Alternative Energy

Solar Power News

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

Nov 13, 2018

Solar Energy

Federal judge blocks the Keystone XL Pipeline

Nov 12, 2018: In a major setback for President Trump, last week a U.S. district judge issued an order to block construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline while the State Department studies its impact on the environment. Last year, the Trump administration approved the controversial 1,179-mile pipeline, but Judge Brian Morris’ 54-page order is preventing it from being built - for now. This decision does not permanently stop construction, but it is putting construction on hold until the State Department takes...

Yves Bhar designs compact, prefab homes to tackle the housing crisis

Nov 12, 2018: Yves Béhar has designed everything from high-tech wearables to voice-activated transforming furniture—and now the prolific San Francisco-based designer is adding prefabricated homes to the list. Unveiled earlier this month at the Summit Festival in Los Angeles, the YB1 (Yves Béhar LivingHomes) is a line of prefabricated accessory dwelling units created in partnership with LivingHomes, the design studio of California-based prefabricated home producers Plant Prefab. The fully customizable modular...

A London office boasts biophilic design for a healthier, happier workplace

Nov 12, 2018: A new experimental office on the twelfth floor of The Shard in London offers a breath of fresh air—literally. Wrapped in bamboo surfaces and punctuated by living plants, facilities management company Mitie’s headquarters in London was created by local practice DaeWha Kang Design. The biophilic project—dubbed the Living Lab at The Shard—mimics nature from its natural materials palette to the circadian lighting system linked to an astronomical clock. As its name suggests, the Living Lab...

Zaha Hadid unveils futuristic designs for New Moscow

Nov 12, 2018: Zaha Hadid Architects and Russian firm TPO Pride Architects have been selected as one of the consortiums to design the new Rublyovo-Arkhangelskoye neighborhood, a new development on the western boundary of Moscow, Russia that’s been dubbed “New Moscow.” As expected of Zaha Hadid Architects, the renderings of the winning design depict curvaceous, futuristic architecture. The two other consortiums selected to develop the project include Japanese firm Nikken Sekki with local practice UNK Project...

Ultra-thin transparent silver films for solar cells

Nov 12, 2018: A new fabrication process for transparent ultra-thin silver films has been developed. The material may help build highly efficient solar cells and light-emitting diodes. However, traditional chemical methods have not been able to produce ultra-thin and pure silver films.

Everlane introduces long-lasting outerwear made from recycled water bottles

Nov 12, 2018: The ReNew outerwear line, launched in late October by Everlane, yanked three million water bottles out of the waste stream and turned them into fibers for the venture. The new product line offers cleaner fashion in an industry known for heavy pollution and resource consumption. This first round of renewed clothing includes four fleece pullover options, six puffer jackets, and three parkas. <!--more--> While other companies have edged towards the trend of incorporating recycled materials...

The remote Blacktail Cabin offers a convenient escape in Montana

Nov 12, 2018: If you dream of escaping the hustle of daily life at a remote cabin in the woods, the Blacktail Cabin might be just your ideal getaway. Situated along the shore of Flathead Lake in Montana, a stay at the Blacktail Cabin will drop you in the middle of outdoor activities. During the summer months, frolic in the lake with an afternoon of swimming, paddling, or fishing. In the winter months, head up to the nearby Blacktail Mountain Ski Area for some skiing or snowboarding. <!--more-->   However...

BIGs dramatic hillside apartments officially open in Stockholm

Nov 9, 2018: Bjarke Ingels Group has announced the official opening of the long-awaited 79&Park, a residential development with a striking stepped design. Located in Stockholm’s Gärdet district, the sculptural complex consists of 169 foliage-covered apartments constructed from prefabricated 3.6-meter by 3.6-meter modules arranged around an open green courtyard. The cascading design was developed to optimize access to natural light as well as views towards the city and Gärdet’s parklands. Inaugurated...

Reclaimed materials and a massive green wall transports Denali shoppers to the great outdoors

Nov 9, 2018: Earlier this fall, Connecticut-based multidisciplinary design practice Pirie Associates completed a “biophilic” store that evokes the image of a romantic aging barn bursting with lush greenery. Created as the eighth brick-and-mortar location for the outdoor clothing and gear retail chain Denali, the newly opened Providence, Rhode Island store that sits next to Brown University on Thayer Street brings together a massive, low-maintenance vertical green wall with a predominately timber material...

A dark, damp house becomes a sustainable, sun-soaked abode

Nov 9, 2018: Formerly cold, dim and damp, a terrace house in Northcote, Victoria has been reborn into a vibrant and welcoming dwelling with an emphasis on gardening. Designed by Green Sheep Collective for a client named Jill, the compact project, named Jill’s House, saw a modest expansion of just 22 square meters of space yet gained its bright and spacious feel thanks to a thorough renovation. Created to meet the client’s aspirations for a “very healthy home,” Jill’s House embraces recycled materials,...

How to host Thanksgiving dinner in a tiny home or small apartment

Nov 9, 2018: If you have a tiny home or apartment, the idea of hosting Thanksgiving dinner can seem like a daunting task. A few hundred square feet, no dining furniture, small appliances, and limited seating can definitely present some challenges. But, if you have a plan, you can throw a successful, delicious feast. Here’s how you do it. Make A Detailed Plan for the Menu, and Keep It Simple The items you need for your Thanksgiving dinner can overwhelm your small space, so you want to plan ahead and develop...

Solar power: largest study to date discovers 25 percent power loss across UK

Nov 9, 2018: Regional 'hot spots' account for the power slump and these are more prevalent in the North of England than in the south.

3XN unveils a sustainable redesign for the Sydney Fish Market

Nov 8, 2018: Danish design practice 3XN has revealed their competition-winning redesign for the Sydney Fish Market, a waterfront marketplace that will undergo a $250 million expansion and, in the process, revitalize the waterfront. Topped with an undulating wave-inspired roof, the contemporary building will emphasize connections with the outdoors while improving visitor access. Sustainability has also guided the design of the structure, which will feature smart water-saving strategies including rainwater harvesting,...

A gloomy house is revived as a modern solar home built of recycled materials

Nov 8, 2018: A dark and gloomy non-insulated dwelling with zero views to speak of has been dramatically transformed into a bright and sustainable new home thanks to the work of local architecture studio Urban Creative. Flanked by 6-meter tall-walls and set on a long and narrow lot in inner Melbourne, 2 Halves Make a Home is a three-bedroom family residence that comprises two structures centered on a light-filled courtyard that allows daylight to penetrate deep into the living areas. Bricks sourced from the original...

This holiday home in Montauk produces all of its own electricity

Nov 8, 2018: East of the Hamptons sits a stunning solar-powered summer home that celebrates indoor/ outdoor living. Wrapped in exposed concrete, and fire-resistant charred timber, the home—dubbed the Montauk House—is the work of Desai Chia Architects, a New York City-based design practice that created the two-story home (with a basement level) for a family with two children. The roof of the house also conceals a large photovoltaic array that harnesses enough energy to power the entire residence, while passive...

Harvesting renewable energy from the sun and outer space at the same time

Nov 8, 2018: Scientists have demonstrated for the first time that heat from the sun and coldness from outer space can be collected simultaneously with a single device. Their research suggests that devices for harvesting solar and space energy will not compete for land space and can actually help each other function more efficiently.

'Single-use' is announced as the Word of the Year 2018

Nov 8, 2018: Collins Dictionary has announced their choice for 2018 Word of the Year - single-use. This term describes items, often plastic, that are made to be used just once before throwing them away. And, the frequent use of these items has been blamed for damaging the environment and negatively affecting the food chain. Since 2013, use of the word has increased fourfold because of a rise in public awareness, thanks to news stories, images of plastic items adrift in oceans, and the global campaign to reduce...

Eco-friendly geodomes provide a luxurious stay in an idyllic Quebec forest

Nov 8, 2018: Related: + Bourgeois / Lechasseur Architects Photography by Maxime Valsan…

An ancient Jaipur palace property is transformed into a modern restaurant

Nov 7, 2018: New Delhi-based multidisciplinary design practice Studio Lotus has transformed a portion of Jaipur’s lavish City Palace Museum into Baradari, a contemporary fine dining restaurant that pays homage to its rich architectural roots. Formerly used as a fairly nondescript palace cafe, the 14,000-square-foot property has been given a sumptuous revamp using traditional craftsmanship and artisanal techniques. The adaptive reuse project is not only a hybrid of centuries-old elements and modern aesthetics,...

The votes are in for key environmental issues of the 2018 midterms

Nov 7, 2018: Most of the results are in from Tuesday’s election, and when it comes to environmental issues, the outcomes sent a lot of mixed messages. Changes In Washington On the national stage, the Democrats taking control of the House of Representatives puts up a roadblock to any major environmental legislation President Trump would like to pass. In the past two years, the POTUS has pushed for an attack on the Endangered Species Act and a farm bill that would have limited controls on water pollution and...

Calgary Central Library is wrapped in a striking, snowflake-like facade

Nov 7, 2018: Calgary’s new Central Library has just opened its doors to the public—and it’s a thing of elegant energy-efficient beauty. International architecture firm Snøhetta teamed up with North America-based multidisciplinary design firm DIALOG to create the new main branch of the Calgary Public Library, one of the largest library systems on the continent. Wrapped in a dynamic, triple-glazed facade overlaid in a modular and hexagonal pattern, the eye-catching library provides 240,000 square feet of...

Images of photosynthetic protein complex splitting water

Nov 7, 2018: In a new article presents high-resolution images of photosystem II, the protein complex that splits water into hydrogen ions and oxygen during photosynthesis. The images will help researchers better understand this complex mechanism, possibly opening up the door to developing cheap and efficient solar fuel devices.

The ozone is finally healing and could be completely repaired by 2060

Nov 7, 2018: Finally, some good news about the environment. Earlier this week, the United Nations announced in a report that the ozone layer is on the road to recovery. If the current recovery rate continues, parts of the ozone could be fully repaired by the 2030s. And, the entire layer - even the highly damaged parts over the North and South Pole - could be completely healed by 2060. Over the past few decades, humans have done significant damage to the ozone layer, which protects life on Earth from the sun’s...

Carbon-neutral home in Australia conceals its energy efficiency with minimalist design

Nov 6, 2018: Related: This super-insulated concrete “cabin” hides a surprisingly cozy interior + Whispering Smith Via Dwell Whispering Smith, House A…

Luminous LEDs transform Pragues historic Mirror Chapel into an interactive art space

Nov 6, 2018: The lavish interiors of Prague, Czech Republic’s Mirror Chapel was recently transformed into a psychedelic arts space thanks to New York-based design studio SOFTlab. Commissioned by the 2018 Signal Festival that concluded last month, the designers had inserted an interactive and circular art installation made of responsive mirrors and LEDs. Dubbed Iris, the luminous artwork reacted to ambient sound and the movement of people through the rotation of mirrors, creating vertically fragmented images...

Hydroponic gardens and a mini mountain promote fun and well-being in this creative office

Nov 6, 2018: A running track, elevated hydroponic gardens, and a miniature “mountain” combine in this fun new office headquarters for the non-profit Leping Foundation in Beijing, China. Designed by the prolific local design practice People’s Architecture Office (PAO), the mostly open-plan office landscape was created to foster health and wellness. Covering an area of 1,100 square meters, the Leping Social Entrepreneur Foundation Headquarters unites four of the company’s departments with a suspended vegetated...

A third of people in the UK are now eating less or no meat

Nov 6, 2018: A new report on food shopping in the UK shows that one in eight Brits is now vegetarian or vegan, and another 21 percent claim to be flexitarian. This means that a third of UK consumers have deliberately reduced or eliminated meat from their diets, and it underlines a revolution in the eating habits of UK citizens. Vegetarians have a diet that eliminates meat, poultry, and fish, while vegans eat a plant-based diet and completely avoid all animal products. Flexitarians eat a largely vegetable-based...

A couple builds a fairytale-like rental cabin near a volcano for $30K

Nov 6, 2018: When Caroline and Julien traveled across South America in their Volkswagen Kombi, the couple noticed a dearth of quality accommodations and decided to fill that hospitality gap by building a beautifully crafted rental cabin in Chile. After 19 months of construction, the couple realized their dream on the slopes of the Calbuco Volcano in Ensenada. Designed and constructed for an approximate cost of $30,000, the cozy handcrafted home—dubbed Casa Nido—has been listed on AirBnB starting at $116 a...

BIG and WeWork design a nature-inspired school for kids in NYC

Nov 5, 2018: Creative co-working giant WeWork and acclaimed architecture firm Bjarke Ingels Group have teamed up to reimagine education starting with the launch of WeGrow, a new school in the heart of New York City that encourages education through play. Designed for children between three and nine years of age, the light-filled learning landscape is a tactile environment filled with custom-made curved architecture and moveable furnishings. The theme of nature runs throughout and can be seen everywhere from the...

MaliArts designs city-chic beehives to save solitary bees

Nov 5, 2018: We’re a big fan of beautifully designed urban beehives on Inhabitat, and Mexico-based design studio MaliArts’ recently designed shelters for solitary bees are just as buzz-worthy. Dubbed ‘Refugio,’ the project currently consists of three distinct and sculptural beehives aimed at attracting different species of solitary bees. Built with natural materials, each shelter offers a resting place and access to water as well as food for the insects. When most of us think about bees,...

A 1928 Spanish bungalow gets some high-tech, energy-efficient upgrades

Nov 5, 2018: Related: An old bungalow is transformed into an award-winning home with a modern extension + Coldwell Banker Photography by f8 media…

Magnetic pumping pushes plasma particles to high energies

Nov 5, 2018: The solar wind is not a calm summer breeze. Instead, it is a roiling, chaotic mess of turbulence and waves. There is a lot of energy stored in this turbulence, so scientists have long thought that it heats the solar wind. However, the heating expected from turbulence is not the heating observed. Scientists now have a new idea about what heats the solar wind, a theory called magnetic pumping.

New material cleans and splits water

Nov 5, 2018: Researchers have developed a photocatalytic system based on a material in the class of metal-organic frameworks. The system can be used to degrade pollutants present in water while simultaneously producing hydrogen that can be captured and used further.

A quick guide to the environmental issues you'll find on the ballot

Nov 2, 2018: The general election for 2018 features many interesting issues related to environmental improvements. But with the environmental proposals competing with other issues on the ballot, it is easy for them to get lost in the shuffle. From funding environmental projects to cleaning up greenhouse gas emissions, here is a quick guide to some of the environmental issues on this year's ballot. Alaska Salmon Initiative The first measure on Alaska's ballot is an initiative that would force the state's Department...

The National Butterfly Center is threatened by Trump's border wall

Nov 2, 2018: The National Butterfly Center is a 100-acre wildlife center and botanical garden in South Texas. Not only is it the habitat for more than 100 different species of butterflies, but it is also the home to several endangered plants and threatened animals. However, it also sits directly in the path of the Trump administration’s proposed border wall, and that means its future is in question. In September, Congress approved a federal spending bill that included $1.6 billion to fund the wall’s construction,...

KOGAA creates an energy self-sufficient City Cell in response to climate change

Nov 2, 2018: Galvanized by the growing debate on climate change, Brno-based KOGAA Architectural Studio and NEXT Institute Research Platform have teamed up to create the City Cell Prototype (CCP), a pop-up installation that serves as a testing ground for ways cities can combat climate extremes. Completed this year, the temporary pavilion of nearly 300 square feet is presently located at Malinovsky Square in Brno, Czech Republic’s second largest city. Built of timber and powered by solar energy, the City Cell...

4 things you need to know about smart thermostats

Nov 2, 2018: Stuart Lombard has a mission: to reduce people’s carbon footprints while saving money. He found that heating and cooling made up the bulk of utility costs and searched to find a better way to monitor a home’s energy usage. He founded ecobee> in 2007. The company developed a smart thermostat that allegedly saves people up to 23 percent a year on their heating and cooling bills. Some energy companies also offer rebates on smart thermostats, saving homeowners even more money. ecobee offers...

Enjoy a mint julep on this tiny farmhouse's charming front porch

Nov 2, 2018: Related: This tiny farm house on wheels starts at 63K + Perch and Nest Via Tiny House Talk Perch and Nest, Roost36,…

This green-roofed home for a master gardener embraces nature

Nov 1, 2018: Tapped to design a home for a master gardener in Portland, Oregon, Seattle-based design practice Olson Kundig crafted the Country Garden House, a light-filled home that frames garden views from every room. Designed for indoor/ outdoor living, the home features walls of glass that overlook views of the landscape and spans 5,300 square feet to accommodate the needs of a multi-generational family. Clad in reclaimed barnwood, the home’s simple gabled form and ample glazing are evocative of traditional...

One for Hundred a furniture company that grows more wood than it uses

Nov 1, 2018: One for Hundred, an Austrian furniture company, was founded with the belief that creating furniture doesn’t have to go hand in hand with destroying forests. With this philosophy in mind, Anna and Karl Philip Prinzhorn plant 100 trees for every piece of wooden furniture that the sell. <!--more--> The decision about where to plant the trees and harvest the wood for their furniture is an easy one because it all comes from their own forest just outside the city that has been in the...

A rustic, surfside home connects a young family to the beach

Nov 1, 2018: Related: Surf Sauna in a Barrel Keeps Crazy Winter Surfers Warm + Java Architecture Via Archdaily Java Architecture , Une maison pour surfer…

Delhi High Courts new expansion taps into green building principles

Nov 1, 2018: New Delhi-based architecture practice Design Forum International has completed the New Courts Complex, a modern to the Delhi High Court. The new project was completed as part of the Delhi High Court’s ambitious expansion plan to increase capacity by 60 percent by the year 2020. Designed with energy efficiency in mind, the building was informed by passive solar principles to ensure comfortable indoor temperatures, while smart water management is practiced using sensor-operated fixtures and recycled...

6 tips to reduce your foodprint while dining out

Nov 1, 2018: When you eat at home, it is relatively easy to make choices that will lower your foodprint since you are in charge of the shopping, preparation, and disposal of all the food. But, when you eat out at a restaurant or grab takeout, it is much more difficult to eat sustainably. To make it a little bit easier, we have put together six tips to help you eat sustainably while dining out or grabbing something to go. Ask Questions When you are looking over a restaurant menu, keep in mind your location...

A treehouse made from sustainable wood hides a luxurious interior

Nov 1, 2018: Related: + Artistree Via Dezeen Artistree, Will Beilharz, Yoki Treehouse…

A modern home in India stays naturally cool without AC

Oct 31, 2018: When Surat-based architect Ankit Parekh of Parekh Collaborative was asked to design a family home in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, one of the prerequisites was for a comfortably cool residence without air conditioning. In response, Parekh turned to ancient, low-tech methods for natural cooling, from decorative yet functional jali screens to stack ventilation. As a result, the house, named Rambaugh, maintains a temperature variation of 6 to 8 degrees year-round. Crafted...