EME 810
Solar Resource Assessment and Economics

10.1 Learning Outcomes


By the end of this lesson, you will be able to:

  • describe how sustainability ethics can be included into project design as a motivating factor for Solar Project Development;
  • apply the four classes of benefits that are supplied by ecosystems: ecosystems services;
  • apply the concept of ecosystems services to renewable energy projects in rural and urban scenarios; and
  • become familiar with the context of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment

What is due for Lesson 10?

This lesson will take us one week to complete. Please refer to the Course Syllabus for specific time frames and due dates. Specific directions for the assignment below can be found within this lesson.

Lesson 10 Assignments
Required Reading:

J.R. Brownson, Solar Energy Conversion Systems (SECS), Chapter 1 - Introduction (Reread, with renewed focus on The Ethics of Sustainability and Ecosystems Services.)

J.R. Brownson, Solar Energy Conversion Systems (SECS), Chapter 11 - The Sun as Commons ("Framework: Systems Sustainability Assessment as LCA")

J.R. Brownson, Solar Energy Conversion Systems (SECS), Chapter 13 - Systems Logic of Devices: Optoelectronics ("PV Systems Integration and Simulation Tools")

Geoffrey Carr (Nov 21, 2012) "Sunny Uplands" The Economist.

Doubling Time (Wikipedia article, accessed on Nov. 14, 2013).

B. I. Cook, R. L. Miller, and R. Seager (2009) "Amplification of the North American "Dust Bowl" drought through human-induced land degradation". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA. 106(13), 4997-5001.

D. Ervin, D. Brown, H. Chang, V. Dujon, E. Granek, V. Shandas, and A. Yeakley (2012). "Growing Cities Depend on Ecosystem Services". Solutions, Vol 2, No. 6. pp. 74-86. .

Olgyay, V., & Herdt, J. (2004). "The application of ecosystems services criteria for green building assessment". Solar Energy, 77(4), 389-398. (available in Canvas.)

Optional Reading (not required):

"Ecosystems and Human Well-being: General Synthesis" (Millennium Ecosystem Assessment site page) (155 pg. report)

Ong et al. (2013) "Land-Use Requirements for Solar Power Plants in the United States" [13] NREL Technical Report: NREL/TP-6A20-56290. (supplemental reading)

To Do:

Discussion: Ultra-Mega Solar

Activity: Sustainability and Ecosystems Services Pitch (video)

Engage in all Try-This and Self-check activities (not graded)

Topic(s): Energy constraint, value of solar energy, historical cases of developing solar energy


If you have any questions, please post them to the Lesson 10 General Questions and Comments Discussion Forum. I will check the forum regularly to respond. While you are in a discussion, feel free to post your own responses if you, too, are able to help out a classmate.