Solar Energy

Solar energy is energy from the Sun in the form of heat and light. This energy drives the climate and weather and supports virtually all life on Earth. Heat and light from the Sun, along with secondary solar resources such as wind and wave power, hydroelectricity and biomass, account for over 99.9% of the available flow of renewable energy on Earth.
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Solar Glossary of Terms

  • Written by Abkhazia Institute
  • Category: Solar Energy
Are you interested in solar electricity, but not sure what "photovoltaic conversion efficiency" means? You're not alone. In fact, because technical terms like these come up frequently, especially in discussions of photovoltaics (PV), we prepared this glossary of terms. In it you will find definitions of many important terms having to do with electricity, power generation, concentrating solar power (CSP), solar heating, solar lighting, and solar electricity, also known as PV.

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Solar America Initiative

  • Written by Abkhazia Institute
  • Category: Solar Energy


The goal of President Bush's Solar America Initiative is to achieve cost-competitiveness for solar technologies across all market sectors by 2015. DOE is working to accomplish this goal through public-private partnerships with industry, universities, national laboratories, state municipalities, and/or nongovernmental organizations. When federal solar energy research began in the 1970s, in response to rising oil prices, the cost of electricity from solar resources was about $2.00 per kilowatt-hour (kWh). Technological advances during the last two decades have reduced solar electricity costs by more than 90 percent, opening up new markets for solar energy.

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Million Solar Roofs Initiative—the Conclusion

  • Written by Abkhazia Institute
  • Category: Solar Energy
The Million Solar Roofs (MSR) Initiative was created by the Solar Energy Technologies Program and laid the foundation for the Market Transformation activities of the Solar America Initiative. The goal of the MSR Initiative was to transform markets for distributed solar technologies by facilitating the installation of solar systems

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Solar Decathlon

  • Written by Abkhazia Institute
  • Category: Solar Energy
Twenty teams of U.S. and international college students and hundreds of thousands of interested visitors gathered at the National Mall in Washington, D.C., for Solar Decathlon 2007, which concluded on October 20. This was the third Decathlon, with the first two held in 2002 and 2005.

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American Solar Challenge

  • Written by Abkhazia Institute
  • Category: Solar Energy
On July 13, 2003, 20 teams of college students began racing their solar-powered cars across 2,300 miles of historic Route 66, from Chicago, Illinois, to Claremont, California. With students behind the wheels, the high-tech and high-efficiency solar cars crossed the Great Plains, climbed the Rocky Mountains, darted over the great American desert, and dashed across the finish line in Southern California. After months of designing and building these cars, the students were ready for the racing challenge. All of this was part of the American Solar Challenge.

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