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The Biden administration on Wednesday released a report showing the United States can get 40% of its electricity from solar energy by 2035, a significant jump. The Solar Futures Study outlines how solar energy can help decarbonize the U.S. power grid and help achieve a Biden administration goal of net zero emissions in the electricity sector by 2035. “The study illuminates the fact that solar, our cheapest and fastest-growing source of clean energy, could produce enough electricity to power all of the homes in the U.S. by 2035 and employ as many as 1.5 million people in the process,” Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm said in a statement.
In a letter to managing director of the National Transmission & Despatch Company (NTDC), managing director of the Private Power & Infrastructure Board (PPIB) and chief executive officer of the Alternative Energy Development Board (ARDB), the regulator recalled that last year it had asked for inclusion of “hydropower in the scope and definition of renewable energy in various energy policies, rules and regulations”. “Furthermore, it was desired to make necessary amendments in all relevant documents and include hydropower in the scope of upcoming ARE (Alternate and Renewable Energy) Policy 2019,” said the letter. It said Nepra Chairman Tauseef H. Farooqi raised the issue at various forums and, therefore, a report on the latest status regarding regulator’s advisory issued in June 2020 be submitted at the earliest.
The Timken Co. (NYSE: TKR), North Canton, Ohio, said Monday that its decision to enter into the solar energy industry in 2018 has paid off as its solar energy revenue is expected to grow at a double-digit rate over the next three-to -five years. Bearings manufacturer Timken entered the solar energy market with its acquisition of Cone Drive in the third quarter of 2018. Under the auspices of Timken, Cone Drive has continued to build momentum with solar energy original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). Cone Drive has tripled its solar revenue in the past three years, which Timken said outpaced “underlying market growth by a significant margin.”
Verizon has now allocated nearly $2 billion in green bonds, making it the only U.S. telecom operator to fully issue and allocate two green bonds. Green bonds are a way for enterprises to earmark funds for projects that positively impact the environment. The carrier issued its first green bond for $1 billion in 2019. Those funds were fully allocated in 2020 for renewable energy, green buildings, biodiversity, and conservation efforts. Verizon’s second green bond was issued last September, and its $994 million in net proceeds has been fully allocated toward virtual power purchase agreements (VPPAs) for renewable energy projects. In total, these projects are capable of generating a gigawatt (GW) of renewable energy across seven U.S. states — Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, North Carolina, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. Solar energy will make up 83% of the renewable energy generating capacity, and wind energy will account for the remaining 17%.
The country’s renewable sector is poised to add about 65 gigawatts capacity over the next four to five years supported by strong project pipeline and government’s policy backing. The renewable energy (RE) sector is likely to see an investment of about ₹2.5 lakh crore to ₹3 lakh crore over the next few years, according to ICRA assessment. Impacted by two Covid waves, the renewable sector is likely to see installation of about 11 GW this fiscal. The economics of battery storage has become a key monitorable for the sector. The key challenges constraining the growth remain on the execution front, mainly associated with land and transmission infrastructure as well as the slow but improving progress in signing of power purchase agreements and power sale agreements by intermediate procurers with State distribution utilities.
Tata Power arm Tata Power Renewable Energy Limited (TPREL) has commissioned a 150 MW Solar Power project in Rajasthan’s Loharki village. With the latest installation in Rajasthan, the total renewables installed capacity of Tata Power will be 2,947 MW (2,015 MW of solar and 932 MW of wind). Tata Power also has 1,084 MW of renewable projects under implementation. This project, spread across 756 acres of land, is expected to generate over 350 million units per annum. This installation is likely to reduce 3.34 lakh tons of carbon emission every year. Around 6.5 lakh modules, 48 inverters, 720 km of DC cable and 550 manpower have been utilised to ensure smooth processing of this installation, as per the official release.
Remote rocky villages of Himachal Pradesh, where snowfall often damages electricity transmission lines for days and breathing kerosene fumes is the only option, are coming out of darkness with the government installing solar lights for individuals and community places. Also it is providing solar-run pump sets, cookers and lamps across the hydropower surplus state. Ram Singh, a villager in the remote Pangi Valley, told IANS over the phone that they had been literally living in darkness every winter. "As electricity remains snapped for days or even weeks with the onset of heavy snowfall, the kerosene lamps are the only option for every villager," he said.
At a dam 2,500 metres (8,200 ft) high in the Alps, construction has begun on Switzerland's largest alpine solar plant aimed at helping the small country secure renewable energy throughout the year. The 2.2 megawatt solar plant project, which developers Swiss energy group Axpo and partner IWB have said makes more environmental than financial sense, is part of Swiss plans to plug the gap left by the phase-out of nuclear energy while also aiming to reach net zero in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. "We have a boom mainly in solar (panel installations) for small houses but not much else here in Switzerland," Christian Heierli, project leader at Axpo, told Reuters in an interview.
Israel has received 11 bids to finance, build and operate a 300 megawatt solar-powered electricity generation plant and storage farm in the southern part of the country, the Finance Ministry said on Thursday. The project planned for the city of Dimona will be a public-private one and, according to the ministry, will be the largest solar power plant in Israel and one of the largest in the world. The selected developer will be responsible for planning, financing, building and operating the solar power plant, it added.
A newly formed coalition of solar companies is warning that "exploitative" Chinese trade practices could endanger U.S. clean energy goals, raising alarm bells among industry advocates even as the Biden administration has pledged to boost solar power. On Monday, a group of solar manufacturers known as the American Solar Manufacturers Against Chinese Circumvention (A-SMACC) asked the Biden administration to slap fresh tariffs on Chinese-linked solar imports routed through three Southeast Asian countries. In petitions filed with the Department of Commerce, the coalition alleged that Chinese companies have been setting up shop in Malaysia, Vietnam and Thailand to avoid paying U.S. tariffs. It said allowing the practice to continue would cede "monopoly control" of the industry to China, leaving the administration’s zero-carbon electricity goals "gravely imperiled."
It is estimated that the amount of sunlight that hits the Earth's surface in one and a half hours is enough to power the entire world's electricity consumption for a year. For centuries, the world has used energy generated from fossil fuels. However, fossil fuels have imposed enormous environmental and economic costs. Amid rising awareness and efforts to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, solar energy has risen as one of the most popular alternatives. Countries are starting to adopt renewable energy as they work towards cutting carbon emissions.
Solar power in the U.S. has grown 4,000% percent over the last decade, but it still only accounts for 3% of electricity generation. The Biden Administration wants to change that, and on Tuesday said that solar could provide 40% of the country’s electricity by 2035 — if the government enacts supportive policies. The total cost of a solar system depends on variables including size, whether it’s purchased outright or leased and power prices in the specific location. Solar’s levelized cost of energy, which allows it to be compared to other forms of power generation, has fallen more than 70% over the last decade.