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US invests in alternative solar technologies, more solar for renters

The Biden administration announced on Thursday that it will produce more solar panels in the United States, make solar energy accessible to more people, and pursue a better alternative to the ubiquitous silicon glitter panels by launching 8,000 solar panels. announced that it would raise more than $1 million.

Led by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and known as Community Solar, the initiative includes a variety of arrangements that allow renters and those who don’t control their roofs to obtain power from solar power. Two weeks ago, Vice President Kamala Harris announced what the administration said was the largest community solar initiative ever in the United States.

It currently plans to spend $52 million on 19 solar projects in 12 states, including $10 million from the Infrastructure Act and $30 million on technology that helps integrate solar power into the grid.

DOE also selected 25 teams to participate in a $10 million competition designed to quickly track the efforts of solar developers working on community solar projects.

The Inflation Control Act already provides incentives for building large-scale solar projects, including renewable energy tax credits. But White House National Climate Advisor Ali Zaidi said the new funding is focused on meeting the country’s climate goals in ways that benefit more communities.

“It’s uplifting our workers and our communities, and I think that’s what really gets us excited about this job,” Zaidi said. “It’s an opportunity not only to tackle the climate crisis, but to bring economic opportunity to every zip code in America.”

The investment will help people save money on their electricity bills and make grids more reliable, safe and resilient in the face of a changing climate, said Becca Jones, director of the Solar Energy Technology Office in the Energy Division. – says Albertus.

Jones-Albertus said he is particularly excited about the support for community solar projects. Because half of Americans don’t live in a situation where they can buy solar panels and put them on their roofs.

FILE – A solar farm in Mona, Utah on August 9, 2022.

Michael Jung, executive director of the ICF Climate Center, agrees. “Most rooftop solar panels today benefit single-family home owners, so community solar helps address equity issues,” he said.

In a typical community solar project, households can invest in or subscribe to part of a large offsite solar array. “What we’re doing here is trying to tap into the community solar market,” Jones-Albertus said.

According to the latest estimates, there are currently 5.3 gigawatts of community solar capacity installed in the United States. According to Jones-Albertus, the goal is to have five million households access it by 2025 (about three times what it is today), saving him $1 billion in electricity bills.

The new funding also highlights investments in next-generation solar technology aimed at extracting more power from the same amount of solar panels. Currently, only about 20% of solar energy is converted into electricity in crystalline silicon solar cells, which are what most solar panels are made from. There have long been hopes for higher efficiencies, but today’s announcement puts some money into developing two of his alternatives to perovskite and cadmium telluride (CdTe) solar cells. Zaidi said this would allow the US to become an “innovation engine to tackle the climate crisis.”

Joshua Rhodes, a scientist at the University of Texas at Austin, says the perovskite investment is good news. They are cheaper to manufacture than silicon and are much more tolerant of defects, he said. will be killed. Most silicon is produced in China and Russia, Rhodes said.

Cadmium telluride solar can be produced quickly and at low cost, but further research is needed to improve the material’s efficiency in converting sunlight into electrons.

Cadmium is also toxic and people shouldn’t be exposed to it.In cadmium telluride solar technology, the compound is encapsulated in glass and an additional protective layer, Jones-Albertus said.

The new funding will also help recycle solar panels and reuse rare earth elements and materials. “One of the most important ways to ensure that CdTe remains in the form of a safe compound is to ensure that all solar panels manufactured in the United States can be reused or recycled at the end of their life cycle.” explained Jones-Albertus.

Recycling solar panels also reduces the need for unsightly and energy-intensive mining to operate heavy equipment. His eight projects, announced Thursday, focus on improving the recycling of solar panels, with a total value of about $10 million.

Clean energy is suitable for all states in the country, the administration said. A solar power project in Shunnak, Alaska, eliminated the need to burn diesel fuel to continuously produce electricity. This method, sometimes used in remote communities, is unhealthy for people and contributes to climate change.

“When you think of solar power, Alaska isn’t really the place that comes to mind, but this energy has the potential to be an economical and affordable resource for all parts of the country,” said Jones-Albertus. I’m here.

https://www.voanews.com/a/us-invests-in-alternative-solar-tech-more-solar-for-renters/7058671.html US invests in alternative solar technologies, more solar for renters

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