Tag Archive | adavntage of renewable energy

UK sets new renewable energy record as wind and solar surge

A blustery start to summer has helped the renewable energy industry to its highest ever output as wind turbines and solar panels help to meet more than half of the UK’s electricity demand. #windenergy  #windpower  #energy  #wind

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UK Breaks Solar Record; Generates 24 Percent of Power from Solar

On Friday, May 26, on what was expected to be one of the hottest days of the year, solar panels in the UK generated a record amount of power, enough to meet almost 25 percent of demand. This is according to data compiled by National Grid Plc and Sheffield University.

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Listen Up: What Home Owners Need To Know About Battery Storage Systems

Since the sun does not shine at night we need a way to store daytime-generated solar energy. Net metering is an elegant and 100% efficient way to shift excess solar power, but that system will not work at high solar penetration levels. Never mind the fact that utilities are loath to allow their customers to generate electricity for less than it costs them to deliver this power.

As a result, battery storage is on the minds of almost all new solar customers. Storage technology, incentives, favorable electric rates and control software are all evolving rapidly. There are currently about a dozen companies with battery storage systems designed for use with rooftop solar. Like peanut butter and chocolate, many solar companies are starting to offer battery storage systems along with their solar systems.

My advice is to proceed with caution. Even though off-grid battery storage systems have been available for years, we are at the very early stages of grid-tied solar combined with battery storage. From a hardware standpoint, battery storage costs are plummeting, and new inverters/charge controllers are being developed. Perhaps more importantly, software that will efficiently interact with solar, batteries, the grid and your home energy consumption still has limited functionality. For more about the practicalities of home battery storage, Listen Up to this week’s Energy Show on Renewable Energy World.

About the Energy Show

As energy costs consume more and more of our hard-earned dollars, we as consumers really start to pay attention. But we don’t have to resign ourselves to $5/gallon gas prices, $200/month electric bills and $500 heating bills. There are literally hundreds of products, tricks and techniques that we can use to dramatically reduce these costs — very affordably.

The Energy Show on Renewable Energy World is a weekly 20-minute podcast that provides tips and advice to reduce your home and business energy consumption. Every week we’ll cover topics that will help cut your energy bill, explain new products and technologies in plain English, and cut through the hype so that you can make smart and cost-effective energy choices.

About Your Host

Barry Cinnamon is a long-time advocate of renewable energy and is a widely recognized solar power expert. In 2001 he founded Akeena Solar — which grew to become the largest national residential solar installer by the middle of the last decade with over 10,000 rooftop customers coast to coast. He partnered with Westinghouse to create Westinghouse Solar in 2010, and sold the company in 2012.

His pioneering work on reducing costs of rooftop solar power systems include Andalay, the first solar panel with integrated racking, grounding and wiring; the first UL listed AC solar panel; and the first fully “plug and play” AC solar panel. His current efforts are focused on reducing the soft costs for solar power systems, which cause system prices in the U.S. to be double those of Germany.

Although Barry may be known for his outspoken work in the solar industry, he has hands-on experience with a wide range of energy saving technologies.  He’s been doing residential energy audits since the punch card days, developed one of the first ground-source heat pumps in the early ‘80s, and always abides by the Laws of Thermodynamics.

This podcast was originally produced by Spice Solar and was presented here with permission.

Lead image credit: Patrick Breitenbach | Flickr

Americans used more clean energy in 2016

Americans used more renewable energy in 2016 compared to the previous year, according to the most recent energy flow charts released by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Overall, energy consumption was nearly flat.

Each year, the Laboratory releases energy flow charts that illustrate the nation’s consumption and use of energy. Americans used 0.1 quads (quadrillion BTU), more in 2016 than in 2015. A BTU, or British Thermal Unit, is a unit of measurement for energy; 3,400 BTU is equivalent to about 1 kilowatt-hour.

Prices for photovoltaic panels have fallen dramatically over the past decade, contributing to solar energy’s rapid growth, which rose by 0.15 quads or 38 percent in 2016, with significant additions in the electricity, commercial and residential sectors. “Two thirds of that increase was in the electric sector,” said A.J. Simon, group leader for LLNL’s energy program. “These are large installations of thousands of solar panels, usually in the desert.” Installations on the roofs of homes and warehouses account for the rest of the additions.

Likewise, more wind power is contributing to the nation’s utility grid. Use of wind power rose by 19 percent or 0.33 quads. “Generous incentives for renewable energy, combined with improved ‘know-how’ in siting and building wind farms, has led to a favorable environment for growth in this sector,” Simon said.

Coal use decreased by 9 percent to 14.2 quads, mostly due to decreased coal supply to the electricity sector. That supply has been replaced by wind, solar and natural gas. Overall, natural gas use rose by 1 percent to 28.5 quads.

Energy use in the residential, commercial and industrial sectors all declined slightly, while consumption of fossil fuels in the transportation sector rose by 0.5 quads or 2 percent.

All energy use results in some losses, shown on the charts as rejected energy. This energy most often takes the form of waste heat, such as the warm exhaust from automobiles and furnaces. The efficiency of the nation’s cars, lightbulbs and factories determines how much waste heat is produced, and how much of fuel and electricity can be put to productive use.

This year marks two changes to the energy flow chart. The Energy Information Administration has changed the way it analyzes and reports renewable energy use, and those changes are reflected in the 2016 chart as well as a revision to the 2015 analysis. Additionally, the estimate of efficiency of the industrial sector has been reduced from 80 percent to 49 percent to align with recent analysis at the DOE’s Advanced Manufacturing Office. LLNL reports all year-over-year changes on a basis consistent with the new methodology.


Story Source:

Materials provided by DOE/Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

GE looks to develop renewable energy skills in Ethiopia

General Electric (GE) and the Addis Ababa Institute of Technology (AAiT) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to “frame an ongoing collaboration” with the aim of “enabling capacity development programs focused on renewable energy.”

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