The news on solar power in use around the world continues to pour in. Increasingly, individuals, companies, and governments are turning to the sun’s clean energy source for solutions to problems ranging from financial, to environmental, to logistical. Here are just a few of the recent items in the news.
Solar Power Plant Planned in Wuzhong, China
On August 21, in China, RenaSola (a London-listed solar power company) was given a deal to develop a $700 million solar power plant in Northern China. The 150 MW plant is planned for construction near the city of Wuzhong. This makes things look a little more hopeful for China, which has gained a bad reputation where the environment is concerned, and is known as the world’s largest carbon emitter. Rumor has it that China’s leaders are committed to China becoming a greener nation – lets just see how things pan out when all is said and done.
A Solar-Powered Airplane
A Z-wing Solar powered aircraft has recently been designed by Aurora Sciences, together with BAE Systems, CS Draper Laboratory, and Sierra Nevada Corporation. This airplane is designed not only to be powered by solar energy, but to have the capability of staying airborne for five years! There are no reported concrete plans for its use, but it could be used for surveillance, weather monitoring, or climate research. The next step of development is to create a prototype at 50% the final size, and the company hopes final full-sized airplane will be built and completed within he next 5 years.
Solar Power in Germany
In Brandenburg, Germany, on the site of the former largest Soviet military training area in Germany, German based juwi Solar is completing a utility-scale solar power plant. The plant, scheduled to be completed later this year, will occupy 162 hectares, produced 53 MW of power, and should provide enough energy for approximately 15,000 households – saving approximately 35,000 tons of CO2 emissions per year. The project uses 700,000 thin-film solar modules which are supplied from a nearby Arizona-based factory.
A Solar Tower in California
The first US-Based Solar Tower has been launched in Lancaster, California. With 24,000 mirrors, this tower can power more than 4,000 homes in Southern California. The Sierra Sun Tower, created by eSolar, was unveiled on August 5. Power generated by this tower is being sold to Southern California Edison (SCE). eSolar plans to duplicate this model and create similar power plants across the U.S.
China Mobile Considering Entering Solar Energy in Pakistan
China Mobile Communication Corporation is considering introducing solar power to technology, to power cellular base stations of its subsidiary organization, China Mobile Pakistan. The environment is not the only concern here – high operating costs of power generation, taxes, and import duties of equipment are also factors which are making things difficult in Pakistan, and solar power may be part of the solution. China Mobile Pakistan has built 4,500 stations to provide cellular phone services to 6,5 million subscribers. Equipping these stations with solar energy would be a big step forward for Pakistan.
More Solar Power for the Denver Airport
The Denver International Airport (DIA), in Colorado, USA, installed solar power two years ago and is now seeking to install another solar power plant. The DIA wants to build a photovoltaic plant which will send electricity into the airport’s fuel storage and distribution facility, and is asking City Council approval for this. This plant would cost about $7 million, would generate up to 1.6 MW of power, and would occupy nine acres of land just north of the airfield.
Texans Want Renewable Energy – Even if it Costs More
A recent survey revealed that a majority of Texas residents want the state to develop and utilize renewable energy sources, even if this means higher monthly electrical bills. Citizens across the state also believe that electrical companies should be required to supply a certain percentage of their power from renewable sources.
This is just some of the recent news, as around the world, more and more people and organizations are embracing the use of solar power and other forms of renewable energy. While we could all agree that it would be great if it went faster, at least things seem to be going in the right direction.
ReneSola to Build Solar Power Plant in China
New Aircraft Uses Solar Power
Solar Power Tower in the United States
China Mobile May Bring Solar Power Technology to Pakistan
DIA to Add Second Power Plant