Solar Energy & Energy Efficiency News Carnival

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As with electric vehicle news, there’s simply too much big solar energy and energy efficiency news for CleanTechnica to cover it all. So I’m back to doing some news roundups so that I can at least share with all of you all of the big or interesting stories I see. Enjoy!


Yingli Solar* Increases Solar Efficiency: Yingli Solar isn’t just producing cheap solar panels. It’s also improving the technology and increasing efficiency.

Qatar Solar Manufacturing Heats Up: Qatar has just opened a 300-megawatt solar module manufacturing plant. It comes from vertically integrated manufacturer Qatar Solar Energy.

Perspective, People: The important thing with solar panels is really not where they come from but where they are going.

Solar Eclipse is Extra Special in Germany: With a tremendous amount of solar power capacity in Germany, the country is paying special attention to the solar eclipse coming in 2015, with preparations already beginning.

Solar Heights Rising: Germany’s tallest residential high-rise will also be a solar “Activhaus.”

DIY Solar via Amazon: You can now buy do-it-yourself solar panel kits from Andalay Solar on Amazon.

Xcel’s Desperation Continues: When you can’t get your way through bribery, try lawsuits.

Design Solar Power Plants: Want to design some solar power plants? Who doesn’t? Do it in 3D.

Brazil World Cup Highlights Solar Energy & Energy Poverty: There are many things to love and many things to hate about huge sporting events. The World Cup is the largest in the world, by far, so those are only heightened. One of the wonderful things about such events is the degree to which they can bring attention and awareness to important matters, like solar energy and energy poverty.

Rooftop Solar Revolution: We’ve written about it many times, but it can’t be said enough: we’re at the beginning of a rooftop solar revolution.

Grid Defection Has Problems: Grid defection gets discussed in a very excited way by many of us covering the cleantech revolution, but it also comes with some notable issues.

European Renewable Energy Policy #Fail: The EU has long been a renewable energy leader, but it has been faltering a bit of late. The good news is that there are lessons others can learn from this.

German Renewable Electricity Overview: Been looking for an overview of German renewable electricity since 1990? Of course you have been! Click that link to indulge.

New York Times Not So Bright: The New York Times seems to have pretty horrible understanding of the Germany renewable energy market as well as global reactions to Fukushima, despite writing an article on those topics.

When 9¢ = 12¢: Clean Power Research looks at two value of solar studies that come to the same conclusions but in different ways. Interesting article.

Energy Efficiency

Open-Source Software for Efficiency: “The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) launched June 11 a free, open-source, standard software application for the management of building performance data, the first such software of its kind.”

Smart Home Infographic: What “smart home” features are already here? What features are on the way?

Get Yourself a Contractor: The “Home Performance with Energy Star” program helps homeowners who want to green up their homes find good contractors who can help them do so. Check it out!

Shopping Malls Greening Up: Green doesn’t just mean “good for the environment” anymore. It also means financial savings. With the climate increasingly on people’s minds, and people always wanting to save money, it’s no surprise that there are 32 “eco-malls” in Singapore.

Tiny House Invasion: The tiny house movement is on the rise. It’s exciting, and ironic given that this is happening at the same time:

Going Backwards: Oy. As the US economy rebounds, McMansions are also rebounding.

Just Cool

Breathing Wall 2.0: Want a wall that responds to hand gestures like your iPad or iPhone does? Would you like to be able to shape your walls with a few gestures. Oy, the temptation!

Real-Time Air Quality Sensor: If you’re in Boston and want to check the air quality in the area, there’s an app for that.

Sustainability Investing: Not about sacrificing. Not niche. And not philanthropy.

*Full Disclosure: I own stock in Yingli Green Energy.

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Zachary Shahan

Zach is tryin' to help society help itself one word at a time. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director, chief editor, and CEO. Zach is recognized globally as an electric vehicle, solar energy, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, Canada, and Curaçao. Zach has long-term investments in Tesla [TSLA], NIO [NIO], Xpeng [XPEV], Ford [F], ChargePoint [CHPT], Amazon [AMZN], Piedmont Lithium [PLL], Lithium Americas [LAC], Albemarle Corporation [ALB], Nouveau Monde Graphite [NMGRF], Talon Metals [TLOFF], Arclight Clean Transition Corp [ACTC], and Starbucks [SBUX]. But he does not offer (explicitly or implicitly) investment advice of any sort.

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