There’s a transformation happening in global energy markets that’s worth noting as 2016 comes to an end: Solar power, for the first time, is becoming the cheapest form of new electricity.
On Wednesday, a team of researchers said they developed a fabric that’s made from cotton and two advanced electronic fibers. One fiber generates power from sunlight, and the other, called a “fiber supercapacitor,” stores the electrons and provides current, like a battery. The scientists say their fiber can withstand the bending, twisting, and wrapping normal to industrial weaving, a critical area in smart-fabrics research. Fixing rips in the fabric isn’t as easy as ironing on a new patch—connecting a new swatch into a garment represents a “delicate sewing process,” according to the new study, published in the journal ACS Nano.
In May, for the first time ever, solar produced more electricity than coal in the United Kingdom.
Swedish firm Midsummer, a leading supplier of production lines for cost effective manufacturing of flexible thin film CIGS solar cells, has developed a unique process to recover leftover rare metals such as indium and gallium when manufacturing thin film CIGS solar cells.
Back in 2009 when China announced it would build the world’s largest photovoltaic power plant in the Mongolian desert, it choose a US company, First Solar, to construct the 2,000-megawatt (MW) project. Yesterday, China unveiled plans for another huge solar power plant, a 1,000 MW project in the remote Xinjiang Region. This time, though, a homegrown company, Trina Solar, won the contract.