TAG: Solar energy

World’s Largest Concentrated Solar Power Plant Online in UAE

Shams 1 concentrated solar plant

A 100 MW concentrated solar power plant went online in the United Arab Emirates on Saturday, deploying 258,000 mirrors, mounted on 768 tracking parabolic trough collectors, to concentrate the heat from the sun into electricity. The plant, named Shams 1, is now the largest concentrated solar power plant in the world. The grid-connected solar plant, located in the Western Region of Abu Dhabi, can generate enough renewable energy to power 20,000 homes, and is another example of the recent tendency in the traditionally oil-rich regions to diversify into alternative and renewable energy sources. “Shams 1 is a strategic investment in… read more

Solar Market in U.S. Grows 76% in 2012

Solar On The Up

A new analysis of the solar market in the United States found that solar power is the fastest growing energy source in the country, with photovoltaic installations growing 76% in 2012 to hit 3,313 MW of new installed capacity last year. The analysis, titled “U.S. Solar Market Insight: Year-in-Review 2012“, from Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and GTM Research, showed that not only is the consumer cost for solar power dropping, but the industry itself is growing by leaps and bounds. From 2011 to 2012, revenues jumped about 34%, from $8.6 billion (USD) to $11.5 billion, which keeps solar as… read more

U.S. Approves 1100 MW in Clean Energy Projects

BLM renewable energy

Three major renewable energy projects on public lands in the U.S. got the green light from Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar yesterday, and are expected to be able to deliver 1100 MW of clean power to the grid when completed and operating. These approvals are part of the current U.S. “all-of-the-above” energy strategy, which aims to increase domestic production and capacity. “In just over four years, we have advanced 37 wind, solar and geothermal projects on our public lands – or enough to power more than 3.8 million American homes. These projects are bolstering rural economies by generating good jobs… read more

Using Concentrated Solar to Purify Drinking Water


Many people across the globe don’t have regular access to potable drinking water, so developing better and more sustainable solutions to water purification, especially low-tech solutions, fits a very real need in the world. A wide range of options are out there, from individual filter straws to family-sized filtration units and village-sized purification systems. For providing reliable clean water over the long run, especially far off the beaten path, water purification devices need to be not only dependable, but also simple to maintain or fix with just the tools and materials at hand. Having to order a replacement part and… read more

Carbon Solar Cells


Solar cells are the greatest hope for mankind with a shortage of fossil fuel. We read a lot about solar cells and improvements in this field but a true revolution in solar cells is not happening. There are many reasons for the gap between solar cells and ordinary man but one of the main handbrakes is the expense of the materials used. Some recent breakthrough research at Stanford University looks promising and will give hope to the solar cell field using an inexpensive substitute, carbon. The research team has successfully built a thin film solar cell prototype which is coated with… read more

Investing in Solar Panels

Crowdfunded solar panels

As the demand for green technology increases, so will the amount of companies offering ecological solutions, such as hybrid cars, water conservative shower taps, and more. However, the demand for solar panels has increased exponentially since 2012, and is predicted to continue blowing up the green market well past 2013. Kickstarter, the recently famous crowd-funding website, where consumers can help finance the development and production of just about any type of project, has also recently passed the $1 million dollars in funding milestone for solar panels. Several companies have been successful on the website, such as SolarCity, which helps homeowners… read more

Top Young Scientist Award

Polluted water

Brilliant minds are not limited by age and neither is caring for others. The top young scientist has been crowned for 2012. The 14-year-old school student from New Hampshire, Deepika Kurup, was named “America’s Top Young Scientist” for inventing a solar-powered water jug that has the ability to change dirty water into a purified drinking water. Deepika Kurup did not only surpass 9 other finalists with her science and math skills to win $25,000 from Discovery Education and 3M. Kurup persuaded the judges with a fantastic five minute long, live presentation about the difficulty of a billion less fortunate people… read more

Costs Slow Solar Down

High Costs Slow Solar Down

In 2011, residential solar system installers paid a little over $1.80 per watt for solar panels in the United States, and added $4.36 per watt to the cost of the solar panel to complete an installation. Compared to other countries—specifically Germany, the world leader in solar energy—the cost in the United States to complete an installation is three times as much, leading to a lack of willingness for Americans to spend the high amount of money to install solar panels. However, a report released this month by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory explains why the costs in the United States are… read more

Solar Powered Air Travel

Solar Impulse 2013

With its huge wingspan equal to that of an Airbus A340 and its weight that of an average car, the Solar Impulse prototype presents physical and aerodynamic features never seen before in an aircraft. Carbon fiber structure, propulsion chain, flight instrumentation, everything has been designed to save energy, to resist the hostile conditions facing an airplane, and pilot, at high altitudes and to marry weight restraints with the required strength. The Solar Impulse uses no fuel. At midday, each square meter of land surface receives, in the form of light energy, the equivalent of 1000 watts, or 1.3 horsepower of… read more

Community Development

River Garden Apartments, Louisana

There are communities and neighborhoods all across the country attempting to solve energy and environmental dilemmas, and some are managing to be very successful in their efforts. Ranging from “green roofs”, roofs with foliage and gardens on top to diminish energy and heat absorption, or from communal energy pools which people can buy into a reap the benefits, there is an increasing trend in large-scale residential energy projects. As a result of the devastation from Hurricane Katrina, a rundown low-income housing project has been the focus of several government agencies working to revitalize it through sustainable and renewable technologies. Formerly… read more