Here are some of the latest news stories about solar energy:
Chevron Makes Use Of Solar Energy to Recover Oil: “What if solar energy is generated in order to extract oil from mature oil fields? Does this constitute a spectacular irony, or a clever application of renewable energy; one that may be justified in a world where oil is likely to remain fundamental to our economy for a considerable number of years to come?”
Aging Parking Meters Get Solar Upgrade: “A small solar-powered parking meter company is benefiting from the down economy and aging parking infrastructure.”
Why Americans Like Solar Energy: Executive Director of the Sierra Club, Michael Brune, discusses how “recent polling and surveys indicate that, by and large, regardless of our politics, we still think developing solar energy is a great idea. ”
World’s Largest Solar Bridge Under Construction in London: “An iconic steam-era railway bridge is to become the world’s largest solar bridge.” This project seems to “have a particular symbolic value when discussing the dawn of a new energy paradigm.” An interesting follow up to this article is: Solar is Possible on Listed Historic Buildings. Should It Be?
Image credit: TreeHugger
Solar Power For Third-World Ag Boosted: U.S-based non-profit Solar Electric Light Fund (SELF) is investing in a program that serves as “an integrated approach to implementing solar energy systems that empower rural communities in developing countries to improve their health, education, economic development and food and water security.”
In 2004, it dawned on Robert Noble, an architect specializing in sustainable design, to put solar panels above parking lots in order to transform these ubiquitous concrete deserts into aesthetically pleasing, environmentally friendly, money-saving machines. As the solar power industry booms, at-home solar panel installation demand increases, and green job growth spikes, parking lots remain a “wasteland – they’re the last thing that gets attention,” Mr. Noble said in an interview with The New York Times. “Here’s a market the size of Alpha Centauri that’s never been tapped.” Noble has since created Envision Solar, an architectural design company that helps corporations, schools, government agencies and other entities meet their renewable energy needs by building solar panel structures in commercial parking lots. These “solar groves” are 1,000 square foot canopies that shade cars while generating clean energy.
Envision Solar’s other signature product brings solar power to a new level by using the energy created by its solar panels to power electric cars at specially designed charging stations. Using the sun to power electric vehicles might quell the criticism that electric cars, while remaining nonreliant on fossil fuels, still use a lot of energy which exacerbates global climate disruption. Mr. Noble and his company are proving that solar panels can not only save individual users thousands of dollars on electricity bills, they can beautify parking lots, make your car go, and promote a culture of environmentally sustainable architecture. If policy catches up to innovation, this idea could have lasting effects on the future of our planet.