Here is a cocktail of the top ten stories of the year 2014 as indicated by our readers through social media interactions in the form of shares, tweets, and likes or comments.

Every professional in the solar industry will testify that 2014 has been a good year for solar energy. From financing to research, rapid developments in emerging markets, to record install data for both North America, Europe, Africa and Asia–it has been a non-stop rush of breaking stories. Here goes:

1) How solar energy is slowly replacing nuclear power in the United States
Solar energy had a good year over nuclear power and other sources of energy production in 2013; accounting for more than one-third of global renewable power. The Renewables Global Status Report GSR states that new installations increased by 32% (39MW) during 2013 totalling 139GW of installed capacity.
Read the full story >>

2) Why the ‘Solar Roadways’ technology HATERS are wrong! #clearingthefreakingair

The ‘Solar Roadways‘ fundraiser on IndieGogo just beat the 2 million mark and still counting. Although more than 46,000 global funders Have actually put in their money to support this technology, there are also almost the same number of internet haters out there–but of course there are always going to be haters of every new technology.
Read the full story >>

3) Meanwhile in Solar: The world’s largest solar power plant is now online
The world’s largest solar power plant is up and running in California, with the completion of Topaz, a 550 megawatt plant; the Topaz solar project completed its final 40-megawatt (AC) phase, making history not only as the first 500-megawatt plus solar farm to come on-line in the U.S. but also as the largest solar plant on-line in the world.
See the stunning images of this install >>

4) Bike paths with glow-in-the-dark technology and solar-powered LED lights opens in Netherlands
CNN reports that an artist in the Netherlands has created an incredibly beautiful tribute to Vincent van Gogh — an illuminated bike path that glows in the dark. Inspired by the famed Dutch painter’s “Starry Night” work, artist Daan Roosegaarde teamed up with Heijmans Infrastructure to create the 1-kilometer-long Van Gogh-Roosegaarde cycle path, which opened in the city of Eindhoven on November 13th, 2014.
Read the full story + See images of the bike lane >>

5) Breakthrough: World’s first solar battery runs on light and air
Is it a solar cell? Or a rechargeable battery? Actually, the patent-pending device invented at The Ohio State University is both: the world’s first solar battery. In the October 3, 2014 issue of the journal Nature Communications, the researchers report that they’ve succeeded in combining a battery and a solar cell into one hybrid device.
Read the full story >>

6) MIT solar technique could provide potable water for off-grid communities
Around the world, there is more salty groundwater than fresh, drinkable groundwater. For example, 60 percent of India is underlain by salty water — and much of that area is not served by an electric grid that could run conventional reverse-osmosis desalination plants. Now an analysis by MIT researchers shows that a different desalination technology called electrodialysis, powered by solar panels, could provide enough clean, palatable drinking water to supply the needs of a typical village.
Read the full story >>

7) MIT technology shows endless potential: could divert a dangerous waste stream while producing low-cost photovoltaics.
This video explains how a new MIT technology makes enough solar panels to power thirty homes from a single lead acid battery. The system is described in a paper published in the journal Energy and Environmental Science, co-authored by MIT researchers Angela M. Belcher and Paula T. Hammond, graduate student Po-Yen Chen, and three others.
Watch the video >>

8) Breakthrough in the manufacture of large area flexible organic solar cell modules
A team of specialists in renewable energy technologies with focus in organic solar cell modules at the Technical University of Denmark have successfully developed a rapid, scalable and industrially viable protocol to manufacture large sheets of flexible organic solar cells. This breakthrough engineered application of roll-to-roll processing is a huge step forward for renewable energy technology.
Read the full story >>

9) Making the case for electric vehicles powered by renewables
Driving electric vehicles powered by renewable energy instead of gasoline could reduce the resulting deaths due to air pollution by 70 percent. This finding comes from a new life cycle analysis of conventional and alternative vehicles and their air pollution-related public health impacts, published Monday, Dec. 15, 2014, in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Read the full story >>

10) Breathtaking images of Africa’s largest solar power project (325,480 PV modules)
The Jasper solar farm, located near Kimberley in South Africa, is now the continent’s largest solar power project. Construction was completed in October, and it is now fully operational. With a rated capacity of 96 megawatts, Jasper will produce about 180,000 megawatt-hours of clean energy annually for South African residents, enough to power up to 80,000 homes.
See the stunning images of this install >>

Hope you enjoyed reading these and other stunning articles this year from PV-Buzz Media. Please subscribe and feel free to leave us feedback with your concerns and requests so we can accommodate them as we move into a new year (2015).

Derick Lila
Derick is a Clark University graduate—and Fulbright alumni with a Master's Degree in Environmental Science, and Policy. He has over a decade of solar industry research, marketing, and content strategy experience.

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