Saturday, July 18, 2009

The Futures So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades

One of the renewable energy briefs I went to last week showcased some really interesting facts and figures on solar energy in countries like China and America.

Currently, solar energy is not widely used. It accounts for less than one percent of the world's energy usage. Inefficient solar panels and batteries that can't hold a sustainable charge is largely to blame. However, by 2015, solar is projected to overtake oil and other fossil fuels as an affordable energy source due to efficiency improvements and economies of scale. Batteries are also improving at a remarkable rate. In areas such as India and Africa, where electrification rates are low and solar radiation is very high, solar, a "plug and light" option (particularly useful in areas where little infrastructure exists), seems poised to capture the market.

I think it's amazing. The same thing that power's the flora y fauna, the wind and the sea, even you and I, is about to power our civilizations. We live in interesting times my friends, very interesting times.

Take a look at some of the initiatives by country quoted below.

Over 60,000 demonstrations in 2008 because of poor Air Quality
-Biggest source of contestation
-18 of 23 most polluted cities in the world are in China

What is China doing now?
-Has introduced solar subsidies – USD 2 per watt
-USD 650 billion spent over the next ten years on renewable and sustainable technology
-Solar power usage should grow from 30 mega watts to 20 giga watts

The US
-Coal represents 52% of electricity grid
-Coal plants inefficient and old (on average, 35 years old)
-Bank’s won’t finance new coal plants.
-28 states don’t have renewable energy portfolio standards
-10% distribution loss because of old grid. That's 10 times the losses of Europe or Japan
-The losses are mainly do to the small energy companies in the energy business and the regulations (Transporting energy across state lines requires a lot of deal making)
-USD 20 Trillion is required in improvements over next 20 years.
-Obama is heavily behind renewable energy

Europe should remain a leading player in renewable energy.
-Legislature support
-New players are coming into the market,
-Banks are heavily behind RE

Tell your local legislators to pay attention. Higher paying jobs are another benefit to solar energy adoption.

Job creation
-At 300GW by 2030 = 5 million jobs (mostly installers)
-Jobs with higher education requirements means higher pay, thus a higher tax base (important if you want to convince legislators)

In fact, if you're looking for a new career, why not go solar?
This website is a good place to start looking.

Take a look at the entire PowerPoint presentation at:

And have a great day : )

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