The previous week has seen announcements of many new solar projects in the United States, the size of each continuing to grow. The technology continues to drop in price and the decision by GE to build a new plant to manufacture solar panels from cadmium-tellurium (Cd-Te) thin film pads is sure to result in wider adoption in the years ahead. GE is one of the largest manufacturers of wind turbines worldwide and has been long holding its fire on how to get involved in solar technology.
Solar continues to grow quickly, a result of rapidly falling panel prices and state incentives. Also, solar panels produce power during the heat of the day, when the demand from the grid is at its highest and power prices are high. Wind typically blows strongest at night, and has to compete with lower wholesale power rates. A recently released report on wind power output in Scotland has detailed that the output is not meeting previous expectations for both output level and reliability.
The recent events in Japan will have a significant impact on expansion of Nuclear Energy which recently had been making large inroads due to the fact that it does not produce any greenhouse gases. China is also striving to reduce its reliance on coal to reduce its CO2 emissions. Germany is also planning to accelerate decommissioning of its nuclear power plants - it had previously planned to phase them out within 25 year. All these developments bode well for the solar industry.
Solar power in off-grid applications is also contributing to quality of life in rural areas of Cambodia in the form of independent household supplies. Solar power recharges batteries during the day which can be used to supply four hours of lighting and TV for a typical family.
Casa Buí provides engineering services in Solar PV systems design and installation. SEAI have a Solar Power Calculator and a Best Practice Guide that can assist you in deciding if this is the project for you. While there are grants available for Solar Thermal installations in Ireland, there currently are no grants available towards the cost of Solar PV installations.