The Solar Industry Has Paid Off Its Carbon Debts
Think of all the energy that goes into making a single solar panel. Quartz and copper must be mined. The raw materials must be converted into wafers, then encased in protective material. And after panels leave the factory, they must be shipped all over the world. Now imagine these consequences spread over four decades-the environmental cost of the solar industry. Given all the research, development, and production time that goes into making any one panel, a skeptical solar-buyer might wonder: Has the solar industry on the whole really saved any energy at all? To that concern, a new analysis answers: Yes. The solar industry probably paid off its long-term energy and climate "debts" in 2011, a study published this week in Nature Communications finds. Since its inception in 1975, the solar-panel industry has almost certainly prevented more greenhouse-gas emissions than it emitted. It has also cumulatively produced more energy than it initially required.
The United States solar market just shattered all previous quarterly solar photovoltaic installation records. According to GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association's Q4 2016 U.S. Solar Market Insight report, 4,143 megawatts of solar PV were installed in the U.S. in the third quarter of the year, a rate of 1 megawatt every 32 minutes. That pace is even faster today, with the fourth quarter on track to surpass this past quarter's historic total. More
More than 600 million people in Africa have no access to electricity, according to the International Energy Agency.
But new technology could provide the solution. So-called off-grid solar systems have plummeted in price. Now consumers can spread the cost by renting the equipment and paying for the electricity as they need it, for less than a-half-dollar a day.
Lumos Global is among the firms rolling out the technology in Nigeria, alongside mobile phone operator MTN. The company's CEO, Nir Marom, says installation is simple.
"He puts the solar system on the roof, and he puts the indoor unit in the home," said Marom. "There is a cable to connect them. It is a plug on both sides, you do not need to be an electrician to do anything like this. And then you need to charge this [the rental] by credit. So the sun charges the electricity, but you need to provide the credit to power the system up, and you do this using your mobile phone."
Sunshine Strip: Solar Road Panels to Power Homes
A road covered in a layer of thin solar panels that can help power homes and offices is to be built in the UK next year.
The quarter-inch photovoltaic material can be glued on top of a traditional road surface and is tough enough to withstand lorries driving over it, according to the engineers behind the scheme.
Colas, a subsidiary of the French engineering firm Bouygues, is planning to test its Wattway solar road at up to three trial sites in the UK. One of the locations is likely to be near Cambridge.
In areas with 1,000 hours of sunshine a year, just 12ft of road surface can provide enough electricity to power the lights and electrical appliances of one home. Cambridge averages about 1,500 hours of sunshine a year.
The technology's inventors suggest harnessing solar power from roads will be a more publicly acceptable way of producing green energy than large solar farms.
"The potential behind this is huge, if you [consider] the number of square kilometres of road that are available for energy instead of building big solar farms in fields," said Pierre Trotobas, Colas's development manager. "There is no issue of public acceptance."
China Leads the World in Solar Power Installations
China continues to lead the world in solar-power installations and is expected to increase its capacity by more than 7 gigawatts (GW), or 7 billion watts, over last year, according to a new report. Last year, China installed 15.13GW of new solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity, reaching a cumulative solar capacity of 43.48GW, according to
research firm GlobalData.
This year, China's cumulative capacity has already surpassed 50.3GW. The country's PV installed capacity has increased around 15-fold since 2011 when it had 3.30GW of installed solar capacity. In the first quarter of 2016, China added a total of 7.14GW of solar capacity, of which 6.17GW accounted for solar PV power plants, and 970 megawatts (MW) for distributed PV installations, such as rooftop panels.
Google will rely on solar panels and wind farms beginning next year. According to the tech giant, its data centers across the globe will be fully powered by renewable energy sources in 2017.
Reports suggest that Google relies its power from a power company that operates an energy grid, which is usually supplied by several sources like natural gas, coal and wind power, including hydroelectric dams. Last year, Google reportedly joined some major deals with renewable producers that guarantees the purchase of energy with wind turbines and solar cells. As such, wind companies can get bank financing to produce more turbines.
Google's usage brings no net consumption of the fossil fuels, and the pool of electricity receive a considerable bigger share of renewable, given that the power produced by the renewable is plugged into the utility grid. Since Google is the biggest corporate purchaser of renewable energy in the world, as stated by Joe Kava, Google's senior VP of technical infrastructure, it is beneficial for the business, the economy and for their shareholders.
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.
"The energy isn't in the idea, it is in the execution" - anonymous
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: