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Archive for the category “solar”

Kamuthi Solar Power Plant Construction Documentary

Location: Kamuthi
Power: 648 MW (2nd largest in the world)
Commission date: 13 June 2016
Panels: 2.5 million
Annual generation: 1.3 TWh
Project: 8,500 workers completed the project in 8 months
Contractor: Adani Power
Grid connectivity: ABB Group

[wikipedia.org] – Kamuthi Solar Power Project
[Google Maps] – Kamuthi Solar Power Project

Solar Power Plant in Abakan, Russian Federation

Russia is not exactly a front runner in renewable energy, which is not surprising, given Russia’s vast fossil fuel reserves. If local initiatives do occur it is almost always without federal subsidies. On December 15, 2015, the Abakan solar power plant of 5.2 MW was commissioned.

Local Shaman appears to give his blessing to the new solar power plant. Now the waiting can begin for the first sun rays to arrive. Abakan has 310 sunny days per year.

[russia-insider.com] – Solar Power in Russia Emerges From the Shade
[bashny.net] – Abakanskaya solar power plant
[wikipedia.org] – Abakan
[news.trust.org] – Solar power surges – slowly – in regulation-heavy Russia
[Google Maps] – Abakan

Floating Solar in China

[source]

An artificial lake located near Huainan, Anhui, China, was used to install 40 MW worth of floating solar panels. The lake was a result of abandoned coal mining activities in the past. Advantages floating solar: cooling of the panels, no land use, which is important for overcrowded countries like China.

[idropnews.com] – World’s Largest Floating Solar Power Plant Opens in China
[Google Maps] – Huainan, Anhui, China

A Possible Future of Energy Production: Private Ownership

Zonneweide Bergen fase 2

There is an alternative for choosing between buying kWh’s from your utility company, with a few % “green electricity added to the mix” or having solar panels on your own roof, namely running your own small energy company with a few hundred neighbors.

An example of this approach is “Zonneweide Bergen” (“solar meadow”) in Bergen in the Netherlands.

Area: 1.9 hectare
Panels: 9.234 of 125 Watt
Power: 1.15 MW (peak)
Financial return: 5-6% (possibly 8-9%)
CO2 reduction: 635 ton/year
Lifespan: 25 years
Share unit: 870 euro or 6 panels
Payback time: 10 years
Max. share: 15-25 units

Precondition: you need to live in the ZIP-code area of the solar meadow.
At least 15 years energy tax reduction.
Capital: 20% private participants, 80% bank loan, to be paid back from kWh’s in 10 year.
Customer electricity: grid

Upshot: after 10 years the installation has paid itself back and the remaining 15+ years of free electricity are yours. It is a safe investment of 5-6%/year or more in case of increasing electricity prices.

[bergenenergie.nl] – Zonneweide Bergen Fase 2
[trouw.nl] – Een blauwe zonneweide maakt Bergen weer een stukje groener
[trouw.nl] – Zonneweide Bergen staat klaar voor mooi weer
[duurzaambouwloket.nl] – Bouw Zonneweide Bergen Begonnen
[Google Maps] – Location: Bergerweg, Bergen, the Netherlands

Spectacular Growth Solar Installations in the Netherlands

The Dutch national news reported today that there is a spectacular growth in demand for corporate solar installations in the Netherlands, measured by subsidy applications: 1 billion euro in the 2nd half of 2016 and 3.2 billion so far in 2017.

The demand is so high that China is unable to deliver the required quantity and now the production of solar panels will return to the Netherlands, where it left Europe completely since recently the last German manufacturer SolarWorld went bust. China has always massively supported the buildup of a domestic solar sector, but Europe not so much.

The knowledge of building solar panels has always been present in the Netherlands, that preferred to build solar panel factory lines for export, rather than operating these lines themselves. The Frisian company Powerfield will build a new factory in the Groningen province that will produce 1 million panels per year, half of them for the construction of large “in-house” solar parks.

So far 2% of Dutch electricity production originates from solar, but this is expected to increase rapidly soon. With solar system payback time of 7-9 years, followed by 20 years of free electricity, investing in solar panels gives far more return than leaving money in a savings account.

[nos.nl] – Straks weer ‘made in Holland’ zonnepanelen
[powerfield.nl] – Powerfield home page

Exasun produces solar panels like roof tiles in the Netherlands as as niche product. Works with German and Belgian parts only.

Netherlands – Family Will Test Solar Family Car

Rain and wind are big in the Netherlands and few foreigners will visit the country for a beach holiday. Nevertheless, a family from the city of Eindhoven, home of the Technical University TUE, was invited to test a car, designed and produced at the TUE, entirely driven by solar energy.

A predecessor model of this solar car won the Solar Challenge Race in Australia:

[deepresource] – TU Eindhoven Wins Solar Challenge 2013 (Cruisers)

Bye bye petrol station!

Drone Used for Solar Panel Inspection in China

Parameters Baofeng Solar farm: 700 MW, 6.6 km2

Panels trace the sun.

[Google Maps] – Yinchuan, Ningxia, China

[wikipedia.org] – Yinchuan, Ningxia

Read more…

Cheap Electricity Storage for Households Underway

[source] “MyReserve”, 93% efficiency. 4,4 kWh; 6,6 kWh; 8,8 kWh; 11 kWh units

Solar installation company Solarwatt from Dresden/Germany has announced that it will offer batteries for substantially lower prices in the Summer 2017.
Price 4.4 kWh unit: 5.499 Euro

German price context:

1 kWh from the grid: 30 cent
1 kWh grid feed-in compensation: 12 cent
1 kWh cost from panel: 10 cent

Under these (very German) price conditions does it pay to install this Solarwatt battery.

This btw is still a far cry from the promised $100-200/kWh.

[spiegel.de] – Warum sich Solaranlagen in Privathaushalten demnächst rechnen könnten
[solarwatt.de] – Stromspeicher
[de.wikipedia.org] – Solarwatt

The World Doesn’t Have a Long-Term Energy Problem

[source]

Terra-Watts solar is coming, replacing Giga-Watts. This is the conclusion prominent scientists from the German Fraunhofer Institute (ISE) and US National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) arrive at. They predict that by 2030, the global cumulative installed solar capacity will be 10-30 fold of what it is today. Solar panel producer “First Solar” predicts that as early as 2020, the price of solar panels will decrease to as little as 25 cents/Watt. That would mean that a standard 100 cm x 164 cm, 300 Watt panel costing € 300,- will cost € 75 in 2020. Solar panels as block-board.

Currently Abu Dhabi is able to produce solar electricity for a staggering low 2.4 cent/kWh.

There is no long-term global energy problem.

[spiegel.de] – Forscher prognostizieren gigantischen Solarboom
[science.sciencemag.org] – Terawatt-scale photovoltaics: Trajectories and challenges

Solar Figures

[cleantechnica.com]

New Perovskite Solar Cell

polarons[source]

An interdisciplinary team of researchers has laid the foundations for an entirely new type of photovoltaic cell. In this new method, infrared radiation is converted into electrical energy using a different mechanism from that found in conventional solar cells. The mechanism behind the new solid-state solar cell made of the mineral perovskite relies on so-called polaron excitations, which combine the excitation of electrons and vibrations of the crystal lattice.

[phys.org] – Scientists lay foundations for new type of solar cell
[onlinelibrary.wiley.com] – Evolution of Hot Polaron States with a Nanosecond Lifetime in a Manganite Perovskite
[cleantechnica.com] – Holy Hot Polarons, Batman! New Perovskite Solar Cell Shows Promise

Forget everything you know about solar cells and check this out. A research team based at the University of Göttingen in Germany has come up with something they call an “entirely new” way to harvest energy from sunlight. In effect, the new solar cell puts the brakes on excited electrons, extending their lifetime. The result is a more efficient solar cell, with less energy lost in the form of heat and more energy converted to electricity.

[wikipedia.org] – Polarons

A polaron is a quasiparticle used in condensed matter physics to understand the interactions between electrons and atoms in a solid material. The polaron concept was first proposed by Lev Landau in 1933 to describe an electron moving in a dielectric crystal where the atoms move from their equilibrium positions to effectively screen the charge of an electron, known as a phonon cloud. This lowers the electron mobility and increases the electron’s effective mass.

Read more…

Solar Project Completed in the Netherlands

delfzijl-zonneparkLargest solar park in the Netherlands, ironically covered in snow

Location: Delfzijl [Google Maps]
Capacity: 7500 households
Panels: 120,000
Owner: German energy company Wirsol
Size: 65 soccer fields

Coming Spring the title “largest solar park in the Netherlands” will move from Delfzijl to Vlissingen [Sloehaven], with 140,000 panels.

In general, investment in solar energy is booming in the Netherlands. In 2016 500 MW new capacity was installed, 100 MW more than in 2015.

[nos.nl] – Delfzijl heeft grootste zonnepark van Nederland
[nu.nl] – Grootste zonnepark van Nederland geopend in Delfzijl

zonnepark-delfzijl[source] Same park

790 GW Renewable Energy Potential SE-Europe

renewable-energy-potential-south-east-europe

The report underscores that SEE possesses vast technical renewable energy potential – equal to some 740 GW.” This renewable energy potential is dominated by wind and solar. “The region’s wind energy (532 GW) and solar PV (120 GW) potential is largely untapped, and 127 GW of this overall renewable energy potential could be implemented in a cost-competitive way today.”

[irena.org] – Cost-competitive renewable power generation: Potential across South East Europe (pdf 124p)
[cleantechnica.com] – 790 Gigawatts of Cost-Cutting Renewable Energy Potential in South East Europe

Track Side Solar Panels in UK?

Belgium giving the good example: railway tracks covered with solar panels.

Great-Britain is a mid-sized country with high population density. Not strange then that a study has been started to see if space near railway tracks can be used to place solar panels.

[solarlove.org] – UK Studying Track Side Solar Panels To Power Electric Trains

Read more…

Israel Building Giant CSP Facility In Negev Desert

Tower height: 240 m
Power: 121 MW
Cost: $700 million

[solarlove.org] – Israel Building Concentrated Solar Power Facility In Negev Desert
[wikipedia.org] – Ashalim Power Station

Solar Air Heater

Private preparations for a ‘sustainable future’ are progressing satisfactorily:

– Solar panels gave me 1450 kWh in the first year on a household consumption of 1550 kWh; that’s almost full coverage.
– Three seasons of running a vegetable garden, making substantial progress every season. Coming season the full garden will be available, providing 100% of potatoes and vegetables. Additionally a greenhouse will be installed in February after the last tree stubs will have been removed and 100 m2 will be available for gardening, enough for two persons.
– Freezers and generator backup are in place.

Motivation: anticipating a global financial “Big Reset“, as well as creating a pension plan not (entirely) based on paper assets. “Peak oil” is of secondary concern only.

The last item on the prepper todo list is space heating support. For that purpose 10 m x 1.6 m garden fence facing South-West is available. The idea is to construct a huge solar air heater, consisting of a large black plate, covered by double glass, so that during the day, air hotter than 21 C (if any) can be pumped into the living room. At a later stage, air from the collector can serve as input for an electric heat pump for temperatures < 21 C. Ideally the black backside solar radiation absorber will consist of black solar panels to gain extra electricity, to be used for the electric heat pump. In the Summer the glass cover needs to be removed to prevent over-heating of the solar panels. At a later stage a heat storage, like a vessel of 1 m3 filled with pebbles, could be added to the system.

Read more…

Solar Energy in Plants Retail

2,000 panels producing 520,000 kwh/year and reducing the energy bill to almost zero.

[google maps] – Celieplant Aalsmeer
[celieplant.nl] – Celieplant Aalsmeer
[aalsmeer.nl] – Celieplant met 2000 zonnepanelen duurzaamste gebouw Aalsmeer en regio

Read more…

SolaRoad Project Update

In the Netherlands space is scarce… but there are many roads. The idea is to let traffic drive over solar panels. In 2014 a bicycle path was created to test the concept. Meanwhile the results are in.

[deepresource] – SolaRoad Finally Launched (Oct 2014)
[deepresource] – SolaRoad Operational (Nov 2014)
[wikipedia.org] – SolaRoad

Read more…

Utility Scale Solar for 5 cent/kWh

solar-apple

An upbeat report from a stakeholder: utility solar in the US is doing fine and reaching grid parity, if one includes tax incentives, scheduled to last until 2021. But reduced tax benefits maybe compensated by continued price decline of large scale solar installations. Several large utility scale PV power stations came online this year, such as the 550-megawatt (MW) Topaz Solar plant in San Luis Obispo County, California and the 550MW Desert Sunlight plant in Desert Center, California.

The first reported contract for solar power under five cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh) occurred in 2014: Austin Energy’s 25-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with SunEdison for 150 MW of solar power. The trend continued in 2015, when Nevada Energy secured a 4.6 cent per kWh PPA with SunPower.

Editor: articles like this explain why we have lost interest a little in energy problems, because the initial fear, which prompted us to start this blog nearly four years ago, namely a world running out of energy fast, has been pushed to the background and replaced with worries about the state of the economy and international finance, the destabilizing refugee crises and the threat of war.

Personally, it costed merely 3000 euro to have a solar installation on the roof that will annually produce almost twice as much electricity as needed for the next 25-30 years.

Now that utility solar has reached grid parity, the only remaining energy related problem is storage, to overcome daily and most important seasonal demand and supply fluctuations. Potential solutions: pumped hydro and perhaps fuel production from electricity. But there is little doubt that a 100% renewable energy base is feasible within a few decades.

[blogs.edf.org] – A Sunny Future for Utility-Scale Solar

European Solar Transition Losing Steam

europe-solarVery bad news for the solar energy transition: it is stalling in Europe. Although per capita Europe clearly leads globally in both solar and wind, solar expansion is clearly on the wane.

[countercurrents.org] – Can We Afford The Future? By Richard Heinberg

solar-ranking

wind-ranking

[cleantechnica.com] – Solar Power Per Capita & Wind Power Per Capita Leaders

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