The week’s Solar news – October 5, 2008

October 5, 2008 at 8:07 am 2 comments

The week has had some very interesting stories concerning solar power and the industry underpinning it.

I know there is great news about solar power here in the states but I would like to start overseas where the Vatican is marching toward becoming the first carbon neutral country,  This week they began installing a 1.5 million dollar solar array on the papal audience chamber.

The full story can be found here on (


This week, the Vatican did its part to make the move to renewable energy, as workers began installing the first of 2,400 solar panels on the roof of the papal audience hall in Vatican City. The Vatican’s new solar roof, reportedly worth nearly $1.5 million, should need only minimal maintenance for the next 25 years.

Last year, the Vatican announced its intention to become the world’s first carbon-neutral state. “Those who destroy the environment are also big sinners”, says Italian Cardinal Deacon Renato Raffaele Martino. “It’s a big insult to God.”

Of course the big news for us her in the states this week is that they included the Solar investment tax credit in the huge bailout bill which of course passed.  A great explainer article is here on (


“The bill does a few things:

  • Extends for 8 years the 30-percent tax credit for both residential and commercial solar installations
  • Eliminates the $2,000 monetary cap for residential solar electric installations, creating a true 30-percent tax credit (effective for property placed in service after December 31, 2008)
  • Eliminates the prohibition on utilities from benefiting from the credit
  • Authorizes $800 million for clean energy bonds for renewable energy generating facilities, including solar”

And all of this was generally good news fo rthe solar industry in general.  Along with some good news on plant construction and expansion of manufacturing capacity in general the values of companies in this sector has started to rise.  Here are a couple of good places to check on these companies, The Motley Fool: (  and here is a article in Business Week which often covers this sector: (

Lastly today at is an article about the creation of a new solar product, Solar Paint! (


“A recent partnership between the steel industry and UK university researchers has led to the development of a unique photovoltaic paint that can be applied to steel.

The paint is made up of dye and electrolytes that can be applied as a paste to steel sheets. Four layers of paint are applied to each sheet. When light hits the solar cells, excited molecules release an electron into an electron collector and circuit (nanocrystalline titanium dioxide). Finally, the electrons move back into the dye.

Photovoltaic paint has a number of advantages over traditional solar cells. It doesn’t have the material limitations of silicon solar cells, so it theoretically provides many terawatts of electricity at a low cost. Additionally, the paint can absorb light across the visible spectrum— so even cloudy days will reap lots of energy.”

As always I thank you for your time and interest. Please take the time to Digg, Stumble Upon or add to the other social network of your choice to help me spread the word about these issues. Please forward any questions or suggestions to:

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Entry filed under: Solar Power, Technology. Tags: , , , .

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