Solar Power

Solar Power

Solar grid parity 101 — and why you should care

We're rapidly approaching solar grid parity, the tipping point when installing solar power will cost less than buying electricity from the grid.

Here are the potential Solyndras of 2012

Hey makers of right-wing talking points! Pay attention to these solar companies. They might fail this year, and as we all know, when a solar company fails you can repurpose its hide into a political hobby-horse and ride it forever.

Sunflowers show how to capture solar energy more efficiently

In design, biomimicry -- the idea that nature does design best -- is all the rage. So it must have been a head-slapping "duh" moment when solar-power designers sought inspiration from sunflowers -- a plant that has "sun" in its name, for goodness' sake! It turns out that sunflowers are really good at using the sun (NO WAY), and mimicking their structure can allow designers to seriously reduce the size of concentrating solar power farms.

Dubai complements world’s tallest building with ginormous solar farm

The largest solar farm in the Middle East will be financed by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, ruler of Dubai. He was also a big promoter of the world's tallest building, the Burj Khalifa (the one Tom Cruise is climbing on in the video), so the man clearly has a taste for large projects. If you know what I mean.

Solar Power

Gainesville, Fla., becomes a world leader in solar power

Beating out Japan, France, and China in solar installed per capita, this small city proves you don't have to be big to go big on solar power.

Critical List: Patagonia becomes a Benefit Corporation; oil industry threatens Obama

Patagonia has become a Benefit Corporation, which means it can prioritize goals other than profit. The oil industry is sending a message to Obama: Approve the Keystone XL pipeline, or face the political music in 2012. It is possible to avoid earthquakes when disposing of fracking wastewater. It's just really, really expensive. The U.S. isn't the only country leery of the EU's carbon trading airline scheme: China's protesting, too.

Critical List: Ghost octopi in the Antarctic; without ethanol subsidies, gas prices rise

The creatures discovered living in thermal vents near Antarctica -- ghost octopi, limpets, yeti crabs -- are le awesome. Two major solar industry groups are merging in order to focus on state-level policies. With ethanol subsidies gone, gas will cost more.

Election 2012

Confused with a chance of flip-flop: Mitt Romney’s views on climate and energy

Where does Mitt Romney stand on climate change and energy issues? Brace yourself: He doesn’t have that flip-flopper reputation for nothing.

How India is winning the future with solar energy

India set a goal to build 20 gigawatts of solar — an enormous amount — by 2020. The haters said at first that the country might not make it, but lately India's plan is seeming smarter than anyone imagined. Plus, it's creating jobs — both in India and in America! What's leading to its success? Government subsidies that are aggressive … but not too aggressive. Subsides are creating both demand and enough competition to keep prices down. Private sector support. Indian banks are beginning to see solar as a desirable investment, since, like toll roads, they're infrastructure projects that offer …

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