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Japan May Make Solar Panels a Required Feature On All New Buildings

Posted by Adam Sewall In Monday, May 23 2011 under: Japan, Nuclear Power, Energy Policy, Rooftop Solar

As part of on-going efforts to increase the use of renewable energy, Japan may soon unveil a plan to make rooftop solar arrays a required feature of all new buildings and houses by 2030, the Nikkei newspaper reported on Sunday.

The plan may be announced in a statement on energy policy by Prime Minister Naoto Kan at the G8 summit, which will be held in northern France this week. As relayed by Reuters, Kan will likely make clear Japan's intention to continue to use nuclear energy after steps are taken to improve safety standards. Workers are still struggling to control the crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in northern Japan.

Like nuclear reactors, solar panels are a low- to no-emissions source

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Next 10 Years: Cost of Solar Will Drop by Half, U.S. Will Build 5 Nuclear Power Plants

Bloomberg New Energy Finance this week is having its annual conference in New York. Among the tidbits making their way through the Interwebs, I found the following particularly interesting:

(1) Michael Liebreich, chairman of the research group, noted in a talk that he expects the cost of developing a solar power project to drop by half in the next decade, worldwide. New Energy Finance numbers suggest the cost of large solar photovoltaic (PV) projects to decline to from around $3.00 per watt today to $1.45 per watt in 2020.

A reduction of that magnitude would make solar energy more competitive with fossil fuels.

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Non-Nuclear Clean Power to Double by 2020, Report Says

A report out Monday sees non-nuclear clean energy sources growing two-fold over the next ten years, via USA Today.

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Obama Talks Energy: Cut Imports, Use Alternatives, Boost Production at Home

Posted by Adam Sewall In Wednesday, March 30 2011 under: Obama, Natural Gas, oil, Nuclear Power, Energy Policy

Wrestling the energy boogieman has become a perennial rite of passage for U.S. presidents, dating at least as far back as Nixon.

Fittingly, President Obama today was at Georgetown University, where he outlined a broad initiative to cut oil imports, boost domestic production of oil and gas, and increase the use of cellulosic ethanol and natural gas to power vehicles.

With gas prices topping $4 a gallon in some parts of the country, like southern California, and the summer driving season not that far off, the president's comments couldn't come a moment too soon.

"In an economy that relies so heavily on oil, rising prices at the pump affect everybody," the Obama said in what the White House billed as a significant energy address.

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Where Are America's 104 Nuclear Power Plants Located?

Posted by Adam Sewall In Wednesday, March 16 2011 under: Japan, Nuclear Power, United States, Energy Policy

As a follow on to yesterday's blog post, where we broadly discussed the country's electricity sources, I got to thinking: Where, exactly, are our nuclear power facilities?

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission offers a lot of useful information, including this map:

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Where Does Our Electricity Come From?

Posted by Adam Sewall In Tuesday, March 15 2011 under: Natural Gas, Coal, Nuclear Power, Energy Policy

With the on-going calamity in Japan and phrases like "nuclear meltdown" and "radiation sickness" in headlines, it's to be expected that people discuss with renewed attention the risks and benefits of nuclear energy. At very least, it's helpful to stop and take a moment to think about where our electricity comes from.

Here in the U.S., we get about one-fifth of our electricity from nuclear power. Coal is still king, representing nearly half of total electricity generation, nationwide. Natural gas is number two, used to meet about a quarter of our demand.

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Is Solar Power Really Cheaper than Nuclear? Reading the Duke Report

Posted by Annie Lindseth In Saturday, August 14 2010 under: Duke, Solar Power Info, North Carolina Solar, Nuclear Power, solar cost

The quick answer: solar power can be cheaper than nuclear power. It just depends how you plan to use it.

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