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jpak

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Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 38,268

Journal Archives

New Solar Module Efficiency Record.. & These Modules Are Coming to Market

http://cleantechnica.com/2012/01/31/new-solar-module-efficiency-record/

Yep, it’s that time again—a new solar module efficiency record has been set and independently verified. The solar module company is Semprius. The new efficiency record is 33.9%. The modules are actually set to come to market this year. And the efficiency percentage “was externally certified after measurement under standard test conditions at the Instituto de Energia Solar (IES) at the University of Madrid (Universidad Politecnica de Madrid),” a news release notes.

This is the first time that a photovoltaic module has converted over one-third of the solar energy hitting the module into usable electricity. The previous record was reportedly 32.0%.

“Depending on the specific location and irradiation, the HCPV modules can deliver an energy output per square meter that is two times higher than common polycrystalline modules,” the news release goes on to note. ”Leading module manufacturers of conventional PV technologies achieve a maximum module efficiency of approximately 20 percent with monocrystalline PV modules and about 16 percent with polycrystalline technology.”

Also worth noting is that the module chosen for the test is not just a laboratory module—it is one of a normal distribution line that is expected to become commercially available later in the year.

Source: Clean Technica (http://s.tt/15tN8)

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LePage: Renewable energy initiative a 'job killer'

http://www.pressherald.com/news/LePage-calls-renewable-energy-initiative-job-killer.html

PORTLAND — A renewable energy ballot initiative that supporters say can gradually lower electric rates while reducing Maine’s dependence on imported fuel is actually “the single, largest job killer” Maine has faced in years and will make rates rise, Gov. Paul LePage told a gathering of the state’s real estate industry today.

If the measure gets on the ballot this November and wins voter approval, he said, it will force people and businesses to leave for places with lower energy costs.

“This will destroy the state of Maine,” he said, appealing to the crowd to fight the initiative.
LePage made his remarks at the opening address of the 2010 Maine Real Estate & Development Association’s annual forecast conference. The event drew a record turnout of 650 business and industry professionals, who gave the governor a standing ovation when he was introduced.

LePage’s comments escalated his ongoing attack on a proposal by a coalition called Maine Citizens for Clean Energy. The group, which includes environmental activists and windpower developers, is collecting signatures for a ballot initiative aimed at requiring 20 percent of Maine’s electricity to come from renewable sources by 2020, and to require further investments in energy efficiency.

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Wind firm says Vt. project exceeding expectations

http://www.boston.com/news/local/vermont/articles/2012/01/25/wind_firm_says_vt_project_exceeding_expectations/

SHEFFIELD, Vt.—Vermont's newest commercial wind power project is starting to pay dividends to the town where it's located.

Earlier this month the town of Sheffield received a payment of $117,000 for hosting the First Wind project on Sheffield Heights. The project is obligated to pay $520,000 a year for the life of the project, which began producing power in October.

The Caledonian Record ( http://bit.ly/yi6Ixp) reports operations Manager Andy Doak says the project has generated enough energy since October to power the equivalent of 16,500 homes daily.

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Sheffield VT - population 709

Talk about yer windfall profits...

The U.S. wind energy installed just over 6,810 megawatts in 2011

http://www.evwind.es/noticias.php?id_not=16262

The U.S. wind turbines industry’s fourth quarter results show that wind power is forging ahead into new states like Ohio and Nevada while doubling down on installations in existing strong wind farm markets.

The U.S. wind turbines industry’s fourth quarter results show that wind power is forging ahead into new states like Ohio and Nevada while doubling down on installations in existing strong wind farm markets in California, Illinois, Iowa and Kansas.

Illinois was a very strong performer in 2011, clocking in as #2 for installations in the last year and rising to #4 in wind power overall (the only mover in the overall top 10) and Kansas tops the under construction list with more than 1,188 megawatts of wind turbines scheduled to come on line in 2012. Ohio was another success story as the nation’s fastest growing state in wind power for 2011.

“This shows what wind power is capable of: building new projects, powering local economies and creating jobs,” said Denise Bode, CEO of the American Wind Energy Association. “Traditional tax incentives are working. This tremendous activity is being driven by the federal Production Tax Credit (PTC) – which leveraged an average of more than $16 billion a year in private investment over the last several years and supported tens of thousands of manufacturing jobs.”

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Solar Cheaper Than Diesel Making India’s Mittal Believer

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-01-25/solar-cheaper-than-diesel-making-india-s-mittal-believer-energy.html

India is producing power from solar cells more cheaply than by burning diesel for the first time, spurring billionaire Sunil Mittal and Coca-Cola Co. (KO)’s mango supplier to jettison the fuel in favor of photovoltaic panels.

The cost of solar energy in India declined by 28 percent since December 2010, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. The cause was a 51 percent drop in panel prices last year as the world’s 10 largest manufacturers, led by China’s Suntech Power Holdings Co. (STP), doubled output capacity.

“Solar is going mainstream in India, helped by Chinese pricing,” said Ardeshir Contractor, founder of developer Kiran Energy Solar Power Pvt. Kiran, whose investors include Bessemer Venture Partners, an early financier of Skype Technologies SA, won one of the largest projects auctioned by India last month.

India joins pockets of Italy, Spain and Hawaii where rising fuel costs and lower panel prices make solar pay for itself without state subsidies, New Energy Finance data show. Factories and homes in the Asian nation switch on emergency diesel-fired generators during chronic blackouts and to bridge gaps in the power-delivery grid as the government prepares a $400 billion program through 2017 to curb the shortfall and spur growth.

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Dumping Solar: The Case for CASE, Solar Growth and China’s Subsidies

http://cleantechnica.com/2012/01/26/dumping-solar-the-case-for-case-solar-growth-and-chinas-subsidies/

International trade tensions between the US and China have risen to become priorities at the national level recently, prompted by the October filing of anti-dumping and countervailing duty petitions by the Coalition of American Solar Manufacturing (CASM).

In his State of the Union address on Tuesday evening, Pres. Obama announced the creation of a Trade Enforcement Unit that will investigate illegal trade practices and subsidy programs by countries, notably China, which along with the US is legally bound by domestic laws enacted in compliance with World Trade Organization (WTO) agreements.

To better understand the narrow and broad issues associated with CASM’s petitions, Clean Technica has been running a series of articles based on an interview and correspondence with the lead lawyer for SolarWorld Industries America in the CASM case, Wiley, Rein LLP’s Tim Brightbill.

This article gives equal time to the opposition, which has been substantial. It’s based on an interview with Kevin Lapidus, senior vice president of legal and government affairs for MEMC SunEdison, and the Podesta Group’s Ed Rothschild. Lapidus also serves as a board member of the Coalition for Affordable Solar Energy, a coalition of US solar industry participants which has been conducting a government and public outreach campaign to discredit CASM’s claims and international trade petitions.

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Source: Clean Technica (http://s.tt/15oN8)

US Navy preps massive solar project

http://www.tgdaily.com/sustainability-features/61040-us-navy-preps-massive-solar-project

SunPower broke ground this month on a big solar installation at the Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake in California. 



Though it's not a utility scale system of the magnitude being developed elsewhere in the desert – like the 392-megawatt (MW) Ivanpah concentrating solar plant, for instance – at 13.78 MW it is large enough to hint at the kind of solar development the military would like to see take place on its bases in the California desert.


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By going with a 20-year power-purchase agreement (PPA) – a first for a military project, SunPower said – the Navy will get the electricity "at up to 30 percent below the rate available through the more traditional 10-year PPA."

In dollar terms, SunPower said the system will help the Navy "reduce costs by an estimated $13 million over the next 20 years." 
The China Lake system will use SunPower's Oasis Power Plant product, which integrates the SunPower T0 Tracker with the SunPower E19/425 Solar Panel.


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KB Home Offering Solar as Standard Feature on New Florida Houses

http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-01-24/kb-home-offering-solar-as-standard-feature-on-new-florida-houses.html

Jan. 23 (Bloomberg) -- KB Home, the Los Angeles-based builder that targets first-time buyers, will offer solar power systems as a standard feature on houses it’s building in some parts of Florida.

The first KB house with rooftop panels will be available next month at its Fisher Plantation development in Apopka, George Glance, president of KB Home’s Central Florida division, said today in a phone interview.

The 52-home community is the first in the region to include solar power as a standard feature, according to a company statement. Rooftop panels reduce homeowners’ monthly costs and increase resale value, and will make KB’s houses stand out in a tough real estate market, Glance said.

“We can create value in a new home that consumers couldn’t otherwise get from our competitors or on the resale market,” Glance said. The owner of a one-story, three-bedroom home may save as much as $1,200 a year on energy costs, KB Home said.

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Natural-Gas Futures Extend Gains

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203718504577180781984236586.html

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Futures added to Monday's gains that were sparked by Chesapeake Energy Corp.'s decision to cut production in response to low gas prices.

"This is continued momentum from yesterday's announcement from Chesapeake," said Matt Smith, an analyst with Summit Energy. "This has set in a concrete level where production will start to come off."

After gas fell to the lowest price in nearly a decade last week, signs that producers are prepared to turn off the taps have motivated investors to take profits generated from bets on falling prices, a move known as covering a short position.

Chesapeake on Monday said it will immediately curtail 0.5 billion cubic feet a day of gas production, or about 8% of its total output, adding that it could cut an additional 0.5 billion cubic feet a day.

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free market manipulation

yup

Federal reports highlight untapped energy potential of Maine tides, waves (

http://bangordailynews.com/2012/01/20/business/federal-reports-highlight-untapped-energy-potential-of-maine-tides-waves/?ref=latest

ELLSWORTH, Maine — The waves and tidal currents off the coast of Maine represent a vast, largely untapped energy resource capable of producing more than 15 trillion watts of electricity per year, according to two federal reports.

Maine’s turbulent oceans and surging tidal rivers have long been regarded as enormous pools of renewable energy. Two recent reports from the U.S. Department of Energy attempt to attach a figure to that potential in Maine and across the country as both policymakers and energy developers seek new, more environmentally friendly ways to meet the nation’s energy demands.

The two separate assessments of potential wave energy and tidal energy sources in Maine determined that if developed to their maximum potential those sources could contribute more than 15 terawatt-hours of electricity annually. Nationwide, the total theoretical generation capacity was more than 1,400 terawatt-hours per year, which is roughly one-third of the nation’s annual electricity use.

Federal officials acknowledged that those are theoretical figures and that not all the potential resources could realistically be tapped. But they said the reports showed the potential for expanding the nation’s use of hydropower of all types to generate electricity — and that Maine could play a major role in that expansion.

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