Breakthroughs in Solar Power

Library >> Current Articles on Renewable Energy Resources and Transmission >> Breakthroughs in Solar Power

Articles on Technological Breakthroughs in Solar Power

  • Last Weekend, Half of Germany Was Running on Solar Power
    May 28, 2012 -

    That's right—half of all of Germany was powered by electricity generated by solar plants. That's incredible. It was also world record-breaking. Germany is pretty much singlehandedly proving that solar can be a major, reliable source of power—even in countries that aren't all that sunny.

  • Nicaraguan government to develop country's first PV project
    April 18, 2012 - James Williams -

    Nicaragua’s Ministry of Energy and Mines has started construction on a 1.38MW project in the west of the country. The solar farm, located 12km from the city of Diriamba, will be partly funded by the Japanese, with an investment of US$12 million. According to Nicaraguan newspaper El Nuavo Diario, the PV installation will become the largest in Central America.

  • World's largest solar thermal plant online
    April 11, 2012 -

    RIYADH, Saudi Arabia, April 11 (UPI) -- The world's largest solar thermal plant has gone into full operation in the Saudi Arabian capital of Riyadh after a six-month trial, officials said.

  • Germany's RWE utility looks to expand investments into solar PV plants
    April 11, 2012 - Syanne Olson -

    RWE is supposedly looking to invest in solar power plants, citing solar module prices as one of its key determining factors. According to Bloomberg, up until now Germany’s second-biggest utility, which owns a stake in Spain’s Andasol 3 solar thermal power plant, has distanced itself from investing in PV generation because of what it considered too high of a cost for the technology. However, now that prices for solar modules are considerably lower than in the past, the utility is taking a second look.

  • 'Nanotrees' could deliver clean fuel
    Mar 21, 2012 -

    U.S. engineers say a forest of tiny "nanowire trees" can cleanly capture solar energy without using fossil fuels and harvest it for hydrogen fuel generation.

  • Suntech’s Pluto technology achieves world-record 20.3% efficiency
    Mar 15, 2012 - Sile Mc Mahon -

    Suntech has logged another world record for its Pluto cell technology with a SERIS-verified 20.3% cell efficiency.

  • Largest-ever OPV module created at NREL’s labs
    Mar 1, 2012 - Sile Mc Mahon -

    The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has, in collaboration with New Energy Technologies, produced its largest-area OPV module ever at 170cm2. The companies’ engineers have worked together on developing New Energy’s SolarWindow technology that allows the generation of electricity on see-through glass windows.

  • New FiT to increase China's solar capacity by 1.5GW, according to iSuppli report
    Sep 12, 2011 - Chris Whitmore -

    The Chinese government's new feed-in-tariff (FiT) has the potential to increase solar installations in the country by 1.5GW in the next 18 months, according to a new IHS iSuppli report.

  • Green Jobs Are Real: German and American Solar Industry Both Employ More People Than U.S. Steel Production
    Aug 9, 2011 - Stephen Lacy -

    Washington, D.C., United States – With roughly 93,500 direct and indirect jobs, the American solar industry now employs about 9,200 more workers than the U.S. steel production sector, according to 2010 Bureau of Labor Statistics. The American steel industry has historically been a symbol of the country's industrial might and economic prosperity. But today, the solar industry has the potential to overtake that image as we build a new, clean-energy economy.

  • Can North Africa Light Up Europe With Concentrated Solar Power?
    Jul 21, 2011 - Lisa Friedman -

    HAMBURG, Germany -- Twenty-five years after Gerhard Knies conceived of powering Europe with the Sahara Desert's sun, the North Africa Solar project has grown into something considerably more than a mere mirage, but it's still less than a reality.

  • Google invests US$280 million in SolarCity solar rooftop fund
    Jul 21, 2011 - Chris Whitmore -

    Google has made its biggest investment in renewable energy to date by creating a US$280 million fund with SolarCity. The money will be dedicated to projects in the residential solar market and takes the internet giant’s green spending to US$680 million.

  • Utilities Developing More Solar Projects
    Jul 20, 2011 - Steve Leone -

    The 2010 SEPA Utility Solar Rankings report shows huge growth in utility ownership of solar projects.

  • The Rise of Concentrating Solar Thermal Power
    ul 14, 2011 - Ucilia Wang, Contributor -

    With big government help, a solar thermal power (CSP) technology boom seems to be coming in the United States. Regulators have issued permits for about a dozen power plant projects and construction is underway for a few. But the three main challenges for building a project – permits, finance and technology -- remain big concerns for technology and project developers.

  • Roll-to-roll flexible solar thin-film with 10% efficiency
    Jul 2, 2011 -

    The Center for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research Baden-Württemberg (ZSW) has developed a roll-to-roll system depositing CIGS solar thin-film on a 25 µm thin polymer film with a 10% efficiency.

  • DOE Offers Loan Guarantee for Solar Generation Project in Nevada
    Jun 29, 2011 -

    DOE announced on May 19 its offer of a conditional commitment for a $737 million loan guarantee to support a 110-megawatt concentrating solar power (CSP) tower facility in Nevada. The Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Project, sponsored by SolarReserve, LLC, will be the first of its kind in the United States and the tallest molten salt tower in the world. It is located on 2,250 acres leased from the U.S. Department of the Interior's Bureau of Land Management. The company estimates the project will create 600 construction jobs and 45 operations jobs.

  • Huge Growth Expected for North American Solar Industry
    Jun 29, 2011 - Eicke R. Weber, PhD -

    Washington, DC-- President Obama recently stated in his 2011 State of the Union Address: "Instead of subsidizing yesterday's energy, let's invest in tomorrow's." Shortly thereafter DOE secretary Chu launched the SunShot initiative, geared at research to drive down the costs of solar PV aggressively.

  • Solar Maps Help Foster Sustainable Cities
    Dec 16, 2010 - Stephan Graff -

    Cities across the U.S. are creating solar maps to help residents learn more about installing solar.

  • The Secret Ingredients Inside IBM's New Solar Cell
    Feb 19, 2010 - Michael Kanellos - greentechmedia

    In the solar business, it's a code word for 'headache.' One of the major hurdles facing manufacturers of copper indium gallium selenide (CIGS) and copper indium selenide (CIS) solar cells lay in orchestrating those active ingredients to form uniform, consistent crystals in an evenly spaced manner so mass manufacturing becomes economical.

  • Is K.R. Sridhar's 'magic box' ready for prime time?
    Feb 19, 2010 - Paul Keegan - CNN

    The Bloom Energy CEO is finally unveiling his entry in the fuel-cell arena after years of playing it close to the vest.

  • New Energy Achieves Major 'Transparency' Breakthrough in Development of See-Thru Windows Capable of Generating Electricity
    Jan 04, 2010 - Business Wire

    New Energy Technologies, Inc. (OTCBB: NENE), currently developing MotionPower(TM) technologies for generating electricity from the kinetic energy of moving vehicles and SolarWindow(TM) technologies capable of generating electricity on glass windows, today announced that researchers have overcome a significant scientific hurdle in creating the first-of-its-kind see-thru solar glass by replacing a visibility-blocking solid metal component with environmentally-friendly, non-metallic, transparent compounds.

  • SunPower panel reaches record 20.4% total-area efficiency
    Oct 26, 2009 - Sile Mc Mahon -

    A solar module prototype developed by SunPower has clocked a 20.4% efficiency in tests, confirmed by the National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL). The 333W full-sized solar panel consists of 96 third-generation cells with a total panel area of 1.6m2. The prototype was funded the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) under its Solar America Initiative (SAI), which was awarded to SunPower approximately two years ago.

  • Ascent Solar tops 14% CIGS cell efficiency, averages 10.5%-plus on modules; signs deal with FTL
    Oct 22, 2009 - Tom Cheyney -

    The U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory has validated conversion efficiencies of 14.1% for flexible copper-indium-gallium-(di)selenide (CIGS) solar-cell materials produced on Ascent Solar’s 1.5MW commercial pilot line in Littleton, CO. The company’s internal testing shows active-area peak efficiencies for its full-size monolithically integrated CIGS-on-polyimide modules reaching 11.7%, with median efficiencies on the line averaging between 10.5 and 11%-plus, according to president/CEO Farhad Moghadam.  

  • Researchers at UNSW claim record 43% conversion efficiency
    Aug 26, 2009 -

    Solar cell researchers at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) in Sydney, Australia, claim the highest efficiency for solar power ever recorded, announcing a new world record of 43% of sunlight converted into electricity at the research stage.

  • Lower-cost solar cells to be printed like newspaper, painted on rooftops
    Aug 25, 2009 - Science Daily

    Solar cells could soon be produced more cheaply using nanoparticle “inks” that allow them to be printed like newspaper or painted onto the sides of buildings or rooftops to absorb electricity-producing sunlight.

  • Company sees big solar cost breakthrough
    Feb 27, 2009 - McClatchy-Tribune Regional News - Ed Taylor The Tribune, Mesa, Ariz.

    First Solar, the Tempe-based producer of photovoltaic solar panels, said this week it has scored a major breakthrough by reducing the cost of manufacturing its modules to less than $1 per watt.

  • NREL Solar Cell Sets World Efficiency Record at 40.8 Percent
    Aug 13, 2008 - NREL

    Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have set a world record in solar cell efficiency with a photovoltaic device that converts 40.8 percent of the light that hits it into electricity. This is the highest confirmed efficiency of any photovoltaic device to date.

  • MIT makes solar energy breakthrough
    Jul 31, 2008 - Christine McConville - McClatchy-Tribune Regional News

    Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology say they've discovered a new way to store solar energy so that the non-polluting power can heat homes even when the sun isn't shining.

  • Australian, Chinese Researchers make Breakthrough in Renewable Energy Materials
    May 29, 2008 - Xinhua

    A group of Australian and Chinese researchers have made a ground-breaking discovery which could revolutionize solar energy.

  • Nanosolar’s Breakthrough - Solar Now Cheaper than Coal
    Nov 23, 2007 - Jessica Hunt - Celsias

    Their mission: to deliver cost-efficient solar electricity. The Nanosolar company was founded in 2002 and is working to build the world’s largest solar cell factory in California and the world’s largest panel-assembly factory in Germany. They have successfully created a solar coating that is the most cost-efficient solar energy source ever. Their PowerSheet cells contrast the current solar technology systems by reducing the cost of production from $3 a watt to a mere 30 cents per watt. This makes, for the first time in history, solar power cheaper than burning coal.

  • Unique Quantum Effect Found in Silicon Nanocrystals
    July 24, 2007 - Press Release - National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)

    Quantum Dot Materials May Improve Efficiency of Silicon Solar Cells

    Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), collaborating with Innovalight, Inc., have shown that a new and important effect called Multiple Exciton Generation (MEG) occurs efficiently in silicon nanocrystals. MEG results in the formation of more than one electron per absorbed photon.

  • Bringing Sunlight Inside: Mechanical Engineers Create High-tech Solar Panels
    May 1, 2007 - Science Daily 

    Photovoltaic panels have a new design: concentric circles that focus the sun's rays on miniaturized modules. Having the panels automatically sense sunlight and turn towards it also makes these high-tech solar cells more efficient.

  • Superefficient, Cost-Effective Solar Cell Breaks Conversion Records
    Dec 8, 2006 - Scientific American

    A tiny solar cell doubles the efficiency of common photovoltaics' conversion of sunlight to electricity by capturing the energy from a broader spectrum of light.

  • Solar Cell Surpasses 40 Percent Efficiency
    Jun 12, 2006 - Technology News Daily

    DOE announced on December 5th that Spectrolab, Inc. has developed a new concentrator solar cell with a sunlight-to-electricity conversion efficiency of 40.7 percent, a new world record in solar cell efficiency. The new cell uses a "multi-junction" structure, in which several layers each capture part of the sunlight passing through the cell. These layers allow the cell to capture more of the solar spectrum and convert it into electricity. The Spectrolab cell relies on an optical concentrator to focus sunlight onto the cell.

  • SA solar research eclipses rest of the world
    Feb 11, 2006 - Willem Steenkamp - Saturday Argus

    In a scientific breakthrough that has stunned the world, a team of South African scientists has developed a revolutionary new, highly efficient solar power technology that will enable homes to obtain all their electricity from the sun. This means high electricity bills and frequent power failures could soon be a thing of the past.

Related GENI Resources

Definition Solar Energy

Renewable Energy Resource Maps

National Energy Grid Maps

GENI Transmission Library


IREC Connecting to the Grid (Interstate Renewable Energy Council)

CIGRE: International Congress on Large High-Voltage Electric Systems

IEEE/PES International Practices Committee panel sessions

Keywords: Renewable Energy Resources, Library, Articles on Technological Breakthroughs in Solar Power, sustainable development, global energy network institute, international electricity transmission, grid, power, environmental educational programs, peace, zero population growth, stabilization, life expectancy, infant mortality, free world energy trends, deforestation, climate change, global warming, world game, uhv, hvdc, hvac