Cost of solar energy declines

Photo voltaic (PV) systems in the US are getting to be better value, according to the Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab). The average cost fell by more than 30 percent from 1998 to 2008, dropping four percent between 2007 and 2008. "A goal of government incentive programs is to help drive the cost of PV systems lower. One purpose of this study is to provide reliable information about the costs of installed systems over time," says report co-author Ryan Wiser.

Solar-powered bags can recharge phones

Hong Kong company Mascotte Industrial Associates is developing a line of backpacks, e-book covers, camera bags and messenger bags containing solar cells.

Spider acquires taste for green leaves

A spider that eats the tips of acacia plants rather than biting insects in its jaw and sucking them to death is probably the first predominantly vegetarian arachnid.

Fleet of electric Minis sallies forth

Twenty British drivers left home yesterday, smug in the knowledge that their driving is costing them less than a penny a mile.

Global warming debate hots up

Cutting non-CO2 pollutants could buy the world a lot more time before global warming hits the critical two degrees celcius threshold, according to Nobel Laureate Dr Mario Molina.

Solar cell powers LG e-reader

LG Display has developed a solar-powered e-reader, which it says gives a day's power after four or five hours in the sun.

Dune city designed for water wars

Although perhaps better known for its underworld gang wars, a group of students wants to build an underground city in the Nevada desert which can handle water wars.

Recession good news for polar bears, says IEA

The recession is ‘a window of opportunity to curb climate change and build a low-carbon future’, says the International Energy Agency (IEA).

Acting fast could cut climate change risk, says MIT

An MIT analysis of climate risk indicates that even moderate carbon-reduction policies now can substantially lower the risk of future climate change.

Top 13 reader comments revealed

We love our readers. And our readers obviously love us too. Here are just 13 we've had in recent weeks. Please keep them coming. They're fab!

Nvidia and "Starting the Next Age of Personal Computing"

Column I’m at the Nvidia GPU Technology conference and it suddenly hit me that we are at the forefront of another massive change in the computer industry.  

Ardi fossil shows 'apes descended from humans'

A university professor at Kent State University said today that apes, in many ways, evolved from humans, and not the other way round.

Fat used to generate stem cells for heart conditions

Florida healthcare company Bioheart claimed it has made a major breakthrough in cardiovascular therapy by obtaining stem cells from a patient's fat tissue to help regenerate blood vessel formation.

Seven ton zero emission electric truck rolls

The Balqon Corporation said it has released a battery powered heavy duty truck for use on short haul missions.

World’s largest windfarm breezes into Texas

German power company E.ON Climate and Renewables (EC&R) has completed what it claims to be the world's largest wind farm near Roscoe, Texas. The Roscoe wind complex has an installed capacity of 781.5 megawatts (MW), generating enough electricity to power more than 230,000 homes.

The hanging gardens of Boston: empty building could become biofarm

An architect's firm has proposed that the old Filene's Basement store in Boston be covered with a vertical garden and algae farm.

10 most important IT fruits revealed

Software is important. Hardware is essential. Networking is vital. But fruits are clearly more important than any of these. Here's a list of the most important 10 IT fruits.

Hummer drivers claim the moral high ground

The best way to preserve American values is to keep on polluting the country with a vengeance: that's apparently the view of Hummer drivers, anyway.

People are pining for power for your PC

Scientists have worked out that there is enough electricity in a tree to power an electronic circuit. The discovery could pave the way for a house's computers to be powered by the tree that is planted in the back garden.  

Team develops recyclable hydrogen fuel

A new method for “recycling” hydrogen-containing fuel materials could make hydrogen-based vehicles more economically viable.