France’s solar roadway experiment has failed

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 After nearly three years of use, Normandy’s photovoltaic highway is delivering disappointing results

Solar power highways are hitting a roadblock. Nearly three years after France built a 0.6-mile stretch of photovoltaic road in Normandy, the government is deeming it a disappointing experiment.

In 2016, France announced its bold plan to “pave” 1,000 kilometers (around 620 miles) with photovoltaic panels, which would generate 790kWh per day. When completed, the road was supposed to power up to 5 million homes. But that first 0.6-mile stretch, which engineers had originally estimated would power up to 5,000 homes, hasn’t lived up to expectations.

After installation, it was clear that the panels produced by the manufacturer Wattway couldn’t hold up under the wear and tear of highway traffic. According to Global Construction Review, “the 2,800 square meters of solar panels have degraded, peeled away and splintered, and 100m of them have been removed after being declared too damaged to repair.”

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100% of the world’s power could be supplied by renewables by 2050

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Even though wind power uses up to 14 times more iron, the world wins on a switch to low-carbon energy.

A global low-carbon energy economy could actually double electricity supply by 2050, while also reducing air and water pollution, according to new research. The first ever global life-cycle assessment of clean energy sources shows that a renewable system could supply the world’s entire electricity needs by mid-century, writes Tim Radford.

 

 

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2013 a record year for U.S. solar industry

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The solar industry in the U.S. had a record-breaking year in 2013 and it is continuing its explosive growth. Continuing its explosive growth, the U.S. solar industry had a record-shattering year in 2013. Photovoltaic (PV) installations continued to proliferate, increasing 41% over 2012 to reach 4,751MW, According to GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association’s (SEIA) Solar Market Insight Year in Review 2013.

 

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New Solar Cells Can Produce Electricity From Light and Heat Simultaneously

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A small PETE device made with cesium-coated gallium nitride glows while being tested inside an ultra-high vacuum chamber.

Though the sun offers us a couple options for exploiting its energy — light and heat — we’ve always had to choose to use one at a time, because solar-energy technology hasn’t been able to capture both typs of radiation simultaneously. Stanford researchers say that’s about to change, however. Their new breakthrough could put solar power on par with oil, price-wise. (Video)

 

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Europe Will Be Powered By Solar Panels in the Sahara Desert Within 5 Years

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Solar panels in the Sahara Desert will power Europe.

If just one percent of the Saharan Desert were covered in concentrating solar panels it would create enough energy to power the entire world. That’s a powerful number, and the European Union has decided to jump on their proximity to the Sahara in order to reap some benefits from the untapped solar energy beaming down on Northern Africa. Just yesterday, European Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger announced that Europe will start importing solar energy from the Sahara within the next five years. The news comes after the Desertec Initiative was announced last year, which sets a long-term plan of about 40 years. (Pics)

 

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Pokeberries Could Be the Key to Spreading Affordable Solar Power Around the World

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Pokeberries hold the secret to affordable solar power.

The weeds that children smash to stain their cheeks purple-red and that Civil War soldiers used to write letters home – could be the key to spreading solar power across the globe, according to researchers at Wake Forest University’s Center for Nanotechnology and Molecular Materials.

 

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California Leads The Nation On Solar Electric Capacity

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Solar panels cover the roof of a California business, SA Recycling.

In 2008, solar electric capacity in the United States jumped 63 percent, according to the Interstate Renewable Energy Council. California leads the nation in this particular trend. Our installed solar photovoltaic capacity more than doubled from 2006 to 2008.

 

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Super Efficient Next-Generation Solar Cells From Nanotubes

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The carbon nanotube at center is connected to several electrodes and acts as a superefficient photovoltaic cell.

Today’s solar cells lose much of the energy in light to heat. Now researchers at Cornell University have made a photovoltaic cell out of a single carbon nanotube that can take advantage of more of the energy in light than conventional photovoltaics. The tiny carbon tubes might eventually be used to make more-efficient next-generation solar cells.

 

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