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Notes from the Solar Underground: From Idea through to the End, the Lifecycle of a Trend
There are few original ideas for new technologies, products and/or services. Most of what is termed new is a mutation of an idea, which itself is a mutation of an idea all the way back to the original discovery or light bulb moment. Basically, there is not much that is new, or, put another way, that deserves to be called new.  [...]
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A Ribbon Cutting and a Sneak Peek — The Latest from Solar Decathlon 2017 Teams
Here are a couple of updates on teams competing in this year's Solar Decathlon in Denver in October. [...]
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Notes from the Solar Underground: The Danger of Conjecture
As with advice, conjecture is easy to give as typically the conjecturers, as with advice givers, have little at stake and sometimes much to gain. First and foremost, conjecturers gain attention, second but not necessarily second-most, if the eventual outcome falls anywhere in the vicinity of the initial conjecture, the giver gains credibility.  [...]
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Recap from Xcel’s Solar Stakeholder Meeting 6/27
This document provides a recap of Xcel’s recent solar stakeholder meeting, which included topics on Solar*Rewards, Solar Connect, and other items.     The post Recap from Xcel’s Solar Stakeholder Meeting 6/27 appeared first on Colorado Solar Energy Industries Association. [...]
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Solar Paint Offers Endless Energy from Water Vapor
Researchers have developed a solar paint that can absorb water vapour and split it to generate hydrogen — the cleanest source of energy. [...]
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Letter from the Editor: Innovation in Renewables
I’ve been thinking a lot about innovation this month. I wrote about how wind construction companies are innovating to lower costs in our cover story and talked about that in my video above. But I’m also thinking about BIG innovation — the world-changing kind. In April, I attended the Powering Progress Together (PPT) forum, hosted by Shell and the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI). Visionaries from both organizations presented their views of the future of energy. Cho Khong, Chief Political Ana [...]
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Notes from the Solar Underground: At the Intersection of Innovation, Technology and Market, the Market Decides
Whether the market makes a flawed decision or not, the market is always the decider, and whether its decisions are based on price, personal beliefs, wanting to be part of the newest trend or fad or technology direction or for any number of other reasons, the market is the ultimate judge of whether a product or technology will meet success or fade away. [...]
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UK Breaks Solar Record; Generates 24 Percent of Power from Solar
On Friday, May 26, on what was expected to be one of the hottest days of the year, solar panels in the UK generated a record amount of power, enough to meet almost 25 percent of demand. This is according to data compiled by National Grid Plc and Sheffield University. At noon London-time, 8.75 GW of power was being generated by the solar PV, breaking a previous record of 8.49 GW, overtaking nuclear power in the country.   [...]
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Notes from the Solar Underground: US Solar’s Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act
There is nothing new about protectionism just as there is nothing new about aggressive pricing for market share, dumping of overproduction at low prices and the cascade of unintended consequences of government intervention on markets. [...]
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Notes from the Solar Underground: The Long Slow Death of US Solar Manufacturing
In the satiric movie Network, Howard Beale said: “Edward George Ruddy died today! Edward George Ruddy was the Chairman of the Board of the Union Broadcasting Systems and he died at eleven o'clock this morning of a heart condition! And woe is us! We're in a lot of trouble!!” [...]
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Minnesota Cities Learn from Buying Community Solar Together
The nation’s first ever attempt to have municipal governments collectively buy power from community solar gardens was a modest success, according to a new report. [...]
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How Companies Are Buying Clean Energy: 4 Lessons from India
India has some of the world’s most ambitious renewable energy goals. Prime Minister Narendra Modi promised to boost India's solar energy generation capacity from 5.8 GW in 2014 to 100 GW by 2022. As part of the Paris Agreement, India set a goal to increase the share of non-fossil-based power capacity from 30 percent today to about 40 percent by 2030. [...]
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Scientists Harness Solar Power to Produce Hydrogen from Biomass
A team of scientists at the University of Cambridge has developed a way of using solar power to generate hydrogen from biomass, the U.K. university said last week. [...]
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Listen Up: Protecting Solar Consumers — Interview with Tom Kimbis from SEIA
Please Listen Up to this week’s Energy Show as Tom Kimbis, the Executive Vice President of the Solar Energy Industries Association, talks about SEIA’s Consumer Protection and Ethics Committees, as well as SEIA’s “Consumer Guide to Solar Power” and Residential Disclosure Forms. [...]
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Notes from the Solar Underground: Slippery Slopes — The Trolley Problem, Solar Module Price Choices and Climate Change
Prices for solar wafers, cells and modules took a highflying leap off of the margin diving board in 2016 with the global average decreasing by 13 percent over 2015 from $0.72/Wp to $0.63/Wp and the range of prices widening vastly for a lowest available price of $0.31/Wp and highest available price of $2.50/Wp.  [...]
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Apple Agrees to Buy Solar Power From Buffett’s Nevada Utility
Apple Inc. agreed to buy the output from a proposed 200-MW solar farm in Nevada to help power a data center in Reno. [...]
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Wyoming’s Utilities May Soon Be Banned from Buying Large-scale Renewables
This week in Wyoming, legislators introduced a new law that would keep the state’s utilities from purchasing utility-scale wind and solar power produced inside or outside of Wyoming. [...]
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Lessons from Negotiations with the Utility
COSEIA Executive Director Rebecca Cantwell published an Op Ed piece in Solar Industry Magazine (January 2017) describing her experiences negotiating a complex settlement agreement with Xcel Energy last year. The settlement resolved issues from Xcel’s virtual barrage of PUC filings in 2016. We republish it here for your convenience: “As executive director of the Colorado Solar Energy Industries Association, I spent much of my summer in corporate conference rooms at the headquarters [...]
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Germans Get Almost One-Third of Electricity from Renewables in 2016
In another shining example of renewable energy leadership, in 2016, Germany used more renewable electricity than ever before, receiving 32 percent of the gross amount of electricity consumed in the country from sun, wind and other renewable sources. The Centre for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research Baden-Württemberg (ZSW) and the German Association of Energy and Water Industries (BDEW) arrived at this figure in an initial estimate in late 2016. If the projections are correct, more than 191 bi [...]
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