Below is a repost from one of our sister publications, Windermere Sun:
Sun Rays (credit: Windermere Sun-Susan Sun Nunamaker)
December 19, 2011- Kyle Travis, left and Jon Jackson, with Lighthouse Solar, install microcrystalline PV modules on top of Kevin Donovan’s town home. (Photo by Dennis Schroeder)
(Please click on red links & note magenta)
The stage is set. The time is ripe. With the cost of both solar and wind having dropped tremendously in the past three years, solar technology having enabled greater efficiency, the incoming Tesla’s Powerwall, Powerpack solving the storage problem, and Tesla’s integrated and cost effective solar roof… the inevitable Solar-Renewable Tsunami is knocking on our door. Astute green investors and lenders could all hear the knock and are ready to finance solar energy projects and fund power developments of renewable-sustainable energy resources. In the U.S., a mix of federal production tax credits and individual state renewable portfolio standards (RPS) are definitely pushing the market. To better understand various policies and incentives for renewables and efficiency by states, please click HERE. For example, state of CA has 187 such policies and incentives whereas state of FL has 77. Of course the incentives of some of the E.U. nations are also fueling the market. But most importantly, it is the simple fact that the cost of solar have dropped so much that it is now a more secure investment than putting one’s money in the bank (bank has a rate of return of about 0.8%-1.1% without inflation protection whereas investing in solar provides a rate of return ranging from about 3% (in AK without any tax credit or incentive, it is 4.4% with tax credit and incentives) to 24.4% (in HI with tax credit and incentives, location-climate-incentive dependent, and this is with inflation protection).
For a simple Solar Investment Payback Formula:
Total System Cost/Value of Electricity Generated/Your Annual Electricity Usage = Payback Time
1/Payback Time = Rate of Return on Investment
a 6 kW grid-tied system that costs about $10,000 (subject to market fluctuation, excluding fees and incentives)
The average American household uses 10,932 kWh of electricity per year (source: EIA)
They pay an average of $0.12 per kWh for it
Therefore, using American national averages: $10,000 system price/$0.12 per kWh/10932 kWh per year = 7.62 years = Payback Time
Therefore, 1/Payback Time = 1/7.62 =0.13 1 or 13.1% = Rate of Return on Solar Investment, keep in mind that this is with inflation protection (utility bills are always going up).
At this point, I’d like to share with you all a site that had already done the work for you, state by state, Solar Power Rocks., in figuring out the Investment Return (IRR), with consideration of respective state’s tax credits and incentives.
As a result, there are much opportunities for high yielding rates of return on investment in solar as well as other green renewable sources. In the coming decades, there will be so much transformational developments waiting to be planned out and completed. If you have a project ($multi-million project) in mind, with a plan but insufficient funding, please contact me via: info.WindermereSun@gmail.com so Windermere Sun may be able to introduce you and your plan/project to potential investors/lenders. If you are an angel investor, potential investor or lender for solar projects, please feel free to contact me at: info.WindermereSun@gmail.com so we can spread the sunshine globally while saving our planet earth!
Investment Criteria for Joint Venture Financing: financing for all types of commercial real estate and alternative energy projects. In general, they must meet the following criteria: • The project 5% down or more; • The project must be shovel-ready–defined as ready to break ground in 90 days or less; • The project must be sponsored by an experienced developer with a significant financial stake. • Asset-based loans, including In-Ground Assets; • Corporate expansion loans; • International Funding; and • Hard money loans. Joint Venture Financing Project Types: (NEW DEVELOPMENT ONLY) • Hotel Resorts and Casinos • Assisted Living/Senior Housing • Apartment Buildings/Multifamily Housing • Alternative/Renewable Energy (i.e., solar, wind, hydro, geothermal, etc.) • Green Energy (i.e., biofuel/biodiesel, biomass, waste-to-energy, etc.) • Hospitals and Health Care Facilities • Infrastructure (roads, highways, rail, etc.) • College and University Buildings • Public-Use and Recreational Facilities • Industrial Projects • Other Related Types Locations: USA and International, Joint Venture Financing Terms: • 95% equity financing • Typically three to five year term • Non-recourse financing • No interest payments during term of investment • Minority equity stake in lieu of interest • Take out with permanent financing or sale Time to Closing: 90 to 120 days.
In a new CNA report, A Clash of Competing Necessities (Water Adequacy and Electric Reliability in China, India, France, and Texas), PV is being identified as the major solution for avoiding water-related conflicts. The first solution is energy efficiency, moving from coal to using PV, wind, and natural gas, according to this report. The Director of Energy, Water and Climate at the CNA Think Tank‘s Institute for Public Research, Paul Faeth, says he is very surprised that water conservation is not “part of the sales pitch” for PV. The dramatic drop in prices for solar is making it a cost effective solution to water scarcity, he added.
An estimated 40% of all freshwater withdrawal in the U.S. is being used for thermal cooling, in order for power generation to remain safe and stable. As energy demand, economic and population growth, and climate change place more strain on water access, there have been/are/will be scrutinising water use in the power sector by competing necessities. Thermal power generation is heavily dependent on water use: Faeth describes the growing concern of plants having to power down or completely shut down in drought and heat waves.
The report indicated that for water being removed for the process of thermal cooling and being put back into the local environment, or “withdrawal”, the water use by different energy sources are as follow:
coal with carbon capture and storage (CSS) uses 4.3 cubic meters per MWh
nuclear uses 4.2 cubic meters per MWh
coal alone uses 2.3 cubic meters per MWh
natural gas uses 1 cubic meters per MWh
wind uses zero cubic meters per MWh
solar PV uses 0.1 cubic meters per MWh (solar PV uses a small amount of water for washing the panels once in a while, but none for power generation)
For ‘consumption’ of water, whereby water is completely removed from the local environment,
coal with carbon capture and storage (CSS) uses 3.2 cubic meters per MWh
nuclear uses 2.5 cubic meters per MWh
coal alone uses 1.9 cubic meters per MWh
natural gas uses 0.7 cubic meters per MWh
wind uses zero cubic meters per MWh
solar PV uses 0.1 cubic meters per MWh
According to Faeth, policy for water conservation for the power sector and energy efficiency doesn’t exist at the moment. “Water concerns for policy makers and for many people are also a higher priority than climate change,” he said, “in drought it doesn’t matter what the cause of drought is you still have to respond, and if you can respond in a way that is cost effective and mitigates emissions, such as using wind and PV, then that is a real plus.”
The report uses figures from the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), focusing on China, India, France, and Texas as case studies, since there are already challenges in power generation and water scarcity in these regions. China has high agriculture demand (second only to U.S.) and relies heavily on coal, requiring water for cooling, is already experiencing blackouts from a lack of water for cooling. India already uses 1.3 billion cubic meters of water per year, with forecast of 7 billion by 2040. “You have to wonder if that is even possible,” said Faeth. Solar is inexpensive in India and is a cost effective way to reduce water conflicts. Faeth added, “If water is taken from agriculture, it would be politically untenable….India has to start doing something else to avoid water competition that is already happening and we expect to get worse.”
In India 52% of the population live in water scarce areas, with 73% of electricity generation located in water stressed areas, with frequent blackouts. Currently 79% of newly built capacity is scheduled for construction where the water supply is under threat.
In 2003, a heat wave in France lost 4 GW of nuclear and hydro energy, causing France to restrict its electricity exports, definitely reflecting its energy insecurity for its European importers. In 2009, France used 64% of its (withdrawn) water for thermal cooling due to its 80% nuclear energy generation, this presents a unique threat to energy security during droughts. Energy demand in France is expected to grow by 28% by the 2040s. France’s reliance on nuclear energy means even modest growth is a concern for water scarcity.
Current drought in Texas has already taken water from farmers to avoid blackouts. The case is now in the U.S. court. The report indicated that Texas is likely to meet water and energy demand from new PV, wind, natrual gas, and energy efficiency, despite the challenges due to drought. But the state needs to avoid new coal generation. Texas is now “looking to do more wind and PV, not particularly for climate change mitigation but because these strategies can save water,” said Faeth.
Gathered, written, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker
Any of your questions/comments/suggestions will be welcomed at email@example.com
Please also get into the habit of checking at these sites below for more on solar energy topics:
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 firstname.lastname@example.org (please note if you do not want your email to be shared)
There are still more valuable interviews to be shared with you from my trip up to the Philadelphia, PA last week. Today’s post is an interview with Carmine A. Tilghman, Director of Renewable Resources & Programs at Tucson Electric Power, during PV America East 2013, in Pennsylvania Convention Center of Philadelphia, PA.
Mr. Tilghman commented on how Tucson Electric Power (a UniSource Energy Company) worked collaboratively with University of Arizona, Arizona Research Institute for Solar Energy (aka AzRISE), and various other entities for grant opportunities (such as IBM and other universities, research institutes and developers). Such collaboration is very instrumental in promoting solar and renewable energy use to the next level. He also mentioned a recent “leasing model” that addresses the main concern or challenge of consumers in dealing with cost effectiveness of implementing solar energy. Furthermore, the dramatic drop in cost of solar energy makes it much more affordable for every one. Therefore, the larger integration of distributed generation as well as utility scale projects will continue to provide plenty of opportunities and challenges to utility companies. As the utilities move forward to meet the various RPS standard in different states, utilities will continue to operate the grid while meeting reliability criteria and providing the reliable service enjoyed by consumers. Some challenges faced by installers or developers, such as regulatory uncertainty, back lash, or recession have been overcome.
Mr. Tilghman mentioned that AZ RPS is based on certain percentage of sales for each of the regulated utilities, with expectation of 15% renewables by 2025. AZ RPS started its infancy in 2000, then through public process, corporation commission hearings, was designed in 2006 and finally implemented in 2007. This lengthy process was well worth it for the state of AZ. In five years, AZ Public Service (largest investor in utility serving greater Phoenix area) as well as Tucson Electric Power & UNS Electric Inc. have all reached beyond the minimum requirement set by AZ RPS. Mr. Tilghman observes that implementation of distributed generation programs, when successfully implemented (as has been the case in AZ), solar installations will continue without any incentives. On behalf of Tucson Electric Power, Mr. Tilghman expresses their acceptance in meeting the challenge in moving forward to renewable energy and have demonstrated their success and willingness in sharing their trials and tribulations with other utility companies throughout USA.
Any states or utility companies interested in learning more about lessons learned from the process of obtaining AZ RPS or successfully integrating distributed generation into the utility or grid, please feel free to contact Mr. Carmine A. Tilghman of Tucson Electric Power via email@example.com
Thank you, Mr. Tilghman, for sharing your experience with our viewers/visitor.
~have a bright and sunny day~
Interviewed, written, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker, firstname.lastname@example.org
Any of your comments/suggestions/ questions are welcomed.