Countries close to achieving 100% renewable energy

100% Renewable Energy

Countries close to achieving 100% renewable energy

With advances and investments in renewable energy made every day, some countries have become almost non reliant on fossil fuels (except cars, planes etc).

Costa Rica

The Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE) said that around 98.1 per cent of the country’s electricity came from green sources. consisting of a combination of geothermal, hydro electric, wind turbines, solar panels and biomass.

Iceland

Due to Iceland’s geology they can cover most if not all their energy needs from Renewable Sources. Almost 100 percent of electricity production is covered by Renewable Energy, with about 75 percent coming from hydro power and 25 percent from geothermal power. Geothermal power is also used for heating homes and buildings

Bonaire

Bonaire is a small country of the Venezuelan coast. It used to rely on diesel generators to provide electricity to its population and tourist. That all changed in 2004 when their main diesel generator burned down. The country now is now almost achieving 100% renewable energy. In peak times wind energy can provide 90% of the electricity needs of the small Island, they are backed up by Biodiesel Generators. The biodiesel. They plan to produce biodiesel from the abundance of algae.

Lesotho

The small mountainous country which is enclosed by South Africa achieves close to 100% of their electricity requirements through the Lesotho Highlands Water Project. This project was established to provide water to South Africa, with the added benefit to cover almost all of Lesotho’s electricity needs.

Paraguay

Paraquay has one of the world’s largest dams (Itaipu dam), Which provides almost 90% of Paraguay’s electricity and about 20% of Brazil’s electricity requirements.

With future developments and decreasing prices, we will see more countries improving their percentage of renewable energy. Countries like Germany, Denmark and Spain are investing heavily in Renewable Energy

Load Shedding

Load Shedding is in full swing at the moment. It will be a fact that South Africans will have to live with & endure. Load Shedding will be here for many years. Load Shedding occurs when demand is greater than capacity to generate electricity. To avoid a total blackout of the power grid Eskom has to implement Load Shedding.

Load Shedding is implemented by switching of the power to certain areas for a certain time. There are several levels of Load Shedding. Load Shedding increases with the severity of the electricity demand & supply.

The following stages of Load Shedding are currently in place

  • Stage 1: Generation shortfall of up to 1 000 MW
  • Stage 2: Generation shortfall of up to 2 000 MW
  • Stage 3: Generation shortfall of up to 4 000 MW

How to reduce the effects of Load Shedding.

Load Shedding is an inconvenience to everybody in South Africa, from people to businesses. Some ways you can work around the effects are

  • Plan your schedule around publicized Load Shedding schedules.
  • Implement Renewable Energy Sources like Solar Power/Solar Heating or Wind Energy.
  • Use a generator (not environmental friendly, but for long periods of Load Shedding a viable but expensive option).
  • Start cooking and boiling water on LPG/Gas or a wood fire.
  • Have a battery/invert-er backup in place.

How to help Eskom by reducing your electricity consumption

One of the best ways to help Eskom & the rest of South Africa if everybody plays their part in reducing their electricity consumption. There are some quick and easy ways to accomplish this.

  • Switch off all equipment/lights which are not needed. (TV’s, Computers, Geysers Etc)
  • Increase the temperature of your air-conditioner or switch it off altogether.
  • Start preparing meals on a Gas stove or make a braai.
  • Change to energy efficient equipment & lights
  •  Become self sufficient by investing in renewable energy and get of the grid or become grid tied.

In periods like this we South Africans have to stand together to avoid a total blackout of our electricity supply which can take weeks to resolve.

GE, First Solar Announce Solar Technology Partnership

GE, FIRST SOLAR ANNOUNCE SOLAR TECHNOLOGY AND COMMERCIAL PARTNERSHIP

  • Partnership accelerates thin-film solar technology development
  • GE takes equity interest in First Solar
  • Existing scale and manufacturing capabilities of First Solar, combined with both companies’ complementary technologies, will enable increased efficiency, cost competitiveness
  • Inverter, balance of plant commercial partnership to improve solar grid integration and connection

SCHENECTADY, N.Y. & TEMPE, Ariz.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Today, GE (NYSE: GE) and First Solar (Nasdaq: FSLR) announced a technology partnership to advance thin-film solar cells and modules. First Solar has acquired GE’s global cadmium telluride (CdTe) solar intellectual property portfolio, setting a course for significant advancement of photovoltaic (PV) thin-film solar technology. GE received 1.75 million shares of First Solar common stock as part of this transaction. GE has agreed to retain the shares for at least three years.

The combination of the two companies’ complementary technologies and First Solar’s existing manufacturing capabilities are expected to accelerate the development of cadmium telluride (CdTe) solar module performance and improve efficiency at manufacturing scale. In addition, GE Global Research and First Solar R&D will collaborate on future technology development to further advance CdTe solar technology.

GE, which has 34GW of renewable energy installed globally, will enhance its presence in solar through access to purchasing and branding First Solar’s modules for future global GE deployments, in addition to its investment in inverters, controls, balance of plant and ownership of utility scale systems.

Additionally, GE and First Solar have formed a commercial relationship around solar inverter technology. First Solar will continue to purchase inverters from GE Energy Management for use in First Solar’s global solar deployments to optimize electrical balance of plant. By combining complementary technologies, the collaboration is expected to lead to an improvement in solar grid integration, more competitive cost structures and a roadmap for combined electrical equipment.

“We are creating an exciting synergy with this deal,” said Jim Hughes, First Solar’s Chief Executive Officer. “The addition of GE’s PV thin film technology and R&D resources will advance our technology roadmap, while realizing cost reduction in our manufacturing process.”

“To lead in today’s solar industry, you must have the most competitive technology at the most competitive cost position,” said Anne McEntee, president and CEO of GE’s renewable energy business. “We’re excited to partner with First Solar to accelerate innovation and bring our complementary technology and R&D to market faster through its manufacturing capabilities.”

First Solar’s existing manufacturing sites will be used to further advance CdTe technology and achieve an increasingly competitive cost position. GE has decided to discontinue the build-out of its Aurora, Colorado, solar manufacturing facility.

The transaction has closed. King & Spalding LLP and Arnold & Porter LLP represented GE on the transaction, and Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP represented First Solar.

About GE Power & Water

GE Power & Water provides customers with a broad array of power generation, energy delivery and water process technologies to solve their challenges locally. Power & Water works in all areas of the energy industry including renewable resources such as wind and solar; biogas and alternative fuels; and coal, oil, natural gas and nuclear energy. The business also develops advanced technologies to help solve the world’s most complex challenges related to water availability and quality. Power & Water’s six business units include Distributed Power, Nuclear Energy, Power Generation Products, Power Generation Services, Renewable Energy and Water & Process Technologies. Headquartered in Schenectady, N.Y., Power & Water is GE’s largest industrial business.

About First Solar

First Solar is a leading global provider of comprehensive photovoltaic (PV) solar systems which use its advanced module and system technology. The company’s integrated power plant solutions deliver an economically attractive alternative to fossil-fuel electricity generation today. From raw material sourcing through end-of-life module recycling, First Solar’s renewable energy systems protect and enhance the environment. For more information about First Solar, please visit www.firstsolar.com.

For First Solar Investors

This release contains forward-looking statements which are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. The forward-looking statements in this release do not constitute guarantees of future performance. Those statements involve a number of factors that could cause actual results to differ materially, including risks associated with the company’s business involving the company’s products, their development and distribution, economic and competitive factors and the company’s key strategic relationships and other risks detailed in the company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. First Solar assumes no obligation to update any forward-looking information contained in this press release or with respect to the announcements described herein.

Source: First Solar, Inc.

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.

Renewable Energy for the home

The trend toward homes that are powered by alternative energy sources, ranging from wind turbines and solar collection cells to hydrogen fuel cells and biomass gases, is one that needs grow and to continue into the 21st century and beyond.

There is a great need of becoming more energy independent, and not having to rely on the supplying of fossil fuels. Not only are Fossil Fuels adding to global warming but future generations might not have the benefit of oil,coal and natural gas due to the fact that current and past generations have depleted the reserves.

But even beyond this factor, we as individuals need to get “off the grid” and also stop having to be so reliant on government-lobbying giant  corporations and who, while they are not really involved in any covert conspiracy, nevertheless have a stranglehold on people when it comes to powering their homes

Steps before renewable energy

Renewable energy is the energy of the future, but before it will be economically viable for the household users there are of course steps we can take to reduce our current energy footprint. Currently renewable energy as it is is more expensive money wise than fossil fuels and other energy sources.

Renewable energy is already viable in our opinion if you care for the environment.
We have to start reducing our current energy needs. If everybody tries to do their bit and conserves energy and not waste unnecessary we can do with less traditional coal fired or nuclear power plants.

Here are some tips to reduce your energy usage and save some money in the process.

  • Hot water is the main source for electricity consumption in a modern household. Try to Reduce the temperature of your geyser to around 55 degrees so that you don’t have to mix too much cold water when you shower or do the dishes.
  • Install a water-saving shower head which not only will reduce your water bill but also your electricity due to less use of hot water.
  • When cooking keep the lids of the pots closed this will conserve heat and will save energy.
  • Close the door every time you take something out of the fridge and defrost frozen foods by taking it out early enough instead of using the microwave to defrost (so plan in the morning what you are going to eat).
  • Close windows/curtains and doors when you have your heater on to avoid hot air escaping.
  • If you are going to make one cup of coffee boil only water for one cup. You’ll be amazed how much electricity that will save over time.
  • Insulate your geyser by wrapping newspapers, old blankets or other insulating materials around it and around the hot water pipes.
  • When you leave a room switch of the lights and appliances not in use. Also consider replacing your light bulbs with cfl or led lights which have a much lower electricity usage.
  • Turn off all stand-by modes of appliances like tv,dvd players and computers  every time you leave the house and before going to bed.
  • Take a walk to your corner shop when buying the newspaper, not only will you save some money and energy in the process, but exercise in the form of walking will be good for body and soul.

So start cutting electricity usage and save money in the process.

Steps before renewable energy

step by step