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Get your solar panel from the supermarket (2)

In Rotterdam, the Netherlands, home improvement and supermarket Correct is providing solar panels especially designed for home roof tops together with Elemental Generation, provider of small and medium solar panels. According to Elemental Generation they are the first to provide solar panels in supermarkets in the Netherlands, the company is talking to several other retailers to make solar panels more accessible to consumers through home improvement centers.

Robots install solar panels to make solar power more affordable

German companies, such as PV Kraftwerker, are developing mobile robots that can install ground-mounted solar panels day and night, in all sorts of weather. PV Kraftwerker's robot is designed to assemble power-plant-grade solar panels, which are four times the size of the ones you'd see on a home. Labor costs accounts for a growing fraction of the cost of solar power as panels get cheaper. According to PV Kraftwerker, a firm specializing in solar parks, installations that used to require 35 workers can now be done with just three workers in an eighth of the time. A 14-megawatt solar plant costs about $2 million to install the panels manually. Using the robot could cut that cost by nearly half. The company says that the robot, which lists for $900,000, could pay for itself in less than a year of steady use. Robotic help could be a plus given Germany's ambitious plans to get a third of its electricity from renewable sources within eight years and 80 percent by 2050. Germany led the world in solar installations in 2011.


Why more than ever, consumers lust after the new. And why that spells heaven or hell for brands. The ‘new’ has never been hotter, as the entire world, from emerging to mature economies, is now creating new products, services and experiences on a daily, if not hourly basis, in every B2C industry. This moves ‘new’ from being a tired marketing ploy by ‘old’ brands (‘new and improved!’), to a genuine, exciting proposition for consumers.


Work Boredom May Cause Employees to Call in Sick

Though the stress of an especially hectic work day may make you wish you'd stayed in bed, a new study shows that it's actually a slow day at the office that makes an employee more likely to call in sick. In the study, participants were 2.5 times more likely to call in sick on days they expected to have a light workload, compared with days when they had a normal workload, the researchers said. "Our results indicate that nonmedical factors may have trigger effects on short-term sick leave," the researchers wrote in the February issue of the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.


Starting a business

It takes just 6 days to start a business in the US, compared to a whopping 38 days in China. Here's how long it takes in some other countries around the world:

New Zealand -- 1 day
Singapore -- 3 days
Saudi Arabia -- 5 days
US -- 6 days
UK & Ireland -- 13 days
India -- 30 days
China -- 38 days

Read more:

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