Colored PV panels coming to a roof near you

Solar PV capacity is growing fast, and each year it is growing even faster.  But when talking about solar with friends, some of them complain that the blue color is an hindrance as it looks out of place with red roofs.

This might change soon as Lof Solar, a solar company from Taiwan is launching solar panels with other colors, including red. Contrary to previous generations of colored panels these one aren’t suffering from efficiency losses.

Indeed their efficiency is of 15.4 %, which is similar to more traditional panels. In France and Europe, these panels are sold by E+ Color.

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10 GW of solar PV capacity installed in 2010

This year will remain as an important milestone in the history of solar power. Indeed to GreenTech Media : ” In 2010, we will cross the threshold of 10 gigawatts of photovoltaic solar installed globally in a single year.”

This is indeed amazing as in 2000 only 170 megawatts were installed. This is 58 times more, which means a 51 percent increase per annum. If we were to continue this trend we would install 580 GW in the year 2020…

Such a thing is unlikely to occur. Specialists believe however that we could install up to 100 GW of capacity in 2020. This is still a note-worthy figure and a bright prospect.

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Morocco to build five solar plants by 2020

It is no news for you if you subscribed to this website : solar thermal alone could provide up to a quarter of global electricity by 2050. The use of molten salt could enable our civilization to store solar electricity for up to seven hours.

Morocco is ideally located to harvest all this energy as the average sunshine there is over 3,000 hours per year ( over 8 hours a day ). The Kingdom will build for $9 billion (6.6 billion euros) up to 2 GW of capacity.

This will be brought by five different plants of both solar photovoltaic and thermal and will answer up to 42 percent of the national need by 2020.

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An official visit from Mr. Borloo at Ravoyard SA

Yesterday the French Minister for Ecology, Energy, Sustainable Development and Town and Country Planning, Mr. Jean-Louis Borloo visited a company in Vaudrey, less than 20 kilometers from my hometown.

Ravoyard SA manufactures since its origins metallic structures. Dynamic, it recently diversified its activity to add photovoltaïc films to its existing products. As the market is currently in full boom, this strategy proved successful.

This was the occasion for me to meet with great pleasure the President of Ravoyard SA and to have the honour to shake hands with the Sustainable Development Minister.

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Why we should promote solar water heaters more

France is promoting via aggressive feed-in tariffs the expansion of solar photovoltaic. I believe this is quite a good thing even if our electricity is 90 percent low carbon. (80 percent nuclear and ten percent hydro)

Indeed, we will soon need additional capacity for both heat pumps and electric vehicles. However I believe the French (and other) government(s) should promote more aggressively solar water heaters.

Electricity is often generated by heating water. So using electricity to heat water is a very inefficient process. Using solar water heaters would enable us to change that.

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A 13 GW project of wind and solar for India

This week was unveiled what is perhaps to date the largest renewable energies project in the world. Indeed, an Indian company – Airvoice Group – plans to build 10 GW of  solar PV capacity and three GW of wind power. All these capacities are due to be built on various sites within the decade in … Read more

Solar energy, a panacea for Africa

Solar energy is to me the panacea for Africa, a continent where 550 million people still lack electricity. With molten salts, concentrating solar could bring light to these populations during important parts of the night.

Solar cookers could also help fighting deforestation by removing the need for fuelwood. Now an experiment run in Benin (West Africa) shows that pumps using solar PV panels are bringing several improvements to local populations.

Drip irrigation systems need pumps to operate. To date, they are using engines running on kerosene. The Solar Electric Light Fund (SELF) believes solar could replace them.

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Towards sustainability: going solar

Towards sustainabilityFor the seventh part of this series – and after having tackled heating, electricity, water, transport, food and waste – I guess it is time for us to see how solar energies can benefit our lives.

I mention solar energies as there are three possibilities : passive solar applications, which are the most basic, solar thermal – which heats water – and finally solar photovoltaïc (PV), which generates electricity.

Even if most of us already use passive solar there are possibilities to increase our usage and go progressively to solar thermal and finish with solar PV

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India’s great plan for solar energies

India from spaceThe most important news this weekend on energy and the environment was the draft of a plan from the Indian government that could literally change the world’s market for both solar thermal and photovoltaïc.

To a local newspaper – The Hindu – the world’s largest democracy indeed would like to have 20 GW of solar energies by 2020, 100 GW by 2030 to finally reach 200 GW twenty years later.

This plan is very ambitious but we will have to see if it becomes real. If so, the country would clearly become a leader in this industry.

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Solar PV to provide 300 MW to France by 2011

Last week Jean-Louis Borloo, the French energy and environment Minister, launched a plan that will quadruple the amount of electricity provided by solar photovoltaïc in order to reach 300 MW by 2011. This is great news as investing 1.5 billion euros ($2 billion) in solar PV is the right move for France to enable local … Read more

Latest news on solar photovoltaïc energies

Solar photovoltaïc (also known as PV or solar cells) is the subject of numerous researches around the world. Indeed, Earth receives so much energy from its star that the potential is simply tremendous.

Accounting for less than a percent of our energy consumption, scientists around the world want to make solar an affordable energy source that will bring cleaner electricity to the masses.

Today’s article will present with you a selection of the best and most promising technologies that may well end up one day on your own house’s roof.

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Third generation of PV panels on the way

solar_pv.jpgMy Belgian friend Qat recently wrote on his blog an interesting article on the forthcoming generation of photovoltaïc captors.

These new solar technology is due to have a yield of 40 percent, a huge improvement as the current ones have a yield of “only” 17 percent.

This news was originally reported by the magazine of a Norwegian university. I will go here more in depth as this will certainly make solar PV more interesting as it is nowadays.

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