Canaries in the mine: Mega-solar plants and grid parity

Posted by on Nov 6, 2013 in Blog, News | 0 comments

megakagoshima-600x0I was thrilled to see this stunning image of Japan’s largest Solar Photovoltaic plant. This consists of 240,000 Kyocera panels providing a massive 70MWe capacity which should produce 78,800 MWh of electricity. The plant is set in 127 acres on a purpose-built island in the city of Kagoshima on the Southern Japanese island of Kyushu. If you want to see it on a map and appreciate its true scale, click here (although the satellite image is from before the completion of the plant).

Impressive thought this is, it pales by comparison with some of the mega-solar plants in the pipeline. India, for example, has just announced a 4GW scheme in Rajasthan  to be built on a 23,000-acre (9308 ha) site close to Sambhar Lake, about 75 km from Jaipur, the state capital. This will potentially triple current solar PV output for India, although it remains to be seen if the plant goes ahead as planned.  

Read More

Sustainable Energy Without the Hot Air – David MacKay

Posted by on Oct 3, 2012 in Books | 0 comments

 What can I say that has not already been said about David MacKay’ outstanding book on Sustainable Energy? It won plaudits from a wide range of reviewers (from the right and the left, from greens and cynics) and became one of the hottest selling non-fiction titles ever on Amazon.

So why all the hype about a book which essentially takes all the major sources of energy and piece-by-piece examines their current impact and potential future contribution to a low carbon world?

Read More