Solar energy positioned to boom in Florida

Japan Solar Energy Soars, But Grid Needs to Catch Up

A solar plant under construction in Miyama, Fukuoka, Japan.

The leasing companies also perform maintenance and repair panels throughout the length of the agreement. “We believe the model we’ve adopted and many other companies will adopt in Florida is the most efficient way to scale solar in Florida,” said John Porter, managing partner of Clean Footprint, which is focusing on business and government retrofits with solar. “There is some risk for the customer,” Porter said. “But we shoulder most of the risk.” The risk, Fenton says, will diminish over time. Right now, solar installations currently benefit from a 30 percent federal income tax credit that remains in effect through 2016, plus an early depreciation benefit that expires this year. But even without the tax benefits, Fenton said economic trends including a steady drop in up-front costs show that solar will become increasingly affordable. Currently, it would take Florida residents as long as nine years worth of lower electric bills to “pay off” the up-front costs of a solar installation, according to the Solar Energy Center. By 2025, that will drop to as little as a two years.
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Duke Energy Buys 4.5MW Solar Farm

Mr. President, you will be back on the civilian side of life in as much time as it has taken you to put solar on the White House . I urge you to use your remaining time in office wisely, and to the benefit of the nation you were elected to lead twice. You are not the first president to put solar panels on the White House. Jimmy Carter did it during his presidency, only to have them removed by his successor, Ronald Reagan. Will you be the president who leads the charge into a prosperous, secure, clean energy future?
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Solar energy almost ready to compete without subsidies

The acquisition comes four months after Duke Energy Renewables bought two commercial solar power projects, namely, Highlander Solar 1 and 2, for an undisclosed amount from SolarWorld. Located near Twentynine Palms, Calif., both the projects will run as a single operation as it is located almost next to each other. Together, Highlander Solar 1 and 2 will generate 21 megawatts ( MW ) of renewable energy, which is sufficient to power more than 4,000 average homes every year. Under a 20-year purchase power agreement, all the electricity generated from the two projects will be sold to Edison International ( EIX ). Currently, Duke Energy Renewables has more than 100 MW of solar generating capacity from 16 various farms. Since 2007, Duke Energy has invested more than $3 billion to grow its commercial wind and solar business. Recently, the utilitys adjusted second quarter 2013 earnings came in below our expectation and were also below the year-ago figure by 14.7%. The lower numbers mainly reflect higher costs and the impact of share dilution from the Progress Energy merger and lower quarterly results at both the Commercial Power and International Energy business units.
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Solar Power at the White House: What Took So Long?

Only three frequency converter stations are located on the boundary between the two regions, with the ability to convert less than one percent of the nation’s power generation capacity. While the FIT law obligates utilities to provide access to the grids and purchase all of the generated renewable power, there are provisions that allow them to restrict or deny access to ensure the stability of electricity supply. According to a survey of companies involved in solar projects by the Japan Renewable Energy Foundation, 20 percent of the respondents said they were denied access by local utilities due to overcapacity, while 37 percent were told there would be limits to the amount of electricity that the utilities could accept. With regional utilities planning to put their nuclear power plants back online, there is speculation that grid capacity alone may not be the reason for Hokkaido Electric’s decision to limit its purchases of renewable energy. Four of the ten utilities, including Hokkaido Electric, submitted applications this summer to have their nuclear facilities examined for safety review and restart under new guidelines set by the Nuclear Regulation Authority. All are suffering losses due to skyrocketing fuel pricesmostly for natural gaswhile the nuclear stations are out of operation. Paying above-market rates for renewables is an additional cost. Softbank, which now operates five renewable energy plants and has plans for nine more nationwide, has learned its project to build three large solar power plants in Hokkaido with a combined capacity of more than 180,000 kilowatts is on hold, as Hokkaido Electric hasn’t specified which of the applicants will be allowed to connect to the grid.
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Costs have fallen by a quarter over the past year alone because of the flood of cheap Chinese panels. Washington expects a “non-linear” surge in solar expansion once the key threshold is reached, “paving the way for rapid, largescale adoption of solar electricity across the U.S.,” with solar providing 27 per cent of U.S. power by 2050. If so, solar may prove a bigger story than shale in the end. “This could take off very fast and catch a lot of people by surprise. The oil and gas industry is starting to smell that renewables are really dangerous for them,” said Solarcentury’s Leggett. Like all solar survivors, he has emotion invested in his dream. What is new is that big global banks are starting to agree. UBS kicked off earlier this year with a report on the “unsubsidized solar revolution,” arguing that every rooftop in Italy, Spain and Germany should have a solar cover, based purely on hard economics.
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Solar Power Shines in Middle East Enhanced Oil Recovery

forecasting 35 percent growth in global energy demand from 2010 to 2040 companies such as Royal Dutch Shell plc and Chevron Corp. have turned to EOR techniques, including solar EOR, a form of thermal EOR, to boost recovery of oil resources from maturing fields. The oil and gas industry recovers an average of around 35 percent of oil from reservoirs, leaving the rest trapped in the rock, according to the International Energy Agencys (IEA) Resources to Reserves 2013. Even a one percent increase in the average recovery factor could add more than 80 billion barrels, or six percent, to global proven oil reserves, a IEA spokesperson told Rigzone, IEA noted. Glass Point Technology Boosts Oil Recovery, Saves on Gas, Costs To address the high capital costs associated with solar, Fremont, California-based Glass Point Solar Inc. created the Enclosed Trough solar field, in which curved aluminum mirrors used in place of solar panels and an aiming system and other vulnerable components contained inside a commercial glasshouse structure typically used in agriculture. The Enclosed Trough solar field harnesses solar power production that boosts oil recovery while reducing the amount of natural gas consumed in the process and carbon dioxide emitted by up to 80 percent. The mirrors track the sun during the day, focusing sunlight on a stationary boiler tube containing water. The sun’s heat then boils water in a stationary boiler tube that produces high pressure steam used to boost oil production.
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