Google to invest in south african solar power plant

Power Poles Energy

Google to invest in south african solar power plant

Investment in solar energy is continuing in South Africa with the announcement on Thursday the 30th of may 2013 of Google’s $12m investment in the Northern Cape’s 96MW solar photovoltaic Jasper Power Plant.

Eskom the national power producer could see the first power procured from the first round of the independent power producer procurement programme by year-end. Many of the projects coming of the ground from the 18 preferred bidders in the first window of the Department of Energy’s renewable energy Independent Power Producer Procurement (IPP) programme already at build phase.

Independent Power Producers.

The first group IPP bid winners will generate a total of 631MW of electricity from solar power parks ranging in capacity from a small 5MW to larger plants. South Africa’s power supply is urgently in need of extra capacity as it has been running on a thin reserves since about 2008. In 2008 demand outstripped supply, causing a range of blackouts that damaged the economy to the tune of R50bn.

The Jasper project was developed and funded by US-based SolarReserve and South African companies Intikon Energy and the Kensani Group, as well as the Public Investment Corporation, the Development Bank of Southern Africa and the PEACE Humansrus Trust.

When completed, Jasper would be one of the largest solar installations in Africa, capable of generating enough electricity to power 30,000 South African homes, Google said in a statement.

The consortium is expecting to bid for an additional 1,500MW of solar photovoltaic projects in subsequent bid rounds.

At the start of this the week, South African Minister of Energy Dipuo Peters launched another of the projects from the first window of the IPP programme. The development of the RustMo1 Solar Power Plant is the first solar energy park in North West and the first renewable energy project that will supply power to the Eskom grid and produce 250,000MW of energy over the next 20 years.

This 7MW solar photovoltaic power plant was awarded to Momentous Energy, a local black-owned development company. The project includes the installation of 11 inverters and 29,808 photovoltaic solar modules, with a step-up transformer to connect to the 88kV substation.

South Africa is in dire need of more energy after 10 years of Eskom’s pleas for investment in generation capacity being ignored. Solar Power will become a major part of South Africa’s energy needs.

The investment in solar power is not only good for South Africa’s energy requirements it should add to highly needed employment as well.

Solar Power Systems

Solar power systems create free energy from the Sun. Solar power system are using the sun to the process light or heat into an energy source.
It is becoming a reliable renewable energy alternative to regular power sources like coal powered electricity in urban areas. Solar Power systems are even been used in outer space to power satellites and even the international space station. Solar power system as renewable energy sources are used in homes for lighting, electricity generation and water heating. Renewable energy like solar power is becoming even more popular as the cost of fossil fuel continue to rise. Solar panels both thermal and photovoltaic are designed to collect the free energy from the sun.

Different applications of solar power.

Once the solar energy is collected by the solar panels installed the solar power has to be converted into energy either electrical or heat. Solar thermal application processes involve using the energy from the sun to directly heat air or liquids. The process of photoelectric application involves the use of photovoltaic cells to change the energy into electricity.

Solar power challenges.

Solar power poses no harm to the environment. There is an abundance of solar power available. one hour of sunlight beams enough energy to planet earth to satisfy our energy needs for a year. Even though so much free renewable energy reaches earth every hour of the day less than one tenth of one percent of global energy demand is sourced through solar power. Why are we using so little of this freely available solar power ?

  • Cost is currently the main factor. Technology to produce electricity from the sun is still more expensive as burning fossil fuels
  • Storage of solar power. Solar power does not work at night, so energy captured during the day still has no efficient and cost effective way of being stored.

Even though solar power has its challenges it is still a very good choice going forward. Solar thermal energy for hot showers and baths is already proven very cost effective and is growing in popularity. Once the initial investment in solar thermal power is made the solar power is free and reduces your fossil powered energy by about 30%.

Solar power is also very economical to use in remote areas where it is expensive to provide common fossil powered electricity. Your off grid systems with battery backup prove to be very successful in those areas.

Global Warming Explained

Global Warming a topic which has many scientists, politicians, celebrities, and everyday people talking. Opinion and controversy surrounding global warming can be poles apart and are sometimes very divided. In this article we would like to discuss some facts about global warming.

The most obvious about global warming is that the earth is getting warmer and warmer. More specific the temperatures near the surface of the earth and the temperatures in our oceans are rising rapidly. Since the 90s, there have been 10+ years that have been warmer than any others in recorded history.

What causes global warming.

The greenhouse effect is said to be the main culprit for global warming. The greenhouse effect causes certain vapors and gases to form a blanket/shield that covers and warms the earth. This shield is made up of water vapor, methane, carbon dioxide and a variety of other trace gases.

The greenhouse effect itself is not in discussion. No disputes or controversy exists on this point because the greenhouse effect is recognized as an normal beneficial process. If all the energy that reaches the earth was reflected right back into space, no life could have been possible on planet earth. The earth would be a cold and icy place without this blanket.

However, global warming is not all good. It can cause the earth’s covering to increase in density. With a denser blanket over the earth, less of the heat is reflected back into space. This upsets the delicate balance between heat and cold that is usually maintained on earth. It traps more heat inside the earth’s atmosphere.

Although there are scientists and politicians who argue against it, there seems to be a shift in the climate in recent years. Climate change to a warmer climate is the result of excessive global warming.
There has been an global rise in temperature of a little over one degree celsius during the last 100 years. The figure for the next 100 years century is expected to be more like seven degrees. It is this type of global warming that can lead to dire consequences if left unchecked.

Man made global warming

A lot of the global warming happening now is man made. People, their activities, and their industries have caused global warming to reach to the levels it has today. Burning fossil fuels, powering electrical plants with coal, and irresponsible land use can all contribute to global warming. Carbon dioxide is produced by these activities, and global warming is perpetuated.

Effects of global warming

Global warming is resulting in rising ocean levels and increased risk of flooding. There are more powerful storms. Heat waves are becoming more frequent and intense. Extended droughts could severely damage the world’s food crops and cause shortages of drinkable water. Extinction of species could become a problem because of changing habitats and the suitability of the climate for the animal.

What can be done about global warming

Global warming can probably not be reversed, but there are ways to slow the process down. Each person should take responsibility for doing their part in protecting the earth’s environment. With the will power of people,politicians and countries, the emissions of greenhouse gases can be cut drastically. This will give the earth a chance to regain its natural balance of temperature. Knowledge about global warming is one step towards a healthier planet. So start cutting back on fossil fuels and begin investing in renewable energy sources to cut down global warming.

Solar Panels

Solar Panels can be divided into two different types. You have the Photovoltaic Solar Panels and then you have your Solar thermal collector. Both use the energy from the sun and convert it to power or hot water.

Photovoltaic solar panels & solar thermal collectors can be used independently of each other or in combination. They both serve a different purpose.

Photovoltaic solar panels.

Photovoltaic solar panels collect light from the sun and converts this light into usable electricity. These solar panels can be connected to a battery system to store electricity for use when the sun is not shining. You can have grid tied systems which means you are still connected to the main electricity grid. Off grid systems are stand alone systems where one is not connected to the main electricity grid to have uninterrupted power a battery backup system is required.

Solar thermal collectors.

Solar thermal collectors convert the solar energy received from the sun into hot water or hot air. These solar panels are commonly used in South Africa for heating pools, heating water for use in showers and baths. Considering hot water requirements for a modern household are a major contributor to electricity bills. Investing in solar thermal collectors is a worthwhile investment which should pay for itself. They are also a great solution for the many areas in South Africa which have not been electrified. It will provide cheap hot water for our daily needs.

Solar thermal collectors are more commonly installed than Photovoltaic solar panels due to the technology being simpler and more affordable. If electricity keep rising then we might see more installations of photovoltaic solar panels.

Solar Pool Heating

Solar pool heating is an affordable way to heat your pool to a comfortable temperature for a once of investment in Pool Solar Panels. After the initial investment there are basically no running cost to heat your Pool. Solar Panels for solar pool heating can be installed quickly by the professionals or you might opt for the DIY route. Either way solar panels for pool heating are an affordable investment which is going to give you years of swimming pleasure.

Some advantages of a solar pool heating are

  • You can extend your swimming season with a few months.
  • No running cost once installed. It uses the free energy from the sun
  • Environmentally friendly as it uses the sun to heat the pool.
  • Solar pool heating is maintenance free.
  • Solar Pool Heating is an investment and increases property value

The only requirement is that you run your pump during the day while the sun is shining instead of during the night. As you have to run your pump/filter in any case to keep your pool clean there should be no extra cost at all for a free heated swimming pool.

Combine the solar pool heating with a solar blankets, solar blankets also known as thermal blankets will stop heat loss from the pool at night. Another benefit of solar blankets is reduced loss of chemicals and a cleaner pool.

In conclusion invest in solar panels to enjoy your warm pool more and for a longer period at no running costs courtesy of the free energy provided by the sun.

Now if only the pool could maintain itself.

Solar Pool Heating

Heated Swimming Pool