Deal Reached on German Feed-in Tariff

The country has agreed to cap solar power installations at 52 GW. German Chancellor Angela Merkel's government won agreement on cuts to solar-power subsidies and plans to store greenhouse gases underground, breaking a deadlock that threatened to hold up the country's energy transition. Under the deal reached with Germany’s 16 states in a panel of arbitration, the government will maintain a solar “growth corridor” of 2,500-3,500 megawatts a year, Environment Minister Peter Altmaier told reporters in Berlin late yesterday. There will be a cap on subsidies at 52 gigawatts (GW), at which point a new formula will be found, he said. A new category will subsidize mid-size roof systems of 10- 40 kilowatts at 18.5 euro cents ($0.23) per kilowatt/hour, higher than planned, the upper house of parliament, where the states are represented, said in a separate statement after the panel met. Otherwise, new installations will be subject to subsidy cuts from April 1 as envisaged, it said.  

First Solar installs 10 millionth PV module

First Solar, Inc. (Nasdaq: FSLR) announced its EPC team has installed its 10 millionth solar photovoltaic (PV) module in a utility-scale solar power project. The installation took place at the 550 megawattAC (MW) Desert Sunlight Solar Farm solar project that the company is constructing for NextEra Energy Resources and GE Energy Financial Services. First Solar is the largest PV solar power plant construction firm, and was recently recognized by Engineering News-Record as the fifth largest construction firm in the power sector. “Today’s milestone underscores First Solar’s leadership in delivering integrated PV solar power plants, and it’s only just the beginning” The Desert Sunlight project is part of First Solar’s 2.7 gigawattAC (GW) utility-scale solar project pipeline in North America, which will support 7,000 supply chain and construction jobs over the next several years.

All-carbon solar cell harnesses infrared light

New type of photovoltaic device harnesses heat radiation that most solar cells ignore. About 40 percent of the solar energy reaching Earth’s surface lies in the near-infrared region of the spectrum — energy that conventional silicon-based solar cells are unable to harness. But a new kind of all-carbon solar cell developed by MIT researchers could tap into that unused energy, opening up the possibility of combination solar cells — incorporating both traditional silicon-based cells and the new all-carbon cells — that could make use of almost the entire range of sunlight’s energy. The new cell is made of two exotic forms of carbon: carbon nanotubes and C60, otherwise known as buckyballs. “This is the first all-carbon photovoltaic cell,” Strano says — a feat made possible by new developments in the large-scale production of purified carbon nanotubes. “It has only been within the last few years or so that it has been possible to hand someone a vial of just one type of carbon nanotube,” he says. In order for the new solar cells to work, the nanotubes have to be very pure, and of a uniform type: single-walled, and all of just one of nanotubes’ two possible symmetrical configurations.

On the Longest Day of the Year, Celebrate Solar Power!

The past few years have ushered in an unprecedented, unforeseen, and largely unheralded solar energy revolution. As recently as 2005, global installed solar power capacity stood at 4.5 gigawatts (GW). Today, the figure exceeds 65 GW, which is equivalent to the capacity of about 130 average-sized coal-fired power plants. To put recent growth of solar power in perspective it helps to look at how it has played out in particular places. Take the U.S., for example. Solar is America's fastest growing industry, and already employs more than 100,000 men and women -- more than U.S. steel production and more than U.S. coal mining. In California, which leads the nation on solar power, the number of installed solar energy systems has increased from about 500 in 1999 to more than 50,000 in 2011. These days, when you fly into a place like Oakland, you can see your plane reflected in the rooftops below.

We need a Long Term Energy Plan and Here It Is !!!!!!!

In this intimate talk filmed at TED's offices, energy innovator Amory Lovins shows how to get the US off oil and coal by 2050, $5 trillion cheaper, with no Act of Congress, led by business for profit. The key is integrating all four energy-using sectors—and four kinds of innovation.

Controversial clean power line is finally live

It was a project that took five years to fight off critics and secure regulatory permits. But now the Sunrise Powerlink — a transmission line to ferry clean power like solar and wind from California’s desert to its southern coastal region — is done and live, according to its owner San Diego Gas & Electric on Monday. The nearly $1.9 billion project erected giant towers and built both above ground and underground cables that now run over 110 miles from Imperial Valley to San Diego’s territory. The project required 28,000 flight hours from helicopters to complete nearly 75 percent of the towers along the way. The project uses both 500-kilovolt and 230-kilovolt lines, and it will initially be able to carry up to 800 MW of electricity (eventually the transmission rate should hit 1,000 MW).

US Navy Floats Underwater Solar-Cell Solution

A team of scientists from the US Naval Research Laboratory Electronics Science and Technology Division has developed a solar cell specifically designed for use underwater, which can efficiently absorb solar radiation up to a depth of nine meters (about 30 feet). The breakthrough may prove important to the development of underwater autonomous systems — which provide situational awareness and long-term environment monitoring — a growing market. As it now stands, the power options for these systems are cumbersome and expensive: cables connected to an onshore supply source, expensive batteries requiring frequent replacement to ensure a steady supply, or solar panels constructed on above-water platforms. Photovoltaic cells have been previously tested for underwater use, but due to the lack of sunlight penetrating the water they only had limited success.

Power a Waste Water Treatment Plant Solely by Renewable Energy

Since the renewable energy electrical system would routinely deliver more electricity than the WTP would use, the extra power ( above and beyond what was stored in the battery system) would be converted into Hydrogen (and oxygen) using a 20kW fresh water Electronic Hydrolyzer .

Gasplasma® Technology

The Gasplasma® process delivers higher energy efficiency than alternative waste-to-energy processes. Converting waste to a gas to generate electricity directly in gas engines, turbines or fuel cells dramatically improves energy conversion efficiency and maximises electrical output.

Assessing the Risk of Cleantech Projects

Early risk analysis saves time and money by avoiding costly mistakes at later implementation and rollout phases of projects. It is important to fully assess the profitability and viability of projects using risk modeling techniques before embarking on them.

What's new with connectors for the solar photovoltaic industry?

Getting a jump on proposed UL 6703A standard

Magnetic Energy

Is a perpetual magnetic generator impossible? Maybe, but there have been several patents issued on this theory and as the cost of energy keeps rising, more scientists will be searching for ways to make a working practical perpetual magnetic generator.

Momentum / Inertial Energy

Where M/I shines is in the delivery of vast amounts of energy with no fuel cost. When compared to other non-fuel sources, [solar, wind and hydro-electric] a dense 1 mile M/I installation will generate, during rush hour, as much energy as a 3 square mile photovoltaic installation on a very sunny day.

Solar-panel prices to rise due to anti-dumping tax

MUNICH--U.S. solar panel prices are set to rise in the short term due to last month's imposition by the Obama administration of 31% tariffs on some Chinese panels, two of China's largest solar companies said Tuesday. The tariffs, however, are unlikely to significantly hit Chinese companies that have diverse global supply chains and production capacities outside China, said executives of Suntech Power Holdings Co., the world's largest manufacturer of photovoltaic solar panels, and JinkoSolar Holding Co. Ltd. The comments come after the U.S. government last month imposed 31% tariffs on some solar panels produced in China alleging they had been dumped, or sold below cost. "We will see some price increases in the short-term" for solar panels in the U.S., JinkoSolar's Marketing Director Isabelle Christensen said on the sidelines of the Intersolar industry exhibition in Munich.

National labs: Wind energy costs at or heading to all-time lows

Most studies predict the cost of wind energy will continue to fall through at least 2030, said national laboratory staffers in a new report . The report, "The Past and Future Cost of Wind Energy," released June 6, is a collaboration among workers from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, with assistance from European researchers. The crux of the report is that while future trends, drivers and constraints are difficult to predict, the cost of wind-generated electricity will probably continue to decrease in the coming decades. Onshore wind's levelized cost of energy, or LCOE, fell by a factor of more than three between 1980 and 2000, the researchers said. "However, beginning in about 2003 and continuing through the latter half of the past decade, wind power capital costs increased — driven by rising commodity and raw materials prices, increased labor costs, improved manufacturer profitability, and turbine upscaling — thus pushing wind's LCOE upward in spite of continued performance improvements," they said.

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