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Energy Newsbriefs Blog

This current awareness service is prepared by the WSU Energy Program Library with funding from the U.S. Department of Energy State Energy Program. This information is provided for energy professionals and interested members of the public to highlight recent energy-related news, articles, and reports that discuss energy efficiency, energy conservation, and renewable sources of energy in engineering and policy circles.

 

Category: Solar

Solar


The Effect of State Policy Suites on the Development of Solar Markets

National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Nov. 2014.
http://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy15osti/62506.pdf

"Many states and local governments have undertaken a variety of policy initiatives with the goal of encouraging private investment and building robust solar photovoltaic (PV) markets. While some states have seen many-fold increases in solar PV installations over the last decade, many other states, some with similar policies, have been less successful. The perceived lack of a clear relationship between implementation of specific policies and increases in solar installations has been challenging to policymakers seeking to support solar markets within their jurisdictions."

Solar Photovoltaic Output Depends on Orientation, Tilt, and Tracking

Energy Information Administration, Nov. 19, 2014.
http://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.cfm?id=18871

"Financial incentives, renewable portfolio standards, cost declines, and system performance improvements have led to more customer-sited solar photovoltaic (PV) installations, especially in states such as California. Because PV panels are able to capture more solar energy when they are pointed directly at the sun, installers may configure systems to optimize output by adjusting the orientation and tilt of a system, or by using mechanisms that track the sun as it traverses the sky."

Community Shared Solar: Policy and Regulatory Considerations

National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Sep. 2014.
http://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy14osti/62367.pdf

"This paper explores the ways in which the shared solar business model interacts with existing policy and regulations, including net metering, tax credits, and securities regulation. It presents some of the barriers that shared solar projects may face, and provides options for creating a supportive policy environment."

Future Solar Cost Reductions Hinge on Raising Solar Cell Efficiencies

Solar Industry, Oct. 2014, by Michael Puttre.
http://www.solarindustrymag.com/issues/SI1410/FEAT_01_Future-Solar-Cost-Reductions-Hinge-On-Raising-Solar-Cell-Efficiencies.html

"Lowering the levelized cost of energy (LCOE) of solar photovoltaic power is probably the No. 1 issue facing the industry. For most of the last decade, the focus of that effort has been reducing the costs of solar panels."

Prepare Your Renewable Plant for Cold Weather Operations

Power Magazine, Oct. 2014, by Sonal Patel and Thomas W. Overton.
http://www.powermag.com/prepare-your-renewable-plant-for-cold-weather-operations/

"Although renewable generation is typically less affected by winter weather than gas- and coal-fired plants, it is far from weatherproof. Understanding the risks and preparing properly for them can avoid most problems."

An Untapped Solar Market: The Renewable Potential of Multi-family Housing

North American Clean Energy, Sept./Oct. 2014, by Zach Axelrod.
http://www.nacleanenergy.com/articles/18582/an-untapped-solar-market-the-renewable-potential-of-multi-family-housing

"Solar energy is rapidly becoming a popular option for homeowners as a way to save money. But, what about folks who live in apartments or condos? Multi-family dwellings, as they are known, are providing the next potential growth opportunity for the residential solar industry. Now, innovative financing mechanisms allow even low-income families to take part in the benefits of solar power."

The Next Revolution in Solar Energy: High Efficiency Printable Tandem Solar Cells

CleanTech Alliance Washington, Oct. 22, 2014, by Julian Allen.
http://www.cleantechalliancewa.org/news/199118/The-Next-Revolution-in-Solar-Energy-High-Efficiency-Printable-Tandem-Solar-Cells.htm

"Funding from the U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative will help catalyze the development of next-generation solar cells at UW.  Thanks to research at the University of Washington, the solar cells of the near future might be printed from inks and reach efficiencies more than double that of today’s typical solar cells, reducing the cost of electricity to below the level of even natural gas, the cheapest fossil fuel available now."

Financial Impacts of Net-Metered PV on Utilities and Ratepayers: A Scoping Study of Two Prototypical U.S. Utilities

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Sept. 2014, by Andrew Satchwell, and others.
http://emp.lbl.gov/sites/all/files/LBNL%20PV%20Business%20Models%20Report_no%20report%20number%20(Sept%2025%20revision).pdf

"A new report from Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (LBNL) that examines the potential impacts of customer-sited photovoltaics (PV) on electric utility profitability and rates. The report shows that these impacts can vary greatly depending upon the specific circumstances of the utility. The report also examines measures that could be pursued by utilities and regulators to mitigate the financial impacts."

Minimizing Risks with Solar Roofs

The Construction Specifier, Aug. 2014, by Michael Russo.
http://www.constructionspecifier.com/minimizing-risks-with-solar-roofs/

"Commercial rooftops are an attractive platform for the installation of solar photovoltaic (PV) electricity-producing systems. These low-slope roofs offer an economical and sustainable structural foundation for renewable solar energy."

Australian 3D Printed Solar Cells Getting Closer to Commercial Reality

Manufacturer's Monthly, Sep. 2014, by Brent Balinski.
http://www.manmonthly.com.au/news/australian-3d-printed-solar-cells-getting-closer-t

"The CSIRO [Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation] has said that printable solar cells are near to being commercialised, with several firms interested in bringing the technology to market."
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Archives of the weekly Energy Newsbriefs, from Oct. 2012 – Jan. 6, 2014, may be found on the WSU Energy Library web page.