The Solar Power revolution

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There is a revolution going on, the solar power one.

Germany is leading the way and last summer (2014) 50% of their energy came from solar power http://theweek.com/speedreads/451299/germany-gets-50-percent-electricity-from-solar-first-time.

The reason behind the revolution is the fact that solar power has become easier to install (more flexible) plus the fact that the capacity of the solar cells has increased.

In Germany people are encouraged to install their own cells, as in my own. There is funding one can seek to help get it started, but I’m not sure how that works in the rest of Europe or the world. But I was happy to hear that mr Modi of India wants to go the same way. Especially since they have promised electricity for every citizen. (http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/sep/30/-sp-narendra-modi-india-solar-renewables-energy)
I also know that in the US if you produce electricity and have an overproduction you can get a payment from the electrical company and not a bill. The wonderful Chuck and Josh from Stuff you should know taught me that. http://www.stuffyoushouldknow.com/podcasts/

Some numbers:

”Worldwide growth of photovoltaics is extremely dynamic and varies strongly by country. By the end of 2014, cumulative photovoltaic capacity increased by more than 40 gigawatt (GW) and reached at least 178 GW, sufficient to supply 1 percent of the world’s total electricity consumption of currently 18,400 TWh. As in the year before, the top installers of 2014 were China, followed by Japan and the United States, while the United Kingdom emerged as new European leader ahead of Germany and France. Germany remains for one more year the world’s largest producer of solar power with an overall installed capacity of 38.2 GW. The newcomers of the year were Chile and South Africa, which entered straight into the world’s Top 10 ranking of added capacity. There are now 20 countries around the world with a cumulative PV capacity of more than one gigawatt. Thailand, the Netherlands, and Switzerland, all crossed the one gigawatt-mark in 2014. The available solar PV capacity in Italy, Germany and Greece is now sufficient to supply between 7% and 8% of their respective domestic electricity consumption.” //Wikipedia

Solar power in my life:

Now, personally I haven’t got any plans to put up solar cells any day soon. But there are other things one can do.

This is what I have done:

  • I only buy green energy.
  • I’ve changed all my light bulbs to energy-efficient ones. (and I turn them off when I’m not in the room.)
  • I have made my laundry more energy efficient. Especially since I don’t use the dryer at all any more. Other good tips on how to do that can be found here (even for still using a dryer): http://www.ase.org/resources/top-10-tips-energy-efficient-laundry
  • I recently re-insulated my leaking windows. (They are a standard 3-glass ones to begin with. And yes I live in a bloody cold country.)

What’s on my to do list:

Have you got other tips, please let me know. 😀

 

I originally posted this text at Gods Jukebox (a forum for music lovers), combining my love of music with my interest in sustainability issues. The song that went with this post was ”Here Comes the Sun” by George Harrison.

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