2019 Was a Record Year for U.S. Solar Power

solar panelsThe expansion of solar-powered electricity in the U.S. broke major records last year, accounting for nearly 40% of all new generating capacity. And total installed photovoltaic (PV) power is expected to more than double in the next five years, according to an annual report released today by the Solar Energy Industries Association and Wood Mackenzie, a global energy research and consulting firm. Continue reading “2019 Was a Record Year for U.S. Solar Power”

Florida approves ‘largest’ community solar project in US

solar energy productionFlorida Power & Light Company (FPL) is set to develop the “largest” community solar project in the US after receiving the go-ahead from state regulators.

FPL’s project will comprise 20 solar plants with a cumulative capacity of 1.49GW. Construction costs are pegged at US$1.752 billion, or US$1,176 per kW.

In a statement, FPL CEO Eric Silagy touted the FPL Solar Together project as the “largest shared solar programme in the country,” with its approval marking “significant forward progress for the solar landscape of not only Florida but the entire United States.”

The development has been backed by solar advocacy groups Vote Solar and the Southern Alliance for Green Energy, as well as by local cities, counties, and prospective corporate customers, 7-Eleven and Walmart. Continue reading “Florida approves ‘largest’ community solar project in US”

UK solar heavyweights welcome ‘encouraging’ CfD return

solar panelsA collection of the UK’s solar stalwarts have welcomed the government’s consultation on allowing solar and onshore wind back into the Contracts for Difference (CfD) scheme.

Details on the consultation emerged on Tuesday (2 March 2020) before being fully unveiled that evening. The document details proposals to include so-called Pot I technologies into future allocation rounds after they were barred from the scheme after just the first allocation round. Continue reading “UK solar heavyweights welcome ‘encouraging’ CfD return”

Six Solar Energy Trends to Watch in the 2020s

For the last five years “repowering” solar sites has been expected to be the next big thing in large-scale projects, or the revamp and replacement of older parts.

Market researcher Wood Mackenzie says this should actually begin to take off in this decade as the global solar base ages.

“The repowering of solar systems allows for production of more electricity while using existing land, interconnection points and other infrastructure, leading to a lower levelised cost of electricity (LCOE),” analyst Lindsay Cherry said. Continue reading “Six Solar Energy Trends to Watch in the 2020s”

Why It’s Too Soon To Let Renewable Energy Subsidies Expire

sunset with wind turbinesRenewable energy is starting to lose its subsidies because it has proved that it can be as cheap and even cheaper than fossil fuels. For example, China and the United Kingdom, two of the most ardent supporters of green energy, have recently pulled back on subsidies, and the Trump administration in the United States would also like to. But while wind and solar power rates can cost less than traditional fuels, the subsidies are masking another problem — one that is becoming apparent as the subsidies are eliminated. Continue reading “Why It’s Too Soon To Let Renewable Energy Subsidies Expire”

Nuclear Power ‘Cannot Rival Renewable Energy’

nuclear power plantNuclear power is in terminal decline worldwide and will never make a serious contribution to tackling climate change, a group of energy experts argues.

Meeting recently in London at Chatham House, the UK’s Royal Institution of International Affairs, they agreed that despite continued enthusiasm from the industry, and from some politicians, the number of nuclear power stations under construction worldwide would not be enough to replace those closing down.

The industry was disappearing, they concluded, while the wind and solar sectors were powering ahead. Continue reading “Nuclear Power ‘Cannot Rival Renewable Energy’”

Denmark’s renewable energy use passes landmark and is poised to grow in 2020s

pic: Henning Bagger/Ritzau Scanpix

Over half of Denmark’s energy in 2019 came from renewable sources, marking the first time the country has hit the 50 percent mark.

Figures from 2019 show the landmark use of renewable energy.

In 2018, the country took 43.5 percent of its energy from solar and wind power, while the figure for 2017 was just under 46 percent.

The data comes from state-owned company Energinet, which runs Denmark’s power grid. Continue reading “Denmark’s renewable energy use passes landmark and is poised to grow in 2020s”

Breakthrough innovation enables cheaper solar energy production

solar energy breakthroughWhile the need for renewable energy around the world is growing exponentially, Lithuanian and German researchers have come up with a novel solution for developing low-cost solar technology. Material, synthesised by Kaunas University of Technology (KTU) Lithuania scientists, which self-assemble to form a molecular-thick electrode layer, presents a facile way of realising highly efficient perovskite single-junction and tandem solar cells. The licence to produce the material has been purchased by a Japanese company.

According to scientists, achieving perovskite-based solar cells, combining low price and high efficiency, has proven to be a difficult endeavour in the past. The particular challenge in large-scale production is the high price and limited versatility of the available hole-selective contacts. KTU chemists have addressed this challenge. Continue reading “Breakthrough innovation enables cheaper solar energy production”

BlackRock achieves record close of $1bn for renewable energy fund

Solar energy farmAmerican investment company BlackRock has announced that is has achieved $1bn for the first close of its Global Renewable Power III (GRP III) fund. The company stated that it has received commitments from 35 investors in Asia, Europe and North America.

GRP III is the third in a series of funds established by BlackRock to invest in renewable energy generation, energy storage and distribution, a market the group says is now mainstream for the power industry. Continue reading “BlackRock achieves record close of $1bn for renewable energy fund”

The benefits of renewable energy

Wind FarmSciTech Europa welcomes Steward McGrenary the director of Plunc, a high end electronics recycling company, to discuss the benefits of renewable energy.

Contrary to popular belief, renewable energy is not a new concept or recent fad. In fact, renewable energy has been successfully used for years, and has recently made impressive strides in technology, innovation, and efficiency.

However, as history would have it, the preferred method of energy use has always been the one that costs less upfront, as opposed to renewable energy, which keeps the environment cleaner and costs less in the long run. We are a society of immediacy. Continue reading “The benefits of renewable energy”