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Proposed space-based "suntower," one of many examples of solar innovation

The Golden Age of Solar Innovation

From efforts that mimic nature like leaves and trees, to arrays that float on water or in space, there has been a wide range of solar energy innovations in 2016.  From tiny solar applications of nanotechnologies to massive space-based arrays, the growth of solar power is being fueled by market forces, including increasing efficiency and decreasing cost. The number of…

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Researchers Richard Lunt and Yimu Zhao test cutting edge transparent solar cells at their Michigan State University lab

EarthTalk: Beyond Traditional PV Solar Panels

EarthTalk® is a weekly environmental column made available to our readers from the editors of E/The Environmental Magazine Dear EarthTalk: What’s the latest in cutting-edge, hyper-efficient solar cells? Are we really moving beyond huge photovoltaic panels anytime soon?                                    — Michael Williams, Hartford, CT Many people still consider environmentalists’ favorite black panels as the cutting edge of renewable energy….

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Renewable energy innovation is the key to a sustainable new energy economy

Cleaner Power from Innovation: Creative Approaches to Renewable Energy

Innovation is the key to the future and central to the expansion of renewable sources of energy. There are a number of innovations that could radically transform the clean energy equation. Although renewable energy is growing exponentially around the world these sources of power have a number of shortcoming that make it difficult to scale-up so that they can replace…

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More efficiency is possible using quantum dot solar cell technology

Quantum Dot Solar Cells Show Promising Results

Conventional solar cells capture photons in sunlight and turn it into electricity. This is also true for solar cells that use quantum dots as the photovoltaic material, but with quantum dots, it`s actually possible to harvest “lost” energy that otherwise would end up as heat. This feature is promising to improve overall conversion efficiency of solar cells, which in turn will…

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Solar energy is ready to launch and become a mainstream source of energy for the world

Intersolar North America: Solar Is Ready to Launch

I’ve spent the last two days at the Intersolar North America conference in San Francisco, speaking with key people within the industry, from solar panel producers, to developers of testing and control software for solar cell manufacturers, inverter makers, solar system designers, silver paste materials manufactures and more. It was a great opportunity to get an overview of current state…

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Advances in solar inverter technology is helping make solar power more efficient and affordable

More Efficient and Affordable Solar Power: Developments that are Changing the Industry

Guest post by Kriss Bergethon Solar power was discovered over 170 years ago, but it didn’t become a viable technology until the 1950s. The high cost of producing solar cells meant that the concept remained in limited use up until recently. Renewed interest in solar power has brought investment and research that vastly improved the collection capacity of the cells….

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