Money is flowing into alternative energy companies so fast that “the warning signs of a bubble are appearing,” according to a report on investment in clean technology by a New York research firm, Lux Research.
The report also suggests that companies that make equipment to cleanse air or water, or that process waste, have been overlooked by investors.
Matthew M. Nordan, president of Lux, said that the amount of venture capital put into clean energy investments last year was $1.5 billion, up 141 percent from the $623 million of 2005, and that in the same period, initial public offerings by companies in this sector rose to $4.1 billion, from $1.6 billion in 2005.
Wednesday, July 22, 2009 at 10:18 AM Posted by karthikeyan
Labels: Alternative Energy
Friday, June 19, 2009 at 6:43 PM Posted by karthikeyan
Labels: Renewable Energy Facts
at 6:41 PM Posted by karthikeyan
So you want to know what is the advantage of renewable energy?
Thank you for visiting this page where you will learn about some obvious, and some not so obvious advantages of renewable energy.
Well, when using energy from sources that are easily replaced, you are using renewable energy.Examples are the use of sunshine, wind, flowing water, biological- and geothermal processes. They are often described as clean and green forms of energy because of their minimal environmental impact compared to fossil fuels.
One advantage of renewable energy therefore is the more sustainable use of finite sources of energy.
You probably are aware of that advantage already. But of course there is more. And by the way, there is much that you can do yourself about using renewable energy.
And many ready-made solutions to applying renewable energy in your home exist. Click here to visit the Alternative Energy Store for discount prices on solar panels, wind turbines and renewable energy equipment for your home.
No carbon-based planet warming and polluting
The advantage of renewable resources includes their inability to produce carbon-based warming and polluting agents into the atmosphere. The financial cost of its applications is not always cheap but if the environmental costs of using fossil fuels are accounted for, renewable energy wins hands-down. There are also indirect savings on health and its costs as there are no harmful emissions.
The great advantages of renewable energy then are:
- We can use it repeatedly without depleting it.
- No contribution to global warming,
- No polluting emissions
- Low cost applications when counting all costs
- Saving on health and its costs
But there is still more.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009 at 12:31 PM Posted by karthikeyan
Researchers at Canada's National Institute for Nanotechnology (NINT) and the University of Alberta say they have engineered an approach that is leading to improved performance of plastic solar cells (hybrid organic solar cells). The development of inexpensive, mass-produced plastic solar panels is a goal of intense interest for many of the world's scientists and engineers because of the high cost and shortage of the ultra-high purity silicon and other materials normally required.
Plastic solar cells are made up of layers of different materials, each with a specific function, called a sandwich structure. Jillian Buriak, a professor of chemistry at the U of A, NINT principal investigator and member of the research team, uses a simple analogy to describe the approach:
"Consider a clubhouse sandwich, with many different layers. One layer absorbs the light, another helps to generate the electricity, and others help to draw the electricity out of the device. Normally, the layers don't stick well, and so the electricity ends up stuck and never gets out, leading to inefficient devices. We are working on the mayonnaise, the mustard, the butter and other 'special sauces' that bring the sandwich together, and make each of the layers work together. That makes a better sandwich, and makes a better solar cell, in our case".
After two years of research, these U of A and NINT scientists have, by only working on one part of the sandwich, seen improvements of about 30 per cent in the efficiency of the working model.
Michael Brett, professor of electrical and computer engineering, NINT principal investigator and member of the research team is optimistic saying: "our team is so incredibly cross-disciplinary, with people from engineering, physics and chemistry backgrounds all working towards this common goal of cheap manufacturable solar cells. This collaboration is extremely productive because of the great team with such diverse backgrounds, [although] there is still so much more for us to do, which is exciting."
The team estimates it will be five to seven years before plastic solar panels will be mass produced but Buriak adds that when it happens solar energy will be available to everyone. She says the next generation of solar technology belongs to plastic.
Labels: Solar Energy Breakthrough
at 12:24 PM Posted by karthikeyan
The cost of solar modules has fallen substantially over the past six months and is expected to fall still further. Photovoltaic solar energy is nearing its breakthrough point. This will happen once the cost of solar electricity equals the cost of electricity from the grid.
That point is referred to as "grid parity" and will vary from country to country depending on the market segment. In sunny California, the grid parity point for private households is near, as solar irradiation is high and consumers pay a high price for their electricity. In France– a little less sunny and with low electricity costs due to its cheaply available nuclear power– grid parity is a little further away.
Nevertheless, grid parity for solar PV will come to all countries eventually, because the cost of solar electricity will continue to fall, while the cost of electricity generated through fossil fuels will only increase. Solar modules and systems will become cheaper as a result of improvements in technology and the scaling up of manufacturing processes. The cost of electricity from the grid will become more expensive as a result of growing demand and the scarcity of fossil fuels. Increasing environmental concerns translating themselves into eco-taxes may raise the price as well. Grid parity could be reached in California and southern Italy in less than two years, while it may take a little longer in other countries, such as Spain, Portugal, and Greece. Other countries will soon follow suit. What can we then expect?
Once grid parity has been reached, consumers will be presented with a choice: (1) to buy all their electricity from traditional energy utilities or (2) to pay the same price and (partly) generate green renewable solar energy from their own roofs. Not only will the growing focus on green and sustainable development make solar power a preferential alternative, but even more important will be price stability. Following its installation, a solar energy power system will generate solar electricity at fixed cost for at least 25 years. Operation and maintenance costs are negligible. The cost of solar electricity will be determined by the depreciation schedule and the interest rate. Both of these can be forecast over a long period of time. Compare this to the annually changing cost of grid electricity. Is it likely that fossil fuel-based electricity prices will be stable over the next 25 years? This would seem to be an unlikely scenario when looking at growing concerns about climate change, Asia’s rapidly increasing energy demands, international political instability, and anticipated uncertainties about the easy exploration of oil reserves.
Tuesday, April 21, 2009 at 6:24 PM Posted by karthikeyan
A customer investing in a solar PV system should understand the economic payback on his or her investment, even if there may be strong non-economic (e.g. environmental) factors driving the purchasing decision.
The initial investment depends on the system size. A convenient factor that takes this into account is the price per peak Watt (Wp) of the system. Hence, a 2000 Watt peak (2kWp) solar energy system costing $16000 in total (i.e. including installation) will correspond to a price of $8/Wp. In some countries, you may be able to obtain a grant or rebate towards the cost of the system, which will obviously improve the economic payback on the purchase.
You may have different options to finance the purchase, but each of them has a cost. If you are investing cash then you lose its future interest; if you borrow the money then you pay a financing cost. Either way, there is a cost of financing the purchase that can be represented by a so-called "discount rate". The normal cost of borrowing may be reduced if local banks offer low interest loans for the purchase of solar PV systems. Alternatively, your bank might allow you to extend your home loan or mortgage; this may be the cheapest form of standard borrowing.
The economic return on your investment is the value of the electricity that you generate. This will, as a minimum, displace electricity that you would have otherwise bought from your utility or energy service provider during the day. Through certain schemes, it may be separately metered and rewarded at a defined rate (possibly related to the domestic tariff or set by a national or state program). Market incentive programs in certain countries offer some or all of the range of benefits from grants or rebates and low-interest loans to preferential electricity purchase rates. Your local Retailer (also known as "dealer") should be able to advise if any incentives are available to you.
The following graph shows the impact of the solar system price on the payback time of the purchase as a function of the value of the electricity generated, using a discount rate of 5%. As you would expect: the cheaper the Solar System, the faster the economic payback. The higher your regular electricity rate (shown on the bottom axis), the faster the payback on your Solar Energy System.
For example, if your average electricity rate is 20 US cents per kilowatt hour and your installed cost was $4 per Watt (this is achievable where government or utility programs are available), your payback time will be just over 15 years. If you are exposed to peak pricing on electricity rates, take account of tax incentives (available for Corporate purchasers), payback closer to 10 years is reasonable.