Friday, May 05, 2006

Solar Power News of the Moment

Over in Wales, the government is being chastised for not being a leader in solar power. The article, ` Assembly should show 'strong lead' on solar power', quotes a spokesman saying:
"We have the largest PV array of its kind in the world at the Assembly Government's Technium OpTIC in North Wales. At Bronllys Hospital, near Brecon, 485 PV panels deliver all the hospital's base load electricity requirements."

In business news, ` Merriman Curhan Ford & Co. Announces Launch of Next-Generation Energy Index(SM)'.
The Merriman Curhan Ford & Co. Next-Generation Index(SM) will be comprised of 30 small- and mid-cap U.S.-listed companies leading the important advances in the development and commercialization of five key NGE technology areas: fuel cells, solar power, alternative fuels, energy storage and other supporting technologies. Tracking begins today.

A Wisconsin university professor has definately been leading by example, which is kind of nice. He and his family live in a south facing, well insulated home that is now hooked up to a solar panel array that tracks with the sun's movement. The solar panel array is expected to provide about 35% of their total energy for the year.
Cain said he paid “in the neighborhood of $30,000” for his new PV array. First he persuaded Ruth that some creative financing would be worth the investment. Then he began to envision his electric meter running backwards.

That’s what happens if the Cains use less electricity than the array produces. The meter runs backwards as energy gets redirected to the area’s main grid and sold. A process called net metering measures what’s coming back.

The federal government offers incentives via rebates and tax deductions. Cain said incentives on solar and other renewable energy can come from power companies, but they must participate in the state’s Focus on Energy program - the part that includes financial incentives for renewable - which supplies the up-to-35% rebate.

I also ran across this Tech Digest article on the Ecotopia's Solar Insect Theatre.
The Solar Insect Theatre is a neat little insect habitat. During the day, its solar-charged batteries get their charge, by night it uses the power to light up in a fashion appealing to moths and butterflies.

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