Tag Archives for " solar 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

What Can We Learn From Samso, the 100% Renewable Island?

samso-island-lighthouse

Samso is a small island located on the east side of the Danish peninsula.

Home to 3,800 inhabitants, Samso became world famous in 2008 for becoming the first island run on 100% renewable energy. The project initially began in 1997, when Samso won a government competition to produce 100% of their electricity from renewable sources.

Since Samso became 100% renewable, cities, countries and islands across the world have made pledges to also go 100% renewable, including Hawaii, San Diego, and Grand Rapids, Michigan. In fact, several small cities and islands are already 100% renewable, including Aspen, Colorado, and Tokelau, a small island in the South Pacific claimed by New Zealand.Continue reading

4D Printing: Shaping The Future of Solar Cells

4d-printing-solar

A team of researchers has uncovered the key to what they call 4D printing – and solar energy may be one of the top 2 fields to benefit from the great invention.

Did your eyes widen in disbelief with the invention of 3D printing as plastic, ceramic, glass, living cells, and even chocolate were born out of a printer? Now it may seem like yesterday’s news. In a way, it kind of is. The 2D laser printer in your home office is probably looking more and more archaic to you these days – or if you’re still using one of those prehistoric dot matrix printers from the 1980s, shame on you. It’s time to step into the future with 4D printing.

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Top 3 Innovative Uses of Solar Power for a Better Future

Image credit: Courtesy of Mike Nicolaassen

The use of solar energy has gone beyond powering people’s homes and businesses:

we’ve entered an era where solar power is used in multiple ways, including travel, edgy fashion and forward thinking architectural design.

A little over 60 years ago, photovoltaic technology was born in the United States with the development of the silicon photovoltaic (PV) cell at Bell Labs. This solar cell was capable of running everyday electrical equipment with a 4% solar efficiency. Today solar panels can reach up to a 22.5% efficiency and new, innovative engineering methods will undoubtedly be producing higher numbers in the future.

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A World First: Pakistan’s Parliament Goes Solar

Pakistan parliament building

Pakistan’s Parliament House just became the first in the world to run on 100% solar power.

The Parliament of Pakistan, officially called the Majlis-e-Shoora, meets in the Parliament House in the nation’s capital of Islamabad. The building, which houses both their Senate and National Assembly, has moved off the local power grid thanks to the solar panels that now supply it with reliable clean energy.

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South Africa: The Continent’s First Solar-Powered Airport

south africa seashore

With the launch of a clean energy project, Africa’s first solar-powered airport has opened up in the Western Cape Province of South Africa.

This is a first for the continent, following the launch of a solar-powered soccer field in Lagos, Nigeria, also the first of its kind in Africa, thanks to Pavegen– an innovative clean tech company headquartered in London, England.

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Morocco Switches On The World’s Largest Solar Power Plant

morocco solar power plant

The Noor Concentrated Solar Power plant in Ouarzazate has finally turned on its lights, beginning a new era of solar dominance for Morocco.

Over a million Moroccan homes will benefit from the clean solar energy created by the Noor power plant once all of its phases are operational by the end of 2018. The three phases of the project, called Noor I, II, and III, will generate 500 megawatts (MW) of power annually. With that much of the country’s power coming from environmentally-friendly solar, it’s estimated that Noor will offset approximately 760,000 tons of carbon emissions every year. That’s a long-term reduction of 17.5 million tons of CO2 over the next 25 years. Moreover, the move away from fossil fuel power will reduce Morocco’s oil use by at least 2 million tons of oil.

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Wisconsin Judge Rejects Controversial Solar Surcharge

wisconsin solar

A ruling by a Wisconsin circuit court judge reverses a controversial solar surcharge that would have made solar power more expensive for consumers.

We Energies is Wisconsin’s largest public utility, and provides electricity and natural gas to 4.4 million customers across four states. In December 2014, they proposed a $4 monthly flat rate increase in addition to a per-kilowatt-hour electricity rate increase for all customers. The fee hike was approved by Wisconsin’s Public Service Commission and was set to take effect in 2016, but the solar industry quickly joined together and filed an appeal to block its implementation.

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SolarCity Unveils ‘World’s Most Efficient’ Solar Panels

solar_panels

This month, SolarCity unveiled the company’s newest solar panel design, declaring it to be the most efficient solar panel in the world.

Company chairman Elon Musk, particularly known for his leading role in huge technological ventures such as the SpaceX program, PayPal, and Tesla Motors, made the announcement in New York City. He says SolarCity’s new panels are the “world’s most efficient,” taking up the same amount of space as typical rooftop solar panels available today while producing up to 40% more power. Improving efficiency will help SolarCity to keep solar power cost-effective for the consumer after the federal solar panel tax credit expires in 2016.

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Sell Kilowatt Hours from your Solar Roof? One Day You’ll Sell Kilovars too!

Solar Homes

In California, a big change is about to happen to the way energy is sold to the grid.

Currently, if you have solar on your roof, you likely have sized it smaller than your total needs for the year, because the utilities have not been too generous in paying you for your individual contribution to the supply of energy on the grid.

But a new arrangement is about to start in California, and if you plan to go solar, you should know how this will work.

CA-ISO, the California Independent System Operator is getting ready to allow anyone who aggregates a bunch of distributed solar roofs together, to sell that power into the energy market.

Till now, the utilities and the ISO have not been able to “see” how much distributed solar is out there behind the meter. All they see is its “shadow”; the reduction in demand on the grid. But if it could be made visible, it could be used positively as a grid asset like a power plant.

So, instead of tracking all the solar roofs and electric vehicles and batteries individually, it is going to allow third parties — whether utilities or private companies — to aggregate them into virtual power plants of at least a half megawatt.

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