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The Plan for Clean Power

EPA releases the Clean Power Plan, a proposal to cut carbon emissions from existing power plants.   A press release from the EPA announced the release of the Clean Power Plan, a proposal which provides guidelines on meeting the goals outlined in President Obama’s Climate Action Plan to reduce the nation’s number one source of carbon emissions, power plants. The plan will…

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U.S. Imposes Tariffs on Solar Panels from China

The United States’ latest move in the solar trade war with China.   According to an article from the New York Times, on June 2nd the U.S. Commerce Department announced a preliminary ruling to impose duties on Chinese solar panels that will range from 18.56% to 35.21%. A petition from the manufacturer SolarWorld Industries America prompted the…

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Growing Solar Panels on Crop Farms

Sharing is caring – and lucrative.   According to an article in Bloomberg, Japan continues to search for ways to boost non-nuclear energy production following the 2011 tsunami. The land-starved island nation has eased land-use regulations and mandated utilities to buy clean energy at premium prices, catalyzing the creative placement of solar panels. Some farmers…

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The Sun Rises Over Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia is increasing solar power development through Aramco.   According to an article from Bloomberg, Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest crude exporter, is slowly shifting towards solar development in an effort to limit domestic fossil fuel consumption. Within the next few decades, high in-country demand may threaten supplies intended for exports.  Despite this, the…

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NREL Achieving Encouraging Efficiency With New Solar Material

The material, perovskite, has produced huge efficiency gains over the past four years.   An article in Renewable Energy World highlights recent developments in photovoltaics from NREL’s materials scientists. For several years, NREL has been studying a new and highly efficient semiconducting material for its use in photovoltaic applications. Known as perovskite, its flexibility and easy…

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Big Week for Solar CSP: Two Plants Leap Ahead

Nevada’s Crescent Dunes CSP project enters “commissioning phase” while California’s Ivanpah plant is to be officially dedicated.     From Renewable Energy World James Montgomery, February 12, 2014 It’s a utility-scale concentrating solar (CSP) two-fer this week: Crescent Dunes kicks off its commissioning process, while Ivanpah’s official dedication follows a month of on-again/off-again ramping. Today…

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Study: In the EU, Rooftop Solar to Become Cheaper Than Coal

Cost predicted to decline steadily for wind and solar.       From RenewEconomy Giles Parkinson, January 28, 2014 A new study suggests that wind and solar plants are already competing economically with fossil fuel in Europe. Soon, even household rooftop solar PV systems will generate electricity more cheaply than coal. The study from Germany’s…

Of the four types of CSP systems, the solar power tower is by far the most dramatic. Source: Solarpower.com.

Concentrated Solar Power: Focusing the Sun

In the race to harness renewable energy, one technology combines a new-age focus on solar energy with the relatively old concept of steam-driven power plants. Known as Concentrated Solar Power (CSP), these systems rely on arrays of mirrors to focus the sun’s heat on a “working fluid,” which creates steam to drive a turbine. As…