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electricity

India Approves Massive $9 Bil. Rooftop Solar Plan with Panels for 10 Million Homes

in Housing 332 views

Passed in February, a massive subsidy program to help Indian households install rooftop solar panels in their homes and apartments aims to provide 30 gigawatt hours of solar power to the nation’s inventory.

The scheme, called PM-Surya Ghar, will provide free electricity to 10 million homes according to estimates, and the designing of a national portal—a sort of Healthcare.gov for solar panels—will streamline the process of installation and payment.

The program was cooked up because India had fallen woefully behind on its planned installations for rooftop solar. In many parts of the subcontinent, the sun is absolutely brutal and relentless, but by 2022, Indian rooftop solar power generation topped out at 11 gigawatts, which was 29 gigawatts under a national target set a decade ago.

Part of the challenge, Euronews reports, is that approval from various agencies and departments—as many as 21 different signatures in some cases—was needed to place a solar array on your house. Aside from this bureaucratic nightmare, the cost of installation was often higher than $5,000; more than half the average yearly income for a working Indian urbanite.

Under PM-Surya Ghar, subsidies for a 2-kilowatt solar array will cover as much as 60% of the installation costs, falling to 40% for arrays 3 kilowatts or higher. Loans set at around 7% interest rates will help families in need get started. 750 billion Indian rupees, or $9 billion has been set aside for the project.

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Ireland Sets Renewable Record of 70% Energy from Wind

in Place 462 views

The Emerald Isle is greener than its reputation holds, as it turns out, since more than half of electricity on some days is generated by renewable energy.

Though it’s common to have all four seasons in a single day in Ireland, one can pretty much bet on the wind, which generated an all-time high for contribution to the Irish power grid with 4.62 gigawatts on Wednesday last week.

By midnight, 71% of all the day’s electricity needs were met with wind power.

In 2022, HeatMap reports that Ireland was third in the world for energy generated from wind. The Green Collective, which provides insights into the Irish energy grid, reports that the previous record was around 4.56, and was generated last year.

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Fusion Breakthrough Announced by Scientists at US Department of Energy

in Uncategorized 234 views

Today the U.S. Department of Energy announced a breakthrough in nuclear fusion where more energy was gained from the process that was needed to heat atoms to temperatures hotter than the sun.

The electricity generated was only enough to boil 10 kettles of water, British fusion energy experts told CNN in anticipation of the release, but who nevertheless described it as “a true breakthrough moment which is tremendously exciting.”

Nuclear fusion is a potential new energy source with increasingly real potential to solve the West’s energy needs. It replicates the process of melding two atomic nuclei together which happens at the center of our sun, a function of physics which releases intense amounts of energy as heat through escaping neutrons.

Today the U.S. Department of Energy announced a breakthrough in nuclear fusion where more energy was gained from the process that was needed to heat atoms to temperatures hotter than the sun.

The electricity generated was only enough to boil 10 kettles of water, British fusion energy experts told CNN in anticipation of the release, but who nevertheless described it as “a true breakthrough moment which is tremendously exciting.”

Theoretically, it has the potential to generate enough energy to power a household for a human lifetime on a single glass of seawater, remarks MIT’s fusion company. It produces no emissions, and unlike nuclear fission, the currently-used method of nuclear power, generates no radioactive waste.

The breakthrough was achieved at the National Ignition Facility located in the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, California, where giant lasers bombarded a hydrogen fuel source, likely the heavy hydrogen isotope deuterium, with an array of 200 lasers. It produced around 5.6 kilowatt hours of energy.

Last year, GNN reported that this facility achieved a fusion reaction that put the equipment there on the cusp of generating clean energy at a rate greater than its expenditure.

“This is a landmark achievement for the researchers and staff at the National Ignition Facility who have dedicated their careers to seeing fusion ignition become a reality, and this milestone will undoubtedly spark even more discovery,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm.

The press release also said the DoE is currently restarting a broad-based, coordinated fusion energy program in the United States. Combined with private-sector investment, there is a lot of momentum, they claim, to drive rapid progress toward fusion commercialization.

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National Grid offers tips on reducing energy consumption during summer

in Uncategorized 619 views

WATERTOWN — National Grid is reminding customers of ways to reduce energy consumption during the summer months.

National Grid issued a news release on Tuesday about free and low-cost methods of reducing energy consumption when the weather is hot.

Closing window drapes and blinds during the day can block the sun’s light and heat into homes, according to National Grid. Running fans along with air conditioning units creates a windchill effect by distributing and circulating cold air throughout a room. Changing or cleaning the reusable filter in your air conditioner can improve air flow and efficiency.

National Grid also offers a Budget Billing Plan, in which customers pay a monthly amount based on their average energy usage. This spreads the cost out to provide a predictable monthly payment amount, according to National Grid.

“We periodically review accounts and adjust payment amounts to keep customers on track if their usage increases or decreases,” the news release said. “Participation is free of charge and can be discontinued at any time without penalty.”

Before it gets too hot, National Grid has a few tips.

— Have your central air conditioner checked. Just like you have your furnace serviced and cleaned each fall, you should have your central air conditioning system checked. Professionals will perform a comprehensive examination on your outside condenser and inside fan to ensure your system is working at peak efficiency.

— Replace your air conditioner’s air filter. Dirty air filters on central and room air conditioning systems can choke off the flow of air to your home’s ventilation system. Changing your filter as directed by the manufacturer not only permits air to flow freely, it helps your air conditioning run more efficiently.

— Vacuum your air intake vents and keep them clear. Dust builds up on your home’s air returns, and a couple of minutes with a vacuum can keep the air flow moving. Move toys, furniture and other objects away from the intake vent to keep air moving.

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Scientists Power a Computer Using Only Algae and Daylight to Make the Electricity

in Technology 267 views

Researchers have used a widespread species of blue-green algae to power a microprocessor continuously for a year—and counting—using nothing but ambient light and water.

Their system has potential as a reliable and renewable way to power small devices.

Comparable in size to an AA battery, the system contains a type of non-toxic algae called Synechocystis that naturally harvests energy from the sun through photosynthesis. The tiny electrical current this generates then interacts with an aluminium electrode and is used to power a microprocessor.

The system is made of common, inexpensive, and largely recyclable materials. This means it could easily be replicated hundreds of thousands of times to power large numbers of small devices as part of the Internet of Things.

The researchers say it is likely to be most useful in off-grid situations or remote locations, where small amounts of power can be very beneficial.

“The growing Internet of Things needs an increasing amount of power, and we think this will have to come from systems that can generate energy, rather than simply store it like batteries,” said Professor Christopher Howe in the University of Cambridge’s Department of Biochemistry, joint senior author of the paper.

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