Monthly Archives: September 2011

Iceland Home to World’s First Zero-Emissions Data Center

September 30th, 2011 | by Andrew

UK telecoms and IT provider Colt is well on its way toward building the world's first zero-emissions data center, in all of four months. Being built for data center developer Verne Global, the plant will be built on a former NATO base in Keflavik, Iceland, where geothermal and hydroelectric power will supply all the electricity needed to power the 500-square meter data center's servers and ambient cold air used to cool them

Kyoto University to Test Solar Array in Space (in 5-10 Years)

September 29th, 2011 | by Charis Michelsen

The idea of parking solar panels in orbit and letting them rain energy down upon Earth has been explored both in science fiction and in research laboratories for decades. Kyoto University announced this week that it took the first step in actually creating such a satellite, in its billion-yen test facility at Uji Campus

400-Megawatt Solar Farm Planned in Northern Florida

September 29th, 2011 | by Glenn Meyers

National Solar Power has announced it will build the Southeast’s largest solar farm in Gadsden County, Florida. The planned 400-megawatt solar farm – a $1.5 billion investment – is expected to generate hundreds of new jobs in the renewable energy sector

Quantum Dot Solar Cell Improvements Show Remarkable Potential to Balance Solar Performance & Cost

September 28th, 2011 | by Glenn Meyers

As far as innovation on the technology front, this one is a winner. In tabulating efficiency ratings, however, quantum cells don't seem to perform as well as either silicon-based or CIGS solar cells. This may soon change. Nature Materials writes that a new efficiency record for wrapping colloidal quantum dot solar cells may represent a step towards narrowing the gap

Shake Remote, Turn Off Television

September 28th, 2011 | by Charis Michelsen

With potential laptops powered by typing and watches powered by moving one's arm, energy harvesting is a growing field with a number of cool products. In Japan, Murata Manufacturing is firmly on board the trend with sensors to detect and convert vibration, temperature gradient, ambient heat, and light into small amounts of electricity. Their most recent offering uses a variety of their sensors in combination with a flexible plate to send several different signals without the need for batteries

Responding to a Trillion-Dollar Call to Retrofit Buildings

September 28th, 2011 | by Guest Contributor

The serial entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson brought to life an international need and business opportunity centered on thermally upgrading existing buildings, the world’s biggest users of energy. NYC’s Empire State Building was able to reduce its energy use by 40% thanks to a retrofit. Sir Richard founded the “Carbon War Room” based in Washington D.C. to unite international entrepreneurs, business leaders, researchers, policy experts, thinkers, to focus on solutions, not rhetoric, in efforts to tangibly combat climate change while creating 1000’s of “green” jobs

SolarWindows from New Energy Technologies

September 28th, 2011 | by Zachary Shahan

We've covered these Solar Windows from New Energy Technologies in the past, but sister site Green Building Elements recently did a slightly more detailed piece on them, so I thought I'd share it

German Small Solar Cheaper Than U.S. Big Solar

September 28th, 2011 | by John Farrell

The U.S. has a hodge-podge of utility, state and federal tax-based incentives. The Germans have a comprehensive feed-in tariff, providing CLEAN contracts (in the U.S. parlance) to anyone who wants to go solar (or wind, or biogas, etc). What does that mean for the price of solar

Peugeot Jumps on the Tiny-e-Car Bandwagon

September 27th, 2011 | by Charis Michelsen

Tiny short-range electric cars with room for one or two were not uncommon at the IAA 2011 – VW brought the Nils, Audi had the Urban Concept, and Opel showed the Rak e. Peugeot missed the auto show, but has announced its own tiny electric car anyway – the Velv

Farmers Harvesting the Power of Solar Energy

September 27th, 2011 | by Silvio Marcacci

The Sun’s rays have always been the foundation of farming, giving crops the energy they need to grow. But a program by the U.S. Department of Agriculture is now matching up farmers with grants and incentives to help them harvest a new kind of crop – solar-powered electricity. energyNOW! met Georgia pecan farmer Trey Pippin to learn how USDA’s Rural Development program matched his farm up with a local utility and solar panel manufacturer Suniva to build a solar array on his property large enough to power dozens of homes.

Google Invests Another $75 million to Bring Solar Power to Homeowners

September 27th, 2011 | by Andrew

Google's director of Green Business Operations Rick Needham announced the Internet search and technology leader will invest $75 million to create an initial fund with Clean Power Finance that aims to install solar power systems on as many as 3,000 homes. The investment brings to over $850-million the total amount of capital Google has invested in developing and deploying clean energy

Fracking Infographic

September 27th, 2011 | by Zachary Shahan

Natural gas is considered by many a 'clean energy' alternative to coal. It is considered by many a necessary transition fuel. I'm not so sure about its cleanliness or its necessity. But I haven't ruled it out of the "clean energy future" equation yet either. But no matter where you stand on natural gas, you have to admit that hydraulic fracking (for natural gas) comes with some nasty consequences. There are now identified issues with earthquakes and water quality (including creating flammable water). Here's an infographic with more

Senate Democrats Boost Clean Energy Funding for Military

September 27th, 2011 | by Susan Kraemer

Within a lower overall DOD budget for next year that comes in at $26 billion under White House request, holding the line at last year's level of $513 billion, Senate Democrats have boosted funding for clean energy development within the military, according to Clean Energy Report.


September 27th, 2011 | by Zachary Shahan

This is the percentage of DOE loan guarantees, to date, that was for Solyndra. (Thanks to a reader for doing the quick math for us and sending the figure along in a comment.) Percentage of loan guarantees that was for solar? 3.3% Why is this important

Solar Leasing Provides Power for Pennies

September 27th, 2011 | by Silvio Marcacci

Millions of visitors go to the Cincinnati Zoo every year, but the newest attraction isn’t the new baby giraffe – it’s a solar panel. More accurately, over 6,000 solar panels installed over the zoo’s parking lot, spanning an area the size of four football fields. The sheer size of the arrays is impressive, but not nearly as impressive as their price tag: absolutely nothing. The Cincinnati Zoo is the latest solar leasing success story, an innovative program that matches up investors with property owners who want to install solar but may not be able to afford the up-front costs. energyNOW! correspondent Patty Kim visited the zoo and SunRun, a San Francisco-based start-up to learn how solar leasing is generating power for pennies

Another “Solyndra” Project Sacrificed in Republican Attack on FEMA

September 26th, 2011 | by Susan Kraemer

The latest casualty of the Republican-held House, in its witch hunt against renewable energy, is a huge distributed solar project that would have doubled the number of solar rooftop installs in the US, while cutting electricity costs to practically nothing for hard-pressed military families, many of whom return home to lives of long term disability and resulting hardship. In partnership with military housing developers, SolarCity was to have installed as many as 160,000 solar roofs on military family housing, supplying cheaper and cleaner electricity from their own roofs. Its SolarStrong military program

Chu: Solar Power on Track For Cost Parity With Fossil Fuels

September 26th, 2011 | by Silvio Marcacci

Even before Solyndra filed for bankruptcy, the U.S. clean energy industry was facing an uncertain future because of the slow economy, low-cost overseas competition, and political gridlock in Washington, D.C. But in spite of these headwinds, Energy Secretary Steven Chu says clean energy cannot be abandoned and is on track for cost parity with fossil fuels. In this exclusive one-on-one interview, energyNOW! anchor Thalia Assuras discusses the outlook for clean energy funding, the Obama’s Administration’s plans to advance energy technology, and global competition with Secretary Chu.

Rome Welcomes EVs With Toshiba Smart Grid

September 26th, 2011 | by Charis Michelsen

The city of Rome, Italy is poised to welcome electric cars to its streets, according to Toshiba. The electronics giant announced this week that its Italian subsidiary Ansaldo Transmissione & Distribuzione S.p.A (Ansaldo T&D) won a contract to supply a smart grid distribution system to ACEA Distribuzione S.p.A (Gruppo ACEA), one of Italy’s leading public utilities. The system will include solar power arrays and storage batteries, as well as a control unit and smart meters

Westinghouse Solar Introduces Low-Cost, DIY Home Solar Power Kits

September 26th, 2011 | by Andrew

Looking to capitalize on the dramatically lower cost of solar power systems, Westinghouse Solar has launched a line of low-cost, "all-in-one" solar power system kits for the home that can be installed by homeowners and contractors. The kits' low cost and ease of installation make them "very appealing to contractors and do-it-yourself (DIY) homeowners who, until now, have been put off by the high price of a rooftop system,"

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