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Elon Musk's SolarCity to Begin Mass-Producing 'World's Most Efficient' Solar Panel
"This is the most advanced solar panel in the world," Musk said.
According to a SolarCity press release, these new panels acheive a peak efficiency of 22.04 percent, a determination based on third-party testing provider, Renewable Energy Test Center.
The panels claim to produce 30-40 percent more juice and “generates more power per square foot and harvests more energy over a year than any other rooftop panel in production,” SolarCity said.
SolarCity expects to build about 9,000 to 10,000 units a day at its own major, 1 GW factory in Buffalo, New York once the the facility reaches full capacity in 2017.
At 22.04 percent, yes, the efficiency purportedly achieved by SolarCity's new panels is very impressive. However, with photovoltaic technology growing in leaps and bounds, the actual world's most efficient solar cell has about double the efficiency of SolarCity's new panels at 44.7 percent. Additionally, most solar panels available on the market today already have roughly similar efficiencies between 15 and 20 percent, according to CleanTechnica.
What SolarCity has done, actually, is create the biggest bang for your buck. "Essentially," as The Verge explained, SolarCity is providing "the most efficiency for the lowest cost."
The new panels, a hybrid of traditional crystalline panels and silicon, will be the same size as the industry standard but will be cheaper through a proprietary process "that significantly reduces the manufacturing cost relative to other high-efficiency technologies," the company said.
As Reuters pointed out, SolarCity—known as the top solar installer in the U.S.—entered the solar panel manufacturing game after it acquired Silevo, a solar panel manufacturer, last year. Thus, by making their own panels system costs are expected to drop by 15 to 20 cents a watt, chief executive Lyndon Rive told Reuters.
Musk also explained to Mashable when SolarCity looked at their third-party panel manufacturers, "They were happy to make a standard efficiency 15 panel panel year-over-year that looked not that great. So we thought we had to make our own panels."
SolarCity's co-founder and chief technology officer Peter Rive (Musk's cousin) told Mashable the new panels are cheap to produce and will continue to make money for the company even if government tax breaks for panel installation expire.
“That’s been the singular focus of the company … to continue to get the costs down,” Rive said.
“I’m really excited about this … it’s the best solar panel on the planet and it empowers us from 2017 and beyond to control our own destiny,” he added.
SolarCity says it expects to install the new panels on rooftops and carports for homes, businesses, schools and other organizations, as well as utility-scale solar fields and other large-scale, ground level installations.
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‘Companies Should Not Be Allowed to Use Hazardous Ingredients in Products People Use’: Michelle Pfeiffer Speaks Up for Safer Cosmetics
The beauty products we put on our skin can have important consequences for our health. Just this March, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned that some Claire's cosmetics had tested positive for asbestos. But the FDA could only issue a warning, not a recall, because current law does not empower the agency to do so.
Michelle Pfeiffer wants to change that.
The actress and Environmental Working Group (EWG) board member was spotted on Capitol Hill Thursday lobbying lawmakers on behalf of a bill that would increase oversight of the cosmetics industry, The Washington Post reported.
By Julia Conley
Scientists at the United Nations' intergovernmental body focusing on biodiversity sounded alarms earlier this month with its report on the looming potential extinction of one million species — but few heard their calls, according to a German newspaper report.
The climate crisis is a major concern for American voters with nearly 40 percent reporting the issue will help determine how they cast their ballots in the upcoming 2020 presidential election, according to a report compiled by the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication.
Of more than 1,000 registered voters surveyed on global warming, climate and energy policies, as well as personal and collective action, 38 percent said that a candidate's position on climate change is "very important" when it comes to determining who will win their vote. Overall, democratic candidates are under more pressure to provide green solutions as part of their campaign promises with 64 percent of Democrat voters saying they prioritize the issue compared with just 34 percent of Independents and 12 percent of Republicans.
President Donald Trump has agreed to sign a $19.1 billion disaster relief bill that will help Americans still recovering from the flooding, hurricanes and wildfires that have devastated parts of the country in the past two years. Senate Republicans said they struck a deal with the president to approve the measure, despite the fact that it did not include the funding he wanted for the U.S.-Mexican border, CNN reported.
"The U.S. Senate has just approved a 19 Billion Dollar Disaster Relief Bill, with my total approval. Great!" the president tweeted Thursday.
"There was a lot of devastation throughout the state," Governor Mike Parson said at a Thursday morning press conference, as NPR reported. "We were very fortunate last night that we didn't have more injuries than what we had, and we didn't have more fatalities across the state. But three is too many."