West-facing panels help solve solar energy’s main problem

There is mounting evidence than West-facing solar panels produce more electricity during peak demand, and thus solve solar’s main problem.

How US companies are going solar massively

This week I am starting a ten-month series based on articles I wrote for my Operations classes for my MBA at Presidio Graduate School. Hope you will like this series !

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How I helped make better solar panels, and how you can

wcg-solarAs you might perhaps have read in an earlier blog post, I am giving part of my computer calculation capacities to scientific projects close to my heart such as cancers, AIDS and of course, solar energy via the World Community Grid.

As I was wondering if all this energy – and thus money – had been wisely invested, I went to the World Community Grid official website and found news that made me quite happy as The Clean Energy Project data has been published !

” Thanks to World Community Grid volunteers, Harvard has published data about the suitability of 2.3 million organic compounds for converting sunlight into electricity.

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A look at the solar thermal market

Solar thermal report 2013When people talk about solar energy, most of them just think about solar photovoltaic (PV) that generates electricity from sun rays. While this is a great energy source, there is a much simpler one : solar thermal.

This is why my interest was brought to an IEA report on how this heat source is growing up in the world. In 2011, the capacity increased by 14.3 percent to reach the total capacity of 234.6 GWth corresponding to a total of 335.1 million square meters.

China and Europe are the main markets for this technology with over 80 percent of the total with 152.2 GWth and 39.3 GWth of installed capacity, respectively.

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Solar is already cheaper than coal

Solar energy may already cheaper than coalSolar , at least for New Mexico, USA. To Bloomberg : ” First Solar, the world’s largest maker of thin-film solar panels, may sell electricity at a lower rate than new coal plants earn. “

” El Paso Electric Co. agreed to buy power from First Solar’s the 50-megawatt Macho Springs project for 5.79 cents a kilowatt- hour (…) That’s less than half the 12.8 cents a kilowatt-hour for power from typical new coal plants. “

Having solar at grid parity to coal would be a real game changer, a paradigm shift. New coal plants would totally lose their interest, and thus nobody would build them anymore.

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Morocco wants 42 percent renewables by 2020

If you think that solar energy is just fad dedicated to rich nations, read on : Morocco  has a ” goal of increasing installed renewable energy capacity to 42 per cent by 2020 and becoming a renewable energy industry leader. “ The African Development Bank Group has been demonstrating its support to scaling up renewable … Read more

V3Solar`s Spin Cell : 20 times the efficiency of flat solar panels?

V3 Solar SpinThis is a guest post from Mathias Aarre Maehlum, an environmentalist who studies energy engineering. In his spare time he works as a freelance writer. Read more of his stuff at Energy Informative.

( a USA company with its Head Office in Los Angeles, California and its R & D laboratory in Ashland, Oregon. ) is taking a radically different approach when it comes to converting solar energy into electricity.

Their design is based on convectional solar (photovoltaic) cells, but instead of being positioned flat, they spin around a vertical axis.

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Good news : US emissions are decreasing fast

These are excellent news : Greenhouse gases emissions of the United States of America – the world’s second largest emitter after China – has seen its emissions decrease by 7.7 percent since 2006.

If the downward trend was to keep on going, at the end of the year, the country would emit as much greenhouse gases as it was in 1996. Of course, the Great Recession we are currently witnessing has played a role.

But cheaper natural gas, more stringent environmental regulations, the booming production of renewables and a change in consumer habits played a role too.

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A bright future for solar in India

The recent launch of a 600 MW solar park in the state of Gujarat – the largest in Asia – was the occasion for The Economist to publish an interesting article on the huge potential of solar energy in India. The British weekly notes : ” solar power would appear to be an obvious winner … Read more

A new efficiency record for solar panels

To EcoGeek : ” Semprius, a startup company manufacturing tiny concentrated solar cells that forgo any cooling systems has achieved a truly amazing leap in solar cell efficiency. “ This is truly exciting as ” The company was able to hit 33.9 percent efficiency with their solar panel, the first time a commercially-viable solar technology … Read more

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