Articles on Solar

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A total solar eclipse will be visible across parts of the United States Aug. 21, treating amateur and professional astronomers alike to sights similar to this NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory ultraviolet image of the moon eclipsing the sun on Jan. 31, 2014. (NASA)

How to safely watch an eclipse: Advice from an astronomer

If you've ever wondered why you can look at a solar eclipse and why it can harm your eyes, the answer is in the sun's rays.
To manage renewable energy efficiently, all weather variation need to be taken into account. Greg Clarke/Flickr

An algorithm to improve the renewable energy production

Relying less on fossil fuels is one of the key challenges of energy transition, and taking weather variations into account can help increase the overall efficiency of a renewable-energy system.
Wind turbines require massive structures that are polluting to produce and can harm ecosystems, but these impacts compare favorably with those of fossil alternatives. www.shutterstock.com

Does ‘green energy’ have hidden health and environmental costs?

No energy source is perfect, but solar and wind have a much lower health and environmental footprint than fossil fuels, a study finds. Biopower, though, is a mixed bag.
The rise of renewable energy is one reason the world is shifting away from coal. Wind turbine image from www.shutterstock.com

We can still keep global warming below 2℃ – but the hard work is about to start

Global emissions from fossil fuels have stalled. That puts us in the right place to keep warming below 2℃, but there's plenty of work still to be done.
Companies like Tesla, with batteries and electric cars, are disrupting traditional energy companies in Australia. www.shutterstock.com

Company results wrap: energy companies are facing disruption

Energy companies shouldn't rely on government regulation to protect them from the growing disruption from renewables and increased consumer control.
Solar panels on a Walmart roof, Mountain View, California. Walmart/Flickr

Getting more energy from the sun: how to make better solar cells

Solar power has enormous potential, but provides only about one percent of world electricity today. An engineer explains the many steps it takes to make solar panels that are efficient, clean and cheap.
A solar array goes up in New York. Is this the best place to locate solar, given the relatively clean New York state grid? Lucas Braun

To cut emissions faster, U.S. should ditch tax credit-based subsidies for renewable energy

The wind and solar industries scored a huge win by getting extended tax credits, but research shows this isn't the best policy for lowering emissions through renewable energy.
South Africa has installed solar water heaters in low cost housing areas. It should be installing solar PV for energy. Shutterstock

How South Africa can spread renewable energy to low income areas

South Africa has been slow to adopt renewable energy sources. One option, which has proved successful elsewhere, would be to install solar photovoltaic panels on rooftops in low-income areas.
Mozambique is seeking to use renewable energy to extend electricity access to rural institutions. Joshua Kirshner

Mozambique needs a community-driven approach to electrification

Mozambique has long standing energy challenges and widespread energy poverty. To change this, particularly for people living in rural areas, it needs to democratise the way it supplies energy.

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