Solar Power Update for January 16, 2009

January 16, 2009 at 10:15 pm 1 comment

There have been quite a few stories this week covering the solar power industry and they go from interesting to depressing and lots in between.

To lead off we have a story on Environmental Leader (http://www.environmentalleader.com/2009/01/15/as-supplies-grow-and-demand-falls-solar-power-systems-become-cheaper/) that is good news especially if you are thinking of installing your own system in the near future.

Excerpt: ” The cost for rooftop solar systems, including installations, have declined 8 percent to 10 percent since October due to an oversupply of worldwide manufacturing capacity and lower demand. Prices for rooftop solar systems are expected to drop another 15 percent to 20 percent this year, USA Today reports.

Next we have   a first in that a solar water heating system has achieved an Energy Star rating.  The story is via Clean Technica (http://cleantechnica.com/2009/01/15/enerworks-solar-water-heater-is-first-to-get-energy-star-approval/).  This is very good news as a solar water heating system provides good benefit at a lower price point than solar photo voltaic allowing more people to make their homes and businesses more efficient.

Now that you have had some good news time to depress you a little with a story that warns that the coming green revolution of solar power has its potential dark side and fears of a new toxic waste hazard. The story on Treehugger (http://www.treehugger.com/files/2009/01/greater-oversight-needed-solar-panel-manufacturing-disposal.php) shines a light on that facts that during manufacturing and disposal of these panels there is a great possibility of toxic waste concerns and also that no one is watching the store to maybe control this problem. The report puts forth some good recommendations that hopefully will be adopted in future legislation and international agreements. The full report is here: (http://www.etoxics.org/site/DocServer/Silicon_Valley_Toxics_Coalition_-_Toward_a_Just_and_Sust.pdf?docID=821).

The other sad news is that some of the manufacturers are taking what was the hope for a revival of our currently depressed economy, Green Jobs overseas!  As reported on CNN (http://money.cnn.com/2009/01/14/technology/renewable_manufacturing/?postversion=2009011512) other country’s are simply offereing better deals to attract these jobs.

Now back to a more hopeful set of stories.  The next on Ecofriend (http://www.ecofriend.org/entry/eco-tech-entech-solar-pvts-provide-2-in-1-facility-in-one-system/) is all about a double threat solar panel that can generate electricity and heat water at the same time!

Excerpt: “Entech has just gone one step ahead of traditional solar panels that can perform single function at most of the times. Either you can use them to generate electricity or you can heat up your water. But a new kind of solar panels from Entech “Solar PVT” (Photovoltaic Thermal) can do these two tasks simultaneously. Isn’t this great news? The Fresnel lens used in these panels is capable of concentrating 20-x sunlight onto silicon solar cells. At the same time it heats up the water contained in the pipe.

Now we have a story on the continuing road that the US military is going green. The story via Ecofriend (http://www.ecofriend.org/entry/eco-tech-cyberlux-and-sacred-power-will-produce-solar-powered-devices-for-the-department-of-defense/).  They have signed deals to acquire solar powered equipment and lighting for the US border and overseas operations.

Excerpt: “Sacred Power and Cyberlux will be lighting the U.S. borders very soon with their solar powered systems. And the U.S. Department of Defense and Cyberlux have joined hands to provide energy to the Middle East. This will set the army troops free from carrying bulky batteries and generators in far off areas.

In our solar power gadget section we have the solar powered road marker!  Actually kind of a cool idea that I hope makes it to market soon at a price point that highway departments everywhere can afford.  I can think of quite a few road sections where these would have been very reassuring.  The story comes to us via Ecofirend (http://www.ecofriend.org/entry/eco-gadgets-solar-powered-luna-road-lights-guide-you-home-safely/) even though I found it elsewhere first but they have a better write up and more pictures!

Excerpt: “Conventional retro-reflective road studs, commonly called cat’s-eyes, never ensure complete road safety. The upshot is but natural; unsafe night driving, frequent road accidents and millions of lives lost. Sensing the urgency, Luna Road is already doing a fabulous job in installing Luna Road Lights. These darkness-sensitive LED lights illuminate highways using trapped solar energy. Crafted in poly crystalline/ single-crystalline solid, these road markers are offered in economical, intermediate and advanced series.

Lastly I would like to point you to a great article about suggestions to help our new president succeed in his plans to grow the green economy on Ecgeek (http://www.ecogeek.org/content/view/2481/).

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. Tags: , .

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Solar Energy Advantages Disadvantages  |  January 17, 2009 at 11:10 am

    […] Solar Power Update for January 16, 2009 Now that you have had some good news time to depress you a little with a story that warns that the coming green revolution of solar power has its potential dark side and fears of a new toxic waste hazard. […]

    Reply

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