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Solar Companies Work Together, Japan Considers Renewable Energy

Solar companies in the United States are working together to challenge international competition and keep domestic solar prices lower. In an effort to come together, the U.S. Photovoltaic Manufacturing Consortium (PVMC) was formed. The group has obtained a $57.5 million grant to bring together solar companies once thought of as competition in order to strengthen their outreach and keep solar energy affordable in the United States. The group is particularly interested in thin film solar technology and by joining together with developers, manufacturers, and researchers PVMC will be able to further developer sophisticated solar technology as well as protect any research found in the thin solar film industry.

A major US solar panel manufacturing company, First Solar Inc. has decided to collaborate with China Power New Energy Development Co. on projects in China, the US, and other markets. The effort is First Solar’s attempt at capturing more of the international market, knocking Europe down as the largest solar market. The two companies plan on seeking out solar opportunities in the US and China to expand solar photovoltaic technology throughout the world.

Japan has abandoned the notion that it will obtain half of its energy from nuclear power. The decision has come as a result of the epic nuclear power plant crisis following the devastating earthquakes. Instead, the country said it would promote renewable energy throughout Japan. This is a far cry from before the nuclear crisis, where nuclear power plants supplied almost 30 percent of the country’s electricity, with plans to increase the number to 50 percent. Leaking radiation continues to be a problem in throughout Japan, making the need for renewable energy initiatives even greater.

The Cincinnati Zoo has recently unveiled 6,000 new solar panels. Now considered the, “greenest zoo in the nation,” The Cincinnati Zoo’s solar panels are producing enough energy to power the entire zoo on a sunny spring day when heaters and air conditioners are not needed. The solar panels are expected to produce up to 20 percent of the zoo’s power annually, and will work to reduce the carbon emissions emitted by the family attraction.