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Solar news: February 7th, 2020

In this week’s Solar News Roundup, Californian tech company Ubiquitous Energy installs their new solar window technology for the first time, and the Department of Energy announces new funding for solar technology research.

Solar electricity-producing windows installed in California

At their company headquarters in Redwood City, CA, technology company Ubiquitous Energy has installed the world’s first transparent solar windows. Their window technology, which has already won many awards, supposedly has multiple applications beyond just windows, such as in wearable technology and internet-of-things devices.

Ubiquitous Energy’s product is extremely thin, coming in at around 1/1,000th of a millimeter. It’s non-toxic materials transmit visible light through the window while absorbing ultraviolet and infrared light to convert into electricity. 

Solar windows fall into the category of building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV), alongside products like the Tesla Solar Roof. Traditional barriers to mainstream accessibility of BIPV technologies are the efficiency of the solar cells, high costs, and more, but as innovative companies like Ubiquitous Energy continue to innovate in the space, a future where BIPV products are an integral part of the renewables mix becomes more and more feasible.

Department of Energy’s Solar Energy Technologies Office announces $125 million in new funding

EnergySage got our start with funding from the Department of Energy (DOE) SunShot Initiative, housed within the Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO). That’s why we’re proud to share that the DOE has just announced over $125 million in new funding for solar technology research within SETO. These funds will go towards reducing solar costs and improving the reliability of the grid, among other areas.

“Solar energy has grown tremendously in the last decade,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette. “The research and development supported by this investment will build on the technological foundations necessary to continue the solar industry’s growth and preserve American energy choice, independence, and security….”

The funding will help support hardware research, AI applications in solar energy, manufacturing innovation, and thermal energy storage, to name a few projects.


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