23 August 2012

Transformation technologies - E & T Magazine

Transformation technologies - What The Institution of Engineering and Technology assesses today.

A somewhat long but very good article summarises the current situation and - without bias - outlines the way forward. Here are a few snippets:

The challenge is to limit the temperature rise to a manageable 2°C. The ability to achieve this target is slipping away unless drastic action is taken over the coming decade, a sentiment echoed by a recent report by the International Energy Agency (IEA). In its annual Energy Technology Perspectives (ETP) it says that a host of new technologies is ready to transform the energy system, offering the potential to reduce carbon emissions drastically, enhance energy security and generate a huge investment return. But it goes on to warn that, despite some recent progress in deploying renewable energy, most clean-energy technologies are not on track to make their required contribution to reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and thereby provide a more secure energy system.
“While our efforts to bring about a clean energy transformation are falling further behind, I want to stress the golden opportunity before us: if significant policy action is taken, we can still achieve the huge potential for these technologies to reduce CO2 emissions and boost energy security,” said IEA executive director Maria van der Hoeven. “Now that we have identified the solution and the host of related benefits, and with the window of opportunity closing fast, when will governments wake up to the dangers of complacency and adopt the bold policies that radically transform our energy system? To do anything less is to deny our societies the welfare they deserve,” she said.
The pathway to sustainability is to limit the rise in temperature to 2°C. To give us an 80 per cent chance of reaching this reduced level of CO2 emissions must be cut down by more than half between 2009 and 2050.”
The most important recommendation in ETP 2012 is that a sustainable energy system needs to be smarter, more unified and more integrated than the present system. “To put it simply, today’s system, which is essentially fossil based, is centralised and one-directional,” Bo Diczfalusy, director of sustainable policy and technology, IEA, explains. “The system that we envisage for 2050 is multi-directional and more decentralised. 
Read the article in full and if you like save it as pdf to read later.

17 August 2012

Five things we learned this week .... : Renew Economy

Five things we learned this week .... : Renew Economy
One of which shows how we can save most:
"... the only real option for consumers to reduce their bills is through installing solar PV. Efficiency measures can deliver some reductions, but as the graph below shows, nothing compared to what is available through a rooftop system. "
Just look at the map, it tells a clear tale:
When do you start saving?

111MW Solar PV registered in July for Australia - SunWiz | Climate Spectator

111MW Solar PV registered in July for Australia - SunWiz | Climate Spectator

According to SunWiz's Solar PV Market Synopsis for August:
- July saw 111MW of PV registered across Australia, an almost-equivalent month of registration to June.
-Victoria is experiencing bouyant sales conditions

Good numbers indeed! With this speed collectively we are replacing a major coal-fired power plant per year, the established energy providers already see a strong decline in power demand in Australia, especially from black coal:

Good on us Solar Power People!

13 August 2012

Solar PV as Investment Object

Why I’ve Done a U-Turn on Solar Energy

"And as an investor, we believe now is the best time to buy, with solar stocks hitting all-time lows.
Make no mistake, investing in solar energy is a high-risk punt. But at these prices it’s a punt worth making for any speculator."

Do you have Dollars to spare? Are you up for investing in selected stocks? Maybe these guys are trustworthy to you, have a look at their website and maybe strike gold!

I'd like to add one more site that has a word in this sector:

However the time may have come to buy solar stocks again. Here's why. . .

Well, I'm not repeating what they have to say, read it for yourself :-)

10 August 2012

Germany Added 1.8 GW of PV in June, More Than 4 GW in 2012 : Greentech Media

Germany Added 1.8 GW of PV in June, More Than 4 GW in 2012

Almost 4.4 gigawatts (4,373.5 megawatts) of photovoltaic capacity were installed in Germany in the first half of 2012.

Mind boggling numbers!
They clearly demonstrate what is possible if there's a political will, with vision and a helping hand for starters: A generous FiT that's tailored down to wean the industry off from subsidies over time. Mission accomplished? Not yet, but it looks very well on track!

Small editorial note: The article quotes "14.7 kilowatt-hours generated by 1.2 million PV systems", that should read "14.7 billion kilowatt-hours generated by 1.2 million PV systems".

08 August 2012

Solar PV cost per GW compared to Nuclear

A comparison made by Daniel Simon

Often enough some groups claim that nuclear energy is cheaper than solar PV. Daniel Simon puts numbers of both technologies next to each other without boring us like accountants.

His conclusions are clear, however, the one unanswered question in his discussion is how great the effort (measured in dollars) is to dispose of the waste products (spent fuel, the installation itself at the end of its service life) of either tech is. While it is easily answered for solar PV (= $0), the true costs for properly disposing of nuclear waste should be part of the calculation.

Nevertheless a good article!

02 August 2012

How Much Solar Can China Install Domestically? 100GW by 2020?

A report by Greentech Media

If true, the solar glut is over. Prepare for price increases!

China's PV manufacturing facilities are vastly underutilized. A few Chinese firms might be allowed to fail by the government or encouraged to be acquired by larger, more stable entities. Suntech, LDK, and others are faced with mounting balance sheet issues.

The U.S. and the European Union are imposing tariffs on Chinese solar products, the incentive regimes in Germany and California are diminishing, and China is facing some fierce market realities.

Shyam Mehta made these observations and forecasts for the global PV market in GTM Research's most recent solar market report:
  • PV supply to be nearly 200 percent of demand in 2012, or 59 gigawatts of supply compared to 30 gigawatts of demand
  • Crystalline silicon (c-Si) module manufacturing costs to fall as low as $0.45 per watt by 2015 for Chinese Tier-1 suppliers
  • C-Si module average selling price (ASP) to dip to $0.61 per watt by 2015 from Chinese Tier-1 suppliers
  • Average c-Si module efficiency to hit 16.4 percent by 2015 compared to 14.9 percent today

Read the full article.