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Alternative Energy Resources: Are They That Good?

alternative energy source

According to the IEA, countries try investing in renewable sources as much as possible. For example, the USA allocated $300 billion to expand the stations with renewable sources in 2016. An organization in Paris will have created 60% of electricity using only wind or solar powers by 2025.

However, most of the countries that launch campaigns with the immediate return of money or other pros, have faced eventually the decreasing renewable resources’ cost. Consequently, there is a competition in making the investment in them.

Meanwhile Francis O’Sullivan’s, the research director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Energy Initiative, says that solar and wind powers are now the most effective and economical energy source due to the cost reduction and the best solar panels providers avow that.

Renewable resources vs. Non-renewable resources

It was reported that the Asian companies based on producing solar panels are living their best. But most of the establishments, which are making energy with traditional sources, are in need of equipment. According to the chief technology officer of renewable energy sources, Danielle Merfeld, the renewable power is the choice of a certain country – it can be cheap in one places, but expensive in other ones.

The support in Europe increased the interest in manufacturing renewable energy, but there is an opponent. China invested in the solar-producing business, making a bunch of cheap solar panels. Also, they made up longer wind turbines that helped them in creating sophisticated equipment for generating more power.

Also, factories that use traditional powers, face a lot of problems, such as being accused of influencing the climate or technical issues. But these difficulties don’t concern plants with alternative sources. Pros for them are rising. For instance, pension funds invest in these manufactures by providing financial support and getting constant returns.

The report from the Frankfurt School of Finance and Management states that 12% of electricity is produced by renewable sources. These numbers are twice higher now than in the last decade.

However, a problem occurred in the USA because of the increasing number of alternative power sources and solar projects. The administration of Trump recognizes that nuclear and coal stations need to be financially supported because of a new competitor. If this statement is fulfilled, it will be a challenge to plants with renewable sources. But American Petroleum Institute doubts that any support is needed.

Statistics states that 18% of the USA’s electricity was produced by the renewable powers. The authorities said that more than a half of power generating stations used alternative powers last year.

Xcel Energy Inc. has made a plan that would exchange 700 megawatts of energy from coal with 2000 megawatts of solar and wind generated energy.  A chief executive of this company assures that you can get now 40% of renewable energy whereas it seemed to be only 20%.

Alternative energy, as it was said before, is an opponent to coal and gas generation almost everywhere. Low prices of this energy and the capitals of counties are the main incentives in developing renewable energy stations.

“Congratulations! You won an opportunity to build a power station”

There were a lot of auctions, which helped companies from all over the globe build power stations by using renewable power sources only.

Italian company EneJ SpA won an offer to establish a power plant in Chile. This firm decided to go with wind, geothermal and solar energy. Consequently, their plant will get $33 per one megawatt, which is lower than the price of gas, for instance.  The organization in Saudi Arabia, also, won an offer to build a solar plant, which will produce 300 megawatts. In their case, one megawatt will cost $18.

Other examples of winning bids for power stations are Mexico, Canada. Mexican organization built a plant and its price for a megawatt is $20. Canada’s auction in Alberta has given an opportunity to establish 400 megawatts station but it has increased to 600 due to the low prices of renewable energy.

Rahul Tongia says that India has a plan to build more stations with clean energy sources and because of available investments in solar powers.

Conclusion

Renewable powers as you can imagine now are worth it. Almost every country can benefit from having this type of stations. However, there are some hidden cons, such as differences in climate and general weather.

But Tom Heggarty, an analyst with energy consultant Wood Mackenzie, says that we can see different problems in markets now but after producing the renewable energy we will see another story in 10-20 years.

Read now to learn how the President’s tariff influenced the solar power industry

Solar Power Industry Suffers From the Presidents Tariff

new tariff for solar power

The industry of alternative sources of energy is forced to abolish and freeze investments because of President Donald Trump’s tariff. The sums are about $2.5 billion. This tariff on imported solar panels results also job losses. The companies building or developing U.S. solar panels say that it makes more than two doubles in a planned budget to capitalize on tax on imports.

The ambiguous effect of the tariff emphasizes how protectionist trade interventions can damage domestic industries while preserving them from a foreign contest. Reviewers of the top solar panels providers say that companies, which were hurt by Trump’s steel and aluminum tariffs. Therefore, farmers had to buy the equipment made from steel at higher prices.

White House officials refrained from commenting. The tariff was released in January by President Trump despite the fact of protests from the solar companies and developers that such action would slow down any solar projects and solar sector at all.

The industry of solar power now competes with gas and coal ones. Unlike in the gas and coal industries, in the U.S. solar power companies, there are about 250,000 employers (which is three times more).

Lost profits and workplaces

The plan provides 30 percent tariff to be valid for four years, decreasing during this time by 5 percent per year. Solar battery developers say the fee will initially raise the cost of large installations by 10 percent.

Developer Cypress Creek Renewables LLC said he had to withhold $1.5 billion in projects because the tariff raises the expenses above the level of his competitiveness. One more developer Southern Current was forced to act on the same scheme by freezing about $1 billion of projects.

Senior Vice President of renewable energy Scott Canada Scott Canada said that he aimed to hire about 1,200 people on solar projects this year, but is forced to halve this number because of the tariff.

As expected, the Presidents tariff raised the manufacturing sector that could significantly increase panel production in the U.S. and lower prices over time. So, regardless of the fact of the growing popularity of using solar-powered electricity at night and the successfully developing industry, the sector loses jobs and profit.

Panel manufacturers First Solar and JinkoSolar claimed about spending $ 800 million on projects in order to escalate panel construction since the tariff was initiated. Also, he stated about the creating about 700 new vacancies.

Recently Korea’s Hanwha Q CELLS added that they are going to build a solar factory in Georgia next year. There were no details about new workplaces.

After the declaration of the tariff, SunPower Corp bought SolarWorld’s Oregon factory, thus saving 208 jobs. They stated their plan to hire more employees in order to broaden the activities of the factory, but without clarification about the number. However, SunPower Corp also added that the tariff influenced other parts of the organization, so it has to reduce 250 jobs.

The interesting fact is that the jobs in the panel producing industry are decreasing not only because of the tariff but, mainly because of operational automation.

Martin Pochtaruk, president of Heliene says there are a lot of robots and factories are highly automated, that is why there is no need to hire too many humans.

We see the attitude of top-rates solar panel companies to the innovative Trump’s tariff. The idea about alternative sources of energy is one of the best decisions for our planet. But it is not only about the ecology. The tariff is imposed to save jobs and maintain American influence abroad.

Make sure to read about the solar power projects that might change the world!

7 Solar Projects that Can Change the World

solar power projects

People often take energy for granted and forget about the environment. A lack of power influences everything: from life and health to business and education. Over 1.5  billion people still have no access to electricity all over the world. 1 more billion has an intermittent access.

When using the solar power, the major natural resource, such issues can be ameliorated or even solved. Social entrepreneurs, scientists or even huge tech companies try their best to do this. The list above from the specialists in top solar power providers describes the most innovative and coolest solar projects of today. Whether that are large stills that transform steam into a drinking water, or a small lantern that has a solar panel at the top, the power of the sun will amaze you.

Eliodomestico Solar Still

Gabriele Diamanti designed his solar household still for countries that are developing and have a limited access or no access to a fresh water for drinking. It works like a coffee maker turned upside-down. The seawater is poured through the hole at the top. After this, it is heated by the sun all the day long. Thanks to the pressure, the stream is forced to a watertight boiler. Later, this steam condenses against the lid.

This household still produces 5 liters of water per day. Thanks to the sun, there are no costs for operation. This still is made completely of cheap materials that are available everywhere.

LuminAID Light

Andrea Sreshta and Anna Stork designed LuminAID, a solar-inflatable light, after the earthquake in Haiti in 2010. It helps people affected by crises, disasters, and conflicts.

LuminAID consists of a flexible thin-film solar battery, a pair of flat coin-sized batteries and several bright LEDs. All of them are hermetically sealed in a translucent polymer bag – it plays the role of a diffuser as well. The full charge of the LuminAID in a bright sun takes 4-6 hours, after which it is ready to give 35 lumens for 4 hours or 20 lumens for 6 hours. The batteries are designed for 800 charging cycles.

Learn now how one country survived a day with the coal energy!

Topaz Solar Farm

This farm was built in one of the sunniest states, California. Nine million solar plates with a total area of 25 square kilometers give 550 megawatts of electricity, capable of providing the needs of 160,000 homes and industrial enterprises. Using solar energy instead of hydrocarbon fuel will reduce carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere by almost 400,000 tons per year.

Energy Sunflower

American companies Airlight Energy and IBM research announced the planned construction of “Sunflowers” – solar panels in the form of the sunflower. Due to the innovative shape and improved technical characteristics, the invention will allow to concentrate solar energy 2000 times and convert it into 12 kilowatts of electricity and 20 kilowatts of heat.

Panasonic Solar LED Lantern

A new LED light with a 3.5-watt solar panel and a USB port is an environmentally friendly and safe light source that can be used in homes, hospitals, schools, shops, and on the streets. It is fully charged in about 6 hours and provides up to 6 hours of lighting at maximum brightness. BG-BL03 was the first product of Panasonic, created specifically for the low-income population of developing countries.

SunSaluter

Eden Full was only 21 years old when she designed a device that rotates solar panels toward the sun all the day long that needs no motor. She notices that when panels face the sun all the time, it increases the energy output by 40%.

This innovation is an inexpensive, water clock-esque design. Even people with remote or rural locations can build SunSaluter around solar panels.

Artificial Leaf

It became possible to get solar energy even at night, but “Artificial leaf” is an innovation of biochemist Daniel Nocera. This is a silicon wafer imitating real leaves and making energy from water and sunlight. When putting the wafer in water, it splits the oxygen and hydrogen. The hydrogen is collected in a  fuel cell.

The early prototypes were problematic. However, in April 2013, Nocer updated it and made “self-healing” version that stopped attachment of bacteria to this surface. If you place one such leaf in a quart of water, it will provide over 100 watts of energy 24 h/day.

Sun Powered Electricity at Night: Myth or Reality?

sun-powered electricity

Sun-powered electricity at competitive prices will soon become a reality. One of the largest developers of power plants in the region informs us about it. The solar plants are about to appear in the Middle East.

Paddy Padmanathan, a Chief Executive Officer of ACWA Power International, admits that his corporation is working on a 1$ billion project.

If they finish it, there will be an opportunity to feed electricity for 18 hours to the grid. First, they will use it for the Dubai Electricity Authority&Water.

After a while, Chinese companies will release equipment at a lower cost. That is why there will be more such plants.

How Does It Work?

There is a contract concluded for 25 years in Dubai. According to this, a two-decade-old technology will have a great popularity. They are called solar thermal.

Thermal plants don’t generate a charge from the power of the sun. They concentrate heat on water by using several mirrors. Then they turn it to steam that is important for driving a turbine.

Here you can read more about the solar water heater and the way it works.

We can use the heat not right away. It is possible because it can be stored in molten salt. This technology is rapidly gaining momentum and that’s why it is competitive.

The plant can work not only during the daytime. It is supposed to work at night too. It can save heat for some time. The energy of the sun can heat molten salt to about 490 degrees Celsius. That is why there is a possibility to know when electricity will start to flow. Now, this technology allows getting electricity through the all night.

What Do They Expect?

Today solar thermal plants costs are falling, but PV prices become lower too. You can get convinced in this fact comparing the leading solar panel companies. That is why it is very difficult to predict whether this new project will be so successful as they expected.

The plant is going to be finished by the 2021 year in Dubai. By that time, it is expected that batteries and solar PV will not differ in price.

As BNEF reports, there are only 5 gigawatts of solar thermal in the world.  And there are about 320 gigawatts of photovoltaic panels. They reduced all the equipment costs by 70% in the 2010 year. The latest record – 2.45 cents per kilowatt-hour compared to the price of solar thermal that was 15 cents.

80% of the PV solar manufacturing industry is concentrated in China. This country has a great experience in mass production. It helps to make solar panels more popular and affordable. But work on thermal technology is reviving by different companies too.

Suppliers and Future Plans

solar panelsToday there are only two companies-suppliers. The others are only starting to work in this sphere.

Some of them may have not enough money to continue their work.

ACWA is a company, that has already built several very similar projects in Africa.

Two of the solar complexes are in Morocco and one more in South Africa – one of the leading countries in solar energy researches. They all are under development.

But today ACWA is looking for new opportunities to start some more projects in Africa. They are about to have power about 350 megawatts. And Paddy Padmanathan is going to build his solar complex in Saudi Arabia.

Solar Water Heater: Is It Worth It?

There are a lot of solar technologies, that use the energy of the sun. They help not only to heat up your homes but to lower your heating bills. One of the most important and useful solar technologies is the solar water heater.

What Is the Solar Powered Water Heater?

solar water heaterYou may use the power of the sun to reduce your reliance on usual heating sources. This will also reduce the cost of heating water. This technology exists for almost 50 years.

The solar hot water heater can capture the sun’s thermal energy. Then it uses it for heating the water in your house.

This system can be active and passive. They work a bit differently. For example, active system use pumps to circulate water. As for the passive ones, they use natural circulation and gravity.

Here you can also read about the solar roadways.

Basic components of a solar water heater:

  • Collectors. They are needed for taking the heat from the sun and then passing this heat to a fluid.
  • The heat transfer liquid. It may use or store the water for some time after taking it from the collector.
  • Heat exchangers. They transfer the heat from the liquid to a water.
  • Pumps. They move the liquid through the exchanger or collector.
  • Controllers. If the collector heat is available, they run the pumps.

Is it Worthy to Use It?

Using solar water heater panels can be really useful and worthy.

  • Energy independence. If you use solar energy, you may reduce the dependence upon the utility. The energy of the sun is really reliable because you can get it constantly.
  • Impact on the environment. Today there are a lot of problems with the environment because of the burning fossil fuels.
  • Save your money. If you use solar energy to heat your water, you can really reduce your expenses. You will definitely see 50% saving on your utility bill. Your original investment will be recouped in 3 years. If you want to make this system more effective, you may make the initial investment. It may be utility rebates, tax credit and so on.

How to Choose?

heat water with solar energyYou may buy such system from one of the top solar companies or make it on your own. In fact, the average solar water heater cost is $3,500. That is why some homeowners manage to make it themselves.

If you decide to buy this system, you will spend a certain amount of money, but that’s a worthy purchase that will work for a long period of time. If there is not enough money, you may try a homemade solar water heater.

The easiest way you may choose to make DIY solar water heater:

  1. Install insulated box and put tubing in it. Insulation will be able to keep the water in the tubes hot. It is easy to screw the box. But then you will need to install the inlet and outlet into this box. Then connect the coil made of copper. The biggest part of piping should be working.
  2. Connect water and definitely make sure there are no leaks.
  3. The last step – installation of the glass top. Remember that hot storage tank should be higher than feeder tank.

The DIY solar hot water heater will be as effective as the usual system. It won’t take a lot of time but you will definitely like the result.

Solar Power Vs. Fossil Fuels

solar power or fossil fuel

Modern people can’t imagine life without electricity, gas, and heating as it has long been a part of our everyday life. But what if something that keeps our comfortable life warm and light, brings invaluable damage to the environment every day? The scientists around the world are engaged in changing the approach to consuming the energy and making it possible to replace fossil fuels with alternative energy sources, one of which is solar energy.

So fossil fuels and solar energy: what is better and why we have to choose only one of them? 

Traditional or Alternative Energy Source?

Fossil fuels are the most spread out resource on earth at this time. They are non-renewable resources that are extracted from the ground. The formation of this fuel takes millions of years, and scientists found it impossible to reproduce it in the lab. Therefore, in the last decades, people started asking a question what will happen when the last sources of fossil fuels are empty?

Therefore, alternative energy sources are such a popular topic now and they are beginning to be actively introduced in people’s life and more people are thinking on how to choose the solar generator. However, the non-renewability of fossil fuels is not the only reason for losing the buttle fossil fuels vs solar energy. Extraction and processing of this type of fuel cause damage to the ecology of our planet that might be irreversible.

Solar Energy Vs. Fossil Fuels Statistics

Let’s talk numbers. One of the biggest reasons to be worried about a complete rejection of fossil fuels is that thousands of professionals will simply be left without work. However, statistics show that unemployment in the energy sector is not something that is going to happen. Only in America in 2016, 1 million Americans were recruited to work in the field of renewable energy. Of which 360 000 is solar energy. While the combined fossil fuel industries of coal, gas, and oil only employed only 200,000.

fossil fuel

Also worth noting is that the fossil fuels industry has the long-established machine and new jobs are added only in the case of processing a new oilfield, for example. While the industry of alternative energy, solar energy, in particular, is developing quite rapidly and only in the year 74,000 new jobs were added.

Therefore, it will be fair to note that the development of alternative fuel and this industry has a positive impact not only on the environment but also on the labor market. And specialists in fossil fuels need just to retrain to continue their work in the energy field.

Don’t know who and how invented solar panels? Find out the history of the solar cells and solar power!

Cost of Solar Energy Vs. Fossil Fuels 

Many people of old hardening prefer the usual fuel. Because it is something familiar and understandable. And besides traditional energy resources are much cheaper than alternative ones, including solar energy. Yes, it is. At the moment, the solar energy is more expensive than fossil fuels, but this is temporary.

The high cost of solar energy is due to the fact that the technologies are in the process of development, but this will not always be so. From year to year, solar energy becomes cheaper and more affordable. So speaking of solar energy cost vs fossil fuels, we can confidently state that soon solar energy will become more accessible, which will probably convince every one of the solar energy advantages.

Here you can read tips on how to choose solar lights for your house!

The energy of the sun is an excellent alternative to all these fuming, burning fossil fuels, which have caused significant harm to the environment and contribute to global warming. Therefore, even without taking into prices and comparing solar energy vs. fossil fuels cost, preference is increasingly being given to alternative sources of energy that do not pump any harm to nature, are constantly available and quite efficient.

Solar Generator: When You Really Need It and How to Choose One?

solar generatorUsing alternative sources of energy is one of the few ways how we can save our humanity from a predicted environmental disaster.

Electricity and energy produced from fossil fuels have been used for several centuries, so no wonder why humans already sound the alarm.

And since we can no longer imagine our lives without electrical devices and electricity in general, the entire world is now switching to the so-called renewable energy sources like water, wind or solar power.

Wanna make a contribution to the environmental prosperity of our planet? Then, start with the simplest – purchasing a good solar generator. If you own a solar generator, you’ll make the world happier.

As a starting point, here is what you need to know about the solar generating equipment.

What Is a Solar Generator?

Simply put, a solar generator is a standard grid that you connect to a residential solar power system to collect sunlight. Once you install solar panels, they will be converting solar power into electricity and send the energy to the generator. It typically consists of a power pack or a powerful battery that keeps the power inside. Also, solar generators turn direct current (DC) power into the alternating current (AC) power – the one that you can get from a standard house plug-in.

Principles of Work

Solar panels or solar photovoltaic modules convert the solar energy into electricity. During this so-called photovoltaic effect, the photon energy causes the electrons disruption and that’s when the electrical power occurs. Solar generators collect this power and as long as the battery has some power in it, generators are able to supply outlets with the AC power.

Types of Solar Generators

The market is full of different solar generator kits with all kinds of various features and functionalities, there exist main 2 categories to classify all generators – a portable version and solar generators for home. Speaking of latter, most of them are backup solar generators entitled that do not depend on the power outage. This means batteries gather and hold the electric power so that it can be used later, for example, during cloudy weather or at night.

3 Reasons Why You Need to Buy a Solar Generator

  1. Severe weather conditions or power outage. So, none of us is secured to unexpected severe weather conditions or even natural disasters like tornadoes, blizzards, hurricanes and thunderstorms (especially if your area is always threatened). In case of ones, you are likely to stay without electricity for several days minimum. However, remember that most solar power generators produce power in advance? They can not only provide you with electricity to help you charge your cell phone or use electrical appliances but also turn on electrical-power medical devices if they are needed.
  2. Living outside civilization. Do you go camping, boating or hiking once in a while? Then, having a portable solar powered generator is really a good idea. Being off-grid may indeed give you feeling of being relieved from privileges of civilization. But let’s be honest – even during camping, we tend to use staff powered by electricity. And we are not even talking about cell phones or other electronic gadgets. Think of the essentials like kettles, coffee makers or lights that you’ll definitely bring to the camping place.
  3. Outdoor gatherings. Finally, if you are not a fan of camping or hiking, portable solar generators can be used in the backyard of your house! And don’t say that you are not doing BBQ parties or bonfires with a family and friends once in a while. Extra lights, music, fans and anything else might be needed for your perfect backyard chillout. So take care of it now instead of hassling when everything is already in its full swing.

3 Tips for Choosing the Best Solar Generator

  1. solar generatorsWhat do you need? Depending on where and how you are going to use your generator, you’ll understand which type suits you the best. Clearly, if you need one for your camping trips, then your choice will be a small portable generator that is less powerful than regular solar generators placed in your house. On the contrary, if you are looking for backup solar systems, opt for larger and more powerful battery capacities.
  2. Be realistic. It’s not like solar power is an eternal energy source. You shouldn’t set super high requirements to a solar generating system just because none of them can power everything in your house for a week without charges. The only solution is to purchase several units and install more solar panels.
  3. Research! If you are searching for the best deal, the only tips we can give you is to make a thorough research! You can figure out more about solar panels and how they work, battery types and how they are charged. Finally, before making a purchase, read the solar generator reviews of the particular solar panels provider. Nothing is better than the experience of real customers.

Now you know the basics about solar generators, how they work and why you should buy ones today.

How to Choose the Right Solar Lights?

choosing solar lights

Solar lighting outdoors can be really useful. Especially if you can’t use the outdoor outlets. But sometimes it is really hard to choose the best solar lights provider. For different situations, you need to use different solar lights. And there are some things you should know about to make the right choice.

How does solar light work?

The batteries are charged by photovoltaic cells. They absorb sunlight during the day and then light the bulb. Solar lights are powered only by the sun. That is why it is important to place them somewhere where they can receive full sun. They need to receive the energy of the sun eight or more hours during a day.

Is your yard too shady? In this case, you need to use solar or landscape lighting pro. It will help to place a photovoltaic panel for example, in the roof. If there still not enough sunlight, solar garden lights will shine, but not so brightly and long.

Do you want to know more about solar power? Find out why solar power is becoming cheaper!

Different types of solar lights

  • Solar path lights. They are small lights on special stakes. You can push them into the ground. You may use them to illuminate a walkway at night. They are not so bright, that is why you need to use a lot of them. Usually, they have various lighting modes. So, you can create different types of atmosphere.
  • Decorative solar lights. They include decorative lanterns, colorful blown glass and solar string lights. Use them, if you need to have a warm ambient glow.
  • Solar spotlights. These lights can provide light that’s equal to a 40-watt incandescent bulb. It is better to use them near doors and in the driveway. You can also place them in the garden, with the beam of light directed, for example, at a tree.
  • Accent lights. Use this type of lights, if you want to have a nice glow. You may use them to bring some things to the center of attention. Or you may highlight some specific landscape features. This kind of lights includes also solar Christmas lights. They are not that bright, that is why you need to multiple lights closer to each other.
  • Solar flood lights. Choose them, if you look for solar lights that are illuminating precisely the area you want. There is an opportunity to use various displays. That is why you can adjust them for an effective illumination of a particular area.

Different hues of solar lights

Pay attention to the hues. Most of the solar-powered lights use LED bulbs. That is why the light they emit is bright white. If you want the look of incandescent bulbs, look for solar lights with tinted covers. They may have another hue.

The brightness of outdoor solar lights depends on the brightness of the sun. Of course, the amount of daylight it is exposed to is important too. But remember about the quality of the photovoltaic cells and the size of the LED bulb. Pay attention: higher-quality photovoltaic cells and larger LED bulbs tend to cost more. In the same time, they shine more brightly.

Read now: solar power is taking over the global energy market!

What is important to know?

It doesn’t matter which model you will choose, don’t forget about your security and ease of use. Most of the solar lights should be easy to install and you shouldn’t worry about your safety either.

The construction of the solar lights is also important. You need to check not only the waterproof grade.

The quality of the photovoltaic cells depends on the brightness of solar lights. The size of the LED bulb is also important. But remember that good lights cannot be cheap. You want to get durability, adjustability, and versatility from the solar lights? Then you need to spend much money, but fisrt read how to save money by installing solar panels on your roof!

Breakthrough In The Cost Of Solar And Wind Energy

solar and wind energy

One of the fastest and the most amazing turns in the history of energy occurred: in many areas the construction and operation of the new renewable energy became now cheaper than simply operating the existing coal and nuclear power plants. Actually, it is quite possible to survive without coal power – the recent experience of the Uk has proved that fact.

There is a conclusion from the whole-used yearly benchmarking study – the Levelized Cost of Energy Analysis (LCOE) from the financial firm Lazard Ltd.: the operating price of generation technologies (coal or nuclear) bear more costs than the full life-cycle costs of construction and operation projects that are based on the use of renewable energy sources.

Lazard is one of the leading financial consulting companies, as well as asset management companies in the world for many years. It was interested in the cost of energy from the plant in North America. It also focused on the following: how the growing economic advantage of renewable energy in the US “will contribute to an even deeper penetration of the sun and wind here”.

Expanding the Boundaries

But Lazard also wonders if it is more expensive to exploit conventional energy sources in the developing world than in the United States. Thus, in India and China, the number of electricity markets is growing rapidly and because of it the advantage of renewable energy sources compared to traditional sources is even larger there.

Let’s understand why the cost of new renewable energy sources for the whole lifetime is much cheaper than the new coal and nuclear energy. This happens because the capacity of new renewable energy sources is cheaper than electricity from existing coal and nuclear fuel. And this gap continues to grow.

In North America, the cost of solar energy and wind power fell by 6 percent last year,” – Lazard emphasizes. This was due to the fact that the price of coal remained at the same level and the cost of nuclear increased. The analysis suggests the following: compared with previous estimates estimated settlement cost of energy for nuclear generation increased by 35% and this reflects an increase in capital expenditures for the various nuclear facilities, which are under development.

In this remarkable diagram, which Lazard demonstrated to us, nuclear energy simply rated itself out of the market for a new power. But at that time, solar and wind energy fell sharply in price since 2009 and solar power is becoming less expensive than natural gas!

The Cost Issue

Comparing the cost of the life cycle of electricity in new nuclear power plants and solar power and wind, we arrive at powered by solarthe following data: the first value is now in the US $ 148. per megawatt-hour or 14.8 cents per kilowatt-hour, whereas 5 to / kWh for solar energy, and 4.5 c / kWh for wind. To compare, in the US there is the average price for electricity 11 cents per kWh.

Therefore, there is no great shock that in the United States only one new nuclear power plant is still under construction. It is also not surprising that even existing power plants are struggling to remain competitive.

The Bloomberg New Energy Finance report, which was published this summer, made the following conclusions: more than half of all existing US nuclear power plants are “bleeding money”. For Secretary Rick Perry was made a draft report from the staff of the US Department of Energy, which agreed that coal and nuclear resources are not economic anymore.

According to the diagram, new gas plants are more expensive than new solar panels and wind. The fact that solar energy and wind are changing still gives new opportunities for gas in some markets.  Since the price of electricity storage, including lithium-ion batteries, fell abruptly the future of renewable energy is more promising than before.

Homemade Solar Hot Dog Cooker for Your Kid’s School Project

solar hot dog cooker

Just think: one day your kid comes home from school and asks you to help with his upcoming school project. The years of school and physics are far behind, so does your science knowledge, so you have no idea what kind of project it can possibly be.

How to impress your kid’s teachers and school pals, get a good grade and at the same teach your kid something useful? Solar Panels Company blog offers you an idea – consider of making a hot dog cooker run on solar energy. Even if you are not an expert in science, you will most likely get it done since this solar hot dog cooker requires minimal efforts and materials to build.

Aside from it, you will have a chance to teach your kids more about the alternative energy that can help the environment and save a bunch of money. So here is how you can make an eco-friendly hot dog cooking appliance.

Materials:

  • Long box
  • Utility knife
  • Aluminum tin foil and poster board or a thin plastic mirror
  • 2 wooden dowels
  • Drill
  • Skewer
  • Ruler (to produce the formula for a parabola)
  • Tape
  • Scissors or utility knife
  • Glue
  • Hot dogs

Instructions:

  1. Find the longest box with an open top in your house. The larger it is, the more hot dogs you’ll be able to cook at one time.
  2. Cut the side parts of your box in a shape of a parabola (half of the oval). Speaking of the parabola formula, let your child figure out the formula and come up with the point of focus on his own. The actual formula for a parabola is Y = X2/(4F), where X is the horizontal distance from the origin, F is the focal distance and Y is the vertical distance to the curve at any point X.
  3. Cut the poster paper to cover the top of the box with the parabola. Cover the poster board with foil and attach it to the box. Instead of a tin foil, you can use a thin plastic mirror.

So, how does it all work? On a sunny day, the construction should be faced directly at the sun (don’t forget to adjust the cooker as the sun changes its position). To fix the incident sun rays at a certain point where the heating occurs (in our case, this is a hot dog), you need to have the parable-shaped mirror. String 1 or 2 hot dogs on a skewer and wait approximately 6-12 minutes to cook the hot dogs.

By the way, here is another way to use solar energy and complete a school task – homemade solar cells!

The most important part of it is patience. First, it seems like nothing happens to hot dogs, but if you do everything right, the process will go. Don’t forget to rotate the skewer every now and then. As soon as hot dogs are ready, enjoy!

Cooking with a little bit of science is fun, how do you think?

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