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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


FACT SHEET: President Obama Announces Commitments and Executive Actions to Advance Solar Deployment and Energy Efficiency

White House Press Release, May 9, 2014.
http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/05/09/fact-sheet-president-obama-announces-commitments-and-executive-actions-a

"Today, President Obama announced more than 300 private and public sector commitments to create jobs and cut carbon pollution by advancing solar deployment and energy efficiency."

Nice Reward, No Risk [Wastewater Treatment to Energy]

Treatment Plant Operator, May 2014, by Doug Day.
http://www.tpomag.com/editorial/2014/05/nice_reward_no_risk

"The Village of Ridgewood (N.J.) Water Pollution Control Facility is cutting its costs by adding biogas and solar power generation — that’s nothing new. But leaders in this village of 26,000 did it without spending money. Instead, they entered an agreement with other parties who provided the funds in exchange for sharing in project savings and revenue."

Amory's Angle: Ramping Up Renewable Electricity

Rocky Mountain Institute, Winter 2014, by Amory B. Lovins.
http://www.rmi.org/winter_2014_esj_ramping_up_renewable_electricity

"Many people in the electricity industry long thought that the two renewable sources of electricity that vary widely over time—windpower and solar photovoltaics (PVs) —could provide only a few percent of total generation without endangering reliability. Those who still believe this now face increasingly severe reality tests.

As we’ll see, Germany and other countries are successfully powering their grids with astonishingly high fractions of renewable generation by combining five techniques: a) leveraging diverse generation sources across interconnected regional and national grids, b) improving renewables’ forecasting and predictability, c) integrating dispatchable renewables, d) adding distributed storage, and e) leveraging demand response."




Boosting Solar Cell Efficiency

American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), Apr. 2014, by Mark Crawford.
https://www.asme.org/engineering-topics/articles/renewable-energy/boosting-solar-cell-efficiency

"University of Minnesota engineers have added an innovative feature to a standard solar-cell design that boosts its electricity-generating potential by up to 26%. This remarkable improvement may help researchers push the record power conversion efficiencies of dye-sensitized solar cells beyond 12%."

NREL Unlocking Secrets of New Solar Material

National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Apr. 2014.
http://www.nrel.gov/news/features/feature_detail.cfm/feature_id=10333

"A new solar material that has the same crystal structure as a mineral first found in the Ural Mountains in 1839 is shooting up the efficiency charts faster than almost anything researchers have seen before—and it is generating optimism that a less expensive way of using sunlight to generate electricity may be in our planet's future."

Growing Solar [Co-ops Offering Renewables]

Rural Electric Magazine, Apr. 2014.
http://www.nreca.coop/growing-solar/

"Co-ops big and small are sponsoring innovative community photovoltaic projects to meet member demand for renewables."

New Interconnection Policies Free the Grid While Providing for Stability

Solar Industry, Apr. 2014, by Michael Puttre.
http://www.solarindustrymag.com/issues/SI1404/FEAT_01_New-Interconnection-Policies-Free-The-Grid-While-Providing-For-Stability.html

"Aggressive adoption of distributed generation solar power is forcing regulators, utilities and manufacturers to address grid stability."

Become a Solar Professional

Home Power Magazine, Mar./Apr. 2014, by Vaughan Woodruff.
http://www.homepower.com/articles/solar-electricity/design-installation/become-solar-professional

"In 2012, the solar industry saw a 13.2% increase in employment in the United States—nearly six times higher job growth than in the rest of the U.S. economy. And in 2013, the industry experienced a 20% growth in solar jobs—10 times higher than the national employment rate. This trend is expected to continue as increasing demand for solar will require new professionals involved in the installation, design, sales, and manufacturing of solar heating and photovoltaic (PV) systems."

Micro-Inverters are Moving Up to the Big Leagues: Opinions Differ on the Future of AC modules in Large PV Installations

Solar Industry, Feb. 2104, by Michael Puttre.
http://www.solarindustrymag.com/issues/SI1402/FEAT_03_Micro-Inverters-Are-Moving-Up-To-The-Big-Leagues.html

"The potential of the micro-inverter segment is drawing interest from established powers in the string and central inverter markets."

The Effectiveness of State-Level Policies on Solar Market Development in Different State Contexts

National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Technical Report, NREL/TP-7A40-61029, Feb. 2014.
http://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy14osti/61029.pdf

"In response to public interest in customer-sited distributed solar photovoltaics (PV), state and local policymakers have implemented policy initiatives with the goal of encouraging private investment and building a robust PV market. Policymakers face challenges, including limited budgets and incomplete information about the effectiveness of the various policy options in their specific situation and in crafting and executing policy that supports market development goals.

This paper builds on [earlier] research to determine the most effective policy strategies for different types of states, as determined by their physical, demographic and macroeconomic context." 

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The Energy Newsbriefs Blog is a continuation of the weekly Energy Newsbriefs. Please bookmark this site and return frequently. Although we will not be accepting comments from within the Blog, we would be happy to hear from you by email at library@energy.wsu.edu

Archives of the weekly Energy Newsbriefs, from Oct. 2012 – Jan. 6, 2014, may be found on the WSU Energy Library web page.