While the sun is a continuous and powerful source of energy, the question is where is solar energy used here on earth? Solar cells and solar panels allow us to harness that energy, offering renewable methods of generating electricity. The opportunities solar power presents has made it the third most important renewable energy source in terms of globally installed capacity, after hydro and wind.
However, some countries have taken advantage of this technology more than others. But where is solar energy used most? This handy guide will reveal which countries use solar power the most and why, so that hopefully we can learn from their actions.
In 2015, the United States used about 3,724,500 million kWh of electricity.
Most of us don’t have enough context to realize how big this number actually is, so here are some facts: First off, the US is the 2nd biggest user of electricity in the world (just behind Canada). Secondly, think about what exactly this number includes: all the electricity used in millions of homes across the US for air conditioning, lights, refrigerators, stoves, hot water, and all our devices, as well as factories, office buildings, data centers, agricultural applications, government offices, recreation centers, football fields, streetlights, and about a billion other things we don’t even think about on a daily basis.
With so much electricity being used and created every day, as a country we need to constantly assess if all this electricity is being created in the most responsible way, both monetarily and environmentally.Continue reading
Now that we can all just search the internet for wholesale solar panel prices, there is an understandable temptation to think that we could save big on our dream solar installation, if we could just do it as a cheap solar DIY (Do it Yourself) project.
How – and more importantly why – some blogger has decided to go solar might not be of great interest, after all, lots of people have gone solar now. But this is not just any blogger.
The WattsUpWithThat argument against climate change tends to be of the “oh, the hypocrisy” variety of climate change denial. You know the kind of thing: “Fat Al Gore flies in airplanes; so climate change is a hoax.”
On June 6, Apple’s new, fully owned subsidiary Apple Energy filed an application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), for a permit to sell solar electricity and flexible grid services on the open electricity markets all over the USA – starting August 6.
A war has been declared between the upstart solar industry and the older electricity suppliers.
The war is essentially between centralized and distributed energy. The electric utilities were originally set up in the days of large-scale centralized coal power stations and regulated as suppliers of essential public services.
I was one of those arguing with reluctant Democrats who were convinced that cap-and-trade was “just a giveaway to polluters” and of course Republicans sneered that carbon taxes were “the equivalent of the medieval “penance.”
Decoupling a utility’s revenue from its total sales is intended to solve a “perverse incentive” that reduces utility motivation to increase energy efficiency.
As part of the American Recovery and Investment Act in 2009, states were invited to compete for $3 billion in Energy Efficiency Program funds to encourage utilities to incentivize reduction in electricity demand. Governors had to verify to the DOE that the state’s Public Utility Commission (PUC) would decouple the utilities’ revenue from profits.
This magic happens within a sheet of material that looks to the naked eye just as inert as any other material object.