What were you doing when you were 18? Take a second and think about it. You were probably hanging out at the mall, at the skate park, or maybe if you were a hard-worker you had a part-time job at the local take-out spot.
Whatever you were doing, I can almost guarantee that you didn’t invent a solar panel that could possibly solve your entire country’s energy needs. That’s right, an 18-year old from a rural village in Nepal believes he has found the solution to the developing world’s energy needs.
Even crazier, the young inventor, named Milan Karki, says hair is to the key to using solar panels and revolutionizing renewable energy.
“First I wanted to provide electricity for my home, then my village. Now I am thinking for the whole world,” said Milan, who attends school in Nepal’s capital, Kathmandu.
The teenager already has plans to commercially produce his invention. The panel, which produces 18 Watts of energy, could be sold for about 12 EUR if were to be mass produced, about one quarter the price of the silicon model already on the market.
Read more from Dailymail.co.uk
This week, a consortium led by Samsung C&T Corporation and the Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO) announced that it plans to invest CAN $7 billion to generate 2,500 megawatts of wind and solar power in Ontario, Canada.
According to the terms of the green energy investment agreement, Samsung C&T and KEPCO will establish and operate a series of wind and solar power clusters over the next 20 years. The clusters, which will be built in several locations throughout the province, will eventually include wind turbines that will generate up to 2,000 MW as well as solar power facilities that will generate up to 500 MW.
The entire project will have a combined power-generating capacity of 2.5 GW by 2016, producing energy equivalent to four per cent of Ontario`s total electricity consumption.
The U.S. Department of the Treasury and the U.S. Department of Energy on Thursday announced that an estimated US $3 billion will be made available for the development of renewable energy projects around the country and made issued the guidance businesses will need to submit a successful application.
Funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act), the program will provide direct payments in lieu of tax credits in support of an estimated 5,000 bio-mass, solar, wind, and other types of renewable energy production facilities.
The Breakthrough Institute reports: While the US mires itself in controversy over the weakened cap-and-trade bill working its way through Congress, China and India have begun to look ahead with new government investment policies that rapidly expand solar power capacity in each country.
China recently announced a dramatic increase in its expected solar capacity target for 2011, planning to reach 2 GW within the next two years. Already, China’s new renewable energy stimulus plan has expanded the nation’s 2020 target from 1.8 GW to 20 GW–that’s more than triple the amount of PV solar power installed in the entire world during 2008, the industry’s best year ever.
The higher targets will be met by enhancing government subsidies and other deployment incentives, which currently stand at US $2.93/watt capacity for roof-mounted systems greater than 50 kW. Government officials have suggested that the current US $.16 per kWH feed-in tariff for ground-mounted PV systems may be adjusted in order to make solar power production profitable.
Last month, India also signaled that it sees solar as a crucial component of a future clean energy economy, when its New and Renewable Energy Committee announced a massive National Solar Mission. In what one Greenpeace India representative called “the most ambitious solar plan that any country has laid out so far,” the National Solar Mission matches China by setting a new target of 20 GW solar capacity by 2020. What’s more, India estimates that the plan could bring the now-prohibitive cost of solar down to US $.08-.10 per kWh by 2017-2020, making it cost-competitive with fossil fuels.
The United States Interior Department has found a use for 670,000 acres of previously considered worthless sunny deserts and wind-swept plains: solar energy production.
As part of President Obama’s pledge to move away from reliance on fossil fuels and to double renewable energy in three years, the plan has identified 24 solar energy zones spanning six states that could generate nearly 100,000 megawatts of solar electricity.
At the same time, it has become a controversy as environmentalists and politicians, including U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein, have decried federal plans to open ecologically sensitive land to development.
“This environmentally sensitive plan will identify appropriate Interior-managed lands that have excellent solar energy potential and limited conflicts with wildlife, other natural resources or land users,” Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said, hoping to appease doubts about the plan.
The department says the objective is to provide landscape-style planning and zoning for solar projects on Bureau of Land Management lands in the West, allowing a more efficient process for permitting and sitting responsible solar development .
Read more on Reuters.
In this current recession, everyone is looking for ways to save money. Adam Boesel, the owner of The Green Microgym in Portland, Or., has found a way to shave operating costs while also giving his clients a workout.
The clever proprietor has doctored up the fitness club’s spin bikes with weed whacker motors and truck alternators so that patrons can create energy to help power the 2,800-foot space.
The opening of The Green Microgym coincides with the announcement of M2E’s kinetic charger, which can generate energy from motion. The kinetic energy system uses the Faraday Principle, which states that the movement of a conductor through a magnetic field produces voltage in the conductor proportional to the speed of the movement. In this case, the conductor is a wire coil.
The system uses a magnet that moves against the coil every time the charger moves, generating a charge that is captured in a capacitor. A logic circuit takes the charge to the built-in Li-Ion cell, where it is stored until use.
Boesel expects patrons to power only a quarter of the gym’s power at first, but after he equips the elliptical trainers with similar motors, he hopes that the energy supply will become entirely self-sufficient.
The Washington Nationals new baseball stadium, built by the District of Columbia, is the first big-league ballpark to meet standards set by the U.S. Green Building Council. It will have energy-efficient lighting, ultra low-flow lavatory faucets, low-flush toilets, recycling bins, a green roof, bike racks and preferential parking for high-mileage cars.
The Cleveland Indians installed solar panels last summer at their ballpark and the Boston Red Sox quickly followed suit at Fenway Park. The Oakland A’s now sell beer in cups made entirely of biodegradable corn starch, while the Seattle Mariners recycle food waste as well as paper and plastic containers. Even the Pittsburgh Pirates’ scouts drive flex-fuel cars.
“By getting America’s pastime to embrace environmentalism, we can move beyond the debates about left, right and politics,” says Allen Hershkowitz, a senior scientist at Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), a longtime Mets fan and manager of his son’s little league team. Hershkowitz is especially hopeful that baseball’s green drive will influence fans too. “There’s nothing comparable to the brand loyalty that professional sports teams generate.”
Read more at money.cnn.com.
Many people think of Google Inc. as just a search company, but now it can add renewable energy investor to its resume. Google is all about changing the world in a positive way, according to CEO Eric Schmidt, who has proposed a plan to help provide the world with renewable energy.
Google plans to put clean energy at the heart of the U.S. energy mix, promoting energy efficiency, a massive renewable-energy push to replace coal, and an accelerated rollout of plug-in cars.
The plan sets a target date of 2030 to get Power Companies and Utilities totally off carbon fuels, currently the most common power source, by calling for heavy increases in wind and solar power, with wind power being the closest thing to a free substitute for coal. Unfortunately, most populated areas are temperate and not very windy, so part of the challenge is finding the correct grid technology to bring energy to customers.
Google plans on investing $3.5 trillion in the project over the next 22 years, but expects to generate a cost basis savings of $4.4 trillion based on the right assumptions and investments.
If just 0.3% of the Sahara Desert was used as a concentrating solar plant, it would produce enough clean power to provide all of Europe with clean renewable energy. That is why 20 German companies are gathering next month to discuss plans and investments to carry out a 400 billion-Euro project proposed by the Desertec Foundation, to erect 100 GW of concentrating solar power plants throughout North Africa.
Instead of constructing the entire project in just one location, Desertec plans to scatter the plants throughout several politically stable countries. The power generated would be transported over high-voltage DC lines across the Mediterranean Sea to Europe, where it would supply 15% of the energy demand.
Along with providing clean energy, this project also aims at providing fresh drinking water and farming the desolate desert region by building desalination plants that will use concentrated solar power to provide energy and waste heat to create freshwater from seawater.
Even though the project is still 10-15 years away from breaking ground, several major players are getting involved.
Read more at inhabitat.com.
America is blessed with vast tracks of deserts – wide open spaces of soliltude – just waiting to serve the planet as host for solar power facilities of the future. Lockheed Martin’s new project in Arizona, called Starwood Solar 1, will be single, largest dispatchable solar power plant in the world. Dispatchable facilities store electricity for energy-on-demand.
The project is being developed by Starwood Energy Group Global and its affiliate Nautilus Solar Energy with construction by defense contractor Lockheed Martin Corporation.
Starwood has a contract to sell the power to the Arizona Public Service Co. starting in 2013 once construction is finished. Project cost is $2.7 billion. Developers envisage creating 7700 direct and indirect jobs.