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Solar Energy

Solar energy is a form of renewable energy.

Sun Shine Powers new PVs

Sun Shine Powers new PVs

How should we progress to a world of renewable energy? Well the hydroelectric facilities we have are first-class while the wind and the tidal power industries are developing. Solar power represents to many people what photosynthesis means to the plant world-a cheap, reliable source of instant, if not yet storable, power.

Energy aplenty from solar PV

Energy aplenty from solar PV

The future for solar photovoltaic cells is bright. With wind and tidal power still developing, the efficient PV cells being developed seem sure to absorb more renewable sun-power than before and really push solar energy as a dominant form of energy. This league table will change a lot in the future but several countries are really setting out their store (and grabbing a part of the big market for cells.)

Solar energy saves the earth?

Solar energy saves the earth?

When will people, especially governments, believe those who are far better qualified than they are to judge the earth and its workings. When hell freezes over, perhaps? No, I'm sorry, it's when earth becomes hell, as it already has for the victims of increasing climate change.

EU moves on renewable energy

EU moves on renewable energy



Wind and solar energy are beginning to take over in parts of Europe that are not importing low-cost fossil fuels. The green light is especially bright after a vote yesterday in the EU. This could light the way for vast technological improvement, and a healthy future.

One country's solar energy storage problems

One country's solar energy storage problems

The German situation is relevant to all of our future energy development, in utilising the energy that our renewables create. Efficient and creative storage solutions are emerging from new technology, but will any of the old storage capacity be useful, at least in the short-term?

Photovoltaic Summer!

Photovoltaic Summer!

The future may be in fracking, as we reported from the UK last week. It does seem more likely that the improvement recently in integrated solar absorption technology and simpler photovoltaic systems should join with wind energy and the sheer power of hydro-electricity in converting us FROM gas.

Photosynthetic solar power

Photosynthetic solar power



A research team in California has produced a system that can be used for artificial photosynthesis system as well as others. It seems likely that such a system will finally be able to produce the promised carbon neutral energy that we need in large quantities at low cost, in order to cool down the rapidly-warming planet.

The Role of Black-Silicon Solar Cells in Making Solar Energy More Affordable

The Role of Black-Silicon Solar Cells in Making Solar Energy More Affordable



Newly discovered black-silicon solar cells offer substantial cost savings and improved energy production over current solar panels.

Solar Learning from Nature

Solar Learning from Nature

Copying the sun tracking ability of the sunflower could help solar panels become more efficient.

California Solar Energy Subsidies Are Shining Bright

California Solar Energy Subsidies Are Shining Bright

The state of California is experiencing something akin to a solar gold rush on the back of government subsidies.

EU and US Playing Dirty Tariffs on Solar to Impede China

EU and US Playing Dirty Tariffs on Solar to Impede China



The United States and the European Union are trying to clamp down on China with tariffs on solar panels.

Rivals team up on solar cell project

Rivals team up on solar cell project

Two of the world's leading solar manufacturers are collaborating with Australian university researchers to find ways of making silicon solar cells more efficient.

More power from spinach

More power from spinach

American researchers have discovered a way of combining the photosynthetic protein in spinach that turns light into electrochemical energy with silicon to produce more electrical current than other 'biohybrid' solar cells.

Mobile robots make solar power plants more efficient

Mobile robots make solar power plants more efficient

A new company has unveiled a revolutionary tracking system using mobile robots to increase efficiency at solar power plants and cut costs.

UK FiT scheme still offers healthy returns despite cut

UK FiT scheme still offers healthy returns despite cut

Investing in solar power is still an attractive proposition for UK's homeowners, in spite of a reduction to the feed-in tariff (FiT) earlier this month.

Cheaper solar panels on the way, say scientists

Cheaper solar panels on the way, say scientists

Cheaper solar power is available using roof tiles that take energy from the sun and use freely-available metals, the American Chemical Society has heard.

Abundance raise first 300k for wind turbines, launch solar investment opportunity

Abundance raise first 300k for wind turbines, launch solar investment opportunity

The first £300,000 has been raised through 'democratic finance' in just four weeks for the Abundance wind turbine investment scheme in the UK. Abundance have also launched their second renewable energy investment opportunity, debentures in solar panels.

Solar investment 'still worthwhile' despite tariff cuts

Solar investment 'still worthwhile' despite tariff cuts



Top fund management company Octopus Investments says the 5p Kilowatt hour reduction in solar feed-in tariffs still makes it worthwhile to invest in solar energy schemes.

UK solar power now on hold

UK solar power now on hold

England has over 16,000 Anglican churches plus another 20,000 from other demominations. The roofs of these churches provide excellent locations for solar panels and the feed-in tariff previously made viable the heavy costs involved in installation. The reduction in the tariff has led to many abandoned projects. With 'green' targets to meet, was this a wise move on the part of the Government?

Top recent government incentives for solar innovations

Top recent government incentives for solar innovations

With several countries tied in legal knots attempting to meet their promised cuts of carbon emission incentives for solar power supplies and consumers seemed a perfect way to attempt to lower carbon output whilst subsidizing a home-grown business for their economies.

Solar On The Water

Solar On The Water



Blackfriars station PV project: A commercial solar project is making Blackfriars Bridge in London the world’s largest solar bridge. The Victorian landmark, built in 1869, will be capable of an annual energy output of 900,000 kWh, which will cover around 50% of Blackfriars station's power needs while saving over 500 tonnes of CO2.

Solar could meet 16% of heating, cooling energy demand by 2050

Solar could meet 16% of heating, cooling energy demand by 2050



Around a sixth of the energy used for low-temperature heating and cooling could be produced by solar power by 2050. That is if governments across the world invest in solar research and new solar technologies, says the International Energy Agency.

Are PV solar panels practical for homeowners?

Are PV solar panels practical for homeowners?

Solar panels are becoming a common sight on the roofs of houses across the world, yet untruths and misunderstandings about solar panels often lead homeowners to mistakenly believe the solar power is not a practical solution to their energy problems.

Helios 1 Spanish solar power plant operational

Helios 1 Spanish solar power plant operational



Helios 1, a new solar power plant, has just been launched in Spain. The solar trough complex built by Abengoa will produce enough solar energy to power 26,000 households.

Solar Day 2012

Solar Day 2012

A day to celebrate and promote solar energy. As technology advances, improved efficiency and lower prices are making solar power the energy of the future. Solar Days around the world, allbeit on different days, are doing their bit to raise awareness, but as this form of energy becomes yet more popular it will effectively begin to promote itself especially as fossil fuels begin to run out.

British firm CrossKase launches Solar 15 backpack

British firm CrossKase launches Solar 15 backpack



CrossKase launches a new eco-friendly gadget, the Solar 15 backpack. The three watt solar backpack can charge mobiles, gadgets and handheld devices using natural and artificial light.

Low-cost solar cell problem solved

Low-cost solar cell problem solved

Researchers at Northwestern University have resdesigned the low-cost Grätzel solar cell using nanotechnology to stop it leaking and corroding.

AORA's tulips: Solar energy in bloom

AORA's tulips: Solar energy in bloom

A groundbreaking development in electrical generation technology: AORA's innovative solar plant utilizes the sun, saving water and producing energy around the clock.

Solar energy for US student homes

Solar energy for US student homes



Three American student housing developments are to have more than 9,000 solar panels fitted, generating 2.3 million kilowatt-hours of solar power each year and saving more than 80 million pounds of carbon dioxide emissions.

Solar hat-trick for Renewable Energy Corporation (REC)

Solar hat-trick for Renewable Energy Corporation (REC)



Solar company Renewable Energy Corporation (REC) has won two prestigious industry awards and has just produced its five millionth solar panel.

Los Angeles voters want more solar power

Los Angeles voters want more solar power

Most Los Angeles voters want more renewable energy to be generated in the city, especially rooftop solar power, according to a new survey.

Largest solar energy installation in West Virginia completed

Largest solar energy installation in West Virginia completed



The largest array of solar panels in West Virginia has been completed. The 1671 solar panels will help power a financial centre of the American Public University System.

Low-cost 3D solar cell prototype in development

Low-cost 3D solar cell prototype in development

An American company, Solar3D, is working on a prototype of a low-cost 3D solar cell that could produce double the power of current solar cells.

Laid-off US SolarWorld workers receive government aid

Laid-off US SolarWorld workers receive government aid

Manufacturing staff laid-off from SolarWorld's Californian factory, which folded after competition from illegally subsidised Chinese solar panels, are eligible for Government aid.

Solar power 'the real thing' after Japan earthquake

Solar power 'the real thing' after Japan earthquake

Young Japanese pupils, whose school was hit by last year's Japanese earthquake, are learning first-hand about the benefits of solar power after a generating unit was installed that has been funded by a Coca-Cola fund.

Getting exotic with clean energy technology

Getting exotic with clean energy technology

Even as solar panels, wind turbines and biofuels are powering their way into the conventional energy scene, clean energy innovators cannot pause for breath. New energy solutions bring new challenges, and so researchers are increasingly turning to the exotic to make the green energy dream real.

Cleaning up Electricity: California solar energy

Cleaning up Electricity: California solar energy

The worlds largest solar project in California isn't likely to hold the title for long thanks to a solar energy boom.

New breakthrough in solar technology

New breakthrough in solar technology

A new prototype solar cell has been designed by researchers at the University of Florida. They claim that it sees new levels of efficiency and could be made using a roll-to-roll process.

Arizona argument: The impact of renewable energy

Arizona argument: The impact of renewable energy

Solar power and the Arizona desert is a good fit, with the highest radiation in North America, as shown in this map. Hundreds of thousands of hectares will be affected soon by the construction of photovoltaic power generators and various offsite effects. These basic effects of renewable energy are listed as habitat fragmentation, dust creation, pollution by varied chemicals and heat and light generation.

'Greener' hybrid power plants proposed

'Greener' hybrid power plants proposed



A cost-effective and environmentally friendly way to run power plants has been proposed by Israeli scientists. The hybrid alternative, Professor Kribus has devised a new steam-injection gas turbine method that employs both fuel and steam from solar power.

Supply questions asked as rare earths are getting rarer

Supply questions asked as rare earths are getting rarer

The elements rarest in the Earth (rare earth) are the most expensive, until we mine the Moon or Mars. However, rare earth minerals are increasingly used in new technologies such as electric vehicles, photovoltaic cells and smart phone displays. At a conference in Minneapolis, the Geological Society of America is discussing a situation that is beginning to cause problems.

Smile Mount Everest You're on Webcam

Smile Mount Everest You're on Webcam



A webcam has been set up to watch Mount Everest. Installed on Kala Patthar by the Ev-K2-CNR committee from the city of Bergamo with a perfect view of its magnificent neighbour Mount Everest, the world's highest peak is now on camera for all to see from 0:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. C.E.T. via the world's highest webcam and is powered by solar energy.

Nanotubes and the dawn of the flexible solar cell

Nanotubes and the dawn of the flexible solar cell

The development of a transparent, flexible conductor could have interesting implications for solar cell design. Northwestern University in the United States, has come up with a novel solution: an application of nano-technology to create a flexible material that is both transparent and conductive.

Learning solar lessons from the plant world

Learning solar lessons from the plant world



Plants use the sun with brilliant efficiency and scientists are trying to learn how the microscopic systems they use to photosynthesise light could make our own solar power systems more efficient. Scientists are trying to learn better ways to harvest the sun's energy from photosynthesis in plants.

Chinese solar panel plant shut down due to pollution, protests

Chinese solar panel plant shut down due to pollution, protests

As recent events prove, clean technology can be dirty: Chinese authorities have ordered the shutdown of a solar manufacturing plant on the heels of days-long protests.

Solar power and tree planting: IKEA's growing greener

Solar power and tree planting: IKEA's growing greener

Swedish furniture giant IKEA has announced its 11th solar power project at a Californian store while its American president says sustainability is at the core of its successful business model.

UK's largest solar roof installation goes live

UK's largest solar roof installation goes live

Promens Manufacturing facility will use almost 100% of the energy generated by its 1.65MW roof-top solar plant. The UK's largest solar rooftop array will go live today on a warehouse in Suffolk in South East England. The 7000 solar panels installed have a capacity of 1.65MW and cover the area of a two and a half soccer pitches.

Water suppliers embrace solar energy

Water suppliers embrace solar energy

The San Juan Water District, in California, yesterday began buying power from a solar energy facility it developed on land it owns. Expect to see more of this in the future, as water suppliers struggle to reduce their risks associated with energy costs, future carbon regulations, and water scarcity.

Double boost for U.S. solar energy industry

Double boost for U.S. solar energy industry

Solar energy production in the United States has taken a big step forward with the announcement of a loan guarantee to an American company developing new technology. U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu has announced a $150 million loan guarantee to 1366 Technologies, Inc. to develop multicrystalline wafers.

Google Invests $280 Million In Solar Energy Project

Google Invests $280 Million In Solar Energy Project



Google makes biggest ever investment in solar power project. Google's investment is its largest yet in clean energy and will be used to help homeowners finance the start up costs of installing a solar energy system. The project is one of 15 operated by SolarCity, one of the US leaders in solar power.

REC Solar moves east, away from sunny heartlands

REC Solar moves east, away from sunny heartlands

A US solar energy firm says it's expanding to the east coast by partnering with some of the country's largest consumer brands. REC Solar says its work with major brands, including IKEA and Harris Tea, makes it a leader in the American solar energy industry.

Supermarket giant goes jolly green with giant solar array

Supermarket giant goes jolly green with giant solar array

A Belgian supermarket giant is trying to cut its CO2 emissions by 20% with the help of a new solar power system at one of its largest distribution centres. Delhaize has installed a system made by Solyndra International AG, a subsidiary of Solyndra LLC, at a distribution centre in Zellik, near Brussel.

Texas Park and Wildlife Department goes solar

Texas Park and Wildlife Department goes solar

The department tasked with protecting the Texan environment is doing its bit to reduce its own impact by installing solar power at many sites, the scheme also hopes to inspire others to follow their lead.

solBAT II Solar Powered Backup Battery and Charger

solBAT II Solar Powered Backup Battery and Charger



The solBAT II provides an easy to use, eco-friendly alternative to charging any USB-powered device.

Semiconductor uses solar power to take H2 from water

Semiconductor uses solar power to take H2 from water

In what is being touted as artificial photosynthesis, researchers at the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne have devised a technique for coating a cuprous oxide semiconductor so that it can use energy from the sun to take hydrogen from water.

New York Looks to Landfill for Renewable Energy

New York Looks to Landfill for Renewable Energy

Are 'brownfield' sites the renewable power generators of tomorrow? Landfill, disused mines, redundant industrial sites and even rooftops are all starting to look like attractive locations for renewable energies generators such as solar power, wind turbines and even biomass production. All we need is the commitment from business and government to put them to good use.

Solar Powered Plane Prepares for First International Flight

Solar Powered Plane Prepares for First International Flight



Solar Impulse, an aircraft powered only by solar power, prepares for its inaugural international flight. Previously, the single seated prototype, which has the wingspan of a Boeing 777, made history when it became the first solar powered plane of its type to fly 24 hours on solar power alone. Some 11,600 solar cells, situated on the wings, charge lithium batteries, which, in turn, power the engines.

Google invests in world's largest solar power tower plant

Google invests in world's largest solar power tower plant

The investment of $168 million is the single largest by the Internet giant into clean energy. Google has invested almost $170 million in the world's largest solar power tower plant, being built in America's Mojave Desert. Part of Google's ongoing commitment to clean energy solutions, the investment is its largest so far in a single project

The Multi-functional Eton SCORPION - A Hiker's Best Friend

The Multi-functional Eton SCORPION - A Hiker's Best Friend



Powered either by hand via an ingenious fold out turbine handle, or by its very own tiny integral solar panel, the uber-functional and eco-friendly Eton SCORPION comes equipped with a whole host of useful gadgets that are designed to make any wilderness excursion safer and more enjoyable for everyone who comes along for the trip. Although it is described as simply a ''multi-purpose solar powered digital weather radio,'' the Scorpion also features a handy LED torch, USB mobile phone charging capabilities, a bottle opener and more.

Hear No Problems and See the Solutions

Hear No Problems and See the Solutions



What if you could change the color and tint of your windows and re-circulate the solar energy as electricity? Utilizing natural light by installing more windows allows you to rely less on artificial light sources; however the extra window space can negatively influence interior climate control and stress HVAC systems. A new technology in the glass manufacturing industry allows windows to collect solar energy and be reused. The color and tint of the windows can be controlled as well.

SuperHomes are Open to Visitors

SuperHomes are Open to Visitors

Spring Opening for old houses that have been transformed into super low emissions properties. What is a SuperHome and does it wear a cape?  The answer to that is fairly clear: no it doesn't; in fact a SuperHome looks pretty much like an ordinary home, except it may have solar panels on the roof. It is inside that it is different. SuperHomes are homes that have reduced their their carbon emissions by at least 60%.

Neutron probe reveals bacteria's light-gathering secrets

Neutron probe reveals bacteria's light-gathering secrets

The power of neutrons have been bought to bear on the delicate structures of light-gathering bacteria, in new research published in the latest issue of biophysical Langmuir. It shows that chlorosomes in the bacteria are stable under conditions that could be employed in biohybrid solar cells - so opening the door to more efficient solar power, inspired by nature.

Study shows bright future for Hawaiian renewables

Study shows bright future for Hawaiian renewables



Wind and solar power could provide more than a quarter of the electricity needs of Hawaii's most populous island says a new study with implications for renewable power around the world.

British soldiers to go solar powered

British soldiers to go solar powered



A new project is underway to provide soldiers with energy efficient power packs. It has been announced that scientists from the Universities of Glasgow, Loughborough, Strathclyde, Leeds, Reading and Brunel in conjunction with the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) are currently developing a new personal power pack for British troops. Filed in environmental issues: Solar/Science & Technology.

Solar power installations that float on water

Solar power installations that float on water

A joint Israeli-French project investigates the floating of solar panels on water. Solar power is considered to be a clean and efficient source of electricity and is regarded as a major player in the worldwide effort to reduce greenhouse gases. The problem is that most of the solar energy systems on the market today have two major weaknesses. The first is that they require vast land areas in order to be built and the second is the very high costs related to the construction and maintenance of the solar cells.

From Solar Panel To Bio-panel, Going Green With Algae.

From Solar Panel To Bio-panel, Going Green With Algae.

Is algae the biofuel of the future? The biodiesel industry faces huge challenges in the coming years. Unless you’re in a country such as Malaysia or Indonesia where there's the climate and suitable land to grow plantations for palm oil or similar plant biofuels, then your options are limited.

Powering the world by alternative energy

Powering the world by alternative energy

American researchers claim that by 2030 all new world energy could come from wind, water and solar power and all pre-existing energy production could be converted by 2050. Professor Mark Jacobson from Stamford University and Dr Mark Delucchi of the University of California-Davis maintain that this could be accomplished if the world converted to clean, renewable energy sources and abandoned fossil fuels.

Wind-powered car sails its way across continent

Wind-powered car sails its way across continent

The Wind Explorer, a wind-powered vehicle recently completed journey across Australia. You've heard of solar powered cars, now it's time to welcome wind powered vehicles, which by and large avail of the same basic technology - bar the kites and the turbine!

US airport signs solar power deal

US airport signs solar power deal

Tucson Airport, in the United States, has agreed a deal which will allow some of its land to be used for the generation of solar power. The Tuscon Airport Authority (TAA) has approved a 20-year lease with Tucson Electric Power (TEP) for 50 acres south of the terminal to allow construction of a 5-megawatt photovoltaic array.

Solar panels on farms

Solar panels on farms

Farmers are taking money from energy companies to have solar panels in their fields. The latest money making venture is also environmental friendly. Farmers are taking money from private energy companies to have solar panels put up in their fields, aided by grants and with future income from the electricity produced.

Thin Film Solar Panels Catch the Rays

Thin Film Solar Panels Catch the Rays

New technological breakthroughs may mean that thin film solar panels will give us cleaner power. An evolving technology is thin-film solar panels, where the backing material is coated with a light absorbing semi-conductor, which are cheaper and easier to manufacture. Several recent breakthroughs makes these look like a strongly viable product now.