“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]
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]
"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
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]
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.
Solar takes to the skies.
The Solar Impulse
took flight today, reaching an altitude of 5500 feet over 87 minutes.With a wingspan of over 60 meters
, close to that of a Boeing 747, it weighs about as much as a small car. Its 12,000 solar cells generate power for the 40hp engine, with an average speed of 70 kph (44 mph). The team will continue testing the prototype, including a 36 hour overnight flight, before constructing an even lighter
, more powerful
, more stable
plane, with the goal of flying around the world in 2012, traveling both during both the day and at night, without fuel.
Solar power continues to become more economical
with every passing month. The price of standard monocrystalline/polycrystalline 210W to 300W modules
has halved, from above $3/watt to below $1.70/watt in the past 12 months. The Canadian province of Ontario
has become the first location in North America to offer an aggressive feed-in tariff comparable to the feed-in tariffs in Germany
and Spain, paying above 80 cents/kWh for power generated by small rooftop photovoltaic installations. The US federal government is also offering
massive tax breaks for solar installations as part of the 2009 ARRA act. [more inside]
For the second time in two years a team from Germany has won the US Department of Energy's Solar Decathalon
. This year's entry was a cube shaped house entirely covered in 300W and 70W solar panels
generating a peak of 11.1kW. The DoE has published a complete product directory
of all the subsystems and components used to build each house. Another notable design is the Canadian Team North
house designed for optimal solar+insulation performance in high latitude climates.
Wind, water and solar technologies can provide 100 percent of the world's energy, eliminating all fossil fuels. HERE'S HOW
) [more inside]
The globe’s networked ecologies of food, water, energy, and waste have established new infrastructures and forms of urbanism. While these ecologies exist at the service of our contemporary lifestyles, they have typically remained hidden from view and from the public conscience. Infranet Lab
is studying the shifting / changing conditions. [more inside]
Meta-efficiency is the analysis of efficiency at a more comprehensive level. Metaefficient Review
assesses products considering not only their energy efficiency but also the embodied energy, toxicity, affordability, and usability. [more inside]
is producing "innovative new homes of remarkable strength, economy, and beauty, brought to life by an elegant new architecture and the discovery of a new source of pollution-free energy." The design took first prize in the Modern Marvels/Invent Now
). In an interview
, the inventor, Michael Sykes, says "he was inspired by the way the earth’s own atmosphere keeps the planet at a relatively constant comfortable temperature despite the frigidity of space." He also notes that his wife calls herself a "homemaker," natch.
The Solar Decathlon 2005 winners announced. The Solar Decathlon brings together 18 teams of college and university students from around the globe to participate in an unparalleled solar competition to design, build, and operate the most attractive and energy-efficient solar-powered home.
The 16th annual Tour de Sol
showcases experimental vehicles
built by students
, and corporations
that can cut greenhouse emissions, and compete for top awards
. More photos
. Then cruise on over to the Green Car Club
for a list of Green Cars available to buy today.
A Green Flash from the Sun
- I always thought this was a myth, but if NASA says it's true... (and I believe everything I read).