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Electrek green energy brief: no new coal for Europe, solar as standard home appliance, more

Edmonton structure’s south facing facade made of solar glass – Header image above is from Google Street View, October 2016. The system, composed of 500 solar panels, cost $400,000 and will pay for itself in five years. Overall the combination of solar energy collected and additional natural light reduced the projected energy use by 80%. The technology – Building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) – is the same thing as the Tesla Solar Roof. If the technologies are sound enough for architects to integrate at time of design – this will proliferate. In the area of 600-900,000 new houses and 70-100,000 new commercial buildings in the US each year – that’s a lot of solar potential.

2,500 utilities from 26 of 28 EU countries commit to no new coal after 2020 while the EU shows that it cut fossil fuel usage – mostly coal and gas – 11% since 2005 with significant help coming from renewables. In the end – the goal is to lower co2 right now – and cutting coal and gas are a way to do it.

Keeping in the spirit of solar as default – residential housing development with 2.7kW solar system (SolarWorld plus EnPhase if you were wondering) as default option. A 2.7kW system will meet 20% or less of a 4,000 ft home’s energy use with an average of 2.6 people living in it – but – 700,000 new homes at 2.7kW means 1.9GW of solar that is ready for energy storage.

Living downwind of coal power plants, in a US study, led to low birth weights – First, In 2011, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ruled that the plant, located on the west bank of the Delaware River, was the sole reason that four downwind New Jersey counties often suffered sulfur dioxide levels in excess of EPA’s National Ambient Air Quality Standards, and second They found that the likelihood of having a low birth weight (2,500 grams or less) baby jumped from 2 to 3 percent if the mother was exposed to sulfur dioxide emissions during the first month of pregnancy. “This is a 50 percent increase in the occurrence of low birth weight among full-term babies,” Yang said. Completely and totally ignoring the human aspect – which is really incomprehensible – are the economic costs of negative health outcomes from birth. These costs are borne more often by the economically disadvantaged – not those who are the most intense users of the energy. Externality.

Energy Storage industry getting into lobbying – and the Energy Storage industry happens to be big corporate names – groups including Johnson Controls, Lockheed Martin, 24m Technologies, AES Energy Storage, LG Chem, Enel Green Power North America, Green Charge, Greensmith, National Electrical Contractors Association, Panasonic, Parker Hannifin, Siemens, Stem, Sunverge, UL and several others – The energy industry is one where entrenched powers are tilting the field in their direction via lobbying efforts of politicians. If an industry whose time has come – energy storage – has such names behind it as above, expect support from various capitals.

Washington Post says Office of the President considering Carbon Price or Value Added Tax – however – White House also says they aren’t considering these things. Standard policy with this administration is to ignore their words and watch actions.

Interesting PV cleaning system – found them via they following me on twitter. Check out full video of the below gif – you get to see a lot more of the system. The unit – blue thing attached to the tractor below – costs about $32,000 and can clean 5MW of solar panels per day (using the article’s estimates on a 200MW Dubai project). Backside of tractor has a plastic container filled with a cleaning solution (water?). I’m guessing this field – cleaning solar panels – is going to have enough revenue to drive a lot of innovation.


Header image is Google Streetview of Edmonton ‘Edge’ building in today’s brief

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