All entries by this author

Solar thermal power plants switching technology to take advantage of falling PV prices – San Jose Mercury News

Jan 20th, 2012 | By John Waller | Category: Solar PV

Three years ago, renewable energy developers laid plans to populate the American Southwest with massive solar thermal power plants, which concentrate the sun’s rays to boil water and create steam to turn turbines that generate electricity. But as the projects went through lengthy permitting and environmental reviews, the price of photovoltaic solar panels plummeted because of a global oversupply driven by a glut of low-cost panels from China.



GE Sells Solar to Wind Farms

Jan 20th, 2012 | By John Waller | Category: Top Story

As renewable energy deals ago, General Electric’s announcement this week that it would supply 23 megawatts of solar panels for an Illinois photovoltaic farm was rather small change.

But it’s the type of thin-film solar panels and where the photovoltaic power plant will be built that foreshadows a potentially sizable business opportunity as well as a way to maximize renewable energy production.



Project to use volcano to make power

Jan 14th, 2012 | By John Waller | Category: Energy and Environment, Top Story

Geothermal energy developers plan to pump 24 million gallons of water into the side of a dormant volcano in Central Oregon this summer to demonstrate new technology they hope will give a boost to a green energy sector that has yet to live up to its promise.



Beehives Stop Elephant Crop-Raids in Kenya

Jul 16th, 2011 | By John Waller | Category: Natural World, Sub-Saharan Africa

Innovative beehive fences have helped a community in Kenya to successfully protect crops from elephants, according to research. Scientists found the hives to be a very effective barrier; elephants turned away from them in 97% of their attempted raids.



Spanish Solar Plant Produces Electricity for 24 Hours Straight

Jul 8th, 2011 | By John Waller | Category: Solar Thermal, Top Story

While Americans celebrated U.S. history on the Fourth of July yesterday, a company in Spain celebrated an historic moment for the solar industry: Torresol’s 19.9 MW concentrating solar power plant became the first ever to generate uninterrupted electricity for 24 hours straight. The plant uses a Power Tower design which features a field of 2,650 [...]



Transparent Photovoltaic Cells Turn Windows Into Solar Panels

Apr 23rd, 2011 | By John Waller | Category: Solar PV

A new class of transparent photovoltaic cells has been developed that can turn an ordinary windowpane into a solar panel without impeding the passage of visible light. The cells could one day transform skyscrapers into giant solar collectors, said Richard Lunt, one of the researchers on the project.



G.E. to Build Largest U.S. Solar Panel Factory

Apr 7th, 2011 | By John Waller | Category: Top Story

In a move that could shake up the American solar industry, General Electric plans to announce on Thursday that it will build the nation’s largest photovoltaic panel factory, with the goal of becoming a major player in the market. The plant, whose location has not been determined, will employ 400 workers and create 600 related jobs, according to G.E. The factory would annually produce solar panels that would generate 400 megawatts of energy, or enough to power 80,000 homes a year.



Brain Waves from Thoughts Used to Move Cursor

Apr 7th, 2011 | By John Waller | Category: Health, Top Story

A cursor on a computer screen can be controlled using thoughts about a range of vowel sounds, research has found. Brain signals have been translated into motion or even pictures before, but the current research showcases a nascent technique called electrocorticography using sensors placed directly on the surface of the brain.



Harvesting Waste Heat Could Boost Photovoltaic Power: Scientific American

Aug 5th, 2010 | By John Waller | Category: Top Story

Engineers at Stanford University may have developed a way to double or triple the efficiency of solar power, in a potential breakthrough that could drop the price of solar-generated electricity to a level more competitive with fossil fuels. Stanford’s Department of Materials Science and Engineering published a paper in the journal Nature Materials yesterday that [...]



New York’s Solar Thermal Plans

Jul 30th, 2010 | By John Waller | Category: Solar Thermal, Top Story

By unveiling a solar heating and cooling programme that could create 25,000 new green jobs, generate US$2.6 billion in revenue and see 2 GW of new solar thermal capacity installed in the state over the next decade, New York has revealed its ambition to become America’s national leader in solar heating and cooling. Thermal storage is also an area that, if effectively solved, would allow for additional advancement of the industry