Blog RSS feed for this section

Wake up! Solar Electricity is the Future for clean energy

Solarbuzz Reports World Solar Photovoltaic Market Grew to 18.2 Gigawatts in 2010, Up 139% Y/Y.  Solar is the future here in America for our electricity needs. As electricity rates increase and fossil fuels deplete, solar makes sense for most applications.

Check out the awesome report from SolarBuzz, a prominent think tank within the industry

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif.—March 15, 2011—Worldwide solar photovoltaic (PV) market installations reached a record high of 18.2 gigawatts (GW) in 2010. This represents growth of 139% over the previous year, according to the annual PV market report, Marketbuzz® 2011, issued today by Solarbuzz, a California-based solar energy consultancy, and a part of The NPD Group.

http://www.solarbuzz.com/our-research/recent-findings/solarbuzz-reports-world-solar-photovoltaic-market-grew-182-gigawatts-20

 

Check out SolarBuzz for more great info

 

Solar Rally Might Fizzle After Nuclear Accident ‘Hysteria’

The rally in solar shares after Japan’s atomic accident may fizzle because the crisis won’t quickly boost demand for renewable power, investors including First Empire Asset Management’s Michael Obuchowski said.

“The hysteria that helped run up solar stocks was not warranted by the damage in Japan,” Obuchowski, chief investment officer of the Hauppauge, New York-based firm that owns shares inFirst Solar Inc. (FSLR), said in an interview. “Down the road it may lead to policy changes and the restoration of incentives, but I don’t see that happening yet.”

The Bloomberg Global Leaders Solar Index fell 1.6 percent today, having risen as much as 10 percent since March 11, when an earthquake and tsunami in Japan knocked out cooling systems at a Tokyo Electric Power Co. reactor, releasing radioactive pollution. While the incident triggered speculation governments will scale back nuclear power in favor of renewable, solar panel demand is stagnating.

Installations worldwide will climb 2.7 percent to 18.9 gigawatts this year after more than doubling last year, Bloomberg New Energy Finance estimates. Government decisions needed to push up demand faster aren’t likely to be made this year, said Tucker Twitmyer, who helps manage $400 million in clean energy investments at EnerTech Capital Partners.

Dependent on Government

“Solar is still so dependent on government incentives I don’t think we’ll see any real boost to sales in the short term,” Twitmyer said from the fund’s base in Conshohocken, Pennsylvania. “The real winners will be natural gas and energy efficiency.”

Tempe, Arizona-based First Solar, the world’s biggest supplier of thin-film panels, climbed 10 percent since the accident through yesterday and China’s Trina Solar Ltd. (TSL) rose 20 percent. First Solar was down 2 percent to $150.98 as of 12:37 p.m. and Trina sank 3.6 percent to $26.88. The Bloomberg solar index dropped 1.7 percent to 112.66 points.

Germany has idled seven reactors and said it would review plans to extend the life of other plants. Britain, Spain, China and India also are considering the lessons they can learn from the accident, which may delay efforts to expand nuclear power there.

Setback for Nuclear

While that’s a setback for nuclear energy, it will take longer for a shift toward renewable power supplies because the cost of wind and solar remains too high to compete without subsidies, John Rowe, chief executive officer of Exelon Corp. (EXC), said in an interview at Bloomberg’s headquarters in New York.

“What’s happening in Japan will definitely increase demand for solar and wind,” said Rowe, whose Chicago-based company is the biggest U.S. operator of nuclear plants. “Right now, though, the prices are too high to compete with natural gas, which is the real queen here.”

Germany, France, Spain and Britain are curbing incentives for solar energy, and legislation that would have mandated more renewable energy use stalled in the U.S. last year.

New natural gas turbines can produce power for about $60 a megawatt-hour, which is 28 percent cheaper than new wind power and 75 percent less than solar photovoltaic panels, New Energy Finance estimates.

Gas-fired generation is the likeliest beneficiary in the U.S. from the crisis in Japan, said Angus McCrone, chief editor at New Energy Finance in LondonChina will shift its focus for the 2020s further into efficiency, wind and coal with carbon capture and storage, the technology that traps and buries coal- burning emissions, he said.

Seismic Risk

“The U.S. and China are likely to persevere with current reactor building plans, but long-term nuclear expansion in both countries will be scaled back and subject to higher seismic risk hurdles,” McCrone said.

The Obama administration plans to expand a loan guarantee program for nuclear plants to $36 billion, from an existing $18.5 billion, U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu said in a congressional hearing on March 16.

“It shouldn’t make any noticeable difference to short term PV demand,” said Jenny Chase, solar analyst at New Energy Finance. In the longer term, “consumers will find solar levies a sweeter pill to swallow if they think the alternative is more nuclear power.””

To contact the reporter on this story: Christopher Martin in New York atcmartin11@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Reed Landberg at landberg@bloomberg.net

 

Onions and Solar Electricity. It makes sense

Prudent Energy Announces Megawatt-Class Energy Storage Project with Major Food Processing Company in California

Washington, DC – December 13, 2010Prudent Energy announced today that it will install a 600-kilowatt Vanadium Redox Battery (VRB™) energy storage system at one of the largest fresh-cut onion processing plants in the world. Gills Onions, located in Oxnard, California, will use Prudent Energy’s patented VRB™ technology and know-how to reduce electricity costs and build on its award-winning sustainable energy program, which serves as a model for the food industry.

Prudent’s VRB Energy Storage System (VRB-ESS™) will improve the efficiency of an
existing Advanced Energy Recovery System (AERS) located on Gills’ 14-acre property that turns daily onion waste into biogas, which in turn feeds into two 300-kilowatt fuel cells to produce ultra-clean heat and power. The VRB-ESS™ will also provide the Gills facility with emergency backup power and reduce the company’s need to draw electricity from the grid when rates are highest. As a result, Gills Onions is expected to save hundreds of thousands of dollars each year in operating expenses.

Prudent Energy Services Corporation, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Bethesda, Maryland- based Prudent Energy Corporation, will build, own and operate the VRB-ESS™ in return for a share of the energy savings resulting from the project. Those energy savings are calculated as the avoided charges, costs and fees that would otherwise be paid by Gills to the local utility. These charges can be very high given the facility’s energy-intensive, round-the-clock operation.

“We are extremely pleased to host a VRB™ system at Gills as an expansion of our Advanced Energy Recovery System,” said Steve Gill, the company’s President. “Energy storage has become an absolutely essential part of integrating renewables into the electricity grid reliably and efficiently, and Prudent Energy’s system does this very well. Prudent has also shown it will stand behind its product and share the financial risk of putting these projects into the field, so their commercial and environmental benefits can be realized as quickly as possible.”

Prudent Energy’s VRB-ESS™ will provide clean power on demand for maximum periods of six hours, equivalent to 3.6 megawatt-hours of capacity. To build the installation, Prudent will use low-cost, proprietary system components from its manufacturing facility and source other manufactured products and services from California and elsewhere in the United States.

Jeff Pierson, Senior Vice President at Prudent Energy, indicated that Prudent will begin construction on the Gills project by the end of the year. “With our first megawatt-class VRB™ project in California, we’ll look toward similar projects in the US that will expand renewable energy facilities and reduce electricity costs,” said Pierson.

About Prudent Energy

Prudent Energy is the designer, manufacturer, and integrator of the patented VRB Energy Storage Systems (VRB-ESS™) – a large-capacity, long life, advanced energy storage system. With its US headquarters in the Washington, DC area, Prudent is deploying clean energy storage solutions for both kW-Class and MW-Class power applications throughout the world. Unlike other flow battery systems, the energy-holding electrolyte in Prudent’s VRB™ systems operates at room temperature and never wears out. In addition, customers only buy the capacity they need and can easily add energy and power in modular fashion, making the VRB-ESS™ an ideal choice for renewable energy resource integration, remote area power supplies, and smart grids.

About Gills Onions, LLC

Founded in 1983, Gills Onions is one of the nation’s largest, family-owned onion growers and operates one of the largest, most sustainable fresh-cut onion processing plants in the world. In concert with sister company Rio Farms, the Gill brothers manage over 15,000 acres of farmland and 300,000 square feet of processing and warehouse facilities. Gills Onions is committed to continuous process improvement to positively impact the air, land, water, energy, and communities they rely upon for their livelihood.

Gills Onions – Oxnard, CA

REC Solar Modules Ranked As Top Performer in the PV Market place

Our panels are once again ranked at the top for Photovoltaic Panels! These are the panels that we will install in your application.

REC solar modules generated more electricity than 30 other leading modules, producing 6 percent more power on average. REC was ranked best in test for five out of twelve months.

“The Photon test results clearly demonstrate the industry leading performance of REC solar modules,” said John Andersen, Jr., Executive Vice President and Group COO, REC.REC is uniquely positioned in the solar industry ensuring consistently high quality with full integration of the entire solar value chain from polysilicon to cells, wafers, modules and systems.

The Photon Field Performance Test measures how many kilowatt hours of electricity a module generates during one year in real life conditions in the field.Three modules from each supplier are tested in an outside location in Germany.

The Photon test is currently the most recognized field performance test comparing international solar module brands over several years. Using scientific methodology, the test helps consumers select the best module supplier based on product performance in the field.

The test results underpin the bank ability of REC modules as additional output allows the consumer to more quickly see a return on their investment.

REC plans to produce 750 MW of solar modulesin 2011, an increase of 50% compared to 2010.

Solar installation photos with American Solar Direct. If you want these photos in hi-res please contact, we'd gladly to send you a zip file.