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 solar-power business is expanding quickly in the U.S., helping lift the cloud that has surrounded the industry since the demise of Solyndra LLC a year ago. But the growth isn't coming from U.S. solar-panel manufacturing, despite the money and rhetoric devoted to the industry by the Obama administration. Instead, it is in installations of largely foreign-made panels, whose falling price has made solar more competitive with other forms of power.
A previously approved plan that will allow many city-owned facilities to be partly powered by the sun saw a new partner added to the contract Tuesday night.
The U.S. Army is currently in the experimental phase of an alternative energy program that could make the military a little less reliant on fossil fuels. Out of the laboratory and into the field, the Army’s program SAGE includes innovative technologies, such as solar panels, and other measures that are gradually being introduced to various base camps to test their efficiency limits and personnel capacities.
Clean Energy Collective (CEC) has been awarded six community-owned solar gardens as part of Xcel's Solar*Rewards Community program, totaling 2.5 MW of distributed power generation. Through the new program, Clean Energy Collective will construct and maintain solar arrays, known as solar gardens, in centralized locations across the state.
When New England Patriots fans returned to Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Mass., for Monday's preseason game, dreaming no doubt about another shot at the Super Bowl, they were greeted by nearly 2,600 rooftop panels pointed at the sun. The Patriots, known for their smart tactics on the field, are switching to solar power for their off-field shopping and dining complex next door to the stadium.