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Showing posts from November, 2010

A Very Worthy Project - new solar barn at Glastonbury

Source: Forum For The Future
Glastonbury Festival website
http://www.forumforthefuture.org/node/13781?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+forumforthefuture-latestnews+%28Forum+For+The+Future+-+Latest+News%29&utm_content=Twitter

http://www.glastonburyfestivals.co.uk/news/here-comes-the-sun

Glastonbury Festival organiser Michael Eavis has just installed a new 20 Kw solar system on the roof of a barn at Worthy Farm, the 'Mootel' where the cows are housed during the period the festival is on. The system is the largest of any system installed on a farm building in the UK and farmers are flocking to Glastonbury to have a look at it.
The new solar technology is becoming very newsworthy in the farming community because of the government's new 'feed-in tariff' whereby people who install solar panels can sell power back to the National Grid.
The solar array on the roof of the 'Mootel' consists of some 1,100 solar panels and can supply eno…

The spray that turns windows into solar panels

Source: Gizmag, Geek With Laptop
http://www.gizmag.com/thin-film-turns-windows-into-solar-panels/16058/
http://www.geekwithlaptop.com/ensol-demos-spray-on-solar-technology

A Norwegian company by the name of Ensol is developing a spray that can be applied to windows and effectively turns them into solar panels producing about 2w of power. Essentially it consists of minute nanoparticles of metal embedded in a transparent matrix. The spray is being developed in conjunction with the University of Leicester's Department of Physics and Astronomy. Chris Binn's, Professor of Nanotechnology at Leicester says that the thin-film spray can also be applied to structural surfaces such as clip-together panels or even roof tiles. Ensol hopes to achieve an efficiency of around 20% and be able to offer the spray on the renewables market by 2016.

Vaclav Smil and power densities

Source: Vision Earth
http://www.visionofearth.org/industry/renewable-energy/renewable-energy-review/land-use-of-coal-vs-wind-still-room-for-debate/

As you can see from my earlier posts on this blog, I recently wrote a couple of articles on Professor Vaclav Smil's calculation of power densities and the implications for renewable technology. These articles, mostly through my sharing of this blog through links with other energy sites, have come to the attention of the blogsite Vision of Earth, a link to which is included on this site (see below). As a result, Ben Harack from Vision of Earth has written a response which is most interesting as it appears to contradict Smil's findings. I will attempt to summarise this reply but bear with me as, despite my interest in energy issues, I am not a scientist but a journalist.
Harack explains that Smil uses the method of trying to calculate how much energy can be generated from a square meter of land (W/m2) and states that this method has dis…

Alaskan untapped oil reserves estimate lowered by 90%

Source: CNNhttp://edition.cnn.com/2010/US/10/27/alaska.oil.reserves/index.html
The US Geological Survey has warned that a recent estimate of the amount of untapped conventional oil in the Alaskan National Reserve is a fraction of the estimate made in 2002, about 90% less to be specific. New data obtained from exploration drilling has revealed gas occurrence rather than oil in much of the same area covered by the 2002 survey.

Most countries dependent on foreign sources for renewable technology materials

Source: Renewable Energy Focus
http://www.renewableenergyfocus.com/view/13610/mining-essential-for-renewable-energy-future/

The Geological Society of America has warned that most countries are highly dependent on foreign sources for the rare metals used in photovoltaics, wind generators, fuel cells and high capacity batteries. Solar PV for instance often requires gallium, indium, selenium, tellurium and high quality silicon, whereas batteries need zinc, vanadium, lithium and fuel cells need metals in the platinum group.
China is one of the biggest providers of these metals but it seems that increasingly they are being withheld for Chinese domestic use. According to a new report from the Worldwatch Institue it also appears that China is starting to become dominant in the renewable energy sector and has ambitions to be a global leader in renewables.
In 2009, China overtook the US as the world's largest market for windpowerChinese windpower capacity has doubled every year for the past fo…