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Colorado State’s Giant Solar Array Lights Up the Campus

Pueblo, Colorado, January 16, 2009
Source: Environmental News Service ENS

A new solar power system has been installed at Colorado State University-Pueblo that will provide more than 10 percent of the future power needs on campus.  The 1.2-megawatt solar power system, one of the largest at an educational institution in the United States, will help the university control utility costs as prices and usage increase over time.  The system was built on the east side of the Pueblo campus near the university’s physical plant complex and softball fields. The solar array covers 4.3 acres with more than 6,800 photovoltaic panels, and can generate about 1,800 megawatt hours of electricity per year. (more…)

Spain Installed More Than 3GW of Solar in 2008

The latest estimates from the Spanish government show that the new capacity added last year exceeded some expectations by as much as threefold.
by: Ucilia Wang, January 16, 2009

How big was the Spanish solar market in 2008? Three times bigger than many analysts have anticipated.  Spain’s National Energy Commission (CNE) this week estimated that about 3.1 gigawatts of solar power were connected to the grid from January through November 2008, said Gordon Johnson, head of the alternative energy research at Hapoalim Securities in New York City.  Since the Spanish program began, around 3.75 gigawatts have been installed there. (more…)

California utility PG&E to open wallet for solar

by Martin LaMonica, Indiana Wells, CA, January 21, 2009
Source: CNet News;title

Pacific Gas & Electric, one of the country’s largest and most progressive utilities, will invest directly in solar power plants and solar panels distributed in different California communities.  CEO Peter Darbee said the move represents the first time that PG&E–already a large purchaser of solar and other renewable energy technologies–will build and own solar installations. Right now, the utility purchases clean energy from third parties. (more…)

Solar industry looks for light at tunnel’s end

By Matt Nauman, 20 Jan 2009
Source: Sajn Jose Mercury News

Solar-industry executives paint a bright future for their industry, one where photovoltaic panels adorn roofs of homes and businesses and huge power plants capture the sun’s rays to generate electricity. But the industry currently finds itself under cloudy skies and buffeted by threatening winds.  The solar tax credits approved late last year gave the industry a boost, and its leaders are hopeful for an even bigger boost by President Barack Obama, who has promised to promote clean technologies and energy alternatives to oil. But it’s far from clear just how much help will come, and when. (more…)

Salford Univ’s single-step solar cells

More efficient, cost-effective and durable thin-film solar cells could be made by adapting the sputtering technique used to create anti-reflection glass.
Siobhan Wagner, 14 January 2009
Source: The Engineer

Researchers at Salford University believe the method is ideal for the large-scale deposition of copper indium diselenide (CIS) — a thin-film photovoltaic material that is seen as a more efficient alternative to amorphous silicon.  CIS cells absorb 99 per cent of the sunlight that hits them and have the potential to convert 20 per cent of this into useful electrical power. They are also better able to withstand damage from solar radiation, so are ideal for use in space-based applications. (more…)

Solar Power signs supply deal with Chinese maker JA Solar

•  To buy up to 60 Megawatts of solar cells
•  ‘A true strategic relationship with strong mutual benefit’
Roseville, January 5, 2009

Roseville-based Solar Power Inc. (OTCBB: SOPW) says it has signed a contract with JA Solar Holding Co. Ltd. (NASDAQ: JASO) for up to 60 Megawatts of polycrystalline photovoltaic cells.  Solar Power says it needs the cells to meet increased customer demand in Europe, Asia, and for turnkey systems in the United States. The cells will go into SPI’s solar modules.  Based in Hebei, China, JA Solar is one of the world’s largest producers of high-performance solar cells. (more…)

Solar energy : Seeing red

To make solar cells more efficient, sprinkle them with silver
Source: The Economist, Jan 8th 2009

MAKERS of solar cells face a dilemma. Purified silicon, the basic material of such cells, is expensive. The temptation, therefore, is to use less of it. As a result, the makers have developed a generation of cells whose silicon layers are only a micron or two deep, as opposed to the usual thickness of 200-300 microns. The thinner the cell, however, the less efficient it is. In particular, thin cells fail to capture much light at the red end of the spectrum. That means they produce up to 20% less electricity than standard cells of equivalent area. And that negates some of the advantage of their initial cheapness. (more…)

Solar-Powered Europe

By Siân Harris
article published in SPIE Professional
Source: SPIE.ORG

In recent years, Germany has built an impressive market and industry base in photovoltaics. Now other European countries are following its lead. From SPIE Professional, January 2009. Dazzling sunshine is a poetic image. The idea of powering our homes and businesses from it is also a beautiful idea. Yet there is little that is poetic about one of the heroes in the quest to harvest solar energy from sunlight: legislation. (more…)

NanoMarkets Report on Organic Photovoltaic Materials Markets 2009-2016

* The Future of Thin-Film and Organic Photovoltaics Manufacturing
* Thin Film Photovoltaics Markets: 2008 and Beyond
* The Future of Organic Electronics Manufacturing

The major goal of this report is to analyze and quantify the markets for OPV materials of all kinds. The report includes discussions of both “pure” OPV (using small molecules and primarily polymers) and hybrid approaches to OPV (notably dye sensitive cells.) Coverage includes the latest R&D and commercialization efforts in the area of electrodes, encapsulation and substrates, as well as the core absorber layers, (more…)

Suntech Boasts 1GW Capacity Amid Tough Times for Solar Market

The Chinese solar panel maker could use the manufacturing might to undercut competitors during a year when a panel bumper crop will likely happen.
by  Ucilia Wang, January 8, 2009

Suntech Power Holdings has crossed the all-important milestone of being able to produce 1 gigawatt of solar panels a year.  The Chinese company celebrated the accomplishment Thursday along with the opening of a new headquarters in the city of Wuxi that comes with 1-megawatt solar panels built into building facade in addition to a host of energy-efficiency features. Suntech makes the solar cells and assembles them into panels.  Reaching 1 gigawatt is certainly worth boasting, although investors will care more about what the company does now that it has that capacity – and how it weathers the economic downturn. (more…)

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