Blockchain technologies have been gaining notability due to the recent cryptocurrency hype. However, the same peer-to-peer networking technology that enables cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin, provides a model for application across industries beyond finance; for example, the energy sector. New developments have seen blockchain technologies as a disruptive force for grid management. What could this mean for the solar industry?
The solar import tariff implemented this year has caused significant dispute between policy makers, economists, and supporters of the solar industry. Now, U.S. based solar company, SunPower, has filed an exemption request with the U.S. Trade Representative. This motion reflects the most central debate regarding the trade case: is the tariff helping, or hurting, the U.S. solar industry?
To further research on energy storage and batteries, scientists at Berkeley Lab tested a theory from a German language academic journal dated 1928. The result? A new, higher-performing, environmentally cleaner, and affordable storage battery may soon be on the market.
Each year, the proportion of renewable energy used to power U.S. homes and businesses has increased. The U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration (EIA) releases a monthly electric power report to keep up with this evolving energy infrastructure. This February’s report includes milestones for solar development across the nation — growing over 40% in 2017 over 2016 — solar energy is now the fastest growing segment of energy generation in the U.S.
SolBid has provided consistent coverage of the ITC Solar Tariff Case as it has evolved over the past four months. In August, I reported on the “proposed” solar tariff submitted to the U.S. International Trade Commission by Suniva and SolarWorld America, two U.S. based but majority Chinese and German-owned companies (respectively), to impose a tariff and floor price on imported crystalline silicon photovoltaic solar panels of $0.40/watt and a floor price of $0.78/watt.
Richard Lunt, the Johansen Crosby Endowed Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science at Michigan State University, and his team have recently pioneered a new technology that could change the face of the the solar industry. This new technology is a transparent luminescent solar concentrator that can be placed on building surfaces to collect solar energy without impeding views.