Flashpoint: Solar Could Power Half of Appalachia

first_imgNo doubt you’ve heard the excuses from certain lawmakers and their benefactors in the petrochemical industrial complex: Forget renewable energy. Especially solar. The technology isn’t there and it’s too expensive and it’s really just pie-in-the-sky stuff for hippies.Investors disagree. Solar production has grown 900 percent in the past five years, and now even Wall Street has taken a shine to solar power. As a recent CitiGroup investment report put it, “Our viewpoint is that solar is here to stay.”Jeff Deal, senior project manager at the Appalachian Institute for Renewable Energy, says we already have the technology to power up to half of Appalachia with solar alone—and we can do it affordably, if we get our policies and priorities straight. We talked with him about the massive, unrealized potential of renewable energy.Why hasn’t solar energy been more widely adopted in Appalachia and around the country?The big problem right now is that there’s no way to finance it. To buy a solar system, you have to produce that money upfront—like $20,000 to $40,000. People love it in principle, but then they see the price tag and freak out. If you could buy renewables as easily as buying a car, it would be a different world.What is the long-term potential of solar?Colossal. Even though it’s not exactly Southern California, Appalachia gets enough sunlight to power 50 percent of its electricity demands.How can we change our public policies to encourage, rather than discourage, the use of solar?First, the government should make it legal for people to sell electricity to each other. A lot of our policies have been created to favor entrenched market forces like fossil fuel companies. For example, it’s illegal in North Carolina for the owner of a solar panel system to sell electricity back to the installer to defray the installation cost. Removing that roadblock would be huge. We need to have 21st century economic policies for the sale of electricity, not medieval, plantation-esque policies. And while we’re at it, we should create solar loan and finance programs like Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. If houses are important, electricity to power homes is also important.If the subsidies currently offered to fossil fuel industries were offered to solar, would that make solar cost-competitive?Absolutely. We should provide the same level of subsidies that the fossil fuel and nuclear industries get. If you had to pay the true, cradle-to-grave cost of energy, renewables would win hands-down.Would we need new battery storage or other technologies for solar to work well?No. We have more than enough technology, but we haven’t manufactured and deployed it. This isn’t a technical issue—it’s a financing and policy issue. We haven’t invested enough in solar energy to realize its full potential, but the technical part is figured out. Five years ago, we thought it would be gravy to get solar panels down to a dollar a watt, and now we’re below that. We’ve cut the cost of solar panels by 400 percent over the past three to four years. And yet our yearly solar energy generation is something a third-world country would be a ashamed of. We’re busy building nuclear plants that were supposed to be too cheap to meter, and decades later you still can’t get insurance for them and taxpayers are on the hook.How would solar work at night and when the sun is obscured by clouds?A variety of storage techniques are available now, like pump storage, compressed air, and batteries. It’s not technically difficult—you just have to spend money on them in the same way you do on fossil fuels. There’s a big reason why we keep an entire carrier fleet in the Gulf of Arabia. If we upped our spending on solar and other renewables, we could probably bring that fleet home.How much acreage would be required for solar panels to power Appalachia, and where should they be sited?Some people think you’d need a massive amount of land for solar panels. That’s just not true. A chunk of land the size of the state of Delaware would be enough to power the entire country using solar concentrated power plants, so you’d need a whole lot less just to power Appalachia. Abandoned farmland close to large population centers in Appalachia would be the best place for a centralized system. But importing power to the region is phenomenally expensive, so it would be cheaper to have a decentralized system made up of both large plants to satisfy demand peaks and also individual buildings with their own solar panels.What role would wind, geothermal, and other types of renewable energy play in powering Appalachia?All of them could and should play a role. For example, Appalachia has a lot of wind, and hydroelectric would also probably play a role. And we have huge amounts of biomass, which is potential solar energy and represents stored carbon. We have more than enough resources. What we don’t have right now is the political will.last_img read more

Graya’s next project unveiled: Landmark building in New Farm

first_img Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:58Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:58 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedQuality Levels720p720pHD432p432p216p216p180p180pAutoA, selectedAudio Tracken (Main), selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.This is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreenHow much do I need to retire?00:58 COVID-19 has changed homeowners: Survey Andrew and Rob Gray of Graya, with Frank Licastro of Frank Developments, are set to create a multi-residential development called ‘Maison’ in New Farm.Luxury Brisbane home builders Graya and Frank Developments are delving into the world of multi-residential development.Teaming up with friend and industry peer Frank Licastro, brothers Rob and Andrew Gray are set to create ‘Maison’ — a landmark building in New Farm, comprising just five exclusive sky homes.The trio say they have naturally transitioned into the multi-residential space as they saw a gap in the market to create considered residences with the same characteristics of a home in addition to the lifestyle apartment living offers. A render of Maison, 60 Moray St, New Farm. Image: Frank Developments.The property moguls spent two years scouring for perfect the site to bring their vision to life before finding 60 Moray Street.‘Maison’ will have five, full floor, four-bedroom residences with direct lift access, an abundance of natural light and cross ventilation plus sweeping views of Brisbane’s skyline, river and New Farm.The development has a private recreational deck for residences 1 to 4, which includes a swimming pool, sunbeds, a barbecue and alfresco and lounge spaces. The penthouse will have its own private rooftop with a pool, barbecue area and open space for the owner to furnish to suit their needs.It’s not the first time the three of them have worked together.Frank Developments also collaborated with Graya to create the luxury home ‘Laurent’ in Paddington, which sold for $4 million last year.“We have known each other for over a decade, since we started in the construction industry,” Mr Licastro said. “We had been looking for the right site for well over two years and we found it on a beautifully square corner block in Moray Street, which allowed for three sides of light in our sky homes.” A render of Maison, 60 Moray St, New Farm. Image: Frank Developments.Graya director Rob Gray said Maison’s location and design would make it a landmark building that people would recognise for years to come.“We were so happy when we found our site,” Mr Gray said.“The corner lot makes the floor plans extremely efficient and liveable, unlike many of the dark and compromised floor plans you see time and time again.“We feel many people are missing the market by not truly delivering what their end occupant wants in regards to design and lifestyle. We have long careers ahead of us, but we know this will be a flagship project that we have put everything we have into.” The kitchen in the house, named Laurent, at 44 Reading St, Paddington, which sold for $4m. Picture: Scott Burrows.More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus8 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market8 hours agoLead agent Matt Lancashire of Ray White New Farm said the developers had chosen one of the best river roads in New Farm. “Moray Street is such a sought after address that people will pay a premium for,” Mr Lancashire said.Designed by architect Joe Adsett, Maison is set to offer apartment living with the same spatial qualities and character of a home.The nature-inspired development has landscaped planting wraps, which cascade along the curved façade, providing privacy for each residence. Graya and Frank Developments built this house, named Laurent, in Paddington. Picture: Scott Burrows.Development approval for the project was granted by Brisbane City Council last month without appeal within the Planning and Environment Court, which Mr Gray said was a reflection of the extensive community consultation undertaken in the lead-up.Maison will be launching to the market in the coming weeks.And we can expect more where that came from, with Mr Gray revealing Graya plans to go down the multi-residential path more often in the future.Graya has built homes for Broncos captain Darius Boyd and his wife Kayla, former Wallabies captain Stephen Moore and rapper Example and his model wife, Erin McNaught, among other high-profile names. Epic penthouse sells for $4 million Bizarre bubble house gaining global attention MORE: Anna Spiro sells her island homelast_img read more

Dybala’s Brace Gives Juventus Vital 3-0 Win over Barca

first_imgDybala fired Juve ahead in the seventh minute and added the second goal before the half hour while defender Giorgio Chiellini headed in the third early in the second half in another rousing Juventus performance.It could have been worse for Barca as Gonzalo Higuain, usually Juve’s most dangerous marksman, missed two chances that he would usually have snapped up.This evening, Bayern Munich will host Real Madrid while Atletico will square up against Leicester City.Meanwhile, in the other match that was supposed to be played yesterday, Police confirmed that there were three explosions around the Dortmund team busBorussia Dortmund’s Champions League quarter-final with Monaco has been postponed after the Dortmund team bus was damaged by an explosion.The German team confirmed that defender Marc Bartra was injured in an incident near their hotel and required hospital treatment.The match will now be played at Dortmund’s Westfalenstadion at 17:45 BST tonight.Police confirmed there had been three explosions in the area of the team bus.Dortmund’s chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke said: “There has been an attack with explosives on the team bus.“The whole team is in a state of shock – you can’t get pictures like that out of your head.”Windows were broken on the bus, which was six miles from the stadium at the time of the incident at around 18:00 BST, and former Barcelona centre-back Bartra was sent to hospital, reportedly with minor injuries.Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy tweeted his support, wishing Bartra a quick recovery, as did his former club.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram .explosion hit Dortmund and Monaco matchPaulo Dybala upstaged his fellow Argentine Lionel Messi by scoring two exquisitely taken goals to set Juventus on the way to an emphatic 3-0 win over an underwhelming Barcelona in the Champions League yesterday.Spanish side, who overcame a 4-0 first-leg deficit in the previous round to beat Paris St Germain, will have to pull a similar trick out of the hat after being comprehensively outplayed in the quarter-final first leg.last_img read more