May, 2014Archive for

Program Aims to Expand Solar Use

The two major items at the Tompkins County Council of Governments TCCOG meeting on May 22 were a presentation from Solar Tompkins and a discussion about efforts to catalogue existing shared services agreements. Roxanne Marino of Solar Tompkins, a local non-profit created to expand the use of solar energy in the area, addressed the board about the groups upcoming effort to attract new solar users.

Solar Power for the Global Masses: The Next Revolution

This post originally ran on Juan Coles Web page. As the price of solar panels drops, they increasingly are being spontaneously bought and installed by villagers throughout the world, who are often ill-served, or not served at all, by the central power grid in their countries.  Some remain off the grid once they have gone solar.  Just as many countries in Africa skipped the stage of building copper wire telephone transmission lines all over the place, and instead went straight for cell...

U.S. Residential Solar Just Beat Commercial Installations For The

The first quarter of 2014 was another big one for the U.S. solar industry, with 74 percent of all new electricity generation across the country coming from solar power. The 1,330 megawatts of solar photovoltaics PV installed last quarter bring the total in the U.S. up to 14.8 gigawatts of installed capacity — enough to power three million homes, according to GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association SEIA . In addition to being the largest quarter ever for concentrating solar...

Saudi Arabia's solar energy stumbling block

The clock is ticking, and Saudi Arabias ambitious plans for solar energy dont appear to be progressing as fast as the authorities might have hoped. According to the King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy KA-Care , concentrated solar power and solar photovoltaics PV are all set to make up 23 percent of Saudi Arabias energy mix by 2030 and 39 percent by 2050. Back in 2012, when that plan was announced, it was estimated to cost over $100bn. The agency also said that it planned to tender...

Astronomer designs the 'Ultimate Solar System' with an amazing 60

Friday, May 30, 2014, 5:47 PM - Our own solar system has just our own planet as its only habitable jewel at least as far as we currently know . Science fiction like Star Trek, Star Wars, and innumerable others, tend to stick to that same pattern of one life-bearing world per star, with some notable exceptions like Joss Whedon's Firefly/Serenity universe . So, it's forgivable for anyone contemplating what could be out there in our galaxy to put certain limitations on how many habitable worlds co...

This Solar Breakthrough Could Make You Forget About Oil

For several decades, clean technology supporters have waited for the day when solar power truly achieved "grid parity." #-ad_banner-#Everyone understood that this promising renewable form of energy needed to eventually compete with nuclear, oil, coal and gas -- without any government subsidies. Much faster than anyone expected, we're almost there. The cost to produce solar panels has dropped so fast, and the energy conversion ratio of solar panels has risen ever higher, that government subsidie...

Solar roadways destroys crowdfunding goal, raises $1.5m

When I posted on Solar Roadways' plan to raise $1m via IndieGogo, I confessed to being a tad skeptical.Trueour editor Lloyd's own skepticism for the project had been already challenged when the start-up managed to raise $750,000 to build a larger prototype.Still, raising $1m via crowdfunding seemed a lofty goal indeed. And it didn't help that their video seemed, well, a little gentle. All my skepticism has once again been blown out of the water, as the IndieGoGo campaign has already raised over ...

Spor Solar-Powered Battery Charger Wants To Kickstart A Cooler

There are scores of solar-powered battery chargers on the market already, offering a greener alternative to juice up your devices. But these chargers often fail to live up to expectation — either being very bulky to carry around or taking ages to charge your device. Solar efficiency is improving, though, and the cost of producing solar cells is also coming down. And those improvements should start to trickle down into better portable solar chargers in the coming years. On that score, meet ...

US solar panel ruling expected

The US Department of Commerce is to announce a preliminary ruling next week on Chinese government subsidies to solar producers, the US unit of SolarWorld AG said in a statement.On Tuesday, the Commerce Department is set to make public its first determination on whether solar products imported from China and Taiwan harmed US producers in relation to several subsidy allegations submitted by SolarWorld Industries America Inc in a complaint filed on Dec. 31 last year.The latest case follows an inves...

Solar to match coal in China by 2016, threatening fossil dominance

Here is a story to cheer us all up. Wuxi Suntech Power expects the cost of electricity from solar modules match to coal-powered stations in China as soon as 2016. If so, we are entering a dramatically different world. The companys chief executive, Eric Luo, told RenewEconomy that grid parity is at hand, even in competing with the cheapest and dirtiest form of fossil fuels. We are sure that by 2016 or at the latest 2017 the levellised cost of solar PV will be the same as coal-fired generation. ...