A Material That Could Make Solar Power “Dirt Cheap”

A new type of solar cell, made from a material that is dramatically cheaper to obtain and use than silicon, could generate as much power as today’s commodity solar cells.

Although the potential of the material is just starting to be understood, it has caught the attention of the world’s leading solar researchers, and several companies are already working to commercialize it.

Researchers developing the technology say that it could lead to solar panels that cost just 10 to 20 cents per watt. Solar panels now typically cost about 75 cents a watt, and the U.S. Department of Energy says 50 cents per watt will allow solar power to compete with fossil fuel.

In the past, solar researchers have been divided into two camps in their pursuit of cheaper solar power. Some have sought solar cells that can be made very cheaply but that have the downside of being relatively inefficient. Lately, more researchers have focused on developing very high efficiency cells, even if they require more expensive manufacturing techniques.

Written by Kevin Bullis. To read the full article, click here.

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Solar Tracking Systems Gain Ground

“It sounds obvious: put solar panels on a movable mount to follow the sun and catch as much sunlight as possible. But applying solar trackers to a project is not clear cut. Developers not only have to consider cost and location but the type of tracker that best suits the project. Yet as innovations in technology continue, trackers are starting to play a larger role in the industry.

Fixed, Single or Dual

Solar panels are typically mounted at a fixed angle. Such systems have few parts, so are less costly than those with trackers and have fewer operations and maintenance (O&M) considerations.”

Written By: Meg Cichon To read full article click here

Solar park at SDSU’s Brawley campus gets funding

“A five-megawatt solar project planned on 40 acres at San Diego State University’s Imperial Campus in Brawley has secured a $19.2 million construction loan from North American Development Bank.

NRG Solar will supply renewable power from the project to the Imperial Irrigation District under a 25-year power purchase agreement. NGR has hired Boeing to engineer and construct the solar park.”

Written By:  Mike Freeman To read full article click here

Solar plant surpasses 1 million panels

“The millionth solar panel has been installed at a sprawling desert power plant that will feed energy to San Diego-area utility customers as soon as late spring, the project developer said Tuesday.

Omaha, Neb.-based Tenaska announced the milestone at its Imperial Solar Energy Center South, a utility-scale photovoltaic solar plant taking shape across nearly 950 acres of private agricultural land southwest of El Centro, adjacent to the U.S. border with Mexico.”

Written By:  Morgan Lee To read full article click here

San Diego Vaults into Solar Energy and Green Jobs Future

Two of the world’s solar energy leaders have just announced major plans to bring new solar energy technology and green jobs to San Diego. The Sanyo Electric group has embarked on a three year, $3 million partnership with the University of California, San Diego on next-generation solar energy systems and management, and in a separate development, solar cell efficiency wizard Kyocera has started up a solar module manufacturing plant in the city, aiming to produce about 30 megawatts annually.

Written By : Tina Casey To read full article click here

MNRE to launch mega-sized solar power projects

“NEW DELHI: To give a boost to its efforts to bring down the cost of solar power in India, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) is planning to roll out large megawatt size solar power projects, in the order of 500 MW and above.

“”We want to bring in volume in the Indian solar sector. Several states have already rolled out mega-sized solar power projects, its needs to be done at central level too,”” said Tarun Kapoor, joint secretary, MNRE. Till yet MNRE has tendered projects of size 50 MW through National Solar Mission, though several states have either commissioned or executing solar power projects of larger size to meet their escalating demand of power.
Written By : Shreya Jai To read full article click here

Facts About Residential Solar Energy

An ever-rising electric bill is powerful motivation to consider adding an alternative-energy system to your home. Solar is the most viable alternative for most homeowners; however, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, as of 2009, only 8 percent of the nation’s energy came from renewable sources, and only 1 percent of that 8 percent came from solar energy (see References 5, Fig.1.2). Many homeowners are put off by the initial cost of installation — and the fact that creating an efficient solar energy system is much more complex than slapping down a few solar panels. But with a greater understanding of the benefits and limitations of home solar, you can get the most out of your system, eventually zeroing out your electric bill or selling excess electricity back to your utility company.

Written By: Angela Brady To read full article click here