solar panels

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France Wants Solar Panels to Cover Parking Lots, Not Fields

New law will require canopies to be built to increase power production

(Newser) - One argument against covering as much area as possible with solar panels is that it doesn't do much for appearances. Legislation in France addresses that issue by calling for canopies of the panels to be installed over parking lots, where it's hard to worsen the aesthetics—it's...

Walmart Blames Tesla Solar Panels for 7 Store Fires

Company is suing over 'widespread negligence'

(Newser) - "To state the obvious, properly designed, installed, inspected, and maintained solar systems do not spontaneously combust," a Walmart lawsuit against Tesla states. The retail giant says solar panels installed on store rooftops caused at least seven fires between 2012 and 2018, reports Reuters . The lawsuit filed in New...

Solar Panels Will Likely Be Mandatory on New California Homes

California Energy Commission unanimously approves new building standard

(Newser) - Jumping out ahead of the rest of the country, California on Wednesday moved to require solar panels on all new homes and low-rise apartment buildings starting in 2020, the AP reports. The new building standard—unanimously approved by the five-member California Energy Commission—would be the first such statewide mandate...

Tesla Restores Power at Puerto Rico Children's Hospital

Company builds massive solar array in parking lot

(Newser) - Puerto Rico is still struggling weeks after two powerful hurricanes last month—the territory's Electric Power Authority said Wednesday morning that power service was at 25%—but, thanks to Tesla, electricity has been restored at a San Juan children's hospital. The company used its solar panels and batteries...

Coal Museum Goes Solar to Save on Energy Costs

Kentucky facility raises eyebrows with decision

(Newser) - Don't look to the Kentucky Coal Mining Museum to bring coal back. The museum is installing solar panels on its roof, part of a project aimed at lowering the energy costs of one of the city's largest electric customers, the AP reports. It's also a symbol of...

Elon Musk Makes Surprising Claim About New Tesla Solar Roof

He says power-generating shingles will cost less to install than regular roof

(Newser) - Tesla CEO Elon Musk says his company's new solar roof will actually cost less for homeowners to install than a regular roof, Bloomberg reports. “So the basic proposition will be: Would you like a roof that looks better than a normal roof, lasts twice as long, costs less...

Most Solar Panels Facing the Wrong Way

 Most Solar Panels  
 Facing the Wrong Way 
study says

Most Solar Panels Facing the Wrong Way

Study suggests they should be oriented west, not south

(Newser) - If you happen to have solar panels on your house, they might need a change of direction. A new study suggests that the standard industry advice (at least in this hemisphere) of having the panels face south is wrong, reports National Geographic . Try west instead. The study by the Pecan...

Coming Soon to IKEA Shelves: Solar Panels

Don't worry: you won't have to install them yourself

(Newser) - IKEA is perhaps best known for flogging flat-packs of unpronounceable but affordable furniture and modestly-priced meatballs, but the Swedish-owned retailer will soon be adding a surprising new item to its UK stores: solar panels. At $9,200 for a pack of 18 panels, the product will be pricier than most...

US Was Blind to Cracks at Solyndra

Firm launched $1.8M lobbying campaign

(Newser) - The Obama administration, eager to approve funding for a hard-lobbying Solyndra, overlooked key flaws that ultimately brought down the company, insiders and analysts tell the New York Times . None of the other solar panel firms that received federal loan guarantees hired lobbyists; “it was made clear to us early...

Ex-Solyndra Employees Saw Scads of Wasted Money

Government loan 'made people sloppy'

(Newser) - Cheer up, taxpayers: Solyndra may never pay back its $535 million loan , but it put the money to good use. Like, for example, building a shiny conference room with nifty glass walls that could turn solid gray at the flip of a switch. That’s one of several questionable expenditures...

White House Misses Solar Panels Deadline

Promised last October panels would be installed by end of spring

(Newser) - Summer officially begins today, which means spring ended yesterday, which means the White House has a broken promise it made last October: to install solar panels on the roof of the most iconic home in the nation by spring 2011. The Energy Department did release a statement yesterday, saying it'...

Google Wants Solar Panels on Your Roof

Company invests $280M in plan with installer SolarCity

(Newser) - Google is investing $280 million to help private US homeowners put solar panels on their rooftops. The money will allow installer SolarCity to offer solar systems to 10,000 homeowners for no money up front. In exchange, customers agree to pay a set price for the power produced by the...

Sahara Holds Key to Powering Half the World
Sahara Holds Key to
Powering Half the World
scientists say

Sahara Holds Key to Powering Half the World

'Solar Breeder Project' would extract silica from desert sand

(Newser) - Scientists in Japan and Algeria have a plan they say could provide half the world’s electricity needs by 2050, and it all starts with the Sahara desert. Factories built around the desert could isolate the silica from sand to make photovoltaic solar panels; the panels could power solar plants;...

US Military Ditching Fuel for Solar Energy

First portable solar panels arrive in Afghanistan

(Newser) - The US military may be an unlikely poster child for green energy, but with its fuel supply convoys increasingly under attack in Afghanistan, it's working hard to ditch its dependence on fossil fuels—and source its energy from the sun. Last week saw the arrival of portable solar panels and...

Mars Rover Goes Missing
 Mars Rover Goes Missing 

Mars Rover Goes Missing

May be 'hibernating' to survive Martian winter

(Newser) - The Mars rover is MIA. The machine has failed to make a scheduled communication with the Mars Odyssey spacecraft, and NASA officials are speculating that the aging Spirit may have gone into power-saving "hibernation" mode to survive the red planet's winter. "We may not hear from Spirit again...

Sorry US, China Is World's Solar Powerhouse

(Newser) - If the US wants to be, in Barack Obama’s words, the “world’s leading exporter of renewable energy,” it’s got a lot of catching up to do. China is the king of solar, and it’s moving aggressively on the US market, the New York Times...

Astronauts Install Last Pair of Solar Panels

(Newser) - The International Space Station is about to get full power for the first time. Two astronauts today installed the last pair of solar panels for the station in a six-hour spacewalk, reports The station, which now has a total of eight solar panels, will unfurl the newly installed...

Solar, Wind Boom Starts to Wither

Once thought recession-proof, green tech takes a hit

(Newser) - Wind and solar power have been growing at breakneck speed over the past few years—a demand the industry had hoped would continue to soar under the Obama administration. But instead, wind and solar power is dropping, with trade groups projecting a drop in new installations of up to 50%....

Slump May Doom Clean Energy Initiatives

Some nations could fall back on fossil fuel

(Newser) - Just as global warming initiatives were gaining serious momentum around the world, the financial crisis looks like it's undermining both the political will and the math that support them, the New York Times reports. With gas prices plummeting, US automakers may be scaling back investment in new technology. In Europe,...

Oops! Tools Lost in Space
 Oops! Tools Lost in Space 

Oops! Tools Lost in Space

Astronaut slips up on spacewalk

(Newser) - A shuttle astronaut performing repairs during a spacewalk outside the International Space Station yesterday faced a slippery dilemma when a grease gun spurted lubricant inside her tool bag. As Heide Stefanyshyn-Piper cleaned the lubricant from her gloves, her bag full of tools floated away, boldly going where no tools have...

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