Alternative Energy

Solar Power News

The latest solar power news from our solar energy and photovoltaic news sources.

Dec 09, 2016

Solar Energy

Casa Quebrada is a tiny treehouse-like haven immersed in the Chilean forest

Dec 9, 2016: Casa Quebrada is a tiny home due to site restrictions that limited the build to no more than 40 square meters. The tiny cabin successfully fits all the living needs into one compact space but avoids the feeling of claustrophobia due to a fully glazed wall that visually extends the living room to the outdoors. The house is clad in pine wood painted black to help the home blend into the forest, topped with a tin roof, and raised on stilts so as not to interrupt the flow of water in winter. In contrast...

Charming off-grid Scandinavian-inspired tiny home is passive and energy efficient

Dec 9, 2016: Bright colors and light beckon people to NestHouse, designed by Jonathan Avery of Tiny House Scotland. Avery's goal was to create a super sustainable, super efficient tiny home, and he succeeded with the gorgeous NestHouse. With both a retro and Scandinavian flair, the tiny home boasts an off-grid option, creative storage, and even a little bathtub.

This $10k tiny house can be built with a hex key in less than a day

Dec 8, 2016: Cheap Chinese goods are a bit of a joke in America, but when one of those products is an entire house with the affordable price of just $10,000, the laughing stops. China's People's Architecture Office (PAO) recently built one of these new prefabricated homes for a first-time buyer known only as “Mrs. Fan.” The so-called Plugin House features a system of prefab panels that were assembled onsite by a small team in just a few hours. https://vimeo.com/194316406 The $10,000 home is...

15 great green gifts for guys

Dec 8, 2016: Some people say guys are hard to shop for, but that doesn't have to be the case - just look for classic, timeless gifts that last and you can't go wrong. We've rounded up 14 great green gifts that are sure to please the husbands, brothers, fathers, sons, and…

Germany's massive nuclear fusion reactor is actually working

Dec 8, 2016: A little over a year ago, Germany turned on the world’s largest nuclear fusion reactor and faced sharp speculation over whether the machine could function as intended. Now, tests conducted by US and German researchers confirm that the experimental Wendelstein 7-X (W7-X) stellarator is indeed producing magnetic fields that make controlled nuclear reactions possible, and with a high degree of accuracy and incredibly low error rate. With these test results, new confidence and hope are spreading through...

17 fun and educational gifts for tots

Dec 8, 2016: This holiday season, delight the tots in your life with playful eco-gifts that educate and inspire creativity. From a transforming cardboard pet 'dog' to Montessori and Waldorf-inspired games, all of the gifts in our guide will be sure to bring joy to…

Leonardo DiCaprio schools Donald Trump on the benefits of renewable energy

Dec 8, 2016: Leonardo DiCaprio met with President-elect Donald Trump on Wednesday, just hours after climate denier and fossil fuels champion Scott Pruitt was named to head the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) following Trump’s inauguration. The actor/activist and the head of his nonprofit foundation met with the future US leader in New York at Trump Tower, where they discussed the economic benefits of renewable energy investments, including the fact that it would add millions of jobs—one of Trump’s...

This plant-covered Singapore skyscraper is the tropical building of the future

Dec 8, 2016: Steel and glass skyscrapers may work in the climates of New York City or San Francisco, but in tropical Singapore they heat up fast. WOHA Architects designed a more sustainable skyscraper, Oasia Hotel Downtown, that's cooled by the greenery creeping across it. Plants and several sky gardens cool the structure naturally. Related: Tel Aviv's Gran Mediterraneo Tower will feature a lush vertical garden + WOHA Architects Via Curbed Images via…

An old factory building in Paris hides a transformable multipurpose space

Dec 8, 2016: The Director's house is located alongside Seine in Paris' 13th arrondissement. DATA architects kept the exterior of the existing building in original condition, and focused on redesigning the interior by providing a complete makeover. The team gutted the building to create three floors of exhibition spaces. The main room has been separated from the staircase, bathrooms, storage and technical rooms by a wall. A large cylindrical structure dominates the main space. It combines glass and steel and allows...

How to choose a living tree to replant after Christmas

Dec 8, 2016: Purchase a Tree from a Nursery     Nurseries in most parts of the country sell young pines and fir trees, and the best way to find a tree is to call around to local nurseries and ask what's in stock. Living trees are much heavier than cut…

UPS rolls out first e-bike delivery in the United States

Dec 8, 2016: Leave it to Portland, Oregon to enjoy packages delivered by eBikes. The United Parcel Service (UPS) rolled out eBike delivery in the green city at the end of November. It's their first eBike delivery service in the United States.

Rotterdam's new Parkstad development puts urban parks on every block

Dec 8, 2016: The new Parkstad residential development will introduce a new city block typology to the city of Rotterdam. The project, designed by DELVA Landscape Architects and Powerhouse Company will consolidate three large city blocks and form parks in the heart of each one. Real estate companies Stevast Baas & Groen and Syntrus Achmea commissioned DELVA Landscape Architects and Powerhouse Company to design a new layout for a large residential area on Rotterdam's Laan op Zuid avenue, part of...

Giraffes are on the verge of going extinct

Dec 8, 2016: Between 1985 and 2015, giraffe populations plummeted. Around 151,702 to 163,452 of the magnificent creatures graced the earth in 1985, but in 2015 populations were measured at just 97,562, a 36 to 40 percent decline, according to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN). They called on governments assembling in Cancun, Mexico at the United Nations Biodiversity Conference to take action now.

Twin live and work cubes demonstrate superior material and spatial economy

Dec 8, 2016: If you've ever dreamed of shortening your commute to mere steps, but don't have a huge budget, take note of this brilliant project in the Czech Republic. Petr Stolin was commissioned to design two identical buildings using structural insulated panels (SIPs) - one for living, and one for working, and he responded with a flair for spatial and material economy. Located in a rural landscape outside Liberec, the double-story cubes are clad in transparent acrylic sheets that reveal simple timber framing...

Gorgeous net-zero energy home offers luxury living in Washington, D.C.

Dec 8, 2016: Located just a stone’s throw away from the Smithsonian National Zoo and the high-end shops of Connecticut Avenue, the three-story Brandywine House enjoys the conveniences and benefits of city living, while still preserving privacy and a tranquil environment. The architects retained the majority of mature trees on site and installed a lush planting plan that separates the home from the street. The building’s boxy exterior is composed of traditional and natural materials, like stone, wood, and...

US veterans who protested DAPL are fighting a new fight

Dec 8, 2016: Last week, thousands of American veterans descended on Standing Rock to defend the anti-pipeline protesters from police brutality. Now that the news has been handed down that the US Army is blocking the pipeline (at least for the time being), the veteran’s group is on the move once again. Their next stop? Flint, Michigan, where residents are still struggling with a lack of access to clean water. In early 2014, the city of Flint switched its water source from Detroit’s utility system...

Donald Trump taps fossil fuel-funded climate denier to head EPA

Dec 8, 2016: If there were any illusions that President-elect Donald Trump might be persuaded on climate change and clean energy after appearing to soften his positions in an interview with New York Times reporters and meeting with Al Gore at Trump Tower, those hopes have been officially been quashed with the selection of Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to run the Environmental Protection Agency. Pruit has been a vocal critic of the EPA and President Obama's climate change policies. As AG he led the legal...

Rammed earth Palenque Cultural Tambillo is designed to celebrate Afro-ecuadorean arts

Dec 8, 2016: The Afroecuadorean town of Tambillo is located in the “region of the marimba,” a type of percussionist folk music that UNESCO has described as an intangible heritage of humanity. Unfortunately, those celebrated traditions are at risk due to intra-generational learning gaps and insufficient rehearsal and performance facilities. Palenque Cultural Tambillo was created to help continue those artistic traditions and was designed through a series of participatory research and design workshops with...

SolarStratos Solar Plane to Will Soar 80,000 Feet

Dec 7, 2016: Just months after two Swiss pilots completed a historic round-the-world trip in a Sun-powered plane, another Swiss adventurer on Wednesday unveiled a solar plane aimed at reaching the stratosphere. The SolarStratos, a sleek, white two-seater aircraft with long wings covered with 22 square meters (237 square feet) of solar panels, is set to become the first manned solar plane to make a…

70-mile crack in Antarctic ice shelf could create Delaware-sized iceberg

Dec 7, 2016: A deep, 70-mile long crack in the Antarctic ice could lead to major problems as it grows. The rift threatens the Larsen C ice shelf, the continent’s fourth largest, which has been under close observation since its neighbor, Larsen B, collapsed due to a similar crack in 2002. The growing rift, photographed by NASA’s IceBridge mission on November 10, will force the relocation of a British research station in the near term, and could have even more severe consequences down the road. Antarctica’s...

14 affordable and green gifts under $20

Dec 7, 2016: Green products have a reputation for being expensive, but we have proof that this isn't always the case. Giving your friends and loved ones eco-friendly gifts doesn't have to mean breaking the bank, as evidenced by our Gifts Under $20 Guide. From hanging planters…

Snails defeat Trump: Irish seawall scrapped

Dec 7, 2016: Snails did what 16 Republican primary opponents and Hillary Clinton could not do: defeat Donald Trump.

Warming Huts 2017 winning designs are inspired by beaches, lanterns, and open borders

Dec 7, 2016: Related: ROPE Pavilion by KNE Studio Is An Elegant Woven Warming Shelter In Canada…

15 great holiday gifts for your furry friends

Dec 7, 2016: For those of us whose pets are practically our children, buying presents and seeing them enjoy their gifts is a delight. Whether you're looking to make your pet feel a little cozier and loved, or encouraging them to have more fun, we have a great lineup of…

14 customized gifts that put a personal touch on the holidays

Dec 7, 2016: Trying to guess which colors, patterns and styles your friends and family will prefer can be a daunting task - one that can be avoided with customized gifts. By emblazoning your present with a graphic or text that is near and dear to your recipient (their…

The earth's rotation is slowing - and days will eventually be 25 hours long

Dec 7, 2016: Many jokes are made about creating just one more hour in the day, but that will eventually become a reality. After a review of celestial data spanning 27 centuries, a team of astronomers has determined that Earth’s orbit slows almost two milliseconds every 100 years. If the slowdown continues—and it’s expected to—Earth will eventually experience an extra hour each day. Some careful math helped researchers estimate how long it might take for the orbit to slow enough to create a whole new hour....

New super batteries could charge phones in seconds and electric cars in minutes

Dec 7, 2016: A scientific breakthrough at the University of Surrey could completely change how we charge our devices. Researchers developed a new material that could be used to create supercapacitors 1,000 to 10,000 times more powerful than conventional batteries. The new super batteries would also be safer, greener, faster charging and more efficient. The breakthrough is made possible by a special type of polymer that is, surprisingly enough, adapted from the principles used to make soft contact lenses....

Labyrinthine resort in Bangladesh lets nature take over

Dec 7, 2016: Nestled midst the green hillocks of a tea plantation in northern Bangladesh, Dusai Resort & Spa is a beautiful resort reminiscent of the area's traditional villages. Design office VITTI Sthapati Brindo used a hybrid construction system of traditional tea estate bungalows and standardized concrete structures, as well as local technology and materials. The resort comprises a residential complex, dining, a swimming pool, a spa, a conference room and indoor and outdoor gaming facility. The individual...

5 festive Christmas ornaments you can make from recycled paper

Dec 7, 2016: Decoupage Christmas Trees What you'll need: Recycled cardboard (cereal boxes, mailers, boxes, old notebook covers) Colorful recycled papers (we used stationery and maps) Glitter Mod Podge or white glue Paintbrush Pen Scissors Needle and thread (gold or silver) First create a template Christmas tree shape (it should be symmetrical) on a piece of cardboard or cardstock. Cut it out and then trace the template onto a piece of recycled cardboard. You'll need two Christmas tree cutouts for...

Thousands of mysterious gelatinous creatures washed up in California

Dec 7, 2016: Related: Octopuses are taking over the oceans, and no one knows why Via the Los Angeles Times and AOL Images via…

America's first urban 'agrihood' feeds 2,000 households for free

Dec 7, 2016: When you think of Detroit, 'sustainable' and 'agriculture' may not be the first two words that come to mind. But a new sustainable urban agrihood, debuted by Michigan Urban Farming Initiative (MUFI), might change your mind. The three-acre agrihood boasts a two-acre garden, a fruit orchard with 200 trees, and a sensory garden for kids. Related: Amazing farm-to-table, eco friendly housing development in California is a locavore's paradise Michigan Urban Farming Initiative describes the...

Cedar Rapids turns tragedy into triumph with new LEED Platinum public library

Dec 7, 2016: Completed in 2003, the new Cedar Rapids Public Library is located a couple blocks from the original site and overlooks Greene Square Park. OPN’s meetings with the community guided the 95,000-square-foot library design, which, according to the architects, was “driven by the desire to embrace openness, transparency and foster public engagement with and within the space.” The building features large expanses of floor-to-ceiling glass to engage the streetscape and to overlook views of the park...

15 cozy knit gifts to keep you warm this winter

Dec 7, 2016: Everybody loves receiving cozy mittens, caps and other knit gifts, but the environmentalists in your life will be especially pleased if theirs have been purchased from people who source only the greenest, most sustainable yarn. And if it's fair trade, what…

Plugin Tower is a low-cost modular home with no foundation

Dec 7, 2016: The owners of the Plugin Tower can pack up their home and bring it with them if they decide to move. This temporary residence in Shenzhen, China, is a modular, multi-story prefab structure that circumvents the strict planning approval for permanent structure. Chinese multidisciplinary studio People's Architecture Office (PAO), known for their excellent designs of temporary architectural solutions such as modular renovation systems, conceived the Plugin Tower as a low-cost residential space and an...

This stylish work shirt made from retroreflective fabric is twice as visible at night

Dec 7, 2016: Once the sun sets, commuting by bike or skateboard becomes a risky game. The newest gear for night riders is a stylish shirt with retroreflective stripes sewn directly into the fabric, increasing pedestrian visibility twofold. Thanks to the innovation of Ravelin’s RS01 shirt, the days of fluorescent vests and cheaply made reflective tape are a thing of the past. The flashy pattern on the RS01 shirt is integrated right into the fabric, instead of relying on gummy tape strips or battery-operated...

Armenias first BREEAM-certified building is an earthquake-resistant international school

Dec 7, 2016: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T2fWhg2kzrc The environmentally friendly UWC Dilijan College earned an international BREEAM “Good” rating for its design, but also focuses on encouraging collaborative learning and promoting self-motivated learning with attractive and welcoming architecture. A natural materials palette integrates the modern academic structures into the natural environment. Armenia’s famous local tufa limestone was used as the main building material and is complemented by 4,750...

Japanese kindergarten features awesome green courtyard where kids can run and climb

Dec 7, 2016: Japanese kindergartens are well known for their minimalist design and creative play spaces. Japan-based Hibino Sekkei and Youji no Shiro have created many of our favorites, and their latest design for Kids Mayumi or “KM” Kindergarten in Osaka demonstrates all the signature elements of its predecessors, with some unique departures. With ample indoor space and a fantastic protected play yard, KM Kindergarten elevates childcare and early education to an art. The most stunning aspect of...

These crazy CarTubes could move city traffic underground

Dec 6, 2016:   What would it look like if we took cars off the road and put them underground? PLP/Architecture is proposing we do just that, with their CarTube project that would see the creation of a network of underground tubes with massive conveyor belts that move vehicles from one place to another. And, according to TreeHugger, they’re proposing we do away with above ground roads – instead covering them with green features like grass and trees.      …

Harvest fresh veggies all year-round with the energy-efficient GrowBox mini farm

Dec 6, 2016: growbox, grow box, opcom, hydroponic garden, indoor garden, indoor gardening kit, hydroponic growing, opcom farm, indoor farm, tabletop far, indoor growing kit, grow your own food existing hydroponic solutions, these systems (GrowBox and GrowWall) have the capacity to grow a significant amount of produce at a time, and offer a fully automated, easy-to-use system at a reasonable price. Plus, they provide delicious pesticide and pollution free vegetables and fruits you can trust because you grow...

13 charitable green gifts that give back

Dec 6, 2016: Today is Giving Tuesday - and to celebrate we've rounded up 14 eco-friendly organizations that make gift giving a truly philanthropic act. Voltaic donates up to three solar power kits to aid workers for every solar charger it sells, the National Wildlife Federation…

Heres every bank funding the Dakota Access Pipeline, and how to switch

Dec 6, 2016: The Indigenous water protectors at the Standing Rock Sioux Resevation in Cannonball, North Dakota are literally putting their lives on the line to prevent the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline that they fear could contaminate the Missouri River that they rely on for drinking water and ruin sacred burial sites.

14 exquisite handmade gifts

Dec 6, 2016: If you're looking for an eco gift to that will truly surprise your loved ones, feast your eyes on our collection of exquisitely handmade and sustainably sourced gifts for this year. Produced by under-the-radar designers, you'll discover unique items for everyone…

Modern low-maintenance cabin is a seamless extension of the Puget Sound landscape

Dec 6, 2016: Tucked away on a forested slope along the eastern edge of the Case Inlet, the compact retreat is a quiet and low-maintenance sanctuary that blends into the landscape with large glazed surfaces and a natural materials palette. A weathered cedar-clad volume anchors the building in the north and houses the master bedroom en suite with the bath located in a wood-lined, light-filled room overlooking views of the outdoors—a space the homeowners describe as their “favorite spot to enjoy a glass of wine...

The best indoor gardens to gift this year

Dec 6, 2016: http://inhabitat.com/greenholidaygiftguide/inspiring-gifts-for-the-green-thumb/plantini-2/ This stunning metal structure contains everything you need to grow magnificent violas housed in a luxurious sanctuary. The Plantini is a timeless and easily-assembled flat-packed plant house. PLANTINI MINI PLANTHOUSE - $38 http://inhabitat.com/greenholidaygiftguide/inspiring-gifts-for-the-green-thumb/aquasprouts/ http://inhabitat.com/greenholidaygiftguide/inspiring-gifts-for-the-green-thumb/bons...

Fairytale-inspired lakeside cabin is made from locally felled and milled timber

Dec 6, 2016: Topped with a steeply pitched roof, the Woodland Cabin was built with the local rural vernacular in mind. The timber-framed structure sits on concrete strip foundations with brick dwarf walls that support a suspended timber floor. The external wood cladding is stained black with a mixture of wood stain and recycled tractor engine oil given to the architects for free by local farmers. All of the timber beams and cladding were felled and milled from trees in the surrounding woods by De Rosee’s father....

How Conservatives Are Attacking Green Tech

Dec 6, 2016: He is the charismatic Silicon Valley entrepreneur who believes his many companies - including the electric car manufacturer Tesla Motors, solar power firm Solar City, and SpaceX, which makes reusable space rockets – can help resist man-made climate change. South African-born Elon Musk is a billionaire green evangelist, a bete noire of the fossil fuels industry who talks about colonising Mars and…

Phillips 66 Sets World Record in Organic Solar Cell Efficiency

Dec 6, 2016: HOUSTON, TX--(eSolarEnergyNews)--Phillips 66 has successfully set a new world record in power conversion efficiency for polymer-based single junction organic photovoltaic (OPV) cells. The 11.84 percent efficiency was certified by Newport Corporation, a recognized center for independent verification of solar cell results under standard testing conditions. The solar cells are based on proprietary…

14 heirloom gifts that will stand the test of time

Dec 6, 2016: A gift that will stand the test of time is one that can be treasured by many people - not just the current recipient! Heirloom gifts such as cast iron cookware, pocketwatches, and rare books can literally last for generations if loved and cared for properly,…

Ultrathin protective layer brings quite a bit more stability to perovskite solar cell

Dec 6, 2016: The addition of a few nanometers of a thin layer of aluminum oxide protects a perovskite solar cell against humidity -- still a major stumbling block to the commercial application of this new type of solar cell. A surprising bonus is a yield boost of 3 percent.

Game changer for organic solar cells

Dec 6, 2016: Researchers have developed a simple processing technique that could cut the cost of organic photovoltaics and wearable electronics.