We are well-aware of the negative effects of air pollution on human health and on the environment, but a recent study at Duke University has revealed that global solar energy production is taking a major hit due to air pollution and dust.
The world’s largest floating solar power plant is now operational and connected to the electric grid in China. It is a 40-megawatt facility and floats in water 13 to 30 feet deep in a lake that was created by a former mining operation.
Community solar is a cooperative enterprise in which customers can make use of the output of a large local array of solar panels when they are not able to install a solar power system on their own property. The customers of a community solar system can offset as little or as much of their electrical usage as they want by participating in a community solar program.
One of the most exciting possibilities for future solar energy technology is that of solar cells that can be sprayed or printed on to surfaces like the windows of skyscrapers, the roofs of sports utility vehicles, or the walls of houses. And the expectation is that such technology would be far cheaper than today’s silicon-based solar panels.
Solar panels on the roofs of houses have become a familiar sight in recent years, but utility-scale solar – installations of 10 megawatts and greater – are really booming these days. Throughout the United States, more than 10.5 gigawatts of utility-scale solar were added to the electric grid in 2016 – enough to power more than 2 million homes – and at least 8 gigawatts more are scheduled to come online this year.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo recently announced that the state’s support for solar power initiatives has resulted in an 800% increase in industry growth since 2011. New York’s various renewable energy programs have resulted in $1.5 billion in investments. The NY-Sun Initiative has produce a 10-fold increase in solar projects in several regions of the state. The Mohawk Valley led the way with an almost 16-fold increase in solar capacity.
Back in 2011, utility-scale solar power cost a little over $4 per watt on average. In February of that year, former Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced the SunShot initiative, which had the goal of reducing the total cost of photovoltaic systems by 75% to the target value of $1 a watt by the year 2020.
We recently talked about the increasing efforts by colleges and universities to embrace sustainability with the use of renewable energy sources. Those efforts are increasing in many places.
Some of the poorest countries in the world are unfortunately among the most vulnerable to the effects of climate change. Malawi, for example, has 90% of its population in rural areas and 80% of its labor force is associated with agriculture.
The great majority of solar cells being manufactured today are based on silicon crystals. That technology has come a long way over time and has gotten cheaper and more plentiful as the industry has grown.
The biggest challenge facing both solar and wind power sources is that they don’t produce power around the clock; they only work when the sun is shining or the wind is blowing. As a result, they don’t quite measure up to the requirement for power on demand.
Cochin International Airport in southern India is the seventh busiest airport in the country. Its managers were fed up with the facility’s large electric bills and decided to take matters in their own hands.
Installing solar arrays on the surface of bodies of water is an idea that is catching on around the world. Such installations are especially attractive in places like Japan, where land resources are scarce. In the UK, there are a couple of these so-called “floatovoltaic” projects underway – one outside of London and one near Manchester.
The Las Vegas Strip has been referred to as an energy consumption nightmare. Just one look at the place provides evidence for the claim: an endless sea of lights, glitz and glamour and cavernous casinos running huge banks of air conditioning equipment in the desert heat. Even with Boulder Dam a hop, skip and jump away, Vegas is struggling to meet its electricity needs.
The U.S. recently celebrated the milestone of having one million solar installations nationwide. It took 40 years to get there, but experts believe the next million could take only a couple of years. The solar revolution is clearly well underway.
Sometime early in May, the United States installed its one millionth solar energy system. Achieving this milestone took the solar industry about 40 years to accomplish. Because of the phenomenal growth of solar power in this country, industry experts predict that it will only take two more years to reach the second million and there are predictions that by the year 2025, there will be one million new installations in the U.S. each year.