Posts Tagged ‘Spain’

11 July

GemaSolar Power Plant-World’s First Solar Powered Catwalk, via Jessica Minh Anh!


Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers,

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Solar Energy Has Arrived! Gemasolar Power Plant, a concentrated solar power plant with a molten salt heat storage system, located within the city limits of Fuentes de Andalucía in the province of Seville, Spain ,

Gamesolar Power Plant of Spain (attrib: Koza 1983)

Gemasolar Power Plant of Spain (attrib: Koza 1983),

is not only the first plant in the world to create a system that produces 24 hour a day electricity using only the power of the sun,it’s also been known to serve as the backdrop for various campaigns to set future trends (e.g.Louis Vuitton, Mercedes Benz and Ford). For the first time, in July (on July 17, 2015) of this year, this desert solar power plant in Spain will showcase the combination of haute couture and high end ready-to-wear collections from the 100-meter catwalk surrounded by circular formation of mirrors.

 This  spectacular event is organized and hosted by the famous Jessica Minh Anh, who is known for turning the most iconic venues into fantastic catwalks! She is the only fashion show organizer who has gained exclusive permission to some of the most phenomenal venues on earth (such as Grand Canyon Skywalk of USA, Eiffel Tower of France, London’s Tower Bridge of UK, Petronas Twin Towers’ Skybridge of Malaysia, Costa Atlantica of Dubai, or Gardens by the Bay’s OCBC Skyway of Singapore, etc.). Jessica’s status as the global fashion sensation and self-made entrepreneur is solidified by: FashionTV, Canale 5 Italia, Marie Claire, Le Nouvel Observateur, to name a few. She currently resides in Paris, France, and continues to travel the world in hosting her Unconventional Catwalks.  Press coverage for Jessica Minh Anh may be found on and her daily update is at .

 As Jessica walks down this catwalk on July 17, 2015, the world will take note that Solar Energy belongs to the new generation of the multi-talented, bold, creative, and beautiful, just like Jessica Minh Anh.  Plant manager Raul Mendoza Ruiz said, “Gemasolar is an international symbol of the next generation of power plants and represents the future, as Jessica does in fashion.” This J. Summer Show of 2015 will be filmed from various angles, using flying drones to highlight the sunlight’s effect on the stunning circular concentrated solar power plant. With solar energy’s exponential growth pattern, one may anticipate many many more solar power plants of various sizes to be rising up from all corners of the planet earth, be ready to surpass hydropower within a decade. The simple fact that Solar Power Plant may be considered to be used as a fashion catwalk reflects the essence of Solar Energy: it is bountiful, clean, healthy, free from conflicts, and accepted by all. We look forward to more catwalks such as Gemasolar in the Solar Future. We will also look forward to Jessica showcasing solar wearables in the future.

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

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16 May

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


Dear Friends, Readers/Viewers, Fellow Solar Enthusiasts,

(Please click on red links and note magenta below)

Sun Is The Future ( is very pleased to be able to share this interview of M. Toby D. Couture with our readers/viewers. We can learn much from this astute scholar of advanced renewable energy policy. His thorough examination of feed-in tariffs and overall renewable energy policy analysis are extremely insightful. We need more analysts such as M. Couture to guide us during our earthly transition toward the Renewable Energy Future. I am particularly optimistic with the “prosumer” concept mentioned in this video. I also liked his analogy of utility companies being equivalent to banks of financial services, becoming more of an intermediary between the electricity suppliers (from wide range of sources) and end-use customers. Finally, M. Couture reminds us the importance of encouraging environment to reduce risk for future growth potential of renewables. It is not often that during a conversation/interview of this duration (about 90 minutes) that I would be impressed with every point he’s made in his analysis. From his global perspective, we’ve come to appreciate the strength, weakness, and the reason behind various policies in different parts of the world. One cannot help but arrive at a sense of hope and optimism for our renewable energy future, if sufficient finance and policy are correctly in place as the motive force. Without further ado, I give you Toby D. Couture, below:
Besides being a Fulbright Scholar (2008-2009), Toby D. Couture had also received Contemporary Achievement Award from Mount Allison University (2012), Canadian SSHRC Scholarship, Baxter & Alma Ricard Foundation Scholarship, and A.H.Johnson Philosophy Award, you will find out more about his background, below:


Among his credentials:
1. Energy Analyst of Conservation Council of NB (2006-2007)
2. Energy & Financial markets Analyst of NREL (National Renewable Energy Laboratory) (2008-2009)
3. Founder and Director of Energy Analysis of E3 Analytics (2009-2012)
4. Director of Renewable Energy at IFOK (2012-present)
5. Founder & Director of Renewable Energy (2014)

His Educational Background:
1. BA w/Distinction, Honours in Philosophy, Env. Policy & some Economics, from Mount Allison University
2. MA w/Distinction in Energy & Environmental Policy from Universite de Moncton
3. Studies in Renewable Energy Finance, Post-Master’s in Renewable Energy from Ecole des Mines de Paris, Sophia Antipolis
4. MSc w/Merit, in Financial & Commercial Regulation from London School of Economics and Political Science

Besides being an excellent speaker, M. Couture has also demonstrated, through his publications and reports, his impressive understanding of the integration of financial, political, and regulatory landscape of renewable energy. His publications are listed below:
1. The Rise and Fall of Oil (2011)
2. Analytical Brief on FITs vs. Auctions (2010)
3. Analytical Brief on Spain’s Solar PV Boom and Bust (2011)
4. Feed-in Tariffs: Arguments and Counterarguments (2010)
5. The Lesson From Spain (2013)

6. A Policymaker’s Guide to Feed-in Tariff Policy Design (2010)

Toby D. Couture now works at E3Analytics to help both private and public sector clients to navigate challenges in transitioning into an abundant, dispersed, and renewable energy resources.

To find out more about Toby Couture, his writings, and/or his ongoing projects, please visit:

Related articles:

1. Learning From Ed Regan & Mayor Pegeen Hanrahan About FIT (Feed-In-Tariff)

2.Further Updates To FIT (feed-In-Tariff) Worldwide

3.Incentive For Solar (15)-Feed-In-Tariff-US

4.Aussie’s Transition Into The Renewable Energy Age

5.Australian State Feed-In-Tariff

6.China Installed The Most Solar in 2013! China May Possibly Become The Cleanest Country On Planet Earth!

7.Why Should Utility Companies Consider Working With FIT (Feed-In-Tariff)?

~have a bright and sunny day~

Gathered, written, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker
Any of your questions/comments/suggestions will be welcomed at
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7 September

Further Updates For FIT (Feed-In-Tariff) WorldWide


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!

We have some news updating of Feed-In-Tariff from our friend of the Wind persuasion, Paul Gipe, below:

September 3, 2013,   by John Farrell, ILSRWhile the utility’s options were being debated, Ed had an opportunity to travel to Germany with the Solar Electric Power Association and learn about their feed-in tariff program. To his surprise, when he presented his findings to the local energy commission, their reply was, “why can’t we do that here?”

Below, is an interview with Ed Regan and Mayor Pegeen Hanrahan of Gainesville, FL, on FIT (Feed-In-Tariff) on July 12, 2013, previously seen in an earlier July 26, 2013 post:

September 3, 2013,China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) has announced three regional pricing variations for the nation’s feed-in tariff for solar photovoltaic (PV) generation, which it says are based on available solar resources and construction costs.

September 3, 2013,   by Paul GipeUpdated tables on Feed-in Tariffs including China’s 2013 Solar PV Tariffs Differentiated by Resource Intensity; Ontario Small FIT 2013, Kerala (India) Wind and Hydro FITs, and Proposed Tidal Feed-in Tariffs for Nova Scotia

September 2, 2013,   by Craig MorrisJosep Puig: In the past five or six years, Spanish power firms have built some 26,000 MW of combined-cycle power plants. These firms apparently did not see all of this renewable capacity coming, and I believe the average number of operating hours for these plants was around 2,000 last year, which puts their capacity factor at below 25%.

August 30, 2013,   by Jodi PerrasDuke Energy also agreed to pursue either a new feed-in tariff program to purchase at least 30 megawatts of solar power from its Hoosier customers or to purchase or install at least 15 megawatts of wind or solar generating capacity from new facilities built in Indiana.

August 29, 2013,   by Duane ShimogawaHawaii regulators are re-examining a program that’s designed to encourage the addition of more renewable energy projects in Hawaii called the feed-in-tariff, or FIT, program.

August 26, 2013,   by Mary Stonaker, Chad Laurent, and Neil Veilleux, Meister Consultants GroupA huge opportunity exists for landowners, especially farm owners, to band together and not only offset their own energy usage (to generate savings) but also to earn additional revenue in the long-run from the adoption of solar PV. There is enormous potential for farmers to harvest solar and other renewables to generate local, clean, renewable energy.

August 21, 2013,Under this Program, applicants will be eligible to receive at least one FIT rate for single base or single moored in-stream tidal energy device projects and another FIT rate for projects consisting of multiple bases or moorings.

August 20, 2013,3,300 MW of renewable energy has been installed since the FIT program was launched and another 22,000 MW of FIT projects are under contract in the Japanese program.[more]

~have a bright and sunny day~

gathered and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

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25 July

News On FIT (Feed-In-Tariff)


Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers,

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Thanks to our friend from the Wind Persuasion, Paul Gipe, keeping us updated on the subject of FIT (Feed-In-Tariff), below I’d like to share an excerpt of the email from Paul:

Solar Energy (credit: Dennis Schroeder, pv powered townhome)

News on Feed-in Tariffs

July 22, 2013,   by Leah Stokes

The feed-in tariff was working, renewable energy projects were being built, jobs were being created and climate change was being addressed.

July 22, 2013,   by Bernard Chabot

French energy expert Bernard Chabot explains how easy it is to properly design feed-in tariffs, especially for solar, and proposes “advanced feed-in tariffs.”

July 22, 2013,   by Craig Morris

Spain remains in the news with further changes to its feed-in tariffs. We spoke with Berlin-based Canadian analyst Toby Couture to go beyond the headline that “Spain has thrown out feed-in tariffs.”

July 21, 2013,   by Brian Wang

A price of RMB0.43 will be paid for each kilowatt-hour generated by new Chinese nuclear power plants, according to a ruling by the National Development and Reform Commission intended to incentivise construction. This equates to $70/MWh.

July 18, 2013,   by Paul Gipe

While municipal utilities in Los Angeles and on New York’s Long Island plod along with timid municipal feed-in tariff programs, Thailand plans to add 1,000 MW of solar photovoltaics (solar PV) by the end of 2014.[more]


~have a bright and sunny day~

gathered and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

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20 July

Update on FIT (Feed-In-Tariffs)


Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers,

Please click on red links below.

Thanks to our Wind-friend Paul Gipe for the links below. Yes, we’re still keeping track of the progress with FIT (Feed-In-Tariffs)!

Sun Above Cloud (photographed by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker)

News on Feed-in Tariffs

July 13, 2013,   by Jorge AlcauzaSpain’s government has announced the end of the Feed-in Tariff (FiT) system for renewable energy. – See more at:

July 12, 2013,The tariff levels have been set at 7.3p/kWh for air source heat pumps; 12.2p/kWh for biomass boilers; 18.8p/kWh for ground source heat pumps and at least 19.2 p/kWh for solar thermal.

July 12, 2013,CSI-II will precede two additional clean energy projects to be released before year end 2013. In one, LIPA staff is developing another feed-in tariff to allow for wind, fuel cells and other renewable resources to fill an additional 20MW block of renewable energy. In the other, LIPA is preparing a Request for Proposals for up-to-280 MW of renewable energy.

July 3, 2013,   by Department of Energy & Climate Change

Aspiring communities across the nation will be able to receive Feed-in Tariff (FITs) payments for the clean green energy generated by larger community energy projects, under new plans set out by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) today. Projects such as solar PV on school roofs or panels on libraries, community owned wind turbines and hydro power from local streams could all benefit under the proposed new rules.


Gathered and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

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5 April

Sunisthefuture Team Goes To State Capitol To Meet Senator Geraldine Thompson


Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers,

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Being a resident of the beautiful Sunshine State of Florida,  I would love to see greater spread of solar installations (for the sake of cleaner, healthier, less war-proned planet earth and creation of local jobs) and be able to build a solar farm for future generations in Florida some day.  These are some of the main motive forces (in addition to memory of my father) behind my embarking on the journey of Sun Is The Future. I personally feel strong and urgent enough about the issues of energy-pollution-climate change that I have taken sabbatical from teaching university/college math to devote my time into educating general public about solar energy.  Along this route of sharing and discovery, I’ve come to realize that the most important driving forces behind solar installations any/every where on planet earth are policy and economics. For this reason, I’ve traveled (with my technical supporter and hubby Michael Nunamaker) to our state capitol, Tallahassee, on April 4, 2013, to see our Senator Geraldine F. Thompson, who proposed the renewable energy bill, SB 0498. We would have loved to travel to Tallahassee to meet with other solar advocates in March, but my March/Spring allergy delayed this trip. This is the first time in my life EVER that I have personally scheduled for an appointment with a State Senator concerning any legislation! Naturally, during the drive toward Tallahassee, I tried to mentally prepare myself with a short introductory speech, below:


Greetings, Senator Thompson,

Thank you for agreeing to meet with us on April 4, 2013,  at the Senate Office Building to discuss the SB 0498. My name is Susan Sun Nunamaker, next to me is my technical support and husband Michael Nunamaker. We are here representing . I started in 2011 as an educational site, advocating solar energy;then recruited Michael in 2012 for technical support. As the site has reached viewers/readers from 160 different countries across the globe, we’ve imbued ourselves in learning, researching, and comparatively analyzing renewable energy policies from different countries. So, we’d like to offer our input for any of your current or future renewable or solar energy bills.

During our research, we’ve come across a very informative document  produced by NREL, A Policymaker’s Guide to Feed-In-Tariff Policy Design at :
(Toby D. Couture is no longer with NREL but is reachable via , but I believe Karlynn Cory Claire Kreycik and Emily Williams are still at NREL)

Since we are strong proponents for solar energy, we’re very pleased to find that you are introducing the renewable energy bill, SB 0498.

Regarding SB 0498, its strength lies in the fact that it is clean and simple. However, it would be even stronger if:

  1. The  contract duration will be of 20-year term rather than 10-year term.
  2. The feed-in rate will not be fixed but subject to periodic re-evaluation by the Public Utility Commission depending on grid penetration and cost of solar (e.g.Germany now reassesses its feed-in rate on a monthly basis, much more frequently than in the earlier years). This type of periodic reassessments would help to avoid problems that occurred in Spain or Czechoslovakia, where the market became over-heated, resulting from overly generous feed-in rate that was not  reassessed frequently enough.

We hope you will be taking an interest in some issues in future bills, separately:

  1. Setting Solar/Renewable Energy Goal for the state of Florida, given that state of Florida is one of the 13 states that still does not have any Renewable Portfolio Standards or Goals
  2. Streamline the permitting process of solar PV and solar thermal so to reduce the cost and amount of time in completing the process. Residents at Broward County of Florida are now able to get a solar energy system permit online in just half an hour;please refer to Jefferery Halsey, Broward County of Florida’s Director of Pollution Prevention, Remediation, and Air Quality Division during the video clip below, at our Feb. 22, 2013 post of Sun Is The Future: Streamlining the permitting process would help to reduce costs for government and therefore be welcomed by both Democrats and Republicans.
  3. It seems feasible 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.

Senator Thompson, we here at Sun Is The Future of would be happy to assist with any future research or gathering of information and material concerning solar energy or effective renewable energy policy for the state of Florida.


sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker & Michael Nunamaker


This is the first time for us to visit Tallahassee;it is a beautiful city and state capitol, full of the Southern charm, with swaying Spanish moss adhering to majestically aged trees.

State Capitol of Florida, at Tallahassee, 2013, photographed by Susan Sun Nunamaker

With the help of Legislative Aides Roosevelt Holmes III

Legislative Aide Roosevelt Holme III, photographed by Susan Sun Nunamaker

and Dan Rogers,

Legislative Aide Dan Rogers, photographed by Susan Sun Nunamaker

we not only managed to present our findings to Senator Geraldine Thompson, but learned a great deal about the legislative process.  Even though it is  a very slow process that is often more reactionary rather than precautionary,  we are provided with many more contact names and information that will hopefully help to reach our cause of seeing more effective renewable/solar energy policies implemented in our beautiful Sunshine State of Florida. Hopefully, more effective solar/renewable energy policy’s implementation will occur soon enough for the officer standing next to the Great Seal of The State of Florida, right below (yes, we found out that he wants to build a solar home/house in the near future too! ).

Senator Geraldine Thompson (L), Susan Sun Nunamaker (middle), Michael Nunamaker (R), photographed by Roosevelt Holmes III

Officer standing next to The Great Seal of The State of Florida wants to build a solar home/house too ! Photographed by Susan Sun Nunamaker










~have a bright and sunny day~

written and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

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3 April

Bold, Visionary Thinking On Pathways To 100% Renewable Energy


Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers,

(Please click on red links below). Be sure to click on “Translate” above if any of the articles is in a language foreign to you.

It is with exciting anticipation that I would like to share this news update with you, from our friend of the Wind persuasion, below: by Paul Gipe

Increasingly countries and regions are leapfrogging timid renewable targets and moving toward full 100% integration of renewables into electricity supply. Some thought leaders, politicians, and advocates are moving even further, suggesting 150%, even 300% renewable electricity generation to meet not only electricity supply but also heat and transport.

How times have changed.

When I began my career three decades ago, our demands were modest if not meek. We could hardly imagine wind supplying more than 10% of electricity consumption. Then the California wind rush arrived in the early 1980s, and we realized that wind energy had indeed come of age as a commercial generating technology.

Our expectations increased accordingly. Wind penetration of 20% then began to seem a reasonable objective. But we stumbled badly here in the US. We turned our backs on renewables during the Reagan era.

Meanwhile, Danes continued to erect ever more wind turbines throughout the 1990s. Soon Denmark was closing on 20% of supply from wind energy alone and it became apparent—again—that our targets were too modest.

Even then I remember writing that we advocates were not suggesting that renewables would completely replace fossil fuels. No we said, we’d always need fossil fuels for some portion of supply. Wind—and solar too—would just be parts of the resource mix, maybe a big part, but still just a part.

“Facts on the ground,” as they say, were changing faster than our thinking of what was possible. With experience in Denmark, followed by that in Spain and Germany came the realization that renewables were capable of growing much faster than we had ever anticipated. Reality was overtaking our imaginations.

Today wind turbines generate nearly 30% of Danish electricity. But of course that’s not all. The Danes didn’t stop with just wind. They’ve also been building hundreds of biogas digesters and waste-to-energy plants as well. Together, wind and biomass provide 44% of the electricity consumed by Denmark’s nearly six million inhabitants. And on 20 March, just after midnight, Denmark’s wind turbines alone were generating more than 100% of the Scandinavian country’s consumption.

The list of what was once unimaginable continues to grow. Portugal’s 10 million people produced more than half their electricity in 2010 from their own indigenous renewable resources. Spain’s 40 million people meet one-third of their electrical consumption from renewables.

All of this was accomplished with policies implemented before the climate crisis was fully felt, and well before Fukushima.

In retrospect, none of this should have been surprising. After all, in the early days of electricity much of it–if not all in some regions–was generated renewably with hydroelectricity.

What was different from then was the growing role of the “new” renewable technologies, such as wind, solar, biogas, and geothermal. Also new was the observation that if we are to address climate change we have to do something about fossil fuels in transportation and heating. This was brought home to me this past summer as I sat on a panel at the World Wind Energy Association conference in Bonn titled “100% Renewable Energy”.

On the panel were two long-time renewable pioneers, Preben Maegaard from Denmark, and Johannes Lackmann from Germany. Independent of each other, both had come to the same conclusion. To address climate change and energy security, we must move well beyond 100% renewable energy in electricity supply and build an integrated network capable of using more than 150% renewable energy, up to as much as 300% renewable energy to offset fossil fuels in transportation, and heating.

This is the kind of bold, visionary thinking that is being debated in Europe. As more countries and regions adopt what was once unthinkable—100% renewable targets in electricity supply—academics and thought leaders are asking questions about what it will take to go even further.

Meanwhile, the list of countries, states, and regions with 100% renewable targets continues to grow.


The most famous example of an ambitious target is Denmark. In the spring of last year the Danish energy minister and then holder of the EU Presidency, Martin Lindegaard issued the country’s 100% Renewable Energy Declaration.

Denmark proposes to meet more than 50% of its electricity supply with renewables by 2020, 100% of electricity and heat by 2035, and 100% in transport by 2050. “I think it’s doable, I think it’s necessary, and it’s also good for the economy,” said Lidegaard in the declaration.


Just south of the Danish border, the German state of Schleswig-Holstein has also set itself an ambitious target of 100% of interior electricity consumption by 2020.

The German states of Rheinland-Pfalz and Brandenburg have set their targets of 100% renewable for somewhat later, 2030. Brandenburg expects to meet its target in part by decreasing electricity consumption 1% per year and setting aside 2% of the state’s land area for wind energy.

The 2% rule for wind is quickly becoming the norm in Germany. This past winter, Schleswig-Holstein, which currently meets more than half its internal consumption with wind, announced that it was doubling the land area devoted to wind energy to nearly 2% to meet their renewable targets. Similarly, the German Wind Turbine Owners Association (Bundesverband WindEnergie) commissioned a study finding that Germany could meet its 2050 target for wind with 2% of the country’s land area.

The central German state of Hesse is less ambitious than its peers. Their target is 100% renewable by the more distant date of 2050.

For several years now, Germany itself has the objective of generating 80% of its electricity from Renewables by 2050. The debate has now shifted to how much sooner can they reach that target and at what will be the cost in doing so.

Germany is the hotbed of 100% Renewable discussion. This fall, the city of Kassell will host The 5th 100% Renewable Energy Regions Congress. Organizers note that more than 130 regions and municipalities have set themselves the target of providing 100% of their energy supply with renewable energy in the medium to long term.”

In fact it is small villages and towns that are driving the move toward 100% renewable energy policy in Germany just as they did with the introduction of feed-in tariffs in the 1990s. Because renewable energy is dispersed—distributed the experts say—even the smallest and most remote village can opt for locally-owned resources that offset not only their own consumption, but often much more.

Disclosure: I receive a grant from the World Future Council. The World Future Council is a co-sponsor of the conference Pathways To 100% Renewable Energy and I am a speaker at the conference.

Dardesheim bills itself as Germany’s renewable energy village, Jünde advertises as “the” bio-energy dorf, and the district of Rhein-Hunsrück along the scenic Rhine Gorge touts its target of 500% renewable energy by 2020.

In a dream come true for renewable energy advocates, German villages compete with each other for the title of who produces more renewable energy per capita. Winners are even feted with an annual award.


Talk is now shifting to European-wide targets for 2030 and beyond. All members of the European Union have binding—not “aspirational”–2020 renewable targets. Advocates are now suggesting that Europe itself could move toward 100% renewable energy by 2050.

The Austrian state of Upper Austria has set a target of 100% renewables in heat and electricity by 2030.

And of course Scotland has thumbed its collective nose at Donald Trump and set itself the very ambitious target of 100% renewables in electricity supply by 2020 mostly from wind energy.


And probably the most ambitious target of all is that proposed by Stanford academic Mark Jacobson in the US, and NGOs in Europe. Jacobson, the World Wildlife Fund, and others have shown that the world could produce 100% of its energy needs by 2050 with renewable energy.


Closer to home, dissatisfaction with the typically timid targets found in state Renewable Portfolio Standards has led new players in the renewable arena to challenge the traditional incremental approach of established NGOs. They argue that the times demand more aggressive action—targets that are ambitious enough to elicit the dreams and hopes of Americans–and the policies to match them.

Some communities, such as Greensburg, Kansas are taking action into their own hands. After a tornado leveled the city in 2007, the community decided to do things differently when they rebuilt. One of their objectives was to rebuild with 100% renewable energy.

Fortunately, Greensburg is not alone. Other cities across the country are taking up the cause. It is this ambition that has driven the first conference of its kind in the US, a conference on how to move American’s toward 100% renewable energy. Like the past four such conferences held in Germany, the conference features thought leaders, politicians, and academics at the forefront of this global new movement.

Pathways To 100% Renewable Energy will focus on 100% renewable energy targets and how to get there. Scheduled for 16 April 2013 at the Fort Mason Conference Center in San Francisco, the conference brings the discussion of the future of renewable energy full circle. California was the crucible where the modern renewable energy industry and its potential was forged. The state has long since given up its role as a leader in the renewable energy revolution, but the budding movement toward 100% renewable energy could re-awaken the Golden State’s pioneering spirit.

If you have any question or comments about this particular post, please email Paul Gipe at :

~have a bright and sunny day~

posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

Any of your comments or suggestions are welcomed below or at


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7 February

President & CEO of SEPA, Julia Hamm, Shed Some Light For Our Solar Future


Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers,

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Today I want to share an interview with you, of Julia Hamm, President and CEO of SEPA (Solar Electric Power Association), at Pennsylvania Convention Center of Phildadelphia, PA, on Thursday, February 7, 2013, below:

During the interview, President Hamm re-emphasized the importance of collaboration between utility companies and consumers during this time of transition. She’s been with SEPA since 1992 when the organization was Utility Photovoltaic Group (renamed as SEPA in 2000), left and rejoined the organization in 2004. The focus of SEPA has been to help the traditional utility sector to integrate more solar into their energy portfolio through education, research, programs and projects that enable better understanding and learning of mutual experience from various utility companies. The emphasis is in creating a bridge between the utility companies and solar industry. SEPA has been instrumental in bringing various US utility companies abroad, since 2008, to learn how utility companies have been able to adapt to greater solar penetration in other countries such as Germany, Spain, Japan, and Italy. SEPA and SEIA co-own SPI (Solar Power International, ) and recently SPI formed an alliance with Solar Expo show (SES, May 8-10, 2013 in Milan, Italy) and Shanghai New Energy Conference (SNEC PV Power Expo, May 14-16, 2013, Shanghai, China). These three largest solar trade shows (SPI, SES, SNEC) in the world come together to form the Global Solar Alliance and will be hosting the Global Solar Summit in the coming Spring in Milan, Italy, to provide better exchange of information and communications among utility companies internationally.

Julia Hamm foresees continued growth of solar industry and greater use/adoption of solar by consumers;this will translate into need for future change in regulatory structures in order to fulfill the need of consumers and utility companies. Such change in regulatory structure will be occurring on state by state basis. With distributed PV (and other sources) quickly being adopted by consumers, utility companies now realize the need for changing the nature of the grid. Time and collaboration are the keys. It would appear that better chance of success in bringing about any regulatory improvement/changes that will benefit both consumers and utility companies is through collaboration.  So, it’s time for all parties involved to sit down at the round table and work out the details collaboratively, for our mutual benefit.
~have a bright and sunny day~
Gathered, interviewed, written, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker
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29 January

Solar Powered Plane, The Solar Impulse Reminds Us That The Ultimate Power Is The SUN


Dear Friends, Viewers/Visitors/Readers,

(Please click on red links below for more information).

If you’ve been following Sun Is The Future since 2011, you may remember the two posts on Solar Impulse that I wrote about on July 14, 2011:  Solar Impulse HB-SIA-Solar Plane (1) and Solar Impulse-SIA-Solar Plane (2).  For those of you visiting Sun Is The Future for the first time, here are some information provided by wikipedia, below:

Solar Impulse is a Swiss long-range solar powered aircraft project being undertaken at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne. The project eventually hopes to achieve the first circumnavigation of the Earth by a piloted fixed-wing aircraft using only solar power. The project is led by Swiss psychiatrist and aeronaut Bertrand Piccard, who co-piloted the first balloon to circle the world non-stop, and Swiss businessman André Borschberg.  The first aircraft, bearing the Swiss aircraft registration code of HB-SIA, is a single-seater monoplane, capable of taking off under its own power, and intended to remain airborne up to 36 hours.

This aircraft first flew an entire diurnal solar cycle, including nearly nine hours of night flying, in a 26-hour flight on July 7-8, 2010. In 2012, Piccard and Borschberg conducted successful solar flights from Switzerland to Spain and Morocco. In 2013, plans call for a flight from California to Virginia.  Building on the experience of this prototype, a slightly larger follow-on design (HB-SIB) is planned to make a circumnavigation of the globe in 20–25 days. This flight was initially planned for 2014, but following a structural failure of the aircraft’s main spar during static testing, a more likely date is 2015.

Piccard initiated the Solar Impulse project in 2003. By 2009, he had assembled a multi-disciplinary team of 50 specialists from six countries, assisted by about 100 outside advisers. The project is financed by a number of private companies. The four main partners are Deutsche BankOmega SASolvay, and Schindler. Other partners include Bayer MaterialScience, Altran and Swisscom. Other supporters include ClarinsSemper, Toyota, BKW and STG. The EPFL, the European Space Agency (ESA) and Dassault have provided additional technical expertise, while SunPower provided the aircraft’s photovoltaic cells.

With a non-pressurized cockpit and a limited flight ceiling, the HB-SIA is primarily a demonstrator design. The plane has a similar wingspan to the Airbus A340 airliner. Under the wing are four nacelles, each with a set of lithium polymer batteries, a 10 hp (7.5 kW) motor and a twin-bladed propeller. To keep the wing as light as possible, a customised carbon fibre honeycomb sandwich structure is used. 11,628 photovoltaic cells on the upper wing surface and the horizontal stabilizer generate electricity during the day. These both propel the plane and charge its batteries to allow flight at night, theoretically enabling the single-seat plane to stay in the air indefinitely. The first manned flight overnight lasted about 26 hours in July of 2010.

The aircraft’s major design constraint is the capacity of the lithium polymer batteries. Over an ideal 24-hour cycle, the motors will deliver a combined average of about 8 hp (6 kW), roughly the power used by the Wright brothers‘ pioneering Flyer in 1903. As well as the charge stored in its batteries, the aircraft uses the potential energy of height gained during the day to power its night flights.

On  June 26, 2009, the Solar Impulse was first presented to the public in Dübendorf, Switzerland. Following taxi testing, a short-hop test flight was made on December 3, 2009, piloted by Markus Scherdel.

On  April 7,  2010, the HB-SIA conducted an extended 87-minute test flight, piloted by Markus Scherdel. This flight reached an altitude of 1,200 m (3,937 ft).

On May 28,  2012, the aircraft made its first flight powered entirely by solar energy, charging its batteries in flight. On July 8, 2010. the HB-SIA achieved the world’s first manned 26-hour solar powered flight.  The airplane was flown by Andre Borschberg, and took off at 6:51 a.m.Central European Summer Time (UTC+2) on July 7 from an airfield in Payerne, Switzerland.  It returned for a landing the following morning at 9:00 a.m. local time.  During the flight, the plane reached a maximum altitude of 8,700 m (28,500 ft).  At the time, the flight was the longest and highest ever flown by a manned solar-powered aircraft; these records were officially recognized by the Federation Aeronoautique Internationale (FAI) in October, 2010. On  May 13, 2011, at approximately 21:30 local time, HB-SIA landed at Brussels Airport,





Solar Impulse aircraft at Brussels Airport in May of 2011





after completing a 13-hour flight from its home base in Switzerland. It was the first international flight by the Solar Impulse, which flew at an average altitude of 6,000 ft (1,829 m) for a distance of 630 km (391 mi), with an average speed of 50 km/h (31 mph). The aircraft’s slow cruising speed required operating at a mid-altitude, allowing much faster air traffic to be routed around it. The aircraft was piloted by Andre Borschberg. The project’s other co-founder, Bertrand Piccard, said in an interview after the landing: “Our goal is to create a revolution in the minds of people…to promote solar energies — not necessarily a revolution in aviation. A second international flight to the Paris Air Show was attempted on  June 12, 2011, but the plane turned back half-way and landed back in Brussels, where it had taken off, due to adverse weather conditions. In a second attempt on  June 14, André Borschberg successfully landed the aircraft at Paris’ Le Bourget Airport at 9:15 pm after a 16-hour flight.

On  June 5, 2012, the Solar Impulse successfully completed its first intercontinental flight, flying a 19-hour trip from Madrid, Spain, to Rabat, Morocco. During the first leg of the flight from Payerne, Switzerland, to Madrid, the aircraft broke several further records for solar flight, including the longest solar-powered flight between pre-declared waypoints (1,099.3 km (683 mi)) and along a course (1,116 km (693 mi)).  Below is a video clip of CBS News 60 Minutes on Solar Impulse in December of 2012:


Construction of the second Solar Impulse aircraft, carrying the Swiss registration HB-SIB, started in 2011. It will feature a larger, pressurized cockpit and advanced avionics to allow for transcontinental and trans-oceanic flightsSupplemental oxygen and various other environmental support systems will allow the pilot to cruise at an altitude of 12,000 meters (39,000 ft). The wingspan of HB-SIB will be 80.0 m (262.5 ft), slightly wider than an Airbus A380, the world’s largest passenger airliner,but unlike the 500-ton A380, the carbon-fibre Solar Impulse will weigh little more than an average automobile. Completion was planned for 2013, with a circumnavigation of the globe in 20–25 days in 2014. However, following a structural failure of the main spar during static tests, a more likely date for the circumnavigation is 2015. The flight would circle the world in the northern hemisphere, near the equator. Five stops are planned to allow changes of pilots. Each leg of the flight will last three to four days, limited by the physiology of each pilot. Once improved battery efficiency makes it possible to reduce the aircraft’s weight, a two-seater is envisaged to make a non-stop circumnavigation.

Gathered and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

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30 September

Patio 2.12-Eko House-CEM’ Casas Em Movimento-Ekihouse-Astonyshine Designs of Solar Decathlon Europe 2012


Dear Friends & Visitors/Viewers/Readers,

(Please click on red links, below)

Please allow me to share our next sequence of designs at Solar Decathlon Europe 2012 at Madrid, Spain:

This is a composite of five designs of Solar Decathlon Europe 2012: Patio 2.12 of Andalucia Team of Universidades De Sevilla, Jaen, Granada Y Malaga of Spain;Eko House of Team Brazil of Universidade Federal De Santa Catarina Universidade de Sao Paulo of Brazil;CEM’ Casas Em Movimento of CEM+NEM Team of Universidade Do Porto of Portugal;Ekihouse of EHU Team of Universidad Del Country Vasco of Spain;and Astonyshine of Astonyshine Team of Ecole Nationale Superieure d’Architecture Paris-Malaquais Universita Di Ferrara Ecole Des Ponts Paristech Politecnico Di Bari of France-Italy.

In the first design of this clip, it is the Patio 2.12 of Andalucia Team. During winter, the patio becomes a greenhouse;its glass envelope captures solar radiation and the heated air is conducted to the conditioned rooms. At night the patio and room openings are closed, in order to decrease energy lost through the walls and to use the patio as a thermal transition between the conditioned inside and the open outside. During summer days, the solar radiation on the roof is controlled by the pergola, folding the glass panels and “opening” the patio, and letting the air flow through the vertical walls. Different wind pressures over the walls promote a continuous airflow through the patio. At night, the glass cover is extended and the airflow becomes horizontal through the opened walls of the patio. More details about this house at:

In the second segment, we welcome Team Brazil to Solar Decathlon Europe for the first time ever. Team Brazil is the only entrant from Americas (North & South Americas). Their Eko House construction is more concerned with the design and building process rather than high technology. The emphasis is in the human sustainability concept. Detailed description of this house will be found at:

The third, “CEM’ CASAS EM MOVIMENTO”, House of Movement, is a house that tracks the sunlight;this enables its ability to optimize production of solar energy, reduction of heat consumption and reduction of interior lighting requirements. The house feeds itself from the sun following it as it rises and sets by a movement of approximately 180% from east to west. This sunflower effect, combining with movements of solar panels, maximizes solar gains. The production of energy from this house will be 2.5 times greater than the energy consumption needs of the house. Every movement of the house creates new interior and exterior spaces, adapting the house to one’s daily life throughout the day. More detailed description of this house is at:

The fourth, Ekihouse, of EHU Team of Spain, focused on reducing its energy needs and taking advantage of the natural resources of the location and use innovative systems to create the proper conditions for living. For more details of this house,

The fifth and last design of this clip, Astonyshine of France-Italy, aims at integrating energy efficient technology with solar powered architecture, by dealing with six key issues: use of freestones, concentrated solar power systems (combining solar PV and thermal), control of PV field with electronic systems embedded into each module to extract maximum energy, research new design, material, and technology, search for optimal illumination (natural and/or artificial), and integration of architectural and structural design. More details on this house at:…

There is always more on solar energy & sustainability at
Any comments/questions/suggestions are welcomed at
~have a bright and sunny day~
sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker,

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