Where to look for more information...

We've been in the business a long time, but we're still amazed at the rapidly changing photovoltaic industry - PV installation, equipment, incentives, market growth, new state initiatives, etc.

This section rounds up news from several sources available to us all. Come back often to check the constantly updated news headline.

Renewable Energy News

New Report Urges Western Governments to Reconsider Reliance on Biofuels

Thu, 29 Jan 2015 00:00:00 -0500

An environmental think tank says turning plant matter into liquid fuel or electricity is so inefficient that the approach is unlikely ever to supply a substantial fraction of global energy demand.

Demystifying nanocrystal solar cells

Wed, 28 Jan 2015 12:54:16 EST

Researchers have developed a comprehensive model to explain how electrons flow inside new types of solar cells made of tiny crystals. The model allows for a better understanding of such cells and may help to increase their efficiency.

A Climate Hawk Separates Energy Thought Experiments from Road Maps

Tue, 27 Jan 2015 16:42:25 -0500

A progressive “climate hawk” says simplified road maps for solving the climate challenge are counterproductive.

Economic trade-offs of owning versus leasing a solar photovoltaic system

Tue, 27 Jan 2015 11:10:29 EST

Two new reports examine the economic options customers face when deciding how to finance commercial or residential solar energy systems. Analysts found that businesses that use low-cost financing to purchase a photovoltaic (PV) system and homeowners who use solar-specific loans can save up to 30 percent compared with consumers who lease a PV system through a conventional third-party owner.

Carbon nanoballs can greatly contribute to sustainable energy supply

Tue, 27 Jan 2015 10:01:53 EST

Researchers have discovered that the insulation plastic used in high-voltage cables can withstand a 26 per cent higher voltage if nanometer-sized carbon balls are added. This could result in enormous efficiency gains in the power grids of the future, which are needed to achieve a sustainable energy system. The renewable energy sources of tomorrow will often be found far away from the end user. Wind turbines, for example, are most effective when placed out at sea. Solar energy will have the greatest impact on the European energy system if focus is on transport of solar power from North Africa and Southern Europe to Northern Europe.

Do green roofs, solar panels work well together?

Tue, 27 Jan 2015 09:59:31 EST

A new study examines whether solar electricity panels and green roofs can work well in tandem. With ongoing urbanization, which reduces the variety of species found in cities, green roofs can increase biological diversity, and also provide insulation, bringing energy benefits to building owners who will save money on heating and cooling, authors say.

Hoping to Set Sail on Sunlight

Tue, 27 Jan 2015 00:00:00 -0500

The Planetary Society announced that it would send the first of two small spacecraft testing the technology of solar sails into orbit in May.

Worry for Solar Projects After End of Tax Credits

Mon, 26 Jan 2015 00:00:00 -0500

New solar-plant technology can store and use the sun’s heat for energy even after sunset, but the coming expiration of federal tax credits has put further construction of such facilities in doubt.

Calculating the future of solar-fuel refineries

Fri, 23 Jan 2015 11:07:54 EST

A team of engineers has developed a new tool to help engineers better gauge the overall yield, efficiency and costs associated with scaling solar-fuel production processes up into large-scale refineries.

New technique helps probe performance of organic solar cell materials

Fri, 23 Jan 2015 11:07:52 EST

Researchers have developed a technique for determining the role that a material's structure has on the efficiency of organic solar cells, which are candidates for low-cost, next generation solar power. The researchers used the technique to determine that materials with a highly organized structure at the nanoscale are not more efficient at creating free electrons than poorly organized structures -- a finding which will guide future research and development efforts.

New technique for producing cheaper solar energy suggested by research

Fri, 23 Jan 2015 11:07:50 EST

Pioneering new research could pave the way for solar energy to be converted into household electricity more cheaply than ever before. The global PV market has experienced rapid growth in recent years due to renewable energy targets and CO2 emission controls.

Decorative and flexible solar panels become part of interior design and the appearance of objects

Wed, 21 Jan 2015 08:45:34 EST

Scientists have developed and utilized a mass production method based on printing technologies allowing the manufacturing of decorative, organic solar panels. Design freedom improves the range of applications of the panels on the surfaces of interior and exterior building spaces. Researchers are also studying the feasibility of printing technology in the mass production of solar panels made from inorganic perovskite materials. The new mass production method enables to create interior design elements from organic solar panels (OPV, organic photovoltaics) harvesting energy from interior lighting or sunlight for various small devices and sensors that gather information from the environment. The panels can, for example, be placed on windows and walls and on machines, devices and advertisement billboards.

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