Friday Field Notes 092917

Well, hello there. Can you believe October is nearly upon us? If we can find a moment to slow it down, we’ll share a bit of what’s kept SolarCascade busy in the last couple months. In a nutshell: we’ve worked with some great people, on some fun projects. Until then . . .

Here’s a look at the week in solar news:

The Department of Energy recommends the military adopt solar backup generators to eliminate weaknesses in the grid. And, in the words of Avery Thompson (Popular Mechanics), “if the military is adopting solar power generation then the industry may be about to kick into high gear. With military investment comes military funding, military R&D, and military standards.” Copy that.

Denmark’s working to have wind and solar play nicely. Specifically, thanks to new rules agreed upon between the government and its ally the Danish People’s Party, both wind and solar can equally compete for subsidies over the next two years. Good news for the solar industry. As Flemming Kristensen, chairman of the Danish Industry Association for Solar Energy, says, “We are not afraid of the competition . . . we think it should not be either solar or wind, but both solar and wind.” (Reuters)

You know the age-old argument against solar power: it will never survive without subsidies. Never. Well, as it happens, the first solar power plant to be built in the UK without any subsidy from the government has opened. “The cost of solar panels and batteries has fallen dramatically over the past few years, and this first subsidy-free development at Clayhill is a significant moment for clean energy in the UK,” says Claire Perry, the Climate Change minister (Independent). Just goes to show you: never say never.

The Santa Fe Municipal Airport is looking to go solar. In a letter to the council, New Energy Economy executive director Mariel Nanasi wrote, “The airport represents a huge opportunity to showcase the benefits of solar and our city’s leadership in the renewable energy transition and green economy to thousands of visitors from around the world who will be flying in from above every year–and could have their first impression of our fine city marked by a beautiful array of solar panels covering the parking lot.” Wouldn’t that be something?

Researchers at Tohoku University have developed a new method for fabricating flexible, semitransparent solar cells with atomically thin 2D materials (Solar Daily). Yeah, I’ve no clue what that means, really–other than researchers continue to work on new solar technologies. Will their discoveries have lasting impact? If so, when will their technologies reach the masses? That, my friends, is yet to be seen.

If you’re one who enjoys road tripping to take in the autumnal beauty, one day soon you may be able to do so from the comfort of your very own solar-powered motorhome. German-based Dethleffs recently released a concept of their e.home, an electric motorhome complete with 334 square feet of solar panels (Clean Technica). The outside may not be as a lovely as a Vintage Airstream, but the inside is quite lovely. But don’t take my word for it . . .

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Now, for our disclaimer: Friday Field Notes is a weekly post about the goings on in (and possibly around) the field of solar. We simply link to news articles from the week to help you stay in the loop. While we try to stick with more reputable sources, we cannot attest to the accuracy of each and every piece. Furthermore, the links and subsequent commentary are purely the opinion of the writers. They do not necessarily reflect the views of the company, nor should they be considered professional opinion, backing, and/or advice.