Solar power

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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.
Small solar panel installations can provide electricity and jobs, while not adding to emissions. Manukrishna CK/Praveen R/Wikimedia Commons

India is focused on energy and poverty, but it can still sign a global climate deal

Much of India's huge population is still without electricity, perhaps making climate action a tough sell. But India's vision for green development chimes well with the world's climate agenda.
Renewable energy developers choose sunny locations, which can be near protected lands. jsmoorman/flickr

Can we expand solar power dramatically without damaging protected lands?

Study shows that many of the utility-scale solar power plants in California have been placed near protected and environmentally sensitive lands.
Australia has 1.4 million solar rooftops. But it is with the addition of battery storage that energy grids will really be revolutionised. AAP Image/Lukas Coch

Malcolm Turnbull wants to embrace ‘disruptive technology’ – he can start with solar power storage

New prime minister Malcolm Turnbull has stressed the importance of embracing 'disruptive' technologies that shake up existing business models. Solar power and battery storage is one of the most enticing options.
To no one’s surprise, a US study found that solar panel cells produce infrasound and low frequency noise which is way below audibility. AAP/Dean Lewins

Infrasound phobia spreads … to solar energy cells! What’s next?

Internoise is the world’s premier research conference for acousticians. The 2015 meeting is being held right now in San Francisco. Buried among the hundreds of papers is one that you could easily take…
Will alternate solar technologies get a boost if solar overall grows? Walmartcorporate/flickr

Do we need a solar power technology breakthrough?

Hillary Clinton's renewable energy plan is ambitious but, on a technical level, doable. Would it foster more solar technology innovation?
Townsville’s roads (pictured) may have their busy periods but is it the best place to start a solar charged ‘electric super highway’? Flickr/John Skewes

Where to put the first electric car charge station in the Sunshine State

If you want to kick-start the "electric superhighway" in Queensland then it makes sense to start in a populated area with the busiest traffic.
Solar thermal technology is still an outside bet - and not the kind of investment the CEFC was set up to make. WorleyParsons/AAP Image

The Clean Energy Finance Corporation is meant to back winners, not minnows

Environment minister Greg Hunt wants the Clean Energy Finance Corporation to focus on new technologies, not wind and solar. But that's not what it was set up to do, and Australia already has an agency for that.
Packing heat: concentrating sunlight into a reactor to split H2O and CO2 – a step toward making liquid fuels. Courtesy of Professor David Hahn, University of Florida

Solar fuels: how planes and cars could be powered by the sun

Rooftop solar power is exploding in the US but some scientists are pursuing a radically different route in renewable energy: storing solar energy as a liquid fuel.
South Australia’s wind farms have coped without baseload power before - they can do it again. Fairv8/Wikimedia Commons

Coal closures give South Australia the chance to go 100% renewable

Coal closures announced this week in South Australia will cause employment pain, but could also help pave the way for the state to go 100% renewable - something that modelling suggests is eminently possible.

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