UK’s First Solar Farm Built To Float On Reservoir

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Berkshire project owners to target water utilities with scheme to cut energy bill

They have become a familiar sight on rooftops and fields across Britain. Now, solar panels are set to start appearing in a new and surprising location: floating on reservoirs.

Britain’s first ever floating solar panel project has just been built in Berkshire, in a scheme its developer claims will act as a blueprint for the technology to be installed at hundreds of sites across the country.

The 800-panel green energy project was installed earlier this month on a reservoir at Sheeplands Farm, a 300-acre soft fruit farm near Wargrave.

The scheme is eligible for renewable electricity subsidies, which are funded by energy bill-payers.

Its owner, Mark Bennett, says that floating panels are even more lucrative than solar farms on fields because no earnings from valuable agricultural land have to be sacrificed to make space for them.

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Solar Power Could Be World’s Top Electricity Source By 2050

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Falling cost of solar photovoltaic panels could help technology generate up to 16% of world’s electricity by mid-century

Solar energy could be the top source of electricity by 2050, aided by plummeting costs of the equipment to generate it, a report from the International Energy Agency (IEA), the West’s energy watchdog, said on Monday.

IEA Reports said solar photovoltaic (PV) systems could generate up to 16% of the world’s electricity by 2050, while solar thermal electricity (STE) – from “concentrating” solar power plants – could provide a further 11%.

“The rapid cost decrease of photovoltaic modules and systems in the last few years has opened new perspectives for using solar energy as a major source of electricity in the coming years and decades,” said IEA Executive Director Maria van der Hoeven.

Solar photovoltaic (PV) panels constitute the fastest-growing renewable energy technology in the world since 2000, although solar is still less than 1% of energy capacity worldwide.

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White House To Spend $68 Million To Advance Solar Deployment And Increase Energy Efficiency

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In its newest effort to combat climate change, the Obama administration today announced that it would dedicate nearly $70 million in funding toward bringing more solar power to homes and businesses, improving energy efficiency in rural areas.

The $68 million in federal funds will go to 540 energy efficiency projects in rural areas across the country, 240 of which will be for solar power, the White House said in a press release. Along with the funding, the White House also announced a slew of executive actions, private and public sector commitments, and initiatives from different federal agencies, including one from the Department of Energy to train at least 50,000 veterans to become solar panel installers in the next six years.

Another newly announced program seeks to get more clean energy in low-income communities, by clarifying that Department of Housing and Urban Development’s funding programs for economic development can be used for renewable energy and energy efficiency projects. Cities in Oregon, Maryland, and Virginia have committed to installing more solar power by 2016, and one winery in California has promised to have 60 percent of its electricity usage come from renewable power by 2016, the White House said.

Taken together, the White House estimates that all of the new programs will cut carbon pollution by more than 60 million metric tons every year, the equivalent of taking about 12 million cars off the road annually. By 2030, the programs would result in carbon pollution cuts of approximately 300 million metric tons, the equivalent of 63 million cars, the White House said.

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