India’s massive bet on solar power is paying off far earlier than anticipated.

CNN NEWS: India’s big move into solar is already paying off

The price of solar power has plummeted in recent months to levels rivaling that of coal, positioning the renewable source as a viable mainstream option in a country where 300 million people live without electricity. Solar prices are now within 15% of coal, according to KPMG. If current trends hold, the consultancy predicts electricity from solar will actually be 10% cheaper than domestic coal by 2020.

And that could turn out to be a conservative forecast. At a recent government auction, the winning bidder offered to sell electricity generated by a project in sunny Rajasthan for 4.34 rupees (6 cents) per kilowatt hour, roughly the same price as some recent coal projects. “Solar is very competitive,” said Vinay Rustagi of renewable energy consultancy Bridge to India. “It’s a huge relief for countries like India which want to get more and more solar power.”

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has made access to electricity a top priority, and has set the goal of making 24-hour power available to all 1.3 billion Indians. Currently, even India’s biggest cities suffer from frequent power outages. Continue to the entire article

THE GUARDIAN: Las Vegas casinos seek to power their bright lights with renewable energy

The glittering Las Vegas strip is not an obvious model for energy conservation.

Yet hidden above the glowing Eiffel Tower, neon resort awnings and a black pyramid that shines a beam of light into space, is one of the largest rooftop solar arrays in the country. Twenty acres of sun-catching glass sit atop the Mandalay Bay convention center, and when new installations are complete, it will become the biggest rooftop solar array in the US.

In recent months, three of Nevada’s largest casino companies – MGM Resorts, Wynn, and Las Vegas Sands – have announced plans to buy and produce more renewable energy for their hotels, a move driven both by increasing demand for responsible energy use from the companies that rent their conference halls, and a surplus of cheap power from solar farms in Nevada and California. Continue to the entire article

SASKATOON STARPHOENIX: Mayor voices support for solar power

Saskatoon Mayor Don Atchison counts himself as a strong supporter of solar power.

In an interview after a meeting of the city’s environment, utilities and corporate services committee on Tuesday, Atchison said he wanted to install solar power and heating for his home, but the contractor was not prepared to perform the work. However, he said he made sure the home site and roofline are suitable so that a conversion to solar power will be possible someday.

“I really believe in solar,” he said. “It’s very passive.” Atchison said the city’s power utility, Saskatoon Light & Power, needs to start planning for an increase in the number of people installing solar power systems on their homes.

The change will have implications for the power utility, in terms of whether it could add to overall power capacity and mean more money for the city, he added. Continue to the entire article

CTV NEWS: Panasonic to broadcast total eclipse using solar energy

Panasonic will broadcast worldwide via live stream the total eclipse on March 9 using nothing more than solar energy from its Power Supply Container, a standalone photovoltaic power package. In other words, using the sun to film the sun.

As Sumatra, Borneo and Sulawesi, Indonesia plunge into darkness during a rare total eclipse on March 9 (local time), Panasonic will deliver the live broadcast of the four-minute phenomenon from the eastern Indonesian island, Ternate through its portable Power Supply Container. The container was developed by Panasonic to create and store energy in order to supply energy to areas without electricity.

The portable container creates energy during the day with 12 HIT solar panels with high conversion efficiency (3kW). The energy is then stored in 24 lead-acid batteries (17.2 kWh). The power containers are currently being used in schools on remote Indonesian islands to power IT equipment, air conditioners and LED lighting. Continue to the entire article


More Stories From Around the Web: