"Changing over the huge panel-manufacturing plants to adapt to the thinner wafers will be a time-consuming and expensive process, but the analysis shows the benefits can far outweigh the costs." This article from MIT News explains a new way solar panel manufacturers are pushing innovation in the solar equipment development industry.
Community solar makes energy independence accessible for folks who might not otherwise have access to solar energy. This article by Clean Technica gives information on how community solar is doing from state to state.
China has a stronghold on panel production- at least 80% of the world's solar panels are produced in China. Economics are driving the solar market now, with cheaper solar pushing forward growth of the industry. Learn more at this article from Barron's.
As the 2010's come to a close, a California solar veteran lists their top 10 predictions for the next decade in solar. Which are you most excited or concerned about?
Read more from this article by GreenTech Media.
A world powered by 100% wind, solar and other renewables would, in the long run, cost much less than business as usual. Clean Technica reports on the costs of renewable energy compared to the costs of climate change if left unchecked, as researched and reported on by Mark Jacobson, professor of civil and environmental engineering and director of the Atmosphere/Energy Program at Stanford University.
Long-standing community advocates, faith-based organizations across the country are serving as instigators of community solar. "It's a wonderful thing to not have to feel like you have to be of [a certain] status or class to be able to go green, or be conscious about the environment."
Read more from this article by NPR.
Modeled after the self-cleaning characteristics of a lotus leaf, researchers from the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev are developing a mechanism that can remove dust from solar panels and optimize their efficiency. By altering the texture of the panels, new opportunities for solar have risen in the desert and other dusty environments.
Dust on panels is less of an issue in the more rainy Pacific Northwest, but it is still exciting to see new developments in solar technology around the world!
Read more here.
The phototropism in sunflowers helps their faces track the sun. Researchers at the University of California, LA have developed what they are describing as the first "synthetic phototropic material" which, when shaped into rods, can bend and move live the heads of sunflowers. Coating surfaces with these "SunBOTs" might solve one of the biggest problems in solar energy... Click out this article from Science News for Students to learn more!
Bifacial solar is the next big thing. Solar energy installations are growing tenfold, and with high renewable energy goals across the world, innovations like this are what will drive the solar industry. Read more from this article at Green Tech Media.