Home > 1Future > Solar Cooling In the 1800’s, Solar Provides U.S. Export Boost & the Future Looks Bright

Solar Cooling In the 1800’s, Solar Provides U.S. Export Boost & the Future Looks Bright

Here are three stories regarding solar power have caught my eye over the past week. None of them were about solar companies going broke because that kind of stuff happens in business all the time. No the overall trend looks good because despite over a century of suppression solar continues to grow and innovate.

Political Will Prevents the Dawning of the Long-Predicted Solar Age
By David Thorpe from TheEnergyCollective
Here is an intriguing question for anyone interested in tackling climate change: who said this, and when?
“Eventually industry will no longer find in Europe the resources to satisfy its prodigious expansion… Coal will undoubtedly be used up. What will industry do then?”
Well, it was a man named Augustin Bernard Mouchot, speaking in Paris after he had successfully demonstrated an early industrial application of solar thermal energy – as long ago as 1880.
Two years earlier, this pioneer of solar energy had demonstrated the use of solar power for cooling, by making a block of ice. He employed a parabolic dish that focussed the sun’s rays onto an 80-litre boiler and made the ice by use of what is now a standard compressor-evaporator process.
His audience at the Paris Exhibition of 1878 must have been astounded. But so are people today when I tell them that it is perfectly possible to cool homes using solar energy; it just seems counter-intuitive.
This month, the American southern state of Texas has been sweltering under record-breaking high temperatures and its electricity supply system has almost collapsed due to the demands of the state’s air conditioners working overtime.
Yet of course, because it is so hot it has abundant solar power. If only the state were using this to keep cool they would not need to burn so much oil and close schools!
To read this entire post click here.

US Solar PV Exports, Trade Surplus at Record Levels in 2010

By Andrew Burger from the CleanTechnica site
2010 was a record-setting year for the US solar PV manufacturing industry, with US solar PV exports exceeding imports by $1.9 billion globally. Solar PV is one of the few areas where the US actually has a trade surplus with China, according to a report from GT Research and the Solar Energy Industry Association (SEIA) released yesterday.

Total solar photovoltaic (PV) exports from the US totaled $5.6 billion in 2010 while imports totaled $3.7 billion. The US actually has a trade surplus with China when it comes to solar PV: the US exported more than $240 million in solar PV products to China than it imported.

Accounting for 99% of total exports, PV components, primarily PV polysilicon feedstock and manufacturing equipment used to manufacture solar PV cells, were the leading export categories at $2.5 billion and $1.4 billion, respectively. China and Germany were the leading importers for these solar PV products.

Solar PV imports totaled $3.7 billion, $2.4 billion of which was solar PV modules. China and Mexico topped the list of countries from which US companies sourced solar PV imports.

Here in the US, revenue from solar PV totaled $4.4 billion in 2010. Seventy-five cents of every dollar spent on a US solar installation accrued in the US, according to the report.
To read this entire post click here.

Solar May Produce Most of World’s Power by 2060, IEA Says
By Ben Sills from Bloomberg
Solar generators may produce the majority of the world’s power within 50 years, slashing the emissions of greenhouse gases that harm the environment, according to a projection by the International Energy Agency.
Photovoltaic and solar-thermal plants may meet most of the world’s demand for electricity by 2060 — and half of all energy needs — with wind, hydropower and biomass plants supplying much of the remaining generation, Cedric Philibert, senior analyst in the renewable energy division at the Paris-based agency, said in an Aug. 26 phone interview.

“Photovoltaic and concentrated solar power together can become the major source of electricity,” Philibert said. “You’ll have a lot more electricity than today but most of it will be produced by solar-electric technologies.”

The solar findings, set to be published in a report later this year, go beyond the IEA’s previous forecast, which envisaged the two technologies meeting about 21 percent of the world’s power needs in 2050. The scenario suggests investors able to pick the industry’s winners may reap significant returns as the global economy shifts away from fossil fuels.
To read this entire post click here.

And just for giggles;

  1. September 19, 2011 at 4:29 pm

    Solar May Produce Most of World’s Power by 2060, it`s a fact

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