How to Make a “Perfect” Solar Absorber Read more

How to Make a “Perfect” Solar Absorber

The key to creating a material that would be ideal for converting solar energy to heat is tuning the material’s spectrum of absorption just right: It should absorb virtually all wavelengths of light that reach Earth’s surface from the sun — but not much of the rest of the spectrum, since that would increase the energy that is reradiated by the material, and thus lost to the conversion process.

A Bounty of Shared Solar Read more

A Bounty of Shared Solar

I always enjoy learning obscure terms for collective nouns (a convocation of eagles, a bloat of hippopotamuses) so I wonder if we could coin a good term for a collection of shared solar programs? A ‘bounty’ perhaps? Whatever we call it, the collection of programs continues to grow year after year. If you’ve been following IREC for some time, you ma

8 Interesting Facts About Solar Power Read more

8 Interesting Facts About Solar Power

A ridiculous amount of interesting facts and statistics surround the solar industry, and every time I write one of these posts, I fall more deeply in love with solar power.  What a first-class industry to be in – renewable energy, saving money, saving the planet….yeah, those things are important, and I’m always happy to share facts and statistics w

Microgrid Economics: It Takes a Village, a University, and a Ship Read more

Microgrid Economics: It Takes a Village, a University, and a Ship

As a businessman exploring investments, I need simple answers, however complicated the problem. I wish to know: Are microgrids economical? How much investment is needed and for what? What are the factors that principally affect profitability, within the system and in the environment? If microgrids are not profitable at the present, when will they be? I recognize that understanding microgrids as a system requires complicated mathematics and modeling. I’m sympathetic to and respect those who do that.

Why Local Energy Ownership Matters Read more

Why Local Energy Ownership Matters

Solar and wind projects can mean big bucks for communities – but only if they keep them local! Why does ownership of renewable energy matter? Because the number of jobs and economic returns for communities are substantially higher when electricity generation from wind and sun can be captured by local hands. This economic self-interest motivates rap

German Scientists Break Thin-Film PV Solar Cell Record Read more

German Scientists Break Thin-Film PV Solar Cell Record

Everybody loves a new world record, even more so when that record hints at the possibility of enormous strides in solar power energy generation. According to information coming out of the Centre for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research (ZSW) in Baden-Württemberg, Germany, scientists there have once again snatched up the title as creators of the highest performing thin-film PV cell in the world.

Scotland Rejects Independence, But Concerns Linger for a Renewables Future Read more

Scotland Rejects Independence, But Concerns Linger for a Renewables Future

Scotland’s decision to vote no to independence from the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland has elicited a collective sigh of relief from energy sector players. Those companies with significant investments in Scottish renewable energy assets had understandably been anxious over the uncertainty that an independent Scotland would engender, for example potentially changing the rules on support measures for renewable energy investment north of the border.