Articles on Solar

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The low solar corona as viewed in extreme ultraviolet light. Bright regions are where the most energetic solar storms are born. An eruption in action can be seen in the bottom-left. NASA’s Solar Dynamic Observatory (SDO) satellite.

Total solar eclipses reveal the dark and stormy side of the sun we never see

Scientists spend years preparing for the two-minute window of a total solar eclipse.
Expanding solar power potential more than it’s needed could replace more expensive energy storage. Jamey Stillings

A radical idea to get a high-renewable electric grid: Build way more solar and wind than needed

Solar and wind can't deliver power on demand. But overbuilding solar and wind, and simply dumping unneeded energy, would go a long way to smoothing out those bumps, study finds.
The number of coal mining jobs has gone up slightly, but many times less than solar-related ones. AP Photo/Dake Kang

An alternative to propping up coal power plants: Retrain workers for solar

The Trump administration's Affordable Clean Energy Plan would help the declining coal industry, but a study shows many coal workers could transition to a new industry – solar – and earn more money.
Off-grid mountain house. Shutterstock

Is it possible to live off-grid?

Lowering your carbon footprint by living off-grid is a sustainability dream. But how possible is it using current technology?
Men transporting a large bag in the Muvumba river valley in Kigali. A massive Rwandan electrification programme sets out to benefit rural communities. Shutterstock

How electricity changes lives: a Rwandan case study

A massive rural on-grid electrification programme in Rwanda has delivered considerable benefits. But is it the most sensible way to deliver power to remote areas?
Managed in the right way, wind farms can actually help stabilise the grid, rather than disrupting it. AAP Image/Lukas Coch

What’s the net cost of using renewables to hit Australia’s climate target? Nothing

New modelling suggests that Australia could use renewable energy to hit its 2030 emissions reduction targets, without it costing any more overall than maintaining the status quo.
Solar technicians inspect panels at a Pacific Gas and Electric Solar Plant, in Dixon, Calif. in this file photo. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

Solar power alone won’t solve energy or climate needs

Amid news that solar power capacity will outstrip nuclear by 2018, what do those assertions really mean?
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.

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