Tag Archives: Solar power

Shattered German solar dreams

By Eberhard Rhein – Thanks to generous feed-in tariffs Germany has installed more solar capacity than any other country on earth, some 26 GW, the equivalent of its nuclear capacity.

By the middle of 2013 its solar industry is in shambles.

In Germany government and industry have too long ignored the impressive Chinese advances in lowering production costs. Feed-in tariffs should have been adapted much earlier to take into account the dramatic decline in prices and insufficient grid capacity. more> http://tinyurl.com/q5zs35b


Are we wildly underestimating solar and wind power?

By Brad Plumer – Right now, renewable energy sources like solar and wind still provide just a small fraction of the world’s electricity. But they’re growing fast. Very fast. Three new pieces of evidence suggest that many policymakers may be drastically underestimating just how quickly wind and solar are expanding.

  • Solar is growing exponentially
  • Official agencies keep underestimating the growth rate of renewables
  • Using only current technology, renewables could technically provide the vast bulk of U.S. electricity by mid-century

And that’s where a new report from the U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory comes in.

NREL even provides a nifty animated map of where different power plants–from hydropower to photovoltaic solar panels to wind turbines to concentrated solar plants — would need to be built to make this a reality. more> http://tinyurl.com/cglov9t

Views from the Solar System (41)


Sol 2951
NASA – After spending 19 weeks working in one place while solar power was too low for driving during the Martian winter, NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity is on the move again. The winter worksite was on the north slope of an outcrop called Greeley Haven. The rover used its rear hazard-avoidance camera after nearly completing the May 8 drive, capturing this view looking back at the Greeley Haven.

Since landing in the Meridiani region of Mars on Jan. 25, 2004, Universal Time and EST (Jan. 24, PST), Opportunity has driven 21.4 miles (34.4 kilometers).

This image is of Opportunity’s traverse map from Sol 2951 and shows the entirety of the rover’s travels to this point. A sol is a Martian day. Image Credit: NASA/JPL/Cornell/University of Arizona

IBM snaps an image of electric charge

By Martin LaMonica – IBM researchers have created a subatomic snapshot of the electric charge within a molecule, an advance that could have applications in ever-smaller transistors or in solar power.

Scientists from IBM Research in Zurich, Switzerland, published a paper in Nature Nanotechnology today that describes a technique for measuring how electrons move when forming molecular bonds.

Having a picture of the electric charge distribution could be useful tool for research on making tiny transistors the size of a molecule or developing solar cells from inexpensive organic materials, said Fabian Mohn, who coauthored the paper. more> http://is.gd/QaOQhU

IBM illuminates solar power system aimed at data centers

By Michael Cooney/Layer 8 – IBM is rolling out a solar-power array system designed to run high-voltage data centers.

IBM has installed the first iteration of the system on the 6,000 square-feet of rooftop of its India Software Lab in Bangalore. The solar array is capable of providing a 50-kilowatt supply of electricity for up to 330 days a year, for an average of five hours a day. more> http://is.gd/aqflT9