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Tech Briefs

Tech Briefs

Thompson Falls fishway opens with successful fish passage
Capacity Control: How Will China and Taiwan Solar Manufacturers Survive Post-Tariffs?

Capacity Control: How Will China and Taiwan Solar Manufacturers Survive Post-Tariffs?

Overcapacity is the biggest issue facing the global solar manufacturing industry, and nowhere is the issue more apparent — and the losses deeper — than in China and Taiwan. Together these countries account for over 70 percent of solar cell manufacturing. GTM Research estimates that China alone has the capacity to manufacture 59 GW of solar modules — dwarfing even rosiest demand forecasts for 2012, which is around 30 GW. Taiwanese makers add another 8 GW of manufacturing capacity to this equation. The U.S. Department of Commerce antidumping tariffs intend to impact this condition by pricing Chinese solar cells out of the market, and sideline a significant chunk of the global solar cell supply to create a more competitive and sustainable industry.
Solar panels tested against the elements at Queen’s U

Solar panels tested against the elements at Queen’s U

Queen's University is leading a multi-partner open-source project aimed at finding out how different weather conditions, including heavy snowfall, impact the effectiveness of solar panels. Anyone in the photovoltaic community and public at large will be able to use the data on 95 different solar modules.
WPI Studies Giant Deep-Water Wind Turbines

WPI Studies Giant Deep-Water Wind Turbines

With a three-year, $300,000 award from the National Science Foundation (NSF), a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) is studying the feasibility of placing large wind turbines on deep ocean platforms. The research, which combines sophisticated computer simulations and water tank studies using physical models, may point the way toward an environmentally friendly source of energy that could potentially fill a significant portion of the electricity needs of 26 coastal states.
NY Power Authority, National Lab Scale Up Solar Forecasting Research

NY Power Authority, National Lab Scale Up Solar Forecasting Research

The New York Power Authority (NYPA) last week said that the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Solar Energy Technologies Office has allocated $500,000 in matching funds to step up joint research into solar power forecasting.
European Wind Operators Face Wind Drought While Solar Power Production Rises

European Wind Operators Face Wind Drought While Solar Power Production Rises

The current heatwave in Western Europe is also contributing to a ‘wind drought,’ negatively impacting wind farm operators across the region, which includes the U.K., France, Spain, Germany and much of Scandinavia. Meanwhile, solar power plant operators are seeing increased production of solar energy because irradiance is up in many of the same markets.
UK’s Wave Hub Proceeds with $43 M Investment

UK’s Wave Hub Proceeds with $43 M Investment

The first large-scale wave farm, set to be built 10 miles off the coast of Cornwall in South West England, is now one step closer to becoming a reality with approval of GBP 21.5 million [US$42.9 million] in funding. The investment means Wave Hub could be operational as early as summer 2008, subject to final UK Government and EU approval.
U.S. Forest Service to Offer Woody Biomass Utilization Grants

U.S. Forest Service to Offer Woody Biomass Utilization Grants

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service released a solicitation for the Woody Biomass Utilization Grants.
Technical Masking in Solar PV — What Is Really Behind the Curtain?

Technical Masking in Solar PV — What Is Really Behind the Curtain?

One of the most vexing issues in the PV industry today is that of technical masking. Masking is all about accurately identifying technical issues, finding what is behind the curtain, the unseen, what is real but not being measured, and what is taking place that is not being accounted for.
USDA Invests US $4M in Woody Biomass

USDA Invests US $4M in Woody Biomass

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced a request for proposals for programs to improve the utilization of woody biomass residue from forest restoration activities. The DOA plans to make at least US $4 million in grants available to winning proposals, with individual grants ranging from US $50,000 to US $250,000.