Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Salt Lake City to build 1 megawatt solar farm

(Chris Detrick | The Salt Lake Tribune) Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker speaks during a ground-breaking ceremony on a solar farm in Salt Lake City Tuesday November 26, 2013. On completion, the solar array will produce 1 megawatt of renewable energy from 3,000 panels covering roughly four acres. The project was financed as part of the publicly approved new Public Safety Building and will help that facility achieve a net zero energy rating. Solar energy will help power the new $125M Public Safety Building. By Christopher Smart | The Salt Lake Tribune First Published Nov 26 2013. Let the sunshine in. Salt Lake City announced Tuesday it will build a solar farm that will increase by tenfold the municipality’s ability to create energy from the sun.  The four-acre facility at 1955 S. 500 West should go online by late winter or early spring. At a brief ceremony Tuesday, city officials said it would produce 1,000 kilowatts — or 1 megawatt — the energy equivalent to power about 150 homes for a year. The $3 million farm is to be constructed on a former four-acre landfill site that would be cost prohibitive for other types of development because it would require excavation. The solar project will pay for itself in 10 years, said Vicki Bennett, the city’s sustainability director. After that, the energy created by the facility will be free, except for maintenance costs. The solar farm will help power the new $125 million Public Safety Building, Bennett said. The building, which opened earlier this year, had space on its roof for enough solar panels to create about 40 kilowatts. Upon its opening, city officials said the Public Safety Building would be "net-zero" — creating as much energy as it uses. The net zero rating will soon be attained with the addition of the new solar farm, said Mayor Ralph Becker.
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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Solar Dominates New US Generating Capacity

Big solar’s big year just keep getting bigger.  The monthly energy infrastructure report from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [PDF], which tracks utility-scale projects, shows that through October, 190 solar units totaling 2,528 megawatts in installed capacity had been added in 2013. That’s more than double the 1,257 MW for the same period in 2012, and constitutes 21 percent of all new electrical generating capacity this year. Through the first three quarters of last year, solar had accounted for just 7 percent of new capacity additions in the year.  Solana Generating Station, Gila Bend, Ariz. (image via Arizona Public Service) October, in particular, was a huge month for utility-scale solar, with the five projects with capacities in double figures coming online – the 280-MW Solana Generating Station in Arizona; 139-MW Campo Verde Solar project in Imperial County, Calif., a 36-MW final phase of the 249-MW California Valley Solar Ranch in San Luis Obispo County, Calif.; the 30 MW Spectrum Solar project in Clark County, Nev.; and the 10-MW Indianapolis International Airport Solar Farm Phase 1.  As the Solar Energy Industries Association gleefully pointed out on Monday, “12 new solar units accounted for 504 MW or 72.1 percent of all new capacity last month” in the United States.
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Monday, November 25, 2013

Elon Musk’s Latest Innovation: Bonds Backed by Solar City's Rooftop Solar Power

We all know that Elon Musk is one of the world’s great innovators. The South African-born developer of PayPal, and current CEO of both Telsa Motors and Spacex may well be a legend in his own time. In 1992, he dropped out of a Ph.D program in Physics at Stanford to pursue entrepreneurial aspirations in the Internet, space exploration and renewable energy. To date, he has achieved major successes in two out of three. And now, as the Chairman of SolarCity, he might have achieved a Triple Crown. The solar installation company has just become the first of its kind to offer bonds backed by rooftop solar panels. This financial innovation will allow solar companies to move away from becoming manufacturers and distributors of solar equipment, into energy companies, selling solar power as a service to their customers. The move is reminiscent of the move Xerox Corporation made back in the 60s, when they moved from selling copiers to selling copies by the click through leasing arrangements. The move proved to be critical to the company’s long-standing success. SolarCity sold $54.4 million worth of bonds last week based on the 68,000 contracts they currently hold. Bloomberg states that the company might raise an additional $200 million early next year.
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Friday, November 22, 2013

Are 90 Companies Responsible For Nearly Two-Thirds Of Global Warming?

The Huffington Post | By James Gerken Posted: 11/21/2013. Can climate change be blamed on a handful of corporations? A new study from the Colorado-based Climate Accountability Institute suggests that 90 companies are responsible for almost two-thirds of global greenhouse gas emissions since the start of the Industrial Revolution. The top 90 emitters include 50 investor-owned energy companies like BP, ExxonMobil and Shell, along with 31 state-owned companies and some nation-states themselves. 83 of the 90 are coal, oil and gas producers and the remaining seven are cement manufacturers. The researchers argue that this group is responsible for the equivalent of 914 gigatons of carbon dioxide, explained the Guardian, which accounts for 63 percent of industrial carbon dioxide and methane emissions between 1751 and 2010. In fact, half of the greenhouse gas emissions analyzed in the the study were reportedly emitted in the past 25 years.
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Thursday, November 21, 2013

Via Trucks Solar Tonneau: an Electric Truck that Doesn't Need a Plug

By Sebastian Blanco Posted Nov 20th 2013 7:20pm. Via Motors knows a thing or two about standing on the shoulders of others. The plug-in hybrid utility vehicle company's entire business plan is to take big General Motors vehicles and convert them to something with a plug, with the support of Bob Lutz (pictured, with the VTrux, a converted Chevrolet Silverado). Here at the Los Angeles Auto Show, the company isn't on the press release schedule until tomorrow, but the brand new solar tonneau cover is just sitting out on the convention center floor. So we went to take a look. Jeffrey Esfeld, Via's director of national fleet sales and business development, told AutoblogGreen that the the idea is to use all the real estate available over the truck bed to increase the vehicle's efficiency. The industrial-grade solar panels will take a "fair amount" of abuse, Esfeld said. The new solar tonneau will be available in two versions, 800- and 400-watts, that will both help power the car's battery or, if used at a work site, any power tools running off of the truck's outboard power outlet. If you park the truck in the sun all day, the solar panels can add up to six (in the 400-watt model) and ten (800) miles of range to the battery pack. That's why the company's slogan is "an electric truck that doesn't need a plug." Via will not be announcing the price tomorrow, but since the truck and tonneau will be available in March, we don't expect we will have to wait too long. The truck is supposed to start at $79,000.
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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Why China's Solar Building Boom Is Good for the United States

By Todd Woody Nov 19 2013. China will install a third of the world's photovoltaic capacity next year—and that means cheaper solar panels for the U.S. China is on track to install a record 12,000 megawatts of solar panels in 2014, according a report released today. At peak output, that’s the equivalent of a dozen huge nuclear power plants. The panels won't just give energy to China, though; they will also fuel a photovoltaic power shift in the United States. The solar boom of recent years has largely been the result of a flood of cheap solar panels from China, home to about 80 percent of the world’s photovoltaic manufacturing capacity. But that came with a price: Chinese solar manufacturers vastly expanded production, saddling themselves with billions of dollars in debt just as revenues collapsed along with solar panel prices. Suntech, once the world’s largest photovoltaic manufacturer, filed for bankruptcy earlier this year. The company’s rivals, meanwhile, have struggled to survive, cutting corners to save money and prompting worries about a spike in the number of defective solar panels that have begun to appear in the U.S. and elsewhere.
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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Solar Thermal System Splits Water for Hydrogen Fuel

A laboratory model of a multi-tube solar reactor at the University of Colorado Boulder that can be used to split water in order to produce clean hydrogen fuel (Credits: University of Colorado Boulder).
Researchers from the University of Colorado have designed a novel water splitting solar-thermal system to produce hydrogen fuel. This research is being funded by the National Science Foundation and by the U.S. Department of Energy and it will lay the foundations for the use of hydrogen as a green fuel. The simplified reaction sequence may also provide new opportunities to produce hydrogen fuel in space. The system uses an array of mirrors to concentrate sunlight onto single point on a huge tower. This generates temperatures as high as 1,350 Celsius, which is then transferred to a reactor containing metal oxides. Due to the high temperature, the metal oxides release oxygen, forming a new compound which seeks out oxygen atoms. When steam is introduced to this compound, the oxygen from the steam adheres to the surface of the metal oxide, and freeing up the hydrogen from steam. “We have designed something here that is very different from other methods and frankly something that nobody thought was possible before,” said Alan Weimer a Professor from the University of Colorado Chemical and Biological Engineering department, Executive Director of the Colorado Center for Biorefining and Biofuels (C2B2), and research group leader. He added that, “Splitting water with sunlight is the Holy Grail of a sustainable hydrogen economy.”
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Monday, November 18, 2013

Solar-panel sunglasses recharge your iPhone in the evening

By Tim Hornyak November 16, 2013. Slap some solar panels on your Ray-Bans and soak up some juice for your iPhone 5. Could these Ray-Ban Shama Shades be a portable power pack? This may have been suggested before, but if not it's a great idea that's been sitting on our noses all this time.Designer Sayalee Kaluskar has turned a pair of Ray-Ban sunglasses into an iPhone charging device by adding solar panels to them. The Ray-Ban Shama Shades are part of a student project at Miami Ad School--San Francisco. The shades have a small solar panel on each arm, and that's apparently enough to charge an iPhone 5 when the sun goes down.We've seen solar panels on wearable gear like Ralph Lauren backpacks, and we've also seen a recent Apple application for a patent on a system to outfit mobile devices with their own solar power converters. It seems people are keen on tapping solar energy on the go, provided they can harness enough of it to be useful. 

Friday, November 15, 2013

Benefits of Solar Thermal for Laundromats - new article by Ted Bavin in Coin Laundry News!

Check out my article on the Benefits of Solar for Laundromats that was just published in the Coin Laundry News magazine November, 2013.

Dauphin County Pennslyvania - Prison could get solar hot water system

Jeff Frantz on November 13, 2013. 
On Wednesday, the Dauphin County Commissioners heard a proposal to replace aging hot water heaters at the county prison with new, high efficiency hot water heaters and pumps and a solar hot water system.
Dauphin County Prison is on the verge of getting more efficient. On Wednesday, the county commissioners heard a proposal to replace aging hot water heaters with new, high efficiency hot water heaters and pumps and a solar hot water system. The project would follow other energy upgrades at the prison, and would save the county an estimated $3,021 a year. The $349,00 cost would be paid for with Act 39 money, which allows municipalities to borrow against projected energy savings. After factoring in the $114,392 in additional savings from previous projects at the prison, plus an expected $47,355 in future additional savings from those projects, the new hot water system would pay for itself in 4.66 years, said Mitch Dexter of Constellation. When Dexter finished his presentation, Commissioner George Hartwick III asked what other county buildings could reap similar savings.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Japan Goes Solar: This is what happens when a country confronts the real costs of nuclear and fossil fuels.

By Will Oremus.  It looks like some idealistic architecture student’s vision for the future of sustainable energy production. In fact, it's a photo of a real-life solar plant that went into operation on Nov. 1 in Japan. This is what happens when a country confronts the real costs of nuclear and fossil fuels. The Kagoshima Nanatsujima Mega Solar Power Plant, built by the electronics manufacturer Kyocera, boasts postcard views of Kagoshima Bay and Sakurajima volcano. It’s also Japan’s largest, with a capacity of 70 megawatts. That’s enough to power some 22,000 Japanese homes. The $280 million project is part of a national effort to invest in clean, renewable energy as the country continues to grapple with the fallout of the Fukushima nuclear disaster. The country’s new feed-in tariffs have made it one of the world’s fastest-growing solar markets.

This sort of sprawling solar-panel farm is hardly the most efficient form of power generation in terms of either cost or the amount of land required. Still, it makes more sense when you consider that Japan has been dealing with soaring energy prices in the wake of a disaster that threw into question its entire nuclear-power program into question. While solar is clearly more expensive than nuclear power, the Washington Post noted in June:  Most consumers think that sacrifice is worthwhile, and they say nuclear power has hidden cleanup and compensation costs that emerge only after an accident. Fossil fuels, meanwhile, release harmful greenhouse gases and must be imported from Australia, Russia, Indonesia and the Middle East. In other words, this gorgeous solar plant is what happens when a country comes face-to-face with the full societal costs of more traditional power sources.

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Google to invest in six more large solar panel farms in the Southwest

By Katie Fehrenbacher Six more solar panel farms in the deserts of California and Arizona are getting Google as a backer. Google’s over a billion dollar commitment to clean energy projects — a Hoover’s Dam worth of renewable energy — keeps growing. On Thursday Google announced that it will invest $80 million into six solar panel farms in California and Arizona. The solar panel farms have been under developed by project developer Recurrent Energy, which was bought by Sharp a few years ago, and has been rumored to be soon sold off by Sharp (though Sharp denied that rumor this Summer). The solar panel farms have a combined capacity of 106 MW, which can generate enough electricity to power 17,000 homes, and five of the projects are in Southern California, while one is in Arizona. Google teamed up with investment group KKR to purchase the plants –which will be operational next year — outright for a total cost of $400 million. Back in late 2011 Google made a similar deal with KKR and Recurrent Energy for some solar panel farms in Sacramento.
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Wednesday, November 13, 2013

LA Could Create Tens of Thousands of New Jobs if Solar Were on 5% of Rooftops

By Marc Lifsher November 13, 2013. Los Angeles County could create tens of thousands of new jobs and reduce global-warming-causing carbon emissions if solar-voltaic panels are installed on just 5% of available rooftops, says a just-issued report. The study by the Environmental Defense Fund and the Luskin Center for Innovation at UCLA, released Wednesday, predicts that 29,000 installer jobs would open up. Carbon emissions would be reduced by 1.25 million tons, the equivalent of taking a quarter of a million cars off the roads each year.  Researchers came up with the data doing the Los Angeles Solar and Efficiency Report (LASER), which includes detailed maps of nine sub-regions that have the potential for cost-effective and efficient solar arrays on buildings. The "Solar Atlas" is to be used as a guide for local government officials, building owners and investors in planning to expand the use of renewable energy and to mitigate the effects of climate change. The three zones with the best potential for expanding rooftop solar power are the San Fernando Valley, East Los Angeles and downtown Los Angeles, researchers said. All three areas have many large roofs and enjoy many sunny days, they said.
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See LA Solar & Efficiency Report 2013

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Solar in Italy - Renewable Energy Provides 25% of Power for the Country

By Mark Smith of Solar Forward. Italy is a beautiful country, and it gets over 25% of its electricity from renewables! I'm greatly enjoying my visit to Italy, and touring solar installations across the picturesque countryside. From the looks of it, the solar panels are from China with no labels on them. Windmills are everywhere spinning faster than I have ever seen. As I travel the Italian countryside, I’m hearing great stories of energy independence. There seems to be more wind and sun power here, than anywhere in Europe. I’ve been told there is never a problem passing an inspection for a solar installation, there is no 3 foot or 4 foot rule on top or side for homes or businesses ("who wants to walk on burning building and you have insurance, no?"), and up time is great once the projects get finished. Sicily has done more in less time for renewable energy, and can even export electricity on a good day. The National Research Council released Sicily’s Solar Report 2012, showing that there are 250 PV companies, 20,000 solar plants employing 3,000 people, and 5 million solar panels on the island, of which 93% are installed on the rooftops of private homes which supplies 10% of the electricity need in the region. I’m impressed.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Solar Power International 2013 Recap

By Solar Builder Magazine. The solar energy industry was in high gear at Solar Power International 2013 (SPI), on October 21-24 at the McCormick Place in Chicago, where participants plugged into the technologies, personal connections and professional insights that gave rise to new business and learning opportunities. Widely regarded as the don't-miss industry event of the year presented by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA), SPI drew more than 15,000 professionals in solar energy and related fields from 75-plus countries. Nearly 700 companies representing the entire solar industry spectrum exhibited on 300,000 net sq ft of space. SPI presented a full range of opportunities to make connections, and to build their network face to face in SPI’s general sessions, conference sessions, receptions and training workshops or on the dynamic exhibit floor. 
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How to Market Solar Energy to Women, and Why It's Important

By Rosana Francescato. At Solar Power International last week, Russo and Wiseman unveiled their preliminary findings. After reaching out to 150 women in solar, they looked outside the industry. In just a couple weeks they heard back from 200 women consumers.  Their survey posed 20 questions based on Marti Barletta’s five stages of buying. Answers in so far confirm that women are crucial to the solar market:
  • Stage 1: Deciding when to enter the market. About 63% of women surveyed said that if they’d had the discussion about going solar, they were the ones who initiated it. About 27% of discussions were initiated by both partners, with only about 11% by men alone. The numbers were similar for doing the legwork and research.
  • Stage 2: The short list. Over half -- 56% -- of respondents who had pursued solar for their homes talked to 2 – 3 companies once they were serious about it. While this result is not specific to women, it shows that we need to start by selling consumers the idea of solar, not a specific company.
  • Stage 3: In-person meeting. Choosing a contractor was more of a joint effort, with 67% of respondents doing that with their partner. When just one partner made the decision, though, it was far more likely to be the woman: women picked the contractor by themselves in 30% of cases, compared to 3% for men.
  • Stage 4: Paying bills. As noted previously, in most households, women are the ones who pay the bills and track the budget. That was borne out in this survey: 83% of respondents said they’re the ones who pay the bills.
  • Stage 5: Word of mouth. Women like to share information with their friends, family, and co-workers. But we don’t like to do it for money. When asked to rank the gifts they’d prefer as a thank-you for going solar, 76% of women said they'd like a check back, while only 26% preferred a check for each friend they referred -- numbers were even lower for non-monetary gifts (the numbers reflect that each woman could rank multiple options). Given that women are such an important part of the market, solar companies may want to rethink giving referral checks.
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Friday, November 8, 2013

Solar Radiant Floor Heating Benefits Allergy Sufferers

Solar Radiant Floor Heating - All Valley Solar installs home heating systems that supply solar radiant heat from heated water flowing through PEX tubing inside a concrete slab under your floor - it can’t be seen or heard, but it’s certainly felt! Radiant-floor heating systems commonly involve PEX (cross-linked polyethylene) tubing embedded in a concrete slab; hot water is pumped through the tubing. The slab warms up and slowly radiates heat into the room. Radiant-floor heating systems can also be achieved with tubing under wooden floors. Solar radiant heating is more energy efficient than electrical or gas heat, and provides a warm cozy feeling without the uneven drafty feeling that forced air heat often produces. Radiant floor heat also provides relief from asthmatic conditions as there is no dirt, viruses, or dust being blown around the home. Energy experts calculate that you can easily save 25% of your heating costs with a radiant heating system. A hybrid solar system on new construction can provide year-round hot water, winter radiant floor heating and spring-summer-fall pool heating all in one system.  Call All Valley Solar for a Solar Radiant Floor Heating Estimate for your Home!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

1192-unit Maryland Condominium Gets Solar Hot Water

By Anne Fischer 4 November 2013. In the past, solar and condos have not had a good relationship because many condominium associations veto the installation of any type of solar. But in Maryland (US) the Greenbriar Condominiums is a unique community in that it has a sustainability plan. The 1192-unit community in Greenbelt, Maryland is getting its electrical needs met 100% by wind power and recently flipped the switch on a 59-collector solar hot water system that uses state-of-the-art, low-cost technology. The solar equipment installed at Greenbriar by Skyline Innovations is designed to pre-heat the city water supply before it reaches the conventional natural gas fired boilers. Because the water is warmer when it reaches the fossil fuel-powered water heater, that water heater turns on less frequently and the residents of the community save energy and money. To pre-heat the domestic water supply, fluid is pumped through fifty-nine TEVA MaxG2 solar energy collectors on the roof of the Greenbriar plant, collecting heat like a garden hose left in the sun. A Polaris double-walled heat exchanger transfers the heat from solar panels into the cold potable water supply. At night, when the sun is gone and the outdoor temperature is cold, a Resol pump controller senses the temperature of the solar panels and turns off the solar pump leaving the gas-fired water heater to function normally.
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Solar-Hungry Japan Opens Its Biggest Plant Ever

By Pete Danko Japan this week celebrated the opening of the largest solar photovoltaic power plant in the nation, a spectacular 70-megawatt installation in Kagoshima City on a big plot of largely undeveloped land that juts out into Kagoshima Bay.  The Kagoshima Nanatsujima Mega Solar Power Plant, which was developed by a group of companies headed up by Kyocera, is yet another sign of Japan’s rising solar profile. In September, market tracker Solarbuzz reported that Japan had exceeded 10 gigawatts in installed solar PV capacity, becoming the fifth country to do so (after Germany, Italy, China and the U.S.).
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Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Cape Town South Africa Eliminates Upfront Costs of Installing Solar Hot Water Heating to Residents

By Bekezela Phakathi, 04 November 2013.  CAPE Town has embarked on an aggressive drive to roll out solar-water heaters that will see "creditworthy residents" being offered finance for the installation of the heaters. Speaking at the launch of the city’s residential solar water heater accreditation programme on Monday, mayor Patricia de Lille said accredited suppliers’ had entered into a formal partnership with financial institutions to offer installation finance to residents.  "This will eliminate the upfront costs of purchasing a solar water heater, which has often been an obstacle for many residents in the past," Ms de Lille said.  The city aims to install between 60,000 and 150,000 high-pressure solar water heaters in the next five years.  It says the heaters cost between R12,000 and R20,000. According to the city, there are about 220,000 electric hot-water cylinders in private properties across Cape Town that would benefit from replacement with solar water heaters.  The solar heaters could significantly reduce the amount of money households spend on electricity. They are also seen as vital in the drive to introduce renewable energy and in attempts to ease pressure on South Africa’s electricity grid. Solar heaters could also contribute up to 23% to the government’s target of renewable energy, contributing 100,00GWh of final energy consumption by the end of 2013.
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Monday, November 4, 2013

SunPower Buys Greenbotics for Solar Panel Washing Robots

By Ehren Goossens - Nov 3, 2013  SunPower Corp. (SPWR), the second-largest U.S. solar manufacturer, bought Greenbotics Inc., maker of robots that clean panels to increase the amount of power they can generate.  The robots clean dirt and dust off of photovoltaic and solar thermal arrays and cut water use by 90 percent, San Jose, California-based SunPower said today in a statement. Terms of the deal, the seventh acquisition SunPower has done since it was formed, weren’t disclosed. SunPower plans to use the systems at projects it develops, especially in the western U.S., the Middle East and Chile, as an alternative to pressure washers and sprayer trucks. The robots will cut water use, save money and boost annual energy yield in dry, dusty regions by as much as 15 percent, according to the release. “It’s half the cost of normal cleaning,” SunPower Chief Executive Officer Tom Werner said in an Nov. 1 interview. The technology, which he likened to a Roomba vacuum cleaner, “is one we can scale.” Robots like ones made by Davis, California-based Greenbotics are becoming more common in the solar industry as a way to reduce installation and maintenance costs and make the power more competitive with fossil fuel. Panel prices have dropped more than 60 percent in the past three years.  
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Friday, November 1, 2013

Back to growth: SunPower to boost solar cell manufacturing by 25%

By Ucilia Wang Oct. 30, 2013 SunPower plans to build a new solar cell factory, a move that reverses the trend of solar manufacturers shuttering factories to deal with an over supply of solar equipment worldwide that began in 2011. Until very recently, closing down solar factories had become a normal occurrence, a natural result of the worldwide glut of solar equipment. But now that trend is starting to reverse, and the latest evidence comes from solar cell maker SunPower, which on Wednesday said it plans to actually increase its solar cell production capacity by 25 percent, or 350 MW.   The Silicon Valley company plans to build out the new factory at a pre-existing manufacturing site in the Philippines and start production in 2015, said CEO Tom Werner during a call to discuss the company’s third-quarter earnings. With the new factory, the company will have about 1.8 GW of solar cell production capacity. And in fact, demand for SunPower’s solar panels has been so strong as of late that the company has been running all of its factories fully over the last two quarters.

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Solar and wind innovation reflected in booming patents

Wendy Koch, USA TODAY October 12, 2013. Just how much better can a solar panel or wind turbine be? Quite a bit, suggests the surging number of global patents for renewable technologies. (Photo: AP) Innovators seek more patents for the booming solar and wind markets, and an MIT study finds there are now more of these patents than for fossil fuels. Rising global demand for renewable energy is driving innovation. Innovation in solar, wind and other renewable power is booming worldwide, especially in China, and is now eclipsing that in fossil fuels — an about-face that occurred in just one generation, new research shows. In the United States alone, the number of renewable-energy patents exceeded 1,000 annually by 2009 — up from fewer than 200 per year in the 1975-2000 period. In contrast, patents for coal, oil or gas technologies rose to about 300 in 2009, up from 100 annually in earlier decades  
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Solar Rebound Beating Dot-Com Recovery as Demand Surges

By Ehren Goossens - Oct 31, 2013 1:35 AM PT Solar industry manufacturers are rebounding from a two-year slump faster than technology companies recovered from the dot-com bubble of the late 1990s. The benchmark BI Global Large Solar Energy Index of 15 manufacturers, which slumped 87 percent from a February 2011 peak through November 2012, has regained 55 percent of its value in the past year. The technology-dominated Nasdaq Composite (CCMP) index reached its post-bubble low in October 2002 and regained 37 percent of its March 2000 peak value in the next year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. An employee of SunPower Corp. trims the edges and checks solar panels at the SunPower Corp. module manufacturing plant at Flextronics in Milpitas, California. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg
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