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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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Across the United States rooftop solar power is reaching grid parity

EarthTalk: Rooftop Solar Reaches Grid Parity

EarthTalk® is a weekly environmental column made available to our readers from the editors of E/The Environmental Magazine Dear EarthTalk: I’ve heard that the price of getting solar panels installed on a home is lower than ever, but has it gotten to the point anywhere in the U.S. where it’s actually cheaper than traditional grid power yet? –Lester Milstein, Boston,…

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Solar Roadways

A Response to Critics of the Solar Roadways Concept

While there is an abundance of positive response to the Solar Roadways concept, there has also been an avalanche of negativity that completely misses the point. As reviewed in a recent Global Warming is Real article, the concept of embedding solar panels into American roadways represents a powerful new approach to green innovation and finance. Without paying heed to the benefits, many…

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Research shows promising breakthrough for high-efficiency solar panels from low grade silicon

High-Efficiency Solar Panels Made From Low-Grade Silicon

This is what a group of researchers at the University of New South Wales in Australia (UNSW) have been working on for some time. They`ve found a method that allows them to produce high-efficiency solar panels from low-grade silicon, which in the long run could help us bring the prices of solar down. Professor Stuart Wenham from the School of…

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NIST has developed new procedures to better test solar panels

Better Testing for Solar Panels

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has developed a new process to test the performance of solar panels. It involves 32 different LEDs, each one generating their part of the spectrum of sunlight, and other equipment that measures the wavelength-dependent quantum efficiency. The new testing system will be used in two ways. The first is to run every…

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Living Off The Grid With Solar Power Can Be Simple, Fun, and Challenging

Guest Post by Kriss Bergethon My wife and I were desperate to get out of the city.  It was 2007, we were having an extremely stressful year with work.  I owned a small construction company that was just about to give me a heart attack.  She had a job she hated so much she would cry on the way to…

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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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