Published on August 23rd, 2013 | by Zachary Shahan1
Cleantech Buffet (… 15 Solar Energy Facts To Know, US 39% Energy Efficient …)
Here’s some readin’ fun for your Friday or weekend pleasure, to supplement CleanTechnica‘s 10–15 daily articles.
We all like to think of ourselves as rational people, but the fact of the matter is that we all make economic decisions that are not rational at all. But many of these decisions are so common or engrained in our way of life that we don’t even realize it.
Consider this: would you walk in to an auto dealership and just tell the auto dealer that you want to buy a car (no more details than that) and then buy whatever he wants to sell you? Or even more appropriate to the point I’m going to make, would you be cool with an auto dealer sending you a car and then charging you for it — no discussion or negotiation regarding price, no discussion regarding what kind of car you want, no discussion regarding the fuel economy of the car, no discussion about anything?
If you’ve missed many of the articles we’ve published over the past couples months, I figured it was a good time to catch you up on some things. Below are 15 solar statistics or key facts that I think are worth your consideration.
Visit one of the world’s largest solar projects from your couch? For those of you curious to see the progress at BrightSource’s Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System (ISEGS) in California’s Mojave Desert up close, but leery of the hot Mojave sun, we have great news. Now you can visit Ivanpah from your computer. A new virtual tour of the Ivanpah project brings the world’s largest solar thermal plant to life on the web.
On July 31st a furious, indiscriminate sell-off began in the solar sector. The sell-off did not appear to be triggered by any specific news but it was, rather, a broader consolidation. Since then, the biggest names in the industry have seen their share prices plummet (SPWR -24.7%, SCTY-16.1%, FSLR -21.1%).
Despite the ferocious consolidation, there is no doubt about future growth in the solar industry. Solar installations continue to increase exponentially in the US. The average industry growth rate has been around 40%/year over the past eight years.
From the end of 2010 until the first quarter of this year, leading Chinese solar companies were able to drop the cost of manufacturing multicrystalline solar modules by 54 percent.
Their ability to finally break the dollar-per-watt barrier in 2011 and continue moving costs downward through 2013 came from one simple factor: price crashes for key materials.
Wind producers in Iowa say they want a level playing field when it comes to tax breaks. They even would go so far as to push for cutting tax breaks for other energy producers, including oil and gas, Iowa Wind Energy Association executive director Harold Prior said in an interview with IowaWatch.
“Do a long-term extension of the production tax credit at the federal level and the investment tax credit for wind,” Prior said. “Failing that, remove the tax incentives, both within the tax code and outside the tax code, for all other generators of electricity so that we have a level playing field on which to compete.”
Prior, whose state is the nation’s third-highest wind energy producer behind Texas and California, said he knows there is little chance that Congress will repeal tax breaks for other fuel producers but wind producers are in a fight about equity.
“Should we be picking winners and losers through government subsidies? Probably not,” he said. “So if we’re not going to subsidize any generator, that’s fine. If we’re going to subsidize some generators, we ought to subsidize them all.”
As part of a previously announced master supply agreement, Vestas will manufacture and supply its first V110-2.0 MW wind turbines for a combined 400 MW to EDP Renováveis (EDPR) for wind-energy projects in the United States.
Offshore wind power is currently the most expensive type of renewable electricity being rolled out on a grand scale in Germany. Experts now say costs can be further reduced by a third. So when will the feed-in tariffs be lowered?
EVs & Hybrids
We buy cell phones because we need to communicate. Why do we buy electric cars? Interesting question asked by GfK to the global community.
Many who follow the progress of plug-in electric cars wonder why Toyota, despite its leadership in hybrids, lags other carmakers in its electric vehicles.
The business principle of The Innovator’s Dilemma suggests that the company has been slow to embrace electric cars not despite its hybrid leadership, but because of it.
And the biological phenomenon known as Kleiber’s Law may suggest that Toyota has no cause for concern… just yet.
Despite being closely connected to the electric vehicle pioneers atNissan, Infiniti is taking the slow road to bringing an EV to market. Last month, the first Infiniti EV – to be based on the LE concept from the 2012 New York Auto Show – was delayed to add better tech. Infiniti president Johan De Nysschen wants to make it perfectly clear that this delay is both intentional and in no way a cancellation.
No matter who spins it, sustainable LEED construction has captured the attention of many people, impacting the design of everything from HVAC systems to building envelopes, from renewable energy use to LED (light-emitting diodes) lighting.
LEDs were previously known as the eco-friendly, expensive little diodes that are not overly powerful. Sure, they were not too bright, but they were a good option because they consume little electricity and last a long time right? Well that is not entirely true anymore!LED Lighting has come a long way in the past decade.
With the growing trend towards becoming green and the emergence of energy audits and energy scores, people are left wondering, “What does it all mean and why should I care?” The short answer to the question is; if you care about your financial status and environmental health then you care about your energy score.
An updated analysis published last month by the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory suggests that the U.S. is just 39 percent energy efficient.
Put another way, more than half (61 percent) of the energy that flows through our economy is ultimately wasted.