America’s Largest Solar Plant Opens in Nevada

CopperMountain

Copper Mountain Solar Facility

While it is nowhere as large as Canada’s 80MW Sarnia Solar Project (which is the world’s largest PV plant), the US has just opened the country’s largest PV plant in Nevada. The 48MW Copper Mountain Solar Facility, initiated by Sempra Generation, began construction January this year and the facility was finished just a few weeks ago.

 

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How We Subsidize Fossil Fuels

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Look at our tax dollars at work.

This is a little old, but I ran across it on Jon Taplin’s blog recently and I think it does a good job of making an important point—fossil fuel, as an industry, isn’t self supporting. No matter where we get our energy from, we’re propping up production with tax dollars.

However, here’s a couple things to keep in mind with this graph…

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Europe Will Be Powered By Solar Panels in the Sahara Desert Within 5 Years

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Solar panels in the Sahara Desert will power Europe.

If just one percent of the Saharan Desert were covered in concentrating solar panels it would create enough energy to power the entire world. That’s a powerful number, and the European Union has decided to jump on their proximity to the Sahara in order to reap some benefits from the untapped solar energy beaming down on Northern Africa. Just yesterday, European Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger announced that Europe will start importing solar energy from the Sahara within the next five years. The news comes after the Desertec Initiative was announced last year, which sets a long-term plan of about 40 years. (Pics)

 

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California Leads The Nation On Solar Electric Capacity

solar panels

Solar panels cover the roof of a California business, SA Recycling.

In 2008, solar electric capacity in the United States jumped 63 percent, according to the Interstate Renewable Energy Council. California leads the nation in this particular trend. Our installed solar photovoltaic capacity more than doubled from 2006 to 2008.

 

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Japan’s Space Agency Planning Solar Station In Space As New Energy Source By 2030

asystemofspa

Graphic illustration released from Japan’s Institute for Unmanned Space Experiment Free Flyer (USEF) shows a system of space solar power system (SSPS)

It may sound like a sci-fi vision, but Japan’s space agency is dead serious: by 2030 it wants to collect solar power in space and zap it down to Earth, using laser beams or microwaves.

 

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New Oyster Machine To Harvest Wave Power

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The Oyster concept for transforming wave power to onshore electricity.

A giant new machine called’ Oyster’ designed to harness the power of ocean waves and turn it into ‘green’ electricity is being installed on the seabed off the Atlantic shores of the Orkney Islands. In autumn 2009 it will undergo demonstration trials to prove whether its innovative technology could lead to a commercial source of renewable energy for use in seashores around the world.

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Night with a Futurist: Smart Grid = No Grid?

Phil Watts Presenting 586

Night with a Futurist: Future of the Smart Grid

Monday’s Night with a Futurist saw Phil Watts discussing the Future of the Smart Grid, and more generally the future of power generation, use, and storage. Watts noted how little the power grid has changed relative to other technology in the 100+ years since its initial creation. While Alexander Graham Bell would be entirely lost looking at today’s cellular phones, Watts posited that Thomas Edison “could still work” given the lack of evolution in power transmission.

 

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Scientists Find Way To Obtain Drinking Water From Air Humidity

Scientists Find Way To Obtain Drinking Water From Air Humidity

Drinking water from air humidity 

Not a plant to be seen, the desert ground is too dry. But the air contains water, and research scientists have found a way of obtaining drinking water from air humidity. The system is based completely on renewable energy and is therefore autonomous.

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Air-Fueled Battery Lasts 10 Times Longer

Air-Fueled Battery Lasts 10 Times Longer

Oxygen drawn from the air reacts within the porous carbon to release the electrical charge in this lithium-air battery. 

A new type of air-fueled battery could give up to ten times the energy storage of designs currently available.  This step-change in capacity could pave the way for a new generation of electric cars, mobile phones and laptops.

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Ultra-Dense Fuel Created That May Be The Ultimate Form Of Renewable Energy

Fuel Created That Is ‘More Dense Than The Core Of The Sun’

Ultra-dense deuterium is just as heavy as the sun’s core

It could be the perfect nuclear fuel. It generates energy via laser-enabled fusion. It has no radioactive byproducts. Has a group of Swedish researchers found the ultimate form of renewable energy for the 21st century?

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Amazing Vertical Farm For Vancouver

Amazing Vertical Farm For Vancouver

Vertical farm for Vancouver’s 2030 Challenge 

Vertical farms are one of our favorite future-forward concepts for creating sustainable cities. Providing locally-grown produce and food will not only help us reduce our carbon emissions significantly, but also help us become healthier. Romses Architects recently came up with an amazing concept for a vertical farm in Vancouver as part of the City’s 2030 Challenge. Complete with a tower for growing fruits and vegetables, a livestock grazing plane, a boutique dairy farm, commercial space, transit lines, renewable energy and more, the Harvest Green Tower has the potential to be a food growing, energy producing, living, breathing sustainable transit hub. (Pics)

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The Renewable House: Home Building Without A Carbon Footprint?

The Renewable House: Home Building Without A Carbon Footprint?

The Renewable House is a timber frame house with hemp-lime walls.

Britain’s University of Bath’s Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering, its Department of Mechanical Engineering, and the Building Research Establishment Ltd (BRE)  formed a partnership in 2006 to conduct research on innovative and sustainable construction materials and to provide knowledge and leadership to the building industry.

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