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Energy Net

Solar power cheaper than new nuclear plants, study says | Chattanooga Times Free Press - 1 views

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    "Aided by federal and state tax breaks, solar energy will be cheaper than building new nuclear power plants, according to a North Carolina study released today. Dr. John Blackburn, the emeritus chair of economics and former chancellor of Duke University, said the costs of new nuclear plants continues to rise while electricity generated from solar voltaic panels is only half the cost of 12 years ago. In a study commissioned by the environmental group NC Warn, Dr. Blackburn estimates that the cost of new nuclear plants is now about 16 cents per kilowatt-hour and headed higher while solar energy can be generated with rooftop panels and solar farms in North Carolina for a comparable rate and solar costs are trending down. Solar costs are cut by about one-third because of state and federal tax credits, but Dr. Blackburn said the nuclear industry also benefits by federally backed insurance, loan guarantees and research assistance. "The message is that solar is here and now and not something exotic for the future," Dr. Blackburn said."
Energy Net

Solar Photovoltaics (PV) is Cost-Competitive Now | The GW Solar Institute - 0 views

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    "I hear that PV really costs about 40 c/kWh, at least that's what so many people who have their 2 cents to add to the energy debate have to say about it. And then all of Chicago cringes, and with them, the Obama administration. I would quit if PV cost 40 c/kWh. After 30 years of working in PV, I would quit. It's true that it's hard to understand what PV costs, since we don't know what dollars per watt means in cents per kWh, and we don't know what it means in different locations. Put simply, there are some locations where PV costs 40 c/kWh; and there are some where it costs a third of that. There is no one price for PV, because sunlight varies, and system costs vary with size and design. Large systems are cheaper than small ones. So some nudnik from the oil or coal industries can stand up and say, PV is 40 c/kWh and not be lying. And I can say it is 13 c/kWh and not be lying, and all without a cent of incentives, not even traditional depreciation."
Energy Net

City of Houston Reneges on NRG Solar Energy Deal | Cooler Planet News - 0 views

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    Back in September, the City of Houston agreed to buy all the solar power from a proposed NRG $40-million solar plant on a 25-year power purchase agreement, or PPA. The deal called for NRG to foot the bill for the plant, and the city to pay for the power at a rate of 8.2 cents per kilowatt-hour for the first year. What this meant, in real-world terms, was that NRG would supplant some of the solar output with power from other plants, giving the city an effective rate of 8.2 cents, though the agreement overall calls for Houston to pay 19.8 cents per kilowatt-hour. If built, the 10-megawatt solar plant would have been the biggest in the state, providing up to 1.5 percent of the city's electrical needs at a locked-in price on 90 percent of production - a fixed rate that would have served the city well if Reliant Energy raised its rates due to rising costs of oil, gas or coal. Reliant Energy's generation mix is 39.8 percent, followed by natural gas at 23 percent and coal at 22.5 percent - the former two prices likely to rise as the recession eases and tension over Middle East oil prices and production rises.
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    Back in September, the City of Houston agreed to buy all the solar power from a proposed NRG $40-million solar plant on a 25-year power purchase agreement, or PPA. The deal called for NRG to foot the bill for the plant, and the city to pay for the power at a rate of 8.2 cents per kilowatt-hour for the first year. What this meant, in real-world terms, was that NRG would supplant some of the solar output with power from other plants, giving the city an effective rate of 8.2 cents, though the agreement overall calls for Houston to pay 19.8 cents per kilowatt-hour. If built, the 10-megawatt solar plant would have been the biggest in the state, providing up to 1.5 percent of the city's electrical needs at a locked-in price on 90 percent of production - a fixed rate that would have served the city well if Reliant Energy raised its rates due to rising costs of oil, gas or coal. Reliant Energy's generation mix is 39.8 percent, followed by natural gas at 23 percent and coal at 22.5 percent - the former two prices likely to rise as the recession eases and tension over Middle East oil prices and production rises.
Energy Net

Germany to Cut Solar Subsidies in 2010, Pfeiffer Says (Update2) - Bloomberg.com - 0 views

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    Germany's next government plans to reduce incentives to generate solar power as early as 2010, the energy spokesman for Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats said. Shares of Bonn-based Solarworld AG and Q-Cells SE based in Thalheim fell after Joachim Pfeiffer said that Solar capacity has "massively increased" by about 3000 megawatts this year at the same time as the price of solar-power panels has plummeted. The government is "obliged" to address the matter, Pfeiffer told reporters in Berlin today. "We will review the overall renewable energy law in 2011 but will undertake reductions in solar subsidies taking effect as soon as next year," Pfeiffer said after a meeting of a group negotiating energy policy for the next four years for Merkel's prospective coalition with the Free Democratic Party.
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    Germany's next government plans to reduce incentives to generate solar power as early as 2010, the energy spokesman for Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats said. Shares of Bonn-based Solarworld AG and Q-Cells SE based in Thalheim fell after Joachim Pfeiffer said that Solar capacity has "massively increased" by about 3000 megawatts this year at the same time as the price of solar-power panels has plummeted. The government is "obliged" to address the matter, Pfeiffer told reporters in Berlin today. "We will review the overall renewable energy law in 2011 but will undertake reductions in solar subsidies taking effect as soon as next year," Pfeiffer said after a meeting of a group negotiating energy policy for the next four years for Merkel's prospective coalition with the Free Democratic Party.
Energy Net

The power of the desert - Las Vegas Sun - 0 views

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    People unfamiliar with Nevada's vast desert often find it more difficult to see what is there than to imagine what could be superimposed on the seemingly endless landscape. Nuclear waste wedged inside a mountain. Towering mushroom clouds. A network of nuclear missiles covering 10,000 square miles. These days, a very different image is evoked for 10,000 square miles of Nevada desert: a 100-mile-by-100-mile square of solar panels, enough to furnish the entire country with electricity.
Energy Net

ZNet - Solar & Wind Power - 0 views

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    Most climate experts accept that, in order to avoid catastrophic effects of global warming, greenhouse gas emissions (mostly CO2) must be cut by 60-80% by 2050 (though the figure may need to be a 95% cut in the US). The belief that replacing fossil fuels with solar and wind technology can accomplish this reduction tends to overlook several factors: 1. Corporations bombard the world with the message that everyone should consume like Americans do; 2. Corporations tell those in the US that they should ape after the playthings of the rich; 3. Population is growing; 4. Market economics force pathological expansion; and, 5. Solar and wind comprise a minute fraction of current energy. Let's combine these to get an idea of how much solar and wind would need to expand to replace coal, oil, nukes and gas by 2050. First, the US consumes about 25% of the world's energy while having only 5% of the world's population. For the rest of the world to consume at the rate of the US would require global production to increase by a factor of 6.33.
Energy Net

Foreign Policy: The Top 10 Stories You Missed in 2008 - 0 views

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    Think switching to solar energy will make you green? Think again. Many of the newest solar panels are manufactured with a gas that is 17,000 times more potent than carbon dioxide in contributing to global warming. Nitrogen trifluoride, or NF3, is used for cleaning microcircuits during the manufacture of a host of modern electronics, including flat-screen TVs, iPhones, computer chips-and thin-film solar panels, the latest (and cheapest) generation of solar photovoltaics. (Time named the panels one of the best inventions of 2008.) Because industry estimates suggested that only about 2 percent of NF3 ever made it into the atmosphere, the chemical has been marketed as a cleaner alternative to other higher-emitting options. For the past decade, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has actively encouraged its use. NF3 also wasn't deemed dangerous enough to be covered by the Kyoto Protocol, making it an attractive substitute for companies and signatory countries eager to lower their emissions footprints.
Energy Net

TVA solicits clean energy | The Tennessean - 0 views

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    The Tennessee Valley Authority wants proposals from companies to supply up to 2,000 megawatts of power from renewable and clean energy sources - almost as much as could be produced by 1½ nuclear power plants. Anyone that could provide at least one megawatt -enough to power about 350 homes - is asked to respond. Advertisement TVA, which supplies virtually all of Tennessee's electricity, gets less than 1 percent of its power from solar, wind or methane, while its hydroelectric dams are responsible for 6 percent to 10 percent, depending on rainfall.
Energy Net

The 10 big energy myths | Environment | The Guardian - 0 views

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    There has never been a more important time to invest in green technologies, yet many of us believe these efforts are doomed to failure. What nonsense, writes Chris Goodall
Energy Net

Sunshine State sees the light with solar | The News-Press - 0 views

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    It's a nice motto and all, but when it comes to harvesting those rays through rooftop solar panels, Florida might as well coat itself in sunblock. Three myths have put Florida in the dark: * Expensive: An average photovoltaic rooftop system on a home costs $20,000 to $30,000. The federal government offers tax credits, though, and Florida offers cash rebates so popular that a backlog of homeowners are waiting for theirs.
Energy Net

Solar sector shakeout looms as credit crunch bites: ENN -- Know Your Environment - 0 views

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    Many of the world's solar energy companies could fail or fall into the arms of stronger rivals as the financial crisis raises borrowing costs and as solar module prices fall. Any such shake-out would in turn precipitate consolidation in the industry, which has for years been attracting heavy investment and government subsidies that have driven supply ahead of demand.
Energy Net

TG Daily - Researchers claim "near perfect" absorption of sunlight - 0 views

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    Scientists at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have found a way to trap more than nine out of ten photons hitting a solar panel: A new anti-reflective coating for solar panels could not only send mechanisms that adjust the angle of solar panels to the sun into retirement, but also hold the promise to come up with much more efficient solar panels than those available today.
Energy Net

10 Solar Lending Programs in 10 Locations - 0 views

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    It's a question we've heard a lot lately: "Who will lend me money to finance solar installations?" In fact, a couple of our readers, Reeves and Byron, were kind enough to send comments on the subject: "We've heard there are some articles out there showing that if you get the right kind of financing, your solar installation can be cash flow positive right away. Problem is, I can't find those articles."
Energy Net

Solar panels are new hot property for thieves | Environment | The Guardian - 0 views

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    Glenda Hoffman has an answer for the thieves, should they choose to return to her home in Desert Hot Springs, California. "I have a shotgun right next to the bed and a .22 under my pillow." Hoffman was the victim of a theft that one industry professional has dubbed "the crime of the future". Another observer has come up with the term "grand theft solar" to describe the spate of recent burglaries in sunny California.
Energy Net

Political winds buffet California ballot measures on energy [National Wind Watch] - 0 views

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    Two of the world's richest men bankroll alternative-energy initiatives on the November ballot. Each is opposed by some of the very champions of those alternatives. Adding to the confusion, both measures carry "renewable energy" in their titles.
Energy Net

The Renewable Revolution: World's Biggest Solar Farm Is About to Open-Is the End of Oil... - 0 views

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    The world's largest solar photovoltaic farm is strangely beautiful. Fields lined with solar panels tilting sunward seem almost like a massive environmental art project-one with an empowering message to the world. We can find ways to run the world predominantly on clean energy if we choose to. It's already beginning. By 2020, Portugal plans to generate over a third of its energy from renewables, with that percentage increasing every year.
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