Friday Round-Up 12/7/2012

Friday, December 7, 2012 14:00
Posted in category Uncategorized

Warming Slopes, Shriveled Revenues

Melting Ice SlopesSnow can be an entrancing sight or an exhausting burden, but for communities dependent on winter sports, it is one thing above all else: revenue.

In recent years, however, the cold cash that used to fall from the sky, giving an economic boost to 38 states, has become less reliable. Winters are getting warmer, less snow is falling, and snow seasons are starting later and ending earlier.

A new report from the Natural Resources Defense Council and the climate-themed industry group Protect Our Winters takes a look at the possible impacts of climate change on the nation’s $12.2 billion snow sports industry and the 211,900 jobs it supports.

Read more at the NYTimes Green Blog

Solar Power Installation Prices Fell 14% in Past Year

Solar Installation PricesThe price of installing solar power for homeowners and businesses fell 11-14% in 2011 and in the first six months of 2012, new stats from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory show. In the fist six months of this year, California saw even greater drops in the cost of installing solar panels, an additional 3-7% above the national figures.

The report indicates that the median installed price of PV systems installed in 2011 was $6.10 per watt (W) for residential and small commercial systems smaller than 10 kilowatts (kW) in size and was $4.90/W for larger commercial systems of 100 kW or more in size. Utility-sector PV systems larger than 2,000 kW in size averaged $3.40/W in 2011.

Read more at TreeHugger

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What is Solar Power?

Friday, December 7, 2012 13:03
Posted in category Uncategorized

The question “What is Solar Power” tends to mean different things depending on who’s asking. This article is going to attempt to answer the question from every perspective and level of education. Whether you want to know about the physics of the sun’s energy, interested in how this energy gets converted into useable electricity and heat, wondering whether you should get solar panels on your home or business, or are an electrician looking for whether it’s important to get solar training, we aim to answer your questions in a simple and easily understandable way.


The SunThe sun is by far the most significant source of energy on earth, in fact, until the discovery of nuclear power, it was the only. The sun’s heat creates the different air pressures that cause the winds to blow. The energy from the sun is changed into chemical energy for plants, which in turn support animal and human life – and provide energy for our daily tasks. Even fossil fuels such as coal, oil, and natural gas, were formed as a result of decomposing plants, originally supported by the sun’s energy.

Formed 4.6 billion years ago, our sun is brighter than about 85% of stars in the Milky Way galaxy. The scale of our sun is difficult to comprehend; it is 109 times larger than earth, 93 million miles away, and it takes 8 minutes and 19 seconds for its light to reach earth. Still, enough energy hits the earth every hour to supply global energy demands for one year. The trick is harnessing it.

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