Solar-powered Australian homes with Tesla Powerwall 2.0 already cost-competitive

November 14, 2016 by  
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As the world shifts towards obtaining energy from renewable sources , cost competitiveness is sometimes still a factor. Fossil fuel proponents have claimed one benefit of the polluting energy sources is that they’re cheaper, but that assertion is now harder to defend. Energy consultancy CME director Bruce Mountain just calculated a Tesla Powerwall 2.0 and rooftop solar panels powering an Australian home offer a cost-competitive source of electricity when compared against grid power supplies. Mountain looked at a hypothetical Adelaide home, which he estimated would use around 4,800 kilowatt-hours of electricity each year. He assumed such a home’s electricity bill would be the average of the 77 market offers in the area, and examined prices both before and after conditional discounts. He also considered the lifetimes of the clean technologies utilized, supposing a five kilowatt rooftop solar array would last for 20 years, and the Powerwall 2.0 would last for 10 years. Related: The world’s first “Tesla Town” with solar roofs and Powerwalls is coming to Australia Mountain’s calculations were thrilling: the clean technologies offer electricity at around an equal price to market offers after discounts, and are even cheaper than market offers before discounts. He said in his article, “This is astounding. A typical household in the suburbs of Adelaide can now meet its electrical needs with solar and battery storage for about the same amount they would pay on a competitive offer from the grid.” Homes receiving cost-competitive clean energy are able to do so in part because of the advanced Powerwall 2.0. While Mountain notes the battery costs nearly the same as the Powerwall 1.0, it offers 100 percent more storage capacity. Peak power and continuous power both increased with the Powerwall 2.0 by 40 percent and 50 percent respectively. Mountain said the implications of his findings about cost-competitive clean energy are either exciting or worrying, depending on a reader’s vested interest. Via CleanTechnica Images via Tesla and Pixabay

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Solar-powered Australian homes with Tesla Powerwall 2.0 already cost-competitive

Chicago may be getting solar-powered floating bike paths

November 14, 2016 by  
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According to reports, a large majority of citizens are hesitant to ride a bicycle on roads with cars. In 2014, there has been an increase in cyclist fatalities and auto-related cyclist injuries. The mayor, however, is determined to see his city become the most bike-friendly city in the United States. His plan is to place bicycle racks and hubs within a half-mile of every Chicagoan, construct more bikeways where more people live and commute, and build infrastructure to match need and stimulate growth. Related: Poland unveils glowing bright blue bike lane that’s charged by the sun The River Ride alongside the Chicago River will be composed of steel-reinforced concrete pontoon segments developed by Marinetek, a global leader in floating structures . The parts will be produced off-site, floated into place and secured with pilings driven in riverbed. Solar panels above each segment will power lighting, precipitation-activated awnings and heating conduit embedded in the segment surface to prevent icing and snow build-up. Guardrails will be also installed in order to minimize injury during a fall and snow plowing into river. + Second Shore + Marinetek Via FastCoExist

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Chicago may be getting solar-powered floating bike paths

Episode 51: Walmart ups its CSR game; Live from BSR

November 4, 2016 by  
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Broadcasting the GreenBiz 350 podcast from BSR’s conference in New York City: GGPs solar strategy, Telsa’s new solar roof tiles and what it means to “Be Bold.”

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Episode 51: Walmart ups its CSR game; Live from BSR

Why General Growth ranks among the top 10 solar buyers

October 31, 2016 by  
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This mall operator owns more than 30.2 MW of capacity, and it’s installing more.

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Why General Growth ranks among the top 10 solar buyers

Why it’s a brilliant time for companies to invest in solar power

October 21, 2016 by  
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Here’s what your company should know before the solar opportunity window closes.

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Why it’s a brilliant time for companies to invest in solar power

CSRHub’s CEO: Dark data in sustainability reporting

October 21, 2016 by  
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Bahar Gidwani dives into recent reporting trends and barriers to accurate data collection.

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CSRHub’s CEO: Dark data in sustainability reporting

Installing solar power and paying it forward

September 20, 2016 by  
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GRID Alternatives brings solar energy to low-income households by using volunteers to cut labor costs. I joined the volunteer crew at VERGE 16.

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Installing solar power and paying it forward

The company that offered integrated solar roofs before Elon Musk

August 17, 2016 by  
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Last week Elon Musk announced SolarCity is working on a solar roof that was “not a thing on the roof” but “the roof.” The promising idea could offer an alternative for those who don’t like the look of traditional rooftop solar panels , but it looks like Musk won’t be the first to create a solar roof. New York-based company SunTegra Solar Roof Systems (formerly Integrated Solar Technology) has already installed integrated solar systems in the northeastern United States and California. According to SunTegra, “three out of four homeowners would prefer an integrated solar option.” So the company, led by industry veteran Oliver Koehler, designed solar shingles and tiles that integrate with roofs. Their tile can produce 67 watts, and their shingle can produce 100 watts. Additionally, the SunTegra shingles utilize ” 50 percent fewer parts ” than traditional rooftop solar panels, and can be rapidly installed in “half the time.” Their systems are lighter than racked panels too. Ventilation built into SunTegra’s units help them stay cool. Related: Elon Musk is developing a roof made entirely out of solar panels While SunTegra’s units are around 15 percent more expensive than traditional rooftop panels, if homeowners need a new roof, pricing can be competitive. None of SunTegra’s roofs have leaked, and the company notes they’ve received ” exceptional wind, snow, and fire ratings .” According to testimonials on the company’s website, clients in California and New Jersey are among those who have had SunTegra shingles or tiles installed, and the company is working to grow sales in more areas of the United States as well as Mexico and Canada. It appears SunTegra is working on other solar projects for the future as well. On their website they said they will be “introducing product lines for garden and patio spaces and for the sides and facades of commercial and community buildings.” + SunTegra Via Treehugger Images via SunTegra and SunTegra Facebook

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The company that offered integrated solar roofs before Elon Musk

Bilateral Opportunities: Impacts of Hawaii’s Energy Policy and Deployment for Japan

July 7, 2016 by  
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With high penetrations of rooftop solar and constrained power grids, Hawaii and Japan have a lot in common. Energy executives from both geographies share their lessons learned and how they collaborate to create smarter grids.

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Bilateral Opportunities: Impacts of Hawaii’s Energy Policy and Deployment for Japan

South Korea races to create the world’s first carbon-free island

June 7, 2016 by  
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The race to be the first carbon-free island is underway. South of South Korea, a tiny island home to 177 people called Gapado could potentially claim the prize. By 2030, nearby Jeju Island , home to over 600,000 people, hopes to achieve carbon-free status using Gapado as their model. The tiny island runs mainly on solar and wind power. Jeju has been chasing their goal for four years. Together with the district office, they’ve helped Gapado go nearly carbon-free. The district office has spent just over $100 million to install two wind energy generators, which generate around 500 kilowatts (kW), and rooftop solar panels. 48 of 97 homes in Gapado now have rooftop solar. Some residents only had to pay around 10 percent of the costs – the district office paid the rest. The island also ditched electricity poles in favor of underground cables. Related: Nevis is on track to become the world’s first carbon-neutral island Gapado has a system in place to store energy on the inevitable cloudy days. Both the solar panels and wind turbines connect to a ” smart meter and smart system on the electricity grid .” The island’s microgrid manager Lee Young-suk described the place as “a giant battery pack.” He told Channel NewsAsia, “Let’s say the entire village consumes around 150 kW. The wind generators produce around three times the power used by the households. If the wind generators produce 500 kW of electricity and store them, we can supply sufficient electricity to the village even if the wind generation is halted.” Gapado leader Jin Myoung-hwan said the island doesn’t even need to utilize diesel generators, and that solar and wind fulfill their energy needs. Eager to experience carbon-free living, tourists flock to Gapado, which is accessible via ferry from Jeju Island. They walk or ride bikes as there are only around nine cars on the island. And four of those cars are electric . Via Channel NewsAsia Images via Wikimedia Commons and screenshot

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South Korea races to create the world’s first carbon-free island

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