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jpak

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Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 39,558

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Solar Power Cheaper Than Coal Foreseen By German Solar CEO

http://cleantechnica.com/2013/07/10/solar-power-cheaper-than-coal-foreseen-by-german-solar-mogul/

In a new interview with Deutsche Welle, the CEO of a Germany-based global solar developer made a good case for the potential for solar power to become cheaper than coal sooner rather than later.

That would be Bernhard Beck, CEO of BELECTRIC. In the interview Beck had some interesting things to say about the direction of the global solar market and the potential for growth in large-scale solar power generating plants, and if anything, we think his forecast could come true even sooner than he thinks.

BELECTRIC specializes in utility-scale solar power plants as well as rooftop solar, and the former area is where the focus of the Deutsche Welle interview takes place.
According to Beck, large scale solar power in Germany is already “approaching the costs” of conventional power, at 10 euro cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh).

Beck was reluctant to lay out a specific timetable, but he did predict that with additional technological improvements, the cost of solar power in Germany (and by extension, other relatively sun-poor countries), will ultimately fall below the cost of conventional energy.

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World's Biggest Offshore Wind Farm Switched On in Britain

http://spectrum.ieee.org/energywise/green-tech/wind/worlds-biggest-offshore-wind-farm-switched-on-in-britain

Around a year and a half ago, the Walney wind farm in the Irish Sea started spinning and prepared to relish the title of being "biggest in the world." It ended up enjoying that status a bit longer than expected, but the London Array, off the coast of Kent, now leaves Walney and its 367 megawatts in the dust.

Some numbers: 175 turbines. 630 megawatts. Half a million homes. 100 square kilometers. 450 kilometers of offshore cabling.

In other words, it's pretty big. The speed at which these enormous projects are popping around in the waters around the U.K. is impressive, especially considering the ongoing difficulties with getting even a single offshore turbine up and running in the U.S. (Cape Wind might have one by next year! Maybe!) There are now around 20 distinct offshore wind farms around the U.K., generating enough power for 2.3 million homes; when all offshore turbines that are spinning, in construction, or planned are combined, they total 15 gigawatts of capacity—about a quarter of the entire U.S. onshore wind power capabilities.

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BREAKING: Germany Sets Solar Power Record (Again) — 23.9 GW

http://cleantechnica.com/2013/07/07/breaking-germany-sets-solar-power-record-again-23-9-gw/

It has been a very sunny day here in western Poland, so I knew it was basically the same in Germany (it always is) and that there was a good chance Germany would break its previous solar power output record. So, I’ve been keeping an eye on SMA Solar Technology’s live solar power output tool for the country.

Sure enough, a few hours ago, solar output climbed above the 22.68 GW solar power output record Germany set in April. Not long after, it climbed above the 23.4 GW solar power output record set in June. At its peak at about 1:45pm local time (one hour ago), the output got up to 23.9 GW. (Actually, I thought I saw it reach 24 GW at that time, but the replay isn’t showing it go above 23.9 GW.)

I’m sure an official number still needs to be confirmed, but a full 0.5 GW increase according to SMA’s site makes for a very safe conclusion that we have a new record. It is an estimate based on the output of thousands of SMA solar power systems spread across the country.

Germany’s peak electricity demand at midday is about 60 GW, so at 1:45pm or so, solar power was providing about 40% of the country’s electricity demand. Impressive. Approximately 1.3–1.4 million solar power systems were involved in creating that massive electricity output, our German solar expert Thomas tells me. And about 8.5 million people live in buildings where solar power systems are used to produce electricity or heat.

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Feds Approve Huge Wind Facility Near Lake Mead

http://www.kcet.org/news/rewire/wind/interior-approves-huge-wind-facility-on-public-lands.html

Interior Secretary Sally Jewell has signed off on a wind power facility that would cover almost 60 square miles of public lands in Arizona near the Lake Mead National Recreation Area. The Mohave County Wind Farm, built by BP Wind Energy North America, would include up to 243 wind turbines with blades about 180 feet long.

The project would occupy 35,329 acres of land under the Bureau of Land Management and 2,781 acres of Bureau of Reclamation land, and would butt up against Lake Mead NRA about 44 miles east of Las Vegas. Depending on the transmission connection eventually chosen, the project would max out at between 425 and 500 megawatts peak generating capacity.

"These are exactly the kind of responsible steps that we need to take to expand homegrown, clean energy on our public lands and cut carbon pollution that affects public health," said Secretary Jewell. "This wind energy project shows that reducing our carbon pollution can also generate jobs and cut our reliance on foreign oil."

The one oil-fired power plant in Arizona that this project might have supplanted, the diesel-fueled Grand Canyon Power House in the South Rim area of the National Park, ceased operations in 1956.

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