Climate News and Views
Climate progress and science findings find rough going from polluters, politics and population.
Portland gets new transit station solar array as one finale of giant year for American solar industry.
In a fitting final installation for 2011 and beginning for 2012, TriMet installed 253 solar photo-voltaic (PV) panels in a curving array at its new transit station on the south end of Portland Oregon's downtown district, near Portland State University. The $366,000 project, partially offset by renewable power grants, is expected to provide more than 64 mWh of power per year for the station and its lighting, while feeding some electricity back into the local grid. As electricity costs rise, the outlay may be paid off within 25 years. The panels, installed on a soaring framework forming the backdrop to the terminus of two light rail lines, were manufactured in Oregon at the Hillsboro, Oregon, plant of SolarWorld, a German company.
SolarWorld was at the center of the best year ever for U.S. solar installations and a growing dispute with China over its imports of competing panels, according to industry reports. Estimates were that 1.5 gigawatts of solar power was installed in the U.S. last year, nearly double the amount in 2010. Analysts said the U.S. solar energy industry was one of the fastest-growing sectors of the American economy in 2011. This throws a perspective on the bankruptcy of Solyndra, the new-technology solar company backed by a U.S. loan, since it was partly the boom in and drop in price for standard panels which made it difficult for Solyndra to succeed.
Greenhouse gases increase at record rate in 2010 to highest ever recorded -- Report from Mauna Loa Observatory, Hawaii
For a view of how floodplain development and changes in land use also increase flood severity, please see Nature.
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