Solar | St. Louis Public Radio


Solar panels are showing up more often on farms. File foto from Fickr
David Goehring | Flickr

Low crop prices and an ongoing trade war limiting exports are adding to the financial struggles of farming. 

Across the nation, and in Missouri, an increasing number of farmers are looking to solar energy as a way to shore up the bottom line.

Solar panels are one upgrade business can make with PACE financing. The Fairview Heights City Council will consider tonight whether to allow the financing program in its city.
File photo| Maria Altman | St. Louis Public Radio

The uncertainty of state and federal incentives for wind and solar power may have hampered some of Missouri's growth in the renewable energy industry in recent years, but companies are pressing on. 

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Aug. 8, 2011 - Those solar panels that are beginning to appear on the roofs of homes and offices in the St. Louis area may turn out to be a cool idea in more ways than one. A study published in this month's issue of Solar Energysays the panels can produce the unintended but welcome benefit of making buildings a little cooler during the summer. This is in addition to widely mentioned justifications of turning to solar energy to lower carbon emissions and cut heating costs.

Commentary: The sun also sets

Jun 30, 2011

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, June 30, 2011Some people are said to be born ahead of their time. They're the visionaries who are able to see beyond the horizon of their epoch, whose ideas are often rejected by their contemporaries but ultimately transform the way we look at things.

Their uncanny prescience is a mixed blessing. On the one hand, they tend to be vindicated by history while their detractors are exposed as short-sighted, intellectual lightweights. On the other, this happy verdict is usually rendered after they're dead, leaving the prophet to gloat posthumously.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, May 20, 2010 -  Tommy Tran was drenched in sweat and in desperate need of a restroom when he pulled into the parking lot Thursday afternoon at the National Great Rivers Museum in East Alton.

But before he could get out of the driver's seat and sprint for relief, he had to wait for his support team to lift the roof off his car, a 375-pound sun-powered spaceship on wheels named the Solar Miner VII.