Field patrols will soon have almost weightless solar blankets as well. These will be able to capture a once unthinkable 35pc of the sun's light as energy with thin membranes, a spin-off from technology used in satellites.
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Solar projects in the desert, geothermal power in the mountains and wind energy off the East Coast were cited as examples of progress from top U.S. officials and industry leaders during a green energy conference on Tuesday in Las Vegas.
SEIA and a coalition of renewable and environmental supporters are running an ad in the Las Vegas Review Journal, thanking Interior Secretary Sally Jewell and pledging to work with the Administration to promote the use of environmentally-responsible clean energy on public lands. View the ad.
California, whose green ambitions helped the solar and wind industries take root, is taking an essential next step by proposing a sharp rise in energy storage to better integrate renewable power with the rest of the grid.
Power from sun and wind fluctuates dramatically, so capturing it for later use makes the supply more predictable.
"We can't just rely on sunlight," Governor Jerry Brown told the Intersolar conference in San Francisco last month. "We've got to bottle the sunlight."
The Business Review
The cost of going solar has dropped in New York by 44 percent over the past five years, a trend that's playing out across the country.
Solar energy has become one of the fastest growing industries in the nation, according to a report by the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.
It was up to 14 percent cheaper to install residential and commercial solar systems last year than it was in 2011, according to the report. Prices have dropped an average of up to 7 percent per year since 1998.
The price of solar panels continues to drop, making solar power more cost-effective for mainstream use
Solar power has long been known for its environmental benefits, but as the technology becomes more affordable, it's taken on mainstream use in homes, farms and businesses.
Interior Secretary Ken Salazar officially announced last week that the Department of the Interior has designated 285,000 acres of public land for solar development on pre-sited zones in the Western states of Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico and Utah, as RenewableEnergyWorld.com reported in July.
Making electricity from the sun always appealed to Bruce Monson, an Air Force veteran who lives on a rolling farmstead southeast of Columbia. But when Monson looked to install solar panels on his property, he learned it would cost $22,000. Then he discovered an electric cooperative wanted to charge him $50 a month to connect the panels to a power line.
Milford, Del. -- Milford will be home to Delaware’s largest solar field – and one of the biggest on the East Coast – when work is completed on an 80-acre array currently under construction off of Milford-Harrington Highway.
The El Chaparral Solar Farm in New Mexico has found financial support through Wells Fargo. The solar project, developed by SunEdison, is the sixth utility-scale solar project that Well Fargo has funded, in partnership with SunEdison, in the past year.