solar panels

Matt Slocum / AP

When President Donald Trump’s solar tariff took effect four months ago, it sent shockwaves through the solar energy industry.

Climate State / Flickr

Solar energy advocates want to dramatically increase the amount of electricity generated from solar panels in the state.

Amy Sisk / StateImpact Pennsylvania

A solar panel that arrives in the United States from overseas now comes with a higher price tag.

President Donald Trump last week imposed a 30 percent tariff on imported solar panels. The move comes at the request of U.S. solar manufacturers, who seek a level playing field amid competition from places like China, where the government subsidizes solar manufacturing.

Sajad Haghanifar / University of Pittsburgh.

Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh are working to improve the next generation of solar panels.

They’re using something called fused silica glass. Imagine tiny blades of grass, almost 1,000 times thinner than a human hair, tightly packed together.

That’s how the surface of fused silica glass will look under a microscope after Paul Leu, a professor of industrial engineering at the University of Pittsburgh, and Sajad Haghanifar, a Ph.D. student in Leu's lab, bombard the glass' surface with charged particles called ions.

Alexander Popichak / 90.5 WESA

For teacher Keara Welsh, the best way to experience science is through hands-on discovery, but it can often be challenging.

“In my space indoors, I don’t have any sinks. I have carpets,” said Welsh, a STEAM instructor at Fort Cherry School District in McDonald, Pa.

She said trying to keep classrooms clean can be difficult, which is why she loves working in the new Fort Cherry Discovery Zone, an outdoor classroom featuring two gardens and a solar-powered weather station.

“So, this is a great area for me to explore the messy part of science,” Welsh said. 

Mark Nootbaar / 90.5 WESA

Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh are making tiny strides -- no, really -- that could revolutionize the solar industry.

Paul Leu runs a lab at the university where students work with tiny particles called nanotubes.

Jon Callas / flickr

Most homeowners have heard about solar energy, but few in Pennsylvania are actually taking advantage of the option. Many are aware of the cost-saving potential, however some demographics, especially low-income residents, who can’t afford the more than $20,000 in installation fees, being left out. New state incentives and advocacy from solar energy organizations are hoping to change the narrative for solar-powered homes, making them more accessible.  

Marufish / Flickr

SolarCity, the largest solar energy provider in the nation, announced Monday it's extending service into the western Pennsylvania region.

Solarize Allegheny to Kick Off in Point Breeze

Feb 2, 2015

Pittsburgh has only 59 fully sunny days each year on average, according to the National Climatic Data Center. Despite the somewhat cloudy climate, a campaign to double the number of solar-powered homes and businesses in Allegheny County will kick off Feb. 8 with a celebration in Point Breeze.