Grid parity for solar PV is already here in 105 countries

I have already noted quite a few times in the past month that grid parity is slowly but surely approaching. What if it were already the case ? To the Applied Materials blog and REneweconomy it is already here in over a hundred countries. Yes, solar photovoltaic installed on rooftops is now cheaper than electricity … Read more

Graphene could bring solar PV efficiency to 60%

GrapheneAccording to TreeHugger, graphene could offer 60% solar cell efficiency if it were to replace silicon in PV panels. As they note : ” Researchers from the Institute of Photonic Sciences in Spain have just published results from their experiments.”

” While their results so far will probably be more useful to make better image sensors, they still show promise for third-generation solar cells which could, in theory, reach efficiencies in the range of 60% (!),

As current efficiency levels for commercial panels are below 20 percent, you can imagine the boost this could be to solar. As a matter of fact, when it will happen, it will bring a total paradigm shift.

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Solar PV to become the cheapest option by 2018

Currently, the world is relying massively on to generate as it is cheap, awfully cheap – if you don’t take into account the negative externalities as it is polluting our air, our soil and is one of the main factors to climate change.

But what if solar became even cheaper than coal ? What if if became the cheapest solution ? We would then have a renewable, clean and cheap alternative to produce gigawatts of electricity.

Kees van der Leun – A Dutchman who has been dedicating himself to renewables for the past 25 years – wrote on Grist an excellent post on that very topic.

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Which future for Lorraine, and France ?

Here is another post I wrote on Cleantechies : ” While I was visiting my family in the Region of Lorraine – North Eastern France – I came across two distinct news illustrating the possible future of the region, and in a way, of the whole country. ” ” The first one is about dirty … Read more

Greece plans 10 GW of solar by 2050

What if the answer to all the economic and financial woes Greece is witnessing came from solar ? This is the bet the local government is willing to place as more than 16 percent of the population is unemployed. To Ecogeek :

” Greece has laid out a plan to get out of a recession and to spread renewables through the country and the EU. The plan would see the country expanding its solar capacity to 10 GW by 2050 through financing by international investors.”

Ten gigawatts of capacity in 40 years seems very little when one knows that Germany installed no less than seven gigawatts of capacity in 2010 alone.

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16 GW of solar PV capacity added in 2010

According to Reuters : ” The world added about 16 gigawatts of new solar photovoltaic (PV) power in 2010, double the growth seen a year earlier, the European Photovoltaic Industry Association told Reuters on Monday.”

Out of these 16 gigawatts, Europe is behind the vast majority of the growth with an impressive 13 gigawatts. Out of these, Germany account for seven GW and Italy three (and not six as I wrote there…)

Still to Reuters : ” Estimates for the other major European players included the Czech Republic (1.3 GW), France (0.5 GW), Spain (0.4), Belgium (0.25) and Greece (0.2). “

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Now featured in Solar Feeds !

Good news everyone ! (*) You – as well as many and many other people – will now be able to read my humble articles about solar energies on the Solar Feeds News Network.

The world’s largest solar news network, it will enable me to reach over 59,000 Twitter followers and over 1,400 Facebook fans. The amount of subscribers is also much larger than mine.

Many thanks to Scott Weitzman the president and editor of this awesome website for featuring my work.

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Solar Impulse flies for 26 hours non-stop

The solar powered plane Solar Impulse flew for over 26 hours without interruption and landed on July 8th. This plane has a wingspan of 63 meters – the same as a Boeing 777 – weights 1,600 kg and goes as fast as a scooter, 70 km-h. The plane gathered enough energy from the sun during … Read more

10 GW of solar PV capacity installed in 2010

This year will remain as an important milestone in the history of solar power. Indeed to GreenTech Media : ” In 2010, we will cross the threshold of 10 gigawatts of photovoltaic solar installed globally in a single year.”

This is indeed amazing as in 2000 only 170 megawatts were installed. This is 58 times more, which means a 51 percent increase per annum. If we were to continue this trend we would install 580 GW in the year 2020…

Such a thing is unlikely to occur. Specialists believe however that we could install up to 100 GW of capacity in 2020. This is still a note-worthy figure and a bright prospect.

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A 13 GW project of wind and solar for India

This week was unveiled what is perhaps to date the largest renewable energies project in the world. Indeed, an Indian company – Airvoice Group – plans to build 10 GW of  solar PV capacity and three GW of wind power. All these capacities are due to be built on various sites within the decade in … Read more

A global renewable energies boom

Click image to download full pdf reportThanks to GreenUnivers, a great French blog on green business, I came across the latest report from the Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century (REN21). It presents various figures worth mentioning.

Between 2004 and 2008, solar PV capacity increased sixfold to more than 16 GW, wind power capacity increased 250 percent to 121 GW, and total power capacity from new renewables increased 75 percent to 280 GW (excluding large hydro).

Investments in this sector also grew sixfold between 2004 and 2008 to reach $120 billion (82 billion euros). All this is very encouraging.

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Energy sprawl is another reason to mix sources

Land use : the intensity of energyEven if this not new as I wrote about this very issue as early as June 2008, the additional research bring us more data on how renewables – and especially biofuels – need much more land to generate energy than traditional solutions.

As you can see with the graph biofuels are by far the least efficient solutions in terms of space used per TWh. The most efficient and sustainable ones are nuclear and energy efficiency as it enable to decrease the space needed.

To bring a TWh per year wind energy needs 72 square kilometers, hydro 54 ; solar photovoltaïc 36.9 ; solar thermal 15.3 ; geothermal 7.5 and nuclear only 2.4.

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