Solar technologies are broadly characterized as either passive solar or active solar depending on the way they capture, convert and distribute solar energy. Active solar techniques include the use of photovoltaic panels and solar thermal collectors to harness the energy. Passive solar techniques include orienting a building to the Sun, selecting materials with favorable thermal mass or light dispersing properties, and designing spaces that naturally circulate air.
In 2011, the International Energy Agency said that "the development of affordable, inexhaustible and clean solar energy technologies will have huge longer-term benefits. It will increase countries’ energy security through reliance on an indigenous, inexhaustible and mostly import-independent resource, enhance sustainability, reduce pollution, lower the costs of mitigating climate change, and keep fossil fuel prices lower than otherwise. These advantages are global. Hence the additional costs of the incentives for early deployment should be considered learning investments; they must be wisely spent and need to be widely shared".
DOE Finalizes $1.45 Billion Loan Guarantee for One of the World's Largest Solar Generation Plants
Project to Generate 250 Megawatts of Renewable Power and Create Nearly 1,700 Jobs
n.b. This project has been completed
Washington D.C. - U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu today announced a $1.45 billion loan guarantee has been finalized for Abengoa Solar Inc.'s Solana project, the world's largest parabolic trough concentrating solar plant. Located near Gila Bend, Arizona, the 250-megawatt (MW) project is the first large-scale solar plant in the United States capable of storing energy it generates. Solana will produce enough energy to serve 70,000 households and will avoid the emissions of 475,000 tons of carbon dioxide per year compared to a natural gas burning power plant.
"As the world's largest solar plant of its kind, the Abengoa's Solana project is playing an important role in creating jobs and clean energy for Arizona as well as fostering innovation in the U.S.," said Secretary Chu. "As today's announcement and other recent announcements of completed loan guarantees for wind and solar projects demonstrate, the Department's loan program is gaining momentum, creating jobs in communities across the country while putting us on the path to a clean energy future."
(Reuters) - Europe will import its first solar-generated electricity from North Africa within the next five years, European Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger said in an interview on Sunday. "Desertec as a whole is a vision for the next 20 to 40 years with investment of hundreds of billions of euros," said Oettinger.
The European Union is backing projects to turn the plentiful sunlight in the Sahara desert into electricity for power-hungry Europe, a scheme it hopes will help meet its target of deriving 20 percent of its energy from renewable sources in 2020. The amount of electricity would go up into the thousands of megawatts as projects including the 400 billion euro ($495 billion) Desertec solar scheme come on stream.
New materials technology has boosted the power conversion efficiency of cheap next-generation solar cells. Called dye-sensitised solar cells (DSSCs), reported efficiencies of 15% make them competitive with silicon photovoltaic cells. They create electricity from sunlight, mimicking the natural process of photosynthesis. They are made at low temperature, work in low light, are transparent, and can be printed onto flexible surfaces.
The technology uses a dye material called perovskite for energy-harvesting. It sits on a porous nanofilm of titanium dioxide (the stuff used to paint white lines on grass tennis courts) within the solar cell.
A solar farm constructed in one of Pocono Raceway's former parking lots will generate enough electricity to power the NASCAR facility as well as about 1,000 homes in the surrounding area, making it the largest solar-powered sports stadium in the world. Here is a picture (the solar cells are in the foreground).
US Senate Climate/Energy Legislation Update
Kerry-Lieberman American Power Act bill released today 12 May 2010; Ref: HERE.
Note added 31...
Carbon Capture and Storage (Sequestration)Last Updated on 2014-04-20 13:45:40
Carbon capture and storage (sequestration) or CCS
Background on CCS (EPA)
Will We Really Need Carbon Sequestration? Yes. Why?
BUT there is a Big Caveat - we can't use CCS as an excuse not to mitigate directly
What does Jim Hansen say?
More Information for point carbon capture and storage
Agriculture and Forestry Sequestration
What about Biochar for sequestration?
What about Hemp for sequestration?
Carbon Dioxide Air Capture and Storage
Genetically engineered Bacteria and CCS
And What About China's Use of Coal without sequestration?
Videos on CCS and coal plants
Background on CCS (EPA)
According to scientists, atmospheric build-up of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases as a result of human activities is changing the composition of the Earth's... More »
Climate Change Economics, Energy Finance Seminar 2012 - Fordham ULast Updated on 2011-11-20 00:00:00
The Fordham Climate Change Economics and Energy Finance Symposium, at the Fordham Center for Research in Contemporary Finance, was held on March 1, 2012.
The complete video of the Symposium, in two parts, is HERE
HERE is the program
HERE is the presentation by Jan Dash, UU-UNO Climate Initiative Chair
Fordham Climate Economics & Energy Finance Symposium 2012
Climate Change, Risk Management, and Science (DASH presentation, Fordham 2012)
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Climate Risk and UU IssuesLast Updated on 2011-09-04 00:00:00
Climate change is strongly linked to UU issues. So climate change should be "back on the front page" for UUs. This essay spells out the argument.
Picture of Eleanor Roosevelt with the Spanish text of the Universal Declaration in 1949 (Wikipedia)
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Renewable Energy and the US Stimulus Recovery ActLast Updated on 2010-09-04 00:00:00
Green Energy and the US Stimulus Recovery Act
The US Stimulus Recovery act has substantial support for Renewable Energy development, Energy Efficiency, Transportation and other innovative projects, as described HERE and HERE. The full report is HERE.
With over $787 billion in funding, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is one of the single boldest and largest investments in the U.S. economy in the nation’s history. The Recovery Act’s design was three-fold: to rescue a rapidly deteriorating economy; put the country on a path to recovery by putting Americans back to work quickly; and reinvest in the country’s long-term economic future, building a foundation for a new, more robust, and competitive American economy.
Within the Reinvestment spending of the Recovery Act, over $100 billion is invested in innovative and... More »
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