# The newest, latest and breaking news about solar energy.

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### #1 Michaelangelica

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Posted 26 December 2007 - 06:57 PM

$1 Dollar a Watt Solar. For Nanosolar of San Jose, California - and perhaps the rest of us - December 18, 2007 was an historic day. It was the day the company shipped the world’s lowest-cost solar panel. The company believes it can be the first solar manufacturer capable of profitably selling solar panels at 99 cents per watt. At that price solar energy becomes less expensive than coal, even when the cost of an entire system is considered. The US Department of Energy says a new coal plant costs about$2.10 per watt plus the cost of fuel and the cost of damaging emissions. There is no fuel cost with solar energy, nor any direct damage to the world.

The crew at Nanosolar must certainly be happy, but should the rest of us dance and cheer?

Be happy but the world is not yet powered by solar, nor will it be anytime soon. Those now pricey coal power plants operate 24/7. Solar power is still reliant on daylight.

Then again a lot of new coal-fired plants won’t have to be built, and for sunny, but windless, regions photovoltaic solar now becomes a viable choice for low cost renewable energy. Further, for windy areas, but with strong local opposition to wind energy, solar would be an option if land, rooftops or parking lots are available. Nobody protests against solar power plants.

So far nanotechnologies have produced cutting-edge energy products much as predicted.
Solar power is. . .

ENN: $1 Dollar a Watt Solar. ### #2 Michaelangelica Michaelangelica Creating • Members • 7797 posts Posted 31 December 2007 - 05:09 AM Panels start solar power 'revolution' The holy grail of renewable energy came a step closer yesterday as thousands of mass-produced wafer-thin solar cells printed on aluminium film rolled off a production line in California, heralding what British scientists called "a revolution" in generating electricity. The solar panels produced by a Silicon Valley start-up company, Nanosolar, are radically different from the kind that European consumers are increasingly buying to generate power from their own roofs. Printed like a newspaper directly on to aluminium foil, they are flexible, light and, if you believe the company, expected to make it as cheap to produce electricity from sunlight as from coal. Yesterday Nanosolar said its order books were full until mid-2009 and that a second factory would soon open in Germany where demand for solar power has rocketed. Britain was unlikely to benefit from the technology for some years because other countries paid better money for renewable electricity, it added. "Our first solar panels will be used in a solar power station in Germany," said Erik Oldekop, Nanosolar's manager in Switzerland. "We aim to produce the panels for 99 cents [50p] a watt, which is comparable to the price of electricity generated from coal. RESPECT - THE UNITY COALITION (The Respect Supporters Blog): Solar energy 'revolution' brings green power closer by John Vidal Just the yesterday I was reading discussion about the expense of solar power opposed to coal plants and how solar will never be as cheap as coal; and then I found out that Nanosolar, a Silicon Valley company funded by the founders of google, has announced that it has shipped it’s first solar panels. Why is this a big deal? Our product is defining in more ways I can enumerate here but includes: - the world’s first printed thin-film solar cell in a commercial panel product; - the world’s first thin-film solar cell with a low-cost back-contact capability; - the world’s lowest-cost solar panel - which we believe will make us the first solar manufacturer capable of profitably selling solar panels at as little as$.99/Watt;

- the world’s highest-current thin-film solar panel - delivering five times the current of any other thin-film panel on the market today and thus simplifying system deployment;

- an intensely systems-optimized product with the lowest balance-of-system cost of any thin-film panel - due to innovations in design we have included.

Breaking the $1 per watt barrier is important; that means that it is possible to build a solar system that is cheaper than a coal plant. Groundbreaking New Solar Panels ### #3 Michaelangelica Michaelangelica Creating • Members • 7797 posts Posted 02 January 2008 - 04:15 AM Carbon electrodes could slash cost of solar panels * 12:43 19 December 2007 * NewScientist.com news service Transparent electrodes created from atom-thick carbon sheets could make solar cells and LCDs without depleting precious mineral resources, say researchers in Germany. Solar cells, LCDs, and some other devices, must have transparent electrodes in parts of their designs to let light in or out. These electrodes are usually made from indium tin oxide (ITO) but experts calculate that there is only 10 years' worth of indium left on the planet, with LCD panels consuming the majority of existing stocks. Carbon electrodes could slash cost of solar panels - tech - 19 December 2007 - New Scientist Tech ### #4 DougF DougF Hypo Contributer • Members • 1229 posts Posted 02 January 2008 - 08:38 AM Thanks Michaelangelica, This is good news for us all. ### #5 Michaelangelica Michaelangelica Creating • Members • 7797 posts Posted 07 January 2008 - 12:19 AM In Germany, solar energy already provides 3 gigawatts of electricity, the equivalent of four large fossil fuel power stations. In 2003, the German government passed a law obliging energy companies to purchase solar energy from anyone who can produce it at nearly double the market price. The result? Homeowners and business flocked to buy photo voltaic (PV) cells and Germany's 300,000 PV cells now account for nearly 60% of the world's solar panels. This upsurge for demand for in solar technology has had the knock-on effect of stimulating research and development. Worldwide Sawdust:: Welcome to the Solar Century SunPower to Build 8 Megawatt Solar Power Plant in Spain Naturener Expands SunPower Deployment to Approximately 30 Megawatts January 04, 2008: 08:00 AM EST SAN JOSE, Calif., Jan. 4 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- SunPower Corp. , a Silicon Valley-based manufacturer of high-efficiency solar cells, solar panels and solar systems, today announced that its Spanish subsidiary will engineer, procure equipment for and construct an approximately 8 megawatt solar electric power plant in the Extremadura region of Spain. SunPower to Build 8 Megawatt Solar Power Plant in Spain New solar energy collector so efficient it works at night The key to it all is nanotechnology. With this new technology, millions of extremely small twists of metal are molded into banks of "microantennas", which can be placed on almost any material, including plastic sheets. These spiral shaped "microantennas" are about 1/25 the width of a human hair. They are so small that they resonate from the interaction with the sun's infrared rays. This resonation can be translated into energy. During the day, the Earth soaks up a lot of this infrared energy, which is then radiated out at night -- enabling these microantennas to collect power even after the sun has set. New solar energy collector so efficient it works at night - Neoseeker News Article ### #6 DougF DougF Hypo Contributer • Members • 1229 posts Posted 07 January 2008 - 04:02 PM Michaelangelica, Thanks for posting this, this will be great once thay get it working. The solar infrared rays hitting the nanoantennas generate a current that has a frequency which oscillates ten thousand billion times a second -- which is far to great of an oscillation that standard electrical appliances can handle. But the teams working on it: ### #7 InfiniteNow InfiniteNow Suspended • Members • 9148 posts Posted 07 January 2008 - 06:06 PM Grrrrr.... All I wanted to know is on what substrate these were made... is it silicon? Is it some sort of thin film? What? What types of machines and chambers does it take to put these together? What are the materials? And they didn't say! Also, conventional solar panels are expensive to produce because the rely on high-grade silicon, which is becoming increasingly expensive. These new solar collectors can be manufactured for much less -- the research team aims "to make nanoantenna arrays as cheap as inexpensive carpet." But! It's not all worked out yet. Still pretty cool, though. ### #8 InfiniteNow InfiniteNow Suspended • Members • 9148 posts Posted 08 January 2008 - 09:54 AM I came across this today and thought I'd share. Cheers. While many people choose to install solar panels for environmental reasons, financial incentives such as tax credits, system rebates, low-interest loans and net metering programs can help tip the scales as you evaluate the costs involved. Some countries, such as Germany and Japan, have had attractive government incentives for some time now. In the U.S., the federal tax credit is capped at$2,000 but consumers can often offset the cost of installation with rebates from their local utility company or state tax credits – as well as the savings in energy costs which accrue over time.

To find out more about current incentives in the U.S. at the federal, state and local level:

DSIRE: DSIRE Home

For information on European incentives:

Green Power Market Development Group

For international incentives in countries outside the U.S. and Europe

Global Renewable Energy Policies and Measures

### #9 Michaelangelica

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Posted 15 January 2008 - 06:57 AM

Looks like India will be the next to subsidise solar panels.
That is one big market!

The new and renewable energy ministry announced that it will provide financial assistance of Rs 12 per kilowatt hour in case of solar photovoltaic and Rs 10 per kilowatt hour in case of solar thermal power fed to the electricity grid. This move will be a shot in the arm for the industry and should result in the immediate action in creation of capacities.

A kicker for solar power

Saturday, January 12, 2008

It deserved to be front-page news, but barely got any ink at all outside the in dustry and business press. A Silicon Valley company, Nanosolar, began production last month of what it calls the "third wave" of photovoltaic technology, which turns sunlight into electricity.
. . .
The breakthrough here isn't in the basic technology, which has been around for about a decade, but rather in its production. What Nanosolar has done is to come up with a means of producing solar cells that is similar to printing a newspaper. Presses apply a layer of solar-absorbing nano (minute) particles to metal sheets at a rate of several hundred feet per minute. Popular Science magazine, describing the likely impact of the technology as "the new dawn of solar," declared it the "innovation of the year" in 2007.
. . .With support from the founders of Google and the Department of Energy, Nanosolar has built the country's largest manufacturing complex for solar panels in the country, with production of 430 megawatts of solar capacity annually. That's about half the capacity of the Unit 1 nuclear reactor at Three Mile Island.

Solar power shines- PennLive.com

Closing the gap on solar

Posted on January 12, 2008
About a third of the cost of a solar panel comes from silicon, and right now it’s only produced by seven companies–the Seven Silicon Sisters. But since the solar industry is so hot, as many as 50 new companies have started up, adding competition and increasing supply, which will put a downward pressure on prices. (One of the new companies, building a factory in China, thinks they can cut silicon prices nearly in half in seven years.)

Closing the gap on solar : SmartPower Blog

The Japanese were looking to open a plant at Lithgow NSW too?

Nanoantennas, a new, more efficient method for solar power?

Nanoantennas, a new, more efficient method for solar power?

### #10 Michaelangelica

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Posted 02 March 2008 - 01:43 PM

Inexpensive Solar Cells Made More Efficient With New Sensitizers

ScienceDaily (Mar. 1, 2008) — Solar cell technology is marching ahead, though it still struggles with the two problems: efficiency and high production costs. In collaboration with Satoshi Uchida at the University of Tokyo, Michael Grätzel and his research group at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne have now developed new sensitizers that should help an inexpensive type of solar cell to be more efficient. The sensitizers are based on the dye indoline.

Inexpensive Solar Cells Made More Efficient With New Sensitizers

With the introduction of the Federal Government rebates a 1kW grid connectable solar system will cost you between $3,900 and$4,300 (after the rebate) to install.

Solar Energy Solutions, Green Energy Solutions

### #11 Michaelangelica

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Posted 05 March 2008 - 01:44 AM

Is wind solar energy?
I guess I can sneak it in?

For about $1,500 (delivered)for 1 Kw this looks the best home DIY value yet. Solar is about twice the price, then you do need to be somewhere windy.(seaside?) ENERGISTAR - Miniwind Futurenergy Kyocera solar wind turbines generators hydro water turbines grid tie inverters renewable alternative energy systems ### #12 Michaelangelica Michaelangelica Creating • Members • 7797 posts Posted 13 March 2008 - 05:20 AM Solar Space Power (13 March) Space is once again ‘the new frontier’ – this time in finding a solution to the Earth’s energy woes. Read more'Solar Space Power'» Watch VideoVideo 7:14 mins Win | RP It seems to me this money would be better spent on putting solar panels on houses, making people independent of big government and big business. But the USA military wants it and they usually get what they want Solar Space Power (13 March) Space is once again ‘the new frontier’ – this time in finding a solution to the Earth’s energy woes. Read more'Solar Space Power'» Watch VideoVideo 7:14 mins Win | RP Solar Space Power (Catalyst, ABC1) ### #13 Michaelangelica Michaelangelica Creating • Members • 7797 posts Posted 17 March 2008 - 04:37 AM Solar Power Paint Is 2.5 Years Away Posted on Mar 16, 2008 - 01:47 PM By: Adam Beazley According to a UK scientist Dr. Dave Worsley, commercial panels of architectural steel, painted with special solar-power paint capable of generating electricity should be available in as little as two and a half years. Dr Worsley and Dr Trystan Watson of Swansea University have developed a new paint based on dye-sensitized solar cells. This new solar paint is a result of previous research into different ways of preventing metal buildings from degrading due to the elements. Dr. Worsley describes the idea as “a collision between two existing technologies – one for generating electricity and one for applying paint to steel.” Neutral Existence: Solar Power Paint Is 2.5 Years Away ### #14 Michaelangelica Michaelangelica Creating • Members • 7797 posts Posted 10 April 2008 - 06:16 PM Not only does Australia have perfect conditions for solar technology, but it has also produced some of the world's best photovoltaic engineers. Last year Zhengrong Shi, a former student at the University of NSW became the richest man in China with his solar cell company Suntech. It is Shi's former teacher Martin Green who currently holds the world record for the most efficient silicon solar cells. . . . At the moment in Australia you can receive an$8,000 rebate for installing solar cells in your home or business. Another great bonus of these cells is their 25-year warranty. What else but a saucepan has that kind of guarantee?
. . .
Australia should look to countries like Germany for direction. Professor Green explains that their rebate scheme isn't a one-off payment like Australia's but a continued payment per unit of electricity, placed back into the power grid. Essentially you can continue to make money from your solar system for the lifetime of the cells
. . .
However, times they are a changing and the federal government's announcement for plans to build Australia's largest solar power station in South Australia is a step in the right direction,

Science Show - 5April2008 - Solar cells

is battery technology and waste pollution/disposal a problem/cost?

What happens when German Power Companies get sick of just providing "back up" power for everyone with solar panels?

### #15 Michaelangelica

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Posted 19 May 2008 - 11:19 PM

New World Record For Efficiency For Solar Cells; Inexpensive To Manufacture

ScienceDaily (May 17, 2008) — Physicist Bram Hoex and colleagues at Eindhoven University of Technology, together with the Fraunhofer Institute in Germany, have improved the efficiency of an important type of solar cell from 21.9 to 23.2 percent (a relative improvement of 6 per cent). This new world record is being presented on Wednesday May 14 at a major solar energy conference in San Diego

New World Record For Efficiency For Solar Cells; Inexpensive To Manufacture

Do you think all this "latest greatest" new technology is making people wait until installing the 'best' system?

### #16 InfiniteNow

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Posted 20 May 2008 - 08:26 AM

Do you think all this "latest greatest" new technology is making people wait until installing the 'best' system?

While it's certainly possible that there are a few out there for whom this is a good enough reason to wait, I'd suggest that the vast majority of delay is caused by the huge front end cost of installation. Nearly everyone wants these things, but very few can afford them.

It's hard to justify a \$15K investment which will take 10-20 years to pay itself back when you're struggling to put food on the table today, ya know?

### #17 Michaelangelica

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Posted 13 June 2008 - 02:07 AM

I think a lot of people are waiting for the price to come down;
& technology and government subsidies to catch up.
Every day it seems there is a 'new' technology heralded.
Sometimes years or decades before its practical application. "False Hope"?

Government subsides should be targeted to the poor, disabled and disadvantaged.

Solar-power paint lets you generate as you decorate

* 13:59 07 March 2008
* NewScientist.com news service

* Michael Marshall

A lick of solar-power paint could see the roofs and walls of warehouses and other buildings generate electricity from the sun, if research by UK researchers pays off.
The scientists are developing a way to paint solar cells onto the steel sheets commonly used to clad large buildings.

Steel sheets are painted rapidly in steel mills by passing them through rollers. A consortium led by Swansea University, UK, hopes to use that process to cover steel sheets with a photovoltaic paint at up to 40 square metres per minute.

The paint will be based on dye-sensitised solar cells. Instead of absorbing sunlight using silicon like conventional solar panels, they use dye molecules attached to particles of the titanium dioxide pigment used in paints.

That gives an energy boost to electrons, which hop from the dye into a layer of electrolyte. This then transfers the extra energy into a collecting circuit, before the electrons cycle back to the dye.

While less efficient than conventional cells, dye-based cells do not require expensive silicon, and can be applied as a liquid paste.

Action HOPE: TECHNOLOGICAL ADVANCES