Alternative Energy

Solar Power News

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

May 21, 2019

Solar Energy

Solar-powered Ring House heals a scarred hilltop landscape in Greece

May 20, 2019: On the southern coast of Crete, Greek architectural firm decaARCHITECTURE has turned a commission for a modern residence into an opportunity for landscape preservation. Named the Ring House for its rounded shape, the house was created to follow the existing topography and looks like an extension of its hilltop location. The site had been scarred by environmentally insensitive infrastructural development but has now recovered its original morphology and has been replanted with native flora. Located...

India will surpass Paris Agreement pledges with renewable energy investment

May 20, 2019: India will surpass Paris Agreement commitment to cut carbon emissions The Indian government has embarked on largescale renewable energy projects that are predicted to enable the world’s second most populous country to surpass their commitment to cut carbon emissions. According to a recently released report from Moody’s Investor’s Service, 45 percent of all energy produced in India will be from non-fossil fuel sources by 2022. This is impressive, considering India only committed to 40 percent...

Polls show climate change is a determining issue for 2020 elections

May 20, 2019: Recent polls indicate that climate change will be a central issue for voters in the upcoming 2020 presidential elections. According to the George Mason University poll, 38 percent of participants indicated that the topic is “very important” for their decision, while the lead researcher, Anthony Leiserowitz said: “this is truly a top-tier issue for the Democratic base." The poll, released in early May only sampled 1,000 people, but the results are consistent with similar polls by Manmouth...

Geometric pine cabins house nature-minded workspaces in Vietnam

May 20, 2019: Nestled in a misty pine forest, the Ta Nung Homestay Executive Office offers employees an environmentally sensitive space to work along with breathtaking views of Vietnam’s Central Highland landscape. Ho Chi Minh City-based architectural firm MyAn Architects designed the workspace to look like a cluster of geometric cabins that have been elevated on stilts to reduce site impact and to preserve mature pine trees. Floor-to-ceiling windows sweep an abundance of natural light and views of the mountainous...

Green batteries? Renewable energy storage will cost nature

May 20, 2019: Our quest to save the world by achieving 100 percent renewable energy will unfortunately also be devastating for the environment. An increase in renewable energy means an increase in the need for batteries to power electric cars and store energy from solar panels and wind turbines. However, batteries are made from unsustainably and unethically sourced metals. A new report, released by the University of Technology in Sydney, estimates that the surge in battery production will increase the demand for...

Architects transform a residential building into a lush, green oasis in the heart of So Paulo

May 20, 2019: Related: + Via Archdaily Lorena Building, green building, local flora, local fauna…

Even the most remote islands are victims of plastic pollution

May 17, 2019: Plastic hasn’t taken much more than a century to conquer the entire world. Since plastic’s invention in 1907, it’s infiltrated even the remotest island chains, according to a new study by marine biologist Jennifer Lavers and her associates. When the researchers visited the Cocos Keeling Islands—six square miles of land 1,300 miles off Australia’s northwest coast—they found a staggering accumulation of plastic waste. Humans don’t live on the Cocos Keeling Islands. So the plastic bags,...

Sublime net-positive energy farmhouse pays homage to the local vernacular

May 17, 2019: Related: + Zero Energy Via Zero Energy Lincoln Net Positive Farmhouse, net-positive energy…

Labour Party launches solar panel program for 1.75M homes

May 17, 2019: Britains Labour Party is set to announce a major new green program today, pledging to install solar panels on up to 1.75 million government and low-income houses. In what has been called the start of a UK version of America’s Green New Deal, the goal of the project is to radically address climate change while creating green jobs. Solar panels and savings The Labour Party will provide free solar panels to one million government subsidized homes and offer grants and interest free loans for panels...

Playful gable-roofed home in Atlanta champions the power of CLT

May 17, 2019: Jennifer Bonner, architectural designer and director of MALL, has completed Haus Gables, a new ground-up residential project that was built almost entirely out of cross-laminated timber (CLT), an exceptionally strong wood material made from glued layers of solid-sawn lumber. Located in the Old Fourth Ward neighborhood in Atlanta, Georgia, the 2,200-square-foot, two-story home is one of only a few residences constructed from cross-laminated timber in the United States. Named after its cluster...

Looking to make your mornings greener? Try these 7 tips for a sustainable morning routine

May 17, 2019: We all have our favorite ways to start the day, but how eco-friendly is your morning routine? You might be surprised to learn that most people waste a lot of energy and resources in the first few hours they are awake. Luckily, you can make your mornings more eco-friendly with a few easy steps. From drinking a more sustainable cup of coffee to saving on water, here are seven ways you can go green in the mornings. Sustainable Coffee A hot cup of coffee has become the staple of many morning routines....

NASA Mars Habitat Challenge winner is a 3D-printed pod made of biodegradable materials

May 17, 2019: Related: + AirSpace Factory Via Archdaily SpaceFactory, Mars Habitat Challenge…

Futuristic treehouse in Arkansas is designed to inspire imagination

May 16, 2019: Heat-treated pine and steel were used to create this unique treehouse inside the Garvan Woodland Gardens in central Arkansas. The space, a 210-acre nature park with botanical gardens owned by the University of Arkansas, borders the Quachita River. The structure itself resides inside a children’s garden full of native trees such as oak and pine, and serves as an interactive experience for the kids. The treatment process to create the "thermalised" southern yellow pine uses heat and steam to...

Koalas declared "functionally extinct"

May 16, 2019: The Australian Koala Foundation declared koalas officially “functionally extinct,” a term which means that though there are still about 80,000 koalas, they are unlikely to reproduce another generation. The iconic Australian animal is on a fast track to extinction and has suffered from deforestation, disease, climate change-driven drought and a massive slaughter for fur in the 19th and 20th centuries. The Australian government listed the species as "vulnerable" in 2012 when there was thought...

A Chinese highway becomes a vibrant, community-centered 'livable street'

May 16, 2019: Related: + Via Yannan Avenue Highway Adaptation…

Phoenix Earthship features a food garden and jungle in off-grid fashion

May 16, 2019: An earthship is an accommodation with low-environmental impact. The design of an earthship incorporates natural and recycled materials in the architecture and decor. It is built with conservation of natural resources in mind so that it produces its own water, electricity, and food. Most earthships reuse discarded tires and/or cans and bottles for wall construction. Mud is common for wall plaster and floors. The energy savings through self-heating and cooling properties are remarkable. Most earthships...

Penalties for protesting pipelines increase in 15 states

May 16, 2019: At least 15 states have passed or proposed bills that further criminalize trespassing on fossil fuel infrastructure, a trend that environmental and free speech advocates argue unnecessarily targets pipeline protesters and indigenous leaders. In 2018, Louisiana passed a bill that makes trespassing on so-called “critical infrastructure” a more serious offense than existing trespassing laws. While trespassing has long been considered a misdemeanor, the law now specifies that the same act on particular...

How National Parks benefit the environment

May 16, 2019: The U.S. has over 400 national parks across the country, which host a combined total of 330 million visitors every year. National parks have clear economic benefits for national and local economies but they also have important benefits for the environment within and outside of their borders.  Here are some reasons why national parks are great for the environment: Biodiversity like nowhere else National Parks are often designated to protect threatened or unique ecosystems and geography. It is...

A Dutch village inspired the design of this solar-powered home

May 16, 2019: Within a cluster of traditional Dutch homes in The Hague, local firm Global Architects has designed a single-family home that stands out from its neighbors with its contemporary design yet relates to the surroundings with a layout that references the concept of a village. Aptly named the Hidden Village, the modern house also distinguishes itself with its use of energy-efficient technologies that span passive solar principles to the use of solar panels and an air-heat pump. As a potential forever...

Beautiful vacation home in Brazil is crafted from upcycled stone and salvaged bricks

May 15, 2019: Related: + Solo Arquitetos Via Archdaily…

Ocean explorer finds plastic waste during worlds deepest dive

May 15, 2019: This May, American Victor Vescovo broke the standing record of the world’s deepest ocean dive, venturing seven miles into the Pacific Ocean’s Mariana Trench where he discovered four potential new species as well as plastic and candy wrappers. Vescovo is a wealth banker with an interest in ocean exploration. He traveled in a high-tech submersible that can withstand enormous amounts of pressure from the 35,849 ft descent. In fact, the submarine is capable of withstanding the weight of “50...

AUDIs new electric car will have autonomous vehicle capability and a roof that holds real plants

May 15, 2019: AUDI revealed the concept for a new electric car with autonomous driving capabilities at Auto Shanghai 2019, and this vehicle really pushes the limits when it comes to connecting technology with nature. Apart from the AI technology implemented to take most of the effort out of driving in general, the AI:ME autonomous vehicle is completely electric. On the interior roof of the car, a wooden pergola roof allows climbing plants to grow and thrive. According to the company, the AUDI AI systems are...

UN lists plastic as hazardous waste, votes to control international trade

May 15, 2019: On May 10th, 187 countries voted to list plastic as hazardous waste and tighten control over its international trade. The governing agreement, the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal dictates legally binding standards for importing and exporting toxic materials. For the first time ever, the agreement now includes plastic, with the exception of PE, PP and PET plastics. The new agreement gives lower income countries – particularly...

Power and publicity trump protection in large marine protected areas

May 15, 2019: Nations have just one more year to reach the global marine conservation goal to protect 10 percent of the world’s oceans by 2020. Although seven percent is already legally protected, many new declarations are massive, offshore areas. Some conservationists argue these offshore achievements fail to protect more critical coastal waters and may even be aggressive ocean-grabs by colonial powers. The goal to legally protect ten percent of the ocean was ratified under the Convention of Biological Diversity...

SCAD students fight food insecurity in Georgia with organic farming and beekeeping

May 15, 2019: For a break from schoolwork, students at the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) have been swapping their laptops for shovels and seedlings at SCAD Back40, the university's new one-acre “farm”. Created as a legacy project to celebrate SCAD’s 40th anniversary, the agricultural initiative features a wide range of seasonal, organically grown crops as well as a growing apiary with 16 beehives actively managed by students. Produce is regularly donated to America’s Second Harvest of Coastal...

Architects to transform two old railway yards into eco parks in Milan

May 14, 2019: OMA and Milan-based Laboratorio Permanente have won a competition to transform two abandoned railway yards in Milan into public parks that will act as “ecological filters” for the car-centric city. Titled Agenti Climatici (Climatic Agents), the master plan would use the natural air-purifying power of plants and the filtering capabilities of water to clean and cool the environment while adding new recreational spaces for the public. The project is part of a larger effort to redevelop disused post-industrial...

Study calls budding octopus farm industry unethical and unsustainable

May 14, 2019: A new study by an international group of scientists denounces the up-and-coming octopus farming industry as both detrimental to fragile marine ecosystems and unethical given the specie’s high intelligence. As countries like Japan announce that they will have farmed octopus ready for sale in 2020, the researchers are calling on companies and governments to discontinue funding and support for the new industry, claiming there is still an opportunity prevent the same unethical and destructive mistakes...

How to mend and repair your clothes

May 14, 2019: There are many benefits to repairing your clothes. Fixing a hole in your favorite jeans or re-attaching a broken button can extend the life of the piece, which is better for the environment and your wallet. From hemming jean bottoms to fixing zippers, here is a quick look at all of the ways you can repair your clothes. Jean Repairs Jeans often develop holes after extended use. Before you toss your favorite pair of pants, you can extend their life by repairing those rips and tears. All it takes...

California restaurants add carbon emission surcharge

May 14, 2019: Sustainable restaurants in California are going a step further by adding a farm-to-table and back-to-farm-again surcharge that allows patrons to support climate smart farming practices within the state. This Fall, participating restaurants will begin adding the optional one percent surcharge intended to offset emissions by paying farmers to store carbon in healthy soil and vegetation. The initiative is a joint partnership by the Perennial Farming Initiative, the California Department of Food and...

Round, minimalist cabins with sliding glass walls take glamping up a notch

May 14, 2019: Related: Solar-powered glass PurePod cabins provide the ultimate connection with nature + LumiPod LumiPod…

The Sparkle Paper Saver Notebook teaches kids about recycled paper and sustainable living

May 14, 2019: Australian-based company Paper Saver has been using its product to help recycle paper since 2015. Their original designed Paper Saver notebook has a plastic sleeve inside where leftover scratch paper can be inserted and used as pages. When the pages are full, the paper can be easily taken out and replaced with new pieces. It’s an innovative idea that has since allowed tens of thousands of customers reduce their paper waste, according to the site.   Now, the company is supplementing their sleek,...

Breakthrough in new material to harness solar power

May 14, 2019: Physicists are pushing the performance of solar cells to levels never before reached. They have made a significant breakthrough in the chemical formula and process to make a new material. The ultra-high efficiency material called a tandem perovskite solar cell is being developed to help solve the world energy crisis.

Henning Larsen wins bid to design a sustainable business district for Shenzhen

May 13, 2019: Danish architectural firm Henning Larsen Architects has won an international competition for the design of the Shenzhen Bay Headquarters City, a new district in the southern Chinese city spanning 5.5 million square meters. Working alongside two other local firms, Henning Larsen’s green and sustainable master plan will help cement Shenzhen—often likened to China’s Silicon Valley—as the innovation center of the country. A critical part of the Shenzhen Bay Headquarters City is reconnecting...

Ireland declares a climate emergency, promises action

May 13, 2019: On May 9th, the governing and opposition parties in the Irish congress voted to declare an official climate emergency, following Britain's declaration a week prior. The declaration of a climate emergency is a public notice that the government commits to developing stronger cross-party actions to deal with the urgent loss of biodiversity. "We're reaching a tipping point in respect of climate deterioration," Climate Action Minister Richard Bruton said in a statement. "Things will deteriorate very...

This development offers sustainable, affordable housing and tiny homes in Colorado

May 13, 2019: The tiny resort-town of Telluride in the Colorado Rocky Mountains is known for its world-class skiing, remote location and, until now, lack of low-cost housing. When the tourist numbers begin to pile up during the busy season, those working in the tourist industry at restaurants, shops and resorts are often forced to endure a long commute from the areas outside of town where prices are cheaper. The expensive hotel rooms and vacation homes are a dream for visitors, but when it comes to lower to...

A pair of monochromatic cottages are tucked into the idyllic Canadian forestscape

May 13, 2019: Related: + APPAREIL Architecture Via Archdaily Grand-Pic Chalet, APPAREIL Architecture, chalet, wood cottage…

These are the best tips to help you establish an eco-friendly laundry routine

May 13, 2019: The earth is a fragile place; a bit more so with each day that humans contribute to chemicals in the waste stream and overconsumption of resources. While it may seem like a benign daily activity, doing laundry traditionally pours toxins into the water stream and drinks up valuable freshwater in the process. Since it is an activity we all do, there is a great opportunity to reduce the cumulative impact that laundry has on the environment. Here are some ways you can lower your laundry footprint by...

Just like toothpaste: Fluoride radically improves the stability of perovskite solar cells

May 13, 2019: Solar cells made of perovskite hold much promise for the future of solar energy. However, the material degrades quickly, severely limiting its efficiency and stability over time. Researchers have discovered that adding a small amount of fluoride to the perovskite leaves a protective layer, increasing stability of the materials and the solar cells significantly.

Architect designs and builds his dream Passive House in New York

May 13, 2019: After three years of research and development, architect Wayne Turett of New York City-based architectural firm The Turett Collaborative has designed and built his long-awaited Passive House in the village of Greenport, New York. Built to the rigorous standards of the Passive House Institute, the airtight dwelling combines cutting-edge technologies with passive solar principles to minimize its energy footprint and meet Turett’s aspirations for a carbon neutral design. Held up as an example...

eVolo announces winners of the 2019 Skyscraper Competition

May 10, 2019: eVolo Magazine has announced the winners of its 2019 Skyscraper Competition from a pool of 478 projects. A jury of architects and designers selected three winners and 27 honorable mentions. The annual award recognizes “visionary ideas for building [high-rise] projects that through [the] novel use of technology, materials, programs, aesthetics, and spatial organizations, challenge the way we understand vertical architecture and its relationship with the natural and built environments.” Methanescraper,...

Nepalese volunteers clean 3 tons of trash from Mount Everest

May 10, 2019: Fourteen Nepalese volunteers collected three tons of garbage from Mount Everest in the first two weeks of their clean up. The government sponsored initiative is an effort to reduce growing amounts of garbage on the world’s tallest mountain. Nearly one third of the garbage collected was taken by helicopter to recycling facilities in Kathmandu, while the remaining trash was sent to a landfill in the Okhaldhunga district. Chief of the Nepalese Tourism Ministry, Dandu Raj Ghimire, told the Associate...

10 shipping containers make up this modern, mixed-use structure in Shanghai

May 10, 2019: Yiduan Shanghai Interior Design has transformed ten shipping containers into a striking mixed-use structure on Shanghai’s Chongming Island in China. Located on an open grass field, the building has been named “The Solid and Void” after the staggered arrangement of the shipping containers, which seamlessly connect to outdoor spaces framed by angular timber elements. To further tie the building to the outdoors, the architects used a predominately natural material palette and white-painted walls...

California bans pesticide linked to brain damage in children

May 10, 2019: In a move that is both a victory for environmental justice and a snub to the current president, the California Senate officially banned a pesticide that has been proven to cause brain damage in children. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had previously attempted to ban the chemical, chlorpyrifos, nationwide but the Trump administration rejected the overwhelming scientific evidence of its health impact on pregnant women and children living near major farms. This week, California representatives...

New York Botanical Garden's new artist residencies connect people with plants

May 10, 2019: Despite its irrefutable success – founded in 1891, one million visitors a year--the New York Botanical Garden staff tirelessly find new ways to stimulate visitors’ connection to nature. This year they introduced a new artist residency program. They started off with a bang by inviting internationally acclaimed visual artist Michele Oka Doner and sought after composer Angélica Negrón to be their first participants. “People come to nature in different ways,” Barbara Corcoran, NYBG’s vice...

Minimalist home in northern Spain uses geothermal energy to reduce energy consumption

May 10, 2019: Related: + Pepe Gascón Arquitectura Via Design Milk Pepe Gascón Arquitectura, Elvira & Marcos House, geothermal energy…

Textile artist Bisa Butler illustrates history by repurposing fabrics into portrait quilts

May 9, 2019: While the fashion industry continues to take a hit as one that contributes heavily to the pollution of the planet, one Brooklyn-based artist is focused on lessening that impact by repurposing fabrics into quilts. <!--more→ It may not seem like fabric and art directly intertwine, but they do when the artist creates a canvas from vintage and repurposed materials. Bisa Butler, an American textile artist, upcycles the fibers not only to find a use for them, but to tell stories through...

Britain celebrates first week without coal power since 1882

May 9, 2019: England has officially gone seven days without using any coal-powered source of electricity for the first time in centuries. Britain was the cradle of the industrial revolution, opening the world's first coal powered plant in 1882. In an attempt to transition to renewable energy, the country removed its last coal generator from the power grid on May 1st and has effectively survived a week without needing to tap into coal resources. Related: Renewable energy surpasses coal for first time in US...

This Costa Rican treehouse is built entirely out of locally sourced teak wood

May 9, 2019: There’s a good reason why this beautiful, natural wood treehouse blends in perfectly to its surroundings on the pacific coast of Costa Rica--the entire structure was built using the trees from the property site. Nestled in the jungle, and complete with ocean views, the house was inspired by the owners’ love for surfing and environmentalism and built by Tom Kundig. There are three floors to the treehouse, with the top floor visible from above the tree canopy, and the bottom two levels hidden...