Production Cutbacks Insufficient to Prevent Solar Module Inventory Buildup

Current Production Plans and Demand Outlook Suggest Oversupply Will Be Maintained into Next Year

End of Summer Fuel Cell Road Trip

Many fuel cells are being used at locations that people would never expect. To follow up on our series of fuel cell road trip articles ( https://www.altenergymag.com/emagazine/2010/02/fuel-cell-road-trip/1450 ), we've found some up and coming fuel cell destinations that are worthy of a stop on your next summer vacation.

A case for low cost and affordable Energy Management Devices

There is continuous and increasing demand to manage and control the usage in order to reduce costs. The need for lower consumption and cost savings runs across all sectors inclusive of local, state and the Federal Government as well as utilities, commercial and residential consumers of energy

Investor Interest in U.S. Biofuel Production Set to Soar

Wall Street's big money boys, the Carlyle Group and Goldman Sachs, have already begun discreetly investing in biofuel production in the U.S., but given the size of the recent government's pronouncement, there is still plenty of largesse to go around. Smart investors will be watching developments closely.

The south knows where the wind blows: forest sites in focus

Innovative technologies ready for large-volume production unlock onshore wind potential in Southern Germany. Commercial forests offer particularly attractive new wind-farm sites.

Bright Spots in U.S. Solar Industry Growth

California, Hawaii, New Jersey, Colorado Shine Light on Power of Sun

Un-Analytics: How Google Went Solar

If some panels go bad, you need panel level monitoring to o find the bad panels. But most systems monitor power at the system level, but as Google found out, that is that useful for detecting catastrophic failure, but not much else.

A Good Backup Energy Plan

Knowing your consumption needs is the primary key to a successful backup power plan. If your black outs are frequent you might consider a more industrial solution with ample energy to run your entire household/business.

The Wind Industry in Canada

Wind energy has increased almost ten-fold in the last six years in Canada as governments seek ways to meet rising energy demand, reduce environmental impacts of electricity generation, and stimulate rural and industrial economic development.

Smart Grid Technology

The Smart Grid is destined to become a platform, much like the Internet is a platform. Once the Grid is in place other technologies, new feature sets, and capabilities will inevitably spring forth. There is no limit to the functionality that might emerge from this platform once the implementation and adoption is widespread.

Top 10 Best-Performing Solar PV Stocks in 2011

Germany, the world's biggest PV market in 2010, reduced its incentives for solar energy at the beginning of 2011. The same happened in the case of the runner-up, Italy. At the same time, an industry boom occurred in the supply chain.

U.S. Dept of Energy - Solar Decathlon 2011

The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon challenges collegiate teams to design, build, and operate solar-powered houses that are cost-effective, energy-efficient, and attractive. The winner of the competition is the team that best blends affordability, consumer appeal, and design excellence with optimal energy production and maximum efficiency.  AltEnergyMag.com was on hand to check out this years entrants and has highlighted them in a 4 part series . Results: Overall Winner - The University of Maryland won top honors overall by designing, building, and operating the most cost effective, energy efficient and attractive solar powered house. Purdue University took second place followed by New Zealand ( Victoria University of Wellington) in third place. Peoples Choice - Appalachian State University. “The team’s passion and enthusiasm were contagious,” said Terri Jones, Solar Decathlon Communications Contest official. “The People’s Choice Award is a popular vote, and I believe the Solar Homestead house and team appealed to people on many levels.” Communications Contest - Middlebury College ,  T"his team’s holistic approach to communications was refreshing; they achieved in all aspects of communications—not just in one area,” said Ryan Park, director of business development for REC Solar Inc., who presented the award on behalf of the Communications Contest jurors. “This team made renewable energy technologies familiar to the public, which we believe will help people more easily embrace these technologies. And isn’t that what it’s all about?” Engineering Contest - New Zealand (Victoria University of Wellington) .  "The New Zealand house was beautifully executed, with extreme attention to detail and craftsmanship and an intuitive tree-ring visualization system, which makes it easy to understand energy use throughout the house,” said Engineering Contest juror Dr. Hunter Fanney. Architecture Contest - The University of Maryland .  “WaterShed achieves an elegant mix of inspiration, function, and simplicity. It takes our current greatest challenges in the built environment—energy and water—and transforms them into opportunities for spatial beauty and poetry while maintaining livability in every square inch,” said Architecture Contest Juror Michelle Kaufmann. Affordability Contest -   We have a tie between Parsons The New School for Design and Stevens Institute of Technology who built Empowerhouse for less than $230,000,   Team Belgium (Ghent University)  With its E-Cube  valued at $249,568.09. More Results to come...

Solar cell breakthrough could hit 40 percent efficiency

Researchers using novel materials to build photovoltaic cells say their efforts could nearly double the efficiency of silicon-based solar cells. The cells being developed by teams from the University of Arkansas and Arkansas State University have the potential to achieve a light-to-energy conversion rate, or solar efficiency, of 40 percent or better, according to the researchers. The photovoltaic cells are intended for use in satellites and space instruments. Currently, the silicon-based solar cells that NASA uses in its satellites and instruments have efficiencies of only up to 23 percent, according to NASA statistics. And today it was announced that the research teams are getting more money--a total of $1 million in new funding--to further their work. Of that, about $735,000 will come from NASA, $237,000 from the University of Arkansas, and $86,000 from Arkansas State. Omar Manasreh, professor of electrical engineering at the Optoelectronics Research Lab at the University of Arkansas, has been developing the technology so far with a $1.3 million grant from the U.S. Air Force Office of Scientific Research. He leads the research team along with Liangmin Zhang, assistant professor at Arkansas State.

New Report Shows U.S. Solar Outpaces Global Market: PV Demand Grows 69 Percent Year-Over-Year

The U.S. solar energy industry continued its rapid growth through the second quarter of this year, gaining a greater share of the total global market according to GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA)'s latest quarterly U.S. Solar Market Insight report. Leading the way was the U.S. solar photovoltaics (PV) market, which installed 314 megawatts in the second quarter, 69 percent more than the same period last year and 17 percent more than the first quarter of 2011. The U.S. remains poised to install 1,750 megawatts of PV in 2011, double last year's total and enough to power 350,000 homes. "The second quarter data illustrates that the U.S. solar industry continues to be one of the fastest growing in America," said Rhone Resch, president and CEO of SEIA. "More than 100,000 Americans are employed in solar, twice as many as in 2009. They work at more than 5,000 companies - the vast majority being small businesses - across all 50 states."  

First Solar, SunPower move ahead on solar farms

Amidst intense scrutiny of the Department of Energy's loan guarantee program via the Solyndra scandal, September has still emerged as critical for a series of solar companies that hope to close federal loan guarantees and start construction on solar farms by the end of the month. First Solar, for one, received the final permit for its 550 MW Topaz Solar project in San Luis Obispo County in California yesterday, said the county's senior planner, John McKenzie. With that construction permit, First Solar plans to start building Topaz by Sept. 30, said company spokesman Alan Bernheimer. Meeting that deadline will ensure the company remains eligible for a loan guarantee from the Department of Energy that will back part a $1.93 billion loan led by the Royal Bank of Scotland.

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