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.
Western Australia’s largest private solar array covers the roof of this food distribution centre in Perth’s south.
Despite its name, the National Electricity Market doesn't reach WA. But those charged with guiding the eastern states' energy transition should look west once in a while.
mario pesce / shutterstock
Scientists investigating an underwater mountain have found lots of tellurium, a mineral used in some solar panels.
World Environment Day 2016 in Nairobi celebrated under solar-powered floodlights.
The UN Sustainable Energy initiative has set the goal of ensuring sustainable energy for all by 2030. However, the international community still can't overcome the problem of energy access.
Over a period in which the Australian economy saw around 600,000 additional people get jobs, employment in the renewables sector has been going backwards.
AAP Image/City of Sydney, Damian Shaw
Estimates released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics suggest that the number of direct full-time equivalent jobs in renewable energy activities has continued to fall from its 2011-12 peak.
With the right mix, the grid can go fully renewable for the same cost and reliability as fossil fuels.
The Turnbull government is funding energy storage as a crucial missing piece of the electricity grid puzzle. Analysis suggests an affordable, fully renewable grid doesn't require any heroic assumptions.