Solar panels costs have plunged though, so the government revised its numbers. Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Ed Davey made some key remarks about what the UK’s solar future might look like: “He said he expected up to 14 GW of solar by 2020 – up from 5 GW at the end of 2014. That equates roughly to 1.5% of total UK annual electricity to just under 4%. He said he expected it to grow further in the next decade.”
However, the government will no longer subsidize large-scale solar farms. These are facilities with 5 MW of solar or more. Of course, we all know that national economies are emerging from the worst recession in decades. Supporting a fledgling industry like solar power seems to be both reasonable and future-forward, especially considering that new solar installations create jobs that are skilled and generally pay decently.
Both solar and wind power need support at the policy level, but politics too often has a way of interfering with the development of renewable energy. Conservative politicians frequently have ties to the fossil fuel industry, and some of them work strenuously to hold back anything that could hurt it.
Researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Stanford Univ. have developed a new kind of solar cell that combines two different layers of sunlight-absorbing material in order to harvest a broader range of the sun’s energy. The development could lead to photovoltaic cells that are more efficient than those currently used in solar-power installations, the researchers say.
The new cell uses a layer of silicon—which forms the basis for most of today’s solar panels—but adds a semi-transparent layer of a material called perovskite, which can absorb higher-energy particles of light. Unlike an earlier “tandem” solar cell reported by members of the same team earlier this year—in which the two layers were physically stacked, but each had its own separate electrical connections—the new version has both layers connected together as a single device that needs only one control circuit.
The new findings are reported in the journal Applied Physics Letters by MIT graduate student Jonathan Mailoa; associate professor of mechanical engineering Tonio Buonassisi; Colin Bailie and Michael McGehee at Stanford; and four others.
As part of a high profile renovation project, one of the most iconic sites in the world has become the latest venue to embrace renewable energy as two vertical axis wind turbines are installed on the Eiffel tower.
US-based renewables specialist Urban Green Energy (UGE) announced that it has fitted the two turbines and that they can deliver 10,000kWh of commercial electricity annually. This effectively offsets the power used by the commercial areas on the tower’s first floor.
The company added that the two turbines are “virtually silent” and have been painted to resemble the rest of the tower.
The height of the turbines, 400 feet above the ground, was specially chosen to maximise the energy production of the devices, allowing them to take advantage of relatively steady winds.
via Eiffel tower renovation includes wind turbines.
The East of England could become a hub for trade in renewable energy with Scandinavia if the proper regulation is put in place, says an industry group.
RenewableUK said it hoped a House of Lords report on the North Sea would help move forwards a framework to allow the import and export of wind energy.
Some of the biggest offshore wind farms are off the coast of Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex.
The committee found the North Sea was under pressure from human activity.
But it said urgently-needed strategic and political vision would “secure it for future generations” and help manage the economic opportunities.
Brent crude oil saw its first month-on-month increases in eight months in February as a number of US oil rigs were taken offline, and prices hovered around the production costs of US shale oil. New commercial crude reserve regulations were introduced in China, which boosted short-term import demand. The gains throughout February sent long-term UK gas and power prices higher.