SEIA Congratulates Obama on Re-Election, Praises Administration's Energy Policy

"To date, the Obama Administration has created and supported pro-solar policies that have been vital to the success of the industry. Solar installations and jobs have risen dramatically throughout the U.S, while costs have fallen. Today, the solar industry employs more than 119,000 Americans at 5,600 companies, mostly small businesses, across all 50 states – this is more than double the number of Americans working in solar in 2009. "Since President Obama took office, the amount of solar powering homes, businesses, and military bases has grown by 400 percent – from 1,100 megawatts in 2008 to more than 5,700 megawatts today. The Administration enacted a policy allowing solar installations for the first time on public lands and set a goal to permit 10 gigawatts of additional renewable energy projects on public lands by the end of 2012, which has been a great driver of this growth. The U.S. now has enough installed solar capacity to power nearly a million households, and 2012 will be another year of record growth for our industry. "Policy certainty is crucial to continue the growing role of solar in America's energy mix. Stable policy frameworks at the federal and state level, including maintaining and expanding commitments to renewable energy initiatives, spur and leverage private sector investments in the solar industry to meet our nation's future energy needs."  

China Approves 1.4 Gigawatt 'Three Gorges' Wind Farm

China has given the go-ahead for the wind energy counterpart of its massive Three Gorges dam, the world's largest. The 1.4 gigawatt (GW) wind farm in Inner Mongolia will be the largest in the country so far. Each of seven wind farms that comprise the project will be built by different developers - Huadian, Guodian, Huaneng, Longyuan, CPI, Beijing Jingneng New Energy and Xiehe Wind Power - at a total cost of $2.18 billion. Construction should be finished by the end of next year. As of 2011, Inner Mongolia had 17.6 GW of wind, providing 13.8% of the city of Baotou's electricity. Another 10 GW of wind is planned for the area. Baotou is the largest city in Inner Mongolia with about 2.3 million residents. The Chinese wind industry has been languishing waiting for the transmission infrastructure to connect projects already built.

All-carbon solar cell developed by scientists could lead to cheaper solar panels

A solar cell made entirely from carbon, one of the most abundant elements on earth, has been developed for the first time by a research team from Stanford University. The discovery opens the door to much cheaper energy generation capabilities in the future. The results are published in the Oct. 31 online edition of the journal ACS Nano. Stanford Professor Zhenan Bao says: "Photovoltaics will definitely be a very important source of power that we will tap into in the future," said study senior author Zhenan Bao, a professor of chemical engineering at Stanford University . "We have a lot of available sunlight. We've got to figure out some way to use this natural resource that is given to us." Stanford University scientists have developed the first solar cell made entirely of carbon. This new solar cell promises a cheaper alternative to the expensive, silicon-based photovoltaic solar panels available today.

World's biggest offshore wind farm powers up

The world's largest offshore wind farm produced its first electricity on Monday around 20 kilometres off the east coast of Britain, boosting the country's position as the world's top offshore wind market. The first 151 wind turbines of the London Array project generated electricity for the first time and the remaining 24 will power up by the end of the year, owners DONG Energy (50 percent), E.ON (30 percent) and Masdar (20 percent) said. Britain aims to build around 30 gigawatts (GW) of wind capacity at sea by 2020 to make use of high wind speeds for electricity generation to help meet the governments legally binding emissions reduction targets. Once the London Array project is fully operational at the end of the year, Britain will have nearly 3 GW of offshore wind capacity in operation. The London Array wind farm could be expanded to 870 MW if a second phase receives required permits, the owners said.

Antireflection Coatings for Solar Photovoltaic Cell Efficiency

Photovoltaic cell efficiency may soon get a big boost, thanks to next-generation antireflection coatings crafted from nanomaterials capable of cutting down on the amount of light reflected away from a cell's surface. Materials boasting a "tunable" refractive index have been developed within the past few years, and they show tremendous potential for photovoltaic applications. Professor E. Fred Schubert, of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute's Department of Electrical, Computer, and Systems Engineering, is investigating ways to exploit this newly gained controllability and will present his findings at the upcoming AVS 59th International Symposium and Exhibition, held Oct. 28 - Nov. 2, in Tampa, Fla. The refractive index is the property of a material that changes the speed of light, and is computed as the ratio of the speed of light in a vacuum to the speed of light through the material. Among the most fundamental properties of optical materials, the refractive index determines important optical characteristics such as Fresnel reflection, Bragg reflection, Snell refraction, diffraction, and the phase and group velocity of light. Air and other gases have a refractive index very close to 1.0, but unfortunately aren't viable for thin-film optoelectronic applications. Among transparent dense materials suitable for use in thin-film optoelectronic applications, magnesium fluoride (MgF2) has the lowest refractive index (n=1.39); no dense materials with a lower refractive index are known to exist.

Fuel Cell Basics for Communications Industry Professionals

Fuel cells are a viable, commercial product addressing needs to a number of site issues. Using them to address your network needs increases reliability, decreases maintenance costs and promotes a healthy environment.

Commerce Dept. Issues Final Determination Regarding Tariffs on Chinese PV Cells

In its final determination, the Dept. of Commerce found dumping margins ranging from 18.32% to 249.96% and countervailable subsidies ranging from 14.78% to 15.97%.

Energy Monitoring Boosts Bottom Line for Small Businesses

Commercial buildings account for 19% of the energy consumed in the United States. Office buildings make up the largest sector of building type within the commercial sector, comprising 17% of all commercial buildings in the U.S, as well as 17% of the energy.

Are Green Energy Co-ops in Our Future?

One success story is Ecopower, a Belgian cooperative that funds renewable energy projects. Funds are collected from members (the cooperative currently has 40,000), and invested in self-developed projects, like power plants running on vegetable oil or wind turbines. Shareholders can buy shares for $325 each, and each shareholder receives a vote in the cooperative's general meeting with profits for individual shareholders limited to 6%, because of its cooperative standing.

EV Charging Station Test System

There are three primary areas where testing EV charging stations is critical - development, installation and maintenance.

Myths and Realities of Solar Photovoltaic Systems in Pakistan

Solar Energy Systems commonly used in Pakistan are Solar PV systems, Solar Water Heating systems, Solar Lighting Systems and Solar Pumping Systems. Generally the users do not appear to be satisfied with the solar system in use. Here we discuss what are the myths and realities causing dissatisfaction to users in Pakistan.

Jatropha 2.0 - Biofuel Breakthrough

SGB's crop improvement platform is highlighted by aggressive breeding and selection via the largest, most diverse library of Jatropha genetic material in the world, and supported by the application of sophisticated genotyping and molecular breeding tools designed to shorten breeding cycles.

Grid Energy Storage Solutions

Storage should be a net cost savings. For example, the cost of frequency regulation is less (on margin) using storage than using a thermal plant. The PJM Performance-Based Regulation market, operational since October 1, 2012, has demonstrated that using fast and accurate energy storage resources has and will lower the total need for frequency regulation, in which should result in overall lower costs to consumers.

The Photovoltaic Backsheet Market

The greatest challenge for backsheet manufacturers is to develop product that meets strict performance requirements and industry standards, at a time when there is increasing pressure to reduce costs.

The Myth of Affordable Energy

Here's an interview with economist Ed Dolan who lets us in on a few secrets about oil prices, the prospects for cheap energy, Russia's growing uncertainty and how the natural gas boom is hindering renewable energy efforts. Contributed by Oilprice.com

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