President Obama Doubles Down on Renewables

Last Friday,  President Obama took an important step toward supporting a clean energy future by directing the Federal Government to consume 20 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020.  This is more than double the current level, making this a significant moment in President Obama’s second term. Renewable energy has become cost-competitive over the years […] Read more

New Energy Patents Increase

A recent study by MIT and Santa Fe Institute (SFI) researchers found a “dramatic growth in innovation” in renewable energy technologies. The scientists based their conclusions on the number of new energy patents issued in the U.S. from 1970 to 2009. The growth is primarily driven by patents that are related to renewable energy. While […] Read more

Thin Film Takes Solar Efficiency Crown

German researchers have broken the record for thin-film PV efficiency, achieving 20.8%. This milestone is especially important because it is the first time thin-film has exceeded the efficiency of standard multicrystalline silicon solar, which currently reaches 20.4% for peak performance. One of the reasons silicon-based PV still dominates the market is its greater ability to convert sunlight into electricity. When thin-film PV first became viable, […] Read more

Sunrun Teams Up with Nest on Energy Efficient Homes

You’ve installed solar on your roof — now how do you make the most of it? That’s a question we’re always asking around these parts, and today Sunrun is helping to provide an answer. (Note: SunRun is an installer partner of’s parent company, One Block Off the Grid.) Through a partnership with Nest, the […] Read more

Solar 2.0: Natural Materials + Synthetic Materials

A ring of protein and pigments, half synthetic and half natural, can be used to quickly prototype light-harvesting antennas that absorb more sunlight than fully natural ones. Graduate student Michelle Harris and research scientist Darek Niedzwiedzki in PARC’s Ultrafast Laser Facility. The laser setup allows them to measure energy transfer steps among pigments in light-harvesting […] Read more

California Utility Renewables: 20.6% in 2011

The newest numbers show that California’s three investor-owned utilities (IOUs) were at 20.6 percent renewables at the end of 2011. With approximately 17 percent at the end of 2010, they fell somewhat short of meeting the state’s 2002 mandate that they obtain 20 percent of their power from renewables by the end of 2010. Governors […] Read more

Sulfurcell unveils 0.8M² prototype with TÜV-tested efficiency of 10.7 percent

At this year’s EU PVSEC, Sulfurcell Solartechnik GmbH will be unveilingthe prototypes for its new product line: 1.25 m x 0.65 m modules with aconsiderably increased efficiency of 10.7 percent and a peak output of86.8 watts. TÜV Rheinland, the German technical inspectionagency, has confirmed the results. In developing the powerful modules,Sulfurcell is relying on a […] Read more

Solar cell production capacity reaching 51 percent at year end as sales double

A massive increase in solar production with anticipated sales increasing more than 100 percent in 2010 is depleting inventory at a rapid rate,according to the report: Opportunities in the Solar Market for Crystalline and Thin Film Solar Cells, published by The Information Network. Inventory levels rose significantly in 2009 as numerous economic factors keptsolar cell […] Read more

Renewable energy to power 4.5 percent of mobile base stations by 2014

As an ever increasing number of people around the world become connected by mobile communications networks, the challenges to providingelectricity to these expanding networks are becoming greater as well. In particular, developing countries are seeing unprecedented growth inwireless subscribers, however many of the base stations in these areasare in remote locales that have limited or […] Read more

Global Solar PV Demand to Grow by 58 Percent in 2010

The global solar PV market ispoised to have a banner year, according to the recently published market outlook from GTM Research: 2010 Global PV Demand Analysis and Forecast, but somesuppliers will find difficulty navigating the forthcoming ebb and flowof subsidy programs and increasing module overcapacity. Buoyed by a continued demand boom in Germany ahead of […] Read more

Solar energy market will grow 43 percent YoY in 2010, but oversupply is likely

The solar energy industry experienced the proverbial “perfect storm” ofmarket-changing events in 2009 that redefined the rules of the game andtherefore altered the competitive landscape as well. Starting inlate 2008, the solar market shifted from supply-constricted todemand-driven within a few quarters due to the plunging price ofcrystalline silicon cells and modules spurred by falling polysiliconcost, […] Read more

Customers Can Cut Energy Demand 20 Percent with Applied $AMAT

a) Vacuum pumpenergy savings; b) Abatement energy savings. Applied Materials technologists are featured in the cover storyof the current issue of Solid State Technology speaking to how energyconsumption and the resulting carbon footprint can be reduced more than20 percent in customer subfabs.  To read the article, click here.  

Solar Energy to acquire 100 percent of Peloton Mining

Solar Energy Ltd previously announced that it was considering theacquisition of Peloton Mining Inc. Peloton’s main asset is theexploration and mining rights of 125 alluvial property in SETanzania. The only other asset of Peloton is that it owns theformer producing Churchill Copper property in Northern B.C. (MagnumMine) subject to a long term option agreement. […] Read more

Google Develops Inexpensive Mirrors to Cut Cost of Solar Thermal by 50 Percent’s research on “Renewable Energy Cheaper than Coal”has seen a breakthrough, as the search engine giant has announced thedevelopment of a new type of concentrating mirror for solar thermalpower plants, which can cut the cost of solar thermal plants in half.Solar thermal plants rely on mirrors to focus sunlight onto a towercarrying a substance that […] Read more