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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 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
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.

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