Coach House Geography

Interesting Geography stuff for InterHigh

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Archive for the ‘solar’ Category

Toyota car plant gears up for solar power

Posted by Lindy on June 12, 2011

Toyota looks set to install a £10m solar array to power operations at its Derbyshire plant after the local authority granted planning approval for the ambitious project. The company has already started work to fit around 17,000 panels on 90,000 square metres of industrial land – an area slightly smaller than four and a half football pitches – within the plant’s boundaries. It says the array will be capable of supplying enough energy to build around 7,000 cars a year at the plant, which produces Auris hybrid, Auris and Avensis cars, as well as saving the company 2,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions a year. It should begin supplying power to the plant in July, allowing the installation to get in ahead of the government’s proposed cuts to feed-in tariffs for large solar arrays.
Toyota claims it will be the first UK car manufacturer to install a large-scale solar panel array and said the move is part of the company’s wider strategy of lowering the company’s carbon footprint.
“Generating solar power on-site to supply electricity to the plant underlines our commitment to do even more to further reduce our carbon footprint and is yet another example of our environmental leadership,” said Tony Walker, deputy managing director at Toyota Manufacturing UK.


Posted in Appropriate technology, Climate change, Global warming, IGCSE, Renewable, solar, Solution to problems, Y7/8 | Leave a Comment »

REDD between Norway and Guyana:

Posted by Lindy on April 6, 2011

This week a further historic step is taken in the battle to hang on the world’s remaining tropical rainforests. It is unlikely to make too many headlines, but on Friday two countries will take forward the kind of arrangement that many have talked about but few have had the boldness to actually do. Guyana and Norway’s leadership is seen in the second stage of a ground-breaking deal through which one (Norway) makes annual payments to the other (Guyana) to keep its forests. The amount of money to change hands is calculated on the basis of how well Guyana has done in holding back deforestation, and the value of that in terms of avoided carbon dioxide emissions. A complex calculation is made to determine how well the recipient country has done but this year $40m is being transferred.

The money is all being invested in sustainable scheme, e.g funding solar panels on all the houses belonging to the indigenous people. These are the means for children to read books at night and mark the end of the kerosene lamps and candles which cause indoor air pollution and fire hazards.

There is also money to connect remote settlements to the internet, again powered with solar electricity. There is money to pay for the costly job of legally demarking Amerindian lands and there are plans for health, education and business support.

Without this support, Guyana would have undoubtedly lost forests. The country needs jobs, foreign exchange and tax revenues. And there are plenty of takers for the natural resources that await plunder in delivering these benefits. Since Brazil has cracked down on deforestation, the loggers, ranchers and soya farmers there have been looking for other places to expand their industries.

For more see

Posted in Amazon, Appropriate technology, Fragile environments, Global warming, IGCSE, solar, Solution to problems, Sustainability | Leave a Comment »

Creating “Future Proof” Solar

Posted by Lindy on January 6, 2011

Starting this year, plants will be built in the desert to extract the valuable silicon from sand to construct solar panels. The energy to do this will be – you guessed it – solar power. Once these solar panels have produced enough silicon to make the the solar panels, then it is suggested that 50% of the world’s power can be obtained by solar energy by 2050.  But the novel technological approach suggested by the Sahara “Breeder” team is not the only one under consideration by solar industry stakeholders as they seek to shape the development of the sector over the next half century.

Posted in Appropriate technology, Fragile environments, Global warming, Renewable, Sahel, solar, Solution to problems, Sustainability | Leave a Comment »

The world gets ¼ of its energy from renewable resources

Posted by Lindy on October 26, 2010


In spite of the economic crises of 2007-9, renewable energy sources continue to grow. Close to one quester of the energy supply generally and approaching 20% of the electricity comes from renewable resources. And all this is despite low oil prices and the poor performance of the Copenhagen  Summit in Dec 2009.

The prime movers are photovoltaic and wind power. China is in the lead, have added 37GW last year, of which 13,8 GW was wind power.

Germany is top of the PV market having added 3.8GW. Biomass power plants exist in over 50 countries around the world with Austria and Finland forging ahead with this.

One of the reasons for this growth, is that you can start small and cheap, unlike hugely expensive fossil fuel or nuclear power stations.

For more information on renewables:

Posted in Appropriate technology, Bio-enenrgy, Economic geography, Global warming, IGCSE, nonrenewables, Renewable, solar, Solution to problems, Sustainability, Wave, Wind | Leave a Comment »

Solar Power Experiences Strongest Year of Growth Yet

Posted by Lindy on June 19, 2009

From an article by by Yingling Liu / June 18, 2009

solar-pie chart 2008The year 2008 saw the most phenomenal growth in the solar power market yet, with dramatic increases in installations of solar photovoltaics (PVs), which generate electricity directly from sunlight, and solar thermal plants, which use the sun’s heat to produce power. The latter include concentrating solar power (CSP)—a technology that uses mirrors to reflect and concentrate sunlight to heat water to drive a steam turbine for electricity generation—is expanding in many regions.

Newly added PV power installations amounted to 5,600 megawatts (MW), in one year increasing by more than half  cumulative total of 9,000 MW to almost 15,000 MW by the end of 2008.

Europe remains the leading market for PVs, accounting for over 80 percent of world demand in 2008. Spain overtook Germany to become the number one solar PV market worldwide, with its market increasing in one year from 560 MW to an estimated 2,600 MW in 2008. This 300+ % growth accounted for almost half of all new installations in 2008. Germany followed in second place, with new installations of about 1,500 MW.

The United States came in a distant third, adding approximately 348 MW, followed closely by Italy, South Korea, and Japan.

The phenomenal growth in the top two national PV markets—Spain and Germany—suggests that government support programs are pivotal in the development of the solar market. A feed-in tariff policy in Spain requires utilities to buy electricity generated from solar power projects at premium guaranteed long-term prices that are set by the government, an incentive introduced to encourage the adoption of renewable energy. The lucrative solar electricity rates in Spain fanned unexpected enthusiasm from the industry.

However in September 2008 the government considerably reduced the feed-in tariff payments and put a cap on annual PV installation from 2009 through 2010, aiming at a target of 3,000 MW by the end of 2010. This policy change is expected to slow the PV market in Spain significantly over the next few years.

Germany, which was the number one solar market for years, also has a feed-in tariff program for renewable energy. It aims to reduce the premium solar electricity rates gradually and predictably until solar energy achieves price parity with conventional power. As the result of amendments to the German law in mid-2008, payments for PVs declined considerably starting in January 2009, reflecting a reduction in installed cost. The stability and consistency of Germany’s feed-in tariff has proved beneficial for continuous market development, and the country is expected to regain the top PV market position in 2009.

The Chinese PV industry is leading in silicon-based cell production, primarily to meet soaring demand from Spain and Germany. Combined Chinese and Taiwanese production accounted for 39 percent of the global cell output in 2008, up from only 7 percent in 2004.

On an individual company basis, the German company Q-Cells was the number one producer of solar cells in 2008, First Solar of the United States ranked second, and Suntech of China came in third.22

Cconcentrating solar power (CSP)— has seen considerable development in the United States, with more than 350 MW of CSP built in California between the mid-1980s and the early 1990s. The country also hosts one of the world’s largest CSP plants, the 64-MW Nevada Solar One CSP plant. The Mediterranean region has started to see increasing new CSP capacity as well, making Europe, North Africa, and Middle East a potential global hub for CSP generation. Two new CSP plants came on-line in 2008—the 50-MW Andasol-1 plant in Spain and a 5-MW plant in California. Projects with more than 6,000 MW of capacity are now in the pipeline in the United States, mostly planned for California, Arizona, and Florida. Over 3,000 MW of CSP projects have been announced in Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East; out of these, 2,500 MW are to be built in Spain. Israel and the United Arab Emirates opened tenders for 350 MW projects in the Middle East during 2008, and projects are now planned for Algeria, Morocco, and Egypt.

Posted in Economic geography, Global warming, IGCSE, Renewable, solar, Solution to problems, Sustainability | Leave a Comment »

Futuristic or what? This is a solar-gas powered turbine power station!

Posted by Lindy on February 9, 2009

Last month in southern Israel, construction began on what will be the world’s first hybrid solarized gas turbine power station. The unique design of the power station allows it to generate solar power by day and run on biofuel by night, so it provides renewable energy around the clock. But the truly intriguing part is how this hybrid solar-gas turbine

How a Hybrid Solar Gas Turbine Power Station Works
The concept of a solar gas hybrid turbine system has existed for years now, but this will mark the first time one has actually been built. According to AORA, the company behind the hybrid, the power station will sit on an acre of land, and will feature a field of 30 tracking mirrors, or heliostats.

Posted in IGCSE, Renewable, solar | Leave a Comment »

Samso: The isle of plenty

Posted by Lindy on September 23, 2008

Want to know how green it can get? Samso, an island off Denmark took up the challenge.

Ten years ago, islanders drew nearly all their energy from oil and petrol brought in by tankers and from coal-powered electricity transmitted to the island through a mainland cable link. Today that traffic in energy has been reversed. Samsingers now export millions of kilowatt hours of electricity from renewable energy sources to the rest of Denmark. In doing so, islanders have cut their carbon footprint by a staggering 140 per cent. And what Samso can do today, the rest of the world can achieve in the near future, it is claimed.

Check out this Guardian article to see more. Then click on the piccie to see the sights!

Posted in Bio-enenrgy, Global warming, Renewable, solar, Solution to problems, Wind | Leave a Comment »

The first ever hybrid wind-and-solar generator

Posted by Lindy on August 28, 2008

The swiss firm, Greentecno, has supplied a test generator free of charge to CAPE Town’s N2 Gateway low-cost housing project.

“The beauty of this machine, and what sets it apart, is that we are producing energy from both solar and wind power,” Brad Koton said (the operating officer from the Swiss firm). “It’s the only vertical wind turbine and solar power hybrid in the world.”

Koton said the design of the wind turbine allowed it to start producing power at much lower wind speeds than conventional turbines.

This is a link to the article in the South Africa Times

Posted in Renewable, solar, Wind | Leave a Comment »

Items added to other pages

Posted by Lindy on August 4, 2008

Year 7/8 have an article on a new way to find energy for fuel cells from the sun

Posted in Renewable, solar, Y7/8 | Leave a Comment »