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3 Megawatts Of Mirrored Solar In Spain

A company called SolFocus (which was spun out of Xerox Palo Alto Research Center in 2006) has started installation of a 3-megawatt solar power plant in southern Spain. SolFocus makes solar cells that use much less silicon than regular panels because they use lenses and mirrors to concentrate sunlight. The solar concentrators magnify sunlight 500 times, which according to the …

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Huge “Air Tree” Structure Produces Its Own Power and Oxygen

In Madrid, Spain they are currently building a huge structure called an “Air Tree” or “Eco Boulevard de Vallecas”. The Tree was created by Urban Ecosystem to be a social center, and to improve the surrounding environment. The structure is also completely self-sufficient, generating all its own power with solar cells. Any surplus energy is sold to the electrical grid. …

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Storing Solar Power In Molten Salt

Solar power is a truly efficient source of energy, but it tends to fluctuate, and, as you might know, it turns off at night. One clever way to alleviate this intermittence is to store solar energy in the form of heat using molten salt. An aerospace company, Hamilton Sundstra, has created a venture called SolarReserve, and it plans to have …

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Solar Film Debuts: Cheapest Solar Panel In The World?

Nanosolar has just announced that, after five years of development, it will be shipping its innovative “solar film” product. Basically, Nanosolar is able to print solar panels on machines that resemble printing presses. The company, whose backers include Google’s co-founders, say it is producing the world’s lowest-cost solar panel, costing as little as 99 cents per watt.

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Italian Town Runs On 100% Renewable Power

Varese Ligure, a town in Northern Italy, runs on 100% renewable power. The town uses a mix of wind, solar and small-scale hydropower. The town has reaped benefits from the energy network through added jobs, and an additional 350,000 euros [US $514,000] in revenues that are handed over to the council each year. Varese has also seen a six-fold increase …

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Electric Eel Used To Power Christmas Tree

In Japan,  there’s an aquarium with an electric eel in it. And the eel’s electrical power is being used to energize the lights on a Christmas tree. It’s clean energy right? Each time the electric eel at the Aqua Toto Gifu aquarium touches a copper wire in its tank, it sends power that lights up globes decking a Christmas tree. …

HP To Install 1 Megawatt Solar Rooftop

Hewlett-Packard has announced it will install a 1-megawatt solar array in its San Diego facility. The installation will be made up of 5,000 panels on seven buildings. It’s a large solar array, but smaller than Google’s 1.6-megawatt solar array, which is thought to be the largest corporate installation to date in the United States.

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Biomethane: A Fuel From Pure Grass

This is highly optimal. In Austria, cars can now fill up on a renewable, locally-produced fuel. The fuel is called “biomethane”, and it’s created by fermenting meadow grass (Poa pratensis). The grass is grown without the input of synthetic fertilizers or pesticides. And it’s a true ‘cellulosic biofuel’ — it doesn’t rely on grains and oilseeds.

The Wind Shade Roof

Personally, I find combination of clean energy and art to be compelling.  Michael Jantzen‘s designs certainly embody both ideas. Pictured above is his “Wind Shade Roof” concept – it’s a swimming pool complex with wind turbines integrated into the roof. The turbines provide power for night lighting, pool heating and pumps. I’m sure the design is not entirely optimal, but also …

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Solar Beads Could Cut Costs By 50%

Here’s another solar innovation that could reduce cost of solar energy by as much as 50%. A company in Japan has developed a novel way of making solar cells with arrays of thousands of tiny silicon spheres surrounded by hexagonal reflectors. The key advantage of the system is that it reduces the total amount of silicon required, says Mikio Murozono, …

Google Wants To Make Clean Energy Cheaper Than Coal

eSolar is one of the early-stage companies Google is working with. Google has announced a plan to develop sources of renewable energy that will be cheaper than coal. The new initiative, RE<C, (renewable energy is cheaper than coal) will begin by focusing on solar power technology, and will also encompass geothermal energy production. According to the Google.Org blog, of the …

Using Magnetic Levitation In Wind Turbines

Today, I wrote a post for TreeHugger about a company that is proposing to build a colossal magnetic levitation wind turbine. Magnetic levitation (or maglev) is an interesting technology that has been around for a while.

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553 Megawatts of Solar To Power 400,000 Homes

It’s the largest single commitment to buy solar power. Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) has entered into a renewable energy agreement with Solel to purchase renewable energy from the Mojave Solar Park, to be constructed in California’s Mojave Desert. The project will deliver 553 megawatts of solar power, the equivalent of powering 400,000 homes, to PG&E’s customers in northern …

Newest 5 Megawatt Wind Turbines

These 5 megawatt wind turbines are the latest to be raised in the Netherlands, you can read more about these turbines here.

“Eco-Lofts” In Atlanta: 100% Wind Powered

Atlanta will soon be home to the Eco-Lofts, a condominium development that will run on 100% wind power. Located in Chamblee (just outside Atlanta), Eco-Lofts will feature loft-style condos that will range in price from $200,000 to $500,000. The entire building qualifies as EarthCraft, which is a local green building program that is similar to LEED. Via: Equity Green

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Storing Sunshine Using Flow Batteries

Flow batteries are a unique kind of battery — they have tanks that hold hundreds of gallons of the chemicals, called electrolytes. Flow batteries just happen to be very good at storing solar or wind power. Renewable power sources suffer from being intermittent, and less reliable for continuous power supply than coal or gas. Neither resource is a good match …

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45% Renewable Energy For Germany By 2030

Germany plans to boost the percentage of electricity generated by renewable resources to 45 percent by 2030 in a bid to curb global warming, environment minister Sigmar Gabriel said Thursday. Gabriel told reporters that a progress report on a renewable energy law passed in 2000 showed that the country had already surpassed the quota of 12.5 percent set for 2010. …

The Hague To Warm 4,000 Houses With Geothermal

The Dutch city of The Hague on Wednesday announced plans to use geothermal heating — water from a hot well deep underground — to warm 4,000 households and several industrial buildings, as part of a plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Although the idea of using underground warmth to heat homes is not new, the plan would be the largest …

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New Product Launch: Solar Carport

A company called Solar Integrated Technologies recently announced it will be launching a solar carport product. The carport provides shade for parked vehicles, and generates 1.22 kilowatts of solar power in the process. The carport has a modular design that accommodate parkings lots of all sizes and shapes. Solar Integrated also announced the completion of its first solar carport project …