A dramatically increased share of renewables and higher energy efficiency have the potential to create benefits of up to $10 trillion annually by 2050, compared to estimated incremental Read More
Mark Cassle - EcoForce Solutions
Solar cell prices drop over 99 percent
Old Trend: Expensive solar, surviving only on subsidies.
New Trend: Cheap solar, disrupting old industries.
Since the 1970s, it has become a cliché that solar power is an expensive boondoggle, kept alive only by government subsidies. But every cliché is right until the day it’s suddenly Read More
BLOOMBERG — Companies are buying renewable power at a record pace.
AT&T Inc. and Walmart Inc. are among 36 businesses, government agencies and universities that have agreed to buy 3.3 gigawatts of wind and solar power so far Read More
Excerpt: Fortune Magazine; April 16, 2016; David Z. Morris
Ray Kurzweil has made a bold prediction about the future of solar energy, saying in remarks at a recent medical technology conference that it could become the dominant force in energy production in a little over a decade. That may be tough to swallow, given that solar currently only supplies around 2% of global energy—but Kurzweil’s predictions have been overwhelmingly correct over the last two decades, so he’s worth listening to.
Kurzweil’s basic point […] was that while solar is still tiny, it has begun to reliably double its market share every two years—today’s 2% share is up from just 0.5% in 2012.[…]
linear analysis ignores what Kurzweil calls the Law of Accelerating Returns—that as new technologies get smaller and cheaper, their growth becomes exponential.
So instead of looking at year over year growth in percentage terms, Kurzweil says we should look at the rate of growth—the fact that solar market share is doubling every two years. If the current 2% share doubles every two years, solar should have a 100% share of the market in 12 years.
Okay, technically, that would suggest solar would have a 128% share of the market in 12 years. Some might love that—but it highlights the fact that Kurzweil’s prediction is only partially grounded in the real world. Even 100% share is extremely unlikely—fossil fuel giants are definitely not going down without a fight.
But even those giants ignore Kurzweil at their own peril. He predicted the mobile Internet, cloud computing, and wearable tech nearly 20 years ago—all on the basis of the same principle of accelerating returns that’s behind his solar call.
PV Magazine; May 14, 2018; John Weaver
Due to the state’s revolutionary 2019 Building Energy Code requiring solar power to be installed at time of construction for all newly built homes, over time California home buyers could see per unit prices drop to rates Read More
New York Times, May 9, 2018, Ivan Penn
SACRAMENTO — Long a leader and trendsetter in its clean-energy goals, California took a giant step on Wednesday, becoming the first state to require all new homes to have solar power.
The new requirement, to take effect in two years, brings solar power into the mainstream in a way it has never been until now. It will add thousands of dollars to the cost of home when a shortage of affordable housing is one of California’s most pressing issues.
That made the relative ease of its approval — in a unanimous vote by the five-member California Energy Commission before a standing-room crowd, with little debate — all the more remarkable.
State officials and clean-energy advocates say the extra cost to home buyers will be more than made up in lower energy bills. That prospect has won over even the construction industry, which has embraced solar capability as a selling point.
“This adoption of these standards represents a quantum leap,” Bob Raymer, senior engineer for the California Building Industry Association, said during the public comments before the vote. “You can bet every state will be watching to see what happens.”
“We’ve been working towards it,” said Ram Narayanamurthy, technical executive at the Electric Power Research Institute, a nonprofit group that does research for the nation’s power companies. “What we think we will see is greater and greater efficiency.”
The Fontana research has shown that with a combination of energy-efficiency measures and solar power, the overall cost of owning a home is reduced, he said.
04-08-2018; Fast Company (excerpt); Mark Sullivan
You have to see Apple’s Reno, Nevada, data center from the inside to truly understand how huge it is. It’s made up of five long white buildings sitting side by side on a dry scrubby landscape just off I-80, and the corridor that connects them through the middle is a quarter-mile long. On either side are big, dark rooms–more than 50 of them–filled with more than 200,000 identical servers, tiny lights winking in the dark from their front panels. This is where Siri lives. And iCloud. And Apple Music. And Apple Pay.
Powering all these machines, and keeping them cool, takes a lot of power–constant, uninterrupted, redundant power. At the Reno data center, that means 100% green power from three different Read More
Abu Dhabi, UAE: 8 May 2018 — The renewable energy industry created more than 500,000 new jobs globally in 2017, a 5.3 per cent increase from 2016, according to the latest figures released by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). According to the fifth edition of Renewable Energy and Jobs – Annual Review, launched at IRENA’s 15th Council in Abu Dhabi today, the total number of people employed in the sector (including large hydropower) now stands at 10.3 million globally, surpassing the 10 million figure for the first time.
China, Brazil, the United States, India, Germany and Japan remain the world’s largest renewable energy employers, representing more than Read More
Twice as many Americans now work in the wind industry as in coal mining, and solar employs many more, but the U.S. still trails the EU and is far behind China.
The United States has seen explosive growth in renewable energy jobs over the past three years, led by solar jobs (up 82 percent) and Read More