Huge increases in energy demand and the quest to find low-emission energy to avoid damaging the climate has changed everything. It’s taken a while but it looks like a global transformation in energy is fully underway in the form of a roll out of solar energy. 20 years ago the problem for solar was whether the technology would work at all. 10 years ago it looked like the cost might be insurmountable. For the solar singularity to happen there are really only two major issues and they are being resolved now.
Availability of reliable, low-cost energy is the cornerstone of economic development and is a primary limiting factor for many developing countries. We share knowledge on an energy sector which is undergoing massive change with new technologies that will provide cheaper, more accessible and cleaner energy.
Windstream Technologies is the American manufacturer of a new type of hybrid renewable energy source. Called the "SolarMill", the device combines PV panels with savonius-type (helix) wind turbines and a built-in inverter. The result is a compact source of energy that is able to make the best of both sunlight and prevailing wind currents.
A new report from a respected German energy think tank highlights the rapid drop in the price of solar energy. Agora Energiewende's comprehensive report uses current and past statistics about the reduction in the production price for solar PV panels to project into the future. Their forecast indicates that solar PV-based energy will be the cheapest source of power within the decade and down to an amazing US 2c/kWh by 2050, much cheaper than gas-fired power plants at US 9c/kWh or any other form of fossil fuel including coal.
The empower program was developed to assist small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs), with less than 200 employees, to improve energy efficiency. The program was developed with assistance from the Australian Food and Grocery Council (AFGC) and the Australian Government Department of Industry and Science.
Whilst this program was designed with the Australian market in mind, the resources are freely available, and can be applied to other smaller food and grocery manufacturing businesses around the world to save energy.
The provincial government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in Pakistan has an ambitious solar energy plan to electrify over 5,800 homes in 200 different villages. The plan is part of a government-backed project called the Green Growth Initiative, founded by Pakistani cricket star Imran Khan. In a country like Pakistan that faces blackouts lasting 4 hours a day in rural areas that are connected to the grid, the answer seems obvious– the traditional centralised energy system is failing rural communities, can off-grid be any worse?
Researchers in the UK and US are working on new techniques to create fuels like methanol, diesel and even petrol from the atmosphere around us - the key component being used is CO2. Bloomberg has a light overview video of the work being done by a UK company called Air Fuel Synthesis (AFS). The process involves pulling in air and extracting the CO2 component (.04% of our atmosphere and rising).
I was the community manager of the Global CCS Institute for over three years. I have to admit, that I didn't know much about the technology when I started but as a pragmatic green nerd, the general concept appealed to me. The truth is that there are thousands of coal fired power plants around the world right now ...
After six years working on VideoSift, I've seen many excellent public service announcements (PSAs) for environmental causes. You might not think that a simple commercial spot has much to do with Cleanleaps, and yes, they sometimes can be self-serving, bordering on greenwashing ...