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California to make solar panels mandatory on new houses?

Independent 5th May 2018 , California is set to become the first US state to make solar panels
mandatory on most newly built homes. The state’s Energy Commission is due
to vote next week on new energy standards that would require virtually all
new homes to be constructed with solar panels from 2020. Currently around
20 per cent of single-family homes are constructed with solar capacity
built in, but if the new standards are approved as expected this proportion
will rise sharply.
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/california-solar-power-panels-homes-renewable-green-energy-climate-change-a8337626.html

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May 7, 2018 Posted by | decentralised, USA | Leave a comment

Australia claims world first: fully solar-powered train

World-first solar train now leaving the platform in Byron Bay with zero emissions, ABC North Coast , By Bruce Mackenzie, 17  Dec 17,  What is claimed to be the world’s first fully solar-powered train is operating on the New South Wales North Coast.

A refurbished 70-year-old ‘red rattler’ is running on a three-kilometre stretch of disused rail line at the popular tourist destination of Byron Bay.

It made its maiden trip yesterday with almost 100 passengers on board.

Electric bus solar system

The $4-million project is the brainchild of multi-millionaire businessman Brian Flannery, who owns a resort in the area.

“Hopefully it attracts people to Byron Bay,” Mr Flannery said.

“I think international tourists will come here to have a look at this world’s first solar train.

“So let’s see, in five years’ time they’ll probably still say I’m mad, but it’s a bit of fun.”

Tim Elderton, from the Lithgow Railway Workshop, was tasked with building curved solar panels and a battery system to power the train.

“Of course the major difference is it’s got solar panels on the roof so it can recharge itself.

“For those cloudy days we’ve also got 30 kilowatts of solar panels in this [station’s] roof here so we can also plug it in.

“On a sunny day like today we can do about four or five trips before we have to plug it in.”……..

Tram infrastructure a possibility

Longer trips than this one — 10 minutes to cover three kilometres or so — would require regular recharging stations along the route, but Mr Flannery said the technology might be suited to inner-city trams.

A lot of the tram networks of course have overhead wires and they’re electric but they’re powered off the grid from overhead,” he said.

“But in a case where you want to build a tramline without that infrastructure, I think you could.

“At various stations you could top the train [or tram] up.” http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-12-16/world-first-solar-train-the-brainchild-of-byron-bay-millionaire/9265522

December 18, 2017 Posted by | Christina's notes, decentralised, energy storage | Leave a comment

Up and running in 3 weeks – solar power for Puerto Rico’s children’s hospital

Struggling Puerto Rico children’s hospital gets solar power from Tesla, http://abcnews.go.com/US/struggling-puerto-rico-childrens-hospital-solar-power-tesla/story?id=50721869 By J.J. GALLAGHER Oct 25, 2017,A children’s hospital in Puerto Rico that was forced to run off generators and ration diesel fuel in the wake of Hurricane Maria now has a solar power system that will supply all of its electricity needs. Tesla and Puerto Rico’s governor touted the project yesterday, sending out multiple official tweets and Facebook posts, and officials said today that the system is already providing solar-generated electricity to the hospital.

The Hospital del Nino is located in the capital San Juan and serves about 3,000 children across the island. The hospital also houses some 30 children with serious medical needs that require round-the-clock care.

A hospital spokesperson told Primera Hora last month that they were forced to ration diesel fuel and take other measures to ensure a constant flow of electricity.

Hurricane Maria also knocked down all of the trees surrounding the hospital, resulting in heat from the withering tropical sun beating down on the building and its surroundings.

Tesla’s system works with solar panels that generate electricity during the day and batteries that store the power and distribute it when the sun isn’t shining. Earlier this month, Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted that his company could bring solar power to Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello replied “let’s talk” and later said the two had a “great initial conversation.”

Less than three weeks later, officials say the hospital is up and running with a solar system that supplies all of its electricity needs.

“I’ve never seen a team arrive so fast and work so fast. They built this in a week,” Rafael Pagán, the hospital’s chairman of the board, told Telemundo.

Just 25 percent of Puerto Rico’s 3.4 million residents have electricity, according to the latest figures, and some 3,758 people are still in shelters nearly two months after Maria ravaged the island, causing widespread damages and killing 51 people.

Rossello has promised to fully restore electricity to the island by Christmas, a goal that analysts have cast doubt upon.

Repairing Puerto Rico’s badly damaged electrical grid could take months and cost billions of dollars. Musk has put forth his so-called solar microgrids, that produce energy locally through solar energy, as an alternative.

ABC News’ Joshua Hoyos contributed to this report.

October 27, 2017 Posted by | decentralised, USA | Leave a comment

Japan’s solar powered smart communities

The Sun Rises on Japan’s Solar-Powered Smart Communities, Solar Magazine, By Andrew Burger – 16 Oct 17 

Smart communities fueled by solar energy and the latest in advanced energy storage and smart microgrid technologies are taking root and beginning to expand in Japan, part and parcel of a national drive to enhance energy resilience and independence. Strong political and “grass roots” public support for “green energy,” greater consumer choice and renewable energy self-generation has emerged in Japan in the wake of the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami, which all but leveled Tokyo Electric Power’s Daiichi nuclear power plant in Fukushima Prefecture.

October 18, 2017 Posted by | decentralised, Japan | Leave a comment

Futuristic solar powered car feeds energy back into the grid

Guardian 15th Oct 2017, A futuristic family car that not only uses the sun as power but supplies
energy back to the grid has been hailed as “the future” as the annual
World Solar Challenge wrapped up in Australia. The innovative bi-annual
contest, first run in 1987, began in Darwin a week ago with 41 vehicles
setting off on a 3,000km (1,860-mile) trip through the heart of Australia
to Adelaide. A Dutch car, Nuna 9, won the race for the third-straight time,
crossing the finish line on Thursday after travelling at an average speed
of 81.2kmh (55.5 mph).
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/oct/15/this-is-the-future-solar-powered-family-car-hailed-by-experts

October 16, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, decentralised | Leave a comment

Dozens of Japanese towns choosing decentralised solar energy, with microgrids

Quiet energy revolution underway in Japan as dozens of towns go off the grid, Japan Times BY AARON SHELDRICK AND OSAMU TSUKIMORI  REUTERS, 24 Sept 17,  A Miyagi city’s efforts to rebuild its electrical power system after 3/11 mark a quiet shift away from Japan’s old utility model and toward self-reliant, local generation and transmission.

After losing three-quarters of its homes and 1,100 people in the March 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami, the city of Higashimatsushima in Miyagi Prefecture turned to the government’s “national resilience program,” with ¥3.72 trillion in funding for this fiscal year, to rebuild.

 The city of 40,000 chose to construct microgrids and decentralized renewable power generation to create a self-sustaining system in Tohoku capable of producing an average of 25 percent of its electricity without the need of the region’s power utility.

The city’s steps illustrate a massive yet little known effort to take dozens of the nation’s towns and communities off the power grid and make them partly self-sufficient in generating electricity…….https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2017/09/24/national/quiet-energy-revolution-underway-japan-dozens-towns-go-off-grid/#.Wcg4L_MjHGh

September 25, 2017 Posted by | decentralised, Japan | Leave a comment

Small-scale solar will displace $2 billion of US power by 2025

 http://reneweconomy.com.au/small-scale-solar-will-displace-2-billion-us-power-2025/ By Bloomberg New Energy Finance on 23 August 2017   By 2025, over $2 billion worth of U.S. electricity production will change hands from traditional generators to small-scale generation assets.

Worldwide, the small-scale solar photovoltaic capacity operated by homes and businesses is predicted to grow consistently as depicted by Bloomberg New Energy Finance in the New Energy Outlook 2017.

 In countries like the U.S. which face stagnant electricity demand growth, the growth in distributed electricity production will take sales from generators in the wholesale markets and regulated power regions.

Australia leads the way in distributed energy, with around 45 per cent of total demand to be delivered by locally sourced distributed power  solar, wind and storage, by 2040.

Clients can access the full report here.

August 25, 2017 Posted by | 2 WORLD, decentralised | Leave a comment

EDF offers British homeowners a solar system – installed free, but with conditions

Guardian 12th Aug 2017, If you want solar photovoltaic panels on your home but don’t have the money for them, EDF Energy is offering to install a free system – complete with
storage batteries – if you agree to buy the subsidised power it generates
for 20 years.

The French-owned energy giant is looking for 100 homes to
trial its Sunplug scheme, which is being offered in conjunction with
established solar supplier Lightsource. To sign up you need to have a
large, unshaded south-facing roof at a pitch of about 45 degrees. If you
are accepted, the company will install the largest solar panel system the
roof can take – a 16-panel setup will generate 4kW – plus an LG storage
battery that lets you use the power that’s generated during the day in the
evening.

In return, EDF gets to keep the feed-in tariff paid by the
government, which is worth about £150 a year. It also keeps the export
tariff – around £50 a year. The householder is contractually bound to
pay Sunplug 9.9p per kilowatt hour for each unit of electricity they use
from the panels and battery.

This is a little cheaper than what you would pay if you bought green electricity from the grid. For example, green
supplier Good Energy charges 15.5p, with a standing charge averaging 26p a
day. The advantage could come in future years as the price demanded by
Sunplug can only rise by the retail prices index or 2.5% – whichever is
lower.

If the price of grid electricity rises substantially over the next
20 years, users will make considerable savings. However, if they don’t,
some users will be left wondering why they bothered, not least because they
have to have the system inspected each year, which will cost about £80. So
this scheme is likely to appeal to anyone who wants green electricity at
fixed prices over the next two decades.

The other significant benefit comes at the end of the 20-year term, when the householder is given ownership of
the system, which should continue to generate substantial free power. So
what’s the Money verdict? Solar PV systems are still a good investment if
you have the money upfront, the right roof and location, and if you plan to
stay in the house for a long time. The case for the free Sunplug deal is
less clear. To us, it looks too heavily weighted in favour of the company.
If it offered some free electricity each day or other incentives, that
would make the scheme more attractive.

https://www.theguardian.com/money/2017/aug/12/edf-free-solar-panels-buy-power-generated-20-years

August 14, 2017 Posted by | decentralised, UK | Leave a comment

Big savings for UK homes that install solar and storage technologies

Solar Power Portal 10th Aug 2017, Installing solar and storage technologies into homes could save them as
much as £600 each year on their fuel bills, a new study has found.

The report, released by Swansea University’s Specific Innovation and
Knowledge Centre, claims that an integrated system comprising solar PV roof
installations, battery storage and solar heat collection technology on
south-facing walls could cut energy consumption by more than 60%.

The findings are backed up by a working demonstration project completed on a
school in Swansea. The ‘Active Classroom’, as it has been dubbed, has
generated more energy than it has consumed since receiving the complete
system six months ago.  https://www.solarpowerportal.co.uk/news/solar_and_storage_could_save_homes_600_each_year_new_report_finds

August 14, 2017 Posted by | decentralised, UK | Leave a comment

New records on solar power generation in UK -reducing demand on the grid

Solar Power Portal 9th Aug 2017, Soaring generation from the UK’s solar assets sent UK power demand to a
new low last month, according to data compiled by monitoring firm EnAppSys.

The data showed that average half-hourly demand throughout July stood at
26.2GW, courtesy of a significant amount of embedded generation from
sources such as rooftop solar. These sources are seen on the grid as demand
reduction and, as a result, reduce the amount of power that is drawn down
from the grid.

Throughout July the average embedded generation figure stood
at 3GW. Solar and other renewables have already witnessed a number of new
generation records this year, particularly in Spring. Unseasonable weather
in April helped solar to a new landmark generation record.
https://www.solarpowerportal.co.uk/news/soaring_solar_sends_uk_power_demand_to_eight_year_low

August 11, 2017 Posted by | decentralised, UK | Leave a comment

In remote Asia, solar power is transforming the lives of women

Climate News Network 1st Aug 2017, A solar revolution is transforming the lives of women in the remotest parts of Asia. They no longer have to wait decades to be connected to a power grid but are able today to exploit the huge potential of the abundant sunshine.

In societies where women normally play a subservient role and spend much of their time on menial chores, solar businesses are creating a new breed of female entrepreneur who are bringing electricity to their villages.

In the last two years two schemes designed to encourage women to bring the solar revolution to parts of rural India and Nepal have won international Ashden Awards, which bring the organisations involved
£20,000 (US$26,360) each in prize money and a lot of guidance to improve
and extend their businesses. http://climatenewsnetwork.net/women-take-control-solar-revolution/

August 4, 2017 Posted by | decentralised, social effects, women | Leave a comment

Decentralised renewable energy is benefiting businesses

Edie 20th July 2017, Businesses that invest in decentralised energy systems can enjoy the triple benefit of economic value, security of supply and “telling a good story”, the new chief executive of community energy supplier Mongoose Energy has told edie. In his previous role as head of international NGO the Climate Group, Mark Kenber led the RE100 scheme which gets firms to source 100% renewable electricity.

It was revealed by edie earlier this month that the initiative was targeting 500 members by 2020 after passing the 100-member milestone. Kenber, who took the reins at Wiltshire-based Mongoose Energy in April, welcomed the growing number of businesses recognising the financial benefits of sourcing renewable energy.

He cited Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) with local suppliers as one of the increasingly popular methods for
companies to meet renewable energy targets, and also improve CSR credentials. “Businesses sign up to RE100 for broadly financial reasons, they know the economics stack up,” Kenber said. “And if you can get a lot of CSR benefit from it, with a local store buying from the localcommunity, it’s a really good story. A lot of them are looking at that. Now
you can get competitive prices which work for both partners.
https://www.edie.net/news/6/Mark-Kenber–Localised-energy-will-revolutionise-the-way-businesses-source-power—/

July 22, 2017 Posted by | decentralised, UK | Leave a comment

UK’s soaring solar energy capacity – could go even higher with consumers becoming “prosumers”

Consumers could drive UK solar capacity as high as 44GW by 2050: National Grid, Solar Power Portal, 13 Jul 17 The UK’s solar capacity could soar to as much as 44GW by 2050 if consumers take command of their own power supply, National Grid has forecasted.

The UK’s transmission system operator today unveils its Future Energy Scenarios, charting how it considers the UK’s power market might evolve from now until both 2025 and 2050.

Using various models and insight, National Grid has compiled four principal scenarios of varying levels of ambition, dubbed ‘Steady State’, ‘Slow Progression’, ‘Consumer Power’ and ‘Two Degrees’.

Its most pessimistic scenario Steady State, a word in which security of supply takes precedence and short-term policies are pursued, the UK’s solar capacity will grow to 14.33GW by 2025, an increase of less than 2GW on current levels. Solar capacity will also decrease by 2050 as PV generators are not renewed past their current operational life.

However the most ambitious scenario for renewables deployment – ‘Consumer Power’ – expects the majority of UK consumers to become ‘prosumers’ and generate their own power. This will see 23.53GW of solar deployed by 2025 and 44.15GW – a near quadrupling of current levels – by 2050……..

National Grid has already been quick to highlight the consequences that record levels of solar generation have had on the grid. Earlier this year afternoon demand dipped below that of the night before for the first time in the UK, while solar generation records have been broken already this summer.

The operator said today that this was yet more evidence of the burgeoning evolution in the power market. “Last year I said that we were in the midst of an energy revolution, and this year it is even more evident,” Marcus Stewart, head of energy insights at National Grid, wrote in the document’s foreword, adding that cost reductions in solar and storage had already “driven major change in a short space of time”.

Emma Pinchbeck, executive director at RenewableUK, said: “This year’s report recognises that renewables have transformed our energy system, disrupting the status quo and displacing fossil fuels extraordinarily fast – and that this trajectory is set to continue, with the rapid development of energy storage.” https://www.solarpowerportal.co.uk/news/consumers_could_drive_uk_solar_capacity_as_high_as_44gw_by_2050_national_g

July 15, 2017 Posted by | decentralised, UK | Leave a comment

Germany’s renewable energy auctions

Energy Post 27th June 2017,The introduction of renewables auctions in Germany, replacing administratively set feed-in premiums, has led to considerably lower prices and very high realization rates. However, community participation was very low in the first solar PV auctions.

Now a new rule favouring community projects in onshore wind auctions turned out to be so attractive that most
bidders created community projects to profit from them. This is turning the
market upside down. Corinna Klessmann and Silvana Tiedemann of consultancy Ecofys, a Navigant company, look at the effects of auctions on the German renewables markets and make recommendations.    http://energypost.eu/germanys-first-renewables-auctions-are-a-success-but-new-rules-are-upsetting-the-market/

July 3, 2017 Posted by | business and costs, decentralised, Germany | Leave a comment

Nottingham, England, to have Europe’s largest community solar battery installed

Solar Portal 29th June 2017, What is expected to be Europe’s largest community battery is set to be
installed at an innovative regeneration scheme in Nottingham, with a 2MWh
Tesla battery to be deployed in September as part of a housing scheme
alongside community solar.

The £100 million Trent Basin project is a new housing development built at the site of an inland dock previously derelict
for around two decades. It is expected to deliver 500 homes over five
phases with 375kW of rooftop and ground mounted solar and the Tesla battery
to be installed by EvoEnergy.

In an innovative use of the solar farm, planning permission has been granted on the basis that the site shall be
cleared by 28 February 2020. By this time, the panels from the ground
mounted installation will be removed and installed on new homes built as
part of the development.   https://www.solarpowerportal.co.uk/news/tesla_install_to_bring_europes_largest_community_battery_to_nottingham

July 3, 2017 Posted by | decentralised, UK | Leave a comment