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?
Urban spaces are full of rooftops with the capacity to host PV systems for solar energy collection. New York City has recently recognized this and in 2015, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced his goal of powering 100% of the city’s government buildings and operations with renewable energies. The plan on how to reach this goal has been developing for the past few years. New York City Public Housing Authority (NYCHA), one of the largest housing authorities in the nation, has a lot of rooftop space for solar and in 2017, a new goal was developed to “install 25 megawatts of solar panels atop the city's public housing buildings, enough capacity to power 6,600 households.” In January of 2018, the Housing Authority will start reviewing bids from companies to start the project.
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.
The Future is here! Often times if weather conditions are bad and full of rain clouds, for example, solar panels cannot optimize their energy output. However, recently all this is coming to a halt. There is a new system that actually does not use silicon and allows the panels to harness rain to create energy.
It is essential to be comfortable with the growing solar energy industry, and the best way to do that is to understand its history. In 1839, Edmond Becquerel had observed the photovoltaic effect through an electrode in a conductive solution exposed to light. This is the first time we see scientists conduct solar-related research, according to Thought Co.
The Department of Energy recently announced $46.2 million for 48 projects as part of its SunShot Initiative. The projects fall under two SunShot initiatives—the Photovoltaics Research and Development 2: Modules and Systems (PVRD2), which supports advances in solar photovoltaic technology; and Technology to Market 3 (T2M3), which is designed to support early-stage solar technology research.