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Risky Business

The Economic Risks of Climate Change in the United States (PDF); prospectus (PDF); press coverage (YT) - "The signature effects of human-induced climate change—rising seas, increased damage from storm surge, more frequent bouts of extreme heat—all have specific, measurable impacts on our nation's current assets and ongoing economic activity. [The report] uses a standard risk-assessment approach to determine the range of potential consequences for each region of the U.S.—as well as for selected sectors of the economy—if we continue on our current path..." [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Jun 24, 2014 - 34 comments

Refrigerator, clothes dryer, computer, power plant?

Why owning your own power plant might not be crazy (from rmi.org)
posted by flabdablet on May 23, 2014 - 37 comments

The Moral Question Of Our Time: Can We Share The Planet?

UN Climate Report: We Must Focus On 'Decarbonization', and It Won't Wreck the Economy - "The basic message is simple: We share a planet. Let's start acting like it." [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Apr 23, 2014 - 50 comments

Dodging solar storms

FYI, we came close to losing the power grid back in 2012. What we? Oh, just the planet.
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Mar 20, 2014 - 40 comments

Indirect fusion's nothing less than HiiiPoWeR

Installed solar capacity is growing by leaps and bounds, led by Walmart and Apple, and helped by bonds backed by solar power payments,[*] which have sent industry stocks soaring, even as molten salt and new battery technologies come on line to generate storage for use when the sun doesn't shine. Of course we could always go to geostationary orbit -- or the moon -- as well we may (if politics allow it) as thirst from the developing world grows beyond the earth's carrying capacity. [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Nov 30, 2013 - 41 comments

Shocking exposé

Cloud services that power email and other technologies we use each day are themselves massive energy consumers. Gigaom reporters have written a pair of in-depth articles about efforts by Amazon and Apple to build infrastructure and source their own energy.
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Nov 18, 2013 - 16 comments

Japan energy: the sun also rises

Abe's Nuclear Energy Policy and Japan's Future: "Japan has nearly doubled spending on solar power projects to $20 bn and ramped up renewable energy capacity equivalent to six nuclear reactors, pointing the way to a sustainable and cheaper alternative to nuclear energy." [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Sep 11, 2013 - 32 comments

SunCalc - a solar azimuth calculator

Suncalc is a nifty online app that lets you input a geolocation and a date, and then uses google maps to graphically display the azimuth for the sunrise, sunset, and current time, for that particular date. Example: the sunset for the May 28 Manhattanhenge.
posted by carter on Aug 12, 2013 - 28 comments

Spain Privatizes The Sun

Spain Secretary of State for Energy, Alberto Nadal has signed a draft royal decree that levies a consumption taxes on solar power (El Pais translation, lol version)
posted by jeffburdges on Jul 30, 2013 - 40 comments

Solar Scorcher

Backyard Solar Death Ray. Melt pennies in seconds with a fresnel lens repurposed from an old large screen television. Grant Thompson has other fun and liability lawyer unapproved projects such as melting metal, making solid rocket fuel and making a compressed air rocket launcher. (via homunculus and his post on Monkeyfilter)
posted by caddis on Mar 24, 2013 - 30 comments

The Green Mafia

“Uncle Vincenzo,” implored the businessman, Angelo Salvatore, using a term of affection for the alleged head of Sicily’s Gimbellina crime family, 79-year-old Vincenzo Funari. According to a transcript of their wiretapped conversation, Salvatore continued: “For the love of our sons, renewable energy is important. . . . It’s a business we can live on.” [more inside]
posted by 445supermag on Mar 1, 2013 - 15 comments

More beholden to magnetism than gravity

Fiery Looping Rain on the Sun (via badastronomy and NASA's SDO)
posted by IvoShandor on Feb 21, 2013 - 17 comments

I did not have sexual relations with that solar panel

Secretary of Energy Steven Chu has refused to confirm that the reason for his resignation is a compromising photo recently published online. Posting on his personal Facebook page, he states: "I just want everyone to know that my decision not to serve a second term as Energy Secretary has absolutely nothing to do with the allegations... I’m not going to confirm or deny the charges..."
posted by 445supermag on Feb 8, 2013 - 33 comments

I love a sun-powered country, A land of deepening mines, of ragged nuclear plants, of biomass and hydropower

While developed countries are pondering whether they should sign up to The Kyoto 2 Protocol and cut greenhouse gas emissions by 5% by 2020, based on 2000 levels which may be of questionable impact, the tiny Pacific territory of Tokelau has ditched its primary source of electricity generation, costly diesel imports, in favour of 100% renewable solar power, becoming the first nation in the world to do so, at a time when the global energy systems of the 21C are struggling towards decarbonisation. [more inside]
posted by Mezentian on Nov 9, 2012 - 60 comments

Inspiring and amazing urban farming geek, Eric Maundu

Eric Maundu - who comes from Kenya, now lives in West Oakland and is trained in industrial robotics- transforms unused spaces into productive, small aquaponic farms. He has taken the agricultural craft one step further and made his gardens smart. He explores new frontiers of computer-controlled gardening. More information about this story. His company, Kijani Grows. Via faircompanies.com.
posted by nickyskye on Oct 24, 2012 - 21 comments

How to build a Dyson sphere in five (relatively) easy steps

How to build a Dyson sphere in five (relatively) easy steps.
posted by Egg Shen on Sep 7, 2012 - 80 comments

"Now go outside -- It's sunny and you're beautiful."

How to build a Solar Mobile Charger in 5 minutes. Full instructions here. [more inside]
posted by Deathalicious on Aug 25, 2012 - 36 comments

Turn your house into a giant battery.

"You could turn your home into a battery," said researcher Neelam Singh. Researchers at Rice University have created paints that act as rechargeable lithium-ion batteries. They can be painted onto virtually any surface, and can be charged with a solar cell. Full paper.
posted by stoneweaver on Jun 29, 2012 - 42 comments

Electricity in Japan

In the year and a half since the earthquake and tsunami caused an industry-wide Japanese nuclear shutdown , Japanese consumers and businesses have been urged to conserve energy whenever possible. Although a few reactors are being brought back online temporarily, the Japanese government has pledged to move away from nuclear power sources. Yesterday the Japanese government announced what may be the world's highest solar photovolatic feed-in tariff at 53 cents per kWh generated. [more inside]
posted by thewalrus on Jun 20, 2012 - 47 comments

Dance of the Celestial Orbs

Stunning video of the transit of Venus by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory.
posted by pashdown on Jun 6, 2012 - 72 comments

Eclipse May 20, late afternoon in the Western US:

Where will you be on May 20th/21st? There will be an annular solar eclipse late afternoon that will be visible in the Western US: "On May 21, 2012, an annular solar eclipse begins over southeast China and passes over Japan. When the eclipse crosses the International Date Line, the local date becomes May 20. The eclipse then enters the California/Oregon border, passes in the late afternoon over Nevada, Utah, Arizona, a corner of Colorado, New Mexico, and ends at sunset in Texas." As a warning, please don't scorch your eyeballs! There are guidelines on safe viewing.
posted by dfm500 on May 17, 2012 - 37 comments

Islands in the steam

Solar Islands: A new concept for low-cost solar energy at very large scale.
A reduced-scale prototype is under construction.
posted by flabdablet on May 2, 2012 - 19 comments

Another shady operation

Cost to park: free. Cost to charge: free.
Metrolink unveils a 2MW solar car park.
posted by flabdablet on Apr 12, 2012 - 20 comments

The Sun on your desktop

Helioviewer.org "is an open-source project for the visualization of solar and heliospheric data. The project is funded by ESA and NASA."
See also the Wiki and the JHelioviewer application.
Go back in time to prominent events (June 7, 2011 for example), create layers from different observatories and even create your own movies.
posted by vacapinta on Apr 11, 2012 - 6 comments

full of ★☆★☆★

OMG SPACE aims to illustrate the scale and the grandeur of our solar system, as well as illustrate through the use of infographics our work in the exploration of our solar system with various spacecraft. [more inside]
posted by zamboni on Apr 3, 2012 - 19 comments

A (potentially) not so sunny day

Earth Faces 12% Chance of "Catastrophic Solar Megastorm" by 2020 The last gigantic solar storm, known as the Carrington Event, occurred more than 150 years ago and was the most powerful such event in recorded history. [more inside]
posted by modernnomad on Feb 29, 2012 - 75 comments

Let there be

Life Without Lights Energy Poverty Photography.
posted by infini on Feb 12, 2012 - 28 comments

Dang, sun!

Paul Nosa and his Solar Sewing Rover are coming to a town near you!
posted by chronkite on Jan 10, 2012 - 4 comments

Even more recent events in Solar Power

Some interesting things have recently happened in the world of solar power: Evergreen and Solyndra have gone bankrupt, panel cost has gone sub $1.00/watt, and China has vastly increased production capacities. [more inside]
posted by thewalrus on Nov 17, 2011 - 103 comments

It's solar noon, do you know what time your clock says?

Saturday August 27 Bill Nye dedicated a solar noon clock he designed. The clock is embedded in the facade of Rhodes Hall. At Solar Noon, when the Sun culminates, that is, reaches its highest point in the sky, the sun-shaped feature will light up. It is the marrying of mechanical and electrical engineering with astronomy. What could be better?
posted by IvoShandor on Aug 29, 2011 - 27 comments

The bright future of solar powered factories

Most of the talk about renewable energy is aimed at electricity production. However, most of the energy we need is heat, which solar panels and wind turbines cannot produce efficiently. To power industrial processes like the making of chemicals, the smelting of metals or the production of microchips, we need a renewable source of thermal energy. Direct use of solar energy can be the solution, and it creates the possibility to produce renewable energy plants using only renewable energy plants, paving the way for a truly sustainable industrial civilization. [more inside]
posted by Bangaioh on Jul 30, 2011 - 31 comments

It's SOHOt

On July 5th the SOlar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) captured video of a comet, known as a sungrazer, in route to collide with our star. SOHO is equipped with an occluding coronograph that blocks direct sunlight and reveals the corona, but also prevents direct study of the terminal impact of sungrazers. But on July 6th, with the help of the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO), astronomers were able to observe the comet (slyt) streaking in front of the surface of the sun for the first time in history. It likely disintegrated before impact due to extreme heat and radiation.
posted by troll on Jul 8, 2011 - 18 comments

The Energy Landscape of 2041

Energy: the new thirty years' war; we are heading for a global succeed-or-perish contest among the energy big hitters – but who will be the winners and losers? Michael Klare; (via )
posted by adamvasco on Jun 30, 2011 - 60 comments

Solar powered 3D printer creates glass objects out of sand

Markus Kayser has designed and built The Solar Sinter, a solar powered 3D printer which creates glass objects out sand. Needless to say, the ability to create objects out of sand using solar power will be welcome in deserts. He took his machine into the Sahara desert to test it. Previously in the Sahara Kayser tested a similiar machine, The Sun Cutter, which uses a ball lens to create a kind of laser cutter.
posted by Kattullus on Jun 25, 2011 - 40 comments

The Clock in the Mountain

Kevin Kelly describes how a clock designed to run for 10,000 years will function and the efforts behind its creation and building.
posted by reenum on Jun 18, 2011 - 73 comments

Confessions of a Nuclear Power Safety Expert

Confessions of a Nuclear Power Safety Expert.
posted by - on Jun 14, 2011 - 76 comments

Turns out we ARE hosting an intergalactic kegger down here

The twin Voyager probes launched by NASA in 1977 have discovered something new in the heliosheath at the edge of the solar system: it's frothy out there. Video. Press Release. Via. Voyager: Previously.
posted by zarq on Jun 13, 2011 - 33 comments

'We've all been taught that this doesn't happen'

A dramatic and surprising magnetic effect of light discovered by University of Michigan researchers could lead to solar power without traditional semiconductor-based solar cells.
posted by Confess, Fletch on Apr 17, 2011 - 19 comments

A beautiful and powerful solar system viewing tool.

Have fun and learn at the same time.
posted by analogtom on Apr 4, 2011 - 23 comments

Artificial Leaf

"A practical [inexpensive] artificial leaf has been one of the Holy Grails of science for decades. We believe we [Sun Catalytix] have done it." Video: Professor Daniel Nocera at MIT
posted by stbalbach on Mar 29, 2011 - 74 comments

Want to explaind the Solar System to someone?

A beautiful interactive model of our Solar System
posted by analogtom on Mar 22, 2011 - 20 comments

More recent events in solar power

Around one year ago we saw some of the recent events in solar power. At that time solar panels topped out at a peak efficiency of around 290W for a 1.99 x 0.99 meter 72-cell module, with a lone rare and expensive 315W module that was used to build team Germany's solar decathlon winning house. Since then prices have dropped a lot, and China is advancing in commodity tech. [more inside]
posted by thewalrus on Mar 3, 2011 - 80 comments

The Sun is Still a Mass of Incandescent Gas

NASA has released the first STEREO images of the entire sun.
Previous. Previouser. Previousest.
posted by steambadger on Feb 9, 2011 - 17 comments

"Obliterating Anything!"

Solard Death Ray: Power of 5000 suns! [SLYT] The R5800: made from an ordinary fiberglass satellite dish, it is covered in about 5800 3/8" (~1cm) mirror tiles. When properly aligned, it can generate a spot the size of a dime with an intensity of 5000 suns! This amount of power is more than enough to melt steel, vaporize aluminum, boil concrete, turn dirt into lava, and obliterate any organic material in an instant. It stands at 5'9" and is 42" across.
posted by Fizz on Jan 30, 2011 - 59 comments

Voyager I reaches edge of solar wind

The Voyager I spacecraft, 33 years into its mission, "has outrun the solar wind" and is exiting the solar system. This nice article explains what this means, and has a bunch of wonderful details and interviews with the original mission scientists. [more inside]
posted by LobsterMitten on Jan 19, 2011 - 70 comments

ending corporate welfare

Get the Energy Sector off the Dole - Why ending all government subsidies for fuel production will lead to a cleaner energy future—and why Obama has a rare chance to make it happen.
posted by kliuless on Jan 12, 2011 - 42 comments

Kind of like a zit, but full of plasma.

One of the most enduring mysteries in solar physics is why the Sun's outer atmosphere, or corona, is millions of degrees hotter than its surface. - Now scientists believe they have discovered a major source of hot gas that replenishes the corona
posted by The Whelk on Jan 8, 2011 - 13 comments

Get off your asphalt!

"I don't believe we're going to have the ability to build asphalt roads in 50 years."
posted by kinnakeet on Sep 23, 2010 - 121 comments

World's largest solar power plant

The world's largest solar power plant will probably be cleared for construction in California. At 1GW it is the size of a nuclear power plant and nearly doubles the US installed base of commercial-scale solar power. It will take 6-years, $6-billion and 7,000-acres. Proposed site (on Google maps). It will use parabolic trough's (video). It is being built by a German company (construction video / operation animation). There are many other CSP (Concentrated Solar Power) projects.
posted by stbalbach on Aug 27, 2010 - 71 comments

The strange case of solar flares and radioactive elements

Solar flares may be affecting radioactive decay rates
posted by Confess, Fletch on Aug 24, 2010 - 57 comments

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