A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘solar energy

[ISL] Five #PEI links: Province House, City Cinema, Joseph Glass &Jews, wind energy, Borden-Carleton

  • Peter Rukavina shares a photo of Province House in Charlottetown now hidden by its exoskeleton for much-needed repairs.
  • CBC PEI reports on the bid of the PEI Film Society to take over City Cinema, the only independent cinema in Charlottetown.
  • CBC PEI reports on the work of Joseph Glass to document the Jewish history of Prince Edward Island.
  • Skinners Pond is among the locations being studied for new wind energy plants, CBC notes.
  • Will the Confederation Bridge fabrication yards at Borden-Carleton be turned into a solar farm, as the PCs propose? CBC goes into detail.

[NEWS] Five sci-tech links: Superstorms, solar power, superhumans, space colonies, panspermia

  • Vice’s Motherboard reports on how we do not understand the storms of the Anthropocene era, fueled by climate change.
  • Vice suggests that the very sharp and continuing fall in the price of solar power might well allow the Earth to escape ecological ruin, by providing energy alternatives.
  • The Guardian reports on the prediction of Stephen Hawking that technological advances will lead to the emergence of a race of superhumans that might well destroy–at least, outcompete–traditional humanity.
  • Over at Tor, James Nicoll recently contributed an essay arguing that technological challenges and the lack of incentive mean that the human colonization of space is not going to happen for a good while yet.
  • Universe Today highlights a new paper suggesting that panspermia unaided by intelligence can work on a galactic scale, even across potentially intergalactic distances.

[LINK] “Solar Could Beat Coal to Become the Cheapest Power on Earth”

Bloomberg’s Jessica Shankleman and Chris Martin report on how technological and economic progress is set to make solar energy the most inexpensive source of electricity around.

In 2016, countries from Chile to the United Arab Emirates broke records with deals to generate electricity from sunshine for less than 3 cents a kilowatt-hour, half the average global cost of coal power. Now, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Mexico are planning auctions and tenders for this year, aiming to drop prices even further. Taking advantage: Companies such as Italy’s Enel SpA and Dublin’s Mainstream Renewable Power, who gained experienced in Europe and now seek new markets abroad as subsidies dry up at home.

Since 2009, solar prices are down 62 percent, with every part of the supply chain trimming costs. That’s help cut risk premiums on bank loans, and pushed manufacturing capacity to record levels. By 2025, solar may be cheaper than using coal on average globally, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

“These are game-changing numbers, and it’s becoming normal in more and more markets,” said Adnan Amin, International Renewable Energy Agency ’s director general, an Abu Dhabi-based intergovernmental group. “Every time you double capacity, you reduce the price by 20 percent.”

Better technology has been key in boosting the industry, from the use of diamond-wire saws that more efficiently cut wafers to better cells that provide more spark from the same amount of sun. It’s also driven by economies of scale and manufacturing experience since the solar boom started more than a decade ago, giving the industry an increasing edge in the competition with fossil fuels.

Written by Randy McDonald

January 4, 2017 at 4:00 pm

[BLOG] Some Friday links

  • blogTO notes that the Canadian government has prevented Conrad Black from selling his Forest Hill mansion on account of taxes.
  • Dangerous Minds shares a beautiful 1981 live performance by The Church.
  • Language Log notes the inclusion of Singaporean and Hong Kong English words into the OED.
  • The Map Room Blog notes the four Italian nuns who helped the Vatican map prt of the sky.
  • Marginal Revolution notes the increasing concentration of the Quakers in Kenya, and by extension other Christian denominations in Africa.
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer looks at the success of solar energy in Mexico.
  • Strange Maps notes the history of Middle Eastern migration into Europe.
  • Torontoist looks at a Kensington Market project displaying graffiti from around the world.
  • Towleroad notes Donald Trump’s refusal to reveal his tax returns.
  • Window on Eurasia looks at the role played by Vladimir Zhirinovsky in Russian politics.
  • Zero Geography links to a paper co-authored by the blogger looking at the online representation of Jerusalem.

[BLOG] Some Sunday links

  • blogTO notes the continued delays with Bombardier’s streetcar deliveries to the TTC, looks at the expansion of WiFi to Toronto stations, and has hope for independent bookstores.
  • The Crux notes a proposal to make the Moon a solar energy power centre for the Earth.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze notes Venus analog Gliese 832d and observes the mass of material in orbit of WD 1145+017.
  • The Dragon’s Tales studies the atmosphere of Pluto.
  • At The Fifteenth, Steve Roby reviews one book on Blondie’s Parallel Lines and another on an in-universe Alien book.
  • The LRB Blog mourns Prince and reflects on the Swedish take on Brexit.
  • The Map Room Blog maps immigrants in France.
  • Towleroad shares the new Roísin Murphy single “Mastermind.”
  • Window on Eurasia notes the transition of Russian to a polycentric language.

[LINK] “Fossil Fuels Just Lost the Race Against Renewables”

Bloomberg’s Tom Randall makes the point that renewables, now competitive against oil, are set to displace oil.

The race for renewable energy has passed a turning point. The world is now adding more capacity for renewable power each year than coal, natural gas, and oil combined. And there’s no going back.

The shift occurred in 2013, when the world added 143 gigawatts of renewable electricity capacity, compared with 141 gigawatts in new plants that burn fossil fuels, according to an analysis presented Tuesday at the Bloomberg New Energy Finance annual summit in New York. The shift will continue to accelerate, and by 2030 more than four times as much renewable capacity will be added.

“The electricity system is shifting to clean,” Michael Liebreich, founder of BNEF, said in his keynote address. “Despite the change in oil and gas prices there is going to be a substantial buildout of renewable energy that is likely to be an order of magnitude larger than the buildout of coal and gas.”

The price of wind and solar power continues to plummet, and is now on par or cheaper than grid electricity in many areas of the world. Solar, the newest major source of energy in the mix, makes up less than 1 percent of the electricity market today but could be the world’s biggest single source by 2050, according to the International Energy Agency.

Will it? What about other sources, like nuclear?

Written by Randy McDonald

February 23, 2016 at 6:41 pm

[LINK] “Senegal to Add 200 Megawatts of Solar Through IFC Program”

Bloomberg’s Brian Eckhouse notes Senegal’s development of solar energy.

Senegal plans to build as much as 200 megawatts of solar power, with at least half of that up and running within two years, after joining an International Finance Corp. program designed to promote wider use of clean energy in sub-Saharan Africa.

Senegal is the second country to join the IFC’s Scaling Solar initiative, after Zambia signed on last year, the lender said in a statement Tuesday.

The effort will bring a needed injection of electricity to Senegal, where just over half the population has access to electricity, according to the World Bank. Under the program, the IFC helps organize competitive auctions, offers financing and provides some guarantees against risk.

The first auction, for at least 100 megawatts of capacity, is expected this year, according to Jamie Fergusson, chief investment officer and global renewables lead at the IFC.

Written by Randy McDonald

February 11, 2016 at 2:43 pm