Now is the time to shine with solar power
Posted in Uncategorized by Solar Energy USA
All across the planet, our environment is showing the strain of keeping up with our rapid consumption of resources. In past weeks, a particularly large number of noteworthy news has been published which leads us to implore you:
Your Commitment to Solar Power Is Needed NOW
After Four Years of Devastating Drought, California Farmers are Forced to use Oil Waste to Water Crops
Desperate farmers are turning to the nearby Oil companies for their wastewater in order to keep their crops alive. Water treatment standards are decades old and toxins are being detected in the water used to grow crops. According to the Los Angeles Times, monitoring the oil fields has been a “low priority” for California’s Water State Resources Control Board, the state body that regulates wastewater.
Drinking water sampled from Bradford County, PA found fracking chemicals in a residential well water. The study noted that the contamination was due mostly to negligence on the part of the fracking company, stating that the use of intermediate casings (an industry standard) would have solved the issue. The industry has long maintained that because fracking occurs thousands of feet below drinking-water aquifers, the drilling chemicals that are injected to break up rocks and release the gas trapped there pose no risk whatsoever.
Dallas, Texas is part a region that sits atop the Barnett Shale, a fracking hotspot that brims with 30 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. The U.S. Geological Survey says that metro-Dallas only had one recorded quake between 1950 and 2008—the region’s pre-fracking days. However, Dallas has experienced 40 mini-temblors this year, with a 2.7 quake detected in early May. In January, nearby Irving was hit with 11 earthquakes in 24 hours.
Scientific evidence points to fracking as the cause of dramatically more frequent earthquakes in Oklahoma, too. The state is having an average of 2.5 earthquakes of at least magnitude 3 every day, when it used to average only 1.5 a year. Oklahoma’s current earthquake rate is now 600 times higher than its prefracking rate, which was based on the state’s natural seismicity, the state geological survey said in April. Despite that admission that oil and gas drilling operations are causing earthquakes, the Oklahoma House of Representatives approved a bill to prevent cities and towns from regulating those oil and natural gas drilling operations.
A nuclear power plant transformer fire leaked thousands of gallons of oil into the Hudson River in early May. The Indian Point Energy Center in Buchanan was commissioned between 1974 and 1976, and is now approaching the 40-year operating life and warranty period of operation.
On November 7, 2010, a similar explosion occurred in the main transformer for Indian Point 2, spilling oil into the Hudson River. Power plant owner Entergy later agreed to pay a $1.2 million penalty for the transformer explosion.
An Iceberg larger than Manhattan has fallen into the ocean, and so far Antarctica has lost nearly 20% of its mass since 1994. The region is losing ice faster than anywhere on the continent and is the largest contributor to rise of sea levels. The study, based on satellite measurements between 1994 and 2012 by the European Space Agency, sheds new light on how Antarctic ice responds to climate change. If the ice becomes too thin it would allow the permanent glaciers to slip into the ocean and start melting, sharply increasing the rise of ocean levels.
At the same time, some really positive things are happening with solar power…
The Solar Electric Power Association estimates that 5.3 GW (AC) of solar was added in the U.S. in 2014. Of this, residential systems are said to account for 36%, non-residential 12% and utility-scale (projects over 5 MW) 23%. Solar costs are declining with an industry wide drive to lower non hardware soft costs in areas such as financing and customer acquisition. Overall, the top ten utilities accounted for 72% of all new solar power installations in the U.S. in 2014.
A nonprofit called SunFarmer is providing solar power and batteries to remote hospitals and schools in developing countries. After the Nepal earthquakes, the organization is collaborating with non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to help bring solar water purifiers and small solar-powered systems to villages in the hills hit hardest. There are an estimated 1.4 million people in need of immediate help.
Now is the time to shine with solar power. The stage has been set, and the clock is ticking for those who are ready to step up and make a difference.
Join The Solar Power Revolution
Solar Energy USA is dedicated to building a cleaner future. We see solar and other forms of alternative energy as a tremendous opportunity to change the path that our society is currently on for future generations. We believe solar can become a major energy supply source for this country and we hope you’ll join us in this endeavor.