U.S. Energy Use Increased in 2013

Americans used more renewable, fossil and even nuclear energy in 2013, according to the most recent energy flow charts released by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Each year, the Laboratory releases energy flow charts that illustrate the nation’s consumption and use of energy. Overall, Americans used 2.3 quadrillion thermal units more in 2013 than the previous year. The Laboratory also […] Read more

Solar on Every U.S School!

This morning the National Solar Schools Consortium launched at the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) Conference in Boston. The goal of the newly formed organization is to put solar on roof of every school from kindergarten to high school. That would be almost 140,000 schools if you look at how many schools the National Center for Education […] Read more

Citigroup: The ‘Age of Renewables’ Has Begun

Investment banking giant Citigroup has hailed the start of the “age of renewables” in the United States, the world’s biggest electricity market, saying that solar and wind energy are getting competitive with natural gas peaking and baseload plants. In a major new analysis released last week, Citi says the big decision-makers within the U.S. power […] Read more

California Solar Net-Metering for Homeowners: PROTECTED

Last week the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) took action to give California homeowners with solar arrays and those who install solar under the current net-energy metering (NEM) program assurances that the net-metering contract they sign will be good for 20 years under state policy. The decision, in the largest residential solar market in the […] Read more

Commercial Roofing: Questions with Dr. Jim Hoff

Dr. Jim Hoff currently serves as vice president of research for the Center for Environmental Innovation in Roofing in Washington, D.C., and as president of TEGNOS Research Inc., a consulting organization dedicated to expanding understanding of the building envelope. He’s also the instructor of the upcoming “Commercial Roofing Boot Camp” — an advanced online design course that has […] Read more

Africa: Set for Solar Revolution

The future of renewable energy in Africa is looking brighter all the time. The African Renewable Energy Fund (AREF) has raised $100 million for the development of grid-connected renewable energy projects in sub-Saharan Africa. Though many countries in sub-Saharan Africa remain drastically underdeveloped, which has caused the region to have the world’s lowest electricity access rate at 24 percent, […] Read more

Power Food by Sony

Joining the others in a sudden burst of innovation on Apr. 1, Sony introduced its latest invention in fuel technology, Sony Power Foods. Here is what Sony says about it: Now, the same fuel we’ve used to power ourselves for thousands of years can be used to power personal electronics. At Sony, our challenge was […] Read more

In Focus: FIA Formula E

After several years of discussion followed by significant technical development, the FIA Formula E Championship is finally ready to launch its inaugural season. Beijing is slated to host the initial event on the 2014/2015 calendar, by offering a city circuit configuration integrated within the boundaries of Beijing’s Olympic Village. Each event’s format will largely mirror […] Read more

Artificial Photosynthesis: Coming Soon

Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory in collaboration with researchers from Arizona State University have found a way to imitate Photosystem II, the first protein complex in the long chain of reactions that use energy from the sun to create usable fuel. The result was reported in the journal Nature Chemistry (see footnote). […] Read more

Solar: Leading the Nation in Job Creation

The last couple of weeks have seen a number of great stories published about the benefits that solar is bringing to the economy and the planet. Not only have we seen state rankings for solar potentialfrom the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, a look back at the incredible solar boom of 2013, and a roadmap for reaching 100 percent […] Read more

Multilayered Waveguide Array: Solar’s Big Opportunity?

A new study by researchers at the University at Buffalo explores the use of a nanoscale microchip component called a “multilayered waveguide taper array” that improves the chip’s ability to trap and absorb light. Unlike current chips, the waveguide tapers (the thimble-shaped structures pictured above) slow and ultimately absorb each frequency of light at different […] Read more

In Focus: Reducing Business Energy Costs

It is possible for each business to make changes in order to reduce energy costs. Changes may consist of investments on a large scale or for some more frugal businesses, the green standard may come by way of subtle changes. Regardless, green standards in the work environment or within the domestic environment are necessary in […] Read more

Vermont Raises Support for Solar

Vermont is swimming against the tide ofALEC and other Koch-sponsored Americans for Prosperity bills that are moving through the states to make it harder to grow renewable energy. In Vermont, the legislature voted to increase solar net-metering to reward homeowners and businesses for installing solar systems. They raised the net-metering cap substantially – from 4% of a utility’s peak load to 15%. […] Read more

Can Solar Save Brazil?

The newest project from world-leading solar module maker Yingli Green Energy is a 1-megawatt installation at Brazil’s Arena Pernambuco soccer stadium, the site of five upcoming 2014 FIFA World Cup matches. Built by Brazilian solar pioneer Grupo Neoenergia, the net-metered system is in the solar-supportive state of Pernambuco’s capital, Recife. The 3,650 monocrystalline panels will generate more […] Read more