Alternative Energy

Solar Power News

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

May 29, 2017

Solar Energy

Harnessing energy from glass walls

May 29, 2017: Semi-transparent perovskite solar cells have been developed that could be great candidates for solar windows, say researchers.

Desert Twins produce water through condensation in driest place on Earth

May 29, 2017: Safe water isn't easily accessible for one in 10 people on Earth. For nearly 10 years, artist Ap Verheggen has been working to address water scarcity, and his SunGlacier team recently had the opportunity to test their idea of making water from thin air in what they described as the driest, hottest place on the planet: the Sahara Desert.

G7 leaders openly say climate change consensus does not include US

May 29, 2017: The rest of the world is beginning to count the United States out of the climate change battle, if a recent statement after the G7 statement is any indication. The G7 leaders met late last week at a summit in Taormina, Italy, and naturally climate change was on the agenda. But in a rather blunt statement, they said America "is not in a position to join the consensus" on the Paris Agreement and one of the biggest issues humanity faces today.

Casa Pjaro de Plata offers stunning views of the Costa Rican jungle

May 29, 2017: This gorgeous house nestled amidst the Costa Rican jungle is a private retreat that offers panoramic views of its lush natural surroundings. Architect John Osborne of OS Arquitectura designed Casa Pájaro de Plata, which translates to 'Silver Bird House' in Spanish, to resemble a bird in flight. The house has a simple shape and sits on a promontory surrounded by a lush jungle. It combines natural stone with white marble and wood to create a variety of warm spaces that allow the owners...

Score an organic mattress worth 2199 from PlushBeds

May 29, 2017: Getting a good night's sleep depends on a lot of factors, but a well-made mattress makes all the difference. Unfortunately, a lot of mattresses on the market (especially the cheap ones) are made with materials that contain harmful chemicals, which in turn contribute to an unfriendly list of maladies. Think allergies, asthma, endocrine problems and, in some cases, even cancer. They also come with an environmental footprint that would give any green-minded person nightmares. But PlushBeds is raising...

Code red aviation alert after Bogoslaf volcano erupts in Alaska

May 29, 2017: The highest aviation alert was issued on Saturday after a volcano on Alaska’s Bogoslof Island erupted. As a result of the code “red” alert being raised, pilots were instructed to fly at least 35,000 ft., and possibly as high as 45,000 ft, above the volcano to prevent its fiery ash from melting parts of the plane which would result in engine failure. According to the Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO), the volcano that erupted is part of the Aleutian Island chain. Not long after...

Portable SolSource Sport solar stove heats up 5X faster than a charcoal grill

May 29, 2017: Imagine voyaging to your favorite local national park for a hot meal cooked outdoors with a portable stove that weighs 10 pounds and pops up in five minutes. And requires no fuel but the sun. And cooks food five times faster than a charcoal grill, but without the pollution. That's the SolSource Sport. One Earth Designs is crowdfunding for their latest small solar cooker just in time for summer. Related:…

Ecosistema Urbano envisions bioclimatic domes for Florida's West Palm waterfront

May 29, 2017: This green masterplan for the West Palm Beach in Florida will include the first public bioclimatic domes in the U.S. adorned with hanging gardens. Architecture film Ecosistema Urbano designed the project as a proposal for the Shore to Core competition which invited international designers, planners and architects to envision the future of the West Palm Beach waterfront. Van Alen Institute and the West Palm Beach Community Redevelopment Agency (WPB CRA) awarded Ecosistema Urbano's proposal, named...

German community bands together to convert old WWII bunker into a 'green mountain'

May 29, 2017: Related: Century-old WWI bunker is reborn as a contemporary alpine shelter “We are rebuilding what we inherit.” The project’s initiative states, “Adding something to history while dealing with it and thereby reshaping history itself.” Via Archdaily…

Enviable cabin with coastal views dramatically cuts into bedrock

May 29, 2017: If you want a tasteful home with a sense of drama, you’ll love this spruce-clad cabin. Helsinki-based studio Mer Arkkitehdit set this white minimalist home into a rocky cliff that overlooks sublime coastal views in multiple directions. In addition to stunning landscape vistas, the compact Stormvillan home features a beautiful contemporary interior carefully furnished for a clean, modern, and cozy character. Located in Hanko, Finland, the 210-square-meter Stormvillan is set at the heart...

Light-filled library doubles as a home-like environment in Shanghai

May 29, 2017: There’s nothing quite like curling up with a good book. Brooklyn-based nARCHITECTS imbues those feelings of comfort into their design of “Library As Home,” the winning entry in the 110,000-square-meter Shanghai Library East Hall competition held by the city government. The cylindrical library draws inspiration from Chinese traditional architecture and culture while maintaining a contemporary design. In addition to winning first prize in the Shanghai government’s 2016 International...

BMW just unveiled the sleek electric motorcycle of the future

May 26, 2017: Ready to commute in style? A futuristic, zero-emission motorbike was recently unveiled by BMW at the Concorso D’eleganza Villa D’este, an event presently taking place in Italy. Modeled after the BMW Motoradd Vision Next 100, the design is both sleek and functional and is perfect for those who need to transit in urban settings. The BMW Motorrad Concept Link may look like a scooter, but it is anything but. The motorbike has a low-slung, stretched body with a flat seat and, according to the...

Forward Labs' new solar roof is 33% cheaper than Tesla's - and it can be installed in half the time

May 26, 2017: Tesla gets all the attention when it comes to solar roofs, but meanwhile, start-up Forward Labs has been hammering away at their own solar roof technology that not only blends right in with traditional roofs, but it is 33% cheaper that Tesla's offering - and it can be installed in half of the time. Forward Labs' roof is different from Tesla's in that, instead of using individual solar shingles, it uses a standing-seam metal roof that is made up of one large, layered piece. It has a tempered...

China subverts pollution with contained vertical farms - and boosts yield

May 26, 2017: Around one fifth of arable land in China is contaminated with levels of toxins greater than government standards, according to 2014 data. That's around half the size of California, and it's a growing problem for a country that faces such levels of pollution they had to import $31.2 billion of soybeans in 2015 - a 43 percent increase since 2008. Scientists and entrepreneurs are working to come up with answers to growing edible food in a polluted environment, and shipping containers or vertical gardening...

New autopilot software update improves performance and feel of Tesla cars

May 26, 2017: Tesla isn't content to be the most valuable car company in the United States. The company has been working to improve their software, and their new Autopilot comes with relaxed speed restrictions that make driving on undivided roads and off highways even better. Vice president of Autopilot software Chris Lattner said on Twitter the performance of the car is "much improved."…

Tiny house startup Getaway to launch off-grid tiny homes in NYC this weekend

May 26, 2017: Getaway at Gateway Related: MUJI to sell eagerly awaited $27k minimalist tiny homes this fall + Gateway at Getaway Getaway, Getaway at Gateway, tiny house startups, tiny house design, Gateway National Recreation Area, nyc gateway park, national parks, tiny home exhibition nyc, nyc tiny homes,…

Now Trump wants to condemn wild horses to slaughter

May 26, 2017: There's a new group on the chopping block under President Donald Trump's latest budget proposal: wild horses. His administration thinks they could save $10 million by allowing the sale of wild horses snared in the American West. But they'd toss out a requirement in place right now - buyers must guarantee the horses won't be resold to be killed. Under the Trump budget these iconic animals could be disposed of to foreign slaughterhouses to be processed as food. Wild horses are so integral...

India cancels plans for coal power stations as solar prices hit record low

May 26, 2017:   Plans to construct nearly 14 gigawatts of coal-fired power stations in India (nearly the same as the total amount in the UK) have fallen through, now that the price for solar electricity is “free falling” to levels once considered impossible. Because solar tariffs have dropped by 25% in some regions, the shift from “dirty” energy sources to solar and wind is expected to have “profound” implications for global energy markets. Tim Buckley, the director of energy finance studies...

Atelier Space turn a 1925 nursery into a daylit solar-powered residence in the Netherlands

May 26, 2017: Smart adaptive reuse can do wonders with old, abandoned and disused buildings. Dutch firm Atelier Space breathed new life into this 1925 nursery in Leiden, the Netherlands, and converted it into a beautiful, daylit residence with all the amenities, technology and polish worthy of a modern urban home. The architects preserved much of the original 1925 nursery, turned the former gym into an airy, open-plan living, dining, and kitchen area. They divided a large classroom into three separate...

Student-designed car could cross almost the entire U.S. on one gallon of gas

May 26, 2017: Every year engineering students contend for the prize to design a super efficient vehicle in the Shell Eco-marathon Americas contest. This year a team from Université Laval snagged the award with a car that gets 2,713.1 miles per gallon of gasoline. That means a driver could travel further than the distance between Atlanta, Georgia and Seattle, Washington in the efficient little vehicle.

Formerly undiscovered tectonic plates may explain mysterious Vityaz earthquakes

May 26, 2017: A previously undetected layer of tectonic plates may offer answers to the mysterious Vityaz earthquakes in the Pacific Ocean. Researchers recently presented their preliminary findings on the extra layer of tectonic plates in Earth's mantle at a joint meeting of the American Geophysical Union and the Japan Geoscience Union in Tokyo. These plates might have moved into the mantle millions of years ago.

Envirohaven's super green geodesic homes can be built in just a few days

May 26, 2017: Related: Zendome: Gorgeous Geodesic Domes Create Flexible Green Spaces + Environhaven Environhaven, sustainable tiny homes, tiny pods, tiny home design, eco tiny homes, green tiny homes, sustainable home design, pre-fabbed geodesic homes,…

LEED Silver-seeking Perry World House marries new and old at Penn

May 26, 2017: The newest building at the University of Pennsylvania also happens to be the oldest. This curious marriage of new and old is the Perry World House, the university’s new hub for international affairs. Designed by 1100 Architect, the academic building merges a historic 19th century structure with a modern new-build into a LEED Silver-seeking research center with open and flexible spaces. Completed in 2016, the Perry World House is a 17,400-square-foot academic center that combines a historic...

Giant animal faces take over Mexico Citys forest for environmental awareness

May 26, 2017: Thousands of visitors to a Mexico City park were treated to an eerie sight in the treetops last weekend. Giant ghostly animals heads peered down from the canopy, fixing their intense gaze on the public in an environmental video installation for Marvin Festival 2017. Designed by studio Maizz Visual, the ephemeral intervention, called Animal Watching, was created to raise awareness about the destruction of ecosystems and animal species. According to the WWF, almost half of the world’s...

Dwell on Design 2017: The West Coast's largest design event is coming to Los Angeles!

May 25, 2017: Dwell on Design, the West Coast's largest design event, is back and better than ever for 2017. The highly-anticipated three-day design event will be held at the Los Angeles Convention Center June 23 - 25 and will feature 300 exhibitors, continuing education opportunities and onstage programming from the top leaders in design.         For it's twelfth year, Dwell on Design will feature architect Sir David Adjaye.

The world's most compact electric bike folds to fit into your backpack

May 25, 2017: Forget traditional bikes or skateboards, the future of green transportation is the Smacircle S1, an incredibly compact and lightweight ebike that can be folded up and carried in your backpack. Introduced to the world via an IndieGoGo campaign, the invention has surpassed its startup goal by 281% - and it's not difficult to comprehend why. The carbon fiber S1 can be folded in five simple steps and can travel up to 12.4 mph. Additionally, though it only weighs 15.4 lbs, the ebike can hold 220 lbs. According...

Worlds largest floating solar farm is now generating energy in China

May 25, 2017: A 40-megawatt solar farm in the South Anhui province of China is finally online and generating renewable energy. Larger than floating farms in Australia and India, the mass of solar panels is the largest in the world can produce enough clean energy to power homes in the immediate area. Though the city of Huainan is known for its coal-rich land, the Chinese government decided to invest in a floating solar farm because the rainy weather has resulted in flooding. In certain areas, water...

A Brooklyn Block Goes Solar: Here Comes Solar on BRIC TV

May 25, 2017: Want to know more about Solar One’s Here Comes Solar Program and the work they’re doing to bring solar power to Brooklyn? Check out this video produced  by BRIC TV and featuring HCS Director Noah Ginsburg.

Plastic waste pop-up pavilion rethinks recycling in the Netherlands

May 25, 2017: Plastic waste takes on new life in the PET Pavilion, a temporary structure that popped up in a public park in Enschede, The Netherlands. Project.DWG and LOOS.FM designed the 227-square-meter ephemeral pavilion to spark dialogue on topics relating to recycling and sustainable building. The experimental pavilion serves as an educational gathering space and can be easily dismantled for relocation within a day. The pavilion bears draws inspiration from Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s Farnsworth...

8 tiny folklore-inspired cabins pop up in the Welsh countryside

May 25, 2017: Related: Luxury off-grid Autonomous Tents can pop up almost anywhere in the world + Epic Retreats Via Dezeen Epic Retreats,Wales glamping cabins, tiny homes, glamping cabins wales, traveling glamping cabins,…

Gogoro launches Smartscooter 2 with better handling, brighter headlights, and extra storage

May 25, 2017: Groundbreaking transportation company Gogoro is at it again. Today, they are expanding their innovative scooter family with the Gogoro 2 Smartscooter. The new scooter will appeal to even  more people, thanks to better ergonomics, more storage and seating space and customizability options. If you haven't heard of Gogoro, the Taiwan-based company is kind of like the Tesla of scooters, with smart electric scooters, home batteries and a battery-swapping infrastructure that is changing the face of urban...

China, Canada, EU join forces on climate action - without Trump

May 25, 2017: President Donald Trump still hasn't made up his mind on whether he'll keep the United States part of the 2015 Paris climate change agreement, even though everyone from the Vatican to ExxonMobil have called for America to remain part of the pact. But China, Canada, and the European Union (EU) aren't going to sit around and wait for him to make his decision. They've formed a pact for continued climate action regardless of where the Trump administration stands.

Vivobarefoot is launching a sneaker made out of algae

May 25, 2017: Vivobarefoot, a London-based purveyor of so-called "barefoot" footwear, is going green in an altogether unexpected way: by creating the world's first molded shoe from algae.

Pope Francis gifts Trump his book on climate change

May 25, 2017: Pope Francis and President Donald Trump have made no secret of their opposing viewpoints: on immigration, on climate change, or on walls. So many people were curious to see how their recent meeting at the Vatican in Rome would play out. The meeting appeared quite cordial but the Pope definitely won the day with his gift for Trump: an encyclidal on climate change. Related:…

Glass-encased circular Solo House snakes through a Spanish forest

May 25, 2017: Related: Villa Nyberg: A Passive Swedish Prefab with a Cool Circular Floorplan + Solo Houses Via Dezeen Solo Houses, Christian Bourdais, circular homes, round homes, round buildings, forest homes, forest living,…

This Texas supermarket is growing its own veggies in a shipping container farm

May 25, 2017: A Texas chain of supermarkets isn't just in the business of selling vegetables; it wants to grow them, too. Based in Dallas, the H-E-B-owned Central Market will be the first grocer in the country to grow some of its produce in an custom-built onsite shipping container, or "Growtainer."…

The wind turbine manufacturer putting unemployed coal miners to work

May 25, 2017: The transition to clean energy isn't always easy for workers in fossil fuel industries who fear losing their jobs. As coal miners find themselves out of work, one wind turbine manufacturer aims to give them jobs in clean industries through a free jobs training program. Goldwind Americas, the United States branch of a major Chinese company, wants to offer out-of-work coal miners in Wyoming new work as wind technicians instead.

Green roof with bee hotel tops energy-neutral fair trade building in the Netherlands

May 25, 2017: Fair trade fruits and vegetables aren’t the only things coming and going at Nature’s Pride—buzzing bees and birds are also flocking to the sustainable distribution hub. Paul de Ruiter Architects designed the giant green-roofed facility in Maasdijk, where it serves as one of the largest Dutch importers of exotic fruits and vegetables. As a recipient of a BREEAM Excellent certificate, Nature’s Pride is also one of the top five most sustainable distribution centers in Western Europe. The...

Printed, flexible and rechargeable battery can power wearable sensors

May 24, 2017: Nanoengineers have developed the first printed battery that is flexible, stretchable and rechargeable. The zinc batteries could be used to power everything from wearable sensors to solar cells and other kinds of electronics.

Solar-powered EarthCruiser camper expands at the push of a button

May 24, 2017: Related: Futuristic Nimbus E-Car is a cute hybrid microbus perfect for the eco-conscious road warrior + Via Techeblog EarthCruiser EXP, EXP expedition, expedition vehicles, efficient campers, camper design, eco vehicles, solar cars, solar powered vehicles, solar campers, green cars, green energy,…

LEED Gold home brings modern luxury to a Colorado working ranch

May 24, 2017: LEED-certified luxury living comes to a working ranch in Eagle County, Colorado. CCY Architects designed the Gambel Oaks Ranch, a lovely low-lying home that blends into its surroundings and is imperceptible from public roadways. In addition to its beauty, the 5,687-square-foot property achieved LEED Gold certification for its innovative use of a horizontal loop field ground-source heat pump, solar array, and other energy-saving techniques. The three-bedroom, predominately one-story Gambel...

The world's fastest electric car just shattered its own record

May 24, 2017: Critics have claimed clean technology lags behind fossil fuel-powered devices. They once said electric cars weren't as powerful or speedy as gasoline-fueled ones, but one sleek clean car just showed vehicles can be super fast without polluting our planet. The Nio EP9 - which already put other cars to shame with a speed of up to 194 miles per hour - just smashed its own record.

Trump budget proposes 31% cut to EPA funding

May 24, 2017: President Donald Trump is still trying to take a swing at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The White House's most recent budget proposal, released yesterday, would cut money for environmental cleanup, clean air, clean water, and lead risk-reduction efforts. Thousands of people could lose their jobs as the number of full-time employees drops from 15,416 to 11,611. Related:…

New on-demand energy system generates and stores power in one device

May 24, 2017: Your entire home could be powered, heated, and cooled all in one system one day, thanks to scientists at the University of Newcastle and Infratech Industries. They've designed a Chemical Looping Energy-on-Demand System (CLES) that eliminates the needs for a battery to store power, instead generating and storing power in just one device. The university described the CLES as a Swiss army knife for energy.

Fuel from the air technology provides a path to new business for OPEC countries

May 24, 2017: Pioneering technology makes OPEC countries prime regions to produce synthetic fuels. This could be a key asset in phasing out fossil fuels after the Paris Agreement, while also keeping some of the existing oil industry value chain intact.

Sweden lists entire country on Airbnb because roaming should be free

May 24, 2017: In Sweden, citizens aren’t only encouraged to explore the outdoors, they are guaranteed a right to. That’s the meaning behind the principle Allemansrätten which is protected by Swedish law and literally, translates to “freedom to roam.” Because the government wants people to feel at home wherever they are in Sweden, the entire country was recently listed on Airbnb. The AirBnB listing reads, “Swedish nature isn’t just a piece of land with trees and lakes and cliffs –...

Magical Blue Forest treehouse is a fairytale castle for your backyard

May 24, 2017: Related: This playful Airbnb treehouse near San Francisco lets you sleep in a 150-year-old oak tree “We have worked hard to develop a reputation as the world’s leading tree house experts. This year’s tree house will be the largest we have ever exhibited at the Chelsea Flower Show. We are delighted to be on Main Avenue this year and can’t wait to experience the vibrant atmosphere of the show!” Andy Payne, Founder Blue Forest + Blue Forest + RHS Chelsea Flower 2017 ...

Peek inside the zero-waste kitchen of the future

May 24, 2017: The kitchen of the future will be healthier for our planet and improve our family ties through food. That's the vision behind The Future Kitchen, a proposal by New York-based architect Marc Thorpe and students of the industrial design department at Pratt Institute. Installed for WantedDesign Manhattan at the Caeserstone booth, the innovative kitchen prototype emphasizes sustainability with zero-waste systems and in-home gardening, while strengthening social ties with its community-oriented design. 
 Environmentally...

Special X-ray technique allows scientists to see 3-D deformations

May 23, 2017: Researchers have used an X-ray scattering technique called Bragg coherent diffraction imaging to reconstruct in 3-D the size and shape of grain defects. These defects create imperfections in the lattice of atoms inside a grain that can give rise to interesting material properties and effects.