The solar power industry is about to get a big boost in San Francisco. On April 19, the city’s Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to become the first major US metropolitan area requiring that new buildings install solar photovoltaic (PV) panels on their roofs.
California already mandates that new buildings with 10 floors or less designate at least 15% of their rooftop area (pdf, p8) as being ready for solar panel installation. — Quartz
"The city of San Francisco now requires that builders actually install solar panels in these areas (at a minimum) starting in 2017. Larger buildings are exempt for now."Curious about other efforts to make American cities reduce their carbon footprint through harvesting solar energy?...
When production begins, SolarCity, already the leading installer of residential solar panels in the [U.S.] will become a vertically integrated manufacturer and provider...At a time when conventional silicon-based solar panels from China have never been cheaper, investing in a new type of solar technology is a risky undertaking. However, the potential benefits are huge. The new factory...could transform both SolarCity’s business...and the economics of residential solar power. — MIT Technology Review
The MIT Technology Review profiles the upcoming Buffalo-based SolarCity factory and their ambitious plans that could potentially make solar power technology more widely available to consumers.More news about alternative energy:Cloud-harvesting skyscraper: renderings of proposed new sustainable...
... transparent photovoltaic cells are fundamentally inconceivable, considering that solar panels can develop energy power through a transformation of absorbed protons into electrons [...] light would have to flow unrestrained to the eye, meaning that those protons would have to go wholly through the substance. Therefore what the Michigan State team developed [...] a device that utilize organic salts to take in wavelengths of light that are imperceptible to the human eye. — Next Nature
A new law recently passed in France mandates that all new buildings that are built in commercial zones in France must be partially covered in either plants or solar panels.
Green roofs, as they are called, have an isolating effect which helps to reduce the amount of energy needed to heat a building during the winter or cool it in the summer. They are capable of retaining rainwater and reducing problems with runoff, and also offer birds a place to call home in the urban jungle. — CS Globe
Ikea is to sell solar panels at its British stores for the first time in an attempt to tap growth in the heavily subsidised green energy market.
The world's biggest furniture retailer, best known for cheap basics such as its Billy bookcases and Ektorp sofas, plans to offer solar panel packages at all of its 17 British stores within the next 10 months. — theguardian.com
A team of collaborating Italian architects is sharing with us their rather unusual spin on mosque design. The solar panel-covered "Wall-Dome" concept was the group's entry to the highly debated architecture competition to design the Central Mosque of Prishtina, Kosovo [...]. The team includes the architects Paolo Venturella, Angelo Balducci, Luca Ponsi, and Paolo Gaeta. — bustler.net
Researchers at the Stanford School of Engineering have succeeded in developing the world’s first peel-and-stick thin-film solar cells.
The idea will allow the cells to be applied to almost any surface, with successful tests having been conducted on paper, plastic and window glass. This opens up significant opportunities for alternative applications for solar technology, previously limited by traditional solar cells, which must be mounted on stiff, often heavy, fixed panels. — DesignBuild Source
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