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Archive for the ‘solar power’ category

Jun 24, 2017

Future Energy: China leads world in solar power production

Posted by in categories: solar power, sustainability

China consumes more electricity than any other country but is also the world’s biggest solar energy producer.

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Jun 21, 2017

NASA Wants to Collect Solar Power Directly From Space

Posted by in categories: military, solar power, space travel, sustainability

Space-based solar power has had a slow start, but the technology may finally take off in the next few decades. Since its inception, solar power has had a severe limitation as a renewable energy: it only works when the Sun is shining. This has restricted the areas where solar panels can be effectively used to sunnier, drier regions, such as California and Arizona. And even on cloudless days, the atmosphere itself absorbs some of the energy emitted by the Sun, cutting back the efficiency of solar energy. And let’s not forget that, even in the best of circumstances, Earth-bound solar panels are pointed away from the Sun half of the time, during the night.

So, for over half a decade, researchers from NASA and the Pentagon have dreamed of ways for solar panels to rise above these difficulties, and have come up with some plausible solutions. There have been several proposals for making extra-atmospheric solar panels a reality, many of which call for a spacecraft equipped with an array of mirrors to reflect sunlight into a power-conversion device. The collected energy could be beamed to Earth via a laser or microwave emitter. There are even ways to modulate the waves’ energy to protect any birds or planes that might wander into the beam’s path.

The energy from these space-based solar panels would not be limited by clouds, the atmosphere, or our night cycle. Additionally, because solar energy would be continuously absorbed, there would be no reason to store the energy for later use, a process which can cost up to 50 percent of the energy stored.

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Jun 19, 2017

Solar Power Will Kill Coal Faster Than You Think

Posted by in categories: finance, solar power, sustainability

Bloomberg New Energy Finance’s outlook shows renewables will be cheaper almost everywhere in just a few years.

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Jun 7, 2017

The World’s Largest Floating Solar Plant Is Finally Online

Posted by in categories: solar power, sustainability

The largest floating solar power plant in the world is now online in China. Floating where coal used to be mined, the installation is helping China transition toward renewables and making the most of its surroundings.

The world’s largest floating solar power plant is now online in China. Built by Sungrow, a supplier of PV inverter systems, the 40MW plant is now afloat in water four to 10 meters deep, and successfully linked to Huainan, China’s grid. The placement was chosen in large part because the area was previously the location of coal mining operations; and, as a result, the water there is now mineralized and mostly useless. The lake itself was only formed after years of mining operations, the surrounding land collapsed and created a cavity that was filled with rainwater.

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May 6, 2017

China increases solar power output

Posted by in categories: solar power, sustainability

China electricity output from photovoltaic plants rose 80 per cent in the first quarter after the world’s biggest solar power market increased installed capacity.

Solar power generation rose to 21.4 billion kilowatt-hours in the three months ending 31 March from a year earlier, the National Energy Administration said on Thursday in a statement on its website. China added 7.21 gigawatts of solar power during the period, boosting its total installed capacity to almost 85 gigawatts, the NEA said.

The power-generation increase comes even as more solar plants stand idle because of congested transmission infrastructure. China idled about 2.3 billion kilowatt-hours of solar power in the first quarter, up from 1.9 billion kilowatt-hours a year earlier, according to the NEA data.

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May 6, 2017

As Coal Jobs Decline, Solar Sector Shines

Posted by in categories: business, employment, solar power, sustainability

A work crew for the Pittsburgh company Energy Independent Solutions installs solar panels at a community building in Millvale, Pa.

Craig Williams is still mining coal despite tough times for the business. “We’re one of the last industries around and hope to keep it that way,” he says in a breakroom at Consol Energy’s Harvey mine, south of Pittsburgh.

The father of two — speaking in his dusty work jacket and a hard hat with headlamp — says coal is the best way he’s able to support his family. He declines to give his salary, but nationally, coal miners average about $80,000 a year.

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May 3, 2017

Rep: #TheRaceforSpace

Posted by in categories: Elon Musk, solar power, space travel, sustainability

Congressman Charlie Crist on Elon Musk’s space efforts in Florida: “What Mr. Musk has been able to do [with SpaceX and solar energy] is nothing short of extraordinary.”

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Apr 17, 2017

This New Graphene-Based Electrode Could Boost Solar Storage

Posted by in categories: computing, mobile phones, solar power, sustainability

Drawing inspiration from the plant world, researchers have invented a new electrode that could boost our current solar energy storage by an astonishing 3,000 percent.

The technology is flexible and can be attached directly to solar cells — which means we could finally be one step closer to smartphones and laptops that draw their power from the Sun, and never run out.

A major problem with reliably using solar energy as a power source is finding an efficient way to store it for later use without leakage over time.

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Apr 15, 2017

Ray Kurzweil interviews the Father of Nanotechnology Eric Drexler

Posted by in categories: computing, nanotechnology, Ray Kurzweil, solar power, sustainability

Unimaginable Radical Abundance:

Yesterday I took the time to read chapter 11 of Eric Drexler’s book Radical Abundance as to get a glimpse of what might be possible with Atomically Precise Manufacturing (APM). I highly recommend the book.

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Apr 8, 2017

California is getting so much power from solar that wholesale electricity prices are turning negative

Posted by in categories: solar power, sustainability

The spikes also have a big effect on wholesale energy prices, which dipped to zero or even to negative territory this spring during certain hours in California, the EIA said.


The extraordinary success of solar power in some pockets of the world that combine sunshine with high investment in the technology mean that governments and energy companies are having radically to rethink the way they manage—and charge for—electricity.

California is one such a place.

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