Tag Archive | green energy solar power

Wind Power as a Viable Solution to Meeting Alternative Energy Needs

Although it is much less expensive to initially get hooked into the local electric company’s grid than it is to set up and hook into wind turbines, in the long run one saves money by utilizing the wind for one’s energy needs—while also becoming more independent. Not receiving an electric bill while enjoying the advantages of the modern electrically-driven lifestyle is a wondrous feeling.

Electric bills and fuel bills are rising steadily—but the cost of wind turbine energy is zero, and the cost of installing and hooking up a turbine is steadily coming down as demand rises and more commercial success is realized by various companies producing the turbines and researching technologies to make them ever more efficient. In addition, people are moving away from the traditional electric grids and the fossil fuels for personal reasons including desire for greater independence, the desire to live remotely or rurally without having to “go primitive”, political concerns such as fears of terrorist strikes on oil fields or power grids, or concerns about the environment. Again, this motivation to get away from the traditional energy sources is the same one that causes people to seek the power of the wind for their energy, giving more business opportunities to profit from wind turbine production and maintenance, which drives their costs down for the consumers. In nearly thirty states at the time of this writing, homeowners who remain on the grid but who still choose to use wind energy (or other alternative forms) are eligible for rebates or tax breaks from the state governments that end up paying for as much as 50% of their total “green” energy systems’ costs. In addition, there are 35 states at the time of this writing where these homeowners are allowed to sell their excess energy back to the power company under what are called “net metering laws”. The rates that they are being paid by the local power companies for this energy are standard retail rates—in other words, the homeowners are actually profiting from their own energy production.

Some federal lawmakers are pushing to get the federal government to mandate these tax breaks and other wind power incentives in all 50 states. Japan and Germany already have national incentive programs in place. However, “A lot of this is handled regionally by state law. There wouldn’t really be a role for the federal government,” the Energy Department’s Craig Stevens says. And as might be imagined, there are power companies who feel that it’s unfair that they should have to pay retail rates to private individuals. “We should [only have to] pay you the wholesale rate for … your electricity,” according to Bruce Bowen, Pacific Gas & Electric’s director of regulatory policy. However, the companies seem to be more worried about losing short term profits than about the benefits, especially in the long run, of the increased use of wind turbines or wind farms. Head of the Center for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Technologies of California V. John White points out, “It’s quality power that strengthens the grid.”

Going Green.Cut Your Energy needs first

Before you go “Green”, it’s a good idea to cut your energy use first. Follow, these simple steps outlined below and make big savings in your energy consumption. In this article we will walk you through these easy to follow steps that will help you reduce your energy use before you start your “green ” energy conversion

With simple instructions available on how to convert to homemade wind power or DIY solar panels for as little as £200, many people are taking renewable energy more seriously. When choosing to take on a DIY conversion project the first question most people ask is will one windmill or one large solar panel be enough?
There are far too many factors involved to be able to fully answer that question for you here. But one way to start is to ensure your home is energy efficient in the first place. In this article we will walk you through some steps that will help you reduce your energy consumption before you start converting your home.
Reducing Your Energy Needs
One often overlooked step in converting a home to green power is reducing your energy needs in the first place. The average home uses inefficient lighting, power hungry appliances, and poor heating/cooling solutions. An important step to reducing your energy needs is to look at the inefficiencies in your current system.
Consider:
1. Replacing old incandescent bulbs with fluorescents or led bulbs.This can cut your energy use from lighting by 50%
2. Turn off lights when not in use.
3. Replacing old, inefficient, appliances may reduce your energy bills by as much as 30% in itself.
4. Always switch appliances off. Never leave them on standby.This wastes too much energy. You can now buy energy saving gadgets which will do this for you. However, if you start to make it part of your daily routine it will soon become second nature.
5. You should also look at your current heating/cooling solutions. That inefficient electric hot water heater could potentially be replaced by a modern solar water heater.
6.Or maybe your old air conditioner system,could be replaced with a more efficient heat exchanger.
7. Ensure the timer/ programmer on your heating only operates when the house is occupied.
8. Turn individual room, as well as radiator thermostats down one degree. You wont feel the difference, but this alone could save £50/£60 a year on your energy bills.
If you need help choosing more efficient appliances, or just want more energy saving advice, an excellent resource for this in the UK is http://www.housingenergyadvisor.com
Spend some time looking around the site and calculating how much you can reduce your energy consumption in different areas of your home. You don’t have to go and spend £1000’s replacing everything, but by simply reviewing everything in your home that consumes powerComputer Technology Articles, you will most certainly find many ways to cut your energy needs before you start your “Green Energy”conversion..

Tesla And Panasonic Solar ‘Gigafactory 2’

Tesla releases more details about its Solar Roof agreement with Panasonic at ‘Gigafactory 2’

In order to bring to market its new series of ‘Solar Roof’ products, Tesla announced last year that they are bringing together a lot of technologies under one roof at their newly acquired factory in Buffalo, now known as ‘Gigafactory 2‘. It includes tech developed in-house by Tesla, some tech by Panasonic, and tech from SolarCity and its subsidiaries.

The deal is somewhat complicated with a lot of moving parts, which now clearly shows why Elon Musk wanted Tesla to acquire SolarCity since it will simplify the complicated partnership.

 

Through Tesla’s acquisition of SolarCity, they inherited an agreement with the Research Foundation for the State University of New York for the construction of an approximately 1 million square foot manufacturing facility, which is now mostly completed.

The deal is under a Build-to-Suit Lease model. Tesla explains the deal in a SEC filing released this week:

“The Foundation will cover (i) construction costs related to the manufacturing facility in an amount up to $350.0 million, (ii) the acquisition and commissioning of the manufacturing equipment in an amount up to $348.1 million and (iii) $51.9 million for additional specified scope costs, in cases (i) and (ii) only, subject to the maximum funding allocation from the State of New York, and we will be responsible for any construction and equipment costs in excess of such amounts. We will own the manufacturing facility and manufacturing equipment purchased by the Foundation. Following completion of the manufacturing facility, we will lease the manufacturing facility and the manufacturing equipment owned by the Foundation from the Foundation for an initial period of 10 years, with an option to renew, for $2 per year plus utilities.”

That’s a pretty sweet deal, but in return, Tesla has to achieve a series of milestone or otherwise it will have to pay penalities.

Here are the main milestones listed in the filing:

  • employing a certain number of employees at the facility, within western New York and within the State of New York.
  • spend or incur approximately $5.0 billion in combined capital, operational expenses and other costs in the State of New York over the 10 years following the achievement of full production.

What is full production at this new factory?

According to the same filing, Tesla expects “approximately 1 gigawatt annually beginning in 2019.” In the past, SolarCity has referred to the factory as having a 1 GW capacity with potential for up to 5 GW, but it looks like they are sticking to 1 GW for now.

The production of solar cells to make modules and tiles (for Tesla’s solar roof) will use technologies developed by Tesla (Glass), SolarCity’s Zep and Silevo (modules and connections), and Panasonic for the cells and the manufacturing.

Tesla explains the agreement in the filing:

“In December 2016, we entered into a Production Pricing Agreement: Phases 1-3 (the Phase 1-3 Agreement) with Panasonic Corporation, Panasonic Corporation of North America and Sanyo Electronic Co., Ltd (collectively, Panasonic).  This agreement provides that Panasonic will manufacture custom photovoltaic (PV) cells and modules for us, primarily at Gigafactory 2, and that we will purchase certain amounts of PV cells and modules from Panasonic during the 10-year term, with the intent to produce PV cells and modules totaling approximately 1 gigawatt annually beginning in 2019.”

Panasonic said that it plans to make a $250 million investment in the manufacturing effort.

This deal is somewhat similar to the deal Tesla and Panasonic have at the Gigafactory 1 where they collaborated on the development of a new battery cell, which Panasonic ultimately ends up being the manufacturer under a long-term agreement for Tesla to purchase the output.

In the case of Gigafactory 1, Tesla uses the cells to make its battery packs for cars, Powerwalls, and Powerpacks, while at Gigafactory 2, Tesla will use the cells to make solar roof tiles and modules.

Tesla still expects to start production of the solar roof at Gigafactory 2 in “summer 2017”. The expectations for the product are high since Musk said that Tesla’s solar roof will cost less than a regular roof – even before energy production.