When it comes to renewable energy, will emerging economies be leaders?

(© AP Images)  Part 4 Countries that are developing or expanding their energy infrastructure are well placed to be the renewable energy leaders of the future. Not only is that a good position, it is a good business strategy. “In many senses, [the developing world] is a clean slate. It can just leapfrog into the ...
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With renewable energy everyone wins

A man installs solar panels on a Honolulu rooftop. Hawaii is a U.S. national leader in solar power. (© AP Images) Part 3 Rooftops, great for shelter, can now make the homeowner money too. That’s because of renewable energy technology. People are able to generate their own electricity close to home, and in communities where ...
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What happens when fossil fuels meet the renewable-energy model of power generation?

Part Two Necessity — and good business — is ushering in a new energy reality. And that energy is renewable. Large, energy-hungry populations; failures of outdated 20th-century infrastructure; and commitment to preventing global temperature rise are all reasons why cities, states and countries around the world are using renewable energy. So how are they doing ...
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Bright solar tech entrepreneurs make a mark in South Africa’s Silicon Valley

An invention by South African scientist Vivian Alberts that replaces expensive silicon used in photovoltaic solar panels promises to make solar energy more affordable than ever. It’s a thin-film photovoltaic coating for glass that uses no silicon at all. Alberts announced his discovery in 2007. Now he is poised to build an industrial-scale factory to ...
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What is renewable energy and why use it?

Renewable energy comes from natural sources that don’t run out, such as the sun, wind, water or heat within the earth. Fossil fuels — coal, oil and gas — are traditional sources of energy generation that will eventually run out. Solar panels and wind turbines generate electricity from sun and wind. Geothermal plants harness heat ...
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Next-generation batteries for cars and power grids use glass and molten metal

(Shutterstock) In a bid to create more efficient and longer-lasting batteries for electric vehicles and the power grid, researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have been testing ideas that could revolutionize the clean energy field. The latest research aims to improve upon rechargeable “lithium-air” batteries, a highly promising technology that can store up to ...
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Salting away renewable energy for future use

One of the biggest challenges in the solar energy field is how to store electricity from the sun for use when the sun isn’t shining. One solution may be no farther than your salt shaker. SolarReserve, a California company, is pioneering a technology that uses molten salt as a medium for long-term energy storage. Mirrors ...
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As We Generate More Electricity From Sun and Wind, Where Do We Store It?

The big thing holding us back from wholesale use of renewable energy is a reliable long-term storage mechanism. But scientists are working hard to develop a battery that can make the most of solar- and wind-generated energy. This ClimateWire article describes a few of the promising technologies under consideration for storing electricity collected by solar ...
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To Protect the Planet, We Can All Do Our Part

Did you know small changes in your daily routines can make a huge difference to your health, the health of your neighbors and the future of the planet? Choose from among these simple steps and start today. (Adapted from the California Air Resources Board’s “Simple Solutions to Help Reduce Air Pollution”) When you run errands ...
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Power to the People the Smart-Tech Way

What if every month you got a report on how your electricity use compared to that of your neighbors? And personalized tips on how to save money based on your own usage patterns? New software is making this possible, says David Moore, senior market development manager at  Opower . His company has pioneered cloud-based software that ...
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How Many Days In A Year Can You Use Renewable Energy?

In recent years, some communities around the world have pledged to meet all their future power needs with renewable energy. One notable example:  Costa Rica used only renewable sources  to power itself for the first 75 days of 2015. The Central American country has made great strides in its use of renewable energy — mainly hydropower — which today generates more ...
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A Country Lowers Its Energy Bill

America is energized. In the last decade, U.S. energy production grew 24 percent, while energy consumption steadily declined. One reason for the shifts is changes made by  businessescollege campuses  and  cities  — changes that have helped the environment and reduced costs. Here are details about America’s recent progress and future plans. This graphic shows changes in U.S. energy ...
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