Articles on Solar power

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Domestic solar panel use has risen dramatically in recent years; commercial uptake can’t be far behind. EPA/Patrick Pleul

We’re set to hit our renewable energy targets – now let’s aim higher

A recent report by the Clean Energy Council claims that the capacity of domestic solar panels in Australia has increased 35-fold in the past three years. This (among other factors) means we are well on…
India’s power needs are growing at a staggering rate and coal won’t do the job. NASA

How do you power a billion lives?

As the Australian Labor Party changes its stance on trading uranium with India, a pertinent question arises: why is India so keen to buy this controversial fuel? And what do India’s energy resources look…

City shadows reveal its energy flow

By calculating the amount of solar radiation reaching streets and buildings, researchers could help optimise the way energy…
Photosynthesis converts low-energy photons into usable energy; it may teach us how to do the same. papalars

New chlorophyll could hold the key to more efficient solar panels

As the great spectre of climate change continues to loom large over the future, the search for viable, renewable energy sources is becoming ever more important. Solar power has long been seen as a vital…
Building and racing a solar car is a true team effort. Matt Cumming

A first-hand account of the World Solar Challenge

The World Solar Challenge (WSC) is a race held every two years in which roughly 40 teams race solar-powered cars from Darwin to Adelaide. I’m a member of the UNSW Solar Racing Team (called Sunswift). The…
The Tokai Challenger team after winning the 2011 World Solar Challenge. World Solar Challenge

The World Solar Challenge and the future of solar cars

On October 20 2011, the Tokai Challenger solar car drove quietly into Victoria Square in the centre of Adelaide, winning the 2011 World Solar Challenge. The car had crossed Australia from north to south…
There are several options for future energy generation. We just need to get there. waldopepper

Stepping stones: the slippery path to a clean energy future

In news today, the Greens are calling for an end to federal funding for a proposed coal- and gas-fuelled power plant in Victoria’s Latrobe Valley. Others have suggested the plant provides a source of “transition…
Solar is now a viable industry that should be taken seriously. AFP Photo/Sakis Mitrolidis

Solar will force coal and nuclear out of the energy business

A solar energy revolution is brewing that will put the coal and nuclear industries out of business. Solar is already reaching price parity with coal in many parts of Australia. In contrast to coal and…
Concentrating solar energy has a lot of commercial potential in Australia. John Marmaras/CSIRO

With a bit of concentration, solar thermal could power your town

Most people are familiar with solar energy generated by photovoltaic (PV) solar cells; they are the tiny PV cells on your calculator or the large PV installations that many people are installing on their…

Wild is the (solar) wind

Satellite observations have revealed that magnetic oscillations carrying energy from the Sun’s surface into its outer atmosphere…
Large-scale solar could be Australia’s dominant renewable technology by 2030. AAP

Australia’s confused solar policy lacks energy

Australia has a huge solar energy resource. Solar collectors spread out over a square 50 km could generate all of Australia’s current electricity demand. Of course in practice, we would need a mix of renewable…

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