Good news out of Oregon- Storage Advance May Boost Solar Thermal Energy Potential

Research funded out of the Department of Energy down in Oregon. Your tax dollars at work trying to get us off oil and coal and into renewable energy.

Engineers at Oregon State University have identified a new approach for the storage of concentrated solar thermal energy, to reduce its cost and make it more practical for wider use.

German Solar Age’s First Eclipse Passes with Brief Surge in Power Price – REW.COM

As we move into an ‘age of renewable energy” the voices of the petroleum and nuclear industries  have attempted to use the solar eclipse of the last week as a means of inducing fear about blackouts to the general population. This article shows what small effect the eclipse had on Germany, which is the country currently using the most solar power in the developed world. Their ability to fall back on existing hyrdopower, as well as restart some idle coal and gas power plants show that we can get through this ok with renewables. I have no doubt that we can keep coal and gas powered plants around for some decades in idle modes, for just such emergencies, without significant harm to the environment. But there seems no reason not to continue to push forward with renewables, especially given the worsening climate situation, as massive storms such as once again have hit the South Pacific, (stronger than Katrina),  the ongoing drought that threatens the most important state in the US, California, and the deteriorating condition of the Pacific Ocean off our coast. Recently, in addition to thousands of dying birds, hundreds of sea lions have been washing up dead from starvation off California’s coast. We are witnessing something quite extraordinary and moving towards ending our reliance on fossil fuel is more important than ever.

 Power prices in Germany fluttered as the first eclipse of the emerging solar age passed and utility operators worked overtime to keep the grid supplied.

Beyond “Earth Day” – Google Subsidizes Wind & Solar Power

One of the most positive things I’ve read lately. A win for all of us. Now to get our Governor  to move on getting solar and wind integrated into *all* homes east of the Cascade Mountains (with obvious some exceptions).  That would be a real environmental win and not just political window dressing.

Just because Earth Day is over doesn’t mean we’re done doing good things for the planet. Yesterday we announced our biggest renewable energy purchase yet: an agreement with our Iowa utility partners to supply our data center facilities there with up to 407 megawatts of wind energy.

Today, we’re taking another step towards a clean energy future with a major new investment. Together withSunPower Corporation we’re creating a new $250 million fund to help finance the purchase of residential rooftop solar systems—making it easier for thousands of households across the U.S. to go solar. Essentially, this is how it works: Using the fund ($100 million from Google and $150 million from SunPower), we buy the solar panel systems. Then we lease them to homeowners at a cost that’s typically lower than their normal electricity bill. So by participating in this program, you don’t just help the environment—you can also save money.

This is our 16th renewable energy investment and our third residential rooftop solar investment (the others being with Solar City and Clean Power Finance). Overall we’ve invested more than $1 billion in 16 renewable energy projects around the world, and we’re always on the hunt for new opportunities to make more renewable energy available to more people—Earth Day and every day. 

Google Subsidizes Solar Panels to Homeowners

And this

You Can Now Invest in Your Neighbors’ Solar Energy Projects

Welcome to the latest innovation in renewable energy: The crowdsourced solar loan.

This all goes to show that our greatest tool in the human toolbox is our capacity to come up with new ideas. We may yet figure out new ways to get us through global warming and the acidification of the oceans.

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