This week in renewable energy: 1/17/14

Every Friday, Community Renewable Energy shares important clean energy developments– and some that are just plain cool.

Here’s what we were reading this week.

Global progress

  • We at Community Renewable Energy frequently write about Africa’s incredible solar potential— and today, we read that Kenya plans to derive over 50% of its power from solar power. From the Guardian article: “Germano Mwabu, an economics professor at the University of Nairobi, said the solar plan could have a dramatic impact on energy prices. ‘When the project is complete and solar is in good use, electricity costs could go down by as much as 80%.‘”
  • View image on TwitterAustralia has been facing a deadly heatwave (with temperatures exceeding 110 degrees Fahrenheit) and struggling through blackouts. While coal power plants have been failing, solar has proved to be reliable, easing strain on the grid. From the PV Magazine article

“As a community we should be congratulating those people who have made a significant personal investment in installing solar PV, which is now paying dividends for the entire community,” said the CEO of the Australian Solar Council, John Grimes. “Because solar PV produces electricity where it is used and does not need vast network infrastructure, the power that is produced is all being used to best effect, which adds up to a big saving for solar.”

  • In America, we know that renewable energy is taking off and that 2013 was a record-breaking year for solar power. This week, the Washington Post covered how the American West is embracing solar.
  • For years, India had been committed to becoming a world leader in solar power. Now, India has announced plans to construct the world’s largest solar power plant. The article points out that the falling cost of solar technology has made India’s progress possible. “Also, solar parks are far faster and easier to construct than nuclear plants. Charanka [currently, the largest solar plant in Asia], for instance, took just 16 months to build.” (Business Insider)
  • In Scotland, solar power installations help families avoid “fuel poverty.” (Solar Power Portal)

Across America

This week, we heard about diverse groups across the nation going solar, from schools to libraries to fire and police stations.

The big picture

  • Image: Solar Grid Storage“A number of companies are working hard at developing and deploying storage technologies, and raising money as well,” writes Forbes in a profile of solar grid storage. “One interesting aspect of storage is that it can be potentially deployed at many different levels, depending on how much energy you need at a specific point in time and long you need it for.”
  • Dominic Basulto, on the Washington Post‘s blog, outlines the current state of solar power through the eyes of entrepreneur Elon Musk. From the article, “Elon Musk’s five insights into solar energy:”
  1. Solar energy is inherently an exponential technology.
  2. Solar is a brand, not a utility.
  3. Solar is the rare business that can profit from cheap Chinese imports.
  4. Solar energy companies can tap into the power of the crowd.
  5. You won’t hear about “peak sun” for another 5 billion years.

What do you think was the most important renewable energy story this week? Share your insights and thoughts below or by email.

For news about sustainable community and economic development, visit Praxia Partners’ blog.

This entry was posted in In the News and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *