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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Canary Island The First In World To Be Powered By Just Wind And Water

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The smallest and southernmost of Spain’s Canary Islands is about to make an outsized mark on the path toward a more renewable energy-powered future.

With the opening of a new wind farm next month, El Hierro, population just over 10,000, will become the first island in the world to be fully energy self-sufficient through combined wind and water power. The five wind turbines will provide 11.5 megawatts of power, enough to meet the demand of the population and the desalination plants on this small crop of land off the coast of Africa in the Atlantic Ocean.

When the wind isn’t blowing, hydropower will fill the void. When the wind is blowing, power will be used to pump water into a reservoir in a volcanic crater about 2,300 feet above sea level. Then when power is needed, that water will be released down to a lower reservoir and used to generate electricity on the way. This process is known as pump-storage hydroelectricity, and is used in many other countries across the globe — including the world’s largest outside of Washington, D.C.

“This system guarantees us a supply of electricity,” said the director of the Gorona del Viento wind power plant, Juan Manuel Quintero.

With the $75 million project set to come online, El Hierro will no longer have to rely on costly and dirty diesel generators for electricity — although it will maintain an oil power station just in case. According to Phys.org, the island’s transition to renewable energy will cut carbon dioxide emissions by 20,600 tons per year and save the island from using 40,000 barrels of oil a year.

Other islands are taking advantage of renewable resources to become wind- and solar-powered, but El Hierro is believed to be the first to do so exclusively with wind and hydro power and without having any connection to an outside electricity grid.

LINK: http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/05/01/3433002/spanish-island-renewable-energy/

Aquaponics (Barrelponics) Hints and Tips

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Aquaponics hints and tips in a Barrelponics style setup, Hints and Tips from Travis Hughey from Faith And Sustainable Technologies, interviewed by Zachary Bauer. Also some information on solar setup to take it off grid.