The worldwide demand for solar and wind power continues to skyrocket. Since 2009, global solar photovoltaic installations have increased about 40 percent a year on average, and the installed capacity of wind turbines has doubled.
The dramatic growth of the wind and solar industries has led utilities to begin testing large-scale technologies capable of storing surplus clean electricity and delivering it on demand when sunlight and wind are in short supply.
Now a team of Stanford researchers has looked at the “energetic cost” of manufacturing batteries and other storage technologies for the electrical grid. At issue is whether renewable energy supplies, such as wind power and solar photovoltaics, produce enough energy to fuel both their own growth and the growth of the necessary energy storage industry. Continue reading “Wind farms can provide society a surplus of reliable clean energy”
The recent start of construction on the first of two large-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) power plants in outback New South Wales shows the importance of renewable energy targets and funding.
The first, currently being built at Nyngan, will be the largest solar PV farm in the southern hemisphere, producing 103 megawatts at peak capacity. This will be enough to power more than 33,000 average New South Wales homes, roughly equivalent to taking 53,000 cars off the road. Both projects have received federal and state funding, and have benefited from theRenewable Energy Target.
The Solar Flagships Program, of which the Nyngan plant is the major part, will also deliver a further 50 megawatt plant at Broken Hill, providing a combined solar power output 10 times larger than anything else ever built in Australia.
GE is launching a new wind turbine tower next week and CleanTechnica just got a chance to go inside and see what makes it tick, so we’re going to share that with you right now before practically anybody else gets wind of it. The new tower, which GE has dubbed the Space Frame Tower, is a great example of the different factors that have gone into taking the wind industry from an exotic outsider to a juggernaut player in energy markets in the US and around the globe, all within just a few years.
Ararat Councillor Gwenda Allgood received the inaugural Renewable Energy Champion Award at the Melbourne Sustainable Living Festival 2014. Yes 2 Renewables selected councillor Allgood to recognise her efforts educating Australians about wind energy. Councillor Allgood has travelled far and wide to tell a … Continue reading Ararat Councillor receives Renewable Energy Champion award
Iowa has been a prime example for the progress of wind energy in the past few years. As this article shows, Iowa’s wind energy benefits extend from being an electricity generator and economic driver, it drastically cuts pollution and benefits the environment. Read on.
Iowa’s hugely successful wind industry isn’t just an economic driver, it’s having a major impact on cutting pollution and saving water. Wind energy generation in Iowa avoids more than 8.4 million metric tons of climate-altering carbon pollution — the equivalent of taking 1.7 million cars off the road, according to a new report released by Environment Iowa.
The right wing war on renewables is heating up as the Abbott government announces yet another investigation into wind energy and health and a review of the Renewable Energy Target.
Australian Financial Review (23 Jan) featured an opinion article by Alan Moran from the climate change denying think tank the Institute of Public Affairs criticizing renewable energy. Moran argued that the performance of solar and wind during the recent heatwave in southeast Australia proves the technology’s unreliability. It seems neither Moran or AFR made any attempt to check the facts behind his opining.
Moran’s key claim:
“during heatwave conditions in the five days to January 18 this year, wind actually contributed 3 per cent of electricity supply across the Australian National Electricity Market. Nobody knows the contribution of rooftop solar but it could not conceivably have been more than 1 per cent.”
Moran is wrong on several counts. As pointed out by RenewEconomy’s Giles Parkinson, the highest peak demand periods during the 2014 heatwave were smaller than a similar event in 2009—a time when Australia had much less solar energy capacity. For Western Australia, a state where 130,000 households have embraced rooftop solar, the peak demand in 2012 made it to 4000MW, while it was only 3733MW last week. The difference between these peaks corresponds closely to the actual installed capacity of 340MW!
It’s sometimes suggested that the life-cycle energy inputs of renewable technologies can well exceed their outputs – an argument that some attempt to use against wind turbines, as well as solar PV modules. In this article by Mark Diesendorf we find a clear explanation of just what ‘life-cycle energy inputs’ are, how they may be calculated, and how energy payback periods of various technologies compare. The figures may surprise you, and yet another myth bites the dust!
One of the many myths propagating about renewable energy (RE) systems, especially solar photovoltaic electricity, is that the life-cycle energy inputs are greater than or comparable with the lifetime energy outputs. Is it generally true and, if not, under what special circumstances would it be reasonable?