According to the latest "Energy Infrastructure Update" report from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's Office of Energy Projects, solar, biomass, and wind "units" provided 694 MW of new electrical generating capacity last month or 99.3% of all new generation placed in-service (the balance of 5 MW was provided by oil.) Twelve new solar units accounted for 504 MW or 72.1% of all new electrical generating capacity in October 2013 followed
China's increase in renewable energy is on course to surpass the European Union, the United States and Japan combined, says the International Energy Agency. In its annual World Energy Outlook released Tuesday, the IEA said China will be the strongest driver in the worldwide trend in which renewable energy is expected to account for almost half of the increase in global power generation by 2035, China Daily reports. Read more
For many years scientists and engineers have been trying to provide low-cost solar energy by developing a cheap solar cell that is both highly efficient and at the same time simple to build, enabling it to be mass produced. Now, the team led by Empa researcher Ayodhya N. Tiwari has made a major leap forward: the researchers are presenting a new manufacturing technique for CIGS solar cells, in which tiny
Sun-starved residents of a remote Norwegian village unveiled an ingenious mirror system Wednesday to bring natural light to their mountain valley home and liberate them from darkness that envelops them six months a year. The mountains surrounding Rjukan village have deprived its 3,500 inhabitants of direct sunlight for six months every year, until local artist Martin Andersen revived a century old idea to reflect it with mirrors. "From now we'll
The use of solar panels to produce hot water is standard practice, but researchers at the Madrid Universities Carlos III and Politecnica suggest that they may also be used to provide large offices with heating in the winter and AC in the summer. Their proposal involves the incorporation of solar collectors into a gas-based cogeneration system with an absorption machine, which would reduce both energy expenditure and carbon dioxide emissions.
Solar farms are a no-brainer in warm and sunny places, but what about in northern climes where snow can cover and even shut down the panels? Michigan Technological University's Keweenaw Research Center (KRC) is now part of a 2-year study that will help answer that question. The aims are to gauge how snow affects solar panels' power generation and determine the best ways to overcome any losses. The international engineering
Harvard Business School has just completed a large rooftop solar installation using AC modules from ET Solar powered by SolarBridge microinverters. Massachusetts-based solar energy company Solect Energy Development, LLC installed the 80kW project at Tata Hall, a new executive education facility. The Tata Hall project addresses Harvard University's commitment to reduce greenhouse gases thirty percent by 2016 using 2006 as a baseline and including all future growth. Read
Small robotic birds could be useful for tasks such as environmental monitoring and conducting surveillance. But the major drawback they have is the amount of time they are able to stay aloft. Because of the birds' light weight and small size, the tiny batteries used to power them deplete in just minutes. University of Maryland Professors S.K. Gupta and Hugh Bruck and their students in the Maryland Robotics Center are working
The Energy Department's (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) recently issued a new report, "Non-Hardware ('Soft') Cost-Reduction Roadmap for Residential and Small Commercial Solar Photovoltaics, 2013-2020," funded by DOE's SunShot Initiative and written by NREL and Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI). The report builds off NREL's ongoing soft cost benchmarking analysis and charts a path to achieve soft-cost targets of $0.65/W for residential systems and $0.44/W for commercial systems by 2020.
The sunshine that falls on Texas in a month contains more energy than all of the oil that has ever been pumped in the state can generate. Texas is the state that has the largest solar potential in the country, yet it only ranked 10th nationwide in terms of installed solar power generation capacity, enough solar energy installed to power 11,900 homes. According to U.S. Energy Information Administration Residential Energy Consumption