How power companies will commit suicide by solar

solar power

Installing solar panels.

Anyone with enough roof space will be leaving the grid within the decade for solar power. And in most cases they won’t be leaving just one grid, they will be leaving two. That’s because solar is going to become, to put a new spin on an old phrase, “too cheap to have a meter”. It just won’t be worth paying daily service charges to have a grid supplied meter and grid access.

 

 

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Wildpoldsried, Germany produces 500% of its energy from renewable sources

wildpoldsreid

Wildpoldsried produces 500% more energy than it needs.

Wildpoldsried, Germany, a Bavarian village of about 2,600 residents, is leading the way in Germany’s extraordinary renewable energy transformation. The village has invested in a holistic range of renewable energy projects over the past 17 years that include 4,983 kWp of photovoltaics, five biogas facilities, 11 wind turbines and a hydropower system. As a result, the village has gone beyond energy independence – and it now produces 500% more energy than it needs and profits from sales of the surplus power back to the grid.

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Investments in power lines says a lot about how the US electricity system is changing

Power line workers

Private investment in electric transmission has quintupled from $2.7 billion in 1997 to $14.1 billion in 2012.

Private electric utilities in America have been doing something surprising over the past ten years – they have been investing a lot of money in power lines and other electric-transmission infrastructure. (Chart)

 

 

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Can we achieve a smoother, more secure grid with energy storage?

grid-energy-storage

Storing energy along the U.S. grid could help keep the power on.

For years, RenewableEnergyWorld.com has said that if the energy industry could solve the energy storage problem, it would unlock gigawatts of renewable energy capacity all over the world.  About a year ago, progress started really picking up.  More than 200 energy storage companies were present at Intersolar in Munich in 2013, exhibiting their solutions.

 

 

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Electric cars have almost no grid impact so far

Electricity usage doesn’t seem to be affected by electric cars so far.

Since electric cars lessen dependence on fossil fuels, what effect are they having on power consumption? The concern is that the large numbers of electric cars will increase the demand for electricity and overwhelm power grids — despite studies to the contrary.

 

 

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New battery design efficiently stores solar and wind energy

 Lab demonstration of the group’s new lithium-polysulfide flow battery contained in a simple flask.

The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Stanford University scientists have developed a relatively cheap, long-life “flow” battery that can be used to mitigate power fluctuations from solar and wind energy plants, therefore enabling them to become major suppliers to the electrical grid.

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Shrinking cost of solar energy drives mega-projects around the world

US solar installations jumped 76% in 2012.

There has been a dramatic fall in the cost of solar power generation. Solar is at grid parity in many countries such as Italy, Spain, Germany, Portugal, and in parts of the US such as the Southwest. That means it is as inexpensive to build a solar plant as a gas or coal one. The pace of technological innovation in the solar field has also accelerated, so that costs have started falling precipitously and efficiency is rapidly increasing.

 

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Stylish Sun Shade Is the Easiest Way To Harness Solar Power For Your Home

solar shade 243464

Solar wins again.

If you like the idea of getting free energy from the sun, but don’t want to deal with the complications of installing a solar array on your roof, Umbrosa has created a lovely backyard sun shade that does double-duty—turning those rays into electricity.

As umbrellas go the Eclipse’s design is striking, but it isn’t really an umbrella at all…

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Study Reveals U.S. Power Grid Too Unreliable to be Brought Down by a Terrorist Attack

usa power grid

U.S. electric grid

A new study shows why it would be hard for terrorists to bring down the US electric grid.  

Last March, the U.S. Congress heard testimony about a scientific study in the journal Safety Science. A military analyst worried that the paper presented a model of how an attack on a small, unimportant part of the U.S. power grid might, like dominoes, bring the whole grid down. Members of Congress were, of course, concerned. Then, a similar paper came out in the journal Nature the next month that presented a model of how a cascade of failing interconnected networks led to a blackout that covered Italy in 2003.

 

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Testing The Electric Vehicle-To-Grid Connection

 

 

vg2 graphic 1243

It’s not often that a press event at the American Association for the Advancement of Science Meeting features a car. But the car that was driven into the press room today was an electric one, with some added communications skills: it could talk with the electric grid…

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Future of Energy Could Be Solar Panels Built Into Roads

solar

Solar roads

The Department of Energy just gave $100,000 to upstart company Solar Roadways, to develop 12-by-12-foot solar panels, dubbed “Solar Roads,” that can be embedded into roads, pumping power into the grid. The panels may also feature LED road warnings and built-in heating elements that could prevent roads from freezing.

 

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