How does this interact with kinetic energy?
How does the relationship between kinetic and potential energy change as we go from one state to the other?
How do particles gain energy by interacting with other particles as free energy, or as a product?
In late November, I wrote a story called “The New, Scary, and Fun Power Grid,” which outlined some of the major advances in the renewable energy technologies we have to date, and the future we are now poised to see.
On top of being a fun take on my old theme, I also wanted to bring attention and spotlight to a few things that are happening that are, I think, very exciting. Some of them are on the horizon, while others are only a few years away. Here are the top three… (It’s fun, I can’t wait to see where these take us!)
Solar power has been very impressive in 2014, with record capacity expansions at some of the largest PV manufacturing plants that have ever been built. What is even more encouraging is that the biggest growth in solar will come from large-scale, onsite projects that are already operational.
These systems are typically in commercial buildings, warehouses, and even large homes, and they represent both a leap forward in efficiency and power generation. Here are a few examples:
For example, an industrial solar farm at DuPont has now reached a state of operational efficiency that will reduce electricity use by 70% while increasing output by a factor of about six!
At Cenovus, an industrial solar farm is operating at capacity of about 300 MW, with production expected to increase to 767 MW by the year 2020. If this trend continues, wind power and photovoltaic energy could produce as much as 45% of the total electricity needs of Canada in 2030.
New York City is investing about $100 million in installing approximately 1,700 MW of concentrated solar panels for city customers.
Solar is not just another energy source – it is very different from fossil fuels. It has a much greater efficiency relative to the amount of energy it takes (which is why it is a power source, and energy doesn’t have to be expensive. The problem with fossil fuels, however, is that they are expensive: the cost for electricity production is the cost of land, production facilities (storage), and production equipment (lithium-ion cells, pipelines, etc). Solar does not have this “big oil tax” of production costs to
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