I want students to pay close attention to energy sector news online. There is a tremendous growth opportunities for our students in the areas of renewable energy sources. One promising company to watch that can completely change how a power plant can be carried in a box is Bloom energy created by a Indian born American now scientist Dr. KR Sridhar earlier was Director of the Space Technologies Laboratory (STL) at the University of Arizona . His company is revolutionary and his product is now used by Google, IBM like company. Check for more details at http://www.bloomenergy.com/fuel-cell/energy-server/
Many countries including India (http://cleantech.com/news/4768/india%E2%80%99s-new-climate-plan-aims-set-2 ) are allocating funds for research in renewable energy areas such as solar, wind and bio fuels. Many companies in private sector in India and elsewhere are investing in bringing alternate energy sources to the mass markets. There are job opportunities for engineers of many branches in these areas.
Recent tragedy in Japan is forcing many to think alternative viable energy sources to nuclear fuel and Solar comes on top of the list with cost of solar panel manufacturing coming down. As per a recent report in Bloomberg http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-04-05/solar-energy-costs-may-already-rival-coal-spurring-installation-boom.html the trend of solar power getting steadily less expensive is set to continue over the next decade — and is getting close to being competitive with coal.
“Large photovoltaic projects will cost $1.45 a watt to build by 2020, half the current price, Bloomberg New Energy Finance estimated today. The London-based research company says solar is viable against fossil fuels on the electric grid in the most sunny regions such as the Middle East.
“We are already in this phase change and are very close to grid parity,” Shawn Qu, chief executive officer of Canadian Solar Inc. (CSIQ), said in an interview. “In many markets, solar is already competitive with peak electricity prices, such as in California and Japan.”
Chinese companies such as JA Solar Holdings Ltd., Canadian Solar and Yingli Green Energy Holding Co. are making panels cheaper, fueled by better cell technology and more streamlined manufacturing processes. That’s making solar economical in more places and will put it in competition with coal, without subsidies, in the coming years
Manufacturing capacity worldwide has almost quadrupled since 2008 to 27.5 gigawatts, and 12 gigawatts of production will be added this year. Canadian Solar has about 1.3 gigawatts of capacity and expects to reach 2 gigawatts next year, Qu said.”
The price of coal and other fossil fuels will increase as they become less and less scarce. At the same time new technologies in solar cells manufacturing makes solar more affordable.
Solar’s emerging big companies are scattered across three continents and three technological generations — from established crystalline PV manufacturers in California to newer “thin film” cells now reaching mass-production scale in Germany and to even third-generation compounds being developed in Australia that can be integrated into building materials to deliver power in the darkest shade
The following is an excerpt from Clean Energy Trends 2011.” According to Clean Edge research, the global market for solar photovoltaics (PV) has expanded from just $2.5 billion in 2000 to $71.2 billion in 2010, for example, representing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 39.8 percent. The global market for wind power, which like solar PV we have tracked every year for the past decade, has similarly expanded from a global market worth $4.5 billion in 2000 to more than $60.5 billion today, for a CAGR of 29.7 percent. And these growth rates are not limited to solar and wind. Other clean-tech sectors, such as hybrid electric vehicles, green buildings, and smart grid, have seen similarly spectacular growth rates.”
Some solar companies for employment