Megan Barber for Curbed: Based off the concept of how a sunflower follows the sun, the Smartflower is a portable, adjustable petal system that tracks the sun's path throughout the day. When the sun rises in the morning, the Smartflower automatically unfolds and begins producing energy by setting its petals at a ninety-degree angle. The flower goes "back to sleep" into a folding position at night or whenever high winds make it unsafe to operate.
Emil Venere for Phys.org: Researchers have shown how to modify commercially available silicon wafers into a structure that efficiently absorbs solar energy and withstands the high temperatures needed for "concentrated solar power" plants that might run up to 24 hours a day.
The flights marked the first time a single-engined fighter flew with 100 percent biofuel. A twin seat Gripen D was used for the flights that took off from Saab's facilities in Linköping, Sweden.
Energy Harvesting Europe Article: Governments, manufacturers and other interested parties agonise about what to do as multiple gigafactories spew out vast numbers of lithium-ion batteries that almost always die before the life of the equipment in which they are placed and they are linked to toxins, fires and other nasties. As the world moves to structural electronics instead of the nostalgic old components-in-a-box designs, the batteries are holding up the party because even solid state ones tend to swell and shrink with each cycle, bursting a smart structure apart.
David Nield for Science Alert: Construction will soon be underway on a gigantic solar farm in South Australia that's set to be the biggest of its kind in the world - thanks to 3.4 million solar panels and 1.1 million individual batteries. The project is expected to be completed by the end of the year, at which point the huge plant should outdo all other solar farms in terms of overall battery capacity - although other solar facilities are larger in terms of land area.
Joshua S Hill for CleanTechnica: The US National Renewable Energy Laboratory has published a landmark report extensively detailing component and system-level cost breakdowns for residential PV solar systems equipped with energy storage. The decreasing cost of solar systems has been well documented over the last several years, with increased innovation and decreasing manufacturing costs combining to make solar PV a competitive and economic choice for residents and utilities across the United States, and in fact the world. As such, the costs attributed to the development of residential and utility-scale solar projects has been well defined for some time - even though that figure keeps decreasing.
Gregory Brew for OilPrice.com: Last week, Xcel Energy announced a multi-state wind capacity project, anticipated to be the largest in the United States. Spanning seven states, the project covers eleven new wind farms and would generate 3280 MWs at a cost of $3.5-4.4 billion. In its announcement, Xcel emphasized the cost-savings attached to wind power, arguing that it would save Xcel customers in the Midwest $7.9 billion over thirty years. This, rather than the environmental benefits of renewable energy, drove the company's mission statement: wind was cheap, not just clean.
Bruce Gellerman for WBUR: The ability to store energy promises to revolutionize the way we generate, transmit and use electricity - making renewable sources such as wind and solar cheaper and more dependable. Massachusetts is one of just three states requiring electric utilities to build battery facilities in the future. A company in Marlborough believes it literally has the next hot technology in energy storage: molten metals.
Danielle Ola for Energy Storage News: According to the latest GTM Research figures, energy storage is coming into its own and is no longer confined to a handful of US states. 21 states now have 20MW of storage projects proposed, in construction or deployed. Further, 10 states have pipelines of more than 100MW.
NWFDailyNews: For years, Florida has been an underachiever in solar power. Despite being ranked third in the nation for rooftop-solar potential by the Solar Energy Industries Association, Florida annually has finished in the high-teens for actual installations. But the Sunshine State's solar prospects are beginning to brighten - and the results are making an economic impact.
The two-stage expansion doubled the company's module capacity to 400 from 200 MW, and increased its cell manufacturing capacity by 65 per cent from 180 to 300 MW.
Jess Shankleman for Bloomberg: Big oil is starting to challenge the biggest utilities in the race to erect wind turbines at sea.
Ian Johnson for Independent: A record-breaking solar panel that can convert more than a quarter of the sunlight it receives into electricity has been developed by researchers in Japan.
David Ferris, E&E News reporter: The problem, Blunden said, is that the United States is wandering into a global competition without much urgency or a plan. "Are we going to make the decision to take a significant share of the next wave of manufacturing growth globally?"
Space-based solar power (SBSP) --- in which satellites in Earth orbit capture the Sun's radiation, convert it to electricity and then transmit it back to Earth in the form of either microwaves or lasers --- would arguably do more to positively impact the lives of everyday Americans and fellow citizens of the world than almost anything the new President could champion.
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