Monday, September 26, 2011

Sunny Days for Solar Overseas

We're seldom short of solar news from around Australia to bring you in these turbulent times for clean energy. Today, however, we're bringing you solar news from elsewhere on this lovely planet of ours.

First to the UK: construction has recently been completed on the UK's largest solar power plant. Completed in an impressively tight timeframe of just ten weeks, Spanish firm Isolux Corsan spent 40 million Euros on the 15 megawatt facility located in rural Cornwall. The fast turnaround to install the 22,000 panels was partly due to Britain's latest reductions to solar feed-in tariffs, a story all too familiar to the Australian solar industry.

It's great to hear of large scale solar projects like this being completed so quickly. All the UK now needs is some sunshine!

There is also positive solar news coming out of the US, where during the second quarter of 2011 solar PV installations increased by a huge 69 per cent. California is leading this surge, closely followed by New Jersey which has has the largest non-residential solar market in the US. Google has recently invested US$250 million into a residential solar project which will no doubt provide a fantastic boost for the solar industry in the US.

Another US giant, Walmart has taken a great initiative in renewable energy by placing solar panels on the rooftops of many of its stores in California, enough to generate up to 70 million kilowatt hours of electricity per year - an example which retail giants or owners of large commercial premises around the world would do well follow.

As the globe is gripped by economic uncertainty we hope that investment in clean energy will not wane. Even if residential installs slow down thanks to reductions in feed-in tariffs, we hope that large scale installations will thrive.

For information on how SmartNow can enable you to get the most from your solar panels and reduce wastage please visit

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Solar Power to Undercut Coal?

An interesting article here from the All Energy Team

Australia's reluctance to embrace solar power could well change dramatically over the next 20 years even without a carbon tax. Due to the massive leaps that China is making at the moment in production and the reduction in cost of solar panels, it might not be too long before the price per kWh of solar electricity is lower than that of coal-fired power stations. Yes, admittedly, there remains some serious work to do to be able to replace coal-fired power as a reliable source of base-load power - i.e. there needs to be some serious energy storage facilities built - but it's an interesting thought that coal-fired power could soon be considered the expensive option.

Roll on that day we say. Whatever the case maybe for base-load coal-fired power, there is a certain elegance to achieving our energy requirements through nothing more than pure sunlight instead of setting fire to things.