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Heat is on solar-powered homes

Heat is on solar-powered homes | Solar Energy projects & Energy Efficiency | Scoop.it

AUSTRALIA'S 800,000 solar-powered homes should be slugged more to plug into the main electricity grid, so as to reduce costs for other families.

As households try to offset skyrocketing bills, an explosion of solar photovoltaic panel installations has seen an extra 400,000 homes go green in the past year.

But the Energy Networks Association, which represents distributors, says this has done little to reduce power use at peak times, such as in the evenings.

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The world's largest solar plant will soon deliver enough power for over 1 million homes

The world's largest solar plant will soon deliver enough power for over 1 million homes | Solar Energy projects & Energy Efficiency | Scoop.it

Solar power obviously isn’t the solution for every place on Earth, but for regions that largely consist of arid deserts it can deliver a lot of juice. Such is the case with the Noor Concentrated Solar Power that just switched on in Morocco and that is projected to produce enough power to meet the needs of 1.1 million people by 2018.

The complex uses concentrating solar power that can be stored for future use on nights and cloudy days. Right now it has an installed capacity of 160 megawatts (MW) but in two years it’s expected to have its capacity expanded to over 500 MW.
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Would You Like to Own a Solar Power Plant in Japan? Who Wouldn’t...

Would You Like to Own a Solar Power Plant in Japan? Who Wouldn’t... | Solar Energy projects & Energy Efficiency | Scoop.it

You don’t have to be a genius to realize that electricity will be the currency of the future. Also, unless something truly catastrophic happens, we can always rely on the sun to provide plenty of energy just waiting to be transformed into that much-needed electric current. 
Let’s just assume Elon Musk isn’t reading this and imagine that electric cars won’t catch on eventually. Will that be such a terrible blow for those in the business of creating electric power? Considering how everything else around you requires being plugged in at least once in a while to work, it’s safe to say that no, it won’t be.

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Shalyn Jooste's curator insight, February 4, 4:16 AM

I just love this. 

You Dont Have To Be A Genius To Realize That Electricity Will Be The Currency Of The Future.

Couldn't say it better myself.

Happy Thursday Everyone   ;)

 

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The Unintended Consequences of Extending Solar Subsidies in the US -- The Motley Fool

The Unintended Consequences of Extending Solar Subsidies in the US --  The Motley Fool | Solar Energy projects & Energy Efficiency | Scoop.it
An energy revolution could be driven by an extended tax subsidy that recently passed Congress.

There are side effects from the ITC extension that many in the energy industry don't fully appreciate. Solar will grow so much in the next five years that it will become a significant percentage of the grid, particularly in the Southwestern U.S., and as that happens it'll drive a whole new world of energy innovation that could change how we look at energy forever. 

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Are Solar Powered Drones the Future of Sustainability?

Are Solar Powered Drones the Future of Sustainability? | Solar Energy projects & Energy Efficiency | Scoop.it
Solar powered drones offer a sustainable way to provide goods and services to remote areas quickly and effectively.

With technology leaping forward every day, many companies are seeking new ways to provide efficient, sustainable, and effective solutions. Their answer? Solar powered drones. As drone technology has improved, their accessibility has increased dramatically as well.

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Batteries and Solar Power Join Forces to Kick Fossil Fuel Butt

Batteries and Solar Power Join Forces to Kick Fossil Fuel Butt | Solar Energy projects & Energy Efficiency | Scoop.it

Solar power is changing the world, and it’s happening faster than you think.

Naysayers will say that solar power is still barely a blip — accounting for just one percent of global electricity supply. They’ll insist that the world will never rely on a power source that doesn’t work when it’s cloudy.

As solar tech advances, so too does how we store that energy for later use (like when it’s cloudy). Together, batteries and solar panels are going to send fossil fuels back to the land of the dinosaurs.

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Latin America is in the throes of a solar power revolution and Chile is leading the way

Latin America is in the throes of a solar power revolution and Chile is leading the way | Solar Energy projects & Energy Efficiency | Scoop.it

In late 2015, Uruguay announced that it was producing 94.5 percent of its energy from renewable sources, including solar. Amazingly, Costa Rica has delivered even more impressive numbers.
As is the case with Uruguay, Brazil and Paraguay source most of their electricity needs from renewables, which is mostly hydroelectric power. Yet, especially in the case of Uruguay, these Latin American countries are increasingly investing in other renewable energy sources such as solar, wind and biomass.
In terms of solar, Chile is king. Already a leader in the use of solar photovoltaics (PV), the country has upped its stakes in the renewable energy game in a big way with the construction of a 200-meter-tall solar tower. Atacama 1 expected to generate an impressive 110 megawatts — 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

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Cheaper solar cells with 20.2 percent efficiency

Cheaper solar cells with 20.2 percent efficiency | Solar Energy projects & Energy Efficiency | Scoop.it
EPFL scientists have developed a solar-panel material that can cut down on photovoltaic costs while achieving competitive power-conversion efficiency of 20.2%.

Some of the most promising solar cells today use light-harvesting films made from perovskites - a group of materials that share a characteristic molecular structure. However, perovskite-based solar cells use expensive "hole-transporting" materials, whose function is to move the positive charges that are generated when light hits the perovskite film. Publishing in Nature Energy, EPFL scientists have now engineered a considerably cheaper hole-transporting material that costs only a fifth of existing ones while keeping the efficiency of the solar cell above 20%.

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Believe the Lithium Hype? As a Future Power Source, It Has Legs

Believe the Lithium Hype? As a Future Power Source, It Has Legs | Solar Energy projects & Energy Efficiency | Scoop.it

It was the type of question that illustrates the fever that is gripping this small and specialist market, much as the hype that drove rare earth elements through the roof a few years ago and briefly allowed a flood of investment to be available for the development of new mines and processing operations such as Molycorp’s Mountain Pass, only for the market to then collapse again a year or two later.

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Weaving ideas for the future with solar textiles research

Weaving ideas for the future with solar textiles research | Solar Energy projects & Energy Efficiency | Scoop.it

Marianne Fairbanks took a look around the UW-Madison studio where she teaches weaving — a classroom filled with large, wooden floor looms that some might describe as “quaint” — and came up with another idea.

She bought a used floor loom herself, then commissioned an artist to paint it in a “futuristic” style.

“So that it’s not so grounded in the past,” she explained.

 
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Energy revolution needed to power the future - FT.com

Energy revolution needed to power the future - FT.com | Solar Energy projects & Energy Efficiency | Scoop.it
Early in the Paris climate talks last month, Todd Stern, the US special envoy for climate change, set out for a group of reporters the administration’s view on how the problem should be tackled. “We have a lot of technology that is available right
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Solar Power as a Retirement Investment Strategy

Solar Power as a Retirement Investment Strategy | Solar Energy projects & Energy Efficiency | Scoop.it
Establishing a secure financial future for your retirement requires that you explore a variety of options, but most homeowners don’t realize that installing a solar panel system can be one of the smartest retirement investment options available.
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Determining the solar energy potentials of private homes

Determining the solar energy potentials of private homes | Solar Energy projects & Energy Efficiency | Scoop.it
Recently, Google started the Sunroof project, a service that calculates potential energy savings of home owners due to solar facilities on their roofs. However, this project covers a few cities in the USA only. Scientists ...
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Energy modeling capabilities can mean lighting system improvements for healthcare facilities

Energy modeling capabilities can mean lighting system improvements for healthcare facilities | Solar Energy projects & Energy Efficiency | Scoop.it

The building sector is accountable for about 40% of energy use, while healthcare centers account to a 6% of the total energy consumption in the public building sector. The envelope components are not much different from the conventional buildings, but healthcare facilities have several industry specific energy consuming systems that require attention.

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As technology improves, future of organic solar cells looks bright | The Japan Times

As technology improves, future of organic solar cells looks bright | The Japan Times | Solar Energy projects & Energy Efficiency | Scoop.it

The stereotypical image of solar cells may be of panels placed on the roofs of homes or of vast rivers of panels lined up on large swaths of land, often called mega-solar projects.

But there is a type of solar cell that is quite different: organic solar cells, which are often much thinner, lighter and more flexible.

Although the amount of energy that organic solar cells can generate from sunlight is lower than conventional cells, experts say that there is room for improvement, with many arguing they could be an effective tool for slashing carbon dioxide emissions, in part, due to their pliable nature.

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What is holding back the growth of solar power?

What is holding back the growth of solar power? | Solar Energy projects & Energy Efficiency | Scoop.it

Solar sector needs better power storage, grid infrastructure and government support to meet bullish growth predictions.

Sixty years ago, the price of solar panels was astronomical. At a cost of $1,910 (£1,350) per watt in today’s money, the only practical use for them was in space on the US Vanguard 1 satellite, which launched in 1958.

But slowly and then precipitously the price of building a solar cell came down. Today it is less than $0.80 (£0.55) per watt. The subsequent proliferation of panels (especially in Europe, China, US and India) has tracked along the dizzying curve that eventually lead to the market domination of the car, the mobile phone and electricity itself.

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Routes solaires en France: 1 km de voirie pourrait éclairer 5000 personnes

Routes solaires en France: 1 km de voirie pourrait éclairer 5000 personnes | Solar Energy projects & Energy Efficiency | Scoop.it
Ségolène Royal a annoncé que d'ici cinq ans la France devrait compter 1000 kilomètres de routes solaires. Dans les prochaines années, le réseau routier devrait se couvrir de panneaux photovoltaïques.

Et si les routes devenaient de vastes panneaux solaires? C'est le souhait de Ségolène Royal. Lors de ses voeux mercredi au Groupement des autorités responsables de transport, une association regroupant de nombreuses collectivités territoriales, la ministre de l'Écologie a annoncé "1000 kilomètres de routes (...) couvertes de panneaux solaires" d'ici cinq ans. 

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Stephane Bilodeau's curator insight, January 23, 8:58 AM

"L'application directe, c'est une production pour les structures de proximité" précise Christophe Lienard. "On a toujours imaginé recouvrir les autoroutes, mais on s'aperçoit que l'environnement urbain et la consommation locale est plus judicieuse" renchérit Franck Barruel. 

"La route solaire, c'est la première étape" poursuit le scientifique. Les pavés Wattway ont déjà une capacité dégivrante. Ils peuvent être maintenus à une température empêchant le verglas de se former. En outre, des LED peuvent être y être incluses pour assurer un marquage au sol dynamique. "La troisième étape, c'est le rechargement des véhicules par induction" assure le chercheur. "On ouvre une nouvelle voie" conclut-il. 

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Snow, rain, clouds: what diminished sunlight means for solar panels | KSL.com

Snow, rain, clouds: what diminished sunlight means for solar panels | KSL.com | Solar Energy projects & Energy Efficiency | Scoop.it

For homeowners considering solar power, a major concern is whether energy is still produced when conditions are less than ideal. After all, the Intermountain region of the U.S. is known for weather extremes. Snow, rain, sleet and clouds can all occur, sometimes all within a few hours on a given day.

Solar panels are designed to withstand the worst possible weather while still producing sufficient power.

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Shalyn Jooste's curator insight, January 28, 9:18 AM

We, here is South Africa, keep asking if the Solar solutions will be effective in Winter. Our winters in South Africa are nothing in comparison to this articles findings.

 

This is worth the read if you are exploring Solar solutions for your home or office.

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Storing solar energy underground for a cloudy day

Storing solar energy underground for a cloudy day | Solar Energy projects & Energy Efficiency | Scoop.it
A common criticism of a total transition to wind, water and solar power is that the US electrical grid can't affordably store enough standby electricity to keep the system stable. Now a researcher proposes an underground solution to that problem.

A new study shows that wind, water and solar generators can theoretically result in a reliable, affordable national grid when the generators are combined with inexpensive storage.

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Solar Impulse 2: Around the World without Fuel or Fear – from Davos | The National

Solar Impulse 2: Around the World without Fuel or Fear – from Davos | The National | Solar Energy projects & Energy Efficiency | Scoop.it
Learn how breakthroughs in clean technology can take us to new heights with the explorers who are set to break the record for the world’s longest solo flight using only solar energy. André Borschberg and Bertrand Piccard took off from Abu Dhabi in March and aim to complete the circumnavigation of the Earth by returning to the UAE. Watch them speak live at the World Economic Forum in Davos at 12.45pm.
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New method for converting solar energy into electrical power using photo-bioelectrochemical cells

New method for converting solar energy into electrical power using photo-bioelectrochemical cells | Solar Energy projects & Energy Efficiency | Scoop.it
A new paradigm for the development of photo-bioelectrochemical cells has been reported in the journal Nature Energy by researchers from The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, in Israel, and the University of Bochum, in Germany.

The design of photo-bioelectrochemical cells based on native photosynthetic reaction is attracting substantial recent interest as a means for the conversion of solar light energy into electrical power.

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Solar Impulse veut son drone solaire - Sciences - Numerama

Solar Impulse veut son drone solaire - Sciences - Numerama | Solar Energy projects & Energy Efficiency | Scoop.it
Célèbre pour son projet de tour du monde en avion solaire, la société Solar Impulse s'intéresse maintenant aux drones solaires. Un prototype doit émerger dans les prochaines années.

Les drones solaires ont le vent en poupe dans la Silicon Valley. Avec Aquila, Facebook est en train de plancher sur un prototype d’appareil capable de se maintenir à très haute altitude pendant plusieurs mois. De son côté, Google est aussi sur le coup. Le groupe a mis la main sur la société Titan Aeorospace au printemps 2014. Celle-ci se consacre aux aéronefs sans pilote ayant une très longue endurance.

 

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Chile Is Going Big on Solar Power

Chile Is Going Big on Solar Power | Solar Energy projects & Energy Efficiency | Scoop.it
First, free education, and now solar energy. Chile is fast becoming a people- and environment-friendly nation.

Solar power isn't new, but Chile has proven that Latin America can still join the conservation revolution. This is a lofty triumph for the country that also became king in another solar initiative -- solar photovoltaics (PV) use.

For solar energy, the South American nation is investing big time on Atacama 1, a 200-meter-tall solar tower under construction and will soon become a source of renewable energy.

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Des cellules solaires omnidirectionnelles et auto nettoyantes

Des cellules solaires omnidirectionnelles et auto nettoyantes | Solar Energy projects & Energy Efficiency | Scoop.it

Au cours des dernières années, des discussions complexes à propos de l'exposition géographique des cellules solaires - sud ou ouest - a probablement laissé certains clients perplexes quant à la meilleure façon d'orienter leurs panneaux. 

Les chercheurs tentent désormais de résoudre ce problème en développant des cellules solaires capables de capturer la lumière à partir de presque n'importe quel angle, avec en bonus,  des panneaux auto-nettoyants. Leur rapport figure dans la revue ACS Nano.

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What Paris Climate Agreement Means for Fuel Cells and Solar Energy - Market Realist

What Paris Climate Agreement Means for Fuel Cells and Solar Energy - Market Realist | Solar Energy projects & Energy Efficiency | Scoop.it

Clean energy was one of the important issues in the Paris Climate Agreement, which various nations signed. Fuel cells produce clean energy from a chemical reaction between anodes and cathodes. In contrast, solar energy produces energy from sunlight. After this historic agreement, industries might change their focus. Different nations will try to enhance their exposure to the technology. As the scenario changes, companies operating in this sector may be lucrative for investors.

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Solarplaza Dispatchable solar plus storage likely in ‘near-term future’

Solarplaza Dispatchable solar plus storage likely in ‘near-term future’ | Solar Energy projects & Energy Efficiency | Scoop.it
Energy storage sources forecast that grid-scale solar will soon be paired with batteries to provide greater control over output.

Large-scale deployment of electrical energy storage tied to PV plants is just around the corner, Solarplaza has learned.

“When we talk about solar plus storage we talk about the near-term future,” said Philip Hiersemenzel, spokesman for Younicos, one of Europe’s top battery system developers and installers.

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