. . . from Greentech Media –
By the end of this decade, solar PV is expected to be cost competitive – even without subsidies –with retail electricity prices in a significant portion of the world . . . annual installations of new solar PV capacity will more than double, in terms of capacity, by 2020, growing from 35.9 gigawatts (GW) in 2013 to 73.4 GW in 2020.
You can find the 4-page “home technology forecast” from Electronic House starting on page 46 of this digital (flipbook) version of the December 2013 edition.
Included: Networked home theater; Z-Wave-compliant products; organic LED TVs; and much more.
(you might have to click on the graphic above for it to be a bit more comprehensible)
Most folks know little about geography. This isn’t because we haven’t traveled — heck, I’ve actually BEEN to Africa three times, and I didn’t know much about the info contained in the graphic below. Found here.
According to this summary of a 2013 survey of electrical contractors in Australia:
- There are “more than 50,000 people” in Australia in the EC business
- “As many as 5%” of the ECs who were in business in 2011 are no longer open.
- “The cost of doing business has risen by around 25% over the past year alone” (how can this be true?)
- 96% of ECs carry smartphones — “though the apps most commonly used are banking, maps, and the weather.”
Title 24 in California is at the forefront of establishing a national standard. By January 2014, this change in code will require automatic daylight harvesting controls be added to many commercial buildings.
Additionally, occupancy sensing functionality will also be mandated for many applications. This change in code is the most significant driver in the market, as end-users tend not to adopt control technology improvement unless mandated.
Due to the increasing complexity of lighting control system specification, design, sales and installation, value-chain participants have had to adapt to the changing market dynamics. This circumstance has led to a number of end-users looking at alternative sales channels and other value-chain participants adjusting their business model appropriately.
One such example is a change in the electrical distribution model. In recent years, many electrical distributors have established sales channels through energy audit teams, specifically targeting the retrofit marketplace. Some of these distributors include Graybar, Gexpro, Rexel, Facility Solutions Group (FSG), Crescent (CESCO), among others.
“The market is very much in a state of transition,” states principal analyst Anthony Miller. “I expect a great deal of consolidation and a change in the structure of how manufacturers sell to and support their customer base.”
A literature review. Includes:
. . . a large group of the researchers are believed that the lighting conditions can effects on personal space requirements. Leslie Adams and David Zuckerman  demonstrated that a reduction in lighting and a decrease in room size have similar effects on interpersonal space requirements. They selected 28 female students in their experimental and these students were measured under both bright and dark conditions by using stop- distance technique. Interpersonal closeness was found to cause significantly less discomfort under high illumination than it did in relative darkness.
. . . lighting and using different colours in residential and commercial buildings can play an important role in the entertainments, business and many other related fields. In matter of fact, these two elements have highly effect on customer’s emotional states, preferences and behavioural intentions . For example, designing hotels is one of the mentioned subcategories which can present the interior light effects on human mood and social behaviours. The study of lighting in hotel design shows that there is a positive relationship between pleasure and preference.
Bottom line: There’s a lot more going on when an electrical contractor does a lighting installation — or redesigns it at the customer’s request (usually to save money) — than just plugging in equipment and wires.
The Lighting Controls Association released a whitepaper a few weeks ago — on the results of a survey on RF wireless lighting control. The graphic above is just one of several in the thing, and there is a lot of worthwhile information communicated.
Who was surveyed?
To produce a snapshot of attitudes regarding this control technology, the Lighting Controls Association developed a survey, which it distributed to subscribers of the association’s monthly newsletter, lightingCONTROL. There were 622 respondents, of which 395 qualified to take the survey by indicating they recommend, specify or approve lighting controls in U.S. building projects.
The largest response segment (133 respondents) was specifiers, notably lighting designers and consultants (98 respondents) and electrical engineers (35 respondents). A majority of these respondents (72%) play in both the new and existing construction markets; 11% focus on retrofits, and 17% focus on new construction and major renovations.
Note that Craig DiLouie (see link at right to his blog!!!) penned the LCA whitepaper — and indicated in the text that he’ll write about this survey in a column in an upcoming issue of Electrical Contractor magazine.
THIS MIGHT NOT MEAN ALL THAT MUCH. Prices have been flat for 4 months. And it’s only one area of the country. Then again, Southern California has been a “leader” in housing (even years ago, as mortgage finance spun out of control and people paid Much-Too-Much for houses).
Southern California home prices appear to have hit a wall, with the median home price flat for the fourth consecutive month in October.
The median sale price was $383,750 last month, 21.8% higher than last year — but virtually unchanged from June, research firm DataQuick said Tuesday.
Home prices rose rapidly earlier this year as investors and families battled over a shortage of homes for sale, but buyers have pulled back, unwilling to stretch their budgets any further. Beyond affordability, several factors have helped ease price pressure, including rising mortgage rates, a pull-back by investors and an expanding supply of homes for sale.
“Distributed Solar” (solar PV) power is the idea of putting PV panels on everybody’s rooftops (and elsewhere) . . . instead of building stupendously large “utility-scale” power plants.
Here’s one take on what’s going on with this right now . . . note that the MAP (link is below) is a full-page PDF and worth seeing full size:
With the exponential growth we’ve seen in the market, the price of solar is dropping, leading to a significantly larger percentage of solar generating capacity on the grid.
As a result there are numerous discussions and regulatory proceedings happening around the country to determine the value that distributed solar brings to the table and whether current policies and regulations could benefit from an update.
These discussions are taking place through cost/benefit studies of net energy metering (NEM) and through the development of value of solar tariffs (VOST). Check out this map I created to show recent state and utility activities around the country to consider the value of distributed solar.
While the ultimate value of distributed solar may vary from place to place, the basic properties of solar generation and distribution grids are largely consistent everywhere. However, the assorted studies and calculations used by utilities and states have varied substantially in their approach in determining which assumptions and variables are appropriate to consider.
This is where some perspective and standardization could really come in handy.