Don’t Worry, Military Has BIG Plan to Cut It’s Big Carbon Footprint

Washington (GGM) Analysis | January 9, 2022, by Noreen Wise, Founder & CEO of Gallant Gold Media, and author; image by AdobeStock

The US military is ranked number 55 out of the world’s largest carbon polluters (2019). According to Forbes Magazine, the DOD has emitted more than 1.2 GtC (billion metric tons of carbon) since the US invasion of Afghanistan in 2001. The military is the largest fossil fuel energy consumer in the US, and is the single biggest buyer of crude oil on the planet. But all of these missteps are about to change. 

Although, seven military bases have already transitioned to solar, military outposts around the globe are often in remote locations without easy access to electricity. Constructing large solar arrays for these facilities, isn’t feasible. But, sticking with petroleum isn’t the solution either. 

The military has been in search of an energy source that has limited infrastructure that it can tap into from any of its far-flung locations around the world. Enter the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) that appears to have the solution. A set of satellite-mounted solar arrays that harnesses energy on orbit and transmits it back to Earth. Just the type of innovation John Doerr advocates in Speed & Scale, An Action Plan for Solving Our Climate Crisis Now.

I loved hearing from people who had far out ideas and plans for catching lightning in a bottle.

Eric Toone, Executive Managing Director and Science Lead, Breakthrough Energy Ventures — Speed & Scale

This innovative concept is referred to as SSPIDR, Space Solar Power Incremental Demonstrations and Research. It will be manufactured by military contractor Northrup Grumman with tests projected to begin as soon as 2024, and an on-orbit demonstration by 2025.

SSPIDR technology:

  • captures carbon from sun
  • converts to radio frequency (RF) on orbit
  • transmits back to Earth
  • once on land, converts to rectenna (rectifying antenna) 

Northrup Grumman received an award of $100 million to apply to the conversion of solar-to-RF. But that’s not the only contractor involved. Other companies will create the deployable space structures, and lightweight high-efficiency solar cells, etc.

The concern that has the engineers scrambling, is the weight. Everything will have to be miniaturized to keep the weight and bulk down. The entire structure will have to be condensed into a launch payload.

According to Defense News, SSPIDR communications officer Rachel Delaney said that AFRL’s goal is to produce 1,000kW of power from the SSPIDR structures, which per the Naval Research Laboratory is sufficient to run a forward operating base. SSPIDR needs to increase the surface area of the solar arrays, and boost the efficiency of the solar cells, to produce the amount of power engineers are looking for.

According to Defense News, SSPIDR communications officer Rachel Delaney said that AFRL’s goal is to produce 1,000kW of power from the SSPIDR structures, which per the Naval Research Laboratory is sufficient to run a forward operating base. SSPIDR needs to increase the surface area of the solar arrays, and boost the efficiency of the solar cells, to produce the amount of power engineers are looking for.

Space Solar Power (SSP), as a sustainable energy alternative, has been on the minds of sc-fi enthusiasts for decades. According to Cosmos, The Science of Everything, first mention of such an evocative solution was in Isaac Asimov’s 1941 work, “Reason,” in which two robots, Powell and Donovan, transmit energy to various planets through microwave beams. With access to the sun 24/7, and orbiting above the intense hurricanes, tornadoes, wildfires, and other extreme weather events on the horizon, space solar will be significantly advantageous.  

Check back each week for new climate optimism articles featuring innovative solutions that will help solve the climate crisis.

© Copyright 2018 – 2022. ALL Rights Reserved.


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Glass Solar Bricks Coming Soon

Washington (GGM) Analysis | December 9, 2020 by Noreen Wise

There’s been some exciting climate news released during the tragic covid crisis, glass solar bricks will soon be here. According to Reuters, the new glass bricks will not only be able to produce sustainable energy, they will also serve as thermal insulation and allow sunlight in. Very advanced compared to the current solar panels that line roofs, farmers fields and desert land.

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Glass solar bricks won’t be able to replace solar panels, but new buildings will be constructed using futuristic bricks that will power the entire building. Now that’s brilliant, and a lot to cheer about when things seem so bleak right now. According to Bloomberg Green, solar installations have taken a nose dive while everyone is stuck at home trying to cope with their lives being turned upside down.

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The disruption may very well be a blessing for many many families and businesses, however. Solar power is an investment. We always want the most advanced technology when we put down our money. But, with solar power progressing in leaps and bounds, the advancements are happening much quicker than the 5-20 year solar loan payment schedules. I’m sure we’ve all had at least dreadful phone experience, where a few months after we upgrade, Apple releases it’s next iPhone iteration, letting all the air out of our tires as we’re forced to wait two years with our new old phones.

There’s nothing wrong with the current solar panels. They’re very effective, enabling families to save money, and in many cases make a significant amount  of money, all while lowering carbon emissions. But just as we saw with computers, smart phones, cameras… all technology really, the newer versions are always lighter, stronger, faster.

Best not to stress about dismal 2020 solar installations in the short term, we’ll definitely make up for it in the long term.🌱

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What You Need to Know to Go Solar During Pandemic

Washington (GGM) Analysis | August 17, 2020 by Sarah J. Kings

While solar power has previously been thought to be a beacon of hope for the environment and the economy, the industry is currently in crisis.  Amid COVID 19, the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) published a press release availing quarter two outcomes.  

Prior to the pandemic, it was projected that solar energy projects would offer 302,000 Americans jobs by June of 2020.  Instead, the industry saw a job loss of 114,000 workers. SEIA  states, “The Q2 solar deployment losses are equivalent to powering 288,000 homes and $3.2 billion in economic investment.”  This type of down-turn sets the solar workforce back to levels seen in 2014. 

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In the same press release, SEIA blames a lack of “strategic government action” for this setback.  However, they also state, “with the right policies in place, the solar industry is poised to lead the U.S. out of this economic recession and create jobs for thousands of Americans.”

Just recently, the association published a COVID 19 resource guide for the solar industry.  Alongside this guide, they have launched a social media campaign, #RebuildBetter,  to build awareness and advocate for the necessary policies to support solar energy.

Now is the perfect time to jump in and switch to renewable energy for your household. It’s super simple to get started. Just click on EnergySage.com to get a free quote and learn about the incentives and rebates in your area. EnergySage will calculate the costs and benefits. Check it out today. It can’t hurt to find out more information about this critical technology. To take advantage of rare incentives, get a free quote today.

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There are five main things you can do to support the solar industry in this time of need. 

  • Submit a Solar Power Testimonial to the SEIA
  • Make a personal or company-related donation to support solar-related COVID 19 relief efforts
  • Submit company project-level data to EIA
  • Support the campaign #RebuildBetter
  • Go to EnergySage.com for information and a free quote for installing solar panels to your house. 

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Why is the Sunshine State so Far Behind with Solar?

Washington (GGM) Analysis
NoreenProfilePicHillReport-75 by Noreen Wise

One would think that with all that sunshine Florida would be way out in front on solar power, but no such luck. How can this be with such dire warning threatening the state? Some scientists believe that Miami will be the first US metropolis to become uninhabitable as a result of climate change.

Florida should be sprinting to cut carbon. When homes, towns, and businesses overproduce solar power they can either store the excess in their home batteries or send it back to the grid and get paid (net metering). Why don’t Florida residents want to take advantage of one of their most valuable assets. They can earn an income from their overabundance of this vital natural resource.

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Florida has the third largest population in the US:

  • California – 39.7million
  • Texas – 29.1
  • Florida – 21.6

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Yet, according to vivant.Solar, Florida is ranked #10 in solar power:

  • California – 21,074 MW
  • North Carolina – 4,308 MW
  • Arizona – 3,400 MW
  • Nevada – 2,595 MW
  • New Jersey – 2,595 MW
  • Massachusetts – 2,011 MW
  • Texas – 1,874 MW
  • Utah – 1,599 MW
  • Georgia – 1,566 MW
  • Florida – 1,430 MW 

It’s time to act. Florida’s carbon footprint is ranked #3 in country at 4.5 PPM. Residents have the ability to move the needle by taking advantage of natural resources. There are many state and federal incentives to assist with the transition. Let’s DO THIS!~

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