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
to build infrastructure and source their own energy.
posted by Blazecock Pileon
on Nov 18, 2013 -
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 -
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 -
has named Nanosolar
the #1 innovative product of the year
. Finally, cheap and ubiquitous solar power has arrived, “You’re talking about printing rolls of the stuff—printing it on the roofs of 18-wheeler trailers, printing it on garages, printing it wherever you want it,” The only problem is demand, so they're building the world’s largest solar-panel manufacturing facility
in San Jose. See 96 other innovations in PopSci's Best of 2007
posted by stbalbach
on Nov 17, 2007 -
Mike Strizki lives in the nation's first solar-hydrogen house.
"The technology this civil engineer has been able to string together – solar panels, a hydrogen fuel cell, storage tanks, and a piece of equipment called an electrolyzer – provides electricity to his home year-round, even on the cloudiest of winter days.
Mr. Strizki's monthly utility bill is zero – he's off the power grid – and his system creates no carbon-dioxide emissions. Neither does the fuel-cell car parked in his garage, which runs off the hydrogen his system creates."
posted by mr_crash_davis
on Mar 16, 2007 -
is a solar power rental company for the home. Free to install (!), a monthly rental fee is equal to what would normally be paid to the power company. Video
posted by stbalbach
on Jan 11, 2007 -
A kilometre-high solar tower,
to be built in the Australian outback by EnviroMission Ltd
, will become the world's tallest structure when completed in 2006. Designed by Jorg Schlaich of Schlaich Bergermann und Partner
, the solar tower (or solar chimney) operates like a hydroelectric power plant, but uses hot air instead of water
, and it could provide enough electricity for 200,000 homes. Time calls it one of the best inventions of 2002
, and I think it's one of the most ingenious ideas I've ever heard. Another solar chimney project was planned in Rajasthan, India
, but I haven't found any information on its current status.
posted by homunculus
on Jan 6, 2003 -