A steep drop in the cost of solar panels in recent months has spurred a significant increase in the number of planned non-residential projects in the U.S., an energy research company reports.
The price of photovoltaic solar panels is dropping so quickly that by 2013 panels will cost about half of what they cost in 2009, a new report says.
Based on broker reports and industry analysis, the independent consulting firm Ernst & Young predicts that the cost of panels — typically described in terms
Economy versus the Environment. This is a slogan for many when they consider the challenges of dealing with Climate Change and the reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
In 2007, McKinsey issued Reducing US Greenhouse Gas Emissions: How Much at What Cost? that provided a a significant contribution to this discussion. McKinsey’s conclusion: at an “affordable” cost of well below $50 per ton, in aggregate, the United States can meet necessary 2030 targets for GHG emission reductions. All-in-all, this was quite good news for those advocating acting to deal with Climate Change.
There was (and is) reason why the original study and McKinsey’s continuing work in this arena have been widely discussed / cited over the past two years. And, variants of the graphic on cost abatement have shown up in briefing after briefing, article after article, book after book. Good news.
Or, well, is it? McKinsey’s work provides significant data that addressing the environment will have economic cost. Even if a low number, with many actions providing economic benefit, the McKinsey work has a serious underlying thematic: it will cost to address climate change.
The AFCOM association recently revealed the results of a survey of 436 data center sites that showed the following trends: Cyber terrorism is an increasing concern, mainframe deployment is declining, storage deployment is increasing, and “green” technologies are definitely happening.
AFCOM found that there is a shift in data centers away from mainframe computers and toward other types of servers. That makes total sense as virtualization is the mantra of the day for those companies that are interested in optimizing their power by having several operating systems function within just one server. Data processing and storage is done within one server as opposed to a traditional system where the network is distributed in an elaborate design comprising of several servers and workstations all attached to their own separate hardware components. Similar to a virtual environment, all the physical resources such as additional servers, PCs, storage, hard drives, processors, and mother boards are totally eliminated. That way, not only are we saving big time in hardware investment (good for the planet!), we are also avoiding excess maintenance costs. That’s a big thumbs up!
China will break ground this month on a gigantic, $17 billion wind power farm in the northwestern part of the country that will produce 5 gigawatts of power by next year and 20 gigawatts by 2020, according to the official Xinhua news service. The installation in Gansu Province is known as the “Three Gorges of Wind Power” after the gigantic Three Gorges hydroelectric dam on the Yangtze River. As the Wall Street Journal notes, the Gansu wind power installation is scheduled by 2020 to produce five times the power of T. Boone Pickens’ proposed wind power project on the U.S. Great Plains.
Is the world warming, cooling or does it matter? Most of us will say it matters, a lot, at least in public anyway. And especially if you are hoping to pay rent or retire one day with a career based around the belief that Amsterdam, New York and Dubai will no longer exist unless we cut greenhouse gases and stop the icecaps from melting. But what has happened now that the earth cooled over the past year? Not to mention former NASA Chief Scientist Dr. Joanne Simpson’s claim last year that now that she is “no longer affiliated with any organization nor receive any funding” that she can publicly say that she “remains skeptical.” Recently the name was changed from ‘global warming’ to ‘climate change’ – what is really going on? Or does it matter?