Category Archives for "News"

What is the best place to find solar news?

solar news

We know, there’s a dizzying array of solar news and everyone’s got an opinion.

Some people love solar, some people hate it. One person thinks the industry is growing, another thinks there’s no future in renewables. With so many different viewpoints, who are we to trust? How do we know that the solar news we’re reading are reliable?

Well, we’ve come to the rescue, putting together the short list below of 10 reputable sites publishing up-to-date solar news and information on the solar industry and technology. All the sites below are well-known, established and respected solar news sources. Because sometimes you don’t want opinions, you want hard facts.Continue reading

Tesla Introduces New Solar Roof Tiles, But What Exactly Are They?

Solar Roof Tiles

What exactly are Tesla’s new Solar Roof Tiles?

On Friday, October 28th, in typical grand fashion, Elon Musk unveiled a new Tesla product that he claimed would revolutionize the solar industry.  In front of 200 invited guests, and with 4 of the posh homes from the Desperate Housewives set in Universal Studios behind him, he asked if attendees had noticed that the 4 normal-looking houses were in fact solar homes with Tesla’s newest product, solar roof tiles.

Musk called it the future of solar. Looking at the tiles, you’d never know they were in fact producing solar electricity. They look like every other roof tile you see, but is it really the future of solar?Continue reading

The Tumultuous Saga of Solar Panels on the White House

white-house-solar-panels

Over the last 40 years, solar panels have been installed and removed on the White House under three different presidents, starting with Jimmy Carter installing panels and Reagan removing them less than 10 years later. Each successive installation and removal is representative of a sea change in the country’s values at that time and highlights how quickly sentiment can change in politics and among the public.

Let’s look back into history to see how this story unfolded.

Jimmy Carter Installs Solar Thermal Panels

In the 1970s, the United States was facing an energy crises like it had never experienced before. With an oil embargo in full swing, everyday citizens waited in long lines just for a little gas to put in their cars. Then-president Jimmy Carter felt renewable energy, including wind and solar, was the best method of liberating us from foreign oil and to create an energy-independent country. As a symbol of what he hoped was the country’s future, as well as to display his own trust in the new technology, he had 32 thermal solar panels on the roof of the white house that produced hot water for the cafeteria and laundry services.Continue reading

Tribal Lands Adopting Solar Energy in Innovative Ways

solar-panels-tribal-land

In the last 10 years, hundreds of tribal groups across the US have adopted renewable energy like solar and wind as a way to serve their community needs better.

The type and size of the solar installation depends on the needs and goals of each community. Each group has adopted it in unique ways, from large utility-scale projects where the tribe leases land to a developer, to small solar-plus-storage systems designed to provide electricity to rural homes that are too distant to connect to the electric grid.

Reasons and goals vary among tribes. Some desire greater independence from the utility, while others want to set a higher standard of living for local residents through greater financial independence. Others want to bring electricity to rural households. But one goal is shared: to adopt an energy source that offers clean, renewable electricity.Continue reading

Study Finds East Coast Can Handle 30% Renewable Energy

east-coast-grid-load

Researchers at the National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL), the country’s preeminent laboratory for the study of renewable energy, recently found that the eastern US’ electrical grid can handle up to 30% renewable energy from wind and solar.

The findings were published in August 2016 in a report commissioned by the US Department of Energy. The study examines if the region’s electrical grid could handle a high amount of solar penetration, how the region’s electrical generation would need to change to accommodate it, and how operational aspects would need to be tweaked as well.

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Bionic Leaf 2.0 Turns Sunlight Into Liquid Fuel

bionic leaf

Bionic leaf that produces liquid fuel from carbon dioxide: Harvard scientists have surpassed the efficiency of photosynthesis 

Today, solar energy allows us to harness electricity from photovoltaic cells in a process that yields hydrogen and stores it in fuel cells. But scientists have so far failed to use this method to produce practical fuel that can be used for power. But it now appears that this may no longer be the case.

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Apple Energy to Be the First Solar Utility?

apple energy

Apple Energy: Some strange solar news from Apple has the rumor mill abuzz

On June 6, Apple’s new, fully owned subsidiary Apple Energy filed an application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), for a permit to sell solar electricity and flexible grid services on the open electricity markets all over the USA – starting August 6.

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Glass Sphere Betaray Concentrates Solar and Lunar Energy

glass sphere

The glass sphere that was a finalist at the World Technology Network Award of 2013  by German designer Andre Broessel at Rawlemon is now seen as one of the most promising advances in solar energy.

At that time, he had submitted the design for a “spherical sun-tracking solar energy-generating globe“.

Looking a lot like a fabulously massive clear glass marble mounted into an equally massive steel frame, his design was for a concentrating device capable of harvesting enormous quantities of energy when compared to dual-axis photovoltaic cells.Continue reading

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