Solar Power Update for 12/02/2008

December 2, 2008 at 10:22 pm 1 comment

Lots of interesting solar news for my round up for the first week of December 2008.  The announcement of yet another cheaper material for the construction of solar cells to predictions of how solar panels will be on and in everything in the next 5 years.

Let’s lead with the story getting the most press, about the new polymer that has increased absorption possibilities from a group fo scientists at the University of California at Los Angeles.  There are rumblings about how the good Mayor of LA is going to pay for his grand plan to have 10% of the city’s power being generated by solar power, maybe he had an early presentation of this technology!  The story is both here at Cleantechnia.com (http://cleantechnica.com/2008/12/01/scientists-plastic-solar-cells-could-be-hung-on-walls-like-posters/) and also at MSNBC.com (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/27973284).

Excerpt from Cleantechnica.com: “The key to the increased capabilities is the substitution of a silicon atom for a carbon atom in the backbone of the polymer. The substitution led the UCLA researchers to reach a 5.6 efficiency rate— an accomplishment for single-layer low-band-gap polymers.

Of course, other non-polymer solar cells have higher efficiency rates. But plastic has a distinct advantage—price. Polymers, which are already used in products such as pipes, insulators, and toys, are much cheaper to produce than silicon solar cells.

Next is that construction has begun on Florida’s largest solar power plant. The story can be found here on Cleantechnica.com (http://cleantechnica.com/2008/12/02/fpl-breaks-ground-on-first-utility-scale-solar-project-in-florida/).  Is it my imagination or are stoies like this getting to be pretty commonplace?  Don’t get me wrong I am overjoyed everytime I read one, but they are becoming less and less actual news and that is in it self very good news.

Lastly tonight in a story on Sustainablebusiness.com we here about the predictions of some IBM researchers and how they believe that solar technology is going to get so cheap in the next five years that it will be pretty much everywhere and in or in everything!  They even predict solar sidewalks of all things.  The article is here (http://www.sustainablebusiness.com/index.cfm/go/news.display/id/17227)  and the IBM press release page is here (http://www-03.ibm.com/press/us/en/pressrelease/26170.wss).  the actual IBM report predicts some other pretty interesting stuff so give it a full read.

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: askthefm@gmail.com

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

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Total Solar Energy  |  December 3, 2008 at 8:59 am

    you are indeed correct when you say news of solar thermal energy is in the news practically every day. i’ve been reading that . Spain plan up to 60 plants and Australia are aiming for it to be their biggest energy producer by 2050. exciting times

    Reply

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