Archive for August, 2011
“Did You Feel That?”
In response to the catastrophic earthquake in Japan earlier this year, and the ongoing tragedy at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant, both Japan and Germany have put forth bold strategies to make solar and wind main contributors to their energy supplies. Germany, already the world’s solar energy leader, has committed to shutting down all of its nuclear plants (25% of its power mix) by 2022.
To replace nuclear, Germany is pursuing an even more aggressive renewable energy program. In addition to installing more renewable capacity, the program will include “smart grid” investments that will make intermittent energy generation technologies more predictable, reliable and dispatchable.
Nuclear, while an impressive technology, has severe shortcomings. Plants take years to site and build, and are prohibitively expensive to safeguard adequately. In addition, there is still no solution for long-term spent fuel storage. Instead, the spent fuel remains in pools at the hundred odd plants around the United States. Then there is the scale problem: because the plants are so large, it is challenging to make up the supply if one goes down, and it takes a decade or so to build a new one.
Yesterday, a rare 5.8 magnitude earthquake hit Virginia and was felt all along the eastern seaboard. A major nuclear plant was shut down and the back-up generators were turned on to keep the nuclear fuel cooling system operational. At this time everything looks okay, but the Nuclear Regulatory Commission is overseeing a post-event analysis of a number of east coast plants.
We recommend reading “Brittle Power” and “Small is Profitable” by Amory Lovins, the highly regarded scientist at the Rocky Mountain Institute, for deeper insight into the shortcomings of the large, centralized power infrastructure that defines the current paradigm. One theme that Mr. Lovins emphasizes is that we should look to biology when considering how to optimize systems. He states that:
Emily Hwang Becomes EmPower’s 5th NABCEP certified Installer: The Most on Long Island
Emily Hwang, one of EmPower’s Solar Engineers, has received National recognition by NABCEP (North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners) by becoming certified in Solar PV installation.
EmPower is proud to boast that we have more NABCEP certified installers than any other solar contractor on Long Island. Pictured below are EmPower’s 5 recipients of this prestigious certificate of achievement.
NABCEP is a nationally recognized credentialing body formed to set competency standards for professional practitioners in the fields of renewable and sustainable energy. Practitioners who choose to become certified must demonstrate their competence in the field and their commitment to upholding high standards of ethical and professional practice.
For More information on NABCEP please click here.
To meet Emily and some other members of our illustrious team click here.
EmPower Solar would like to congratulate Emily on this Milestone in her career and in maintaining the spirit of the EmPowering Way