Posts Tagged ‘PV’

11 March

Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc

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Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers,

Sunshine of Hawaii (credit: sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker)

Sunshine of Hawaii (credit: sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker)

 (Please click on red links & note magenta)

I’ve received a call from some one in Hawaii today, mentioning the likelihood/resistance of NextEra-Hawaiian Electric merger . It’s been months since I last read up on Hawaiian Electric Co., a quick research made me realize that even though both Hawaii and Nevada are going through growing pains, showing similar signs and symptoms, but their pains actually have very different root causes.  In Nevada, the Nevada PUC (Public Utilities Commission) is reacting to the solar growth by implementing policy to stifle the distributed solar rooftops, without considering Value of Solar (the most fair way for consumers and power generators alike) or potential long term consequences for NV Energy. But in Hawaii, the Hawaii PUC (Public Utilities Commission) actually has established reforms through a collaborative process that will support further sustainable growth in the market for rooftop solar systems and other distributed energy resources (“DER”) desired by Hawaii’s residents and businesses.

View from a Hawaiian island, Kauai (credit: sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker)

View from a Hawaiian island, Kauai (credit: sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker)

For better understanding of Hawaii PUC’s Reform Energy Programs issued on Oct. 12, 2015 , please click HERE. This order will promote rapid adoption of the next generation of solar PV and other distributed energy technologies, encourage more competitive pricing of DER systems, lower overall energy supply costs for all customers, and help to manage each island grid’s scarce capacity.  The Commission views distributed energy resources (including rooftop solar PV) as an important contributor to meeting the state’s 100% renewable energy goal, complemented by the recently enacted community-based renewable legislation and larger utility-scale projects (source: from http://www.puc.hawaii.gov).

One important element needs to be understood and appreciated by all is the fact that as more and more people install solar, in any form, the value of solar will be lowered. Since Hawaii does want to have a fair system that would be inclusive as well as ensuring all customers to benefit from continued growth in distributed solar energy, the rate needs to be re-evaluated periodically to reflect the actual Value of Solar (fair way of valuing solar for all) that changes with time. As more solar installations are in place, the NEM (Net Energy Metering) is no longer as feasible because it will not be valuing solar fairly for all. If there should be any displeasure resulting from the fact that NEM is on its way out when the possibility of NextEra-Hawaiian Electric merger is being discussed, that is purely  Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc or post hoc fallacy: a simple example of this phenomenon–> the rooster crows immediately before sunrise;therefore the rooster causes the sun to rise. It is not surprising that the Hawaii PUC has proposed caps on the NEM program, for NEM is on its way out simply because it has already served its useful purpose and now requires some enhancement in order to be fair for all. If Hawaii PUC does not place caps on NEM, then Hawaiian residents who install solar may fall into the trap similar to Nevada residents who install solar, ending up with a monthly fixed surcharge.

What is brilliant and insightful about Hawaii PUC is the fact that this Commission has not only placed caps on NEM, but also offered three new options for customers who wish to invest in rooftop solar and other distributed energy resources (DER), in italics (Source: http://puc.hawaii.gov/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/DER-Phase-1-DO-Summary.pdf) :

  1. Self-Supply” systems:  for customers that primarily intend to consume all of the energy produced by their solar system onsite at their home or business, and do not need to export excess energy to the grid. These systems will typically be designed to use energy management and energy storage systems to balance onsite generation with demand. With these advanced features, self-supply systems have reduced technical impact on the grid and will receive expedited interconnection review. At this time, there is no cap on the number of Self-Supply systems that may be installed.
  2. Grid-Supply” systems: this  will allow customers to export excess energy to the grid as needed, and customers will receive energy credits on their monthly bills, similar to the NEM program. The Grid-Supply option does reduce the credit rate for energy exported to the grid for participating customers, and as a result, it will reduce the overall cost of each island’s renewable energy portfolio, which benefits all customers (including those who do not have the ability to install DER). The lower credit rate for energy exported to the grid reflects the Commission’s commitment to achieve an affordable, cost-effective energy supply for all customers. There is a cap on the total capacity of Grid-Supply systems to ensure each island grid can accommodate GridSupply systems, complemented by community-based renewable projects, and lowercost utility-scale projects.
  3. Time-of-Use” tariffs: – The Commission has also directed the HECO Companies to develop a new, expanded time-of-use tariff that allows customers to save money by shifting energy demand to the middle of the day to take advantage of lower-cost solar energy. Initially, this tariff will be available for any residential customers that opt-in to the program. By sending the right price signals to customers, customers can increase energy demand during times of high solar supply and alleviate some of the grid constraints to further renewable integration. This new tariff will also spur investment into new “smart home” and “smart business” technologies that can help customers take advantage of this program. 

*The time-of-use tariff of Hawaii is similar to the Value of Solar that’s been discussed in various discussions with Karl Rabago, below:

 

 

 Karl Rabago’s comments about NEM and Value of Solar Tariff/Time of Use Tariff, below:

 

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

Gathered, written, photographed, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker
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29 February

Florida’s Sunshine To Be Caught By Mickey’s Solar Farm & Floridians For Solar Choice

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Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers,

Below is a repost from our sister online publication, Windermere Sun:

Disney Solar Farm at the Reedy Creek Improvement District

Disney Solar Farm at the Reedy Creek Improvement District

Windermere Blue Sunset (credit: Windermere Sun-Susan Sun Nunamaker)

(Please click on red links & note magenta)

Yes, this is definitely a project both Walt Disney himself

Walt Disney stamp public domain

Walt Disney stamp

Walt_Disney_Snow_white_1937_trailer_screenshot_public domain

Walt_Disney_Snow_white_1937_trailer_screenshot

and Mickey

Mickey Mouse (credit: Windermere Sun-Susan Sun Nunamaker)

Mickey Mouse (credit: Windermere Sun-Susan Sun Nunamaker)

would have approved! For those of you who are not aware of the project, it is located in the Reedy Creek Improvement District (the Disney controlled taxing district) occupying about 20 acres near World Drive and Epcot Center Drive at Walt Disney World Resort in the shape of Mickey Mouse. Mashable posted photos received from satellite imaging from NearMap of the installation, below.

Disney Solar Farm at the Reedy Creek Improvement District

Disney Solar Farm at the Reedy Creek Improvement District (image: nearmap)

This Mickey shaped solar farm is built and operated by Duke Energy, composed of 48,000 solar PV panels and five-megawatt. Last year, Duke Energy of Florida announced that it would build up to 500 megawatts of solar by 2024 as part of a multiyear plan.

The Reedy Creek Improvement District Board of Supervisors voted to accept a 15-year power-purchase agreement with Duke Energy Florida Solar Solutions LLC, a subsidiary of Duke Energy Florida, to purchase solar energy from the facility. Administrator of Reedy Creek Improvement District, Bill Warren, said, “The use of solar energy builds on our commitment to protect the environment and is another step toward realizing our long-term sustainability goals.”

“We are committed to working with customers to expand their use of renewable energy,” said Alex Glenn, president of Duke Energy Florida. “This opportunity to serve the Reedy Creek Improvement District is another example of how we are meeting our customers’ interests in renewable energy, while bringing more solar choices to Florida.”

Duke Energy has also funded more than $8 million in solar PV system installations at approximately 50 K-12 schools and universities in Florida to generate electricity and help foster renewable energy education.

As for bringing more solar choices to Florida, please keep in mind that Floridians For Solar Choice is still alive, awaiting for more signatures in order to provide Floridians with more solar choices, allowing third party power providers such as Solar City that would be able to help Florida residents to take part in generating and using solar power

Florida sunshine (credit: Windermere Sun-Susan Sun Nunamaker)

Florida sunshine (credit: Windermere Sun-Susan Sun Nunamaker)

without having to worry about installation cost. Be sure to sign and send in the petition in the red link above.

While we’re on the topic of Mickey shaped solar farm, did you know that Disney is fond of placing hidden Mickeys throughout its theme parks, movies, and other properties. More than 1000 hidden Mickeys have been recorded. Fans estimate that more are waiting to be discovered. I have actually seen, via Google Maps, a hidden Mickey forest in Orlando. Do you know where it is?

~have a bright and sunny day~

Any comments, suggestions, concerns regarding this post will be welcomed at info.WindermereSun@gmail.com or sunisthefuture@gmail.com

Gathered, photographed, written, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker
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20 December

Solar For Oil: Miracle On Pennsylvania Avenue

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Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers,

Miracle on Pennsylvania Ave (photographed & photoblended by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker)

Miracle on Pennsylvania Ave (photographed & photoblended by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker)

Sunshine Coming Through (credit: sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker)

Sunshine Coming Through (credit: sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker)

I could’t  decide on which of the two images above (Miracle on Pennsylvania Ave or Sunshine Coming Through) to use for this post. Perhaps we should have you all, the readers, vote on it. Let me know via sunisthefuture@gmail.com

(Please click on red links & note magenta)

It’s great to be back after taking care of some family matter to report such terrific news! Thanks to one of our dear readers asking a very important question concerning the current status of our federal tax credit for installing solar.

For those of you who may need a bit of refresher on all the renewable energy & energy efficiency tax incentives throughout 50 states of USA, please click–>DSIRE. For U.S. Territories’ tax credit programs, please click U.S. Territories .  For U.S. Federal tax credit programs, please click Federal . Just a few weeks ago, an extension of the U.S. ITC (Investment Tax Credit) seemed unlikely and solar businesses globally were getting ready to base their future business strategies on the tax credit stepping down to 10% on January 1, 2017, and expiring entirely for individuals. Just at this nick of time….I should have known since my first time viewing the Miracle On 34th Street….many miracles may take place here in USA….even in Washington, D.C….

On December 18, 2015, the U.S. Senate has passed an omnibus spending bill which includes extension of the 30% federal ITC for solar (PTC for wind). Under this extension, the ITC will stay at 30% through 2020, and then decline gradually for two years before falling to 10%. The legislation also allows for PV projects to claim the credit for the year in which they begin construction. This bill includes the lifting of a 40-year ban on oil exports (this 40-year ban came into existence during the time when U.S. was having shortage of oil so it is now graduating from being a poor policy to being an exceptionally poor policy because U.S. is now an exporter rather than an importer of oil). So the elimination of this 40-year ban with ITC extension for solar (PTC for wind) is truly a win-win for both oil producers and renewable/solar producers of USA alike. It has passed both the U.S. House and U.S. Senate, with the final Senate vote being 65-33.  This was the final vote needed before the bill will be signed by U.S. President Obama (who supports it).

Various studies (GTM Research indicating that 25 GW of additional PV will be put online. IHS: this will prevent the first annual decline in the global solar industry in over a decade, Bloomberg New Energy Finance, etc.) have shown that ITC extension will dramatically increase the amount of solar installed in the USA by 2020.

In a SEIA/Bloomberg report, without the extension of ITC amounts to an additional 69 GW (gigawatts) of solar deployment between 2016 and 2022,

SEIA's analysis of data using NREL (National Renewable Energy Laboratory)'s JEDI (Jobs and Economic Development Impacts) model and BNEF (Bloomberg New Energy Finance)'s data covering the ITC (Investment Tax Credit)'s impact on jobs and economic investment between 2015-2011. (credit: SEIA, NREL, BNEF)

SEIA’s analysis of data using NREL (National Renewable Energy Laboratory)’s JEDI (Jobs and Economic Development Impacts) model and BNEF (Bloomberg New Energy Finance)’s data covering the ITC (Investment Tax Credit)’s impact on jobs and economic investment between 2015-2022. (credit: SEIA, NREL, BNEF)

solar industry stands to lose 80,000 jobs (Solar jobs derived from NREL’s Jedi model represent demand-side jobs-years, not comparable to the Solar Foundation’s job census which accounts both demand and supply-side jobs and uses a different methodology. For more information please click: ) http://www.nrel.gov/analysis/jedi/  and  http://www.thesolarfoundation.org/solar-jobs-census/ ) in 2017 and an additional 20,000 jobs in related affected industries, for a total loss of 100,000 American jobs. With the ITC extension, it would yield 61,000 more solar jobs in 2017 and 58,000 more jobs in 2021, etc. It is projected that the total solar investment in the US economy between 2016-2022 will be more than $124 billion, $39 billion more than if the ITC expires.

Truly, the ITC extension will provide solar businesses the regulatory certainty to invest in their operations and hire new employees. Who’d thought that it is a result of negotiating from lifting a 40-year ban on oil export?!  Solar For Oil! It is truly a time of Miracle On Pennsylvania Avenue!  The longer I am alive, the more I have to believe in Miracles….how can one not :)….

~have a bright and sunny day~

Gathered, written, photographed & photoblended, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

Related articles:

~have a bright and sunny day~

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

Any comments and suggestions are welcomed at sunisthefuture@gmail.com

You may also be interested in these posts from the past, below:

100% Electric Vehicle and 100% Solar By 2030

Discussion of the Importance of Value of Solar With Karl Rabago

Expanded Discussion of Value of Solar

In-Depth Analysis of Renewable Energy Policy With Toby D. Couture 

“Solar Tsunami” Shared by the Effervescent Professor Jose Cordeiro of Singularity University During World Future Society 2014 

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1 October

2015 International Photovoltaic Exhibition of PV Taiwan

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Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers,

Taiwan Dragon-Shaped Solar Stadium in Kaohsiung City,Taiwan

Taiwan Dragon-Shaped Solar Stadium in Kaohsiung City,Taiwan, (aka the World Games Stadium), 國家體育場. It was built to coincide with the opening of the World Games 2009, with a capacity of 55,000 and covered by 8,844 solar panels, designed by Toyo Ito.

(Please click on red links & note magenta)

Just a quick reminder that PV Taiwan 2015 will be taking place between Oct. 14-16, 2015, at Taipei Nangang Exhibition Center (台北市世界贸易中心南港展览館), Hall 1 (No. 1, Jingmao 2nd Rd.m Nangang District, Taipei City 11568, Taiwan (R.O.C.). PV Taiwan is turning on the most dazzling prospects under the sun! Keep in mind that Taiwan is one of the top manufacturers in the world for solar cells and also strongly competitive in terms of high performance battery technology. The show is attracting more than 8,000 visitors from 70 countries to profile the breakthroughs and products for a global market. This event is organized by the big three: TAITRA (the Taiwan External Trade Development Council), SEMI, and TPVIA (Taiwan Photovoltaic Industry Association). Co-organizers are: ITRI (Industrial Technology Research Institute of Taiwan) and PVGSA (PV Generation System Association of R.O.C.). Show time: Oct. 14/15, 2015 (Wed/Thurs): 10:00-18:00, Oct. 16, 2015 (Fri.): 10:00-17:00. To take a look at what’s happened back in PV Taiwan 2013, below:


PV Taiwan 2012, below:

PV Taiwan 2011, below:


~have a bright and sunny day~

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

Any comments and suggestions are welcomed at sunisthefuture@gmail.com

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8 August

Dr. Christopher Case (of Oxford PV) Discusses Game-Changing Future Transformer of Solar Power Generation-Perovskite Based Solar Cell Technology

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I  saved the most potential game-changing solar technology in the last interview spot, the update of Perovskite-based solar cell technology with the Chief Technology Officer of Oxford PV, Dr. Christopher Case, of this series of Intersolar North America 2015 interviews. Recalling one of our earlier posts, I wrote about Perovskite, a calcium titanium oxide mineral discovered in the Ural Mountains of Russia in 1839. This new old material is generating quite an explosive buzz because scientists have found, in recent years, that it is a great material to be used in solar absorption applications. It can be made simply and inexpensively by using common wet chemistry lab methods and low cost equipments instead of the expensive deposition equipments common in the semiconductor industry. To take a look at how this process is made cheap and accessible, I’m sharing the video below:


These solar (photovoltaic) cells are made in tandem (layer by layer) fashion on a specially coated glass support. In the video above:

  1. the glass is coated with a dense layer of titanium dioxide, by robotic arm, to prevent electrical charge generated by sunlight from leaking out of the cell.
  2. a less dense porous oxide layer covers the dense oxide layer (usually titanium dioxide, other oxides may also be used).
  3. a simple high speed spin coater deposits this layer from solution and spreads this coating evenly across the device.
  4. heating this glass/device in an oven conditions it for solar cell use.
  5. prepare the Perovskite material (which absorbs in the broad range of solar spectrum) by combining 2 precursor materials:   PbI2 (lead iodide) & CH6IN (methylammonium iodide)
  6. drip the liquid phase mixture (from 5.) onto the oxide coated device (from 4.)
  7.  spin the resulting device in 6 to assure even coating
  8.  applying halide solution
  9.  heating the device resulting from 8 on a hot plate–>spontaneously crystallizes precursors in freshly deposited liquid
  10.  color changes also result from crystallization process resulting from 9.

Such tandem product has the advantage of being able to be introduced into existing infrastructure of current silicon module manufacturing process, boosting its efficiency. With added few steps toward the end of the production line, the coating (equivalent to second solar cell) takes advantage of the blue portion of the solar spectrum and may improve the solar cell efficiency by 20-25% above the underlying silicon. The fact that Perovskite-based solar cell technology is of earth abundant material also insures its availability and low cost. Its high absorption in solar spectrum enables it to have comparable characteristics to that of gallium arsenide. Its ability to change its sensitivity to different band gaps in solar spectrum allows it to make different architectures in tandem solar cells. It can truly be considered as the Custom Solar Absorber! In short term,  Perovskite-based solar cell may boost the efficiency level of existing technology and in the long term, it may be a stand-alone technology with closer efficiency level to that of gallium arsenide but at a much lower cost. It may potentially be sprayed, ink-jet printed, dip-coated, etc. It is no wonder that Dr. Case commented, “the perovskite in solar application is the fastest increasing photovoltaic efficiency of any solar photovoltaic thin film material ever! In just a few years, it went from a lab efficiency of about 6% to well over 17%…the material is a very good solar absorber….bringing the material to 25% efficiency in a monolithic layer and 30%+ in a perovskite tandem layer….potentially the future replacement for silicon.”

The perovskite thin-film solar cells, is currently being developed by Oxford PV (a spin-out from the University of Oxford in 2009-2010 to commercialize this technology, which has exclusively licensed the intellectual property developed by Professor Henry Snaith and his team of 20 scientists). Below, Professor Henry Snaith will embellish upon the development of this solar technology:

Oxford PV plans on continuing to optimize this technology’s cell efficiency and accelerate the transfer of the technology into production. Furthermore, it aims to develop the range of substrates to which the cells can be applied. With its promising future, we, the solar enthusiasts and investors alike, should keep our eyes on Oxford PV in the coming years. In the next few years, we anticipate that Dr. Henry Snaith and his team of scientists will continue to tackle challenges in trap densities, doping densities, mobility, mechanisms for free carrier generations, etc., to further improve device performance. You will find that many in the solar industry share the optimism of Professor Henry Snaith and Dr. Christopher Case.

For those of you interested in more details about Perovskite-based solar cell technology, please refer to the two videos below:

1. Introducing Perovskite Solar Cells to Undergraduates:


2. Perovskite Solar Cells: From Device Fabrication to Device Degradation-Timothy Kelly:

~have a bright and sunny day~
Gathered, written, edited, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

Any comments and suggestions are welcomed at sunisthefuture@gmail.com

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10 July

Anticipating Intersolar North America 2015

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Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers,

Intersolar North America 2015 (Exhibition: July 14-16, 2015, Conference: July 13-15, 2015, https://www.intersolar.us/en/home.html)

Intersolar North America 2015 (Exhibition: July 14-16, 2015, Conference: July 13-15, 2015, https://www.intersolar.us/en/home.html)

(Please click on red links & note magenta)

Just a quick note to remind you all that Intersolar North America 2015 will take place in San Francisco, Moscone Center, Exhibition between July 14-16, 2015 and Conference between July 13-15, 2015. This is the most attended Solar Event/Exhibition in the United States. 27,000 trade visitors are expected. There will be high caliber conference with renowned speakers and multitude of workshops. It also provides great international marketing opportunity.

Registration (<–click here). Exhibition application for Intersolar North America 2015 (<–apply here).

What one might anticipate from this event, based on last year’s event (video from Intersolar North America 2014):

 

Some of our interviews with Sun Is The Future at Intersolar North America 2014, below:

1. Ideal Power’s 2-Port & 3-Port Hybrid Converters at Intersolar North America 2014


2. Perovskite Solar Cell Technology of Oxford PV, The Potential Game-Changer

3. Further Expansion by QBotix, Integration of Robotics Into Solar Tracking System

~have a bright and sunny day~
Gathered, interviewed, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

Any comments and suggestions are welcomed at sunisthefuture@gmail.com

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5 July

Solar Independence Day

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Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers,

 

Solar Independence Day, 2015 (credit: composite of photograph by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker (R) & The Spirit of'76  painted by A.M. Willard (L) via photoshop work by Susan Sun Nunamaker)

Solar Independence Day, 2015 (credit: composite of The Spirit of’76 painted by A.M. Willard (L) &  photograph by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker via photoshop work by Susan Sun Nunamaker)

 

(Please click on red links & note magenta)

2015 is a momentous year for us, the Solar Enthusiasts! That is why I wanted to create a special image for the July 4/5, 2015 weekend post (above). For this image, I learned to use photoshop during the weekend of July 4/5, 2015!

July_fireworks_behind_the_Washington_Monument, Public Domain-U.S.Airforce Employee

July fireworks behind the Washington Monument, Public Domain-U.S.Airforce Employee

I am simply ecstatic! In the end of June, 2015, I came across some data (for PV projects as part of a 600-megawatt procurement, some new data on developer bids was just released by Austin Energy) that I want to share with you.  According to Austin Energy’s vice president of resource planning Khalil Shalabi, the utility received offers for 7,976 megawatts of project after issuing a request for bids in April. Of those bids, 1,295 megawatts of projects were priced below 4 cents per kilowatt-hour. During a presentation before the Austin city council, Shalabi displayed an exponentially declining curve for PV projects in Texas,

Austin Solar Prices (Source: Austin Energy)

Austin Solar Prices (Source: Austin Energy)

 

 

he said, “If you continue the curve, you can see that if the cost points continue along this sort of exponentially declining curve, we expect to see prices out in the future that are possibly below $20 a megawatt-hour.” Wow! $20 a megawatt-hour translates into 2 cents per kilowatt-hour (between 2018-2019)! That is definitely cost competitive (costing less than any other energy source if the cost of the plants, insurance, environmental costs, and operating costs are all being taken into consideration) when compared to all other energy sources.

Another exciting break-through is the fact that Solar has reached the 1% mark of global electricity demand. The actual figure may be even slightly higher than the cumulative capacity (178 GW) that’s being presented below because some countries (such as USA) did not include distributed solar into the calculations. With such an exponential growth, it will not be too surprising if/when solar will reach 10% of global electricity demand by 2025. According to EPIA (European Photovoltaic Industry Association), in three European countries: Italy, Germany, and Greece, solar PV supplies more than 7% of the electricity demand.

Global Solar PV (Source: Solar Power Europe)

Global Solar PV (Source: Solar Power Europe), Tweeted by Jigar Shah

 

 

 

 

 

 

Globally, Europe is the world’s largest player with more than 88 GW installed at the end of 2014. China is now the fastest growing solar country/market, installing 10.6 GW in 2014, followed by Japan with 9.7 GW, and the USA in third place with just over 6.5 GW in 2014.  Solar Power Europe (SPE) indicates that capacity could reach 540 GW in five years’ time in a high growth scenario and would reach 396 GW in a low-support case.

In 2015, according to GlobalData, China is likely to retain its world leading status, with US becoming the second, Japan third, and followed by Germany and India, for annual solar addition. China has revised its annual target to 17.8 GW and is well on its way, given that about 5 GW of solar capacity was already installed in Q1. “In the US, annual installations are expected to remain high during 2015 and 2016 owing to tax incentives for power stations that come online before the end of 2016. Solar additions in 2015 are expected to hit 7-8 GW largely due to continued policy support.””Japan’s lucrative solar PV policies have been attracting an increasing amount of investment since 2012, with annual installed capacity in 2014 reaching 8-9 GW, the country’s highest ever installed capacity in a single year. However, annual installations in 2015 are unlikely to reach 2014 levels.”  I just want to remind us all that the solar/renewable energy world would not have come thus far if it were not for spear-heading effort and policy by Germany’s Hermann Scheer.  I am thrilled to see both China and India (two nations with the most populace on planet earth) are making a great deal of effort in development of solar future.

Then, the California Senate recently passed SB 350, the legislation that sets a goal of 50% electricity from renewables by 2030.

These are all signs of what is to come….the Solar Tsunami that will bring about the change of our entire planet’s energy matrix mix. Dear friends and viewers/readers of Sun Is The Future, time to wake up to and share the fact that cost of solar is dramatically lower than what it used to be. We are ready to unshackle ourselves from the fossil fuel, and be ready for a much healthier, cleaner, and brighter Solar Energy Future!

~have a bright and sunny day~

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

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:

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28 May

Let’s Follow France’s Law To Sun-Up Rooftops

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Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers,

France is in favor of the Solar and  Green Future (credit: sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker)

France is in favor of the Solar and Green Future (credit: sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker)

(Please click on red links & note magenta)

C., thank you for alerting me to the law that was recently (in March, 2015) passed by the French governing body, requiring roof tops of new French commercial buildings to be either partially covered by solar panels

Solar PV (credit: sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker)

Solar PV (credit: sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker)

or plants. This law was the product of compromise between French environmentalists and the more conservative members of the parliament. Initially, the French environmental activists wanted to make it mandatory to have all new buildings to be covered with green roofs, but the Socialist government convinced these activists to limit the scope of the law to new commercial buildings/rooftops.

Hopefully, this law will enable France to catch up to its neighbors.  Solar PV capacity in France has increased much more slowly than in Germany, Spain or Italy in the past, Reuters reported in November of 2014. In June of last year, France had 5,095 megawatts of PV capacity, accounting for 1 percent of the energy consumption in the first half of 2014. Neighboring Germany had almost 37,000 MW.

Other places such as Australia, Germany, Canada, and Britain already have green roofs as part of their urban landscape. As a matter of fact, Toronto has mandatory green roofs  as part of its by-laws since 1998.

Green Roof of Chicago City Hall ( attribution: Tony The Tiger)

Green Roof of Chicago City Hall ( attribution: Tony The Tiger)

Green roof  of British_Horse_Society_Head_Quarters_and_Green_Roof attribution Sky Garden Ltd

Green roof of British Horse Society Head Quarters ( attribution: Sky Garden Ltd)

 

Green roof of Tongyang downtown apartment complex (attribution: Vmenkov)

Green roof of Tongyang downtown apartment complex (attribution: Vmenkov)

 

 

Green roof of the Mountain Equipment Co-op store in Toronto, Canada (attribution: Sookie)

Green roof of the Mountain Equipment Co-op store in Toronto, Canada (attribution: Sookie)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This law will certainly help to reduce the energy needed due to urban heat island (especially notable during summer and winter) and rainwater retension (by reducing runoff problems). Please refer to the video below:

 


“This draft law is a very positive step forward and a concrete lever for greener and smarter cities,” said James Watson, CEO of the European Photovoltaic Industry Association. “There are so many unused rooftops in our cities today and solar photovoltaics is the perfect solution to make the best out of them as it can be seamlessly integrated in an urban setting.” Watson added that rooftops, large or small, represent 70 percent of the installed solar capacity in France.

“Solar electricity produced on your roof can partially or entirely instantaneously cover your own power needs,” Watson said.

In addition to cost saving, please keep in mind that in 2014, solar energy production saved about 110 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions globally.

Perhaps all governments throughout our planet should consider utilizing surface areas of the rooftops.

~have a bright and sunny day~

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

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6 May

Tindo, World’s First Solar eBus

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Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers,

Tindo solar powered ebus2 final

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I’ve been wanting to share this piece with you for quite some time now because transportation is responsible for almost a third of the CO2 emissions in most developed nations. So I was thrilled to find out about Tindo, the world’s first Solar Electric Bus that are being used every day by the people of Adelaide, Australia, through the Adelaide City Council’s free Adelaide Connector Bus service.

Tindo, the Kauma Aboriginal name for sun, is the culmination of the Adelaide City Council’s eight-year project to deliver a pure electric community bus. Adelaide’s air conditioned 40-seater and low-maintenance Tindo solar ebus is designed by DesignLine International, a New Zealand company. Green public transportation such as Tindo solar ebus is one of the ways to help mitigate global warming. Tindo is recharged using solar PV system at the Adelaide Central Bus station.  The solar PV system on the Bus Station’s roof is currently Adelaide’s largest grid-connected system, generating 70,000 kWh (or 70 MWh)of zero carbon emissions electricity each year to offset the total energy required to recharge Tindo’s batteries. Much of the funding for this $550,000 solar PV system was  provided by the Australian Government through the Adelaide Solar City program, with the Adelaide City Council also committing significant funding. Adelaide City Council looks forward to the future when a fleet of solar buses will be serving throughout the city of Adelaide.

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

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24 April

Agora Garden Tower of Taipei Taiwan, Helical Force of Life, by Vincent Callebaut Architectures

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Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers,

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“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams!”

“Le futur appartient a ceux qui croient a la beaute de leurs reves!”

~ Eleanor Roosevelt ~

If such were the case, then people from Taiwan are simply some of the most beautiful dreamers on this planet. During the month of February of 2015,  I had the opportunity to visit Taiwan. Its neighboring states include the People’s Republic of China to the west, Japan to the east and northeast, and the Philippines to the south. Its former name Formosa dates back to 1542 when Portuguese sailors sighted the main island of Taiwan and named it Ilha Formosa, meaning “beautiful island“.

Taipei is the seat of the central government. New Taipei City, encompassing the metropolitan area surrounding Taipei proper, is the most populous city.


During the latter half of the 20th century, Taiwan experienced rapid economic growth and  industrialization and is now an advanced industrial economy. Taiwan is one of the Four Asian Tigers and a member of the WTO and APEC. Its high-tech industry plays a key role in the global economy, enabling its status of being the 21st-largest economy in the world. Considering the fact that Taiwan only has a total area of 36,193 sq km (or 13,974 sq mi), its residents/citizens must be magical.

Taiwain, Taipei, Taiwan Strait (Public Domain)

Taiwain, Taipei, Taiwan Strait (Public Domain)

Upon closer examination, one realizes some of the significant contributing factors to Taiwan’s success story: it is ranked highly in terms of freedom of the press, health care, public education, economic freedom, and human development.

To summarize my overall impression of  Taipei, Taiwan: it is one of the most civilized 21st century cities in the world! It is a city where people are polite, orderly, and considerate, with the cleanest subway system I’ve ever seen where not a single piece of trash could be found !

It is not surprising that one would be able to find some of the most progressive and aesthetically intriguing architectural designs in Taiwan, as seen above and below  in the Agora Garden Tower design by Vincent Callebaut Architectures SARL  and various projects. It is a new sustainable residential tower in Taipei currently under construction to be completed in 2016. In the center of Xinyin District of Taipei, the Agora Garden project (as the name suggests,  Agora, in ancient Greece, means a public open space used for assemblies and markets) aims at limiting its inhabitants’ ecologic footprints by building a vertical landscape with low energetic consumption on this last and only biggest parcel of land for residential use. It integrates the recycling of organic waste, used water, renewable energies, and various state-of-the-art nanotechnologies (BIPV solar PV, rain water recycling/harevesting, composts, etc.). The BIPV’s are placed in the pair of giant horizontal shades atop the building. Its trademark spiral is inspired by the double helix of the DNA molecule, suggestive of the life force it  brings to the city. Utilizing its helical twist through a 90 degree angle (at 4.5 degrees per level in this 20- level building), it is creating a series of “suspended open-air gardens”, superimposing vertically wide planted balconies of suspended orchards, organic vegetable gardens, aromatic gardens, and other medicinal gardens. Contrary to our historical perception of “buildings”, Vincent Callebaut has created a living organism in Agora, overpassing the passive role of most buildings as passive energy-consumers.  Agora is designed not only to be self-sufficient in terms of energy (electric, thermal, and alimentary), but has gone a step beyond to produce its own organic food while taking a dynamically fluid geometry!  I never thought I would see a building that would be able to project our human relationship to nature and our environment so musically! It is truly a Helical Force of Life!

Agora has answered the four main ecologic objectives:

  1. reduction of the climatic global warming
  2. protection of the nature and the biodiversity
  3. protection of the environment and the quality of life
  4. management of the natural resources and waste

I will look forward to the date of its completion. Until 2016, I invite you to visit Tao-Zhu Gardon or Agora Garden of Taipei, Taiwan by Vincent Callebaut Architectures and hope these dreamers in Taiwan will be bringing this Helical Force of Life into reality.

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

~have a bright and sunny day~

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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