Can a Bubble Protect Beijing?

There was a silly movie called Bubble Boy that was released in 2001. It was about a boy who did not have an immune system so he lived his life in a bubble. Can places adapt this same bubble-like existence to create a safe, sterile environment? What does this have to do with today’s world? Is this a fantasy future where a city is enclosed? Can this really solve the problems of the environment that our society has created? Well…

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Solar Power: Idea to Reality to the Future

Thanks to David Glenn for providing this thoughtful article on solar power. Energy is expensive. Thanks to the laws of thermodynamics, it’s just not possible to get more energy out of a system than you put in. Thus, when it comes to generating power, you’ll always be stuck with a bad investment. However, there is a bit of a work around to this problem. See, if you can get someone or something else to supply the initial energy for you,…

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New theory may lead to more efficient solar cells

UH collaboration on solar cells with Universite de Montreal published in Nature Communications A new theoretical model developed by professors at the University of Houston (UH) and Université de Montréal may hold the key to methods for developing better materials for solar cells. Eric Bittner, a John and Rebecca Moores Professor of Chemistry and Physics in UH’s College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, and Carlos Silva, an associate professor at the Université de Montréal and Canada Research Chair in Organic…

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First Solar Breaks Ground on 102 MW Nyngan Solar Project

AGL Project in NSW Will Be Australia’s Largest Utility-Scale Solar Power Plant First Solar today commences construction of Australia’s largest utility-scale solar project, a 250 hectare solar plant in Nyngan, New South Wales (NSW). Less than six months after AGL Energy Limited achieved financial close for project, First Solar today breaks ground on the installation of approximately 1,350,000 advanced thin-film photovoltaic (PV) modules. Once installed, First Solar’s modules will generate clean, renewable energy with no emissions, waste or water consumption during…

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Kyocera Solar Modules Help Connecticut Residents Reduce Environmental Impact

Connecticut residents who made a New Year’s resolution to reduce their environmental impact may be getting a boost without even realizing it. On December 23, 2013, a 5-megawatt AC (7.4MW DC) installation of high-reliability Kyocera solar modules began commercial operations at Somers, Conn., providing enough annual generating capacity to offset the power needs of approximately 5,000 homes. The Somers project is the latest that Kyocera has developed and financed in the United States. “Kyocera solar modules have earned a reputation…

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Integrys Energy Services Partners with Clean Power Finance for First Residential Solar Investments

Leading Energy Supply and Services Company Uses the CPF Market to Further Invest in Distributed Solar Clean Power Finance (CPF) and Integrys Energy Services, Inc., a subsidiary of Integrys Energy Group, Inc. (NYSE: TEG), a leading Midwestern utility holding company, today announced the creation of a residential solar finance fund through the CPF Market®, an online platform that empowers electric power companies to invest in residential solar. The fund enables Integrys Energy Services’ investment in the residential distributed generation (DG) solar sector. “CPF’s…

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Water Systems from SolarWorld, Rotary, Water Missions International Aid 35,000 People in Peru, Haiti and Malawi

My desk gets flooded with all kinds of press releases – stories about companies people, products, and promotions whiz over the Internet like a blur. Some stand out like beacons. This particular beacon of light, featuring Water Missions International, Rotary International, and Solar World is about helping provide clean water to people who had little or none available. HILLSBORO, Ore.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–A partnership among SolarWorld, the largest solar manufacturer in the United States and Europe, and nonprofit partners Rotary International and…

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Can You Make Money on Energy Bills from Being Green?

For years now, we’ve been forking out huge amounts on our energy bills. With the big six companies recently announcing their latest price hikes, it can be really frustrating to read that these providers are enjoying a five-fold rise in returns, as The Telegraph reports – while many of us struggle to meet the payments. However, have you ever thought about turning the tables and making these energy companies pay you? With renewable energy sources, this is a possibility. Take…

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Guest Post: How To Build Your Own Solar Panels

Thanks to Agnes Jimenez, for providing this post on how to build your own solar panels. There is no second opinion about the enormous benefits of solar electricity. With the ever rising prices of fuel and hence the on-grid electricity, the only viable option we are left with is to switch to the off-grid solar photovoltaic electricity for our household needs. As much attractive as it seems, the price of solar panels is one of the major reasons why people…

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Bio-based solar cell

RUB researchers generate solar electricity rather than biomass with photosynthetic proteins Efficient integration of photosystems 1 and 2 into photovoltaic cell Researchers at the Ruhr-Universität Bochum (RUB) have developed a bio-based solar cell. They embedded the two proteins photosystem 1 and 2, which in plants are responsible of photosynthesis, into complex molecules developed in-house, thus creating an efficient electron current. Headed by Prof Dr Wolfgang Schuhmann from the Department of Analytical Chemistry and Center for Electrochemical Sciences (CES) and Prof…

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New Material for Solar Panels Could Make Them Cheaper and More Efficient

An expanding number of people and businesses show interest in using renewable energy solutions like solar. Cost is proving to be the stumbling block, however. Today, we are posting articles concerning the cost of solar, one concerning two studies from NREL about the soft costs of solar installation, and this press announcement from  Argonne National Laboratory and the University of Pennsylvania about a new material that will contribute to reducing the costs of solar panels. A unique solar panel design…

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NREL Reports Soft Costs Now Largest Piece of Solar Installation Cost

Two detailed reports from the Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) find that solar financing and other non-hardware costs — often referred to as “soft costs” — now comprise up to 64% of the total price of residential solar energy systems, reflecting how soft costs are becoming an increasingly larger fraction of the cost of installing solar. “The two new reports, along with previous reports, provide a comprehensive look at the full cost of installing solar, while delineating and…

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Solar Cell Degradation Observed Directly for First Time

X-ray examination shows structural changes in ‘plastics’ solar cells With the help of DESY’s X-ray light source PETRA III, researchers of Technische Universität München have, for the first time, watched organic solar cells degrade in real time. This work could open new approaches to increasing the stability of this highly promising type of solar cell. The team headed by Prof. Peter Müller-Buschbaum from the Technische Universität München (Technical University of Munich) present their observations in this week’s issue of the…

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Meet a Modern Yurt: Ed Ryan’s circHouse

Special thanks to Ed Ryan, developer of the circhouse, for providing GBE with this guest post. The circHouse is a durable, easily constructed, multi-use building which has been designed to serve many functions, among them, humanitarian and relief housing, offices for medical facilities, storage and logistics applications, and recreational, resort and lifestyle uses. The basic design is round and similar to a yurt but made with modern materials and CAD engineering. Buckminster Fuller said, “To change something, build a new…

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First Solar Starts Construction of Solar Power Plant in Kitakyushu-shi, Japan

First Solar, Inc.today announced that it has started construction of a solar project in Kitakyushu-shi, Japan. Generation capacity of the project is 1.4MWDC, and it will start operating in Q1 2014. Using First Solar’s advanced technology CdTe thin-film PV modules, the project will provide clean and safe solar power to Japan, mitigating idle nuclear and providing energy security. “This project illustrates First Solar’s capability to develop and build solar power plants in Japan,” said Joseph Kishkill, First Solar’s Chief Commercial…

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Copper Promises Cheaper and Sturdier Solar Fuel Cells

Science news of discoveries that might further propel the development of cost-effective solar fuel cells is always worth hearing about. Read the following press information from Duke University. Copper nanowires offer an efficient, inexpensive approach to solar energy harvesting Copper adorns the Statue of Liberty, makes sturdy, affordable wiring, and helps our bodies absorb iron. Now, researchers at Duke University would like to use copper to transform sunlight and water into a chemical fuel. Converting solar energy into storable fuel…

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RENEWABLE ENERGY PROVIDES 99% OF ALL NEW U.S. ELECTRICAL GENERATING CAPACITY IN OCTOBER 2013

YEAR-TO-DATE, RENEWABLES OUTPACE COAL, OIL, AND NUCLEAR POWER COMBINED According to the latest “Energy Infrastructure Update” report from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s Office of Energy Projects, solar, biomass, and wind “units” provided 694 MW of new electrical generating capacity last month or 99.3% of all new generation placed in-service (the balance of 5 MW was provided by oil.) Twelve new solar units accounted for 504 MW or 72.1% of all new electrical generating capacity in October 2013 followed by four…

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Mitsubishi Electric 219 kW Photovoltaic System Installed at Bishamon Calif. Factory

Evidence of large clean energy systems continues to grow, like this large Mitsubishi solar PV system at a Bishamon Industries factory in Ontario, California. See the following press announcement. Mitsubishi Electric, a provider of high quality solar power technology, announced today the installation of a 219 kW photovoltaic (PV) system at Bishamon Industries Corporation’s factory in Ontario, Calif. In addition to reducing its impact on the environment, Bishamon expects to realize a 75 percent reduction in electricity costs by converting its factory to…

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