A molecular approach to solar power

It’s an obvious truism, but one that may soon be outdated: The problem with solar power is that sometimes the sun doesn’t shine. Now a team at MIT and Harvard University has come up with an ingenious workaround — a material that can absorb the sun’s heat and store that energy in chemical form, ready to be released again on demand.

Improving solar power’s efficiency

First Solar is apparently inching toward manufacturing some silicon solar products, but that doesn’t mean the company’s bread and butter, cadmium-telluride (CdTe) cells, are taking a back seat. Not if this news is any indication: a new CdTe cell conversion record of 20.4 percent.

How Austin Became the Largest City to Use 100% Renewable Resources

In 2007, Austin made the bold decision to use 100 percent renewable resources by 2012 as part of its climate action plan. By October 2011, it had achieved this ambitious goal. Read on to discover how America's most sustainable city did it.

Solar power will be big in 2014

he equivalent of a 5-megawatt solar farm every hour of every day – that’s how much new solar photovoltaic power is being installed around the world right now, according to a leading industry analyst, and it’s a surge that will help the industry to a mammoth total for 2014.

2 for 1 in solar power

Solar cells offer the opportunity to harvest abundant, renewable energy. Although the highest energy light occurs in the ultraviolet and visible spectrum, most solar energy is in the infrared. There is a trade-off in harvesting this light, so that solar cells are efficient in the infrared but waste much of the energy available from the more energetic photons in the visible part of the spectrum.

Google builds new solar power plants

Is Google an Internet company or a renewable energy developer? Sometimes it’s hard to tell. The company on Thursday was at it again, announcing that it was joining with the investment firm KKR to buy into six solar photovoltaic power plants being built by Recurrent Energy in California and Arizona. The plants total 106 megawatts of generating capacity.

Hippies and libertarians have become unlikely allies in a war against solar power

A weird thing is happening with solar power. For years derided as a sideshow energy source that was only for environmentalists, solar is now being seen as an imminent threat to both the mainline energy industry and at least one national economy. As a result, those harmless people ...

3D Graphene: Solar Power's Next Platinum?

One of the most promising types of solar cells has a few drawbacks. A scientist at Michigan Technological University may have overcome one of them.

Army says solar power helps protect US troops

The U.S. Army had a power problem, and the consequence was no small matter: Troops were left more vulnerable to sniper attacks. But now, the Army says, the use of solar and wind systems is keeping the power flowing and, as a result, helping reduce casualties.

Solar power beats biofuels for powering cars

Photovoltaics (PV) technology is much more efficient than biomass at fuelling a car, say researchers, making a mockery of the US 2005 energy bill that calls for more use of corn ethanol as a biofuel.

This Elf is a solar power velomobile

When one thinks of an elf this time of year, visions of Santa’s little assistants at the North Pole come to mind.

New solar cell solves durability problem

Northwestern University researchers developed a new solar cell that, they say, is cheap to produce, efficient and environmentally friendly.

Researchers eye space-based solar power

Solar power collected in space could ultimately be tapped to provide the renewable energy of the future.

Automakers eye solar-powered EV chargers

Controversy continues to rage over claims that electric vehicle (EV) emission savings is offset by pollution generated at power plants.

New battery could lead to cheaper solar power

A new type of lithium battery developed by the University of Southampton and lithium battery technology company REAPsystems is claimed to improve the efficiency and reduce the cost of solar power.

Steampunk pocket watch winds via solar power

Here’s a timepiece that’s a blast from the past and in tune with the future. 

Yes, it’s a Victorian-styled pocket watch, powered by the sun.

Why the EU is winning the clean energy race

The EU signed Kyoto in 1997, and passed laws to lower emissions by 2005. Five years later it had double the wind power of the US, and ten times the solar power.

Google invests in Californian solar energy projects

Google's continuing to pump money into clean energy, investing $94 million in four solar photovoltaic facilities near Sacramento.

Study claims solar power is more viable than ever

Many analysts claim that solar power for the masses is simply not cost effective, and therefore not a realistic option for most power requirements.

Soapy beads offer cheap energy storage

Indian scientists have come up with a cheap way of storing the sun's heat and then releasing it slowly through the night.