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If you get caught collecting photons of sunlight for your own use you can drop a fine not exceeding 30 million.
So if you were thinking that the best option was just to have some solar panels that were down 80% in cost and have the opportunity to disconnect from the mains and your bill scam, you can forget about it.
With the terror of “destabilized” power consumption, sometime in 2010 someone has decided to privatize the sun …. yes you read that right: Spain, unlike the rest of Europe, levies a toll on electricity generated and injected to the line.
Committing the sacrilege of being energy independent can be very expensive, and the sun now is only for the privileged few and the power companies. The ”Spanish Photovoltaic Union (UNEF ), which brings together some 300 companies representing 85% of the industry, ensures that these changes would be more expensive than resorting to conventional supply.
Tag Archives | Solar Energy
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Georgia Institute of Technology and Purdue University researchers have developed efficient solar cells using natural substrates derived from plants such as trees. Just as importantly, by fabricating them on cellulose nanocrystal (CNC) substrates, the solar cells can be quickly recycled in water at the end of their lifecycle.The technology is published in the journal Scientific Reports, the latest open-access journal from the Nature Publishing Group.
The researchers report that the organic solar cells reach a power conversion efficiency of 2.7 percent, an unprecedented figure for cells on substrates derived from renewable raw materials. The CNC substrates on which the solar cells are fabricated are optically transparent, enabling light to pass through them before being absorbed by a very thin layer of an organic semiconductor. During the recycling process, the solar cells are simply immersed in water at room temperature. Within only minutes, the CNC substrate dissolves and the solar cell can be separated easily into its major components.
Peter Sinclair writes at Climate
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Three weeks ago, I had my 5 minutes at a local “listening session” on energy, put on by the Governor of my fair state.
My main message was that a technological sea change is coming in energy production – and if regulatory and utility policy do not anticipate the further build out of wind, solar, and distributed energy, the transition is going to be ugly. Traditional energy producers who think they can hold back the tide will be like typewriter makers trying to bad-mouth word processors. They are going to go away.
Last week had coffee last week with a well-informed friend, who agreed with me that this is an oncoming freight train. He pointed me to some new survey results from Ernst & Young.
We conducted a telephone survey of executives involved in corporate energy strategy at 100 companies with revenues of US$1 billion or more.
This story from inhabitat has the sustainable energy movement incredibly excited, and rightly so methinks:
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Germany fed a whopping 22 gigawatts of solar power per hour into the national grid last weekend, setting a new record by meeting nearly half of the country’s weekend power demand.
After the Fukushima disaster, Japan opted to shut down all of its nuclear power stations and Germany followed suit after considerable public pressure. This seems to have paved the way for greater investment in solar energy projects. The Renewable Energy Industry (IWR) in Muenster announced that Saturday’s solar energy generation met nearly 50 percent of the nation’s midday electricity needs AND was equal to 20 nuclear power stations at full capacity! …
By meeting a third of its electricity needs on a work day and nearly half on Saturday when factories and offices were closed, Germany’s solar power industry has broken all previous records.
Soon we may have a glimpse of the world’s first star garden — imagine sitting within its confines on a summer night. BLDG BLOG writes:
An artificially excavated limestone pit in the south of France will soon host star-making technology. Construction involves inserting a supergrid of rebar into the quarried pit, securing the limestone walls with concrete foundation work, then pouring seismically-stabilized plinths that will support the so-called International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor, a kind of concrete garden that produces stars.
Nestled in its semi-subterranean, mine-like site and buzzing inside with radiation-resistant robot elevators, the ITER will recreate, again and again, “the process that powers the sun and most other stars. At extremely high temperatures, hydrogen nuclei will fuse to form helium, spitting out more energy than the process consumes, something that has never yet been achieved by a human-made device.”
Via Common Dreams:
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A sustainable energy program in ‘Area C’ of rural West Bank is being threatened by Israeli authorities. The program, which recently installed solar panels and wind turbines in 16 communities, is providing 1,500 Palestinians with electricity — who were formerly without reliable energy.
The foreign aid program, thus far successful, has become a new target for Israel as it threatens to demolish the structures that supposedly lie within Israeli ‘administration’.
The best part is when the lights in the tents go on, one by one, says Elad Orian. Electricity here, in the hills south of Hebron, was long unreliable. Either it was not available or it was too expensive, produced for just a few hours each day by a noisy, diesel-guzzling generator. That changed when Elad Orian and Noam Dotan, two Israeli physicians who had tired of conflict, came along three years ago and installed solar panels and erected wind turbines.
Imagine if the next coat of paint you put on the outside of your home generates electricity from light — electricity that can be used to power the appliances and equipment on the inside. A team of researchers at the University of Notre Dame has made a major advance toward this vision by creating an inexpensive “solar paint” that uses semiconducting nanoparticles to produce energy.
“We want to do something transformative, to move beyond current silicon-based solar technology,” says Prashant Kamat, John A. Zahm Professor of Science in Chemistry and Biochemistry and an investigator in Notre Dame’s Center for Nano Science and Technology (NDnano), who leads the research.
“By incorporating power-producing nanoparticles, called quantum dots, into a spreadable compound, we’ve made a one-coat solar paint that can be applied to any conductive surface without special equipment.”…
Scientists at Qatar University claim to have developed artificial clouds to provide shade for stadia and training grounds at the 2022 World Cup. The fierce summer heat in the Gulf has led to concerns about conditions for players and fans at the tournament. Temperatures in June and July can reach up to 50 C. Qatar were announced as hosts in December, and Fifa president Sepp Blatter initially said he expected the 2022 competition to be moved to winter. But Blatter has since stated that he feels the tournament will go ahead as planned in the summer months. Qatar plan to air condition their World Cup stadia via solar power, and now scientists have designed the 'clouds', which can be produced at a cost of $500,000 (about £310,000) each.
Lauren Feeney elicited some gems from futurist Ray Kurzweil in her interview for PBS. Among his predictions:
- “In 20 years we’ll be meeting all of our energy needs with solar.”
- Life extension technology is about to take off — meaning far greater life expectancy.
- There will be no water shortage as we use the abundant electricity to convert polluted water.
- We are going to have plenty of food from “vertical agriculture, where we grow plants, fruits, vegetables and meat in computerized factories by artificial intelligence; hydroponic plants tended by intelligent robots to create fruits and vegetables, in-vitro cloned meats, basically just cloning the part of the animal that you want to eat, which is the muscled tissue.”
- We shouldn’t worry about climate change — the new technologies we’re developing will beat it.
Crazy stuff! I’m not sure I want to eat cloned portions of animals grown in a lab…
The R5800 is my latest and greatest solar creation. Made from an ordinary fiberglass satellite dish, it is covered in about 5800 3/8" (~1 cm) mirror tiles. When properly aligned, it can generate a spot the size of a dime with an intensity of 5000 times normal daylight. This intensity of light is more than enough to melt steel, vaporize aluminum, boil concrete, turn dirt into lava, and obliterate any organic material in an instant. It stands at 5'9" and is 42" across.