Like the three Army bases before it, solar power from the Navy Base at Kings Bay
will go into Georgia Power’s grid.
How about Air Force bases next, such as Moody AFB?
And how about start building 30 MW solar farms throughout the state?
Curiously, there’s no press release by either Georgia Power or the Navy
about this project.
One $7 billion nuclear plant like one of Georgia Power’s 1.2 GW
units would add a little over 1 percent of capacity. The bulb
solution would cost $60 billion, and around $36 billion two years
from now, and require only that consumers know how to screw in a
light bulb. Nuclear would cost $105 billion, probably more, and take
Renewable energy has been on a tear the past few years, with growth in many countries spurred by subsidies for
wind and solar power. Now the heads of 10 European utility companies
say EU subsidies should end, because they've got more renewable
energy than they know what to do with.
The 10 CEOs in question, who refer to themselves as the Magritte
group because they first met in an art gallery, represent companies
that control about half the power capacity of Europe. The group gave
a press conference today—
Reuters says that 10 such executives
giving a joint public statement is “unprecedented”—to hammer
home a message they’ve been trumpeting ahead of an EU energy summit
in 2014: There’s too much energy capacity, which has driven prices
down so far that they can’t make any money.
As long as there are nukes or coal plants, there’s too much capacity.
European utilities need to get on with things like Continue reading →
After Fukushima, Japan is now serious about solar power.
From Miyama, Fukuoka (pictured), in the south of Honshu to northerly Hokkaido,
Japan is building solar power plants,
and now needs to upgrade its grid.
Rooftop solar doesn’t need as many grid changes, since it delivers
onsite at peak load.
Hey, here’s an idea: solar panels on unused industrial park areas!
Japan’s renewable energy incentive law has spurred construction of so many photovoltaic farms like this one, in Miyama, that the nation is expected to be the world’s leading solar energy market this year. But Japan must upgrade its system for delivering electricity.
Photograph from Asahi Shimbun/Getty Images
A new renewable energy incentive program has Japan on track to
become the world’s leading market for solar energy, leaping past
China and Germany, with Hokkaido at the forefront of the sun power
rush. In a densely populated nation hungry for alternative energy,
Hokkaido is an obvious choice to host projects, because of the
availability of relatively large patches of inexpensive land. Unused
areas, idle land
motor race circuit,
a former horse ranch—all
are being converted to solar farms. (See related, ”
A New Hub for Solar Tech Blooms in Japan
there’s a problem with this boom in Japan’s north. Although
one-quarter of the largest solar projects approved under Japan’s
new renewables policy are located in Hokkaido, the island accounts
for less than 3 percent of the nation’s electricity demand. Experts
say Japan will need to act quickly to make sure the power generated
in Hokkaido flows to where it is needed. And that means modernizing
a grid that currently doesn’t have capacity for all the projects
proposed, installing a giant battery—planned to be the world’s
largest—to store power when the sun isn’t shining, and ensuring
connections so power can flow across the island nation. (See related, ”
Japan, Solar Panels Aid in Tsunami Rebuilding
Turning to Renewables
historically has had no fossil energy sources of its own; it
powered much of its economic growth over the past few generations
with homegrown nuclear energy. At the start of 2011, more than 50
reactors provided Japan with 30 percent of its electricity, and the
plan was to increase that share to 50 percent. That scenario was
upended on March 11, 2011, when the most powerful earthquake ever
to shake Japan touched off a tsunami that breached the defenses of
Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant on the east coast. (See related, ”
Year After Fukushima, Japan Faces Shortages of
Yes, and moving away from baseload coal, nukes, and natural gas
and towards distributed solar and wind power will help with that,
both directly by making the grid more resilient, and indirectly
by slowing climate change.
Just days away from the 10-year anniversary of the worst power
outage in U.S. history, the White House and the Energy Department
released a report on Monday evaluating the resiliency of the
nation’s electric grid and recommending steps to prevent future
The report called storms and severe weather “the leading cause of
power outages in the United States,” and warned against the steep
cost of weather-related damage to the electric grid. It put the
price tag for electrical failures caused by inclement weather at
between $18 billion and $33 billion annually, and noted that costs
have increased in recent years, jumping from a range of $14 billion
to $26 billion in 2003 to $27 billion to $52 billion in 2012. Storms
exceeding a billion dollars in damages (electrical and otherwise)
have also become more frequent in the past decade, as the chart
The L.A. Times’ online poll is currently running 92% yes on
“Is distributed generation the future of electric grids?”
And Los Angeles is doing something about distributed rooftop solar power.
Something we could be doing right here in south Georgia.
If Georgia Power won’t do it, local governments could.
After all, if the Industrial Authority can float bonds to buy
land for business parks that sit vacant, it could float bonds
to fund rooftop solar.
Or maybe sell some of that land to pay for solar.
The first small shoots of what will grow into a sprawling solar
power plant have sprouted in Los Angeles.
L.A.’s Department of Water and Power is rolling out the country’s
biggest urban rooftop program, which will pay residents for solar
energy they produce in excess of their own needs. That will give
residents a reason to install more solar capacity on their roofs
than they can use in their homes.
Less than 500 miles from here in NC,
what else haven’t they found if
‘Duke Energy’s examination a year ago “was supposed to have found that problem then and fixed it”‘?
This was a ‘a quarter-inch spot the NRC and the company describe as a “flaw” in the reactor vessel head, which contains heat and pressure produced by the nuclear core’s energy.’
When a solar panel has a quarter-inch flaw, you get a tiny percentage less electricity,
not the risk of radiation leak or worse.
Would you rather have two more nukes at the same site, run by the same company that can’t run the one it’s got safely, or solar power instead?
Plus where is the advantage of baseload capacity when
Harris 1 has only been up 27.41% for the past month
which is hardly better than
the approximately 20% sun hours per day
for solar power in North Carolina this time of year.
Given the low and continually-dropping cost of solar panels,
Duke could simply over-provision distributed
solar panels and get way more than
20% or 27.41% effective power, and get that on budget and on time.
The thing to remember is that it is in a utility’s financial
interest to generate (or buy) and deliver as much power as possible.
The higher the demand, the higher the investments, the higher the
utility shareholder profits. In short, all things being equal,
utilities want to sell more power. (All things are occasionally not
equal, but we’ll leave those complications aside for now.)
Solar power is going so well worldwide that Deutsche Bank has just
increased its projections for global demand,
noting that India and Italy have already in 2013 reached grid parity
without subsidies with other sources of energy,
and it expects the rest of the world to follow as early as 2014.
The big winner is rooftop solar.
Is Georgia paying attention?
Buoyed by bullish demand forecasts, and increasing utilization rates
and pricing, Deutsche Bank forecasts a solar market transition from
subsidized to sustainable in 2014. Italy REC solar photovoltaic
The German bank has raised its 2013 global solar demand forecast to
30 GW — representing a 20% year-on-year increase — on
the back of suggestions of strong demand in markets including India,
the U.S., China (around 7 to 10 GW), the U.K. (around 1 to 2 GW),
Germany and Italy (around 2 GW).
Rooftop installations are, in particular, expected to be a main
focus, says Deutsche Bank. A trend for projects being planned with
either “minimal/no incentives” has also been observed, despite the
belief that solar policy outlooks are improving, particularly in the
U.S., China and India, and “other emerging markets”.
“Renewable (energy sources are) going to have a sliver,”
Bowers said of fuels to create electricity. “Is it going to be
2 or 4 percent? That’s yet to be determined. Economics will drive
that. But you always remember (that renewable energy is) an
intermittent resource. It’s not one you can depend on 100 percent of