Businessmen tap the power of the sun, Manila Standard, By Alena Mae S. Flores | Dec. 20, 2014 Solar technology is now shining in the Philippines, as some businessmen began to install solar panels on rooftops of schools, office buildings and even shopping malls, seven years after the passage of Republic Act No. 9513, or the Renewable Energy Law. This year alone, the industry saw a significant number of solar rooftop projects installed, a feat that has not been immediately felt after the passage of the law, which promotes the use of renewable energy resources such as solar, wind and mini-hydro projects.
Energy Secretary Carlos Jericho Petilla expects renewable energy projects including solar rooftop installations to pick up next year, heralding the golden age of renewable energy in the country. Petilla says solar rooftop capacity will continue to increase in 2015, amid the strong interest from schools, commercial and industrial projects and even government offices.
“You can never tell how many institutions are going to be included because it depends on the size of each project. Because of so many interests for solar technology at the moment, some of them are already moving on their own even without our initiative,” Petilla says.
The European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines estimates the potential market for solar rooftop projects at $450 million yearly, based on 50,000 households or a tenth of the half a million constructions yearly, with average solar panel installations of 2 kilowatts each.
Solar rooftop installations are expected to reach 2.5 megawatts by end-2014, as more homeowners and enterprises realize the opportunities to save money and mitigate climate change by harnessing sunlight to power homes and offices.
ECCP says with the continued drop in system prices, solar energy is approaching grid parity, opening the way for more solar rooftop installations.
“Vast installation of solar panels on rooftops of households, commercial buildings and industrial facilities could help safeguard the country’s energy security over the long term. Rooftop solar panels could be a viable solution for the Philippines given its high solar irradiation level,” ECCP says.
The Philippine Solar Power Alliance earlier estimated that the country has an untapped solar rooftop potential of about 300 MW.
One company, Propmech Corp., recently installed a solar-rooftop project at St. Scholastica’s College in Manila that will enable the school to save as much as 20 percent in electricity cost.
“We are prioritizing schools for solar projects because of the reason they more open to the public than private companies, other institutions can freely go to them to learn about solar panels,” Petilla says.
St. Scholastica’s joins the rank of other schools such as Manuel L. Quezon University, Mapua Institute of Technology and La Consolaction College-Manila, in utilizing renewable energy.
St. Scholastica’s St. Cecilla’s Hall has been turned into a 96-kilowatt solar power plant that can generate 38.88 percent of the hall’s daily energy needs. The amount will greatly reduce St. Scholastica’s monthly electricity expenses…………….
Solar applications have also long been used as off-grid solutions in rural and remote areas in the country.
Solar systems can also power basic necessities such as lighting, water pumping, communications and a variety of livelihood activities that immediately improve the lives of Filipinos in areas where electricity from the grid is not readily available. http://manilastandardtoday.com/2014/12/20/businessmen-tap-the-power-of-the-sun/
At COP 20 in Lima: The Buzz about Renewable Energy Union of Concerned Scientists, Rachel Cleetus, senior climate economist, Climate and Energy“…..at the annual United Nations climate talks, or COP 20. Even as negotiators labor over “non-papers” and “elements of draft negotiating text,” the real buzz here is about the incredible opportunity to drive down global emissions by investing in renewable energy and energy efficiency. What makes this a particularly exciting time is that the costs of renewable energy are falling dramatically. The clean energy transition has never been more affordable – or, frankly, more urgently needed.
Global progress on renewable energy
Renewable energy is growing by leaps and bounds worldwide. In 2013, renewables accounted for more than 56 percent of net additions to global power capacity. Recent data from Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) shows that global clean energy investment in the first three quarters of 2014 added up to $175 billion, 16 percent higher than in the same period of 2013.
This post is part of a series on theUN Climate Change Conference in Lima (COP 20).
Solar energy, in particular, has experienced tremendous growth. In 2013, for the first time, global growth in solar photovoltaic (PV) outpaced new wind capacity. Annual growth in global solar PV capacity has averaged almost 55 percent over the past five years.
Recent news stories have highlighted that investment banks are also increasingly recognizing the financial benefits of investments in renewable energy. For example, Goldman Sachs has committed to $40 billion in existing and planned renewables investments, including in BrightSource Energy, which designed the solar thermal system for Ivanpah, the largest solar plant in the world.
However, to scale up clean energy even more rapidly to help meet climate goals, we need strong policy support, such as renewable energy and energy efficiency standards and incentives; investments in transmission infrastructure to integrate higher levels of renewable energy; investments in research and development; and a price on carbon. The rapid growth of renewables, their falling costs, and the urgent need to reduce carbon emissions makes a weak extension of the production tax credit by the U.S. Congress —an effective federal incentive that supports business development of wind and other renewable energy sources— seem all the more misguided.
The dramatically falling costs of renewable energy
Renewable energy costs are falling worldwide. In the U.S., for example, the national average cost of wind power has dropped more than 60 percent since 2009, making it competitive with new fossil fuel plants in many regions. Solar PV system costs fell by about40 percent from 2008 to 2012 and by another 15 percent in 2013.
Looking ahead, the two trends of improved technologies and reduced costs are expected to continue, according to research from BNEF, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), U.S. Department of Energy.
A race to the top
In a joint climate announcement with the U.S., China set a goal of achieving a 20 percent share of non-fossil energy in total primary energy by 2030. Renewable Energy Prospects: China, a recent report from IRENA and the China Renewable Energy Centre, shows that China can meet and exceed that goal affordably. The analysis shows that China can increase its renewable share of energy from 13 to 26 percent by 2030, and the share of renewables in the power sector to 40 percent by 2030. This pathway would also help deliver tremendous public health benefits to a country plagued by pollution from its dependence on coal-fired power.
The U.S. has announced a draft Clean Power Plan to limit carbon emissions from power plants, the single largest source of those emissions in the country. Analysis by UCS shows that the draft plan can be strengthened to raise emission reductions from 30 to 40 percent below 2005 levels by 2030 simply by increasing the contribution from renewable energy. Other elements of the President’s Climate Action Plan, including increasing fuel economy standards and implementing methane regulations, can cut emissions further.
What’s also striking is that the top two countries competing neck and neck in renewable energy deployment are China and the United States, also the world’s two biggest carbon emitters currently. Germany, Spain, Italy, and India round out the list of the top six countries in terms of non-hydro renewable energy capacity.
While all major emitting countries clearly can and should do more, these are promising times for catalyzing ambitious global climate action.
Renewable energy and energy efficiency are essential to meet climate goals
A number of global research efforts are underway to show the feasibility and affordability of deep cuts in emissions. IRENA has recently launched the ReMap 2030 project to analyze global pathways for doubling the share of renewable energy in the world’s energy mix by 2030. The Deep Decarbonization Pathways project, a joint initiative of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) and the Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations (IDDRI), shows how individual countries can contribute to a global goal of limiting temperature increases to no more than 2°C. The IEA’s World Energy Outlook also provides analysis to back a 450ppm CO2equivalent global pathway.
The common theme of all these reports, written by experts from all over the world, is thatit is feasible to jump start a clean energy transition and that we cannot achieve our climate goals without a very ambitious ramp-up in renewable energy and energy efficiency.
What’s more, many studies are also pointing out that this transition is affordable and beneficial for the global economy and for public health….. http://blog.ucsusa.org/at-cop-20-in-lima-the-buzz-about-renewable-energy-756
“Other devices produce more water, but they are significantly more expensive, and they require quite a bit of maintenance and consumables,” says Desolenator‘s CEO William Janssen. “On the other side you have the solar still, the traditional solution—but that unit only produces half a gallon of water per day. Our solution can produce 3 to 4 gallons a day, enough for drinking and cooking.”
It’s designed for the hundreds of millions of people around the world who lack easy access to drinking water but happen to live near polluted rivers, lakes, or coastlines.
“If you look around the equatorial belt of the world, there are many countries that are very densely populated where water resources are very stressed,” says Janssen. “It will get worse—by 2025, close to 3 billion people will deal with water scarcity daily. We want to give them something that’s an affordable, family-sized device.”…………..http://www.fastcoexist.com/3039870/all-it-takes-for-the-desolenator-to-make-clean-drinking-water-is-a-little-sunlight#1
All over the world, renewables are beating nuclear David Elliott, 18 Dec 2014, The Ecologist http://www.theecologist.org/blogs_and_comments/commentators/2681228/all_over_the_world_renewables_are_beating_nuclear.html
As flagship nuclear projects run into long delays and huge cost overruns, solar and wind power are falling in price, writes David Elliott. Renewables already supply twice as much power as nuclear. It’s just too bad the nuclear-fixated UK government hasn’t noticed.
Renewables are winning out just about everywhere. They now supply over 19% of global primary energy and 22% of global electricity. Nuclear is at 11% and falling. Continue reading
In light of these figures, clean energy trade association RenewableUK claims that David Cameron was wrong to attack onshore wind earlier this week, when he claimed that the public was “fed up” with onshore windfarms and said the country did not need any more subsidised turbines on land now that the energy source was capable of providing 10% of UK energy.
“Their understanding of the importance of generating clean power from home-grown sources stands in sharp contrast to the misguided and quite frankly ignorant comments by the Prime Minister earlier this week, when he wrongly suggested that people are fed up with wind.”
According to a BBC article, the average person in the UK uses 10% less electricity than five years ago ……..http://www.edie.net/news/6/Cameron-was-wrong-to-attack-onshore-wind–says-RenewableUK/
Renewable energy-powered vehicles can save lives http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/industry/auto/news/auto-technology/renewable-energy-powered-vehicles-can-save-lives/articleshow/45533794.cmsBy IANS | 16 Dec, 2014,NEW YORK: Driving vehicles that use electricity from renewable energy instead of gasoline could reduce the resulting deaths due to air pollution by 70 percent, says a study.
Switching from gasoline to those fuels would increase the number of resulting deaths due to air pollution by 80 percent or more.
“These findings demonstrate the importance of clean electricity, such as from natural gas or renewable sources of energy, in substantially reducing the negative health impacts of transportation,” said study co-author Chris Tessum from University of Minnesota, US.
Air pollution increases rates of heart attack, stroke, and respiratory disease.
The researchers estimated how concentrations of two important pollutants – particulate matter and ground-level ozone – change as a result of using various options for powering vehicles. They looked at liquid biofuels, diesel, compressed natural gas, and electricity from a range of conventional and renewable sources.
“Our work highlights the importance of looking at the full life cycle of energy production and use, not just at what comes out of tail pipes,” co-author of the study Jason Hill pointed out.
The study was published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
The move by state-owned China General Nuclear Corporation (CGN), set to be announced on Monday, would be its first big acquisition of onshore wind generating capacity in the west………
The agreement with EDF could help smooth talks on a bigger deal to build Britain’s first nuclear power plant in a generation, at Hinkley Point in Somerset………
The Chinese group will pay EDF more than £100m, analysts estimate, for an 80 per cent stake in the sites. Together, the sites generate more than 70 megawatts of electricity — enough to serve nearly 40,000 homes.
EDF will retain a 20 per cent stake in the three wind farms and continue to operate the turbines. It will also buy the electricity generated……….
The deal’s timing is significant: it comes as EDF, one of the Britain’s “big six” energy suppliers, looks to finalise agreement with possible investors, including CGN and China National Nuclear Corporation, on the financing of Hinkley Point C, the new nuclear power plant expected to cost £24.5bn.
The Chinese companies have been pushing for a bigger role in the plant’s construction and want a substantial share of the supply contracts, a demand that has complicated negotiations.
They also want ownership of another nuclear site, at Bradwell in Essex, with the aim of building their own reactor. Discussions over that have been a stumbling block. EDF is aiming to make a final investment decision early next year.http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/db8c9540-838f-11e4-9a9a-00144feabdc0.html#axzz3LzcYrpGa
Energy Co. are expected to propose new community solar projects starting in 2015, although officials for the two largest utilities in Michigan say they can’t yet be precise on the amount of renewable energy they will generate.In a filing with the Michigan Public Service Commission in late November, Jackson-based Consumers Energy said it intends to submit an amended renewable-energy plan to the commission by Jan. 23. The filing proposes up to 10 megawatts over three years through unspecified community solar pilot projects.
Detroit-based DTE, which had its two-year renewable-energy plan approved last December, is also expected to submit a community solar plan in 2015, following a commission-ordered solar work group report.
This year, DTE has been studying how to add large-scale community solar to its blend of renewable-energy projects. Depending on customer demand, DTE could add more than 22 megawatts of energy in community solar projects over the next few years, said David Harwood, DTE’s director of renewable energy.
Earlier this year, the commission work group report said DTE and Consumers easily could double their collective 28-megawatt solar power customer programs by at least 50 megawatts over the next 18 months.
The work group suggested DTE and Consumers could do so by expanding their customer-owned solar projects and add community solar for customers unable to participate in rooftop solar.
A community solar program, an alternative to rooftop solar panel systems, allows customers, investors and utilities — or a combination — to build large solar panel arrays on neutral sites to share power generation and cost savings. ………….
3 Best Renewable Energy Stocks for 2015 Nasdaq By Motley Fool, December 14, 2014 We’re halfway through the 2010’s and renewable energy is no longer an uneconomical pipe dream conjured up by wishful thinkers. Wind energy, solar energy, and first-generation biofuels for blendstock applications are all competitive with incumbents in their respective markets — and the economics will only improve throughout the remainder of the decade. It may take
another several decades for each technology group to steal a substantial market share, but advances in wind turbines, rooftop solar, and efficient fuel production processes promise to add competition to fossil fuel projects. We’ve asked some of our top energy analysts which renewable energy stocks they’re eying for 2015. Here’s what they’re focusing on……..http://www.nasdaq.com/article/3-best-renewable-energy-stocks-for-2015-cm423026
Solar Rises in Malaysia During Trade Wars Over Panels, NYT, By KEITH BRADSHERDEC. 11, 2014 KULIM, Malaysia — Tucked away in this former tin-mining town, past the small farms of banana trees and oil palms, is one of the solar industry’s best-kept secrets.
The six factories here with cavernous rooms up to one-third of a mile long constitute the production backbone of First Solar. Working alongside minivan-size robots adapted from car assembly plants and other industries, 3,700 employees produce five-sixths of the American company’s solar panels. Workers in Ohio make the rest.
The list of manufacturers is long. Panasonic of Japan has a solar panel factory a mile down the road. SunEdison makes wafers 60 miles away in Chemor. Hanwha Q Cells and SunPower have giant factories even farther south, while Solexel, a Silicon Valley start-up, is preparing to build an $810 million solar panel factory in stages.
Malaysia, a Southeast Asian nation with just 30 million people, is the biggest winner in the trade wars that have embroiled the solar sector. As Chinese companies have been hit with American tariffs and European quotas, Malaysia has increasingly attracted multinationals with its relatively low labor costs, lucrative tax breaks, warm relations with the West and abundance of English-speaking engineering talent.
Malaysia is now the world’s third-largest producer of solar equipment, trailing China by a wide margin but catching up rapidly with the European Union. And Malaysia’s role in the global solar trade is only likely to increase in the coming months if the American government broadens tariffs on panels made in China next Tuesday as expected……
The solar manufacturing boom in Malaysia has been almost invisible, a rarity in an industry known for heavily promoting even the smallest factory opening or new solar panel farm as progress toward cleaner energy……..
Trade wars have helped some American companies. SolarWorld, a big manufacturer that has led trade litigation against China, recently said that it was expanding capacity by 150 megawatts and adding 200 jobs at its main solar panel factory in Hillsboro, Ore. It partly pointed to the trade actions that had slowed the flood of Chinese imports.
But production in Malaysia, already triple the United States’ output, is rising faster. The latest project underway in Cyberjaya, Malaysia, is an 800-megawatt solar module factory for Hanwha Q Cells. First Solar is putting the finishing touches on a 100-megawatt factory here to supply the Japanese market.
Malaysia is a beneficiary of the complex interaction of global trade rules, economic competitiveness and environmental policies in the solar industry. Tariffs have had the most immediate effect………. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/12/business/energy-environment/solar-rises-in-malaysia-during-trade-wars-over-panels.html
Wind Power Provided 107% of Scotland’s Home Electricity Needs In November http://sustainnovate.ae/en/industry-news/detail/wind-power-provided-107-of-scotlands-home-electricity-needs-in-november 10 December 2014 | Posted by Zachary Scotland is an amazing leader in the renewable energy space. As I wrote last month,renewable energy provided more electricity than either nuclear energy, coal, or natural gas in the first half of 2014 in Scotland. It aims to get 100% of its electricity from renewable resources by 2025, one of the most ambitious targets in the developed world.
In October, wind energy provided 126% of home electricity demand. While that was a great month for wind energy, it wasn’t a wild fluke. WWF Scotland reports that, in November, wind power again provided over 100% of the country’s residential electricity needs, 107% this time. Producing 812 TWh of electricity, that’s enough for 2.6 million Scottish homes.
Scotland has excellent wind resources, but it also has great political leadership and is attractive to industry leaders.
“While Torness nuclear power station had to be shutdown unexpectedly, November turned out to be another big month for wind power in Scotland, with enough pollution-free electricity generated to supply 107 per cent of Scottish households with the electricity they need,” said WWF Scotland’s director Lang Banks. “Even on calmer days, when wind wasn’t at its strongest, wind still supplied the equivalent of almost a third of electricity needs of every home. It’s clear that wind is now a critical and growing part of our current power sector.”
The highest wind power output during the month was on November 11, when 55,611 MWh of electricity were produced by wind turbines. That was enough to supply 5.34 million homes with electricity, or 221% of Scottish homes.
The data above was provided by WeatherEnergy and analysed by WWF Scotland.
Record wind power levels as new research shows clear majority back wind energy projects near them, Renewable UK, 9 December 2014
RenewableUK was today celebrating a new daily record amount of electricity generated from wind. Official National Grid figures showed that on Sunday 7th December an average of 7.315GW of power was produced by wind farms. The previous record was 7.234GW. This means that the equivalent of 43% of all GB homes were powered by wind on Sunday.
RenewableUK also commented on research carried out by Accent for the Energy Institute and New Power Magazine which showed that 61% of people would accept a wind turbine, or several turbines, within five miles of their home. The research, which was carried out in November, among householders throughout the UK, found that only 24% of people would welcome a gas extraction site with possible fracking near them, and just 18% backed local nuclear. The only technology with more popular support than wind was solar PV.
The survey also showed that 54% of UKIP voters, and 57% of Conservative voters support wind energy within 5 miles of their home, despite the leaders of their parties opposing onshore wind.
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