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American Solar Energy Society

American Solar Energy Society

Solar Power Information and Facts Solar energy is the technology used to harness the sun's energy and make it useable. As of 2011, the technology produced less than one tenth of one percent of global energy demand. Many are familiar with so-called photovoltaic cells, or solar panels, found on things like spacecraft, rooftops, and handheld calculators. On a much larger scale, solar-thermal power plants employ various techniques to concentrate the sun's energy as a heat source. How to Harness Solar Power In one technique, long troughs of U-shaped mirrors focus sunlight on a pipe of oil that runs through the middle. Other solar technologies are passive. Solar energy is lauded as an inexhaustible fuel source that is pollution- and often noise-free. Pitfalls Solar energy doesn't work at night without a storage device such as a battery, and cloudy weather can make the technology unreliable during the day.

Don’t Be a Party Pooper! How States Can Attract 3rd-Party Owned PPA Financing | Renewable Energy Project Finance 3rd-party owners are helping residential and commercial end-use customers finance new PV projects – but only in certain locations. "Why aren’t they coming to my state", you might ask, "and what can be done to get them here?" Many end users of electricity would like to use on-site photovoltaic (PV) generation to hedge against volatile electric utility bills and reduce climate change impacts. However, PV systems have high initial costs, and they must be properly operated and maintained to deliver expected benefits. As a result, several states have created juicy incentives to reduce the cost of PV to customers, or created renewable mandates to increase the number of new systems. Many of the incentives are production based, to encourage efficient system operation. Enter the 3rd-party owner, who uses a power purchase agreement (PPA) to finance an on-site PV system. However, 3rd-party electricity sales face regulatory and legislative challenges.

Solar Energy Basics | NREL Solar is the Latin word for sun—a powerful source of energy that can be used to heat, cool, and light our homes and businesses. That's because more energy from the sun falls on the earth in one hour than is used by everyone in the world in one year. A variety of technologies convert sunlight to usable energy for buildings. The most commonly used solar technologies for homes and businesses are solar water heating, passive solar design for space heating and cooling, and solar photovoltaics for electricity. Solar panels installed on a home in Colorado. Businesses and industry also use these technologies to diversify their energy sources, improve efficiency, and save money. Solar Photovoltaic Technology These technologies convert sunlight directly into electricity to power homes and businesses. Concentrating Solar Power These technologies harness heat from the sun to provide electricity for large power stations. Solar Process Heat Passive Solar Technology From the U.S. Solar Water Heating U.S.

Solar Policy Can Advance (Or Delay) Grid Parity By A Decade By Climate Guest Contributor on April 2, 2012 at 12:24 pm "Solar Policy Can Advance (Or Delay) Grid Parity By A Decade" by John Farrell, via Energy Self Reliant States In their excellent interactive graphic, Bloomberg Energy Finance calls solar grid parity (when electricity from solar costs less than grid power) the “golden goal.” It’s an excellent illustration of how the right energy policy can help a nation go gold on solar or wallow in metallurgical obscurity. In the case of the U.S., it may mean delaying grid parity by eight years. In the screenshot below, countries in purple have reached the golden goal in 2012, based on the quality of their solar resource and the cost of grid electricity, as well as a 6% expected return on investment for solar developers. By 2020, the universe of countries has expanded significantly, and includes the United States In the U.S., however, there is high uncertainty. This highlights a huge irony in U.S. energy policy.

New water-cooling solar panels could lower the cost of air conditioning by 20% | Science | AAAS Most of us have heard of solar water heaters. Now there’s a solar water cooler, and the technology may sharply lower the cost of industrial-scale air conditioning and refrigeration. The new water coolers are panels that sit atop a roof, and they’re made of three components. The first is a plastic layer topped with a silver coating that reflects nearly all incoming sunlight, keeping the panel from heating up in the summer sun. Researchers at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, recently placed three water cooling panels—each 0.37 square meters—atop a building on campus and circulated water through them at a rate of 0.2 liters every minute. “It’s an excellent paper,” says Ronggui Yang, a mechanical engineer at the University of Colorado in Boulder, who earlier this year reported the development of a plastic film that cools everything it touches up to 10°C.

Interview with Tom Kimbis of SEIA — Summary Clean Power Published on October 4th, 2011 | by Zachary Shahan Our Google+ “hangout” interview with Tom Kimbis, SEIA’s Vice President of Strategy and External Affairs, just wrapped up. Here’s a short summary of it: Update: after Tom’s review, a few things have been corrected. Well, the interview started with some technical problems, unfortunately, but we ended up getting them fixed and got to ask Tom several questions, for which he responded with some good and useful feedback. Question (reader): “I’d like to know what he feels are the most reliable data sources for installed solar, both utility/commercial and residential. Answer: Tom mentioned SEIA’s collaboration with GTM Research and their quarterly U.S. Answer: Tom mentioned what we have written about many times here on CleanTechnica, that the energy industry has received government support for a long, long time, and for good reason — it’s important for our economy. [There was another question and answer in here that is missing]:

Solar panels could destroy U.S. utilities, according to U.S. utilities Solar power and other distributed renewable energy technologies could lay waste to U.S. power utilities and burn the utility business model, which has remained virtually unchanged for a century, to the ground. That is not wild-eyed hippie talk. It is the assessment of the utilities themselves. Back in January, the Edison Electric Institute — the (typically stodgy and backward-looking) trade group of U.S. investor-owned utilities — released a report [PDF] that, as far as I can tell, went almost entirely without notice in the press. I’ve been thinking about how to convey to you, normal people with healthy social lives and no time to ponder the byzantine nature of the power industry, just what a big deal the coming changes are. So, just a bit of background. This complexity makes it difficult to generalize about utilities … or to discuss them without putting people to sleep. Thrilling, I know. It’s worse than that, though. But wait. Indeed! That’s how it starts. Did you follow that?

US Solar Industry Adds Jobs at 6.8% Pace Clean Power Published on September 22nd, 2011 | by Andrew The US solar industry has created 6,735 new jobs across the country since August, 2010, a 6.8% growth rate, bringing to 100,237 the number of Americans working in the industry, according to a preview of The Solar Foundation’s “National Solar Jobs Census.” The 6.8% growth rate in US solar industry jobs compares to a nationwide job growth rate of 0.7% from August 2010-August 2011 as reported by the Dept. of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, and a 2% decline in jobs in fossil fuel electric generation. “The U.S. solar industry is creating jobs at a far greater pace than the economy as a whole,” said Andrea Luecke, executive director of The Solar Foundation. “The National Solar Jobs Census series provides a definitive measure of the U.S. solar workforce and its growth over time. The Solar Foundation’s full solar industry jobs census report will be released in Dallas October 17. About the Author

Solar Grew Faster Than All Other Forms of Power for the First Time - Bloomberg Solar power grew faster than any other source of fuel for the first time in 2016, the International Energy Agency said in a report suggesting the technology will dominate renewables in the years ahead. The institution established after the first major oil crisis in 1973 said 165 gigawatts of renewables were completed last year, which was two-thirds of the net expansion in electricity supply. Solar powered by photovoltaics, or PVs, grew by 50 percent, with almost half of new plants built in China. “What we are witnessing is the birth of a new era in solar PV,” Fatih Birol, executive director of the IEA, said in a statement accompanying the report published on Wednesday in Paris. “We expect that solar PV capacity growth will be higher than any other renewable technology through 2022.” This marks the sixth consecutive year that clean energy has set records for installations. “The solar PV story is a Chinese story,” said Paolo Frankl, head of the IEA’s renewable energy division.

Proposed Solar Development Area Maps View maps showing BLM-administered lands available for solar energy development as identified in the Solar PEIS Record of Decision, including maps of the 17 solar energy zones (SEZs) and the variance areas. Who Should Use these Maps and Why These files provide all users with fast, easy access to downloadable maps of the lands potentially available for solar energy development as identified in the Solar PEIS Record of Decision, in Adobe Acrobat format. These non-interactive maps contain a large amount of data that can be used by anyone; are easy to download, view, or e-mail; and can also be used to create high-quality printed output. Because the data used as the basis for these maps has not been updated or expanded since publication of the Final Solar PEIS, the maps provide a "snapshot" of data used for the PEIS. Solar Energy Zones The 17 SEZs are priority development areas for utility-scale solar energy facilities. Maps of Individual SEZs Land Use Allocations for Solar Energy Development