April, 2011Archive for

Pitkin County reviews proposed rules for solar development on

ASPEN, Colo. — Pitkin County Commissioners are reviewing whether they can regulate one problem that an Aspen-area resident says comes from her neighbor's solar panels — glare. The Aspen Times reports commissioners are reviewing proposed rules for development of solar power on homes and businesses but haven't set a timetable for adopting any. One proposal would classify glare as a nuisance. Sherri Spykerman says her neighbor placed solar panels on a sharply angled roof in 2007, leavin...

New solar cell technology boosts efficiency of photovoltaics by 80%

WASHINGTON: The creation of a 3-D nanocone-based solar cell platform has allowed a team of scientists to boost the light-to-power conversion efficiency of photovoltaics by nearly 80 percent. The team led by Oak Ridge National Laboratory's Jun Xu discovered the technology substantially overcomes the problem of poor transport of charges generated by solar photons. These charges, negative electrons and positive holes, typically become trapped by defects in bulk materials and their interfaces an...

Solar scam burns through budget

PROPERLY managed, the sun’s awesome power can be converted into useful energy. Potentially, solar power will one day deliver a significant contribution to Australia’s baseload power requirements. Poorly managed, solar power burns. And not just delicate human skin, carelessly exposed to an excessive amount of the sun’s rays. As NSW taxpayers have discovered in recent years, thanks to the previous Labor government’s ill-handling of the solar power rebate scheme, solar power...

Voyager Probes to Leave Solar System by 2016

Voyager Probes to Leave Solar System by 2016The stage is set for the first man-made objects to leave the solar system within five years. Voyager 1, followed closely by Voyager 2, left Earth in 1977 and both have been traveling at a rate of about 37K per hour toward the edge of the known solar system. While the Voyagers have left the planets well behind, they're not beyond the solar system yet. They're still within a huge bubble called the heliosphere, which is made of solar plasma and solar...

Tortoise puts plant on hold

IVANPAH - The federal Bureau of Land Management is waiting for a new review of the threat to the endangered desert tortoise on the site of a huge solar energy facility being built in the Mojave Desert near here by BrightSource Energy before it can lift its order halting construction. The review is being done by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and has been in the agency's hands since the BLM shut down the project on April 15. BrightSource spokesman Keely Wachs was optimistic Friday when he sa...

Solar bill seeks N.C. policy shift

Green energy advocates are pushing for a change in state law to allow solar power producers to sell electricity directly to homeowners and businesses. Such a change would upend North Carolina's longstanding energy policy, which currently doesn't let consumers choose their electricity provider. The proposal is opposed by the politically powerful electric utilities in the state that don't want to lose customers and sales revenue. Customers today can buy electricity only from the power supplier in...

Solar scheme is eclipsed

THE Solar Bonus Scheme has been the first casualty of the O'Farrell government's cost cutting.The scheme was introduced by the former Labor government and rewarded private residents for installing solar power and then feeding the state's power grid. However, it was announced yesterday that no new applications will be considered. Energy Minister Chris Hartcher said the scheme would have added an estimated $651 million to the budget deficit over the four years to 2014-15. Those who already have ap...

New 3-D nanocone solar cell technology cranks up efficiency

Posted: Apr 29th, 2011 New 3-D nanocone solar cell technology cranks up efficiency Nanowerk News With the creation of a 3-D nanocone-based solar cell platform, a team led by Oak Ridge National Laboratory's Jun Xu has boosted the light-to-power conversion efficiency of photovoltaics by nearly 80 percent. The technology substantially overcomes the problem of poor transport of charges generated by solar photons. These charges -- negative electrons and positive holes -- typically become trapped by d...

Plans for massive solar plant halted over endangered species

The construction of a huge solar plant in Southern California has been put on hold over concerns that it would displace a large population of endangered tortoises from their natural habitat. The BrightSource Energy 392-megawatt solar farm, planned for construction in the Mojave Desert, has been halted by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management after it was discovered that the 5.6-square mile construction site was home to more than 600 endangered desert tortoises, according to a report from UPI. This...

NASA's Voyager Probes to Leave Solar System by 2016

It may be decades before humanity sets foot on Mars, but we're only five years away from sampling the vast stretches of interstellar space beyond our solar system for the first time, researchers say. NASA's twin unmanned Voyager spacecraft, which were launched in 1977, are streaking toward the edge of the solar system at around 37,000 mph 60,000 kph . At that rate, they'll probably pop out of our sun's sphere of influence and into interstellar space by 2016 or so, according to ...