The internet of things will run your home, keep you healthy and even check how much food is in your fridge. With all of these objects being interconnected via a global network means a trillion new “smart sensors” will need to be installed around the world by 2020. But what’s going to power these devices?
With the help of Google Maps, there is a new service called Project Sunroof that aims to provide a “treasure map” of solar energy. Sunroof gives homeowners detailed information about how much solar power their roof can generate and how much money they could save on electricity costs by adding solar panels.
Tesla/SpaceX chief and sustainable energy champion, Elon Musk, has finalized plans to build a 1.2 million square-foot megafactory in Buffalo, NY through his company SolarCity. The factory targets to create enough solar panels a year to harness a gigawatt of the sun’s energy.
We have been talking about how much solar panels increase the value of your home for years. We use a simple calculation to determine the increase in value: We add the energy savings you’ll see per year for 20 years. Well, it looks like we’re not just blowing solar smoke; study after study after study comparing sales of solar and non-solar houses show clearly that homes—even near-identical homes in the same community—sell for more with solar. But we know you don’t want to read a 200-page PDF to find out, so we’ve collected some of the most important information below.
SolarCity hope to create competitive made-in-the-USA panels.
In addition to Elon Musk’s revolutionary SpaceX and Tesla Motors businesses, he’s trying to revolutionize solar energy, too. Now Musk’s solar company SolarCity wants to build a gigantic solar panel manufacturing plant in New York intended to build enough plans to meet what he hopes will be rapidly rising demand.
The world’s most highly-efficient solar cells are twice as efficient as the ones people put on their roofs, but hardly anyone uses them because the semiconductor materials they’re made of are so expensive. That could be about to change.
Solar Roadway panels
Sandpoint, Idaho could be the first city in the nation with solar roadways thanks to an Idaho inventor. However, the inventor behind the revolutionary idea needs help from the public. (Video)
In the United States a solar system is installed every four minutes. The solar industry is adding a lot of new jobs in the process. There are 142,698 jobs throughout the industry, according to the Solar Foundation. That’s a 20 percent increase since 2012 — a jump driven both by growth in installations and new categories for academic and research jobs.
China has “outstripped even the most optimistic forecasts” to install a record 12 GW of photovoltaic projects.
There were predictions all through 2013 that suggested Japan would walk away the dominant solar PV market. Bloomberg New Energy Finance has revealed that despite those predictions China has “outstripped even the most optimistic forecasts” to install a record 12 GW of photovoltaic projects in 2013.
Homeowners who aimed their panels toward the west, instead of the south, generated 2% more electricity over the course of a day.
Solar panels should face in the general direction of the sun. You would think that would be easy to do. But most installers of solar panels, especially the ones for homes, follow conventional wisdom handed down from architects, which holds that in the northern hemisphere, windows and solar panels should face south.
Alcoa’s smog-eating panels.
The giant multinational of aluminum production Alcoa announced last week that its new “smog-eating” architectural panels can remove pollutants from the surrounding air. The aluminum panels, branded Reynobond with EcoClean technology, have a titanium dioxide coating which breaks down pollutants in direct sunlight.
Solar panels point to the Nevada sky as they generate electricity for use on Nellis Air Force Base
Fair competition or Save the Planet? That could ultimately be at play as China and the West, long at odds over trade in steel, textiles and auto parts, risk being sucked into a row over protectionism in renewable energy equipment such as solar panels.