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New efficiency record for Solar Photovoltaic cells

In the medium term, an investment of only $2500 in photovoltaic cells would suffice to provide more than enough electricity for the consumption of a four people household. This promising scenario has been made possible by the innovations accomplished by EPFL's Institute of Microengineering in Neuchatel. They obtained a 21.4% conversion efficiency, which had never been achieved before with such type of substrates: nowadays, the best quality monocrystalline cells only attain an energy conversion efficiency of 18-19% at best. In addition,

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SOLAR IMPULSE - The First Round-The-World Solar Flight

SOLAR IMPULSE - The First Round-The-World Solar Flight | Solar Energy projects & Energy Efficiency | Scoop.it

The Around-the-World Mission Flights will take place over 5 months from the beginning of March to the end of July 2015. A host city is currently being identified in the Gulf, which will serve as the departing and landing destination.

A Northern hemisphere, easterly route is foreseen. In order to switch the pilots, stopovers will be made in India, Myanmar, China, the USA and Southern Europe or Northern Africa. The exact cities and airport destinations will be selected based on technical and operational considerations as well as their possible involvement and support of the project and mission flights.

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Environmentally compatible organic solar cells in the future

Environmentally compatible organic solar cells in the future | Solar Energy projects & Energy Efficiency | Scoop.it

Environmentally compatible production methods for organic solar cells from novel materials are in the focus of "MatHero." The new project coordinated by Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) aims at making organic photovoltaics competitive to their inorganic counterparts by enhancing the efficiency of organic solar cells, reducing their production costs and increasing their life-time. "Green" processes for materials synthesis and coating play a key role. "MatHero" is funded by the European Commission with an amount of EUR 3.5 million.

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Clean Energy Investment Rises 9 Percent, Led by Solar-Power Demand

Clean Energy Investment Rises 9 Percent, Led by Solar-Power Demand | Solar Energy projects & Energy Efficiency | Scoop.it
Clean energy investment rose by 9 percent in the first quarter from a year earlier on surging demand for rooftop solar panels from the U.S. to Japan.
New investment in renewable power and energy efficiency rose to $47.7 billion in the first three months of the year from $43.6 billion, Bloomberg New Energy Finance said today in an e- mailed statement.

The increase may mark a turnaround. Investment in low- carbon power and energy-efficiency equipment has fallen for two years as industrialized nations pared back subsidies.

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Solar Elevator, un ascenseur à énergie solaire testé à Barcelone

Solar Elevator, un ascenseur à énergie solaire testé à Barcelone | Solar Energy projects & Energy Efficiency | Scoop.it
En rejoignant le projet suisse Solar Impulse, le groupe Schindler a intégré un réseau scientifique inégalé, travaillant sur des matériaux composites, des propulseurs à forte économie d'énergie et sur des technologies sensorielles de pointe.

Pour l'ascensoriste, il ne s'agit pas seulement d'un fort potentiel d'amélioration des performances énergétiques des ascenseurs et escaliers mécaniques de la marque mais d'envisager le développement de tout nouveaux produits efficients, fonctionnant entièrement grâce à une énergie renouvelable et durable.

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Shiny Quantum Dots Brighten Future of Solar Cells | Solar Energy News

LOS ALAMOS, N.M.--(eSolarEnergyNews)-- A house window that doubles as a solar panel could be on the horizon, thanks to recent quantum-dot work by Los Alamos National Laboratory researchers in collaboration with scientists from University of Milano-Bicocca (UNIMIB), Italy. Their project demonstrates that superior light-emitting properties of quantum dots can be applied in solar energy by helping more efficiently harvest sunlight.
The key accomplishment is the demonstration of large-area luminescent solar concentrators that use a new generation of specially engineered quantum dots," said lead researcher Victor Klimov of the Center for Advanced Solar Photophysics (CASP) at Los Alamos.
Quantum dots are ultra-small bits of semiconductor matter that can be synthesized with nearly atomic precision via modern methods of colloidal chemistry.

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La lampe solaire self-made pour les pays en développement

La lampe solaire self-made pour les pays en développement | Solar Energy projects & Energy Efficiency | Scoop.it

La lampe solaire développée par la start-up LEDsafari constitue une manière de s’éclairer plus efficace, plus sûre et moins onéreuse que la lampe à pétrole traditionnellement utilisée par plus d’un milliard de personnes dans le monde.

Partie intégrante du programme de cette jeune start-up lausannoise, un atelier formatif de trois jours dispensés par des globe-trotter formés par la start-up est organisé sur place afin de sensibiliser et de former les populations bénéficiaires.

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MIT, Harvard scientists study how to produce solar power without sunlight

MIT, Harvard scientists study how to produce solar power without sunlight | Solar Energy projects & Energy Efficiency | Scoop.it

A team of researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University are working on a technology that wouldn't require sunlight to produce solar power.

The team is developing a material that can absorb the sun's heat and store the energy in a chemical form, ready to be released "on-demand," according to a release.

The technology could be used for heating buildings, cooking or other uses where heat, rather than electricity, is the desired output.

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Stanford scientists model a win-win situation: growing crops on photovoltaic farms | Stanford News Release

Stanford scientists model a win-win situation: growing crops on photovoltaic farms | Stanford News Release | Solar Energy projects & Energy Efficiency | Scoop.it

A new model for solar farms that "co-locates" crops and solar panels could result in a harvest of valuable biofuel plants along with solar energy.

 "Co-located solar-biofuel systems could be a novel strategy for generating two forms of energy from uncultivable lands: electricity from solar infrastructure and easily transportable liquid fuel from biofuel cultivation," said Ravi, the lead author of a new study published in a recent issue of the journal Environmental Science & Technology that details the idea.
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Why We Can’t Just Adapt to Climate Change | MIT Technology Review

Why We Can’t Just Adapt to Climate Change | MIT Technology Review | Solar Energy projects & Energy Efficiency | Scoop.it

The difficulty of predicting local effects of climate change makes a compelling case for preventing it.

This week the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a major report focused on what actions might or could be taken to adapt to climate change. It attempts to describe who and what is especially vulnerable to climate change, and gives an overview of ways some are adapting.

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Les 15.000 mosquées du Maroc se mettent à la page du solaire

Les 15.000 mosquées du Maroc se mettent à la page du solaire | Solar Energy projects & Energy Efficiency | Scoop.it

En se basant sur une étude de la Société des investissements énergétiques, le gouvernement du Maroc veut inciter toutes les mosquées du Royaume à diminuer de 40% leur consommation d'électricité.

Pour aboutir à cet objectif, les 15.000 mosquées du Maroc pourront opter par l'installation de panneaux solaires ainsi que d'autres mesures basées sur l'efficacité énergétique comme le remplacement des ampoules classiques à incandescence.

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Russia Is Crushing Ukraine's Hopes for Energy Independence

Russia Is Crushing Ukraine's Hopes for Energy Independence | Solar Energy projects & Energy Efficiency | Scoop.it

Eastern Ukraine is home to nine-tenths of the country's coal and one of Europe's largest shale-gas deposits. Will the region soon be Moscow's?

In events that eerily resemble the prelude to Russia's annexation of Crimea,  pro-Russian demonstrators have overtaken government buildings in the eastern Ukrainian cities of Kharkiv, Luhansk, and Donetsk, proclaiming a "people's republic" in Donetsk and snagging weapons and possibly hostages in Luhansk (Ukrainian police have regained control in Kharkiv). Oleksandr Turchynov, Ukraine's acting president, has blamed Moscow-organized instigators for the unrest, as fears mount in the West that Russia, whose troops are massed along Ukraine's eastern border, could seize Ukraine's industrial heartland next.

 
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Des chercheurs changent l'eau de mer en carburant de synthèse

Des chercheurs changent l'eau de mer en carburant de synthèse | Solar Energy projects & Energy Efficiency | Scoop.it

Des chercheurs américains ont développé avec succès un procédé permettant de récupérer de l'eau de mer du dioxyde de carbone (CO2) et de l'hydrogène qui seront ensuite convertis en un carburant liquide utilisable directement.

Les scientifiques de la Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) ont démontré jusqu'au bout la viabilité de ce concept en parvenant à faire voler un modèle d'avion réduit avec du kérosène de synthèse produit justement à partir de l'eau de mer.

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Concentrating Solar Power Under Fire: Glaring Planning Oversight or Easily Remedied Issue?

Concentrating Solar Power Under Fire: Glaring Planning Oversight or Easily Remedied Issue? | Solar Energy projects & Energy Efficiency | Scoop.it

Utah, USA -- Currently the world’s largest solar thermal plant, the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System has been in full operation less than two months and already concerns have been raised about its environmental impacts. Complaints from pilots flying near the concentrating solar power (CSP) plant state that on numerous occasions, the intense reflective glare coming from the plant’s heliostat mirrors has caused pilots to become momentarily blinded. Ivanpah is located roughly 40 miles from McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas, and approximately 25 miles from the Jean Sport Aviation Center in Jean, Nevada.

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Renewable Energy is Much More Cost Effective than Nuclear in the Fight Against Climate Change

Renewable Energy is Much More Cost Effective than Nuclear in the Fight Against Climate Change | Solar Energy projects & Energy Efficiency | Scoop.it

CO2-Free Power Generation in Europe: Wind and Solar Power Are Already Cheaper than Nuclear – Even When Considering the Power Plants Needed for Reserve Capacity

Two decades of technological advancement have led to drastic declines in the cost of power from wind and photovoltaic (PV) systems. Indeed, the feed-in tariffs for PV have fallen by 80% in Germany in the past five years alone. Yet how competitive are wind and solar systems in comparison to other CO2-free technologies? The environmental benefits of renewable energy are clear. However, the role that renewable energy can play in CO2 abatement depends crucially on its cost effectiveness.

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Ukraine Seeks Renewable-Energy Boost to Counter Russia

Ukraine Seeks Renewable-Energy Boost to Counter Russia | Solar Energy projects & Energy Efficiency | Scoop.it

Ukrainian officials say they’ve found a way to protect the nation from Russia: Go green.

Ukraine is seeking U.S. investment in its biomass, wind and solar power industries. The idea is to use renewable energy to curb its reliance on fuel imports from Russia, which annexed Ukraine’s Crimea region last month and has troops massed on the border.

“Russia’s aggression towards Ukraine indeed brought energy security concerns to the fore,” Olexander Motsyk, Ukraine’s ambassador to the U.S. said at a renewable-energy conference at his country’s embassy in Washington yesterday. “I strongly believe the time has come for U.S. investors to discover Ukraine, especially its energy.”

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Examining the Challenges Faced by the CSP Industry

Examining the Challenges Faced by the CSP Industry | Solar Energy projects & Energy Efficiency | Scoop.it

Pragmatic discussions about the financial viability of concentrated solar power (CSP) abound. The oft-dismissed redheaded step child of the solar industry, CSP’s relegation to the recycle heap of history is seen by many to be a foregone conclusion due to its inherently high cost. But is CSP destined to play Betamax to PV’s VHS? Or will foreign countries like Spain — which presently boasts one of the highest numbers of CSP plants in the world — demonstrate that CSP’s ability to be coupled with storage makes it an alternative energy worth pursuing? Let’s examine some of the inherent challenges faced by the proverbial underdog of the renewable energy world.

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Google buys solar-powered drone company

Google buys solar-powered drone company | Solar Energy projects & Energy Efficiency | Scoop.it
The tech giants snap up New Mexico-based Titan Aerospace, a startup that is developing unmanned, solar-powered jets designed to fly nonstop for years at a time.

Google on Monday announced the acquisition of Titan Aerospace for an undisclosed sum in a move that sees the technology giants enter the unmanned race for the skies.

Following Facebook's $20 million purchase of U.K.-based aerospace company Ascenta – which has been working on the development of unmanned, solar-powered aerial drones for the past few years – Google acted fast to usurp an expected bid by Facebook to also acquire Titan Aerospace.

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Innovative materials for efficient, stable, and affordable organic photovoltaics

Innovative materials for efficient, stable, and affordable organic photovoltaics | Solar Energy projects & Energy Efficiency | Scoop.it
The combination of solution-processable photoactive materials and high-throughput printing techniques will help to sidestep problems of traditional photovoltaics.

For many years, the ability to turn light into electricity has been an important human aspiration. The growth in power consumption—around five times greater than petroleum extraction—along with the inevitable exhaustion of conventional sources of energy has made this aspiration a necessity. The sun is the most powerful and inexhaustible source of energy available, at least for the duration of our solar system. Since green plants exemplify solar energy conversion, there have been many efforts to gain a deeper understanding of the process in order to reproduce it in scientific labs. Photovoltaic solar cells are the best artificial mimic of the natural conversion process that takes place in green plants. 

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IPCC report: world must urgently switch to clean sources of energy

IPCC report: world must urgently switch to clean sources of energy | Solar Energy projects & Energy Efficiency | Scoop.it

Clean energy will have to at least treble in output and dominate world energy supplies by 2050 in order to avoid catastrophic climate change, a UN report is set to conclude on Sunday.

The report produced by hundreds of experts and backed by almost 200 world governments, will detail the dramatic transformation required of the entire globe's power system, including ending centuries of coal, oil and gas supremacy.

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Une centrale photovoltaïque de 7,8 mégawatts en Israël

Une centrale photovoltaïque de 7,8 mégawatts en Israël | Solar Energy projects & Energy Efficiency | Scoop.it

La filiale allemande d'ET Solar Energy a annoncé vendredi l'achèvement de la conception, ainsi que la mise en service d'une centrale photovoltaïque de 7,8 mégawatts (MWc) en Israël pour le compte d'EDF Energies Nouvelles.

Situé à Mishmar Haneguev, à environ 100 km au sud de Tel-Aviv, le programme a été construit en collaboration avec les partenaires israéliens de ET Solar, G-Systems et Elmor. ET Solar a réalisé la conception électrique et le plan d'aménagement de la centrale, le contrôle de la qualité, et la supervision de la construction et de la mise en service.

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Panasonic solar cell achieves world's highest energy conversion efficiency of 25.6%

Panasonic solar cell achieves world's highest energy conversion efficiency of 25.6% | Solar Energy projects & Energy Efficiency | Scoop.it
Panasonic Corporation today announced that it has achieved a conversion efficiency of 25.6% (cell area: 143.7 cm⊃2;) in its HIT solar cells, a major increase over the previous world record for crystalline silicon-based solar cells.

The previous record for the conversion efficiency of crystalline silicon-based solar cells of a practical size (100 cm⊃2; and over) was 24.7%, as announced by Panasonic in February 2013 (cell area: 101.8 cm⊃2;). The new record is 0.9 points higher and the first to break through the 25% barrier for practical size cells.

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IKEA Continues Trend Of Supplying Its Own Renewable Energy

IKEA Continues Trend Of Supplying Its Own Renewable Energy | Solar Energy projects & Energy Efficiency | Scoop.it

IKEA announced this morning that it is buying its first wind farm in the United States, a 98 MW wind project in Hoopestown, Illinois (approximately 110 miles south of Chicago).  This purchase represents the single largest renewable invest made by IKEA anywhere on the planet, and gets the company closer to its goal of being net zero (producing as much as it consumes) by 2020.  The total amount of money allocated to this corporate energy effort is $2 billion.

 
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Amazing Solar-Powered Machine Creates News from Social Media at Milan Design Week

Amazing Solar-Powered Machine Creates News from Social Media at Milan Design Week | Solar Energy projects & Energy Efficiency | Scoop.it

Dezeen and Space Caviar, which is led by former Domus editor Joseph Grima, created a publication specially designed for those who suffer from the Fear of Missing Out (FOMO). Created for this year’s Milan Design Week, the free FOMO publication is automatically generated by an algorithmic journalism machine that takes content from social media and conferences during the event.

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Indonesia invests $45 million in off-grid PV systems

Indonesia invests $45 million in off-grid PV systems | Solar Energy projects & Energy Efficiency | Scoop.it

The Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry allocated funds from this year’s state budget to develop power plants that utilize renewable energy sources so households in isolated and border areas could finally have access to electricity.
The allocated funds, Rp 660 billion (US$58 million), included Rp 510 billion channeled to solar power plant projects and Rp 150 billion to develop mini-hydro power plants, according to the ministry’s director general for renewable energy Rida Mulyana.
About 133 solar power plant units will distribute electricity to 18,000 households, while the development of mini-hydro plants will cover 3,400 households in 21 locations, he said.

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Will the Chinese Biofuel Market Follow Solar’s Footsteps?

Will the Chinese Biofuel Market Follow Solar’s Footsteps? | Solar Energy projects & Energy Efficiency | Scoop.it

New Hampshire, USA -- While the Chinese government attempts to address its pollution problem and deal with ever-growing fuel demand, it has turned its attention towards its biofuels market. Since electric vehicles have not yet achieved a large market penetration, in part due to lack of widely available infrastructure such as charging stations, industry has set its sights on developing viable biofuel technology.

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