Solar News: Expanding Manufacturing, Vulnerable Hydro, Paltry Subsidies, Grid Parity, and Interplanetary Solar

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Washington is the not the only state trying to incent local manufacturing jobs. Bellingham based module manufacturer itek Energy to open a new plant in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Climate change may be endangering our abundant hydro-power resources. 50 percent of Seattle’s hydro-power comes from glacial runoff. As glacier’s are disappearing we’ll need to find solutions to maintain power output in the face of our growing population and energy demand.

A&R Solar is wrapping up construction of Seattle City Light’s newest community solar project on Capitol Hill. Mayor Murray will kick off a ribbon cutting next month.

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Critics of Distributed Energy Resources are fond of pointing to the amount of subsidies technologies like solar receive. The International Energy Agency released their study showing traditional fossil fuel subsidies total $550 billon, 4x the amount given to clean energy.

A Deutsche Bank energy analyst is predicting solar power will be as cheap as or cheaper than electricity from the conventional grid by 2016. There are 3 states that won’t make that cut (including Washington), but it will only be a matter of time. See the boom of solar energy in charts at Grist.org.

Waaay Out There

Comet Probe Philae proves that even 300 miles away, solar panels need to be installed without shading to work. ESA scientists are working on potential solutions to move the probe into longer lasting sunlight.