SPOKANE, Washington (AP) — The solar panels that Idaho inventor Scott Brusaw has built aren't meant for rooftops. They are meant for roads, driveways, parking lots, bike trails and, eventually, highways.
Brusaw, an electrical engineer, says the hexagon-shaped panels can withstand the wear and tear that comes from inclement weather and vehicles, big and small, to generate electricity.
SICHANLOO, Iran (AP) — In this village nestled in the arid hills of rural Iran, government-subsidized solar panels on the rooftops of homes provide both needed electricity and a shining symbol of efforts by the Islamic Republic to wean itself off fossil fuels and nuclear power.
President Hassan Rouhani's government has quintupled its spending on solar power projects in the last year, taking advantage of Iran's 300-odd days of sunshine a year that make its vast sun-kissed lands one of the best spots on earth to host solar panels. While being good for the environment, the panels also offer rural Iran steady power amid uncertainty over the country's contested nuclear program as it negotiates with world powers.
And as the Islamic Republic cuts back on subsidies that once made gasoline cheaper than bottled mineral water, a push toward self-sustaining solar power could help the government save money and bolster its sanctions-battered economy.
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama said Monday that the United States wants to help Chile build Latin America's largest solar power plant.
Obama touted the project during an Oval Office meeting with Chilean President Michelle Bachelet, who has returned to office after winning election in March. Obama said Chile has been a model democracy in Latin America and he wants to deepen cooperation between the two nations.
The Overseas Private Investment Corporation on Friday approved a loan guarantee of up to $230 million to support Tempe, Arizona-based First Solar's construction of a 141 megawatt solar power plant in Chile's Atacama Desert, which receives some of the planet's steadiest concentrations of direct sunlight.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Two universities in the nation's capital have agreed to a major energy deal to buy more than half their power from three new solar power farms that will be built in North Carolina, the schools announced Monday night.
George Washington University, American University and the George Washington University Hospital announced the 20-year agreement with Duke Energy Renewables to reduce their carbon footprints by directly tapping solar energy.
The Capital Partners Solar Project will break ground this summer near Elizabeth City, North Carolina. Once fully operational in 2015 with 243,000 solar panels, the three solar farms are expected to generate 123 million kilowatt hours of electricity per year. Planners said that translates to eliminating about 60,000 metric tons of carbon emissions per year or taking 12,500 cars off the road.
CEO Sam Weaver of Cool Energy, based in Boulder, Colo., has high hopes for the company’s deal with Calif. solar firm Edisun Heliostats Inc. to provide a 25-kilowatt engine that harnesses waste heat from rock bed storage, the Daily Camera reports.
Rice University researchers, publishing in the Royal Society of Chemistry’s Journal of Material Chemistry A, say they’ve found a simpler and more efficient way to create black silicon, a key component in solar panels, FuelFix reports.
A concept pioneered in Colorado – groups of people banding together to invest in solar projects in their communities and getting credit for them on their electricity bills – is growing across the country, The New York Times reports.
Mosaic, which uses crowdsourcing to fund solar projects, has launched a new online tool that lets people nominate buildings to receive rooftop solar panels, with the company donating $100 toward an installation each time one gets 50 clicks, USA Today reports.
NEW YORK (AP) — The energy world is not keeping up with Elon Musk, so he's trying to take matters into his own hands.
Musk, chairman of the solar installer SolarCity, announced Tuesday that the company would acquire a solar panel maker and build factories "an order of magnitude" bigger than the plants that currently churn out panels.
"If we don't do this we felt there was a risk of not being able to have the solar panels we need to expand the business in the long term," Musk said Tuesday in a conference call.
U.S crude prices racked up their first weekly gain since September, as news that China cut interest rates to boost its economy raised expectations of increased oil demand in the future. West Texas Intermediate crude for January delivery was up 66 cents to finish Friday’s Nymex session at $76.51 a barrel, while in London Brent jumped $1.03 to settle at $80.36, Bloomberg reports.
Royal Dutch Shell, Hess Corp., Exxon Mobil Corp. and Chevron Corp. are among major oil companies with new drilling projects in the Gulf of Mexico, a number in deep water, although a continued decline in oil prices could slow development, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Phillips 66 Partners and Paradigm Energy Partners will join forces to construct the 76-mile Sacagawea Pipeline and a 710-acre rail terminal aimed at transporting Bakken crude from North Dakota more effectively, FuelFix reports.
Customers will see substantially higher energy prices as a result of the Environmental Protection Agency’s rule to curb carbon emissions from existing power plants, according to a study commissioned by coal company Peabody Energy and conducted by Energy Ventures Analysis, which offers a state-by-state breakdown of costs, the San Antonio Business Journal reports.
Rep. Raul Grijalva, D-Ariz., is expected to carry the flag for environmental issues -- fighting climate change, in particular -- as he becomes his party’s ranking member on the House Natural Resources Committee in the next Congress, E&E reports.
No matter the winners in significant battleground states in the 2014 elections, voters there support the fight against climate change, the Sierra Club said, citing statistics from a poll conducted by Hart Research Associates, The Hill reports.
Most Americans believe poorer, less developed parts of the world will bear the brunt of climate change, rather than the U.S., according to a survey conducted by the Public Religion Research Institute and the American Academy of Religion, E&E reports.
The world spent less money -- $331 billion -- on fighting climate change in 2013, the second year in a row the figure dropped, according to a study from the Climate Policy Initiative, which attributed the fall in part to the lower cost of solar energy, Reuters reports.
Only 3.87 billion cubic meters of natural gas heading to Europe from Russia moved through pipelines in Ukraine in October, a little over half of the amount transiting in the year-ago period, Platts reports.