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#400699 - 02/21/11 09:56 AM JAPAN OFFERS $20 MILLION SOLAR ENERGY GRID
Marty Online   happy
The Government of Japan has offered to build a $20 million photo-voltaic solar energy grid on 2.04 acres of land in Belmopan owned by the University of Belize to help supply Belize with clean solar-powered electrical energy.
The University of Belize will take charge of the project when it is completed and will sell the energy from the grid to Belize Electricity Limited. Money from the sale of this energy made from sunlight will be used by the University to fund its programmes.The Government of Belize will retain ownership of the cell farm and turn it over to the University at the end of ten years.

A Memorandum of Understanding signed this week between the University and the Government of Belize explains how the arrangement will work. The University with help from Ministry of Works will maintain and service the panels with help from BEL from
time to time. It will take a year for Japanese technicians to make and install the solar panels.

This munificent gift comes to Belize from the government and people of Japan through the Japan International Cooperation Agency, to introduce clean energy to Belize by solar technology. Dr. Corinth Morter-Lewis, President Emeritus and now Acting President of the University of Belize, signed the Memorandum of Understanding on behalf of UB. Mr. Joseph Waight, Financial Secretary, signed on behalf of the Government.

“UB is poised to become a leader in clean solar energy in the region,” commented Dr. Lewis. . . “UB students from the Engineering Faculty will, in particular, benefit from being exposed to this cutting edge technology,” she said.

The Reporter

#402178 - 03/11/11 06:04 AM Re: JAPAN OFFERS $20 MILLION SOLAR ENERGY GRID [Re: Marty]
Rigrat Offline
This news has been around for at least two years. It has several problems. First large scale Solar (photovoltaic) is not in the slightest bit clean. If it is to be a guaranteed supply, then it has to have a method of storing electricity, and that usually means batteries. The battery bank to supply government offices will be large, and the battery manufacture, as well as their disposal carries a whole life tariff of pollution that is worse than just using a power station to provide the electricity in the first place.
There is the environmental devastation by mining the rare earth elements to make these panels in the first place.
Then there is the cost of battery replacement after a few years.
Then there is the cost of maintaining 2 acres of solar panels.

I know I should not look a gift horse in the mouth, and there will be many benefits to having this facility. But let us not kid ourselves that this is a 'green' solution

#402193 - 03/11/11 09:33 AM Re: JAPAN OFFERS $20 MILLION SOLAR ENERGY GRID [Re: Rigrat]
ckocian Offline
This money may disappear after yesterday's troubles in Japan.

#402210 - 03/11/11 11:21 AM Re: JAPAN OFFERS $20 MILLION SOLAR ENERGY GRID [Re: Rigrat]
Wizardofaahs Offline
If this is anything like the larger solar fields here (and elsewhere) in the US, the use of battery storage is not necessary...the fields just sell the energy to the electric facility whic in turns sells to its customers on its grid. It is still, by far, greener than coal, coal mining and associated methods of generating elecricity. The more facilities like this that are installed, the more efficient and CLEAN the process. Yes, battery mfr is not optimal, but far more sustainable...which becomes the key word in alternative energy and alternative energy sources.
Words have power. Speak it into existence.

#402227 - 03/11/11 05:41 PM Re: JAPAN OFFERS $20 MILLION SOLAR ENERGY GRID [Re: Rigrat]
ron Offline
The notion that you need batteries for solar to be effective demonstrates a lack of knowledge of the electrical supply system. Obviously solar generates electricity during the daylight hours. This is the time of day that has the greatest demand since most commercial, business and industrial activities are open at these times. Solar PV cells supplement the other sources of electricity, e.g. coal fired plants, nuclear plants and hydroelectric facilities, through the use of wires called the power grid. There is no need to store the power as it is consumed as its produced. It's use means that these other electrical generating facilities do not have to be used to their capacity. The same is true for Wind turbines as well. You use them to supplement another source. In France they now have acres of solar panels feeding their grid, not one battery is involved. I'm not sure about the rare earth elements being used in the construction of solar photovoltaic cells. I'm not an engineer but I thought that solar cells were a silicon product. I do know that the efficiency of solar cells has increased tremendously over the past 30 years. There are many scientists that are looking for new materials that will greater efficiency than those in use today. Maintenance of the panels shouldn't be a big problem given that there is high unemployment and the jobs created could be done by locals. What would you consider "green".

#402238 - 03/11/11 11:10 PM Re: JAPAN OFFERS $20 MILLION SOLAR ENERGY GRID [Re: ron]
Wizardofaahs Offline
Ron-my sentiments exactly. Wish we had a "Like" button on here! =)
Words have power. Speak it into existence.

#407369 - 05/10/11 08:43 AM Re: JAPAN OFFERS $20 MILLION SOLAR ENERGY GRID [Re: Wizardofaahs]
JdeVerteuil Offline
The storage of electricity while on the grid went out of favor years ago. If you are Off-Grid then yes.

I will say this, if the Governement of Belize desired to we could pull the entire country off the grid. What I mean by that is that all the electricty used in Belize would be renewable. This is something I discussed in 2008 with the Minister of Energy. Problem was the lack of funds, according to him. I informed him that if they were serious the funding would be available thru international grants and research dollars.
Imagine an entire country off the grid... so to speak.
John deVerteuil


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