At NREL, researchers can plug 30 electric cars into docks that let them interface with power-grid simulations on a supercomputer, to project what would happen if thousands of cars were connected to the grid. The idea is that electric cars might store power from solar panels and solar power it to power neighborhoods when electricity demand peaks in the evening, and then recharge their batteries using wind power in the early morning hours.
Potential induced degradation (also called PID) is a potential induced performance degradation in crystalline photovoltaic modules, caused by so-called stray currents. This effect may cause power loss of up to 30%.
Revolutionary as they may have been, the selenium solar cells were not efficient enough to power electrical equipment. That ability occurred in 1953 when a Bell Laboratories employee Gerald Pearson had the bright idea of making a solar cell with silicon instead of selenium. The New York Times heralded the discovery as “The beginning of a new era, leading eventually to the realization of harnessing the almost limitless energy of the sun for the uses of civilization”.
Photovoltaic (PV) cells convert sunlight directly into electricity. PV systems can range from systems that provide tiny amounts of electricity for watches and calculators to systems that provide the amount of electricity that hundreds of homes use.
^ C. Reich-Weiser, D. Dornfeld, and S. Horne. Environmental assessment and metrics for solar: Case study of solfocus solar concentrator systems. UC Berkeley: Laboratory for Manufacturing and Sustainability, 8 May 2008.
Phase change materials such as paraffin wax and Glauber’s salt are another thermal storage medium. These materials are inexpensive, readily available, and can deliver domestically useful temperatures (approximately 64 °C or 147 °F). The “Dover House” (in Dover, Massachusetts) was the first to use a Glauber’s salt heating system, in 1948. Solar energy can also be stored at high temperatures using molten salts. Salts are an effective storage medium because they are low-cost, have a high specific heat capacity and can deliver heat at temperatures compatible with conventional power systems. The Solar Two project used this method of energy storage, allowing it to store 1.44 terajoules (400,000 kWh) in its 68 m³ storage tank with an annual storage efficiency of about 99%.
In general, renewable energy is more expensive to produce and to use than fossil fuel energy. Favorable renewable resources are often located in remote areas, and it can be expensive to build power lines from the renewable energy sources to the cities that need the electricity. In addition, renewable sources are not always available:
Wave power in the United States is under development in several locations off the east and west coasts as well as Hawaii. It has moved beyond the research phase and is producing reliable energy. Its use to-date has been for situations where other forms of energy production are not economically viable and as such, the power output is currently modest. But major installations are planned to come on-line within the next few years.
Independent power producer AES Southland in 2012 proposed replacing an aging facility there with a new one. The estimated cost: $250 million to $275 million, an amount that customers would pay off with higher electricity bills.
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Renewable resource harvesting and use typically do not produce pollution or contribute to global warming. The use of renewable resources and energy sources is increasing worldwide, with certain nations, such as Bhutan, and US states, such as California, beginning to rely entirely on renewable energy. From 2008 to 2012, the U.S. doubled renewable generation from wind, solar, and geothermal sources. America and Britain are now home to some of the largest wind and solar farms in the world.
At present, solar cell panels convert, at best, about 15% of sunlight hitting them into electricity. The dark disks in the third diagram on the right are imaginary examples of the amount of land that, if covered with 8% efficient solar panels, would produce slightly more energy in the form of electricity than the world needed in 2003. 
Wind energy is just what it sounds like: energy that we get from the wind. Windmills have been used for hundreds of years to pump water from the ground. Today, we use large, tall wind turbines that use the wind to generate electricity. Many wind turbines are often placed together in wind farms in flat areas with strong winds.
Leasing takes the sting out of equipment and installation costs, but it spreads them out over a long term deal, similar to an auto lease. “In general the lease option comes in monthly payments to the system, and then whatever electricity is generated is yours to keep,” says Kimbis. But because a company technically owns the panels, this method won’t get you the same direct tax benefits as if you bought your own system. You could reap the benefits of your solar company claiming a 30% federal tax credit, but that depends on the company passing those savings down to you.
As shown, the oxygen radical may be delivered directly from a high-valent metal. Alternatively, the oxo species could be delivered from a multiply bonded metal–ligand species (61). This latter approach represents a paradigm shift in oxygen chemistry, because the strong metal–oxo double and triple bonds may be avoided, potentially lowering the activation barrier for oxygen atom delivery from a reactive multiply bonded metal–ligand center.
“We have an interconnected grid so I think it would have been foolish to say, ‘It all has to be done in California,'” Brown continued. “One of the benefits of the grid is that we’re able to trade power — bring hydro down from the Northwest, bring wind in from Wyoming. These are all really good things.”