Sustainable Energy for Development: People, organizations, and projects active in environmentally benign energy sources for developing countries.
Ken Novak's Weblog
Wednesday, November 30, 2005
South African disposable solar cells: I've been interested for some time in renewable power sources that are less expensive up front, even if more expensive over the long run. The lower up-front commitment cuts risk, allows more experimentation, and more room for incremental technological improvements. It also supports a wider range of business models based on recurring revenues.
"SCIENTISTS at the University of Cape Town are exploiting the nano-scale properties of silicon to develop a super-thin disposable solar panel poster which they hope could offer rural dwellers a cheap, alternative source of power. .. The scientists have developed technology for printing specialised inks containing tiny nanoparticles of silicon and other semiconductors onto paper. The solar panels are printed in much the same way as conventional colour images.. They print the metal contacts, then the semiconductor structure, then more contacts.
The voltage and power output of the solar cell is determined by the size of the poster. An A2-sized poster [15.9 x 22.3 ins or 40.38 x 56.64 cms] will deliver up to 100W of power, enough to charge a cellphone, power a radio or provide five hours of lighting, said Prof David Britton, a physicist specialising in nanotechnology.
“Many families cannot afford R1000 for a solar panel designed to last 30 years, but they can afford R10 (US$1.50) every three to six months for a ‘disposable’ panel,” he said. Shops could stock rolls of solar panel posters, and cut it to meet a customer’s needs. The poster could be mounted behind a window or attached to a cabinet. Britton’s team has built a successful prototype and is seeking to commercialise the project" 11:00:27 AM
Thursday, November 24, 2005
Global Renewable Energy Policies and Measures
: New from the IEA with info from 100 countries. Coverage:
"There are 34 countries listed with targets for renewables, ranging from Austria which wants 78.1% of its electricity to come from renewables by 2010, to the target of 3.6% in Hungary for the same period. Mali wants 15% of its total primary energy supply to come from renewables by 2020 and Singapore will install 50,000 m2 of solar thermal systems by 2012." 10:26:18 PM
Thursday, November 03, 2005
Sri Lanka government focus on renewables
: "The National Council for Economic Development (NCED) has put together the top energy experts in the country to find ways of harnessing Sri Lanka' s energy resources by forming a "Renewable Energy Cluster" under the NCED Secretariat. .. Director of NCED Rohantha Athukorala said 'To insulate the country from devastating price surges in international oil markets, Sri Lanka must increase self reliance in energy and improve energy diversity. In 2004, the nation relied on imported diesel based thermal power to meet 56% of its requirements. .. The team's objective is to develop a national strategy to exploit indigenous renewable energy resources - namely hydro, dendro, wind and solar - for both grid-connected and off-grid generation. " While the emphasis is on indigenous renewables, cheap imported coal is also mentioned as an alternative. I recall a recent UNEP study
mapping large wind resources in Sri Lanka. 8:53:01 AM
Tuesday, November 01, 2005
China's Little Green Book: "Green China will be much more challenging than Red China.. The China Daily reported that China's 11th five-year plan, which starts soon, includes a program to sharply reduce China's energy usage per unit of G.D.P. by 2010. "To hit the target, a huge business potential will be open to investors," [said] Zhou Dadi, director of China's top energy research institute.. "China is growing three times as fast as we are," Mr. Watson said, "[so] a lot of innovation is going to happen here, and once it is introduced [on the low-cost China platform] it is going to spread a lot faster. ... The Japanese and Europeans are here in a big way, and they are giving their stuff away. ... We deserve to lose. We are clutching our past with these tremulous hands, and everyone else is vigorously grasping the future." 11:45:08 PM