Lumsden goes solar at River Park Centre

At Lumsden’s River Park, people playing at the splash pad or tak- ing in a ball game will no longer be the only ones soaking up the sun. Newly installed solar panels on the River Park Centre roof will also be taking in the rays, helping to power the centre and reducing power costs for the town.

A 10 kW solar system has been in- stalled at the centre by Sunroof En- ergy Corp. Operation of the system began last week.

“It’s a lot of satisfaction, a lot of pride in our community, stepping up and being on the forefront of [renewable energy] for our community” said Lumsden Mayor Bryan Matheson. “I think it’s the wave of the future and we’re happy to have this happen in Lumsden.” The 10kW solar system is expected to generate around 15,000 kilowatt hours of renewable energy each year, approximately 54 per cent of the centre’s yearly electricity usage.

Solar panels were installed as part of Sunroof Energy’s Municipal Solar Energy Program. Through the pro- gram, Sunroof provides, installs and maintains the solar system, with the town simply purchasing the produced solar energy.

“[The Municipal Solar Energy Pro- gram] allows municipalities to put solar power on municipally owned buildings without having to come up with any capital,” said Al Simp- son, president of Sunroof Energy Corp. “So the citizens of Lumsden aren’t going to be asked to pay for this. All that’s really required, in this particular case, is the rec. centre solar system will produce solar en-ergy and whatever it produces, the town will pay for at a rate cheaper than they are paying now to Sask- Power.”

Savings in electrical expenses at the River Park Centre are expected to be approximately $21,000 over the lifetime of the solar system. “That’s not insignificant,” said Simpson.

The Sunroof Energy president was unable to disclose information about other municipalities participating in the program, but did say there has been an extreme amount of interest. “We’re excited about it,” he said. The president congratulated the town on having a vision for the future and going forward with a renewable energy system. Matheson explained the River Park Centre project is the first of many, with the town planning to introduce solar energy into other community buildings in the future.

Solar panels adorn the roof of the River Park Centre in Lumsden. The panels, installed by Sunroof Energy Corp., are expected to generate around 15,000-kilowatt hours of renewable energy each year, 54 per cent of the River Park Centre’s yearly electricity usage. The panels were turned on last week. Photo by Sarah MacMillan.

 

A Balanced Look at the Future Sources of Energy

Low prices for coal and gas are likely to persist, but will fail to prevent a fundamental transformation of the world electricity system over coming decades towards renewable sources such as wind and solar, and towards balancing options such as batteries.

The latest long-term forecast from Bloomberg New Energy Finance, entitled New Energy Outlook 2016, charts a significantly lower track for global coal, gas and oil prices than did the equivalent projection a year ago. Crucially, however, it also shows a steeper decline for wind and solar costs.

The forecast, covering the 2016-40 period, has mixed news on carbon emissions. Weaker GDP growth in China and a rebalancing of its economy will mean emissions there peak as early as 2025. However, rising coal-fired generation in India and other Asian emerging markets indicate that the global emissions figure in 2040 will still be some 700 megatonnes, or 5%, above 2015 levels.

Seb Henbest, head of Europe, Middle East and Africa for BNEF, and lead author of NEO 2016, commented: “Some $7.8 trillion will be invested globally in renewables between 2016 and 2040, two thirds of the investment in all power generating capacity, but it would require trillions more to bring world emissions onto a track compatible with the United Nations 2°C climate target.”

Here are 10 of the eye-catching findings from NEO 2016:

  • Coal and gas prices to stay low. Bloomberg New Energy Finance has reduced its long-term forecasts for coal and gas prices by 33% and 30% respectively, reflecting a projected supply glut for both commodities. This cuts the cost of generating power by burning coal or gas.
  • Wind and solar costs fall sharply. The levelized costs of generation per MWh for onshore wind will fall 41% by 2040, and solar photovoltaics by 60%, making these two technologies the cheapest ways of producing electricity in many countries during the 2020s and in most of the world in the 2030s.
  • Fossil fuel power attracts $2.1 trillion. Investment in coal and gas generation will continue, predominantly in emerging economies. Some $1.2 trillion will go into new coal-burning capacity, and $892 billion into new gas-fired plants.
    But renewables take lion’s share. Some $7.8 trillion will be invested in green power, with onshore and offshore wind attracting $3.1 trillion, utility-scale, rooftop and other small-scale solar $3.4 trillion, and hydro-electric $911 billion.
    The 2⁰C scenario would require much more money. On top of the $7.8 trillion, the world would need to invest another $5.3 trillion in zero-carbon power by 2040 to prevent CO2 in the atmosphere rising above the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s ‘safe’ limit of 450 parts per million.
  • Electric car boom supports electricity demand. EVs will add 2,701TWh, or 8%, to global electricity demand in 2040 – reflecting BNEF’s forecast that they will represent 35% of worldwide new light-duty vehicle sales in that year, equivalent to 41m cars, some 90 times the 2015 figure.

Small-scale battery storage, a $250bn market. The rise of EVs will drive down the cost of lithium-ion batteries, making them increasingly attractive to be deployed alongside residential and commercial solar systems. We expect total behind-the-meter energy storage to rise dramatically from around 400MWh in today to nearly 760GWh in 2040. We expect total behind-the-meter energy storage to rise dramatically from around 400MWh in today to nearly 760GWh in 2040.
China coal-fired generation will follow weaker trend than previously projected. Changes in the Chinese economy, and a move to renewables, mean that coal-fired generation there in 10 years’ time will be 1,000TWh, or 21% below, the figure predicted in BNEF in last year’s NEO.

That makes India the key to the future global emissions trend. Its electricity demand is forecast to grow 3.8 times between 2016 and 2040. Despite investing $611bn in renewables in the next 24 years, and $115 billion in nuclear, it will continue to rely heavily on coal power stations to meet rising demand. This is forecast to result in a trebling of its annual power sector emissions by 2040.

Renewables to dominate in Europe, to overtake gas in the US. Wind, solar, hydro and other renewable energy plants will generate 70% of Europe’s power in 2040, up from 32% in 2015. In the US, their share will jump from 14% in 2015 to 44% in 2040, as that from gas slips from 33% to 31%.

Jon Moore, chief executive of Bloomberg New Energy Finance, said: “The New Energy Outlook incorporates a significantly lower trajectory for coal and gas prices than the 2015 edition did a year ago but, strikingly, still shows rapid transition towards clean power over the next 25 years.”

Elena Giannakopoulou, senior energy economist on the NEO 2016 project, added: “One conclusion that may surprise is that our forecast shows no golden age for gas, except in North America. As a global generation source, gas will be overtaken by renewables in 2027. It will be 2037 before renewables overtake coal.”

solar-energy-regina

The outlook for coal is crucial for international ambitions on climate. The Paris conference last December saw 196 nations agree limit global warming to “well below” two degrees Centigrade, and to aim to reach “global peaking of emissions as soon as possible”. NEO 2016 indicates that, despite the global move towards renewables, power sector emissions will not peak for another 11 years.

NEO 2016 is based on a combination of the project pipeline in each country, current policies, plus modelled paths for future electricity demand, power system dynamics and technology costs. It does not assume any further policy measures post-2020, to speed up decarbonization. Some 65 specialist analysts worked on the forecast.

 

Solar Panel in Feild Sunroof Article

Solar Power Predicted to grow Six-fold as it becomes cheapest energy resource

The amount of electricity generated using solar panels stands to expand as much as sixfold by 2030 as the cost of production falls below competing natural gas and coal-fired plants, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency.

 

Solar plants using photovoltaic technology could account for 8 percent to 13 percent of global electricity produced in 2030, compared with 1.2 percent at the end of last year, the Abu Dhabi-based industry group said in a report Wednesday.

 

The average cost of electricity from a photovoltaic system is forecast to plunge as much as 59 percent by 2025, making solar the cheapest form of power generation “in an increasing number of cases,” it said.

 

Renewables are replacing nuclear energy and curbing electricity production from gas and coal in developed areas such as Europe and the U.S., according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. California’s PG&E Corp. is proposing to close two nuclear reactors as wind and solar costs decline. Even as supply gluts depress coal and gas prices, solar and wind technologies will be the cheapest ways to produce electricity in most parts of the world in the 2030s, New Energy Finance said in a report this month.

 

“The renewable energy transition is well underway, with solar playing a key role,” Irena Director General Adnan Amin said in a statement. “Cost reductions, in combination with other enabling factors, can create a dramatic expansion of solar power globally.”

 

Solar Growth

Bloomberg New Energy Finance also forecasts growth in solar photovoltaics, reaching 15 percent of total electricity output by 2040, according to Jenny Chase, head of solar analysis in Zurich. “Irena’s assumptions are reasonable,” she said. “Solar just gets so cheap under any reasonable scenario.”

 

The “most attractive” markets for solar panels up to 2020 are Brazil, Chile, Israel, Jordan, Mexico, the Philippines, Russia, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey, according to Irena. Global capacity could reach 1,760 to 2,500 gigawatts in 2030, compared with 227 gigawatts at the end of 2015, it said.

 

Smart grids, or power networks capable of handling and distributing electricity from different sources, and new types of storage technologies will encourage further use of solar power, Irena said.

 

As of 2015, the average cost of electricity from a utility-scale solar photovoltaic system was 13 cents per kilowatt hour. That’s more than coal and gas-fired plants that averaged 5 cents to 10 cents per kilowatt hour, according to Irena. The average cost of building a solar-powered electricity utility could fall to 79 cents per watt in 2025 from $1.80 per watt last year, it said. Coal-fired power generation costs are about $3 per watt while gas plants cost $1 to $1.30 per watt, according to Irena.

 

The record for the world’s cheapest solar tariff was set in Dubai last month in an auction. MEED reported that a consortium including Masdar Abu Dhabi Future Energy Co. and Saudi Arabia’s Abdul Latif Jameel bid 2.99 cents per kilowatt-hour, 15 percent cheaper than the previous record.

See more at: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-06-22/solar-power-to-grow-sixfold-as-sun-becoming-cheapest-resource

Carbon Capture Station saskpower

Saskpower looks to Increase Rates 10.25%

Due to a growing demand, with 8,000 new customers last year alone, Saskpower is looking for a huge rate increase for all users. This rate increase is still to go in front of the rate review panel to make sure the process and numbers are done correctly. If it checks out, the rates will first increase beginning on July 1st, 2016. Then again on January 1st, 2017, each increase requested at 5% for a total of 10.25% increase due to increase compound. Though the review panel may not make recommendations until October, The Crown utility will ask cabinet — which has final say on utility rate changes — for an interim increase that comes into effect July 1, with the understanding this could be adjusted after the panel makes its decision.

 

This means the average saskpower customer will have to pay an additional $6 this year, as well as another $6 added to that for next year. Not only does this increase compensate for the growing customer base, but it is also needed to rebuild its electrical distribution system, much of which was constructed between 50 and 70 years ago. This year alone, it plans to do $990 million in capital spending.
 
NDP Crown Corporations critic, Carla Beck, says it isn’t just these reasons that Saskpower is charging more. She believes it is also due to the cost of the Boundary Dam 3 power plant upgrade and associated carbon capture project, plus “the smart-meter fiasco.”
 
In 2015, SaskPower rates rose by 3.0 per cent on Jan. 1 and another 2.0 per cent Sept. 1. Before that there were increases of 5.5 per cent (in 2014) and 5.0 per cent in 2013, with no increases in 2011 and 2012.
 
Saskpower president Mike Marsh added that SaskPower, with its heavy requirement for money for capital spending, hasn’t been required to pay a dividend to its shareholder, the provincial government “for a number of years.”
 
SaskPower work over the next few years will include a $245-million project to extend the life of the E.B. Campbell hydroelectric generating station near Nipawin, $260 million on transmission lines, including one from Pasqua to Swift Current; $509 million to connect new distribution customers, $108 million on increasing system reliability, new transmission lines to serve the Saskatoon area, underground cable maintenance and replacing old transformers, and work on inspecting and replacing some of the 1.1 million power poles in the province. Marsh also referred to improvements to handle renewable energy flowing into the system.
 
This spike in electrical bills are becoming a custom over the years, and with only a (possible) one year gap between the next scheduled increase, it is far from slowing down. This constant increase in bills is just another reason to convert to solar energy, so you are not forced to potentially pay for things such as a flawed meter situation.
 
Original article can be found HERE

Man installing solar panels in front of blue sky

Regina, SK Rated Top Major Canadian City for Potential Solar Energy

Saskatchewan is known for its unpredictable weather. One day it will be blizzarding, the next it could be sunny enough to get a sunburn. But one thing all residents are aware of is the hot Summer sun that hits southern Saskatchewan as if we were beneath a magnifying glass. It may not happen every day but it is a safe bet that if you were to plan an outdoor event in July, one day of the week will have potential to blur you with heat stroke.

When thinking of weather most people think of Regina as a bad weather city due to the harsh winters. But one great thing about Regina’s weather is the summer sun. As one might think, it has the greatest potential for solar panel’s!

According to Natural Resources Canada, a mapping study in 2007 discovered that  Regina, Sk had the potential of 1361 Yearly PV potential (kWh/kW), landing Regina 1st in Canada, and 6th on the list of major worldwide cities!  Falling just short to Mexico City, Los Angeles, New Delhi, Cape Town, and Cairo, Egypt who leads with 1635 kWh/kW. On the Local stage, we in the lead to Calgary, Winnipeg, and Edmonton!

Screen Shot 2016-05-17 at 11.55.12 AM

Regina has more yearly solar potential than Sydney, Australia & even Rio de Janeiro, Brazil!

Having this sort of potential, it is Regina’s responsibility to take advantage of this opportunity by converting our energy uses to solar produced electricity. With the many easy ways to now do so, everyone who can afford this, should.