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Solar Energy

Remember the mean little kid who used to set fire to scraps of paper with a magnifying glass and a little help from the sun? Well, he's back, but this time he's a lot better armed. Applying state-of-the-art technology to that old trick has enabled scientists in Southern California and Illinois to begin harnessing the sun's light and heat in ways that could have many diverse applications in the future.
April 2, 1985 | JAMES QUINN, Times Staff Writer
Arco Solar Inc. introduced its latest solar electricity-generating device in December to raves from industry analysts. Brisk sales of its Genesis module, which is powerful enough to run a small television set, already have solidified the Chatsworth company's position as the industry sales leader. Yet there is a new, cautious tone at Arco Solar, a wholly owned subsidiary of Atlantic Richfield Co., as well as in the entire photovoltaic industry.
November 3, 1997 | JONATHAN WEBER
Solar power is one of those things that's always just around the corner. Just a few more technical advances over here, and a little government help over there, and we'll have solved all our energy and pollution problems once and for all. It seems like we've been hearing that for 30 years now. So, at the risk of ridicule, I'm here to tell you that widespread use of solar power is just around the corner. Rooftops across California will be turned into power plants by the hundreds of thousands.
February 6, 2009 | David Zahniser
Los Angeles City Controller Laura Chick said Thursday that she is against the solar energy plan known as Measure B. She said the proposal was rushed through the City Council without sufficient review and noted that there are two reports with widely divergent cost estimates for the plan to add 400 megawatts of solar panels to parking lots, rooftops and other surfaces by 2014. Chick made her remarks as she unveiled a 223-page report on the Department of Water and Power that says the agency has not determined how much more its ratepayers would have to pay for the shift to solar, wind and geothermal energy.
February 18, 1986 | GREG JOHNSON, Times Staff Writer
When congressional inaction caused the sun to set on solar energy tax credits on Dec. 31, the solar energy industry's once-bright future turned cold and dark. Without the tax credits that shelter up to half of the cost of installing a solar energy system, the $1 billion industry will shrivel by at least 60%, according to Terry Buffum, a Mountain View, Calif., solar energy systems company owner who serves as president of the Solar Energy Industries Assn.
While American troops were fighting a war, in part to keep oil flowing from the Middle East, owners of the largest solar energy plant of its kind in the world began dismantling the facility, panel by panel. Today, about 20% of the panels at the Carrizo Plain solar power plant have been sold. While the plant remains in operation, workers continue to remove the panels because the company can make more from selling them than from selling electricity.
January 9, 1989 | LOUIS SAHAGUN, Times Staff Writer
Falling oil prices have cast a pall on large-scale solar energy production projects nearly everywhere but here in the Mojave Desert, where a Los Angeles firm just doubled its power output to 196 megawatts. The Luz International Ltd. system, which began in 1983 with a 14-megawatt solar energy generating plant in the nearby community of Dagget, now has seven "solar farms" that use 650,000 parabolic mirrors to convert sunlight into enough electricity to power more than 100,000 homes.
September 15, 1990 | CLARK SHARON, Clark Sharon is a regular contributor to Home Design
In the course of a year, the energy needed to power every vehicle, machine and factory on earth, as well as heat every building, is equal to about 50 trillion kilowatt-hours. Or about 40 minutes worth of sunlight. Here in Orange County, the energy released by the sun in the form of light and heat can total five million kilowatts on the brightest days. That is more than double the generating capacity of San Onofre's twin nuclear reactors. Abundant, cheap and clean energy.
December 11, 2002 | John O'Dell, Times Staff Writer
For Peter Hoffman, there's no incongruity in being part of the auto industry and being environmentally concerned. The 52-year-old president of his family's Sierra Autocars dealership in Monrovia graduated from UCLA School of Law, where he wrote about solar energy and conservation for its journal of environmental law. Hoffman worked one summer at a solar energy research institute. He installed a solar water-heating system at his home in 1979.
August 3, 2004 | Miguel Bustillo, Times Staff Writer
The Schwarzenegger administration is developing an ambitious plan to boost solar power in California -- subsidized with $100 million a year in financial incentives paid for by electricity consumers -- that would have 50% of all new homes producing the renewable energy within a decade.
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