Archive for the ‘Energy Industry’ Category

How Practical Are Solar Panels?

Tuesday, May 7th, 2013

The sun produces enough energy to feed plants and warm up the ground, but what if it could also power your electricity and heat or cool your home. Now that would be a great way to save money and energy. Thankfully, since the invention of the solar panel, there is a way to do this.

A solar panel is a piece of equipment that is used to convert sunlight into energy. Since the beginning of humanity, humans have been aware of how powerful the sun is and have tried to harness the suns energy for our own advantage.

More recently though, as consumers demand for a more environmentally friendly and cost efficient way to use energy in their homes, solar panels have been on the rise. While they are a great idea in many different aspects, how practical are they on your home?

The price for installing solar panels depends on where you are located, how big the building is and other factors. Regardless of the cost, once you receive your first electric bill, the savings will be obvious, by lowering your monthly electric bill. While the solar panels will not pay for themselves after the first month, it is a very cost effective way for cutting your energy bills and your carbon footprint.

While there may be an initial expense, the return on investment is worth it to cut your carbon footprint and reduce your monthly electric bill. If you are looking to protect the environment and save money in the process, installing solar panels on the roof of your building may be the best way to do that.

CQI Associates has green energy solutions for your business. We are an energy and sustainability management consulting firm servicing residential and commercial clients throughout the United States. To learn more, please contact CQI Associates by calling 410-740-0667 or visit our website today!

You can also follow us on FacebookTwitterLinkedIn, and Google+!

Source:

http://www.prlog.org/10184388-history-of-solar-panels.html

 

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Renewable Energy: New York Could Soon Be Green

Tuesday, April 9th, 2013

Imagine New York being powered by wind, water and sunlight instead of traditional power sources. That fantasy isn’t too far from what could be reality according to a new study led by researchers from Stanford and Cornell universities. The study cites that by 2030, only 17 years from now, New York may be able to rely on totally green energy sources for power. From the windy shores of Long Island to the sunny center of New York City itself, these places may be central in New York’s new power strategy. This plan could have a ripple effect throughout the energy community and influence more states to do the same.

Their energy goal is for the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority to support the production of about 10.4 million megawatt-hours of energy from hydro, wind, solar, biomass and landfill gas annually by 2015. The authority was 46 percent of the way to the goal at the end of last year. This in turn could lead to 30 percent renewables by 2015. This kind of progress is monumental in the field of renewable energy. Just imagine: in a New York minute, you’d be able  to get some famous New York pizza and a cup of coffee from ovens and coffee makers powered by wind or solar power!

New York isn’t the only place making green energy strides. In March, the General Assembly in Maryland passed a bill approving offshore wind turbine development. The bill itself would require electricity suppliers in Maryland to get up to 2.5 percent of their power from offshore wind as early as 2017. And it would offer a successful developer a subsidy of up to $1.7 billion over 20 years. This could be a larger step in what seems to be a bright future for green energy sources. Trade the pizza in the New York scenario for some authentic Baltimore crab cakes eaten under green energy-lit lights, because it could very well be the future.

The benefits of green, renewable energy are many. As the Union of Concerned Scientists points out, they include:

  • Little to No Global Warming Emissions - Renewable energy sources produce a negligible amount of harmful emissions compared to natural gas or coal. Increasing the supply of renewable energy would replace carbon-intensive energy sources and significantly reduce U.S. global warming emissions
  • Improved Public Health and Environmental Quality - The air and water pollution emitted by coal and natural gas plants is linked to breathing problems, neurological damage, heart attacks, and cancer. Wind, solar, and hydroelectric systems generate electricity with no associated air pollution emissions. In addition, wind and solar energy require essentially no water to operate and thus do not pollute water resources or strain supply by competing with agriculture, drinking water systems, or other important water needs.
  • A Vast and Inexhaustible Energy Supply - Throughout the United States, strong winds, sunny skies, plant residues, heat from the earth, and fast-moving water can each provide a vast and constantly replenished energy resource supply. These diverse sources of renewable energy have the technical potential to provide all the electricity the nation needs many times over.
  • A More Reliable and Resilient Energy System – Wind and solar are less prone to large-scale failure because they are distributed and modular. Distributed systems are spread out over a large geographical area, so a severe weather event in one location will not cut off power to an entire region. Modular systems are composed of numerous individual wind turbines or solar arrays. Even if some of the equipment in the system is damaged, the rest can typically continue to operate.

 

CQI Associates has green energy solutions for your business. We are an energy and sustainability management consulting firm servicing residential and commercial clients throughout the United States. To learn more, please contact CQI Associates by calling 410-740-0667 or visit our website today!

You can also follow us on FacebookTwitterLinkedIn, and Google+!

Sources:

NY Renewable Energy Study Finds New York Could Soon Be Powered By Wind, Water And Sunlight, Huffington Post

O’Malley offshore wind bill passes, The Baltimore Sun

Benefits of Renewable Energy Use, USCUSA

 

 

 

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Solar Energy, Drip Irrigation, and Revolutionized Farming Methods

Friday, February 22nd, 2013

Solar energy has been making waves (or should we say, rays?) in the way energy is consumed and produced, and now it’s beginning to bring change to rural and underdeveloped areas. In Benin, a small country in West Africa, photovoltaic panels are powering drip irrigation systems in the district of Kalalé, which has made strides in improving their food production.

The Solar Electric Light Fund (SELF), launched a plan in 2007 to put solar-powered drip irrigation systems in two dry and rural West African villages, Dunkassa and Bessassi. Combining two forms of technologies – solar power and drip irrigation – that had known success separately but were not often used in conjunction with one another, SELF helped bring water to the arid areas so crops could get the water needed to thrive.

With the dry season making up half of the year in Benin, the country has had a deficit of fresh vegetables, contributing to ongoing issues related to malnutrition and sickness, especially in children.

Traditionally, drip irrigation systems have been powered by diesel engines that bring reservoir water through pipes and to the plant roots. SELF envisioned these irrigation systems running off of solar power in an economical fashion. Though the dual solar-irrigation systems cost around $25,000, according to SELF, the ROI is seen in two to three years. The conclusion? Though the initial overheard costs are higher, solar still proves to be cost effective over time, especially with the rising prices of fuel.

With a grant from National Geographic’s Great Energy Challenge Initiative, SELF is moving forward to shed more light on the situation in West Africa, bringing solar systems to homes, schools, health clinics, and more. It’s one step towards bringing their solar integrated development model to the developing world.Over time, this technology will be utilized in the United States to provide similar benefits by leveraging solar power in innovative ways.

CQI Associates implements solar, wind, and renewable energy projects for public and private clients all around the country, and is committed to developing economical, green energy plans to create a more sustainable future.

To learn more about our services, please contact CQI Associates by calling 410-740-0667 or visit CQIAssociates.com today!

You can also follow us on FacebookTwitterLinkedIn, and Google+

Sources:

Solar Energy Brings Food, Water, and Light to West Africa

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Why LEED-Certified Buildings are Worthwhile

Friday, February 1st, 2013

LEED Certification: it stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. A third party evaluation process, LEED is meant to improve building performance while facilitating healthy environments for its occupants. Providing a set of guidelines that support building owners and operators in producing green building design, construction, and maintenance, the LEED program is recognized on an international scale.

Here are some concrete ways in which LEED-certified buildings provide environmentally friendly spaces that simultaneously save money in the long run. LEED-certified buildings…

  • Reduce operating costs while increasing asset value
  • Cut down on waste that winds up in landfills
  • Conserve both energy and water
  • Provide healthy, non-toxic spaces for occupants
  • Diminishes harmful greenhouse gas emissions
  • Qualifies building owners for tax rebates, zoning allowances, and additional incentives in many areas across the States

 

For business everywhere, a LEED-certified building can lend a hand in boosting bottom lines. According to the U.S. Green Building Council, LEED-certified buildings yield the following measurable savings:

New Construction:

Operating costs – lower 13.6%

Building Value – increases 10.9%

ROI – improves 9.9%

Occupancy – rises 6.4%

Rent – increases 6.1%

Existing Building Projects:

Operating costs – lower 8.5%

Building Value – increases 6.8%

ROI – improves 2.5%

Occupancy – rises 1%

Rent – increases 19.2%

Those numbers are real, and CQI Associates, a forerunning energy and environmental management consulting company can help your business leverage those savings with our LEED Certification and Green Building Certification Project Management in Maryland, Washington, DC, and nationwide.

To learn more about our services, please contact CQI Associates by calling 410-740-0667 or visit CQIAssociates.com today!

You can also follow us on FacebookTwitterLinkedIn, and Google+

Sources:

LEED

LEED is good for business

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Commercial Businesses Turn to Energy Co-Ops for Huge Savings

Thursday, January 31st, 2013

For any company, paying utility bills is a customary albeit costly aspect of keeping work operations in order. Across the States, for a long time, business owners had to pay local utility companies for their natural gas and electricity needs – and then, the prices were dictated by the Public Service Commission. Thanks to electric deregulation laws issued in the late 1990s and early 2000s, business owners – and consumers of all sorts – can source energy from a self-selected supplier. This makes it possible for companies to take advantage of what a commercial co-op has to offer. What does this mean for them?

-Fixed rate monthly fee for electric and gas bills, which won’t fluctuate while under contract, in spite of changes in your energy use.

-Lower utility costs due to the combined purchasing power of the group.

-Access to clean, renewable, wind powered electricity with select energy cooperatives.

CQI Associates is a leading energy consultant providing access to residential and commercial energy cooperatives in energy deregulated states across the U.S. By aggregating the kilowatt load of each business in the co-op, CQI is able to negotiate overall utility costs to a low and fair price. Below, see the list of areas we service with our cost-effective commercial energy co-ops:

Energy Deregulated States with Energy Co-Op Access:

  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • California,
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Illinois
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Montana
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • Texas
  • Virginia
  • Washington, DC

 

 

 

Though we handle the complicated aspects of energy management, we want the interested client to be involved if they so choose, which is why we offer informational meetings and webinars to provide education about the process. Nevertheless, our primary mission is to handle commercial utility concerns so that business owners can direct their focus on core objectives and company goals.

To learn more about our services, please contact CQI Associates by calling 410-740-0667 or visit CQIAssociates.com today!

You can also follow us on FacebookTwitterLinkedIn, and Google+

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Benefits of Solar Energy: Tips from Maryland Energy Consultants

Friday, December 14th, 2012

From government agencies to the private sector, the last decade has seen a significant rise in solar power investments, aimed at leveraging additional sustainable and renewable energy sources for common use. With the global push towards seeking green alternatives to power our homes and businesses, staying up-to-date on the benefits of solar energy is a worthwhile endeavor.

Solar power produces a photo-electric effect by harnessing electrons emitted by certain compounds like metals when they have contact with light, or photons. Solar panels use energy channeled through photovoltaic cells – which issue electricity by way of sunlight converted into a flow of electrons.

Here are just a few of the reasons solar power is such a compelling energy source:

1. So long as the sun keeps shining, solar energy can be renewed an innumerable amount of times, cutting down on the need for use of non-renewable resources, like fossil fuels, which are used to power our cars, machines used in product manufacturing, and the like.

2. Solar panels, especially those that make use of technologies that minimize reliance upon the sun’s schedule, can make homeowners and businesses more self-sufficient by decreasing the need for conventional electricity suppliers.

3. Providing additional incentive to utilize solar power, many local and federal governments provide rebates and other monetary enticements for those who install solar panels or solar hot water systems.

4. Homeowners and businesses who invest in solar panels will see a quick return, and as an added bonus, any electricity produced that isn’t needed for powering their building can be sold back to utility company for electricity credits.

5. Solar electricity produces zero emissions, and solar panels are unobtrusive, require little maintenance, and produce silent energy that can be used to power buildings everywhere.

CQI Associates is a leading provider of energy and environmental consulting, servicing Maryland, Washington DC, Delaware, and Illinois.  We consider it our responsibility to provide energy and environmental management services that allow our clients to increase profitability by minimizing operating costs. From small businesses to national accounts and private residences, CQI offers solar, wind, and renewable energy project development and operation that make for sustainable energy solutions.

To learn more about our energy management, auditing, certifications and more, please contact CQI Associates by calling 410-740-0667 or visit CQIAssociates.com today!

You can also follow us on FacebookTwitterLikedIn, and Google+

Sources:

Solar panel brief history and overview

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Renewable Energy News: Is there a Bright Future for Solar Power?

Thursday, November 15th, 2012

Renewable energy accounted for about 13% of the total United States utility-scale electricity generation in 2011, placing the U.S. behind just China in total electricity generation from renewable energy. And while solar power was responsible for less than 1% of all renewable-generated electricity in the U.S. last year, the use of solar energy is growing rapidly.

1. In the first quarter of 2012, developers installed 85% more solar panels compared to the first quarter of 2011.

2. Total U.S. shipments of solar photovoltaic (PV) modules in 2011 hit a record high, increasing from 2,644,498 peak kilowatts in 2010 to 3,772,075 peak kilowatts in 2011, a 43% increase over 2010. Peak kilowatts stands for peak power. This value specifies the output power achieved by a Solar module under full solar radiation.

3. From the beginning of 2010 to the end of June 2012, 1,308 megawatts (MW) of new utility-scale solar capacity has come online, more than tripling the 619 MW in place at the end of 2009.

4. The Energy Information Administration projects solar power to reach 18,000 megawatt hours per day in 2013.

solar use

Interesting Facts about Solar Power in the United States

1. Solar energy is the most abundant energy source on the planet, with 173,000 terawatts striking the Earth continuously. That’s more than 10,000 times the world’s total energy use.

2. The first solar cell was built in 1954 by Bell Laboratories.

3. The space industry has utilized solar power since the 1960s, when they began harnessing solar energy to provide power to spacecraft.

4. The world’s largest solar energy project, consisting of 350,000 solar mirrors, is underway in California’s Mojave Desert.

Prices continue to fall, but Obstacles remain

As prices of both solar cells and solar modules continue to fall – solar cells dropped from 1.13 in 2010 to $0.92 in 2011and solar modules (a packaged connected assembly of photovoltaic cells) dropped from $1.96 in 2010 to $1.59 in 2011- the feasibility of solar energy use in the U.S. continues to increase. And these prices are expected to keep dropping in 2012 as solar technology advances.

price of solar energy

Still, there are hurdles that the solar industry must still address, such as soft costs (permitting, zoning, and hooking the solar system to the power grid). On average, these soft costs can add more than $2,500 to the total cost of a solar energy system.

As you can clearly see, solar power is not going to take over the energy industry in 2012, but we are headed in the right direction!

To learn more, please contact CQI Associates by calling 410-740-0667 or visit CQIAssociates.com today!

CQI Associates has saved our public and private commercial clients well over $1,500,000,000 based on our energy and environmental program and project saving recommendations.

You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LikedIn, and Google+

 

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Hurricane Sandy and the Energy Industry: What can you expect?

Monday, November 12th, 2012

Besides knocking down power lines and causing countless blackouts up and down the east coast, Hurricane Sandy may also have a bigger impact on the energy industry, hitting you were it hurts most: your wallet.

Hurricane Sandy and the Oil Industry

According to IHS Global Insight, supply chain managers in the Northeast are expected to see a shortage of refined oil products after Sandy forced 70% of the East Coast’s oil refineries to shut down. And while many refineries have returned to full capacity, several refineries throughout New Jersey and New York, including the product trading hub in New York Harbor, remain out of operation.

More importantly, the closing of the hub in New York Harbor has severely affected the oil supply line. The entire Northeast relies not only on oil products from the region, but also products imported from the Gulf Coast and elsewhere. Demand in the Northeast is approximately 2.2 million barrels per day:  42% from local refineries, 31% from other regions (mainly the Gulf Coast), and 27% from net imports.

For this reason, 24% of all New York gas stations are still without gas.

Crude Oil Prices Rise

Crude oil prices rose today for the second straight day in the market after gasoline supplies fell 1.5 million barrels to 198 million. Crude oil advanced as much as 1.4% to $2.6571 a gallon.

“The devastation and fuel shortages brought on by Hurricane Sandy are still being felt across the product complex in the U.S.,” said Andrey Kryuchenkov, a London-based analyst at VTB Capital.

Hurricane Sandy and the Electric Industry

Following Hurricane Sandy, outages remain a major problem, especially in New Jersey, where 14% of people (569, 822) are still without power. Meanwhile, 355,055 are without power in New York; 9,797 in Pennsylvania; and 2,113 in Maryland. And while these numbers may seem high, consider that when the hurricane first hit, 8,511,251 were left without power. Since then, power has been restored for 7,357,492 individuals.

Click Here for the up-to-date Hurricane Sandy Situation Report from the United States Department of Energy.

To learn more, please contact CQI Associates by calling 410-740-0667 or visit CQIAssociates.com today!

CQI Associates is a leader in energy and environmental consulting.

You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LikedIn, and Google+.

Sources:

Hurricane Sandy’s Impact on Energy Industry Yet to Be Measured

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