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More Electricity Generated By Solar Than Coal

According to some research undertaken by Carbon Brief there was more electricity generated by the use of solar power than by using coal in the six months to September 2016 here in the UK. Those people working within the solar power industry will probably be pleased to hear this as the industry could certainly do with some welcome news.

In the 6 months to September 2016 more electricity was generated by solar power than coal in the UK.

Solar panels helped generate more electricity than coal in the 6 months to September 2016 in the UK.

Apparently, the first time that this happened was on the 9th April of this year. May of this year became the first month that there was more electricity generated by solar panels than coal.

This just goes to show the impact that solar power has had here in the UK with regard to how electricity is produced. Of course, the six month period mentioned above includes the summer months which is a period when there is more daylight so we may see coal generating more electricity than solar photovoltaic panels in the winter months.

In the above 6 month period, some 6,964 gigawatts of electricity were generated by solar panels whereas coal generated 6,342 gigawatts of electricity over the same period. The electricity generated by solar power made up 5.2% of the demand for electricity here in the UK in that period.

It is no secret that there has been a drop in the number of consumers that have been investing in solar panels for an extended period of time with this no doubt being partially due to the government not providing as much “financial support” as it has previously done. The UK, as well as other countries in Europe and the rest of the world, has targets to meet to reduce carbon emissions and generate a certain level of electricity by renewable energy sources so it will be interesting to monitor how we are doing in respect of this in the coming month/years. We will keep our readers up to date in this respect.

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Will We See Many Solar Powered Cars On Our Roads?

Countries all around the world are keen to lower carbon emissions with a variety of products being made to help the environment and hopefully save people money. In recent years, considerable sums of money have been invested in electric vehicles but we have recently heard of a prototype car being developed that could be powered using solar panels.

There are many different sorts of products that may be powered with the help of solar photovoltaic panels

Solar panels are being used to power many products.

Sono Motors, based in Germany, has come up with the SION that it is hoping will be available in two models – the EXTENDER and the URBAN. These electric cars are expected to have more than one power source with one of those being by way of solar power.

The EXTENDER is expected to have a range of around 155 miles and the URBAN model a range of 74 miles. They would have a one-speed gearbox and have a maximum speed of about 140 kmh. They would have a 30kWH battery. It is forecast that each car could travel in the region of just over 18 miles a day just by using solar power. Each car would have 6 seats – 3 in the front and 3 in the rear.

Apparently, the company is raising finance through crowd funding.

It will be interesting to see if this project is a success as it would be good to see more uses of solar photovoltaic panel technology. This particular vehicle would have solar panels incorporated on both the top and sides of the vehicle thus giving it every opportunity to capture the sun. From the sound of things, if there was not enough power going to be produced using solar technology then the car could be charged in the usual way enabling it to travel a greater distance than that available just by using solar power. The car could also be used to provide electricity to power other devices when not being used on the road. It is hoped that the car would be available for delivery to the public in 2018.

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Solar Panels To Be Installed On Cathedral Roof

Solar photovoltaic panels have been installed on the roofs of numerous buildings including family homes and commercial premises such as the likes of Sainsbury’s Supermarket. Well, a cathedral in the UK is shortly to have solar panels fitted to its roof as part of a significant restoration scheme.

solar photovoltaic panels are going to be fitted to the nave roof of Gloucester Cathedral

Gloucester Cathedral is to have solar panels fitted to the nave roof.

Gloucester Cathedral is currently involved in Project Pilgrim that will see in the region of £6 million being spent in restoring the beautiful cathedral. As part of that project in the region of £100,000 is apparently being spent on having solar panels fitted to a roof of the cathedral.

It is estimated that as many as 200 solar panels will be fitted to the nave’s roof and it is expected that the panels will be fitted around October of this year. The installation work is expected to take around 3 weeks. Prior to the fitting taking place there is some other preparatory work that needs to be carried out.

It is great to hear that the funding of the solar panels is to come from money from a public appeal. At the present time, some 90% of the money has already been raised.

It is also pleasing to note that the solar panels may save as much as 25% of the energy costs of the cathedral on an annual basis. It is projected that the solar panels will generate between 28 to 30 MWh every year. In should help reduce carbon emissions that is something that the UK and other countries are keen to do.

The solar panels will not be that visible so hopefully they should not spoil the look of the wonderful building.

Apparently, Gloucester Cathedral is not the only religious building in the UK to have invested in solar panels.

It is solar power projects like this one that will go some way towards helping the UK meet its renewable energy targets in the coming years as well as lower carbon emissions.

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Solar Powered Umbrella – What Will They Think Of Next!

My goodness me – what will they think of next when it comes to solar power? Well, on a number of occasions, we have reported about a few interesting innovations involving solar panels.

will we be able to buy umbrellas fitted with solar photovoltaic panels here in the UK

It will be interesting to see if we will be able to buy umbrellas with solar panels fitted in them in the UK.

Apparently, a Saudi- Palestinian business has come up with an umbrella that is powered by solar panels that have been inserted into the fabric of the umbrella. The umbrella is actually ideally presently to be used to keep the sun at bay rather than stop you getting wet.

The small solar photovoltaic panels capture the sun’s rays and daylight and generate solar power that is stored within the handle of the umbrella. The electricity is then used for a variety of purposes some of which can be controlled by switches.

For instance, the umbrella has a fan that can be switched on to produce cooling air for the benefit of the owner of the umbrella to help keep their temperature down. Another switch controls a navigation system that will help from a location point of view. There is also a light that can be activated that will no doubt help someone in the dark.

Another interesting feature of this solar paneled umbrella is that there are three USB ports that can be used to, for instance, help charge up someone’s mobile phone or tablet.

Apparently, the inventors are looking for backing to go into producing these solar umbrellas on a commercial basis. It will be interesting to hear how they progress in this respect and we will keep our readers updated.

Over the years we have mentioned a number of interesting uses that have been found for solar panels. For instance, solar panels have been built into rucksacks that can be used by the likes of backpackers to charge up their mobile phones. This could be of particular benefit should they be walking in some remote areas of the world and get into difficulty requiring the use of a mobile phone to call for assistance.

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SolarCity Planning To Build Solar Roofs

It has been announced that Tesla is looking to purchase SolarCity with the later being a solar power company and the former building electric cars. Eton Musk is CEO of Tesla as well as being the major shareholder and chairman of SolarCity. SolarCity is a huge company in the USA and provide solar panel systems for both residential and commercial premises.

Solarcity produce solar panel systems and they are hoping to produce a solar panel roof.

Solar roofs are looking to be produced by SolarCity from the USA

Well, we thought that you might be interested to read that it has recently been announced that Solar City is to develop and produce solar roofs as well as continuing to provide normal solar panels that can be fitted onto the roofs of residential and commercial buildings. Tesla is also expected to benefit from such a venture in respect of their vehicles.

Apparently there are a considerable number of properties each year in the USA that have to have their roofs replaced. In which case, perhaps people could have a whole solar paneled roof installed rather than have a conventional tile or slate roof on which solar panels would normally be placed. Presumably, both options would need to be costed to establish which option would be the most financially viable. A certain type of Tesla battery could also be utilized to store the power that is generated in this way.

Quite some time ago, we mentioned in another post about solar roof tiles being used in Australia but this latest venture from Solar City seems to be taking things to a different level.

Of course, solar roofs would not just be applicable to replacement roofs. Presumably, there is nothing to stop builders incorporating solar roofs in brand new homes.

It may be as soon as the end of this year when solar roofs become available via SolarCity. Here at Solar Panels UK, we will continue to keep our many readers up to date with developments in this respect.

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Could Chernobyl Be Used As Solar Power Site?

Many of you will be aware of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant catastrophe that took place in the 1980s resulting in the death of many people. It also meant that several hundred thousand people had to be evacuated from their homes over a wide area and re-housed.

Are we going to see a solar power plant being built on or near the Chernobyl nuclear power plant?

Will a solar power plant be built in the vicinity of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant?

Well, apparently, Ukraine is considering using the 1,600 square miles of land that is presently uninhabited due to the above disaster to house solar panels to help generate electricity. It is estimated that 4 gigawatts of electricity could be generated from the solar power plant that would make it the largest plant of its kind on the planet.

Ukraine already uses solar power in the country and will no doubt be very keen to do all that it can to further reduce carbon emissions that should help further improve the environment. It will be interesting to see if they do decide to use the vast area to install solar panels as surely this could only be done if it was considered safe for personnel to enter the area without becoming ill as a result of what happened back in 1986.

There are many locations that are being used to house solar panels around the world including on top of the roofs of domestic and commercial premises. In addition, solar farms are appearing in farmers’ fields and can often be seen close to motorways here in the UK. They are also being constructed in the desert, on the surface of reservoirs and the sea. They have also been constructed in some public car parks where the power generated is being utilized to help charge electric cars.

It will be interesting to see where else solar farms are installed in the coming years as countries around the world look to find ways to help meet renewable energy targets and lower carbon emissions. We will keep our readers informed.

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Job Cuts In The UK Solar Power Industry

A survey has recently been carried out with a number of businesses operating in the solar power sector in the UK kindly agreeing to take part that makes for interesting reading – in particular with regard to the employment situation within the industry. The PWC and Solar Trade Association survey was responded to by 238 businesses with this equating to 10% of firms operating within the industry.

In the past year, there has been a drop in the number of people employed within the solat power industry in the UKJ

It is concerning that so many people have lost their jobs in the solar power industry in the past 12 months in the UK.

The firms that took the time to respond to the survey said that 12 months ago they collectively employed 5,362 people. Now, they only employ a total of 3,665 individuals. That is a reduction of 31.65% that we are sure you will agree is a huge drop. That could mean that in the region of 12,500 jobs have been lost in the solar power industry in the UK in the last 12 months.

The companies that took part in the survey were also asked to predict what the employment situation was likely going to be in 12 month’s time within their businesses. 50% expected staffing levels to remain the same, 30% forecast that jobs would reduce and 21% felt that they would be taking on more staff. Not far off 4 out of 10 firms are even thinking of leaving the solar power industry.

It is being forecast that, this year, solar power installations could reduce to an average of less than 300 MW whereas in the last 5 year it has averaged in the region of 1GW per annum.

The Solar Trade Association is concerned about the situation and feels that swift action is required on the part of the British government to help resolve things. Let us hope that matters can be sorted out as quickly as possible to encourage more domestic and commercial property owners to have solar photovoltaic panels fitted which in turn could lead to more people being employed within the solar power sector. We will keep you updated.

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Large Solar Panel Array On Las Vegas Convention Centre

Completion has recently taken place of what is now claimed to be the largest rooftop solar panel installation in the Unites States of America. This has been built on the roof of the Mandalay Bay Convention Centre that is located in Las Vegas. The USA is renowned for doing things on a big scale.

A large installation has recently ben cimpleted of solar panels on the roof the the Mandalay Bay Convention Centre

Completion has recently taken place of the installation of solar panels on the roof of the Mandalay Bay Convention Centre

A significant number of solar panels were installed back in 2014 but further panels have been added recently. The centre is owned by MGM Resorts International.

There are now in excess of 26,000 solar panels on the above roof that covers several acres. These solar photovoltaic panels are capable of generating 8.3 MW of electricity resulting in this form of renewable energy meeting about 25% of the buildings electricity requirements that is no doubt considerable. The installation was completed by NRG Energy.

Another significant benefit of having so many solar panels installed is the reduction in carbon emissions that will no doubt help the environment. It has been estimated that these solar panels will reduce carbon emissions by as much as 8,400 metric tons every year.

Large solar panel installations like the one mentioned above will undoubtedly go some way towards helping the USA meet its renewable energy and carbon emission targets in the coming years. Obviously, globally, such installations will also be of benefit as collectively countries around the world look to do all that they can to meet these targets by 2020.

Here in the UK, we continue to hear of solar panels being fitted to corporate buildings as well as residential properties and the construction of solar farms in various parts of the country. However, let us hope that the volume of such installations increases so that we can play our part in helping the world lower carbon emissions to benefit the world’s population both today and in the years to come.

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By 2030, Solar Power Could Account For 13% Of Generated Electricity

At the present time, solar panels are responsible for helping generate 2% of the world’s electricity so a great deal of progress has been made in a relatively short period of time. However, you may be interested to read that it is being forecast that this percentage could increase significantly by 2030.

The worldwide production of electricity is done so, in part, by using solar panels

Solar power continues to help produce some of the electricity globally.

The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) has produced a report that is forecasting that by 2030 anything up to 13% of electricity generated around the world could be done so by the use of solar photovoltaic panels. Presumably, this includes solar panels being fitted to both domestic and commercial premises as well as the installation of things like solar farms. It is suggested that the cost of installing solar panels may be able to come down even further which would be good from the customer’s point of view.

It is interesting that in the last 5 years the amount of solar capacity has increased from 40 GW to 227 GW around the world. It is forecast that this later figure could increase to anything between 1,760 to 2,500 GW by 2030. Apparently, last year, solar power made up 20% of new power that was generated so, as you can see, solar photovoltaic panels systems have been having a big impact on how power is generated around the world.

The environment has also benefitted as there has been a large drop in the emission of carbon dioxide. In fact, it is estimated that each year such emissions have fallen by anything up to 300 million tonnes.

It will be interesting to see what happens with the solar power industry in the next few years. In recent months, here in the UK, the industry has gone through some difficult times with many job losses. Let us hope that the situation improves. It is important that countries around the world do all that they can to help lower carbon emissions to help improve our environment.

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Nissan Installs Solar Panels At Plant

Nissan, the large car manufacturer, has recently had solar photovoltaic panels installed at its plant in Sunderland, Wearside here in the UK. The solar farm comprises of 19,000 solar panels so it is a sizeable array.

solar photovoltaic panels have been fitted at Nissan's Sunderland factory where it manufactures the Nissa Leaf all-electric car

Nissan has had solar panels installed at its Sunderland factory where it builds the Nissan Leaf all-electric car.

The company also has 10 wind turbines in place at its Wearside manufacturing site that is Nissan’s largest plant of this kind in Europe. Collectively, both the solar farm and wind turbines are capable of producing sufficient electricity on an annual basis to help construct in excess of 31,000 cars. In fact, it is estimated that 7% of the company’s electricity at the plant will be generated using solar and wind power. It is also estimated that these two forms of renewable energy could lower carbon emissions by 3,000 tonnes over a 12-month period that would be great from an environmental point of view. The solar panels are capable of generating 4.75 MW of power.

It is interesting that Nissan’s Sunderland manufacturing plant is where the all-electric Nissan Leaf is built. So far, more than 50,000 of these cars have been constructed in Europe. You may also find it of interest to read that 1 in 3 cars are manufactured by Nissan here in the UK so they are certainly a large manufacture of motor vehicles as far as the UK is concerned.

We are sure that you will agree the above news about Nissan going live with their solar farm in Sunderland is a positive thing. It is schemes like this that will help this country go someway towards meeting its carbon emissions and renewable energy targets by 2020 and that is something that many people wish to see achieved.

Hopefully, we will hear of more solar farms being built on a commercial basis in the coming months and years. In addition, we also need to see an improvement in the number of homeowners having solar panels installed on the roofs of their homes.

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