Modern civilisation has brought us electricity, electronic games, electronic music and the future looks very bright with solar electricity.
Look how far we’ve come !
“The White House Blog : The First Large-Scale Solar Energy Plants on Public Lands : Posted by Secretary Ken Salazar on October 05, 2010 : Today, we took a big step on our nation’s path to clean energy future with the approval of the first large-scale solar energy plants ever to be built on public lands. The Tessera Solar Imperial Valley Solar Project and the Chevron Energy Solutions Lucerne Valley Solar Project will both be built in the sunny California desert. Together, the projects could produce up to 754 megawatts of renewable energy, power 226,000 – 566,000 American homes, and support almost 1,000 new jobs. These two projects reflect the priority President Obama has placed on growing America’s clean energy economy. From spurring the deployment of energy-saving windows and advanced batteries for cars to installing solar panels on the White House roof, the Administration is incentivizing and promoting clean energy technology on a historic scale. At the Department of the Interior, we have a special responsibility to help lead this effort. As stewards of our nation’s public lands, we oversee deserts, plains, and oceans that can make significant contributions to our nation’s renewable energy portfolio…”
“Here comes the sun: White House to go solar : By DINA CAPPIELLO : 05 October 2010 : WASHINGTON — Solar power is coming to President Barack Obama’s house. : The most famous residence in America, which has already boosted its green credentials by planting a garden, plans to install solar panels atop the White House’s living quarters. The solar panels are to be installed by spring 2011, and will heat water for the first family and supply some electricity. The plans will be formally announced later Tuesday by White House Council on Environmental Quality Chairwoman Nancy Sutley and Energy Secretary Steven Chu. Former Presidents Jimmy Carter and George W. Bush both tapped the sun during their days in the White House. Carter in the late 1970s spent $30,000 on a solar water-heating system for West Wing offices. Bush’s solar systems powered a maintenance building and some of the mansion, and heated water for the pool. Obama, who has championed renewable energy, has been under increasing pressure to lead by example by installing solar at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, something White House officials said has been under consideration since he first took office. The decision perhaps has more import now after legislation to reduce global warming pollution died in the Senate, despite the White House’s support. Obama has vowed to try again on a smaller scale…”
“Solar System tops off efficient NREL building : October 4, 2010 – Solar panels are being installed on roof of Research Support Facility to help building generate as much electricity as it uses. While RSF adds 222,000 square feet of office space to NREL campus, building’s energy use only increases NREL’s overall consumption by 6%. The 1.6 MW photovoltaic system comprises more than 1,800 panels soaking in 240 W of sun each. Additional PV will be installed on RSF expansion and on nearby garage and parking lot to help zero out energy equation.”
“Obama will soon put solar panels atop the White House”
“SOLAR POWER INTERNATIONAL, 12 – 14 October 2010, Los Angeles, California, USA”
“Germany Adds Nearly 1% of Electricity Supply with Solar in Eight Months : by Paul Gipe, Contributor : Published: 04 October 2010…”
“Solar power: Photovoltaic panels make strides in the drive for a sunnier future : By Sarah Murray : Published: September 12 2010 : Germany is hardly the world’s sunniest country. Yet for the past decade, its homeowners have put so many photovoltaic panels on their roofs, that last year they accounted for more than half of installations worldwide. The German example demonstrates the power of policy, since a range of generous subsidies has driven the market. However, other factors lie behind the rise of solar power as a competitive form of energy. First, the cost of the technology has fallen, partly because of increased production in China, where the price of photovoltaic equipment has dropped sharply. But in addition, manufacturing techniques have improved and volumes have increased to meet growing demand, with European companies establishing large facilities in Singapore and Malaysia. “Once prices go down, they stick,” says Jonathan Johns, director of Climate Change Matters. “And it’s easier technologically to reduce prices in solar than in other technologies. With wind, you have more conventional mechanical moving parts, as well as steel and other inputs.” Solar power’s advantage is not limited to the cost of the equipment, however. The localised nature of solar power generation – on rooftops and in back yards – allows for the use of net metering, a system that lets consumers feed excess energy back into the electricity grid. Innovative payment mechanisms have also helped increase the uptake of solar power by the commercial sector. In the US, this has been facilitated by the power purchase agreement model developed by SunEdison, an energy services company…Mr Resch cites the US example as demonstrating the power of policy to drive markets. Following an uncertain regime of tax credits for many years, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act guaranteed a federal tax credit for solar power until 2016. “That resulted in an increase of more than 100 per cent in the residential solar market in 2009 despite the recession,” he says. Given the power of policy, the question for governments is how and when to reduce subsidies, which are costly. Spain’s reduction of its solar power subsidy in 2008 dented the industry. And the crisis in public finances has prompted renewed discussions of a reduction. Meanwhile, Germany has made subsidy cuts for solar power, albeit smaller ones than originally proposed. “The challenge for regulators will be managing the transition,” says Mr Johns. But while experts and analysts acknowledge the importance of policy decisions on energy, most agree that solar power is likely to continue to increase its market share. The International Energy Agency estimates solar electricity could represent 20 to 25 per cent of global electricity production by 2050.”