Solar energy news can be a lifeline for our climate. Using alternative energy sources is the most affordable way to meet the world’s energy demands. Currently, solar energy is mostly dependent on sunlight and is costly to produce. A new technology called “tandem solar cells” can store and release solar energy when needed. Another new type of solar cell uses organic material with a low offset. It can harvest energy from the environment during the night.
The Biden administration is actively promoting rapid decarbonization, and has opened up the door for imported panels from four countries. China, Malaysia, Thailand, and Cambodia are among the largest sources of solar panels, accounting for about 80 percent of panel imports into the U.S. in 2017. In recent years, however, solar manufacturing efficiency has remained stagnant while prices have dropped significantly. This is great news for consumers. And as the Biden administration continues to support renewable energy, the U.S. government may even be a leader in solar manufacturing.
A breakthrough in research has opened the door to a new type of solar cell. Perovskites are highly efficient and are likely to replace silicon in solar cells. The breakthrough discovery could make perovskite photovoltaic cells more affordable, lighter, and thinner. It could also help with the production of hydrogen, which has become an important source of energy. This development has great potential for the future of solar energy. This new material has the potential to improve solar technology and is a boon for the environment.
Despite the recent solar energy news, one major piece of solar energy news is a controversial proposal by California regulators that could cripple the rooftop solar industry in that state. It is estimated that this proposal will cut California’s solar market in half by 2024. The proposal, issued by Wood Mackenzie, would be devastating to the industry and discourage consumers from adding solar to their homes. So, the question remains: is the proposed plan a good one?
Renewable energy development is becoming a pressing issue for rural communities. Some local governments are trying to block this development by putting up barriers. However, researchers are exploring ways to use rural land for solar arrays. Agrivoltaics is a promising alternative for capturing sun and wind energy for agricultural purposes. There is even a program being developed that aims to use land for solar arrays for agriculture. Despite the obstacles, the solar energy industry is booming, and the country’s farmers are reaping the benefits.
New solar regulations have increased competition in the solar industry by reducing subsidies and increasing mandatory competitive bidding for new projects. Chinese players dominate the solar market and could be driven out if central government subsidies decrease. Furthermore, legislation will need to address the question of who is responsible for the first wave of waste from solar panels. This legislation will not only increase the use of renewable energy, but will also boost recycling. While it is encouraging to see some progress, it is still far from being perfect.
Despite the growing popularity of renewable energy sources, one of the biggest challenges of solar energy is that it only generates energy during the day. So, even if the sun is out all day long, solar energy may still lack in supply. However, solar energy is gaining in cost-competitiveness and is becoming a practical alternative to fossil fuels. It is still too expensive in some markets, so increasing incentives and subsidies is worth considering.