Stanford University Study Finds Utility-Scale Solar Development Enough to Power Communities

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Solar energy might have got the break it needs. After Stanford University published its findings this week, their study proves that "utility-scale solar development" along with existing solar panels both residential and commercial, is enough to give power to communities.

The study's research was published in Nature Climate Change and concentrated on "land-use efficiency in California," according to Common dreams. California is being called "a global energy hotspot." Through the study, it was determined  that "he quantity of accessible energy potentially produced from photovoltaic (PV) and concentrating solar power (CSP) within the built environment exceeds current statewide demand" after it examined urban developments as localized sources for renewable energy.

While some opponents of solar infrastructures believe they could endanger wildlife and take over scarce land, scientists said that using "rooftops, vacant lots and industrial sites" are one way to make sure there is no environmental conflict.

 


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  • Deserts are far from electrical demand, thus they cost more and lose more in transmission. The big arrays also strain the grid, as opposed to distributed rooftop and parking lot solar which REDUCES grid load, save the utility money. Some deserts also get sand storms, which ruins concentrators, and reduces flat panel solar a small amount.

    Big solar will cost the customer more. rooftop is cheaper up to 1 MW. Multi megawatt big solar farms have the above listed problems, plus you need to pay the middle man.

    Consumer owned rooftop and parking lot solar is the first opportunity for individuals to shift the balance of power, literally, back to the citizens and away from giant corporations.
  • This is an excellent idea, but how well will it be received? Will home and business owners be willing to retrofit their property with this technology? I believe they would be more receptive if a tax break is provided to assist with the cost of retrofitting. Also, wouldn’t it be more practical to build large solar arrays in the deserts of the southwest? That way, private power companies would keep the revenue generated from their investment rather than competing with the average citizen producing power for themselves or selling it to the power companies. I predict legislation being introduced that would require licensing for power production that would make it difficult for citizens to sell the power generated from solar panels thus reducing competition for power companies.
  • The picture shows an Edeka grocery store in Germany (foreground), where 31% of total electric power is generated by renewable resources, 7% of total by photovoltaics. Keep in mind, Germany’s a high-usage industrialized nation, and lies at 52 degrees northern latitude, a little close to the North Pole than Adak, Alaska — so its sunny hours are very limited. And yet, many Germans make a nice extra income by selling self-generated power back to the utility.
  • The logical way to go, is to offer Solar rooftop panels as an option on all new construction. This would drive the pricing down faster, and allow the startup costs to be included in mortgages.
  • It would take 5-10 years to cover just the good rooftops and parking lots, why don’t we start there? Vacant lots tend not to stay that way. Only irreparably destroyed land should be used, but they are usually dangerous. We can even cover parts of the roads is need be. or the areas around train tracks.

    In very hot places, solar panels can actually help with farming by giving needed shade, but they need to be racked high so you can get to the crops.

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