Solar PV

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.

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.

Solar plane completes historic 24-hour flight

Jul 13th, 2010 | By John Waller | Category: Solar PV, Top Story

PAYERNE, Switzerland — An experimental solar-powered plane landed safely Thursday after completing its first 24-hour test flight, proving that the aircraft can collect enough energy from the sun during the day to stay aloft all night. Pilot Andre Borschberg eased the Solar Impulse onto the runway at Payerne airfield about 30 miles southwest of the [...]

California Proposes First Renewable Energy Storage Requirements

Mar 7th, 2010 | By John Waller | Category: Energy and Environment, Solar PV, Solar Thermal, Top Story, Wind Power

California Attorney General Jerry Brown has announced a completely new kind of renewable energy legislation, introduced by State Assembly member Nancy Skinner (D) – designed to add more renewable energy storage to the grid. You’ve heard of Renewable Energy Standards. These are (state level only, so far) rules that require that electric utilities add more [...]

New solar-cell efficiency record set

Mar 5th, 2010 | By John Waller | Category: Solar PV, Top Story

Here’s a seemingly simple solar power fact*: the sun bathes Earth with enough energy in one hour (4.3 x 1020 joules) to more than fill all of humanity’s present energy use in a year (4.1 x 1020 joules). So how to convert it? In the world of solar energy harvesting, there’s a constant battle between [...]

More Connecticut Residents Now Eligible for CT Solar Lease Program

Oct 31st, 2009 | By John Waller | Category: Solar PV

The Connecticut Clean Energy Fund (CCEF) today announced that more Connecticut residents will now be able to qualify for financial assistance under the CT Solar Lease Program, which is largely funded by CCEF; the program’s income limits were raised after HUD updated its income limits for 2009.  Homeowners who earn up to twice the median [...]

America’s Largest Solar Plant Comes Online

Oct 20th, 2009 | By John Waller | Category: Solar PV

Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) has announced the near completion of its DeSoto Next Generation Solar Energy Center in Arcadia, Florida. This solar power plant will be producing electricity by the end of month. This project is ahead of its schedule. The plant has an impressive number of 90,000 photovoltaic panels. Experts claim that this solar power plant will generate around 110MW of electricity by the end of 2010.

Team Germany Wins 2009 Solar Decathlon

Oct 18th, 2009 | By John Waller | Category: Solar PV, US Government

U.S. Department of Energy Deputy Secretary Daniel Poneman today announced the winners of the 2009 Department of Energy Solar Competition on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Team Germany, the student team from Darmstadt, Germany, won top honors by designing, building, and operating the most attractive and efficient solar-powered home. The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign took second place followed by Team California in third place.

Light Gives Students a Chance at Night School

Aug 24th, 2009 | By John Waller | Category: Solar PV, Sub-Saharan Africa, US Government

Less than two percent of Liberia’s estimated two million rural dwellers have access to electricity. Most rely on candles or small kerosene lamps to light up their evening activities. But limited lighting impedes chores after dark, prevents post-dusk operation of small businesses, limits the ability of students to study, and contributes to poor security. At [...]

Solar for Children Project

Jan 27th, 2009 | By John Waller | Category: Solar PV, Solar-Aid, Sub-Saharan Africa

The majority of Tanzania’s electricity supply is generated by hydropower. This is highly vulnerable to drought, which is occurring more frequently with climate change. In 2006, a severe drought resulted in countrywide power cuts and blackouts. Currently, the electrical grid reaches a small proportion of the country’s population. In rural areas, families rely on firewood [...]