Solar Energy Industry: New Developments in Government Incentives and What They Really Mean

The Obama administration has recently been strengthening efforts to establish the US as a leader in alternative energy, particularly solar power. In a recent statement after a $1.45 billion dollar conditional commitment to Abengoa Solar to build a solar field in Arizona, Energy Secretary Steven Chu said, “supporting this type of innovative renewable energy project is part of our commitment to creating a clean energy future while significantly reducing green house gases”. The US government has also provided other financial support, like a $400 million loan to Abound Solar Manufacturing LLC, to manufacture state-of-the-art thin-film solar panels.

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NSTAR Energy Efficiency Rebates in Massachusetts

There are new economic incentives available through Massachusetts utilities companies for businesses who upgrade industrial equipment to achieve better energy efficiency. Mass Save has organized resourcesoutlining the different incentives offered by utilities companies and incentives for new constructions and retrofits for industrial customers. Mass Save has also helped stimulate the energy rebate program by partnering with NSTAR to increase incentives by up to 50% to help reach the governor’s goals by the end of 2010. NSTAR is just one of several Massachusetts utilities companies which offer rebates for adding energy efficient equipment to your manufacturing facility.

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Solar Powered Energy: Evolving Technology in Photovoltaics

First Generation, or Crystalline Silicon-

Crystalline silicon has historically been the favorite material for solar cells, even though it’s not a great light absorber, and it needs to be several hundred microns thick to work properly (which creates high materials costs). Crystalline silicon is not only expensive but also very delicate, so solar panels made of this material can’t endure rough handling or environments. It continues to be the predominant type of semiconductor in solar cells because there is a large amount of existing process manufacturing knowledge for this technology; plus, it is highly efficient.
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U.S Department of Energy Supports New Electric & Hybrid Car Technologies

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), this summer, awarded 2.4 billion dollars in stimulus money from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to, “accelerate the manufacturing and deployment of the next generation of U.S. batteries and electric vehicles”. The goal of the stimulus money was to promote and support three initiatives

  • Sustain clean energy research
  • Secure the nation’s energy sources
  • Reduce the United States dependency on foreign oil
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