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Author Topic: Photvoltaics (PV)  (Read 4960 times)

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AGelbert

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Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
« Reply #210 on: March 19, 2017, 07:55:19 pm »
March 13, 2017 | Rona Fried | Corporate Sustainability, Renewables & Efficiency

Apple Opens Solar Spaceship Headquarters in April, Amazon Also Expands Renewables

After four years of construction, 12,000 employees start moving into Apple’s new spaceship campus in April. Now called Apple Park, the 175-acre campus near Cupertino, California will be a model for energy efficiency and 100% powered by renewable energy.

The building’s circumference hosts one of the largest on-site solar systems in the world – a massive 17 megawatts (MW) of solar panels!  :o   That will supply 75% of the electricity; the rest comes from buying half the output of a nearby 280 MW solar farm and 4 MW of on-site fuel cells. As the world’s largest naturally ventilated building, it will require No heat or air conditioning for nine months of the year  ;D. Almost all of the materials from demolishing previous buildings at the site has been reused or recycled – virtually every piece of concrete, glass, and metal.

Apple spaceship

Worldwide, 93% of Apple’s power for offices and retail comes from renewable energy, and 100% of power for data centers.  The next step is manufacturing – the source of 77% of its greenhouse gases. A 170 MW solar farm in Mongolia will begin powering China’s factories and a supplier in Japan is building 20 solar plants including one of the largest floating solar systems. In tandem with suppliers, over 4 gigawatts (GW) of renewables will be added around the world by 2020, including 2 GW in China.

“We’re switching to greener materials to create safer products and manufacturing processes. We’re protecting working forests and making sure they are managed sustainably. We’re even creating a more mindful way to recycle our devices using robots,” Apple says on its Environment page.

Amazon Steps Up

Amazon.com also made a big announcement – over the next three years, it will put solar on the roofs of 50 warehouses around the world. Solar will provide as much as 80% of power at sites in California, Nevada, New Jersey, Maryland, and Delaware, starting this year. The company is building the 253 MW Amazon Wind Farm Texas and a 180 MW wind farm in Ohio, adding to its wind farms in Indiana and North Carolina.

“We are putting our scale and inventive culture to work on sustainability. By diversifying our energy portfolio, we can keep business costs low and pass along further savings to customers. It’s a win-win,” says Dave Clark, senior vice president of worldwide operations.

Last year, Amazon, Apple, Google, and Microsoft filed an amicus brief in support of the EPA’s Clean Power Plan, now under attack by the Trump Administration.

http://www.sustainablebusiness.com/apple-opens-solar-spaceship-headquarters-april-amazon-also-expands-renewables/
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AGelbert

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Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
« Reply #211 on: March 23, 2017, 02:14:46 pm »
Recent Advancements in the Solar and Renewable Energy Industry

By Daphne Stanford on March 22, 2017 at 15:33 pm   

It’s 2017, but solar cells went into commercial production in 1953, so you do the math: we should probably have access to affordable solar power, by now, but there are numerous dirty fuel proponents working to try to ensure that we continue to be dependent upon them for as long as possible.  However, despite the slow progress, exciting technological breakthroughs are being discovered that should make affordable solar power available to the average consumer sooner rather than later.

Most of us are at least somewhat familiar with how solar energy is generated: first, solar panels collect sunlight; next, power is converted into usable electricity; next, electricity flows into the net meter; and finally, the attached building is able to use the electricity produced by the sun.  In order for solar power to become more widely utilized, it has to become more affordable.  However, National Geographic reports that significant advances in nanotechnology will soon lead to lower costs and higher efficiency rates. 

What kind of advancements, specifically, you ask?  To cite one example, researchers from MIT and the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology have developed a new solar cell—what they’re calling a “step cell”—that combines two different layers of sunlight-absorbing material to harvest a broader range of the sun’s energy.

There was also a new development just this month, as reported in Science Daily:

Researchers at The City College of New York-based CUNY Energy Institute announce the development of a novel low cost, rechargeable, high energy density battery that makes the widespread use of solar and wind power possible in the future.   

Think Tesla’s Powerwall, only more affordable.  Moreover, Green Tech Media recently compared the costs of wind and solar to gas, coal, and nuclear-based energy, illustrating the clear advantage that renewable energy has over fossil fuels, price-wise.  Why are our cities’ and towns’ energy grids so slow to implement clean energy sources?  Michael O’Boyle cites two widespread misconceptions: first, “Misguided alarmism about the reliability of renewables,” and second, “Misconceptions of the cost of running the grid with more renewables.”

The potential cost of implementing solar power into energy grids is even lower due to increased loans to solar energy production companies, so there’s that, too.  All in all, the costs of solar energy are going down—no matter how much the Trump administration would like us to believe in its inconvenience and unaffordability.  Moreover, there has been considerable progress in the renewable energy world in terms of new career opportunities unique to the industry, more affordable consumer options, and new technological advancements.

Over the past year, there have been a number of new technologies developed related to solar efficiency, solar energy storage, wearable solar technology, and solar design tech.   Perhaps one of the most exciting developments that has received a good deal of attention is solar roadways: they are roads with the ability to convert sunlight into energy to be delivered to local smart grids.  According to their website, “Our goal is to modernize the infrastructure with modular, intelligent panels, while producing clean renewable energy for homes and businesses.”

Beyond specific products, there are also a number of careers in sustainability-related fields like forestry and geology that should be attractive to those interested in supporting the renewable energy industry.  A common role for a forestry graduate, for example, is that of a conservation scientist or forester.  Companies typically create this position in order to help them manage their use of forests as resources related to their product supply chain.  Georgia-Pacific, for example, attempts to replenish and responsibly preserve the forest elements that they harvest for business use.

Other related fields, such as geography and geology, offer career opportunities in cartography or geoscience.  The advantage of these nature-related jobs is the sense of purpose that they offer to the potential employee in search of ethical work.  Many people these days, faced with dire news about the state of the environment and climate change around the world, are beginning to feel compelled to search for more meaningful job positions that help to improve people’s lives in some way. 

Because of this new awareness of the importance of sustainability, moreover, it’s not as necessary as it used to be to enter the not-for-profit world in order to find meaningful work.  Many small and medium-sized companies—even larger corporations—are becoming more aware of their corporate social responsibility (CSR) policies and developing more substantial ethical compasses that offer more satisfaction to the socially-conscious job seeker.  More and more people are asking, “Is the world a better, safer, or healthier place because of my company?”  And an increasing number of companies are confidently responding with a resounding, “Yes!” 

More people, also, are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of personal responsibility, when it comes to sustainable living and eco-friendly lifestyles.  There are a number of simple, tangible actions that you, personally, can take at home in order to maximize your energy efficiency and long-term monthly expenses, as well.  For example, you’ll be able to save a substantial amount of money just by getting rid of wasteful, out-of-date appliances. 

Conducting a home energy audit requires little energy on your part after you make a call to a local certified energy rater or auditor.  An auditor will be able to determine the areas in your home that need additional insulation and weatherization.  You can also make sure that your appliances and lightbulbs are up to date, in terms of the most energy-efficient models and light sources—if in doubt, look for the “Energy Star” symbol on products when searching for replacements.  Lastly, be mindful of your water usage and the amount of food waste you throw out; the simple act of composting can relieve much of the burden on our local landfills.

*   *   *

Living in a sustainable manner requires all of us working together to ensure we’re picking the most socially and environmentally responsible options—whether it be an appliance, a job position, or a political vote supporting renewable, energy-efficient policies and legislation in favor of clean energy.  What are you doing to contribute to a more sustainable world?

http://lnr.politicususa.com/recent-advancements-solar-renewable-energy-industry-2218/
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AGelbert

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Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
« Reply #212 on: March 25, 2017, 03:09:00 pm »
First Utility-Scale Project on Tribal Lands to Power 100,000 Homes
Mar. 21, 2017 01:57PM EST

By Dan Whitten

First Solar held a commissioning event last week on a 250-megawatt solar facility on the Moapa River Indian Reservation. This is the first utility-scale solar project on tribal lands.

Morgan Stanley put together this cool video on the project as part of their series on sustainable solutions called Capital Creates Change and we wanted to share it with you. It highlights the economic opportunity, the jobs and the clean power that utility scale developers are bringing to Indian Country and to Southern Nevada.

Late last year, I was lucky enough to attend a ribbon cutting at NextEra Energy's Silver State South project, a 250-megawatt project developed and built by First Solar at the southern tip of Nevada, on the California border line. Eight years ago, when developers began surveying the Silver State South site, they couldn't have known what the world or even that little corner of the Nevada and California border would look like in terms of solar adoption. But they did know major change was afoot.


Back then, solar accounted for one hundredth of one percent of the nation's power generation and it was considered by some to be the costliest form of electricity.

In hindsight, the project goes a long way toward explaining the phenomena we are seeing in solar energy today. First off, the region now boasts 1,200 megawatts of solar electricity, which is the size of two big coal plants and no emissions, a fact that helps explain why our greenhouse gas emissions as a nation are lower than they have been in more than two decades.

The Moapa Southern Paiute Solar project continues a trend in Nevada that has seen utility scale grow by leaps and bounds and with it has come thousands of jobs. Economies of scale evident from solar adoption help explain why the cost of solar has dropped by about 70 percent in the last eight years.

And while the utility scale revolution is taking hold in the West, policies governing rooftop solar in Nevada have crippled that segment of our industry and the many benefits that a healthy distributed generation market can provide for our electrical grid. The model is in place for many thousands of megawatts of clean electricity in the West and the hundreds and thousands of jobs that come with it.

The key is making sure there is a welcoming policy environment for continued growth of large scale solar, with triggers that can help distributed solar take pressure off the grid.  


http://www.ecowatch.com/first-solar-moapa-reservation-2321843618.
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AGelbert

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