California plans $3 billion for solar energy projects
Rhett A. Butler, mongabay.com
December 13, 2005
Tuesday the California Public Utilities Commission announced an ambitious program to expand the market for solar power, proposing to provide $2.8 billion of incentives toward solar development over the next 11 years.
The plan would offer more than $3 billion in consumer rebates over the next decade and aims to install panels to produce 3,000 megawatts of solar energy on 1 million homes, businesses and public buildings. Environmentalists said the California Solar Initiative could help reduce the cost of solar energy, create jobs and reduce greenhouse gases emissions blamed for global warming.
“With rising energy prices and continued air pollution, this is exactly the kind of landmark initiative California needs,” Bernadette Del Chiaro, clean energy advocate for Environment California, told the Associated Press. “From this, we’re going to see cleaner air, affordable solar energy and California regaining its world leadership in solar power.”
The proposed initiative follows the state’s approval of a project that would put some 20,000 solar dishes in the Mohave Desert to generate 500 megawatts of electricity. A second project in the Imperial Valley, east of San Diego, is awaiting state approval. Green energy advocates hope the two large solar projects in the desert of California could boost industrial-scale development of solar technology.
California’s move towards solar technology and other green energy sources comes after a state study found significant evidence that greenhouse gas pollution can be substantially reduced at a profit rather than a cost. The study, commissioned by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, found that energy efficiency has helped the California economy grow an extra 3 percent – a $31 billion gain – compared to business as usual. Further, the researchers say that each Californian typically saved about $1,000 per year between 1975 and 1995 just through efficiency standards for buildings and appliances.
Solar projects in California desert could help state’s energy problems
Two large solar projects in the desert of California could boost industrial-scale development of solar technology according to an article in today’s edition of The Wall Street Journal.
Disposable solar panels developed using nanotechnology: Scientists at the University of Cape Town are exploiting the nano-scale properties of silicon to develop a super-thin disposable solar panel poster which they hope could offer rural dwellers a cheap, alternative source of power. Many people living in remote areas are not linked to the national electricity grid, and use batteries or run their own generators to supply their power needs. The scientists have developed technology for printing specialised inks containing tiny nanoparticles of silicon and other semiconductors onto paper. The solar panels are printed in much the same way as conventional colour images, using three or four separate print runs with black, blue, yellow and magenta ink.
Energy efficiency helped California grow an extra $31 billion finds study:
Countering Bush administration claims to the contrary, environmental officials for the state of California and the Brazilian state of Sao Paulo have found significant evidence that greenhouse gas pollution can be substantially reduced at a profit rather than a cost. The study, commissioned by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, found that energy efficiency has helped the California economy grow an extra 3 percent – a $31 billion gain – compared to business as usual. Further, the researchers say that each Californian typically saved about $1,000 per year between 1975 and 1995 just through efficiency standards for buildings and appliances.
Organic solar cells will help spur viability of alternative energy: Imagine being able to “paint” your roof with enough alternative energy to heat and cool your home. What if soldiers in the field could carry an energy source in a roll of plastic wrap in their backpacks?
Australian industry embraces green energy while government fights emissions cuts: Despite Australia’s resistance to limiting carbon dioxide emissions through the Kyoto Protocol, Australian industry and entrepreneurs are working on novel ways to reduce dependence on traditional fossil fuels.
Harvesting tornadoes as power plants; renewable wind vortex energy: Engineers are working to use artificial tornadoes as a renewable energy source according to an article in last week’s issue of The Economist. Storms release a tremendous amount of energy. Hurricane Katrina, a category 4 hurricane, released enough energy to supply the world’s power needs for a year, while the typical tornado produces as much power as a large power station.