September 21, 2017
Puerto Rico’s 3.4 million island residents are completely without power (paywall) following a lashing this week by Hurricane Maria.
Even before the storm battered the US territory—just two weeks after Hurricane Irma inflicted an estimated $1 billion in damage on the island—there were already problems with its electrical infrastructure. Now those issues will be felt more acutely, as utility workers attempt to get aging power plants back online. The Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA)—which has said it needs $4 billion to replace its plants—filed for bankruptcy July 2.
September 2, 2017
Solar energy has gotten really, really cheap in the last decade and it's causing some unusual changes in the industry. A commodity solar module costs about $0.35 per watt today, or around $100 for a module with dimensions of 1 meter by 2 meters. Given the cost of the aluminum frame, glass covering solar cells, and electronics in the solar module, there aren't a lot of places to cut costs left, which ironically makes costs less important for solar manufacturers.
August 30, 2017
based in italy, boston and rwanda, off grid box is an all-in-one system providing sustainable energy and safe water to remote areas around the world. the entire system fits within a 6x6x6 feet shipping container and it is equipped with all the hardware needed to produce electricity and clean water. this includes a solar panel array that captures and transforms the sun’s energy into direct current; a water collection system; an integrated inverter that converts the direct current produced by the solar panels into usable electricity; a water storage tank that reserves the untreated water to be cleaned when needed; a battery pack; and the water treatment system.
August 26, 2017
When Tesla's (NASDAQ:TSLA) SolarCity was independent and growing quickly, the company's business was driven by the rapidly falling cost of installing solar panels. Not only were panels themselves getting cheaper, but companies were becoming more efficient selling and installing systems, lowering labor costs along the way.
August 22, 2017
For most, the payoff is not here yet, according to a new NREL study. But it’s coming as PV deployment increases.
August 23, 2017
How to Install Inconspicuous Thermal Solar Panels in Just a Few Hours
How to Install Inconspicuous Thermal Solar Panels in Just a Few Hours
06:00 - 22 August, 2017 by Equipo Editorial Translated by José Tomás Franco
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When it comes to increasing the energy efficiency of a project, solar panels provide many benefits, but architects often avoid using them for aesthetic reasons.
Today there are alternative solutions for adding solar receptors to the individual elements that make up the roof—the zone of greatest exposure to sunlight—that are less conspicuous and very effective in terms of energy production. One such example is solar thermal panels, which use the power of the sun to heat the building, produce hot water or generate heat for pools.
August 19, 2017
On August 21, 2017, parts of the United States will experience a total solar eclipse — when the moon crosses between the Earth and the sun, and blocks out the sun's light.
August 18, 2017
Getting electricity and clean water to remote villages and off-grid locations can make a huge difference in the lives of those who live there, but running power and water lines from a central location can cost far more than bringing an electricity generation and water filtration system directly to the location, and one Italian startup has a $15,000 all-in-one modular solution to do just that.
August 17, 2017
If you’re going to be decking your roof out with solar tiles, there’s a possibility that you may forgo what might be the best placement of a skylight in favor of more solar cell square footage. Luckily solar glass is fast becoming an option, and these clever glass blocks are the best option I’ve seen yet.
Tesla and GE are installing solar rooftop systems on 50 Home Depots
Solar cell lenses give these shades a charge
Tesla opens up Solar Roof pre-orders, answers the most important question: how much will it cost you?
August 13, 2017
The home of the former Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy sports a full suite of eco-friendly power equipment — solar panels on his roof as well as battery storage and an electric vehicle charging station in his garage. But even with all his powerful tools, Fleischmann still can’t cut the power cord with Southern California Edison.
August 11, 2017
The purchase of an electric car that plugs into the power grid to recharge its battery often gets drivers thinking about the source of their energy.
August 2, 2017
In Morocco, a big new solar-powered plant for turning seawater into drinking water is being built. Is the business case for renewable-energy-powered desalination technology becoming strong enough to unleash a boom?
Tesla’s supercharger network is going to get way, way bigger in the next year, but on Wednesday, CEO Elon Musk let on that some of the improvements might be on a different scale than another few charging points.
July 28, 2017
JPMorgan Chase is expanding its comprehensive strategy to advance environmentally sustainable solutions for clients and its own operations. The firm’s two new strategic goals include:
Renewable energy: JPMorgan Chase will source renewable power for 100 percent of its global energy needs by 2020.
The firm has offices and operations in more than 60 countries across over 5,500 properties, covering approximately 75 million square feet – about 27 times the square footage of the office space at the Empire State Building.
July 27, 2017
The dream of being able to commute to work in a solar-powered car is finally becoming a reality. Sono Motors just unveiled the SION solar-powered electric car that can travel up to 18 miles using nothing but energy from the sun.
July 26, 2017
Solar might be the future, but few people and businesses can afford to invest in the technology. This is why SolPad’s latest innovation is so newsworthy. The new SolPad Mobile is the first personal, portable solar energy generator capable of providing power anywhere.
July 11, 2017
Tesla hinted at such a product last year when CEO Elon Musk said that the company was preparing to unveil a new “Tesla charger” with its solar roof and second generation Powerwall, but the new product was missing from the event.
July 19, 2017
A new startup called Dandelion is drastically reducing the cost of installing the tech to provide residential buildings with heating and cooling from the ground.
July 17, 2017
Almost overnight, it seems, the decade-long expansion of rooftop solar in the U.S. has come to an end. Installations are set to fall by 2 percent this year, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. Partly to blame is a widening campaign to end a key customer incentive, homeowners' ability to sell their extra energy back to the grid at retail prices.
From roofs to roads, and even wall paint, solar-embedded infrastructure is having a moment. Joining the buzz is Platio, a Budapest-based solar paver company that’s already installed public projects in Hungary, Sweden, and Kazakhstan. Platio’s modular solar panel system can be embedded in everything from sidewalks to street furniture and beyond.
July 14, 2017
We’re so excited to announce that the Hungarian startup Platio, which designed a modular energy-harvesting paving system made with recycled plastic, has now installed their first three systems. Within a span of just two months, they developed projects in Hungary, Sweden, and Kazakhstan. And it’s not just sidewalks that now boast the solar pavers, but pontoons providing energy for ships, and benches where passerby can charge their smartphones.
SolarEdge, an Israel-based tech company, unveils today a new product that merges the worlds of residential solar and electric vehicles.
The company announced its new home electric car charger integrated with a solar inverter.
July 10, 2017
Cryptocurrency mining is a difficult and costly activity. Miners must pay to build rigs capable of vast amounts of processing power, and then the rigs themselves must be powered with large quantities of electricity.
July 3, 2017
For over a decade we have been writing about how solar powered air conditioning was the holy grail. AC is a huge energy suck and is needed most when and where the sun shines brightest. We have looked at absorption technologies and all kinds of fancy solutions and alternatives to traditional AC units.
In one corner is a bankrupt maker of solar panels from Georgia that says a flood of inexpensive imports from China and other countries is harming U.S. solar equipment manufacturers and a global tariff needs to be imposed.
June 24, 2017
In pursuit of cheaper and more efficient power, the wind industry continues to enlarge its wind turbines—by 2025, offshore turbines could be taller than the Eiffel tower. Farms with fewer, bigger turbines require simpler infrastructure and less maintenance than those with more, smaller turbines with the same capacity. For utility-scale wind, bigger is better.
June 12, 2017
The massive expansion of solar panels on rooftops and solar farms across the world has captured the headlines, but the other established way of generating electricity from sunlight—concentrated solar power (CSP), or solar tower power—is also making great strides.
You can now check if your neighbors have installed solar panels on their rooftops, thanks to a new feature in Google’s Project Sunroof. The free online tool has been around for a couple years, allowing users to check whether installing solar panels could cut their energy bill. Now, if you zoom in on the satellite map, a red dot will indicate homes and buildings that have solar panels.
June 7, 2017
Donald Trump recently told Republican congressional leaders that the wall should be covered with solar panels and the electricity generated could be used to pay for the wall, since the Mexicans won’t. According to AXIOS:
May 30, 2017
The UK has just given the world’s first kite farm the green light. Does this mean we’re gliding forth into a new frontier of energy?
May 29, 2017
magine visiting your favorite local park with a portable stove that’s 100 percent powered by the sun and heats up five times faster than a charcoal grill. Meet the SolSource Sport. One Earth Designs is crowdfunding their latest compact solar cooker just in time for summer.
May 26, 2017
The unicorn of cheap clean home energy will most likely be found in an affordable solar roof that doesn't look like a solar roof, and that can pay for itself quickly. This startup may have developed it.
May 25, 2017
A 40-megawatt solar farm in the South Anhui province of China is finally online and generating renewable energy. Larger than floating farms in Australia and India, the mass of solar panels is the largest in the world can produce enough clean energy to power homes in the area.
May 24, 2017
“This is a seed. The seed comes from the tree, the tree comes from the seed. It’s like the chicken and the egg. If people want to understand it, they will break the seed apart — they will actually kill it — to see the cells, the chromosomes and the genetics. There is another way to look at this: I plant a seed in the ground with my hand. This seed needs moisture to germinate, which comes from the rain, which comes from the clouds, which comes from the ocean under the impact of the sun. So I am holding the ocean in my hand.” Bernard Declercq pauses with his wild white eyebrows arched and a widening grin, holding a seed in his hand. “It is the Cosmos! I plant a seed and a miracle happens — something new is born out of this carbohydrate and protein, a new life is born. This is a miracle, you see? The miracle of life.”
May 21, 2017
The US uses an astounding amount of energy: about 97 quadrillion BTUs, or about 18 percent of world's total energy consumption. And demand is only going to increase over time.
The vast majority of the energy the country consumes comes from fossil fuels, and isn't renewable or sustainable. But wind farms offer a promising alternative.
Imagine having a fridge-sized box in your home that not only generates and stores electricity on-site, but heats and cools the house, provides hot water and even churns out oxygen and hydrogen to use or sell. That's the vision a team from the University of Newcastle and Australian company Infratech Industries is working towards, and New Atlas spoke to two of the minds behind this potentially game-changing "Swiss army knife" of energy production.
May 20, 2017
On May 13, 2017, California smashed through another renewable energy milestone as its largest grid, controlled by the California Independent System Operator (CISO), got 67.2% of its energy from renewables — not including hydropower or rooftop solar arrays. Adding hydropower facilities into the mix, the total was 80.7%. Sunny days with plenty of wind along with full reservoirs and growing numbers of solar facilities were the principal factors in breaking the record. The CISO controls 80% of the state’s power grid.
April 14, 2017
There’s fresh water hiding in the air we breathe. The trick is to find it and grab it without draining other precious natural resources.
April 5, 2017
While lithium ion batteries sold by Tesla and others are perhaps the most widely known storage technology, several other energy storage options are either already on the market, or are fast making their way there.
March 31, 2017
For Americans concerned with the Trump administration’s move to undo climate regulations and its retrograde embrace of the coal industry, it might be heartening to remember this is not happening everywhere. As the U.S. moves further from the ambitious benchmarks laid out by President Obama, other nations are moving toward a more energy-responsible future.
March 28, 2017
March 20, 2017
Germany is embarking on an innovative project to turn a hard coal mine into a giant battery that can store surplus solar and wind energy and release it when supplies are lean.
The Prosper-Haniel coal mine in the German state of North-Rhine Westphalia will be converted into a 200 megawatt pumped-storage hydroelectric reservoir that acts like a giant battery. The capacity is enough to power more than 400,000 homes, Governor Hannelore Kraft said, according to Bloomberg.
February 20, 2017
Remember Solar Impulse 2, the solar-powered plane that circumnavigated the world in July 2016? This could be the ocean-going equivalent. In a bid to prove the effectiveness of hydrogen as a renewable fuel, Victorien Erussard and Jérôme Delafosse will sail around the world in a boat powered by the gas – made from the elements they encounter on the way. “The problem is that 95 per cent of the hydrogen that you use already is made out of fossil energies,” says Delafosse. “We will produce hydrogen onboard from the ocean, we will clean and purify the water and then we will electrolyse it and then compress it in tank storage.”
February 10, 2017
Former President Jimmy Carter leased 10 acres of his land to Atlanta-based SolAmerica to develop a 1.3-megawatt solar farm in his hometown of Plains, Georgia. An opening ceremony was held Feb. 8 to launch the project, which is projected to produce more than 55 million kilowatt-hours of energy in the next 25 years. The project will provide more than half of the power needs for the 683 residents.
February 8, 2017
A solar technology invented years ago at Sandia National Laboratories has gotten a step closer to being on the market and that should make you pretty excited. The technology -- miniature, flexible solar cells called "solar glitter" that can be integrated into objects of any shape or size -- could change the way we approach solar energy generation.
February 6, 2017
According to GTM Research’s latest solar report, 410 megawatts of community solar will be installed in the U.S. in 2017. The report, U.S. Community Solar Outlook 2017, describes community solar as an increasingly attractive offering for utilities as they move beyond pilot programs.
February 3, 2017
Powerhouse is a solar start-up incubator in Oakland. The effort was founded by the industry veterans Emily Kirsch and Danny Kennedy, both of whom have ridden through the many ups and downs of the solar industry over the last decade. Of course, like any good incubator, they needed some swag to share with visiting dignitaries. Given their history in the space, then, it’s no surprise that Emily came up with drink coasters to share, calling them “Solarcoasters.” (If you don’t get the joke, this post might be a little too industry-specific for you…)
January 27, 2017
We are all one when it comes to getting cheap power from the sun. Amidst the political rancor roiling the United States, one bright spot is home solar power installation. It keeps going up, and a study by PowerScout, a company that helps people switch to renewable energy, finds that to be true for households on both sides of the political divide.
January 17, 2017
Westby, Wisconsin, is home to Clean Energy Collective's 305-kilowatt Vernon Electric Community Solar Farm. | Photo Courtesy: Clean Energy Collective
January 1, 2017
Renewables supplied about 98.1 percent of Costa Rica's electricity for the year, the Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE) said in mid-December. Fossil fuels provided the remaining 1.9 percent.
December 30, 2017
The solar industry has been through a lot of strategic changes over the past decade as cell manufacturers moved to making panels, panel manufacturers started building power plants, and power plant companies began moving into financing. In many ways, vertical integration was the name of the game.
December 29, 2016
Millions of people around the world live with limited access to water. In many communities, ground water is extracted through electric water pumps, which use diesel to fuel their systems. However, these systems not only require costly, regular servicing and the purchasing of fuel, they emit carbon dioxide polluting the atmosphere.
December 18, 2017
Power storage has been a major topic of discussion within energy industry circles, particularly in connection with renewable energy, as technological advances appear poised to bring with them a new level of innovation. Affordable storage would allow for more renewable power sources on the grid, create a path for customers to leave the grid, and even allow for new innovations around dynamic loads in energy.
December 15, 2017
Due to the drop in costs for solar technology and increases in electric utility rates, solar photovoltaic-generated electricity is now less expensive than grid electricity, and adoption is rising rapidly throughout the U.S. In fact, Bloomberg reported that the American solar industry had a record first quarter in 2016, and for the first time, it drove the majority of new power generation. As I previously wrote, the U.S. solar industry is now creating enough jobs (hiring new workers 12 times faster than the overall economy) that it could actually absorb all the coal jobs that would be lost if the coal industry was completely shut down.
December 5, 2016
Nowadays, incredible design isn’t about the most striking architecture or unusual materials.
The boldest and best new structures need to have far more than that going for them. The biggest draw? How sustainable, unconventional and educational they can be.