Kenichi Hazawa, a resident of Ofunato in Japan’s Iwate Prefecture, moved into his new home this summer—a milestone in and of itself. The rebuilding job has been monumental in this coastal city, where almost one-quarter of the 15,000 homes were destroyed by the March 11, 2011, earthquake and tsunami, and nearly 8,000 people were forced into temporary housing. But there’s an important crowning touch on Hazawa’s home: rooftop solar panels.
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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.
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."
We don’t think much about pitch pine poles until storms like Hurricane Sandy litter our landscape with their splintered corpses and arcing power lines.
It seems that nearly weekly we hear more good news on the solar energy front. Today, the Solar Energy Industries Association and GTM Research released their Solar Market Insight Report for Q3 2012, with a summary of accomplishments year to date. The progress is impressive and would have been unimaginable just five years ago. Furthermore, the growth is expected to continue for the next several years, jumping from 3.2 GW in 2012 to 7.8 GW by 2015. Some highlights from the report:
The number of solar installations grew strongly in the nation’s residential, commercial and utility sectors in the third quarter, largely as a result of falling costs, a federal investment tax credit and state programs that support renewable energies, the solar industry’s main trade group reported on Tuesday.
Developers installed 684 megawatts of solar panels in the U.S. in the third quarter, 44 percent more than a year earlier, as residential projects rose to a record, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association.
The White House Chronicle
Rhone Resch, President and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association, appears on this episode of the White House Chronicle to discuss the technology, economics, and policies behind solar energy in the U.S.