What if it were a lot easier to install solar power?
Silicon is cheap and a good semiconductor, but it's bulky and rigid. Using organic polymers as semiconductors could yield solar panels with the physical characteristics of plastics.
As the name suggests, Windy Hill near Cairns gets its fair share of power-generating weather.
Leonard Low/Flickr/Wikimedia Commons
There are calls from the backbench and elsewhere for the federal government to safeguard the future of coal. But do those calls make economic sense? A look at Queensland's energy landscape suggests not.
Nigeria has abundant energy resources but about 40% of the population don’t have access to electricity.
Nigeria can make some changes to harness its energy resources and lower its carbon footprint while providing power to its people.
The latest research suggests that in Australia, rooftop solar photovoltaics are more likely to be adopted by middle-class households.
Households that are most likely to go solar are those that can afford solar panels, but aren't so rich that they don't have to worry about their electricity bill at all, says a survey of 8,000 homes.
Could this monitor and window be combined with a solar panel?
Organic semiconductors could make possible energy-generating windows that double as movie screens or computer displays.
Solar photovoltaics are now the world’s leading source of new electricity generation.
US Air Force
Solar photovoltaics and wind power are on track to supplant fossil-fuel-based electricity generation by the 2030s. The only thing holding back the renewable revolution is politics.
Solar panels sit on the roof of a home in Enkanini, on the outskirts of Stellenbosch, Western Cape, South Africa.
Innovation in small-scale solar systems and mobile money systems is giving people in sub-Saharan Africa access to electricity at a lower cost than diesel or kerosene.
‘I was the future once.’
To understand what happened to our love of giant radioactive kettles, take a look at cultural theory.
Looking through semitransparent cells – one day these could be big enough to make windows.
Solar windows would need to trap enough light to generate power, while letting through enough to keep buildings light. Thankfully, newly developed semitransparent cells offer to do just that.
Now that panel costs in U.S. will go up, will reflectors make a comeback?
Joshua M. Pearce
Raising the cost of solar panels coming to the US could rekindle interest in a simple but potentially significant technology: solar reflectors.
The potential clean energy sources are all around Sydney, just waiting to be harnessed.
Collage by Rocco Furfaro
Sun, wind, waste biomass, geothermal, tides and waves: all these energy sources in Sydney's backyard add up to a zero-carbon energy solution for the city.
Managed in the right way, wind farms can actually help stabilise the grid, rather than disrupting it.
AAP Image/Lukas Coch
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 home designed by University of Maryland students for the Department of Energy’s 2017 Solar Decathlon.
DOE Solar Decathlon
Energy Secretary Rick Perry says the US needs to subsidize nuclear and coal power plants to keep the grid stable. But this policy would raise energy costs and could drive consumers off-grid instead.
A solar and battery-powered microgrid got San Juan’s Children’s Hospital quickly back online after Hurricane Maria.
Yes, Puerto Rico and any other storm-vulnerable location could benefit from on-site solar and battery backup, but it's unrealistic to say these microgrids are enough to power the island.
Pumped hydro: all you really need is some reservoirs and a big hill.
AAP Image/Lukas Coch
Electricity storage is vital to the stability of a renewable energy grid. The world's favourite form of storage is pumped hydro – and researchers have located thousands of candidate sites.
Solar panels are still a rarity in WA’s lower-income areas.
Western Australia has huge amounts of sunshine and wind, yet only 7% of its energy comes from renewables. What's more, most households in the poorest suburbs are still locked out of the solar panel boom.
Eclipses are fun, but no one wants to be left in the dark by a blackout.
The solar eclipse offered electricity network operators a "live drill" in how to cope with fluctuating output from renewable energy. They passed with flying colours.
Solar PV outstripped coal as the leading source of new electricity generation worldwide last year.
AAP Image/Lukas Coch
Solar PV and wind energy have overtaken coal as the leading sources of new electricity generation worldwide, with falling prices and new storage technologies making clean energy ever more attainable.
Getting your strata committee to agree to solar panels is tricky, but it can be done.
Apartment-dwellers risk being left behind in the rooftop solar boom. But some projects are showing how apartments can join the transition to a distributed renewable energy future.
If harnessed properly, the sun holds tremendous potential to provide sustainable energy for the earth.