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Solar Power

Solar Energy Getting A Boost In Funding

As the economy begins to get better ( in reality, it seems to be just leveling off) people are looking for those Chairman Bernake coined "green chutes."  These "chutes" are not really slides in mines that you use to try and escape evil warlords (I watched too much Indiana Jones as a child) but areas of the economy that seem to be improving at a faster rate than the economy as a whole.  I like to think of them as glimmers of hope.  So where is the next glimmer?  It is in the solar sector according to a couple nuggets of funding news.

Solar Energy, Borrego Solar

First up is SunRun.  This San Francisco, California based company recently acquired $18 million in funding.  This start-up, which focuses on financing residential solar installation, is planning to expand throughout the United States from its base markets of California, Arizona and Massachusetts.... read more

PV Prices Are Down Again

Solar photvoltaic prices continue to drop.

PV Prices Are Down Again

July 20, 2009

In late April I made a post about tracking solar PV price trends.  Prices have continued to erode.  The module index price reported on US Solarbuzz is now at $4.56/Watt.  They report:

“The reductions in recent months are a function of a major structure shift in demand, most notably a less attractive PV policy in force in Spain than prevailed last year.  This severely cut demand in the country and, in turn, caused reverberations around the world, as PV companies seek to re-balance their supply/demand positions.”

More specifically, Spain set a 500 MW cap on their solar subsidy program.  See this link for more detail.  Interesting that a European feed-in tariff can result is solar prices going down.

And here is their latest chart:

 ... read more

Solar photvoltaic prices continue to drop.

Silicon Issue Takes Front Stage at Intersolar Conference

I ran across a great article posted on the Earth2Tech Blog that I believe was noteworthy.  Author Katie Fehrenbacher goes over seven trends that will dominate Intersolar Conference currently being held in San Francisco, California.  The event will include over 15,000 execs from 12,000 solar related businesses.  The seven trends really show some pressing issues but one really took my interest: No. 2, concerning the increase of the price of silicon from a dramatic increase in demand.

Solar Power Conference

I agree with Ms. Fehrenbacher that this will probably be one of, if not the most, dominant issue affecting many solar companies, but I do not think she gave credit to a possible solution.  In this, I point directly to the use of other materials in lieu of silicon for photovalitics.  This issue was the topic of one of my earliest posts, which showed nine other materials than silicon possessing the capacity and cost effectiveness for widespread use.... read more

Solar Trash Compactor

Solar Trash Compactor

Are you tired of stuffing down the garbage with your palm?  How about stomping down recycling to fit in that last paper box?  Sick of seeing those overflowing public trash-cans at beaches?  Well Waste Management, a leading provider of comprehensive waste management services in North America, has a solution for you in the solar powered Big Belly Trash Compactor.... read more

Israeli Power

A report from NTDTVIL concerning a new photovoltaic power plant in Israel based on a novel concept: Replace large areas of expensive photovoltaic cells with inexpensive glass and concentrate sunlight onto a very small area of cells.  It is very interesting and may be used in areas in the US with similar climates (California, Southwest).  Tell me what you think below.

video: 

California Solar Power Expands Under PG&E

California Solar

San Francisco, Home of Largest West Coast Solar Plant

San Francisco Goes Solar

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors recently approved a plan that will give this foggy city a world-wide leadership role in solar power. The plan is to build the largest solar photovoltaic municipal plants in the world.  This huge project would produce 5 megawatts of electricity for consumption by San Franciscians by utilizing 25,000 connected solar panels.... read more

Gold Rush II?

Could California be in store for a second gold rush? Possibly, according to a new study set to be published by the University of California, Berkley and the Lawrence Livermore Labs. The study's findings are outlined in an article authored by Cyrus Wadia, A.Paul Alivisatos and Daniel M. Kammen.

Solar Gold Rush, Solar Mineral Rush

The article premises that photovalitics (application of solar cells to create energy) will be an integral part of any future low-emission energy grid in the future, but the costs of materials necessary for production may limit large scale adoption. It is from this premise that the author's set out to test 23 semiconducting materials for not only their technical and economic performance, but also their extraction costs and supply constraints. From this study, twelve materials were found to posses the necessary capacity. Nine of those twelve would be cheaper then the current materials used in production, specifically silicon, cadmium telluride and copper indium gallium selenide.... read more

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