Solar energy generation in California is expected to rise sharply during the second half of 2013, coming from utility-scale plants such as the California Valley Solar Ranch in San Luis Obispo. Here, 140 megawatts were brought online in December 2012. By December 2013, the project is expected to deliver its full capacity of 250 megawatts. (Source: US Department of Energy/NRG Solar)
Ann writes: "That's good news, but because China also produces the majority of PV solar capacity, it's also been accused of dumping by the EU"
The whole balance of trade problem with China under cutting both Solar and Wind, to the point of driving both US and EU mfgr's out of business has long term implications that prices will rise significantly as western economies force a balance of trade solution. First with stiff tarrifs, then with currency balancing that allows trade import/exports to balance.
So the near term might be the lowest prices ... and a good time to buy. Because the dumping windfall will get corrected one way or the other, most likely with currency parity, which will raise the price of all China made goods by something around 15-50% to stop the balance of trade problems. The import/export ratio can not stay in the 3:1 to 4:1 range much longer.
Even though your ROI was 7 years, it is still a terrible timeframe. Even 6 years.
In 6 years, the current solar tech will look and operate so dated. Eventually, there will be a solar tech that is cheap and a high efficiency. Somewhere, a team is working on it I am sure. If only we could get them some added funding.
Mydesign, I remember the effort of harvesting energy from tidal waves, but not why it failed. Considering what the Wave Glider can do in that department
I'd like to know why that effort failed. Any idea?
PV panel costs have been dropping rapidly as China has increased its use in huge quantities. That's good news, but because China also produces the majority of PV solar capacity, it's also been accused of dumping by the EU: http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/eu-to-hit-100-china-solar-panel-makers-with-anti-dumping-tariffs
Price point matters. When Cell Phones cost $10,000 only very rich people had them, when they fell below $1000 a lot more people got them, and when they figured out ways to make them for a hundred or so, the market exploded into the billions.
When computers cost millions, big institutions had them. When they cost 10K, well off people and businesses had them. When they cost $1K, everyone had them. Now a netbook is a few hundred bucks and are almost disposable assets.
if a rooftop solar array costs $50K, it's a deterrence, no matter how good the economic story. When they cost $20K, well, it's that or a car. When they cost $5K, well, it's not
much of an issue at all and the install rate will explode.
"so far the hybrid harvesters have been solar/vibration and solar/heat. It seems like this is where this technology is trending, though. A hybrid solar-wind generator would be an amazing invention."
Elizabeth, in all hybrid models solar/sun light is at one end because of its abundant availability. The other combinations are with wind, heat, vibrations, tidal etc. in my country they had tried for power generation through tidal waves, but failed.
"great thing as cell costs continue dropping, the ROI gets shorter and shorter. I believe that as the ROI gets below 3 years, the investment will pick up and as it goes under a year, the demand will be Hyperbolic."
Path2009, actually panel cell cost is fine because it's a onetime investment. From user point of view power storage is bit concerned because of high cost and need of replacement in every 3-5 years.
Very informative post Ann. I think we have no real alternative relative to increasing energy usage than "green energy". Fossil fuel and nuclear have gotten an undeserved black eye over the years although still very viable as energy sources. I agree the ROI for wind and solar will continue to drop as the technology improves. I think the real "sleeper" is natural gas firing turbines for the production of electricity. I visited Dubai some years ago and was amazed at the number of gas turbines providing power for individual buildings and commercial complexes.
Last week, the bill for reforming chemical regulation, the TSCA Modernization Act of 2015, passed the House. If it or a similar bill becomes law, the effects on cost and availability of adhesives and plastics incorporating these substances are not yet clear.
The latest crop of coating and sealant materials and devices has impressive credentials. Many are designed for tough environments with broad operating temperature ranges, and they often cure faster, require fewer process steps, and produce less waste.
A new program has been proposed for testing and certify 3D printing filaments for emissions safety. To engineers who've used 3D printers at home this is a no-brainer. It's from a consumer on Kickstarter, and targets use in homes and schools.
For the last 50 years, the Metal Powder Industries Federation (MPIF) has sponsored an awards competition for creative solutions to designing and fabricating near-net-shape parts using powder metal (PM) technologies. Here are the seven Grand Prize winners of the 2015 contest.
Graphene 3D Lab has added graphene to 3DP PLA filament to strengthen the material and add conductivity to prints made with it. The material can be used to 3D print conductive traces embedded in 3D-printed parts for electronics, as well as capacitive touch sensors.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.