Solar Articles & News

With developments happening fast in solar power and battery technology, I'll try to update this section once a week.

House on wheels sets off to tell India solar power has arrived

Paras Singh | TNN | Jun 6, 2017, 10.44 AM IST
NEW DELHI: A small house on wheels with all the electrical appliances used in a typical household — but all powered by rooftop solar panels and within approachable budget — the Solar Comet was flagged off on the World Environment Day for a 20-day tour.

The solar bus is expected to bust myths and create awareness about solar power. Lit up with power saving LED bulbs, the Solar Comet with its modern fixtures houses mobile charging points, a mixer grinder, an air cooler, a refrigerator, washing machine and even an air conditioner. While the temperature outside soared beyond 40 degrees Celsius, the mini-house with necessary furniture has an ambient environment.

"This project fitted with a 2 kilowatt rooftop panel demonstrates how solar power can easily run an entire household — even heavier appliances like air conditioner," said Pujarini Sen, climate and energy campaigner,
Greenpeace India.

Solar power tariff drops to historic low at Rs 2.44 per unit

By Kaavya Chandrasekaran  Updated: May 13, 2017, 12.01 AM IST
NEW DELHI: Solar power tariffs in India have plunged to a new low of Rs 2.44 per unit, continuing the free fall in the cost of green energy after Acme Solar Holdings and SBG Cleantech, the joint venture of SoftBank, Foxconn and Bharti Enterprises, won the latest auction for 500 megawatt of projects in Rajasthan.

Acme Solar won 200 mw with the record low bid, while SBG Cleantech bagged 300 mw quoting one paisa higher in the latest auction in which many Indian and international firms competed intensely.

The auction highlights India’s success in rapidly expanding renewable energy capacity at a low cost, and attracting ambitious bids from reputed companies from many countries including Japan, Taiwan, South Africa, France, Singapore, USA, and Finland in various auctions.

Solar tariffs have plummeted in recent weeks. The latest auction, conducted by the Solar Energy Corp of India for the Bhadla Solar Park, betters the previous record of Rs 2.62 per unit quoted just a few days ago by South African solar heavyweight Phelan Energy Group and local player Avaada Power.

May 11, 2017 04:25 PM IST | Source:

Solar energy in India is now cheaper than coal power. Here’s why

Wind power has still not met as much success in India as abroad because of a lack of clarity on policy issues.

Over the last few decades many businesses have been affected by disruptive technologies which have delivered the same products as theirs at much lower cost and in an easier way. Be it telecommunication, computers, taxi operations, hospitality or travel, all have faced the brunt of technological disruption.
The power sector is also facing the impact of developments in solar and wind technology, both globally as well as in India.

Wind power has still not met as much success in India as abroad because of a lack of clarity on policy issues and restrictions in adapting new technology. What has brought India onto the world map is solar energy.

From a figure of 2,650 MW,  capacity has increased to 10,000 MW in just over two years. This is important as the increase has taken place when tariff rates had crashed over the years. From a tariff rate of around Rs 12 per unit in 2010, solar power touched a tariff of Rs 2.62 per unit in the recently auctioned Bhadla Solar Park, Rajasthan.

Sat May 6, 2017 | 7:20pm EDT

Australian push may open more doors for batteries on power grids

Battery makers worldwide are watching to see whether Australia's most wind power-dependent state can keep the lights on by installing grid-scale batteries by December, which could help drive the growth of renewable energy across Australia and Asia.
A decade-long political stalemate in Australia over energy and climate policy has effectively led to power and gas shortages and soaring energy prices threatening industry and households.
If batteries help solve Australia's problems by storing surplus electricity generated by wind and solar power, countries like Indonesia, the Philippines and Chile, could follow suit.

28/4/17  Tweaked titanium turns C02 into solar fuel

Nick Lavars April 26, 2017
An ability to convert carbon dioxide into energy using only the power of the sun, as plants do through photosynthesis, would be a monumental breakthrough in green energy research. More and more we are seeing promising strides in this area, the latest of which is the work of scientists at the University of Central Florida (UCF), who have come up with synthetic material that turns visible light from the sun into solar fuels, sucking harmful C02 out of the air in the process.

27/4/17 Making batteries from waste glass bottles

Researchers are turning glass bottles into high performance lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles and personal electronics

Date: April 19, 2017
Source: University of California - Riverside
Summary: Researchers have used waste glass bottles and a low-cost chemical process to create nanosilicon anodes for high-performance lithium-ion batteries. The batteries will extend the range of electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, and provide more power with fewer charges to personal electronics like cell phones and laptops. 

Switch to solar power will save Mumbai housing society 28,000 a month

mumbai Updated: Apr 24, 2017 10:14 IST
A cooperative housing society in Mahim, which has been recycling its waste for the past six years, has now taken another step to reduce its carbon footprint. They have installed solar panels on their rooftop that will help them save Rs3 lakh every year in electricity bills.
Our Lady of Vailankani Housing Society at Mary Nagar that has two buildings — a 12-storey one with 112 flats and a seven-storey building with 48 flats — has set up a solar power panel with a capacity of 10 kilowatt (kW). The power produced by the panels would light up common areas (lobbies, staircases). A
Mumbai house with two bedrooms, on an average, uses 8 to 10 kW electricity daily. 

Trump Admin. Outlines Global Solar Plan: 10 Terawatts By 2030

April 19th, 2017 by Tina Casey
President Trump talks a great game when it comes to US coal miners and coal jobs but he sure is walking the renewables walk. The latest item in the flood of renewable energy news pouring from the Energy Department since Inauguration Day is a new study that charts a do-able path for global energy producers to harvest 5-10 terawatts of solar power by 2030.

Record levels of renewable energy in 2016, but what else do the numbers say?

Lisa-Ann Lee April 12, 2017
According to a new study published by UN Environment, the Frankfurt School-UNEP Collaborating Centre and Bloomberg New Energy Finance, the installation of renewable power capacity hit a record high last year, adding 138.5 gigawatts to the global power capacity, the approximate equivalent of 16 of the world's largest existing power producing facilities combined. Not only that, but this increase came at a lower investment cost due to falling technology prices. Given this scenario and with more cities pledging to go 100 percent renewable, is green energy ready to be considered a serious mainstream contender to fossil fuels?

A Company in Japan Just Broke the World Record for Solar Panel Efficiency

April 1, 2017
Solar power is certainly on the rise around the world. There are massive solar power generating installations across Asia, with countries like India and China taking turns being the home of the largest arrays. 
Even the United States is making some massive strides with this source of renewable energy. In fact, solar energy is faring better than coal—even in terms of the economy. There are more people employed by the solar industry than in coal, and the price of solar power continues to fall. A trend that is likely to continue
—especially if we continue to improve the efficiency of harvesting the sun’s energy.

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