Cheap oil won’t kill the cleantech revolution

With the current low prices of oil – they are now around $50 –  one could think that solar, wind and the likes wouldn’t be this interesting as an alternative. Luckily, it isn’t the case at all. Let’s see why.

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Germany sets new record on renewables

According to Think Progress : ” On Sunday, Germany’s impressive streak of renewable energy milestones continued, with renewable energy generation surging to a record portion — nearly 75 percent — of the country’s overall energy demand.” ” With wind and solar in particular filling such a huge portion of the country’s power demand, electricity prices actually … Read more

Could we reforest the Sahara desert ?

Is this the key to afforestation projects in arid or desert areas ? As hundreds of billion of trees have to be planted over the next decades to avert climate change, the question is of tremendous importance. As Cleantechnica reports, the Gulf state of Qatar is experimenting an interesting project – the Sahara Forest Project … Read more

Nicaragua develops its renewable energy potential

A volcano in NicaraguaAccording to El Pais, Nicaragua and its six million inhabitants could get 90 % of its electricity from renewables by 2020. To date, the country is already getting 58 percent of its electricity from clean sources.

Enjoying huge amounts of sun and wind it could also benefit from large reserves of geothermal energy. Indeed, if the national grid has a capacity of about 1300 MW, its geothermal reserves are estimated to be of 1,500 MW.

These ample reserves can be explained by the many volcanoes and its important seismic activity.  To date, only ten percent of this energy has been developed in two plants : Polaris and Momotombo.

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How I helped make better solar panels, and how you can

wcg-solarAs you might perhaps have read in an earlier blog post, I am giving part of my computer calculation capacities to scientific projects close to my heart such as cancers, AIDS and of course, solar energy via the World Community Grid.

As I was wondering if all this energy – and thus money – had been wisely invested, I went to the World Community Grid official website and found news that made me quite happy as The Clean Energy Project data has been published !

” Thanks to World Community Grid volunteers, Harvard has published data about the suitability of 2.3 million organic compounds for converting sunlight into electricity.

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Selling solar power in India’s slums

I have already written a few posts on how poor populations of Asia or Africa are leapfrogging from no electricity to renewables without going through the distributed fossil fuels electricity phase. Electrical grids are expensive and so is coal. In countries with so much sun such as India, solar energies such as solar PV looks … Read more

Germany breaks another solar PV record

The sunny – and hot, and dry – weather witnessed by Europe lately has one good point : Germany broke all records of solar photovoltaic generation with as much as 22 GWh. As Cleantechies reported :

” that amount of electricity fed into the national grid on Saturday (May 26) met around 50 percent of the country’s electricity needs. That is the same as 20 nuclear power stations at full capacity. “

” (…) At the same time of the year last year Germany was producing 14 GW per hour. Its total installed capacity is 26 GW. “

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A new efficiency record for solar panels

To EcoGeek : ” Semprius, a startup company manufacturing tiny concentrated solar cells that forgo any cooling systems has achieved a truly amazing leap in solar cell efficiency. “ This is truly exciting as ” The company was able to hit 33.9 percent efficiency with their solar panel, the first time a commercially-viable solar technology … Read more

Solar PV gets even more efficient and cheaper

To GreenTech Media : ” SunPower just announced their newest solar panels with total area efficiencies of more than 20 percent. The 96-cell solar panels use SunPower’s 22.4 percent efficient cells .” To Ecogeek : ” Researchers at Empa (the Swiss national research laboratory) have achieved a new record in thin-film solar cell efficiency. (…) … Read more

Great astrophotographies – January 2011

With some late – again – I would like to propose you my selection of the best pictures of the NASA’s Astronomy Picture of the Day (APOD). As always, here is my selection of the best pictures of last month. Today’s picture :

Sometimes it looks like the Sun is being viewed through a large lens. In this case, however, there are actually millions of lenses: ice crystals. As water freezes in the upper atmosphere, small, flat, six-sided, ice crystals might be formed.

I am absolutely still amazed at how many splendors can be seen at night (and day). I just hope we may find a way to make our nights darker so more people can see them.

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Great astrophotographies – December 2010

With some late I would like to propose you my selection of the best pictures of the NASA’s Astronomy Picture of the Day (APOD). As always, here is my selection of the best pictures of last month. Today’s picture :

” A big, bright, beautiful Full Moon slid into planet Earth’s shadow early Tuesday morning. Remarkably, the total lunar eclipse coincided with the date of the December Solstice. “

I am absolutely still amazed at how many splendors can be seen at night. I just hope we may find a way to make our nights darker so more people can see them.

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Great astrophotographies – October 2010

This is time for me to present my selection of the best pictures of the NASA’s Astronomy Picture of the Day (APOD). This month was a bit special as I could only select ten of them.

To the NASA, today’s picture : “Look closely at this surreal nightscape. In the dreamlike scene, star trails arc over an old ship run aground on a beach near Gytheio, Peloponnesus in southern Greece.”

I am absolutely still amazed at how many splendors can be seen at night. I just hope we may find a way to make our nights darker so more people can see them.

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