Global Solar Council: Solar Industry peak body founded
A number of major players from the global solar photovoltaics (PV) industry have announced the formation of a Global Solar Council (GSC). The goal of the GSC’s establishment is to promote the sustainable, cost-competitive expansion of global development of solar power through encouraging the use of supportive government policies and trade environments.
Origin Energy CEO Grant King has suggested that Australia should consider reducing its target of 20% renewable energy production by 2020 under the Federal Government’s Renewable Energy Target (RET). Thanks to rising electricity prices and expected associated demand reductions, plus accelerated uptake of rooftop solar PV systems and solar hot water, Origin claims that Australia will overshoot the target by 6%. But is this really the case?
Carnarvon, Western Australia, once a poster child for all that can go wrong when too much distributed solar power has been connected to the grid, has just powered up a 290kW solar power plant to help meet the area’s electricity demand. The Carnarvon Solar Power Plant is the first of its type to win a power purchase agreement (PPA) with Horizon Power, the electricity retailer and primary electricity generator for the state’s northwestern power grid.
The last remaining operational nuclear power plant in Japan has been shut down for routine maintenance and testing, leaving the country nuclear-free for the first time in over 40 years. The country has a total of 50 nuclear reactors, and was once the world’s 3rd largest user nuclear power. Facing power shortages of up to 20% this summer, Japan will have to resort to electricity demand reduction and the possibility of rolling blackouts. Rooftop, distributed solar photovoltaic (PV) generation is already growing quickly in Japan, and can be expected to continue on the upward trajectory thanks to the county’s nation-wide Solar Feed-in Tariff and growing anti-nuclear sentiments.
Hybrid geothermal-solar plant enters operation in Nevada
A unique hybrid geothermal-solar photovoltaics (PV) plant is now producing power in Churchill County, Nevada. Although Nevada is home to a number of geothermal power plants, the hybrid Stillwater plant is the first anywhere in the world to set up the two technologies side-by-side.
Speculation about accelerated reduction to Federal Solar Credits rebate
Financial incentives for solar PV systems through the Federal Government’s Solar Credits REC multiplier are likely to be prematurely reduced, according to industry experts Solar Business Services. A premature reduction will mean potential price increases of up to 37% from current rates for smaller, less expensive systems. As the REC multiplier only applies to the first 1.5 kilowatts (kW) of a solar system’s capacity, the cost of smaller systems will be disproportionately affected by such a premature reduction.
A collaboration between Natcore Tech and the US Renewable Energy Lab (NREL) has birthed the darkest silicon solar cells in the world. The cells absorb 99.7% of all light that occurs on its surface–only 0.3% of light is reflected. By comparison, most solar cells commercially available today absorb just 95% of incident irradiation.
Dealing with the issue of partial shading on solar panels
Although it probably goes without saying, shading is not good for solar panels. A shadow cast on even just part of one solar panel in your solar array can potentially compromise the output of the whole system. What are some strategies for dealing with potential shading of solar arrays?
90kW solar-powered catamaran PlanetSolar finishes its around-the-world-journey
An ambitious project showcasing the potential of solar PV has just come to a close. Pulling into Monaco on 4 May 2012, MS Turanor PlanetSolar catamaran has become the first vehicle to complete an around-the-world trip relying only on the power of the sun.
SolGuard: Holistic solar system management software
SolGuard is a comprehensive solar PV system performance monitoring and management solution that is compatible with a wide range of components that are already widely available and used in systems throughout the world–brand name inverters, weather sensors, security systems, and more. The SolGuard software platform is a smart investment for both smaller, residential PV system owners, as well as commercial-scale solar power system operators who require a way to maximise the output of solar systems located at one or across multiple sites. SolGuard not only monitors system production; it also provides rapid diagnostics and troubleshooting assistance.
The economics of solar farming in NSW and Queensland
Building and operating a solar farm could be a wise investment for residents of both Queensland and NSW who have the space and are looking for a passive income source or a way to reduce expenses. Is solar farming right for you?
Finding the best solar PV system deals in: Rockhampton, Qld and Coonabarabran, NSW
2 articles detailing the benefits of having a solar PV system installed on homes or businesses in different areas of Australia.
All Australians with eligible grid-connected solar systems may receive upfront rebates in the form of Renewable Energy Certificates. (Keep in mind that the Federal Solar Credits rebate will be reduced for systems installed after 1 July 2012.) Additionally, the Queensland state governments also offers a Solar Feed-in incentive scheme. In NSW, money can be saved on electricity bill by using solar power at home while the system is producing power (i.e. when the sun is shining).
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