Tag Archives: renewable energy

Smart Power Grid

Smart Power Grid awareness will cause us to use our energy at the least expensive times of the day, thereby reducing energy costs and reducing the load on our power plants during the peak periods. At the same time we will reduce the CO2 in the atmosphere, positively affecting  our contribution to Greenhouse gases.

Smart Power Grid

Image retrieved from:  http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/tech/power-grid.html

PV Panels Efficiency

Retired academic and author Peter Little describes in a letter below how we can use green building products such as  PV panels and insulation between double brick construction to greatest efficacy by adopting Smart Power Grid  behaviour.

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Solar Empire

Solar Empire Powered By Solar Energy

A guest article written by: Living Quarters, India

A solar empire is something that eventually this planet could aspire to be  if the world will harness solar energy. People worldwide are coming to realize that fossil fuels must be replaced by cleaner energy to maintain a healthy living environment and also help the planet evolve.

This is why there are more and more industrialised nations which are considering the importance of adapting their built environment and introducing solar energy and other renewable energy sources as a way of saving money and also saving the environment. Refer: solar power by country

Solar Panels Bring Savings

Solar panels are very much accessible nowadays and people can purchase photovoltaics for domestic rooftop solar electricity installations.They generally have a lifespan of up to thirty years, which makes them very cost-effective in the long run.

Although reducing energy consumption is preferable, by introducing solar panels they reduce their dependence on the grid and should they produce a surplus of energy they can even sell the surplus to the local electricity companies. Householders who invest in solar panels may be able to get their money back after five years, which is a relatively short period of time. With savings like that, the Institute of Electronic and Electrical Engineers (IEEE) projects that this world could be  a Solar Empire within 10 year.

Sustainable Cities


Solar Panel Roof MIST image

Sustainable City's MIST Rooftop

The use of solar is increasing all over the world. The first sustainable solar operational city in the world has emerged in Abu Dhabi. Sustainable city Masdar was designed to house fifty thousand people in an area of just seven square kilometers. When it is finished it will become the world’s first carbon neutral city. There are currently many other successful projects around the world aiming at this status and the good news is that the change has begun.

More and more cities in America and around the world are starting to use solar  panels as a way of generating energy. On a global scale this greatly affects the environment in a positive way, by reducing the greenhouse effect. The use of solar energy reduces fossil fuel pollutants in the atmosphere and overall, offers a new and more efficient way of powering up entire city structures.

Solar Empire – The Vision and Health Benefits

Solar Empire Sustainable City

Model by Aedas Int'l

The vision of  solar empire  sustained only by renewable sources and particularly using the sun’s free energy is indeed a utopian one at first hearing. Once the world’s governments begin to understand the benefits carbon-free cities could become the mainstream.

The idea of a world which relies only on renewable energy sources is indeed a beautiful one. The all too frequent image of pollution hazes in the atmosphere will become a memory. The air of the solar empire will be clean and clear.

Pollution free cities

Cities which will follow this path will literally look greener. There will be a significant reduction in respiratory diseases. All of these benefits and more are the positive result of using solar panels, which are cheap, easy to install and require little maintenance.

 Solar Empire Comprising Solar Powered Nations

When nations base their energy supply  on renewable energy sources they will save of hundreds of billions of dollars. Such wealth savings could  be redirected towards other sectors of the economy.  Let’s look forward more solar powered nations creating a virtual solar empire.


Australian Solar Energy Society and Renewable Energy Costs

Renewable Energy Costs Decreasing – Interesting Times Ahead

The Australian Solar Energy Society [AuSES] executive and Board members are fully aware that 2012 and 2013 will be a chaotic time of change for the world community as far as our economic relationship with energy goes.

Fair Price for Solar Energy

John Grimes, CEO of AuSES at the National Conference Dinner last December made the point that a fair price for solar is the main objective for the industry in the short term, but governments are basically running behind reality.

The price of fossil fuel is set to rise dramatically in 2013 as many peak oil economists are predicting and this will herald a new era for the world. Renewable energy costs are becoming very competitive, with the result that our energy supplies will undergo constant change from now on.

Renewable Energy Costs Changing the World

Due to comparatively low renewable energy costs in mainstream energy supply, it  is set to continue expanding dramatically over the next few decades and continue on way past the end of this century.

Renewable  energy costs are now  so competitive, as Ray Wills of  SEA has pointed out, that within two years (and arguably right now), depending on what figures are used, we will see that the world has already changed for all time. However, some government bureaucrats, academics and many analysts may still be unaware of  how renewable energy costs have decreased. Therefore it is imperative that state of the art knowledge to passed through to these decision makers.

New World Economic System

The old world economic system has been faltering for a while now but many prominent politicians and financial institutions seem hell-bent to restore ‘business as usual’ as soon as possible.

This of course it is impossible and the real winners in the near future will be those who realize that renewable energy costs have changed for the better and start to embrace a new world economic system that replaces many of the failed constructs developed in the 20th century.

It will not be easy. Communication is the key and the saviour will be the internet.

The way people do business has already changed due to the dissemination of information over the internet. Gone already are the large adverts for automobiles. They are all on the web. Real estate has also gone this way, as has a great deal of consumer product merchandizing.

The transition from offline to online advertising can be expensive and therefore solar-e has initiated the Get Solar Campaign.

Ishaan Khanna – Incoming President AuSES Western Australia


renewable energy costs

Ishaan Khanna

In Western Australia, a sign of change is the appointment of Ishaan Khanna as the new WA President of this AuSES branch. He represents a new younger professional intake into the organization.

Ishaan Khanna works as a Senior Engineer within the Smart Grid Development Branch at Western Power Corporation, a transmission and distribution utility, in Perth, Western Australia.

He graduated from the University of Pune, India with a Bachelor of Engineering degree and completed a Masters Degree in Engineering from the University of Auckland, New Zealand.  

His employment experience includes working as a networks engineer for HCL Infinet, a large networking services company in India and as a planning engineer for Unison Networks Limited, a New Zealand electricity utility.

 He also worked with a global engineering consulting firm, AECOM, as a Power Systems Engineer, serving transmission and distribution utility clients worldwide.

Ishaan’s recent experience has been in areas of demand side management applications utilizing Smart Grid and Home Area Networks (HAN), hybrid stand-alone power systems and studying the impact of distributed generation on electricity distribution network. His previous experience has been in areas of project management, asset management, system modeling/simulation, reliability and network planning.

Transitioning to Renewable Energy with Smart Grids

Without smart grids the smooth transition to a higher percentage of renewable energy in the electrical system will be very difficult indeed. Therefore a man like Ishaan is the type of key person needed for this smooth transition to a cleaner energy economy and the utilization of more solar energy in our communities and electricity grids as renewable energy costs fall.

Renewable Energy Costs and The International Solar Energy Society

Over the last 50 years the International Solar Energy Society, now represented in Australia by AuSES, has been at the cutting edge of progress. It embraces not only a generation change within its organization but also staying at the cutting edge of solar matters.

From our perspective, at www.solar-e.com nothing has changed – it has simply speeded up. But in many ways history of the society has been left behind as a building block of the present has been created on these solid foundations of ethics and expertise.

 A new exciting and period of change is already with us.  Those who do not like it are holding back process. Thanks to the decline in renewable energy costs a new era has already begun and the old world is being quickly left behind.

We just need key legislators and champions of industry to realize it and get on board. The train is leaving the station!

See other related articles on this site which may interest you:  energy consumption growth   peak oil solutions and carbon tax


Get Solar Campaign

What is the Get Solar Campaign?

The Get Solar Campaign will be a collaborative initiative to provide a consistent commercial focus for all the solar energy optimisation industry groups, key manufacturers and companies involved in solar energy products.

Solar energy is now cheap enough but we need government to establish a fair price for selling energy back to the grid. We need a level playing field based the true cost of carbon pollution.

Get Solar Campaign

Collective action is obviously already happening via great organizations such as the Sustainable Energy Association of Australia the PV Associations, Sustainable Industries Association and many others such as community group ‘Sustainable Energy Now.’ But more intense focus is required to get tangible results in the marketplace.

Our company Wise Earth Pty. Ltd., the owner of the solar-e.com website has registered the Get Solar Campaign and is offering free directory listings on the website for solar-related industries and services around Australia, with the plan to promote the directory globally in the next twelve months.

Background of solar-e.com

For 11 years this website has chipped away at promoting the use of solar energy in all its forms. It has always been there to support any solar energy related endeavour that can break down the barriers to the implementation of solar energy technologies. The website exists to promote new ideas and technological advances that may make solar energy in it various manifestations more economically viable.

Starting in 2000 our solar energy facts website flew in the face of the ‘dot-com’ bubble mainly because we were not using other people’s money like most did at the time. What helped was it had a solid idealistic philosophy behind it that kept us going. When the internet frenzy at that time was at its craziest, it was a tough decision to stick to the idea that websites should exist to positively affect the way people think about the world and their environment.

The co-founders of the website [myself with colleague Dr Bill Parker] already knew that solar energy was urgently needed. The point was how could it be introduced as quickly as possible?

What is the aim of solar-e.com?

Over the last 12 years a great amount of time and capital resources have been employed to give this portal a global focus. The intent was to attract people from all walks of life to interact with the authors of articles and disseminate ideas and information. The Get Solar Campaign is our latest initiative.

Effective Government Initiatives

Since the early days of the website we have seen how effective government action can be in developing the solar industry – this was particularly evident when the feed-in tariff and appropriate rebates were introduced in Australia. Lately we have seen how devastating it was to new businesses when the initiatives are subsequently reversed or reduced. We want  The Get Solar Campaign to help drive positive change.

The Challenge to the Solar Energy Industry

Irrespective of government policy, the challenge to the solar industry remains in attracting more buyers for solar hot water systems and PV systems. The reality is that advertising solar energy in an ad-hoc and independent manner, in competition with the streamlined campaigns of  fossil-fuel-driven technologies, is really doing ‘hard yards’ when it comes to creating public acceptance.

Advertising campaigns for new technologies are expensive and have dismal results when trying to compete with established competitor technologies which are already well-entrenched in the market place.

We need a well thought out programme of  ‘attraction marketing.’ We need to create new markets for solar energy technology. By joining the Get Solar Campaign, industry participants will amalgamate their promotion and information efforts with a  focus for the best outcome for the entire get solar  industry.

We will use a longer-term strategy rather than simply burning money on ad-hocadvertising.

Collective Action Needed

I believe we need specialized collective action on marketing for the selling all types of solar systems and promoting get solar to the general population. The Australian Solar Energy Society CEO, John Grimes, and his colleagues, were very effective in 2010/2011 at affecting government policies and soliciting public support.

In so doing they have been able to continually bring many of the solar energy industry movers and shakers together in well-coordinated national actions. But individual companies also need to help themselves. By acting in a collaborative manner through the Get Solar Campaign we believe positive results will be more definite and longer-lasting.

The last few years have been a very exciting and dynamic period for the Australian Solar Energy Society and the get solar industry generally. Because of the approach being taken, this year may prove to be another year of dramatic change for the solar industry, especially when supported by  the efforts of the Get Solar Campaign.

The various associations have been concentrating on standards, codes of practice and training – these are all credibility builders with authorities.

The big driver to change will be the higher efficiency and falling prices of technologies making them commercially competitive so the general population are encouraged to get solar as their renewable energy choice.

The Future With solar-e.com

Believing that joint industry promotion and attraction marketing techniques are the way forward to create new opportunities for the solar energy industries, the solar-e.com website will be put into action for these initiatives. Our growing network of associated and affiliated professional colleagues is definitely making a difference.

Technology development and improved interaction with key industry players is our target promotion for 2012.

The first phase for the Get Solar campaign will be working with the solar hot water heaters and PV industries in Western Australia. Thereafter the Get Solar Campaign will take the solar energy promotion activities national. The third phase will be global.

The Way Forward for the Solar Energy Industry

In recent years, with the introduction of renewable energy systems, it was difficult for industry to find clear focus.

A new ‘high ground’ but commercially focused approach by working industry groupings in tandem with the Society and Industry Associations is needed to offset the relatively high costs of individual ‘market creation’ or market expansion initiatives.

As with the ‘Collaboration of Australian Solar Hot water’ (CASH) set up in 1998, the Get Solar Campaign will take up the challenge involve companies already active in this pioneering form of solar energy technology and get them together once again.

We used to lead the world in Australia. It is time for a re-birth.

Refer to the CASH initiative in 1998.

As a corporate group we can better sell the notion of applying this technology and ensure that the majority of homes have solar energy systems installed.

Industry and Community organizations as a matter of course tend be based on issues of the day and broad-brush policy submissions. To complement this type of representation there is definite scope for direct corporate business building within close collaborative networks.  It has worked before and needs to again.

As part of this solar-e.com directory of solar energy companies, we will be noting which entities are members of the Australian Solar Energy Society as well as other key organizations. We want to promote the associations to the public as offering a visible ‘quality seal of approval’ as purchase decisions are made.

Get Solar Campaign is on its Way

Industry or community comments are welcomed on-line.

“Team work is the key to success with a venture like this. We are therefore interested to field expressions of interest to help Australian business to ensure that the public go and GET SOLAR”  (Garry Baverstock, 2012)

Garry Baverstock AM is an architect and one of the principals of Ecotect-Architects, director of Wise Earth Pty Ltd that owns and managers a number of solar oriented businesses initiatives including www.solar-e.com

and the Get Solar Campaign.