy companies to appear and disappear over the years is almost like watching a revolving door….as solar energy industry continues to evolve. Yes, cost and efficiency are the two areas where many solar companies are concentrating their energy and effort in at the moment.  In recent years, many companies are directing their effort toward kerfless technology. One of these companies, 1366 Technologies, is worth keeping an eye on. The company’s name is referenced to the solar constantrepresenting the watts of solar energy that hits each square meter of the surface of the earth. It is  a company based in Bedford, Massachusetts that has developed a technique to produce silicon wafers by casting them in their ultimate shape directly in a mold, rather than the prevailing standard method in which wafers are cut from a large ingot.  The company aims to manufacture multi-crystalline silicon wafers, the building blocks of solar cells, at half the cost of current methods.

Traditional solar technologies may be replaced by thin and kerfless wafter technologes (credit: Smallman12q/Wikipedia)

Traditional solar technologies may be replaced by thin and kerfless wafter technologes (credit: Smallman12q/Wikipedia)

1366 Technologies casts wafers with a conventional thickness from molten silicon, creating a more uniform wafer quality than the current industry standard. (credit: Bob Frechette of 1366 Technologies)

1366 Technologies casts wafers with a conventional thickness from molten silicon, creating a more uniform wafer quality than the current industry standard. (credit: Bob Frechette of 1366 Technologies)

The company used a $4 million grant obtained from the United States Department of Energy‘s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) program in December 2009 to fund research over an 18-month period. Grants from ARPA-E are designed to provide money to relatively small projects offering the potential for high-payoff results in fostering advanced techniques. 1366 Technologies was able to announce eight months into the grant period that it had achieved success in its casting technology, in which molten silicon is poured directly into a mold to produce wafers in their final form, a square 6 inches (15 cm) on each side that is 200 micrometers thick and are then extracted from the mold using a proprietary technique to ensure that the wafer doesn’t break while being removed from the mold. In traditional methods, wafers of this size are cut from a large single ingot or crystal, in an approach that leaves as much as half of the original silicon ingot as waste.


Below, a video that was published back in 2009 on the basics behind silicon-based solar cell technology by 1366 Technologies:


David Danielson, program director for solar energy at ARPA-E said that “early indications show this could be one of our great success stories.” ARPA-E’s first director Arun Majumdar estimated that current techniques generate solar power at a cost of $4 per watt, and that bringing down that cost to $1.50 per watt could lead to the widespread adoption of solar energy (solar industry is evolving very fast and is currently already at the cost level of slightly over $1.00 per watt). Company president Frank van Mierlo estimated that solar power generated using wafers from 1366 Technologies would be cheaper than power generated using coal. The company is now on their third generation of wafer-producing machines, which are full-sized, industrial line machines. The company will open a commercial-scale factory in upstate New York, slated for completion in 2017. This plant will start producing 50 million wafers annually, totaling 250 megawatts of output. It will eventually scale to 600 million wafers and 3,000 MW of annual production.

1366 Technologies has raised $70 million in capital to commercialize their innovation, from such investors as South Korean Hanwha Chemical, a major user of silicon wafers, as well as from Ventizz Capital Fund, North Bridge Venture Partners and Polaris Venture Partners.


As the revolving door continues to rotate during Solar Evolution/Revolution, perhaps the name of a solar constant will bring forth a  longer stay than other abbreviated variables.

 

~have a bright and sunny day~
Any comments, suggestions, concerns regarding this post will be welcomed at sunisthefuture@gmail.com

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

Updates About FIT (Feed-In-Tariff) & From SEIA

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Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers,

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

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I just want to add one comment to the email below: FIT (Feed-In-Tariff) and various modified FIT programs would actually be more fair and even more effective than the net metering system. Allow me to present to you some updates on FIT and similar programs at Feed-In-Tariffs and Similar Programs (made available by U.S. Energy Information Administration)

Below, you will find the recent press release from SEIA (in italics):

Sun Shines Through (photographed by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker)

America’s Solar Industry Looks to Play Key Role in Grid Modernization

Washington, D.C. – Reacting to a new report issued today by the Department of Energy (DOE) and the White House Council of Economic Advisors, the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) says its members are well-positioned to assist efforts to modernize the U.S. electric grid and to make it more resilient in the future when pounded by severe weather.

SEIA President and CEO Rhone Resch released the following statement after the report’s release:

“Ten years after the largest blackout in U.S. history, which blanketed eight states in the Northeast in the summer of 2003 and left 50 million Americans in the dark, solar is more important than ever to our nation’s energy security and grid reliability. We look forward to working with the White House, DOE and Congress to leverage ways that solar can add to the grid’s resiliency and overall long-term effectiveness.

“As more and more nuclear and coal plants are mothballed, America’s solar energy industry is doing its part to make up for some of that lost generating capacity. Today, more than 30 utility-scale, clean energy solar projects are under construction, putting thousands of electricians, steelworkers and laborers to work and helping to reduce carbon emissions from power plants. These facilities, along with rooftop solar on homes, businesses and schools, will generate electricity for generations to come. In fact, by the end of next year, distributed generation from residences alone is expected to top 3,000 megawatts (MW) for the first time ever.

“All totaled, there is now more than 8,500 MW of cumulative solar electric capacity installed in the U.S. – enough to power more than 1.3 million American homes. What’s more, in the first quarter of 2013, more than 48 percent all new electricity added to the grid was solar. In addition, innovative solar heating and cooling systems are offering American consumers cost-efficient, effective options for meeting their energy needs.

“Today, solar employs nearly 120,000 Americans at more than 5,600 companies, most of which are small businesses spread across the United States, making solar one of the fastest growing industries in America. Part of this amazing growth is attributed to the fact that the cost of a solar system has dropped by nearly 40 percent over the past two years, making solar more affordable than ever.

“Simply put, solar is critically important to our nation’s energy security and national security – and we’re doing our part to fight climate change, too. By anyone’s standards, that’s a win-win for America.”

###

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® is building a strong solar industry to power America. As the voice of the industry, SEIA works with its 1,000 member companies 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. Visit SEIA online at www.seia.org.

~have a bright and sunny day~

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

Any of your comments will be welcomed below or via sunisthefuture@gmail.com (please note if you do not want your email to be shared)

Homepage: http://www.sunisthefuture.net

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22 February

We’re Going Further Than Reaching the Moon, We’re Reaching For The Sun

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Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers,

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People! People! My belief/suspicion has been confirmed !  Solar Industry is going to be BIG! Huge! In time, solar energy will no longer represent less than one percent of our energy portfolio.  If I were to wager on the matter, I’d bet that  solar energy will  eventually take care of more than 50% of our energy needs…just wait…in 10-20 years….

I’d like to invite you to a live discussion with Secretary of Energy Steven Chu on Friday, Feb. 22, 2013, at 2:00 pm EST, that was later streamed on Google +, Youtube, and energy.gov/live on the progress of  SunShot Initiative and the role solar power is playing in our growing clean energy economy.  Questions were taken in advance and during the Hangout: via emailing newmedia@hq.doe.gov, posting comments on the Energy Department’s Facebook page,  Google+ event, or tweeting @ENERGY using #askEnergy. In addition to Secretary Chu, various representatives from across the U.S. solar energy industry were also on the panel of discussion: Jeffery Halsey from Broward County (Broward County of Florida’s Director of Pollution Prevention, Remediation, and Air Quality division), Jeff Allen of Solar Junction‘s Vice President of Business Development, and Joe Desmond, Senior Vice President at Bright Source Energy. Video below:

Jeffery Halsy shared that homeowners from his community, due to their participation in the SunShot Initiataive’s Rooftop Solar Challenge,  were able to save time and money on installations by addressing the soft costs (including permitting, interconnection, and inspection requirements accounting for as much as 40% of the total cost of a single solar installation).  With preapproved design plans,Broward County residents are now able to get a solar energy system permit online in just half an hour, saving both time and money. Jeff Allen shared insight on how Solar Junction shattered an existing technical barrier with its commericia-ready SJ3 multijunction solar cell this year. Below, on the left, a graph of Bandgap vs. Max. Efficiency shows the Shockley-Queisser limit for efficiency of a single junction solar cell. It is essentially impossible for single-junction solar cell, under unconcentrated sunlight, to have more than 34% efficiency. Multijunction cell, however, can exceed that limit. The chart on the right below indicates various solar cell efficiencies researched and presented by NREL (National Renewable Energy Laboratory). The SJ3 multijunction solar cell, with its concentrating PV cell, using a focused lens to magnify light to 418 times the intensity of the sun, was able to set a new world record of 43.5% for solar cell conversion efficiency.

NREL (National Renewable Energy Laboratory)’s Best Research-Cell Efficiencies

Shockley-Queisser limit for the efficiency of a single junction solar cell. It is essentially impossible for a single-junction solar cell, under unconcentrated sunlight, to have more than ~34% efficiency. A multijunction cell, however, can exceed that limit.

Joe Demond talked about Ivanpah Solar Generating  Complex in California’s Mojave Desert;this utility-scale solar installation is the world’s largest solar thermal power plant under construction. Supported by an Energy Department loan guarantee, this project using mirrors to focus the power of the sun on solar receivers (through high temperature high pressure steam to turn the turbines) and is expected to generate enough electricity to power about 140,000 homes annually.  Bright Source hired over 2,300 workers to complete this project’s construction and installation phase. Furthermore, majority of this project’s supply chain comes from more than 17 states (such as Michigan-based Guardian Industries that supplied 160,000 of its EcoGuard Solar Boost mirrors).

View of Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System from Yates Well Road, The Clark Mountain Range can be seen in the distance.

Evidently, SunShot Initiative has already accomplished a great deal in reducing the soft costs, in developing new approach in technological advancement, and improvement of old way of doing things to utility-scale. It will continue its aim in reducing the cost of solar energy to be competitive with any other form of energy, without the need of subsidy. The future looks bright for solar industry. The potential of reaching below $1/watt is within reach;cost of solar will be comparable to the new cost estimate of energy from natural gas within 10 years, without any need of subsidy.  As Secretary Chu indicated, “Without any subsidy, solar energy will be able to hold its own with any other form of energy. This is our SunShot! We’re going further than reaching the moon. We’re reaching for the Sun!”This is very exciting! It is so palpable that all solar enthusiasts can feel the energy soaring…now we need to spread this good news so to speed up the process of reaching that clean, healthy and war-free Clean Energy World.  Earthlings, get ready to learn more about Solar Energy so we can all apply ourselves in this Solar Future! Thank you, Secretary Chu, for making SunShot Initiative a reality!

~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

Homepage:  http://www.sunisthefuture.net


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5 February

First Day of PV America East 2013

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Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers,

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This is an interview of Rhone Resch, President and CEO of SEIA (Solar Energy Industries Association), during first day of PV America East 2013, on Feb. 5, 2013, in Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia, PA.  Mr. Resch recapped the importance (brought up during the PVA power session during the morning) for various groups working collaboratively within the solar industry to gather strength as a single voice in approaching policy makers.  Historically net metering has been a successful policy to aim toward when the solar energy/industry represented only very small (less than 1%) portion of the energy industry.  It will be interesting to see what the future has in store for solar industry as its proportion increases tremendously within the overall energy industry. Mr. Resch also applauded many of the accomplishments by DOE(Department of Energy) during Secretary Steven Chu‘s tenure.  Mr. Resch has very optimistic outlook toward the future of solar industry in 2013 and in the years to come, encouraging our viewers/visitors in considering opportunities in solar energy industry in the future. Below is the interview with Mr. Resch:

On the first day of the PV America East 2013, the 2013 Photovoltaic Projects of Distinction Award winners are also announced, below:

2013 Photovoltaic Projects of Distinction Award Winners Announced at PV America East 2013

Nine Additional Awarded Honorable Mention Citations
Philadelphia, PA, February 5, 2013 – The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA)® and the Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA) today announced the three winners of the 2013 Photovoltaic (PV) Projects of Distinction Awards at PV America East 2013 in Philadelphia, PA. Recognizing major achievements in U.S. PV solar energy, the awards were presented to the Generating Clean Horizons Solar Project, Keystone Solar and the Union County (NJ) Solar Initiative. For the first time, nine projects were awarded honorable mentions in recognition of their impressive accomplishments.
More than 100 submissions were evaluated by an independent panel of judges representing associations, consultants, distributors, government, integrators, manufacturers and utilities. To qualify for an award, each project had to be operational and demonstrate a collective benefit to the community and innovative use of policy and financing to enhance the project’s impact.
“Each year these project submissions are more impressive than the last and this year is no different. Today’s award recipients portray the innovative spirit that is driving solar energy growth in the U.S.,” said Rhone Resch, president and CEO of SEIA. “We are very pleased to present these awards and congratulate our three winners for their achievements and excellence in PV solar energy.”
“These installations exemplify how collaboration and partnerships can create successful solar energy projects,” said Julia Hamm, president and CEO of SEPA. “The three winners and the nine honorable mentions brought teams together to develop solutions to achieve their communities’ renewable energy goals.   Generating Clean Horizons project is the largest solar facility in Maryland and is expected to generate 20 million kilowatt hours of electricity per year, Keystone Solar brought together area colleges and the Philadelphia Phillies baseball team, while the Union County Solar Initiative is bringing renewable power to 30 facilities including schools, libraries and a community center for seniors.”
The winning projects are:
Generating Clean Horizons, Emmitsburg, MD
Located on 100 acres leased from Mount St. Mary’s University, this 16.1 megawatt (MW) grid-connected solar power system is one of the largest operational solar facilities in Maryland. The $50 million solar facility was completed with no upfront costs to the state of Maryland, and it demonstrates the potential of public-private partnership to advance renewable energy. This project serves as a prime example of how to successfully finance, develop, construct and operate large-scale solar projects. Constellation, an Exelon company, was the financer, developer, owner and operator; First Solar Electric was the EPC contractor and panel manufacturer; and Mount St. Mary’s University owns the land being leased to Constellation.
Electricity generated by the system is purchased by the state’s Department of General Services and the University System of Maryland under 20-year solar power purchase agreements with Constellation. The system is expected to generate 20 million kilowatt hours of emissions-free electricity per year. According to the EPA, this could prevent the release of 17,981 metric tons of carbon dioxide annually. In addition to the 16.1 MW system, Constellation owns and operates a 1.6-megawatt solar power system at the site that supplies power directly to the university. In addition to furthering Maryland’s Generating Clean Horizons initiative, the solar project’s construction created approximately 165 green jobs.
“Constellation is honored to be recognized by SEIA and SEPA and to bring online one of Maryland’s largest solar installations,” said Michael D. Smith, vice president of solar and energy efficiency sales for Constellation. “The project contributes to the state of Maryland’s leadership role in renewable energy and is an example of our commitment to provide customers clean, affordable energy choices.”
Keystone Solar, Lancaster County, PA
The Keystone Solar farm is a tribute to innovative energy marketing and exemplary project development.   Developed by Community Energy and built by gro-Solar, Pennsylvania’s largest solar project is secured by a 15-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with Exelon Generation and backed by retail solar purchases by Drexel University, Eastern University, Franklin & Marshall College, Clean Air Council, Juniata College, Marywood University, Millersville University, the Clean Air Council and the Philadelphia Phillies major league baseball franchise.
Community Energy worked closely with the fabled Lancaster County farming community and local officials to support both farmland preservation and agricultural soil restoration in the project design, and EPC contractor, groSolar, built the project to those exacting standards. Solar panels were installed on driven posts without concrete to avoid soil disturbance and allow removal at the end of the 25-30 year life of the project, and the site will be maintained with selected cover vegetation to preserve and improve organic soil content.   After three years of community building, 250 team partners celebrated on October 16, 2012 with a “Turn the Power On” dedication event.
The solar project received financing and funding from the Sustainable Energy Fund and the State of Pennsylvania. The project has 6 megawatts DC capacity and provides approximately 8,000 megawatt hours (MWhs) of clean, fuel-free electricity per year, enough to power over 950 homes, and eliminates 5,516 tons of Carbon Dioxide.
“Keystone Solar brought together the best of the best to build solar at scale in a challenging market.  It was a pleasure to join experienced teams, from design, construction, utility, to finance—and everyone delivered.   We particularly appreciate our long-term solar partners in colleges and universities that stepped up to buy SRECs and incorporate our PRAXIS solar teaching modules in their studies,” said Brent Alderfer, president and CEO, Community Energy Inc.
Union County Solar Initiative, Union County, NJ
In 2012, solar developer Tioga Energy undertook a project to bring renewable power to 30 facilities across New Jersey’s Union County, including schools, libraries, and a community center for senior citizens. The 3.34 MW of solar installations represent the largest public-private partnership of its kind in the U.S.  Dozens of government agencies, facility managers and vendors were needed to bring these systems to life.  To finance the project, Tioga Energy employed a unique structure dubbed the “Municipal Financing Model,” which combined low-interest municipal bonds with state utility and federal tax incentives to significantly lower the cost of solar electricity. With Tioga’s SurePath Solar power purchase agreement (PPA) in place, Union County will receive guaranteed energy savings over the next 15 years, paying rates for electricity that are approximately 50 percent less than those of the local utility. The systems—ranging in size from less than 10 kW to almost 500 kW—were installed through a joint venture between Pro-Tech Energy Solutions and Huen Electric with environmental and engineering management firm Whitman providing design services.
Although Tioga Energy designed these systems to withstand extreme weather, nobody expected they’d be put to the test so quickly. Hurricane Sandy ripped through Union County in late October, forcing 13 towns in the region to declare states of emergency. In the aftermath of the storm, each of the 30 solar installations emerged unscathed.
“Our project in Union County is a powerful testament to how different organizations can pull together, working collaboratively to their mutual benefit,” said Paul Detering, CEO, Tioga Energy. ”The success of this partnership reflects the hard work of many, and we’re honored to be recognized for our efforts by the solar industry’s most esteemed organizations.”
The honorable mention winners are:
Berkshire School Solar Project, Shefield, MA – 2 MW
Camden Solar Center, Camden City, NJ – 1.8 MW
Long Island Solar Farm, Long Island NY – 32 MW
Melink Solar Canopy at the Cincinnati Zoo, Cincinnati, OH – 1.564 MW
Saint Paul River Center Parking Ramp, Saint Paul, MN – 82 kW
St. Peter’s University Hospital, New Brunswick, NJ – 2.1 MW
SunGen 1 Sharon, Sharon, VT – 2.2MW
SunSmart E-Shelter Program, -100 10 kW throughout Florida
Toms River Regional School District, Toms River, NJ – 4.5 MW
For more information on PV America East 2013 visit: http://www.pvamericaexpo.com/east/
Elite PV America East 2013 sponsors include: ReneSola, Canadian Solar and Suntech.
Upcoming PV America East:
PV America East 2014 – June 23-25, Boston, MA
# # #
About PV America East 2013
PV America East is presented by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA)® and Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA)®, whose combined efforts have created a world-class, regionally focused and vertically integrated event for installers, designers and suppliers of photovoltaic (PV) technology and services. Unlike other PV conferences, all proceeds support the expansion of the U.S. solar energy market through SEIA’s and SEPA’s year-round research and education activities, as well as SEIA’s® advocacy efforts.
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
About SEPA
The Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA) is an educational non-profit dedicated to helping utilities integrate solar power into their energy portfolios for the benefit of the utility, its customers and the public good. With more than 1,000 utility and solar industry members, SEPA provides unbiased utility solar market intelligence, up-to-date information about technologies and business models, and peer-to-peer interaction. From hosting national events to utility strategies, SEPA helps utilities make smart solar decisions. For more information, visit www.solarelectricpower.org.


More interviews and video recorded session of the PV America East 2013 will be coming in future posts and in sunisthefuture Youtube Channel. Keep checking!

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

~have a bright and sunny day~sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

Homepage:  http://www.sunisthefuture.net


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27 November

Cost of Solar Energy Continues Significant Decline, According to National Lab Report

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National Lab Report: Cost of Solar Energy Continues Significant Decline
U.S. Solar “Soft Costs” Offer Opportunity for Additional Price Reduction

The average cost of going solar in the U.S. continued to decrease significantly in 2011 and through the first half of 2012, according to a report released today by the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.  Solar advocates noted that these findings are the latest indicator that solar is an important and growing part of America’s new energy economy.

“This report shows just how far solar power has come in the U.S., and how much more we can do. Faced with a recession economy, messy election politics and an entrenched electricity marketplace, solar is quietly defying the odds and reinventing our national energy landscape. It’s really remarkable,” said Adam Browning, Executive Director of the Vote Solar Initiative.

“With solar energy more affordable than ever, more American families and businesses are going solar to meet their electricity and hot water needs,” said Rhone Resch, president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). “Declining costs have driven record growth over the last four years and we expect the solar market to double in 2012 and double again in 2013. This growth proves that smart federal and state energy policies diversify our energy portfolio and grow our economy.  With 5,600 companies employing 119,000 Americans, the U.S. solar industry has become an economic engine for America.”

The latest edition of Lawrence Berkeley National Lab’s “Tracking the Sun,” an annual report on solar photovoltaic (PV) costs in the U.S., examined more than 150,000 PV systems installed between 1998 and 2011 and preliminary data from the first half of 2012. Key findings include:

•    The average installed price of residential and commercial PV systems completed in 2011 range from $6.1/W for smaller projects to $4.9/W for larger projects, an 11-14% decrease from the year before. Installed prices fell an additional 3-7% in the first half of 2012.
•    Historically, installed PV prices have declined an average of 5-7% per year from nearly $12/W in 1998, with particularly sharp reductions occurring since 2009.
•    The recent price decline is, in large part, attributable to falling module prices, which fell by $2.1/W from 2008 through 2011, and have fallen further still in 2012.
•    Non-module costs, such as installation labor, marketing, overhead, inverters, and the balance of systems for residential and commercial systems declined by roughly 30% from 1998 to 2011, but have not declined as rapidly as module prices in recent years. Market-building policies that target non-module or “soft” costs represent a significant opportunity for continued price reduction.

Tracking the Sun gives us more good solar news as we see efficiencies built into labor and permitting practices without sacrificing quality and safety,” said Jane Weissman, executive director, Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Inc. (IREC).”The solar industry has built in safeguards through standard-based performance and competency assessment programs which together lead to consumer confidence and sustainable market growth.”

The price declines found in Tracking the Sun add to a number of recent reports that illustrate:

•    Rapid Market Growth: PV installations totaled 742 megawatts (MW) in Q2 2012, up 45% over the previous quarter and 116% over Q2 2011. Source: Solar Market Insight report from GTM Research and SEIA.
•    Strong Job Growth: Solar employs 119,000 Americans across all 50 states. Solar job growth has far outpaced the general economy with 13.2% annual growth over 2011. Source: The National Solar Jobs Census from the Solar Foundation.
•    Overwhelming Bipartisan Support: 92% of Americans agree that it’s important to use and develop more solar. Source: Hart Research National Solar Survey 2012

An infographic illustrating the U.S. solar industry’s recent success is available at: http://votesolar.org/2012/11/infographic/
The full Tracking the Sun report is available at: http://emp.lbl.gov/sites/all/files/LBNL-5919e-REPORT.pdf

###

About Vote Solar:
Founded in 2002, the Vote Solar Initiative is a grassroots non-profit organization working to combat climate change and foster economic development by bringing solar energy into the mainstream. www.votesolar.org

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® is building a strong solar industry to power America. As the voice of the industry, SEIA works with its 1,100 member companies 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. Visit SEIA online at www.seia.org

About IREC:
The Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Inc. (IREC) is a non-profit organization accelerating the use of renewable energy since 1982. IREC’s programs and policies lead to easier, more affordable connection to the utility grid; fair credit for renewable energy produced; best practices for states, municipalities, utilities and industry; and quality assessment for the growing clean energy workforce through the credentialing of trainers and training programs. www.irecusa.org

Media contacts:
Vote Solar – Rosalind Jackson, Rosalind@votesolar.org, 415-817-5061
SEIA – Jamie Nolan, JNolan@SEIA.org, 202-556-2886
IREC –Jane Pulaski, janep@irecusa.org

~have a bright and sunny day~

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


Homepage:  http://www.sunisthefuture.net


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8 November

Let’s Take The Initiative !

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Dear Friends & Visitors/Viewers/Readers,

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During our post-election momentum, I’ve reached out to our Senator Bill Nelson of state of Florida, letter below, and to any of you out there who may have suggestions/input to help the state of Florida or any other states.

Greetings, Senator Nelson,

Firstly, congratulations in winning the election !

Especially in light of recent Hurricane Sandy, I implore you to seriously consider supporting any effective Solar/Renewable Initiative or Bills on the federal level.  In solving much of our energy/ environment/national security/job issues, please support our Energy Department Secretary Steven Chu;Secretary Chu had proven to be quite worthy of his office and is working on solving some of the most critical issues facing our nation today.

We are residents of the Sunshine State.  Let us not squander our beautiful sunshine away.  I would like to seek your advice in how to effectively approach our state legislators to ask for implementation of these measures, below:

1.  Setting Solar/Renewable Energy Goal for the state of Florida.

2.  Implementing an effective Feed-In-Tariff policy (otherwise also known as the Renewable Energy Dividend Policy) that will be inclusive of small users as well as large-scale users.  Feed-In-Tariff had proven to be the most effective incentive program/policy that would speed up the implementations of solar PV .  The goal of  Feed-In-Tariff (FIT) is to offer cost-based compensation to renewable energy producers, providing the price certainty and long-term contracts that help finance renewable energy investments.

3.  Streamline the permitting process of solar PV and solar thermal so to reduce the cost and amount of time in completing the process.

4.  It seems feasible/optimal to introduce regulation to require solar thermal (solar hot water heating systems) when/where it is already a foregone conclusion that this would be an economically feasible approach in building design.  Perhaps it is time to start the discussion in considering implementing this as part of the building code.

Any of your input will be greatly appreciated.  Thank you.

Respectfully,

Susan Sun Nunamaker

I would suggest that all of you out there who are Florida residents and are concerned about our energy future to also visit this site, http://billnelson.senate.gov/contact/email.cfm and write a similar letter to remind Senator Nelson of our concern.  For those of you from other states please refer to this site –> http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm and please approach/write your respective district legislators regarding 4 items above (with variation for item 1 ).  Together, we will be able to gather enough strength and voice !  For Florida residents, you may find your respective District Representatives and District Senators at these two sites, ,

http://www.myfloridahouse.gov/Sections/Representatives/representatives.aspx and    http://www.flsenate.gov/Senators/

~have a bright and sunny day~

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

Homepage:  http://www.sunisthefuture.net


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19 September

SRCC (Solar Rating & Certification Corporation) & OG-100, OG-300

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Dear Friends & Visitors/Viewers/Readers,

(please click on red links below)

Terrific!  I was given another opportunity to edit/add to the wikipedia page (my karmic point for mankind)!  This time it is on Solar Water Heating of the wikipedia.  Under item 10 for Standards: United States is no longer absent ! More details will unfold below, thanks to Executive Director Eileen Prado and Assistant Technical Director Tomas Koenig.

Allow me to share with you an interview with Tomas Koenig, the Assistant Technical Director of SRCC (Solar Rating & Certification Corporation), on September 13, 2012, at Orange County Convention Center, during the SPI (Solar Power International) 2012, in Orlando, FL, below:


The SRCC established its certification and rating program for solar collectors in November, 1980, through a 1979 Department of Energy grant. There are currently two certification programs available at SRCC: OG-100 collector certification and OG-300 for system certification. The need for one national standard was recognized when Florida, California, the Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Institute (ARI) and SEIA all recognized that each of their individual solar collector and rating programs were not recognized nor accepted by the other. “This lack of reciprocity meant that solar equipment manufacturers had a maze of requirements to satisfy if they wanted to carry on an interstate or national marketing program. One centralized certification was desperately needed.” (Block, 2005) This quote and much of SRCC historical background were provided by Executive Director of SRCC Eileen Prado. Since 1980, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has made a very substantial technical and financial investment in the SRCC and the development of the standards. The full standard investment, benefit, and support of the DOE SHC (Solar Heating & Cooling) Program, the DOE National Laboratories, DOE collaborative universities and industry resources went into developing a single consensus OG-300 standard on behalf of SRCC. A national standard (OG-300) addresses concerns such as safety and health, durability and reliability, installation, performance, and operation and maintenance. A certified solar water heater carries the SRCC OG-300 label, and the system performance is listed in a published directory. A similar program has been established for Florida by FSEC (Florida Solar Energy Center). Both SRCC and FSEC provide collector testing and rating programs. So, the next question should be asked: are there significant difference between these two standards/programs or are they simply functioning as a check and balance for one another or perhaps there is some other reason I have not yet considered.

Some good points to remind consumers thinking of purchasing solar collectors: It is also a good idea to confirm if there is a warranty program (duration, what is covered,and what to do if the supplier goes out of business);make sure that installers are qualified by asking for references;do a thorough walk-through with the contractor upon completion of the installation;be sure that an owner’s manual with maintenance instructions is included as part of the package.

Some related articles:
OG-300 Certification of Solar Water Heating Systems
NREL(National Renewable Energy Laboratory), Dept of Energy, Information Services Program, EREC (Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Clearinghouse), DOE/GO-10096-050 FS 119, March 1996
Solar Water Heating of wikipedia
Florida Solar Energy Center
OG-100 & OG-300 Participant Fee Schedule

Please feel free to visit http://sunisthefuture.net for more on solar energy.
Again, any of your comments, suggestions, questions, concerns are welcomed at sunisthefuture@gmail.com

~have a bright and sunny day~
sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker, sunisthefuture@gmail.com
Homepage:  http://www.sunisthefuture.net


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12 September

Solar Decathlon (20)-Parson’s The New School for Design, Milano The New School for Management and Urban Policy, and Stevens Institute of Technology’s Empowerhouse Design of 2011

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Dear Readers,

If you are in favor of renewable,  clean, or solar energy, please sign this petition for FIT/CLEAN Program, accessible at http://sunisthefuture.net/?page_id=1065 Thank you very much. We are at a critical juncture in human history when individual effort and participation in the transition into renewable energy age is desperately needed!  Your signature will be very meaningful in helping all earthlings!  For a summary of why we need to switch to power the earth with Wind-Water-Sunlight quickly, reasons are explained by Stanford Professor Mark Z. Jacobson at  http://sunisthefuture.net/?m=20110731 There are more than sixteen episodes of discussions on FIT (Feed-In-Tariff/CLEAN Program) available at http://sunisthefuture.net Please feel free to read/listen to them (type in feed-in-tariff in the search box at right).  Keep in mind that signing this petition only means that you are in favor of renewable energy and FIT/CLEAN Program and does not obligate you to provide any financial support. We simply want our combined voice to be heard even if we are not spending millions of lobbying dollars. We want to demonstrate that our system of democracy will work for people in all socio-economic strata. So please join us in this earthly movement by signing this petition and participating in our common goal of moving toward the renewable and solar energy age.

Now,  we will turn our attention to a collaborative effort, the Empowerhouse, by three schools of design: Parson, Milano, and Stevens’ for a design that is both sustainable and affordable.  The Empowerhouse design was  first built  on the campus of Stevens Institute (in the Deanwood, Ward 7 District ), another house of the same design built in the lab in a controlled environment, then shipped down to Washington D.C. for Solar Decathlon.  Upon completion of Solar Decathlon, the house used for Solar Decathlon in Washington D.C.  will join the original house at the building site to become a two-family project. This house will be Washington D.C.’s first passive house (from both design and  technological view point) , definitely a historical site!  Empowerhouse is a true collaboration by people in the local community, Department of Energy,  the Habitat for Humanity, District Planning Office of Washington D.C., local A & C Commission, and students and faculty of the three schools.  The incentive for Empowerhouse is to design an affordable yet quality home for low income residents such that the energy cost for these residents will be practically  non-existent.  A project such as this is infused with collaboration from multi-directions and multi-groups of people;it is a celebration from the day of its groundbreaking. This approach to  sustainability is truly integrative, bringing about not only technological changes but also social changes. The large front porch integrates the family with community by encouraging greater interactions with neighbors and community.  As one enters the house, the entryway  frames the  view for  the garden way beyond.  One may find the mechanical closet and laundry room hidden in the entryway.  An electrical reversible heat pump system together with an energy recovery ventilator provides warm water and constant supply of fresh air throughout the house. A carefully scaled PV array, complimented by a green roof module system,  brings this house at site to net zero energy.  There is also an easily displayed monitor empowering the residents to  control their environment while monitoring their energy usage.  Water efficient low flow fixtures are installed to reduce water consumption throughout the house.  A large space with  South facing windows is well lit and is being used for kitchen and social and family interactions.  Kitchen is equipped with recycling and composting features, in addition to featured island for  entertaining. From this large window one can also see the vegetable garden and children playing in the back porch.  Planters are integrated into the house for residents to grow their own food and a rain garden collects and filters rainwater.  Placement, dimension, and shape of the windows are taking into considerations of views, daylight, and solar thermal gains. The overhang over the South porch shades during summer.  The unique sky oriented loft provides a multi-functional space (reading, playing, star gazing) while bringing natural light into the center of the home.  It is a pleasure for me to present to you this wonderful collaborative effort —>

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

Homepage:   http://sunisthefuture.net http://sunisthefuture.com http://sunisthefuture.org
Any comments and suggestions are 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.youtube.com/user/sunisthefuture

www.kiva.org/team/sunisthefuture

www.facebook.com/sunisthefuture

www.pinterest.com/sunisthefuture

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24 April

Incentive For Solar (4)-For Consumers

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If you are in favor of renewable/CLEAN energy, please sign the petition page showing support for FIT/CLEAN Program at http://sunisthefuture.net/?page_id=1065 Thank you.

Yes,  artificial photosynthesis or artificial leaf may become a reality in the future, but it is not commercially available any time soon (within 2-5 years). The high cost of catalyst and fuel cell (in the process of achieving artificial photosynthesis) may take a while to overcome. So, let’s bring ourselves back to our present reality. Each and every one of us, consumers, can do something now, in participating in bringing down the cost of solar technology while benefiting financially. In addition to various financial opportunities under the SunShot Initiative that I’ve mentioned in April 18, 2011 post, various solar projects and incentives may also come under the heading of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy of Department of Energy

.

Various tax credits, loan programs, rebate programs, incentive programs, and feed-in-tariff programs in association with solar projects may be found under DSIRE (Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency),available via this link:

http://www.dsireusa.org/incentives/index.cfm?EE=1&RE=1&SPV=0&ST=0&technology=all_solar&sh=1

and be sure to click on this image

DSIRE SOLAR click button to get to your state’s financial incentive programs

to obtain individual states’ listing  of solar incentives by clicking on the state of your interest at http://www.dsireusa.org/solar/index.cfm?ee=1&RE=1&spf=1&st=1

Please take an active part in contacting your local offices for technical guidance or explanations of government policies and incentives programs. Let’s all reach out and touch the sun!

Posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker, sunisthefuture@gmail.com
Homepage: http://sunisthefuture.net http://sunisthefuture.com http://sunisthefuture.org

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15 April

Incentive For Solar (1)

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Hi,  dear readers and friends,

If you are in favor of renewable/CLEAN energy, please sign the petition page showing support for FIT/CLEAN Program at http://sunisthefuture.net/?page_id=1065 Thank you.

Remember I’ve previously mentioned the importance of bringing down the cost of solar technology and increasing incentives from the government to stimulate solar energy use.  Incentives are crucial in speeding up the process of conversion to the renewable energy era!  So, my feelings had been rather mixed in recent months as a result of finding out more about SunShot Initiative.

Our current administration, President Obama, is keenly aware of the need to develop clean/renewable (specially solar) energy and wise enough to bring some one who is actually technologically savvy (and who is not simply in office to maintain the status quo) yet pragmatic enough to suggest painting our roofs white, the Nobel Laureate Steven Chu, on board to head the Department of Energy (DOE), at this critical juncture in history.   Much work needs to be done during this time of transition into the clean and renewable energy era and we need to see a lot of actions!  Building on the legacy of President Kennedy’s 1960s “moon shot” goal, which laid out a plan to regain the country’s lead in the space race and land a man on the moon, the SunShot Initiative will aggressively drive innovations in the ways that solar systems are conceived, designed, manufactured, and installed.  As spoken in President Kennedy’s September 12, 1962, speech, “We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard.”  So now, we are facing the hour of change and we choose solar energy, not because it is easy, but because it is the best route/energy for the future of planet earth.  In addition to investing in improvements in cell technologies and manufacturing, the SunShot initiative will also focus on steps to streamline and digitize local permitting processes that will reduce installation and permitting costs.  To achieve the SunShot goal of reducing the total installed cost of large scale solar electricity by about 75 percent (to roughly $1 per watt,  corresponding to 6 cents per kilowatt-hour) so that it will be cost competitive at large scale with other forms of energy without subsidies before the end of the decade (2020).  This would translate into rapid large-scale adoption of solar electricity across the United States, re-establish American technological leadership, improve the nation’s energy security, and strengthen U.S. economic competitiveness in the global clean energy race.  In this effort, DOE will be working closely with partners in government, industry, research laboratories and academic institutions across the country.

I was all pumped up until…. I  looked at the budget/money allotted for the SunShot Initiative. at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IfL57T8ZGfc

Comparing it to the MoonShot program would not be quite on target!  The MoonShot/Apollo program had a budget of close to $200 billion (totaled about $170 billion in 2005, according to Wikipeida) in today’s dollar, in a span of about 11 years.  That (Apollo Program) would translate into approximately $20 billion per year.  The SunShot Initiative, as far as I have seen any figure,  has totaled to less than $0.5 billion per year (federal loan guarantee cannot be included).   That means the ratio of amount of money that will be spent on SunShot Program to the amount of money spent on Apollo Program is less than 0.5/20  or less than 1/40  .  So the two programs/initiatives are not in the same magnitude or ball park, my friends.  Last I checked 1/40 is a far cry from 1/1.  The optimistic side of me reasoned:  perhaps this is just a beginning.  Historically, most of the budget of Department of Energy would spend far more on nuclear energy and essentially nothing for wind or solar or geothermal.  We are at least seeing a number that is greater than zero.  But the more anxious pessimistic side of me exclaimed: if we (citizens of USA) truly want to re-establish American technological leadership, we need to take giant leaps rather than baby-steps.  We cannot  sit idly by while cost of fossil fuels continue to rise, while having learned from the experience of Fukushima.  Our friends in Germany have already taken the more responsible and ethical approach/step in bearing much of the cost of early  research and development in solar energy.  In our land of democracy, if we truly want to see some actions, we need to gather the strength of our people, our friends online, our neighbors, our family, every where.  We need to let our government know that we want clean, safe, and least-war-driven energy.  While our President and Secretary of Department of Energy have to abide by the rules of politics, we need to help uncuff their hands and truly let them lead us into the renewable energy era.  We need to let our administration know that we are ready to take giant leaps, rather than baby-steps, toward solar energy.

 

In the next post, I will go into details of certain incentive programs that have been tried and tested in many other countries .  My friends and readers, this is an exciting time, I hope you are all getting ready to move toward the sun because there will be plenty of opportunities for all of us!

Posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker, sunisthefuture@gmail.com
Homepage: http://sunisthefuture.net http://sunisthefuture.com http://sunisthefuture.org

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