Jun 17, 2012

Stable Solar Power for Children in Haiti

4 min
    ROCKLIN, Calif., and ONTARIO—Last week SMA America joined representatives from NRG...



ROCKLIN, Calif., and ONTARIO—Last week SMA America joined representatives from NRG Energy, the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) and the Solar Electric Light Foundation (SELF) on a charity mission to Haiti to install a 53 kW solar PV array at the Zanmi Beni Home for Children. The project site is in Santo, Haiti, a town located northeast of Port-Au-Prince.

Zanmi Beni is a project of Partners in Health and its Haitian sister organization Zanmi Lasante. It is designed to provide long-term care to children affected by the devastating earthquake in January 2010. Installing a PV system for the Zanmi Beni Children’s Home will provide these children — many of whom have disabilities — with better, safer living conditions in their everyday lives. Solar power is also an economical option for the home due to Haiti’s traditionally high energy costs and unreliable grid.


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“This has been an exceptionally rewarding project and SMA was thrilled to have the opportunity to work with the NRG and the Clinton Global Initiative to help improve the lives of these children with solar power,” said Jurgen Krehnke, president and general manager of SMA America and president of SMA Canada. “We were glad to supply the inverters for this system and to have some of our experts donate their time to travel to Haiti and help install the system.”

SMA America supplied six Sunny Boy 9000 TL-US transformerless inverters, six Sunny Island 5048-US battery backup inverters and a Multicluster Box for the installation. The inverters will work with 236 Trina PA05 solar panels to create a hybrid off-grid/on-grid PV system with battery backup. This will allow Zanmi Beni to run most, if not all, of its load from solar electricity, resulting in the stable supply of clean, safe energy. This is one of many projects in progress to help Haiti rebuild from the 2010 earthquake and create a renewable energy infrastructure in the nation.

 "In a country of many needs, the orphans of Zanmi Beni stand out as deserving special help,” said David Crane, NRG Energy’s CEO. “NRG was pleased to bring the light of solar power to the children but we could not have done so without the capable assistance of our partner SMA and their state-of-the-art Sunny Boy system."

The UL listed Sunny Boy 9000 TL-US installed in the system in Haiti features SMA’s H5 topology, which results in efficiencies up to 98 percent and unmatched energy production. SMA’s transformerless inverters are lighter weight and offer higher efficiencies and enhanced safety features to provide optimum value.

SMA’s Sunny Island 5048-US enables off-grid operation with a battery bank. The Sunny Island is a self-sufficient AC voltage grid that meets SMA’s highest quality standards. Each Sunny Island is equipped with best-in-class grid and battery management functions, including monitoring. As system manager, it collects real-time data and makes intelligent decisions based on battery state of charge, state of health, electrical loads and generation capacity. At times when the batteries are discharged and there is little generation capacity, it can activate a backup energy source (such as a generator) or switch off certain consumption loads.

The Multicluster Box, paired with SMA’s US series of Sunny Islands, is an off-grid AC distribution hub that manages a variety of renewable and combustion generation sources for large-scale Sunny Island Multicluster systems. It simplifies the installation of off-grid PV systems, providing superior design flexibility and making rural electrification simple and scalable. It is ideal for installations up to 110 kW.

About SMA

The SMA Group generated sales of €1.7 billion in 2011 and is the global market leader for solar inverters, a key component of all PV plants. It is headquartered in Niestetal, near Kassel, Germany, and is represented in 20 countries on four continents. The Group employs more than 5,500 people worldwide, plus a number of temporary employees that varies on a seasonal basis. SMA’s broad product portfolio includes a compatible inverter for every type of module on the market and for all PV plant sizes. The product range includes inverters both for grid-connected PV plants and for off-grid systems. SMA can therefore provide an ideal inverter solution for all plant sizes and types. Since 2008, the Group’s parent company, SMA Solar Technology AG, has been listed on the Prime Standard of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange (S92) and also in the TecDAX index. In recent years, SMA has received numerous awards for excellence as an employer and in 2011 and 2012 achieved first place in Germany’s nationwide Great Place to Work® competition.www.SMA-America.com/www.SMA-Canada.ca




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Jun 25, 2021

UK must stop blundering into high carbon choices warns CCC

Dominic Ellis
5 min
The UK must put an end to a year of climate contradictions and stop blundering on high carbon choices warns the Climate Change Committee

The UK Government must end a year of climate contradictions and stop blundering on high carbon choices, according to the Climate Change Committee as it released 200 policy recommendations in a progress to Parliament update.

While the rigour of the Climate Change Act helped bring COP26 to the UK, it is not enough for Ministers to point to the Glasgow summit and hope that this will carry the day with the public, the Committee warns. Leadership is required, detail on the steps the UK will take in the coming years, clarity on tax changes and public spending commitments, as well as active engagement with people and businesses across the country.

"It it is hard to discern any comprehensive strategy in the climate plans we have seen in the last 12 months. There are gaps and ambiguities. Climate resilience remains a second-order issue, if it is considered at all. We continue to blunder into high-carbon choices. Our Planning system and other fundamental structures have not been recast to meet our legal and international climate commitments," the update states. "Our message to Government is simple: act quickly – be bold and decisive."

The UK’s record to date is strong in parts, but it has fallen behind on adapting to the changing climate and not yet provided a coherent plan to reduce emissions in the critical decade ahead, according to the Committee.

  • Statutory framework for climate The UK has a strong climate framework under the Climate Change Act (2008), with legally-binding emissions targets, a process to integrate climate risks into policy, and a central role for independent evidence-based advice and monitoring. This model has inspired similarclimate legislation across the world.
  • Emissions targets The UK has adopted ambitious territorial emissions targets aligned to the Paris Agreement: the Sixth Carbon Budget requires an emissions reduction of 63% from 2019 to 2035, on the way to Net Zero by 2050. These are comprehensive targets covering all greenhouse gases and all sectors, including international aviation and shipping.
  • Emissions reduction The UK has a leading record in reducing its own emissions: down by 40% from 1990 to 2019, the largest reduction in the G20, while growing the economy (GDP increased by 78% from 1990 to 2019). The rate of reductions since 2012 (of around 20 MtCO2e annually) is comparable to that needed in the future.
  • Climate Risk and Adaptation The UK has undertaken three comprehensive assessments of the climate risks it faces, and the Government has published plans for adapting to those risks. There have been some actions in response, notably in tackling flooding and water scarcity, but overall progress in planning and delivering adaptation is not keeping up with increasing risk. The UK is less prepared for the changing climate now than it was when the previous risk assessment was published five years ago.
  • Climate finance The UK has been a strong contributor to international climate finance, having recently doubled its commitment to £11.6 billion in aggregate over 2021/22 to 2025/26. This spend is split between support for cutting emissions and support for adaptation, which is important given significant underfunding of adaptation globally. However, recent cuts to the UK’s overseas aid are undermining these commitments.

In a separate comment, it said the Prime Minister’s Ten-Point Plan was an important statement of ambition, but it has yet to be backed with firm policies. 

Baroness Brown, Chair of the Adaptation Committee said: “The UK is leading in diagnosis but lagging in policy and action. This cannot be put off further. We cannot deliver Net Zero without serious action on adaptation. We need action now, followed by a National Adaptation Programme that must be more ambitious; more comprehensive; and better focussed on implementation than its predecessors, to improve national resilience to climate change.”

Priority recommendations for 2021 include setting out capacity and usage requirements for Energy from Waste consistent with plans to improve recycling and waste prevention, and issue guidance to align local authority waste contracts and planning policy to these targets; develop (with DIT) the option of applying either border carbon tariffs or minimum standards to imports of selected embedded-emission-intense industrial and agricultural products and fuels; and implement a public engagement programme about national adaptation objectives, acceptable levels of risk, desired resilience standards, how to address inequalities, and responsibilities across society. 

Drax Group CEO Will Gardiner said the report is another reminder that if the UK is to meet its ambitious climate targets there is an urgent need to scale up bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS).

"As the world’s leading generator and supplier of sustainable bioenergy there is no better place to deliver BECCS at scale than at Drax in the UK. We are ready to invest in and deliver this world-leading green technology, which would support clean growth in the north of England, create tens of thousands of jobs and put the UK at the forefront of combatting climate change."

Drax Group is kickstarting the planning process to build a new underground pumped hydro storage power station – more than doubling the electricity generating capacity at its iconic Cruachan facility in Scotland. The 600MW power station will be located inside Ben Cruachan – Argyll’s highest mountain – and increase the site’s total capacity to 1.04GW (click here).

Lockdown measures led to a record decrease in UK emissions in 2020 of 13% from the previous year. The largest falls were in aviation (-60%), shipping (-24%) and surface transport (-18%). While some of this change could persist (e.g. business travellers accounted for 15-25% of UK air passengers before the pandemic), much is already rebounding with HGV and van travel back to pre-pandemic levels, while car use, which at one point was down by two-thirds, only 20% below pre-pandemic levels.

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