The 2nd Most Read Article of 2012:
Five Shining Examples of Renewable Energy Innovation and Investment
by Steve Leone, (former) Associate Editor, RenewableEnergyWorld.com
Published May 17, 2012
Sinking revenues and shrinking policy support may be causing a bit of a haze on the renewable energy horizon, but there's plenty of sunshine trying to peek through if you look hard enough.
The 2nd Most Read Blog of 2012:
The Pros and Cons of Solar Energy -- What We Like About Solar Energy, And What We Don't
By Craig Shields
Published February 27, 2012
At 2GreenEnergy.com, we’re in the process of developing another in our series of infographics on renewable energy – this one on solar. There’s a lot to like about solar generally, but, as I often point out, there is no such thing as a free lunch. So here is a quick examination of the “pros and cons” of solar.
PRO: The Fuel Is Free, Abundant, and Perfectly Clean. Through nuclear fusion reactions that are taking place a nice, safe distance (93 million miles) from Earth, the sun provides our planet with 6000 times more power than we’re consuming. Though the low latitudes receive more direct sunlight than those closer to the poles, places as far north as Germany and Canada do quite well.
PRO: Distributed Energy: Solar is “The People’s Power.” Solar energy is ideal for deployment at the consumer level, on the rooftops of homeowners, office buildings, etc. This reduces loss of power in transmission from utilities, while reducing the overall importance of those utilities in our lives.
PRO: Solar Comes in Many Flavors, Each of Which Is Advancing Technologically. There are many different technologies by which the sun’s energy is directly converted to electricity via photovoltaics, some of which have the potential to be extremely easy to install, e.g., thin-film, which can be sprayed on windows – transparently.
CON: Intermittence. Solar energy is only available when the sun is shining. If we want to use solar to provide power at night, we need to store the energy. Although there is a variety of options for storage, the most obvious is batteries, which are quite expensive.