Trillions of dollars will be invested in renewable energy over the next 25 years. This will drive some of the most profound changes yet in how humans get their electricity. That’s according to a new forecast by Bloomberg New Energy Finance that plots out global power markets to 2040.
Futurist Thomas Frey: Having just returned from a trip to Alaska, it occurred to me that most of the 660,000 sq miles of this beautiful state will never be habitable until a more complete off-grid solution is found. In Alaska, they’ve already figured out how to turn every one of their 3 million lakes into a landing strip, so transportation is far less of an issue than power, heat, lights, water, and communications.
Japan got serious about investing in renewable energy after the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster by becoming one of the world leaders in solar power. But the nation faced a problem in its solar efforts: a lack of suitable land.
Michigan State University researchers have developed a transparent solar cell capable of being used as a replacement for windows. Due to the fact traditional solar panels absorb light and convert it into energy, this concept was once deemed impossible as transparent surfaces are not capable of absorbing light. Continue Reading »
Apple is taking on its “most ambitious project ever” and its not a phone, some new wearable gadget, or a even a TV. Instead, Apple is going to cover 1,300 acres of California countryside in electricity-generating solar panels. Continue Reading »
Solar isn’t just the way to go for our power needs, but it’s the way to go for jobs as well. The solar power jobs sector grew 20 times faster than any other sector, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In fact, the number of solar jobs has surpassed the number of coal mining jobs. This is a hopeful sign for both alternative energy and job growth.
Toronto’s Illan Kramer, Inventor of Spray-on Solar
Illan Kramer, a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Toronto, and IBM Canada’s Research and Development Center has invented a new way to spray solar cells onto flexible surfaces using minuscule light-sensitive materials known as colloidal quantum dots (CQDs)—a major step toward making spray-on solar cells easy and cheap to manufacture.
“My dream is that one day you’ll have two technicians with Ghostbusters backpacks come to your house and spray your roof,” says Kramer.
Costs for home energy storage are dropping fast.
A few years ago, most people didn’t have any idea the home solar PV market would grow so fast. But it has, and there’s no stopping its momentum now. Similarly, there aren’t many people that realize how fast the home storage market is going to grow.
A battery module built at Aquion’s plant in Pennsylvania.
A new kind of battery that stores energy from solar and wind power cheaply and cleanly has hit the market. It is by far the cheapest of a new generation of large, long-lived batteries that could make it possible to rely heavily on intermittent, renewable energy sources.
We all want to find an alternative to fossil fuels as soon as possible. The most viable answer to the planet’s energy needs is visible to us any time we look upward. The amount of solar energy that hits just 1 square mile of this planet over the course of a year is equal to 4 million barrels of oil, and the energy that hits the Earth in a mere 40 minutes can fuel all of humanity’s energy needs for a year. Isn’t that incredible? (Infographic)