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Monday, July 24 2017

By Michael D. White

The quest to harness the power of the sun is nothing new. 

Greek mythology tells the epic tale of Icarus and his close encounter with Helios, perhaps as much an object lesson in solar power as it is one of hubris.

In the 1830s, British astronomer John Herschel reportedly used a solar oven to cook food during an expedition to Africa, and, some 40 years later, the English scientist William Grylls Adams determined that when a small cell of selenium was simply exposed to sunlight, it produced electricity without heat or any moving parts.

Adams’ discovery, according to one observer was “of the most far-reaching importance,” but almost a century would pass before what we now know as the silicon solar cell was first produced in 1953 by Calvin Fuller and a team of fellow researchers at the AT&T Bell Laboratory in New Jersey. 

Posted by: Nicole@ExpansionSolutionsMagazine.com AT 09:30 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, July 25 2016

By Don A. Holbrook, Site Location Consultant Managing Partner, Vercitas Group

For the first time ever, more solar was added in the United States than natural gas. By the end of 2015, solar supplied nearly thirty percent of all new electric generating capacity in the U.S. Not only was this good news for the solar industry, but it was good news for anyone who made the investment into solar as it validates the legitimacy of Solar as a staying power that is no longer a fringe and/or environmental prerogative statement, but a bona fide smart investment for financial and business reasons.

2015 now represents a pivotal turning point in the energy economy that was outlined and espoused by so many and the target of ridicule by many more, especially the media and lobbying groups behind big oil. Natural gas and coal still maintaining the lion's share of electricity generation today, the fastest-growing energy sector is now solar. Not coal, not natural gas, and not nuclear. Even more important the cost to purchase and operate for homeowners is now down below the average length of ownership average of 7.5 years to break even. The average length of time of a new homeowner investment is the same. This now makes the purchase of a solar energy investment and the investment to purchase a home a singularly good financial move by homeowners.1

Posted by: Nicole@ExpansionSolutionsMagazine.com AT 10:26 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, July 29 2015

In this year’s first quarter, renewable energy led the way for newly installed electric generation, and solar energy contributed a strong 214 megawatts (MW) from 30 units, second only to wind within the clean-energy category, according to a report coming out of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

That’s just one quarter, of course, but it nevertheless is emblematic of solar energy’s rising presence on the U.S. energy landscape. To be sure, solar projects of varying sizes are popping up around the country. The age of utility-scale solar as a mainstream energy source is well underway.

Here are just a few notable indicators from the Solar Energy Industries Association:

  • In 2016, 16 states will install more than 100 MW of solar. That compares to only two states back in 2010.
  • California is expected to install as much solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity in 2016 as the entire country did in 2014.All solar market sectors – residential, non-residential and utility scale – are expected to grow by 25 to 50 percent over the next two years.
Posted by: Nicole@ExpansionSolutionsMagazine.com AT 09:53 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
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