Category Archives: Energy

Residential Solar Installation Costs In America’s Battleground State

By Roy L Hales

California’s energy sector is hurtling towards the point of decision. Despite its reputation as a green leader, this is the #3 American state for crude oil production. In the past few years, solar energy production has grown to supply around 16% of the state’s electricity.1   A significant portion (5.7%) is supplied by rooftop solar. Though there is considerable push back from Big Oil, the California legislation’s goal of 50% renewable electricity by 2030 seems attainable. What are residential solar installation costs in America’s battleground state?

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  1. Adding the 9.98% produced by facilities at least 1 MW in size according to the California Energy Commission and 5.7% from rooftop solar according to California Distributed Generation Statistics.

Extending Wind Farm Usage

By Roy L Hales

Around 40% of Germany’s wind turbines will soon be 15-years-old.  The French, Italian, Spanish and British fleets are also aging. More than 86 GW of Europe’s wind capacity is scheduled to be decommissioned by 2030. A new report by New Energy Update describes an alternate solution, extending wind farm usage.
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European Battery Park Black Starts The Grid

By Roy L Hales

Though black-outs are common occurrences in North America, they are virtually unknown in Germany. Philip Hiersemenzel of the Berlin-based storage pioneer Younicos, explained this is “because our grid is very strong am there are lots of fall back options.” How important is it when  the first European battery park black starts the grid?

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Poll Finds Washington Residents Support Tidal Energy

By Roy L Hales

Though there are a couple of operational projects along the United States eastern seaboard,1 tidal energy is still an infant technology. The Puget Sound is one of the most promising locations on the West Coast. In 2014 developers aborted a proposed project in Admiralty Inlet, between the Olympic Peninsula and Whidbey Island, because of ballooning costs. More recently,  a University of Washington poll finds Washington residents support tidal energy.

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  1. In the United States, Verdant Power first piloted an array of small turbines in the East River of New York as part of the Roosevelt Island Tidal Energy (RITE) project and was the world’s first grid-connected tidal array demonstration. The Maine Tidal Energy Project, led by developer Ocean Renewable Power Company (ORPC) featured one grid-connected turbine in Cobscook Bay, ME” – Stacia J. Dreyer et al, Changing Tides: Acceptability, support, and perceptions of tidal energy in the United States, ScienceDirect, Volume 29, July 2017, p 74

Horgan Urges BC Hydro To Not Finalize Contracts

By Roy L Hales

Though Christy Clark’s government recklessly spent close to $2 billion of taxpayer’s money trying to push the proposed Site C Dam beyond the point of no return, their days in office may be ending. More than 57% of British Columbians voted for parties that want to see this project either reviewed, or stopped. The NDP leader does not yet possess the authority to give the utility orders, but John Horgan urges BC Hydro to not finalize contracts.

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British Columbia Is Ready For Wave Energy

By Roy L Hales

Since 2001, there have been several inquiries into the plausibility of harnessing the wave energy off Vancouver Island. So far, projects were rejected because of the associated costs. A new report from UVic’s West Coast Wave Initiative (WCWI) suggests British Columbia is ready for wave energy.

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Why Didn’t Any Canadian Clean-Tech Companies Make The Top 100?

By Roy L Hales

More than 500 start-ups, from 66 countries, made submissions. Though the Start-up Energy Transition Tech Festival is a German Energy Agency (Dena) initiative, even a casual perusal of literature reveals its’ international  character. The General Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and Director General of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) were among the presenters. The list of speakers included representatives from the Rocky Mountain Institute and Hyperloop Technologies. So why didn’t any Canadian clean-tech companies make the top 100?

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Sun Towards High Noon: Explaining How Solar Power Is Transforming Our Energy Future

By Roy L Hales

Peter F. Varadi’s first book1 described the birth of the solar industry and its’ growth up until 2013. He recruited a team of internationally recognized contributors for the sequel.2 SUN TOWARDS HIGH NOON: SOLAR POWER TRANSFORMING OUR ENERGY FUTURE guides us through the industry today.

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  1. Peter F. Varadi, SUN ABOVE THE HORIZON; THE METEORIC RISE OF THE SOLAR INDUSTRY, Pan Stanford, 2014
  2. Wolfgang Palz, Editor of the Pan San Series on Renewable Energy; Michael Eckhart, Managing Director & Global Head of Environmental Finance at Citigroup; Dr Allan Hoffman, a former senior analyst at the US Department of Energy; Paula Mints, founder & Chief Market Research Analyst of SPV Market Research; Bill Rever, co founder Advanced Silicon Group; John Wohlgemuth, from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory; Frank Wouters, former Deputy Director-General of the International Renewable Energy Agency

GRID Alternatives San Diego’s SummerSolarthon

By Roy L Hales

GRID Alternatives entered San Diego eight years ago, with a solar installation in El Cajon.  Since then, the non-profit has put up a total of 824 systems throughout the county. This Saturday, they return to the same El Cajon neighbourhood for GRID Alternatives San Diego’s SummerSolarthon.
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the Genesys 8K™ Modular Smart Home Energy Platform

By Roy L Hales

A newly launched unified solar and energy storage system targets the residential market. According to its’ manufacturers, the Genesys 8K™ Modular Smart Home Energy Platform streamlines “the deployment of residential solar and energy storage systems without compromise of performance or cost.”
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