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  (Source: Clean Technica)

  (Source: China Digital Times)
Will cut the use of coal and carbon emissions

Biomass refinery developer Inbicon is taking baby steps in reducing carbon emissions by utilizing coal steam for cellulosic ethanol. China Energy Conservation and Environmental Group (CECEP), on the other hand, is pummeling coal consumption and carbon emissions with the largest stand-alone building integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) project, which started transmitting power to the to the electric grid on Sunday in Shanghai. 

The new 6.68 megawatt solar station, which cost $23.6 million to build and has the ability to power 12,000 Shanghai homes with 6.3 million kilowatt-hours (kwh) of electricity per year, was built over the recently completed Hongqiao Station, which lies over the Beijing-Shanghai High-Speed Railway line. According to the latest reports, this new solar system can decrease coal consumption by 2,254 tons and also cut carbon emissions by 6,600 tons. 

"The project is another manifestation of China's commitment to reducing carbon emissions to fight climate change," said Yu Hailong, general manager of the project's developer, CECEP. "It comes after the country set a voluntary target of cutting carbon intensity per unit of GDP by 40 to 45 percent by 2020."

This solar station is covered with 20,000 solar panels over the 61,000 sq m roof and has produced 300,000 kwh of power since the operation started two weeks ago. It is meant to spread solar energy awareness as well as the development of environmentally-friendly railways throughout China.

"BIPV technology does not take up extra space, because it is integrated into buildings' design and construction," said Zheng Jian, chief engineer of the Ministry of Railway. "It is especially suitable for China's eastern areas, where there are limited land resources yet greater energy demand."

The solar station built over the high-speed railway in Shanghai is the largest in the world, but not the only project like it in China. The Wuhan Station, a part of the Wuhan-Guangzhou High-Speed Railway, received a similar integrated photovoltaic solar-powered system that was connected to the grid back in May of this year. The difference is that this solar station is about three times smaller than Shanghai's. But this goes to show that China is achieving their goal of spreading the idea of solar-powered stations and implementing them in certain areas to reduce carbon emissions and use of coal. 



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RE: 12,000 Shanghai homes
By quiksilvr on 7/22/2010 9:00:20 AM , Rating: 4
Think about it in terms of money per home and energy:

$23.6 million
6.68 MW
12,000 homes

It cost roughly $3.50 per watt.
It costs roughly $1970 per home.

I don't know about you, but that's pretty sweet for renewable energy. I know it will cost much much more in the states, but for Shanghai, I say good for them.


RE: 12,000 Shanghai homes
By mcnabney on 7/22/2010 9:11:17 AM , Rating: 5
Those must be huts without AC - just lights, fans, and a computer or TV. That is enough power for 3,000 homes in the US, if the sun shined 24/7, so I think the numbers here are BS.

For comparison sake, this is about the same amount of power that three large wind turbines can generate. The wind turbines cost about 20% (in the US!) as much to build and install as this solar 'farm'.

Face it, photovoltaic is nowhere near efficient and cheap enough for commercial solar production. It is great (when combined with batteries) for remote locations that it is prohibitive to run power lines, but it is only for PR in a commercial sense.

Also, this commitment to clean energy is BS. China opens a new COAL power plant with 20x the power production of this thing every week .


RE: 12,000 Shanghai homes
By Reclaimer77 on 7/22/2010 9:13:22 AM , Rating: 2
Yup. Also there is currently a world wide silicon shortage, which is driving up the cost of solar panel production considerably.


RE: 12,000 Shanghai homes
By quiksilvr on 7/22/2010 9:47:00 AM , Rating: 2
Silicon is the second most common element in the Earth's crust, comprising 25.7% of the Earth’s crust by weight. I doubt there's a shortage.


RE: 12,000 Shanghai homes
By DanNeely on 7/22/2010 10:03:54 AM , Rating: 3
Semiconductors require extremely pure silicon, you can't just dump sand into the fab and go. Presumably production will eventually catch up to demand; but refining it is a bottleneck and causing the shortage.


RE: 12,000 Shanghai homes
By Kurz on 7/22/2010 11:10:44 AM , Rating: 2
Don't forget that to get that pure silicon, you require tons of energy.


RE: 12,000 Shanghai homes
By Spuke on 7/22/2010 11:56:20 AM , Rating: 2
Solar panels are getting cheaper by the minute not more expensive. I've heard as cheap as 99 cents per watt although I've never seen those. I have seen $1.40 per watt.


RE: 12,000 Shanghai homes
By sebmel on 7/22/2010 6:43:29 PM , Rating: 2
Solar panels aren't the only solar collectors.

I think there's a more important future for solar collectors to warm water. If you live somewhere cool you need evacuated tubes... if it's generally warm you can make do with flat panels.

As for electricity generation I thing turbines run using some form of liquid heated by reflectors in the Nevada desert seems to me a cheaper way to convert the sun's energy.

Those needing air conditioning in low rise buildings should be using plants, like passionfruit vines, that don't stick to the building. Grow them up vertical wires, or cord, 1m apart and fixed 80cm away from south facing walls (if you're in the northern hemisphere). The gap allows the wall to dry. Obviously you don't grow them in front of windows.

I've achieved mid-summer reductions in internal ambient temperature of 15 degrees Celsius in that way. That takes you from unpleasant 35 degrees Celsius to very pleasant 20 degrees. Choose a vine that suits your climate. Grapes might suit you better but they shade less and grow more slowly.

Passionfruit covered a three storey wall in a single growing season where I did it at a latitude of 10 degrees. Fertilise with banana skins (they like plenty of potassium) and go easy on nitrogen if you want them to flower and fruit.

Passiflora alata in some varieties is very attractive and not eaten by caterpillars. Its flowers are very attractive but so large they hang downwards and not so easy to see. Passiflora edulis edulis is self-pollinated. Passiflora caerulea is one of the most cold tolerant types and will fruit in the UK. Many varieties are pollenated by bumble bees.

Passionfruit flowers are not wind pollinated so they don't cause asthma. The pollen is sticky and heavy, designed to stick to a bumble bee's back, or humming bird's head.

Vines are usually replaced every 3 or 4 years in commercial situations to maintain fruit productivity.

No need to waste electricity on AC.


RE: 12,000 Shanghai homes
By quiksilvr on 7/22/2010 2:55:31 PM , Rating: 2
More than the energy you get in return? I highly doubt that.


RE: 12,000 Shanghai homes
By Spivonious on 7/22/2010 9:39:38 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah these numbers are bogus. That's only 525kWh per house per year. I use more than that in a month, and I consider myself pretty "green" in my energy use.

6,300,000 kWh / 12,000 homes = 525kWh/home


RE: 12,000 Shanghai homes
By quiksilvr on 7/22/2010 9:44:41 AM , Rating: 4
There is a profound difference between an American home and a Shanghai hut.


RE: 12,000 Shanghai homes
By FITCamaro on 7/22/2010 9:41:56 AM , Rating: 1
Facts, logic, and reason have no place in today's green loving world.


RE: 12,000 Shanghai homes
By quiksilvr on 7/22/2010 9:51:51 AM , Rating: 2
So you're saying that it's a waste to make this solar plant? It's only $24 million to power 12,000 homes. For China, that's pretty awesome.

If we could power 12,000 homes permanently (or until the solar panels degrade) in the US for that much money, we'd be the top solar powered country in the world. But $24 million would barely be enough for a 1000 homes here.

We need nuclear to power the city and businesses, and a combination of solar/wind to power the homes.


RE: 12,000 Shanghai homes
By Spuke on 7/22/2010 12:08:01 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
We need nuclear to power the city and businesses, and a combination of solar/wind to power the homes.
IMO, solar is only good on a small scale and only in the mostly sunny areas of the world. There are shade tolerant panels that will still put out some current when partially or fully shaded but it's a significant amount less than full sun. And if you're not in a part of the world that gets good sun, you are wasting your money.


RE: 12,000 Shanghai homes
By nah on 7/22/2010 9:44:33 AM , Rating: 2
a better way of looking at it--

cost 23600000 USD, generation 300000 Kwhrs per 14 days so 6.3 million Kw-hr per year--average cost 3.01 cents per kw-hr---thats much lesser than average costs per kwhr in the US--currently at 5-15 cents http://michaelbluejay.com/electricity/cost.html


RE: 12,000 Shanghai homes
By DanNeely on 7/22/2010 10:18:45 AM , Rating: 2
You might want to check your math.

300,000/14*365 is 7.8M kwh/year.

$23.6M/ 7.8M kwh/year = $3/kwh/year. To get 3 cents/ kwh you'd need to amortize the cost over 100 years which is rather unrealistic. IIRC current generation panels are expected to last 20-30 years, which would give you 10-15c per kwh as a generation cost.

This is also much cheaper than I've seen quoted for large solar installations anywhere else, so I'm a bit suspicious about it. Low labor costs are one possibility, as are unmentioned subsidies, factual errors, or maintenance of the facility being a significant ongoing cost (not a clue about what this would involve).

The site you linked for cost is ambiguous but I think based on what I'm paying and what it lists for my state those are total prices and include charges for distribution, etc. IIRC those are a fairly significant chunk of my bill, but I can't check that from work.


RE: 12,000 Shanghai homes
By nah on 7/22/2010 1:20:16 PM , Rating: 2
You are quite correct--thanks for pointing that out--it really should be 300 cents x 1.3 = 400 cents /25 years = 16 cents per Kwh


RE: 12,000 Shanghai homes
By sleepeeg3 on 7/22/2010 11:25:01 PM , Rating: 2
There are two big financial flaws with using solar power that superficial environmentalists fail to look at, if they even look at the cost. The lifetime operating costs is one of them.

The other one is the capacity factor of nameplate capacity aka "efficiency." Commercial solar power cells only have an average efficiency of around 20%, mainly because they only produce energy when the sun is out. That means you can take that 6.68MW solar plant and reduce it down to 1.34MW. Oops! Your costs just went up another 5x!

Compare this to nuclear power with a capacity factor of 90%+ and lifetime expectancy of 60+ years and you can see why solar is so expensive. Nuclear is actually cheaper than coal now.

If you want to see more metrics, I have plenty... Costs are based on power plants built in each category within the last year. Nuclear is based on the Vogtle Georgia power plant expansion.

Metric Coal
US Total Annual Consumption 29,741,088,949,419
Estimated cost of plant construction / kWh $0.61706
Annual operating costs / kWh $0.03777
Life expectancy of plant 100
Average Annual Costs over 100 years / kWh $0.04394
Average annual operating costs to power US $1,123,320,929,620
Average annual costs over 100 years to power US $1,306,839,928,444
Cost to Convert Entire US Power Industry $18,351,899,882,401
Capacity Factor (Efficiency) of nameplate capacity 74%

Metric Nuclear Power
US Total Annual Consumption 29,741,088,949,419
Estimated cost of plant construction / kWh $0.53152
Annual operating costs / kWh $0.02000
Life expectancy of plant 60
Average Annual Costs over 100 years / kWh $0.02886
Average annual operating costs to power US $594,821,778,988
Average annual costs over 100 years to power US $858,289,121,889
Cost to Convert Entire US Power Industry $15,808,040,574,015
Capacity Factor (Efficiency) of nameplate capacity 90%

Metric Solar Power
US Total Annual Consumption 29,741,088,949,419
Estimated cost of plant construction / kWh $1.61236
Annual operating costs / kWh $0.03000
Life expectancy of plant 25
Average Annual Costs over 100 years / kWh $0.09449
Average annual operating costs to power US $892,232,668,483
Average annual costs over 100 years to power US $2,810,369,096,869
Cost to Convert Entire US Power Industry $47,953,410,709,663
Capacity Factor (Efficiency) of nameplate capacity 20%

Metric Wind Energy
US Total Annual Consumption 29,741,088,949,419
Estimated cost of plant construction / kWh $1.36986
Annual operating costs / kWh $0.02740
Life expectancy of plant 20
Average Annual Costs over 100 years / kWh $0.09589
Average annual operating costs to power US $814,824,354,779
Average annual costs over 100 years to power US $2,851,885,241,725
Cost to Convert Entire US Power Industry $40,741,217,738,930
Capacity Factor (Efficiency) of nameplate capacity 30%


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