Energy and Environment

Solar thermal power plants switching technology to take advantage of falling PV prices – San Jose Mercury News

Jan 20th, 2012 | By John Waller | Category: Solar PV

Three years ago, renewable energy developers laid plans to populate the American Southwest with massive solar thermal power plants, which concentrate the sun’s rays to boil water and create steam to turn turbines that generate electricity. But as the projects went through lengthy permitting and environmental reviews, the price of photovoltaic solar panels plummeted because of a global oversupply driven by a glut of low-cost panels from China.

Project to use volcano to make power

Jan 14th, 2012 | By John Waller | Category: Energy and Environment, Top Story

Geothermal energy developers plan to pump 24 million gallons of water into the side of a dormant volcano in Central Oregon this summer to demonstrate new technology they hope will give a boost to a green energy sector that has yet to live up to its promise.

Beehives Stop Elephant Crop-Raids in Kenya

Jul 16th, 2011 | By John Waller | Category: Natural World, Sub-Saharan Africa

Innovative beehive fences have helped a community in Kenya to successfully protect crops from elephants, according to research. Scientists found the hives to be a very effective barrier; elephants turned away from them in 97% of their attempted raids.

Spanish Solar Plant Produces Electricity for 24 Hours Straight

Jul 8th, 2011 | By John Waller | Category: Solar Thermal, Top Story

While Americans celebrated U.S. history on the Fourth of July yesterday, a company in Spain celebrated an historic moment for the solar industry: Torresol’s 19.9 MW concentrating solar power plant became the first ever to generate uninterrupted electricity for 24 hours straight. The plant uses a Power Tower design which features a field of 2,650 [...]

Transparent Photovoltaic Cells Turn Windows Into Solar Panels

Apr 23rd, 2011 | By John Waller | Category: Solar PV

A new class of transparent photovoltaic cells has been developed that can turn an ordinary windowpane into a solar panel without impeding the passage of visible light. The cells could one day transform skyscrapers into giant solar collectors, said Richard Lunt, one of the researchers on the project.

New York’s Solar Thermal Plans

Jul 30th, 2010 | By John Waller | Category: Solar Thermal, Top Story

By unveiling a solar heating and cooling programme that could create 25,000 new green jobs, generate US$2.6 billion in revenue and see 2 GW of new solar thermal capacity installed in the state over the next decade, New York has revealed its ambition to become America’s national leader in solar heating and cooling. Thermal storage is also an area that, if effectively solved, would allow for additional advancement of the industry

Solar plane completes historic 24-hour flight

Jul 13th, 2010 | By John Waller | Category: Solar PV, Top Story

PAYERNE, Switzerland — An experimental solar-powered plane landed safely Thursday after completing its first 24-hour test flight, proving that the aircraft can collect enough energy from the sun during the day to stay aloft all night. Pilot Andre Borschberg eased the Solar Impulse onto the runway at Payerne airfield about 30 miles southwest of the [...]

Bloom Energy Makes Lower Carbon Electricity From Gas in Chattanooga, Tennessee: Scientific American

Jul 10th, 2010 | By John Waller | Category: Energy and Environment, Top Story

The state of Tennessee just got its first Bloom Energy “Server”, which turns any gaseous fuels into electricity using its cheaper new kind of fuel cell. Installed in collaboration with the TVA and the University of Tennessee Chattanooga, these 100 KW Bloom Boxes have just been installed on the top floor of the partnering EPB [...]

Morocco’s new Solar Project to Generate 2000MWs

Apr 17th, 2010 | By John Waller | Category: North Africa and Middle East, Solar Thermal, Top Story

Morocco is a North African country with no oil reserves. But nature has endowed this country with another bounty i.e. over 3000 hours of sunshine per year. Now they are aiming to undertake an ambitious plan of producing 40% of their energy needs via solar energy. They will spend $9 billion to generate 2000MWs of [...]

Energy Grid Could Make Offshore Wind Power More Reliable

Apr 17th, 2010 | By John Waller | Category: Top Story, Wind Power

Scientists believe that natural resources can meet the energy needs of the entire human population. Wind energy too has huge potential to generate power for us. Researchers are trying to trap offshore wind power. But there are still many hiccups that are preventing us from utilizing natural resources for our needs. Wind turbines produce intermittent [...]