Saturday, August 29, 2009

Shakespeare Springs Sustained Solar Development Project (Part 2)

Shakespeare Springs is a fairy tale--it is a mid-size city on the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains. The City is powered by two coal fired power plants and two modern hydro-generating stations. Here is a plan for it future power needs.

Part 1

Part 3

PV start-up costs are $5 -15 a watt installed. However, the lower O&M cost of a PV system presents economic value to the community. Also like any energy market things are fluid in PV economics. Market influences will keep PV prices fluctuating, however industry analysts forecast PV prices will decrease overall.

There are two models of solar development--Business as Usual and Aggressive Growth. Even at the business-as-usual level we can expect a healthy 10% growth in alternative energies. How electric providers react to the many changes that will lower PV costs will determine if the growth remains steady or we move into aggressive growth levels. (Frantzis and Katofsky. Solar Today 2002) Some market influences are:

· State and federal participation in PV markets.
Achieving even the modest environmental goals will require the "sustained and orderly" commercial development of viable renewable energy options. And in the near-term, significantly increasing the U.S. market for renewable energy will require federal, state, and local governments to substantially increase their purchasing of PV and other forms of renewable energy.

A number of U.S. states have recently established clean energy funds to support renewable electricity. The 15 states that have established these funds to date are expected to collect $3.5 billion between 1998 and 2012 for renewable energy investments. This represents a new trend towards aggressive state support for renewable energy, but few efforts have been made to report and share the early experiences of these funds.

· Increased PV production.The U.S. share of the world market has changed dramatically since 1980. In the early years of the technology, the U.S. industry dominated the world market—contributing 50% or more of world production through 1984. In 1985, that relative share declined, and it has varied between 26% and 45% since then. World production has been increasing, and the United States still contributes more than one-quarter of the world's product, as measured by megawatts of PV modules shipped.
Through recent improvements in such areas as materials processing and waste reduction, use of new PV materials, and automation, U.S. manufacturing costs have been reduced by an average 56% from 1992 to 1996. Continuing on this course could bring module-manufacturing costs down to almost $1.50 per watt. This would help U.S. companies meet the growing market demand for PV and retain the nation's current position as the leader in global PV markets. And it will bring us several steps closer to the three-fold promise of photovoltaics: energy security, economic growth, and a cleaner environment.

· Unstable traditional fuel economies.
The United States is the largest importer of oil. We are also the world’s foremost importers of natural gas. Energy is clearly a global issue. Every serious study of the subject concludes that this country faces rising dependence on foreign energy in the decade ahead. The same studies also conclude that there will be increasing likelihood of recurring worldwide energy supply problems, price spikes, supply shortages, and other unpleasant energy shocks. And those shocks can occur in peacetime as well as a result of the outbreak of war. lindenwood university· Major energy corporation investment in alternative energy.
Even British Petroleum (BP), which re-branded itself last year as being ‘beyond petroleum’, with a bright green and yellow sun-shaped logo designed to combine BP’s green image and its status as world leader in solar power.
The prospect that climate disruption could force the world away from oil has led some oil companies to diversify their energy portfolios. In a dramatic statement last year, John Browne, Chairman of British Petroleum (which this year announced plans to merge with the U.S. company Amoco), said that his company had accepted the scientific reality of climate change and would add to its existing investment in solar energy. Royal Dutch Shell later announced plans to invest $500 million in renewable energy. World Watch Institute

· Net metering laws that favor the consumer.
Net metering, when combined with a PV system, is a 3-way win, for consumer, generator, and Line Companys:

In practice, the electricity produced by the customer goes to go either to the customer, or to a near neighbor. It is thus a totally different situation from energy that is being moved from a power plant to where it is used. In fact, from the Line Company’s point of view, locally generated PV electricity is indistinguishable from demand reduction, not something that they ordinarily get paid for. The PV system produces its greatest output during the times when the electric grid is most heavily loaded. These are the times at which electricity is trading at a premium, because of the extra capacity that generators have to put online to meet peak demand. The presence of the PV system reduces required generating capacity during time times that additional electricity is most expensive to the generator. This "peak shaving" also benefits the Line Company. The consumer benefits from the availability of what amounts to a nearly perfect, and infinite, battery. This dramatically improves the economics of PV. Texas Renewable Energy Industries Association
· Increases in efficiency of PV, Balance-of-system components, consumer and business products. On the efficiency program side, we help industrial, commercial, and institutional customers by providing unbiased technical assistance services. We try to facilitate arrangements for getting energy projects implemented in their facilities, and we provide financial incentives to encourage them to look at more energy-efficient and environmental pollution-reducing technologies. New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) Brian Henderson, program director for Energy Efficiency Services,

· Continued creation of Building Integrated PV systems--roofs and siding.
Within just a few years photovoltaics has taken an essential step towards aesthetic integration into the building environment. Today’s PV is flexible in shape, function and color. Application areas are roofs, facades and windows. The PV industry is now in a position to respond to most of the requirements of architects. This movement was largely driven by the smaller companies active in the PV business. The State of the Art in Building-Integrated Photovoltaics A. Hanel 1999

  Part 3