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BP CEO bashes solar power technology

Today Tony Hayward, BP’s (British Petroleum) chief executive officer at a conference in California said, “Solar power will not be able to compete with conventional energy until there is a breakthrough in the technology.” He added “It is not going to make the transition to be competitive with more conventional power, the gap is too big.” Over the last 6 months BP Solar division has been scaling down, closing solar panel factories all over the world, an indicator that the company is moving away from solar energy towards oil and gas. In my opinion, BP’s CEO is selling solar power technology short because of the following reasons: electric rates are’nt going to get cheaper in the future Investment is flowing in the solar industry, technology is improving faster than ever Cost per watt of solar panels are dropping like a rock due to the over supply of solar panels Financial innovations that remove the upfront of going solar, for example paying for solar through property taxes. increased government support carbon cap and trade regulations The green revolution is taking place today which is the major factor that BP’s CEO is overlooking which is driving the solar power and energy efficiency industry through a rapid evolution. So I think renewable energy will compete head on with fossil fuels sooner than Tony thinks. Maybe I’m being too optimistic, what do you...

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Day Three: Solar Power International 2008 Exhibits

Solar Power International 2008 has been a blast, what an exciting conference it has been! Today, is the last day the exhibit hall will be open and the crowd is dwindling down and the exhibitors are ready to pack up and go home. Before they close out here and kick us out of the exhibit hall lets take a look at some very exciting products in the rapidly growing solar power industry.Sanyo HIT Double A two faced solar panel, collects energy from the front to the back of the panel! The back face of a HIT Double panel generates electricity from ambient light reflected off surrounding surfaces, and combines with power from the front face of the panel. Depending upon system design and site albedo, this results in up to 30% higher power generation (more kWh) per square foot. These panels are great when mounted on parking and patio covers. Konarka Thin Film Solar Ultra Flexible, lightweight thin film solar cells made out of organic plastics versus silicon. This thin film solution can be integrated into products such as solar backpacks, flexible cell phone battery chargers, the possibilities are endless of where this thin film product can be implemented. As you can see from the picture, indoors in low light level conditions, the flexible thin film roll is producing 4.23 volts. Sharp Solar OnEnergy solar power system includes Sharp Solar Panels, plus a low profile racking system that can be installed on asphalt-shingle, flat-concrete tile and even curved high-profile “Spanish” tile roofs without compromising the integrity of the roof. OnEnergy system is UL listed as a complete system and can be easily retrofitted on existing roofs or installed during new home construction. Sharp also displayed a “thin film” solar panel which are less efficient than traditional silicon based panels but on the flip side cost less per watt. Typically thin film solar panels make most sense when you have a lot of surface area to play with. BP Solar Mounting Systems The Integra Flush and Alternative Mounting systems resembles Sharp’s OnEnergy system. These systems are supposed to look attractive on the roof and are designed to be very streamlined to save the installer time, money and avoid critical mistakes during the process of mounting solar panels to residential roofs. Schott Solar Poly Schott Solar showed off their Poly 225 series which will be manufactured right here in the good ole USA, specifically in New Mexico. The company did not have a spec sheet or to much information on the solar panel since its not out on the market yet, although its been great to see more panels that are...

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FedEx continues to reduce bottom line with Solar Power

When I was at the Earth Day Festival on Sunday, it was interesting to see FedEx’s booth promoting their use of Solar Power. Today on the Official Earth Day, FedEx Freight has completed the installation of a solar-electric system in Whittier, California and is nearly completed with a similar solar power operation at its Fontana, CA location. Both systems are designed to reduce the peak time usage FedEx faces when operating their business in California. The 282 kW system in Whittier is capable of producing over 414,000 kWh of electricity each year. The CEO claims that they did it for the environment, although consumer research proves the majority of people / organizations who buy solar power do it for the financial benefits before the consider what the system does for the environment. Obviously producing 40% of the facilities annual needs from solar power is only going to increase the value of FedEx’s stock price. FedEx purchased BP Solar Panels (which we do feature on our shop, hint hint*) for their installation. It seems like all these corporations are sprinting to get their solar electric systems up and running before December, 31 2008, the last day a tax paying entity can receive the 30% Federal Tax Credit form the government. By the way, Happy Earth Day!! From the entire GoGreenSolar.com...

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