It's Official: Solar Energy Cheaper Than Fossil Fuels
has reached an important milestone. The World Economic Forum (WEF) has determined that in many parts of the world,
is now the same price or even cheaper than fossil fuels for the first time. In a handbook released this month, the WEF observed how the price of renewable technologies, particularly solar, has declined to unprecedented lows. While the average global LCOE [levelized cost of electricity] for coal and natural gas is around $100 per megawatt-hour, the price for solar has plummeted from $600 a decade ago to $300 only five years later, and now close to or below $100 for utility-scale photovoltaic. For wind, the LCOE is around $50. According to the WEF, more than 30 countries have already reached grid parity-even without subsidies. ("Grid parity" is the point when an alternative energy source, say solar, can generate power at a LCOE that's equal or even less than the price of traditional grid power.)
2017 Could Be The Tipping Point For Super Efficient Solar Panels
Sam Stranks is convinced solar panels could solve our fossil-fuel dependency - if only they were more energy-efficient. "
could well be the solution to our energy needs and getting rid of emissions," says the Cambridge-based experimental physicist. "It's an infinite source, but expensive to harvest." Stranks's solution: a mineral coating, called a perovskite layer, that's applied directly to a typical solar cell to boost its efficiency. "We could take a silicon solar panel with a lab record efficiency of converting sunlight to electricity of 25 per cent, add a perovskite layer, and boost the power generation by a fifth," says the 31-year-old. "For a solar cell, the maximum efficiency is around 30 per cent - but with one of these perovskite 'tandem' layers it could go up to around 50 per cent." Much of the early work on perovskites was led by Henry Snaith, a University of Oxford professor who in 2010 co-founded a company,
, to commercialise the tech. The company raised more than £12m in investment in 2015. Stranks, who recently moved to the English Cambridge from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's
Organic and Nanostructured Electronics Lab
, sees huge potential as the efficiency curve rises.
Emerging Markets Lead the Way to Cheapest-Ever Solar Energy
Energy experts have long predicted we'd eventually shift from fossil fuels to clean energy. They were right, but there have been a few surprises along the way.
The shift is happening faster than anyone thought it would, particularly in solar energy. Solar is now the cheapest form of
electricity there is. And an unexpected sector of the market is leading the way:
the developing world
. This market comes with its own set of opportunities and challenges, and they need to be navigated wisely.
Kasich Vetoes Bill That Would Have Made Renewable Energy Voluntary, Opens The Door to Comprehensive Energy Reform
Gov. Kasich's decision will help Ohio leverage ...competitive, locally manufactured utility-scale solar projects." Gov. John Kasich today jumped into the breach between conservative lawmakers and green industries and their environmental allies with a veto of legislation that would have made state renewable and efficiency standards voluntary for the next two years. The veto of House Bill 554 means Ohio's traditional utilities as well as any other power company selling electricity here must supply an annually increasing percentage of power generated by wind, solar and other renewable technologies until that percentage is 12.5 percent in 2027. The standard has been frozen at 2.5 percent since 2014 while lawmakers studied the issue. The veto means the standard grows by 1 percent to 3.5 percent in 2017 and then annually by 1 percent for several years until it reaches 12.5 percent in 2027.
To comply with the standards, power companies can build their own wind and solar installations or contract to buy the green power from independent companies that build them. Most power companies have bought the power.
Engineering Students in Kolkata Create Device for 24x7 Solar Power
While battery manufacturers and solar power companies are struggling to develop batteries that would be cheap, smaller in size and can store power for days, an engineering college in Kolkata has devised a combo of solar based generation and power storage system that can supply power perpetually 24 hours a day all through the year at a fraction of conventional battery cost. It is scalable to any size and are suited for any hilly area as well as multi storeyed buildings."The system is hugely scalable. It can be set up on a building that can generate 100 watt or more throughout the day to even a few megawatts at fraction of battery costs," said SP Gon Choudhury , Chairman of Renewable Energy College in Kolkata.
In sub-Saharan Africa, over 600 million people do not have
access to electricity
-- that's 68 percent of the population, according to the
International Energy Agency
That's because the power distribution infrastructure -- plants and the grid -- is severely underdeveloped, requires large investments to improve and ultimately can't keep up with the growth in demand.
One solution to the problem is to go "off the grid," mimicking the rapid distribution of mobile phones: over 90 percent of Africans have access to cell phone service --
more than have access to clean water
-- but only a fraction of them owns a landline. In the energy sector, the cellphone equivalent is the solar panel, which is easily installed and can provide power to a household or small business.
Off Grid Electric
, an African startup, is applying this formula to rural areas of Tanzania and Rwanda yielding both commercial success and life-transforming results for the recipients.
January 16-19, 2017, Abu Dhabi, UAE
January 23-25, 2017,
March 7-9, 2017, Boston, MA
May 8-12, 2017, Mexico City, Mexico
October 9-12 and October 5-15, 2017 Denver, CO
October 29 - November 2, 2017 Abu Dhabi, UAE
Solar@Work is ASES's bulletin by and for solar pros.
"Jingle Bells, Fossil Fuel Smells"
-seen on the sign of Namaste Solar
Fronius USA Job Openings
To see the full job descriptions and apply, visit:
Solar Energy - Group Leader Technical Support National
The Group Leader of Technical Support National is a member of the Solar Energy Management Team. Along with other duties, the Group Leader has (3) three major areas of focus: First and most important is Customer Support. The Group Leader is responsible for implementing and maintaining processes that will optimize the Fronius customer's experience. Second, the Group Leader supervises a large team of technicians. Motivating, training, and growing these technicians knowledge is the responsibility of the Group Leader. Third, is Customer and Service Provider Trainings. The Group Leader should be constantly engaged with customers and service providers; maintaining open channels of communication and being responsive to customer's needs. The Group Leader along with the Master Trainer, works together to coordinate and create customer training programs for those who uses Fronius products throughout the Solar Energy Industry.
*Minimum 2 years' technical experience
*Bachelor's Degree in a hard science from an accredited university
*Possess a valid Passport; ability to travel throughout the U.S. and internationally
*Technical understanding of electronics technology and renewable energy integration
*Strong knowledge of the National Electrical Codes, electrical safety and AC/DC fundamentals
*Training in mechanical and electrical/electronic repair
Solar Energy - Junior TPO Account Manager
This position supports Third-Party-Owner accounts by facilitating sales and post-sale support. The Junior TPO Account Manager works closely with the Key Account Management and Product Management Teams; serving as an onsite dedicated resource. The Junior TPO Account Manager has discretion to provide onsite technical support, installation trainings, FSP trainings, and design & engineering assistance, as deemed necessary.
Engineering degree preferred. Minimum technical Bachelor's Degree
- Minimum of 3 years' of Solar PV technical experience in an installation and design role
- Experience providing technical support, both on-site and remote locations
- Experience providing technical trainings
- Knowledge of NEC Code, and UL and IEEE Solar PV standards
- Knowledge of communication protocols, including ZigBee and WiFi, is preferred
- NABCEP Certified required
Solar Energy - Technical Sales Advisor(s)
Looking to fill multiple positions.
Individual(s) selected must
in the designated servicing areas:
-Southern California - LA, Riverside, Orange County, San Diego
This position will work from a remote office location. The successful candidate will possess excellent communication skills, a high level of organization, and ability to work independently. Requires frequent travel to customer sites, installation sites, and meetings. This position reports to the Team Leader - Sales Management. This position is responsible for identifying technical issues with product in the field or potential product, and implementing strategies and designs that will optimize the solar system.
- Bachelor Degree or Associates Degree from an accredited university in a hard science field
- Engineering and/or power electronics background
- Ability to travel up to 80%, (
valid motor vehicle license and passport
- 2 years of Solar PV installation experience
- Experience providing technical and product trainings
- Formal solar training/NABCEP Entry Level or Certified
- Knowledge of NEC Code, UL and IEEE Solar PV standards
To see the full job descriptions and apply, visit: