France Has Law To Put Solar or Plants on Rooftops

I was impressed to learn that France had made new commercial buildings do this. I’ve felt badly that new buildings going up all over the University of Regina campus since I started paying attention to it in 1998, haven’t put a single solar panel up on them. There’s a building on Research Dr. with a round skylight that looks like a CD player, that would have been a perfect spot for some solar panels. At least the RIC building in 2006 had a partial green roof built onto its shady side.

RIC

Shared Knowledge Conference – Regina

These videos are from the second day of the Shared Knowledge Conference at the Core Ritchie Centre, the second weekend of June.


Jim Elliott with many interesting (and terrifying) facts about Regina’s watershed system.

James and Brooke of Sound Solar Systems:

Next, I presented on Bitcoin and alternate currencies being used to build alternate economies apart from the monetary systems provided by governments.


Dan B. of Tradebank Regina

Lindsay H. wraps up with what’s in store for next time.

Aurora from a sunspot explosion

Sun with sunspot AR2371

aurora

Last night the rating of the solar storm was “severe” according to spaceweather.com
Kp 8 is the strongest I’ve seen, unless it was 9 earlier this year for a storm I missed. The northern lights were to the south and east of Regina, which was good because I don’t have a clear view to the north.

Telephone line:
sun with powerline

Sun with sunspot

Without digital zoom, the Sun is this big in my 12X zoom camera:
Sun with sunspot

2020 Solar Power for 100% of Saskatchewan Homes Possible

This letter appeared in the Saskatoon Star Phoenix on Saturday.

In response to Kurt Soucy’s letter about the cost of powering the entire provincial grid with Photovoltaic (PV) solar power, I’d like to voice my support for his idea. It’s also possible to power every Saskatchewan household with concentrated solar thermal power plants similar to what’s already operating in California at Ivanpah. We’d need only three of those plants, and with a modification to their design, the solar power would be available into the night, using heat storage.

Mr. Soucy’s solar PV idea is sound also, and by aiming at powering only 410,000 households* instead of businesses too, we’re sure to have a diverse mix of power available for every electrical customer. Ivanpah took only 3 years to build, so at that pace, we could be most of the way to completely on renewable energy by 2020. The cost of 1 Ivanpah was $2.18 billion (USD), so 3 would be approximately $6.6 billion (USD).

The Premier just proposed we take another look at nuclear power, despite polling last year which indicated most people in Saskatchewan are opposed. Nuclear power can’t compete with the profitability of renewable energy, so I welcome a series of “[Solar] Power to Grow” forums held by the provincial government around the province. These forums were called for by citizens** during the Uranium Development Proposal (UDP) of 2009. Now that the Premier has suggested we need to revisit the UDP, this time we should give the spotlight to renewable energy. We stand to eliminate most of our carbon pollution, and lower our future utility bills if we make the best choices.

*According to http://www.stats.gov.sk.ca/stats/pop/2011FamiliesHouseholds.pdf

**

New Solar in Ontario

Ontario isn’t as GD senseless as Saskatchewan’s government. They actually have somewhat of a Feed In Tariff program underway.

The Ontario Power Authority has just extended its solar feed-in tariff program and selected another 99 MW of solar power projects to receive payments from it. This comes from 330 new contracts.

ontarioIn case you’re not familiar with feed-in tariffs, they are when renewable energy power producers are guaranteed a specific rate for the electricity they produce and send back into the grid for a specific period of time (e.g., 15 years or 20 years). This lets the homeowners and businesses lock in an attractive, low-risk return on their investments.