Analysts at the Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have used detailed light detection and ranging (LiDAR) data for 128 cities nationwide, along with improved data analysis methods and simulation tools, to update its estimate of total U.S. technical potential for rooftop photovoltaic (PV) systems. The analysis reveals a technical potential of 1,118 gigawatts (GW) of capacity and 1,432 terawatt-hours (TWh) of annual energy generation, equivalent to 39 percent of the nation's electricity sales.
With support from the National Science Foundation (NSF), Michigan State University materials scientist and chemical engineer Richard Lunt and his team are developing transparent solar panels that could be retrofit to cover existing windows instead of replacing them. With the square footage of glass that's on skyscrapers and other buildings, the tremendous potential for energy and cost savings is clear!
For an advanced economy such as the United States, innovation is a wellspring of economic growth and a powerful tool for addressing our most pressing challenges as a nation – such as enabling more Americans to lead longer, healthier lives, and accelerating the transition to a low-carbon economy. In fact, from 1948-2012 over half of the total increase in U.S. productivity growth, a key driver of economic growth, came from innovation and technological change.
In 2009 the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) and the Breakthrough Institute collaborated to complete the report, Rising Tigers, Sleeping Giant, which benchmarked the clean energy competitiveness of China, Japan, South Korea, and the United States in order to emphasize the importance of innovation as a driver of economic competitiveness.
Addressing global climate change requires clean energy technologies that are cost- and performance competitive with fossil fuels without subsidies. Characterized by carbon prices, subsidies, and mandates, the dominant clean energy policy approaches in the United States and internationally are not likely to meet this goal. Only a cohesive and aggressive innovation strategy can produce the needed and rapid development of affordable clean energy options the entire world wants to purchase.
The United States ranks as among the world's top countries in clean tech investments, patents, renewable energy generation and electric vehicle (EV) adoption. At the same time it is among the world's worst for energy consumption and emissions. Over the last two decades, however, the U.S. has become more energy productive, using less energy per dollar of GDP generated.
Steve Levine, author of “The Powerhouse,” discusses Google’s entry into battery technology as it seeks to extend the power and lifespan of existing batteries. He speaks on “Bloomberg West.” (Source: Bloomberg)
Elon Musk is the CEO and CTO of SpaceX, CEO and chief product architect of Tesla Motors, and chairman of SolarCity. He is the founder of SpaceX and a cofounder of PayPal, Tesla Motors, and Zip2.
In the "Wind Vision" report, the Department of Energy projects that the country could do even more going forward by installing up to 11 gigawatts of new wind-generating capacity each year between now and the middle of the century. That would bring the U.S. to 400 total gigawatts of such capacity installed across the country -- enough power for 100 million homes, according to the Energy Department's estimates.
The DOE outlines a path to 35 percent, beginning with 10 percent by 2020 and rising to 20 percent by 2030.
Why is it that smartphone battery innovation lags so far behind other aspects of mobile technology?