alternative energy

Solar Origami: MIT Working on Super Efficient Folded Solar Panels

Solar Origami: MIT Working on Super Efficient Folded Solar Panels

Standard flat solar panels are only optimized to capture sunlight at one point of the sun's trajectory -- otherwise they need automated tracking systems to follow the sun. MIT power engineering professor

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Plant-Based Molecules Could Create More Efficient Photovoltaic Devices

Plant-Based Molecules Could Create More Efficient Photovoltaic Devices

Plants are excellent at harnessing solar power, so it only makes sense that scientists would eventually study them for hints on how to develop more efficient photovoltaic devices. Chemists at the

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Beautiful Solar Balloon Collects Energy From High in the Sky

Beautiful Solar Balloon Collects Energy From High in the Sky

Designer Seongyong Lee recently blew us away with her beautiful design for a Solar Balloon that can collect energy straight from the sky. Based on the idea that the most efficient way to collect solar

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Green Circle Marketplace is First LEED Platinum Shopping Center in the US

Green Circle Marketplace is First LEED Platinum Shopping Center in the US

Inhabitat readers hufftprojects recently wrote in to tell us about their Green Circle Market place, the first shopping center in the US to receive the rating of LEED Platinum from the USGBC. By utilizing

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Bill Gates Teams Up With Toshiba to Build Mini Nuclear Reactors

Bill Gates Teams Up With Toshiba to Build Mini Nuclear Reactors

The new nuclear age has officially begun. First President Obama announced $8 billion in loan guarantees for nuclear power, and now Toshiba has teamed up with TerraPower, a Bill Gates-backed startup, to

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DARPA Unveils Speedy Solar-Powered Smart Blimp

DARPA Unveils Speedy Solar-Powered Smart Blimp

The military often gets to check out exciting green technology before the general public. Case in point: DARPA's new smart blimp, an automated, unmanned airship featuring an advanced radar system, solar

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Oorja Unveils Micro Fuel Cell That Could Power Your House

Oorja Unveils Micro Fuel Cell That Could Power Your House

Were you impressed by the recently unveiled Bloom Energy “micro power plant”? Well the stationary fuel cell already some competition in the form of a methanol fuel cell device from a

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Solar Pixel Turns Building Facades into Artwork

Solar Pixel Turns Building Facades into Artwork

Solar panels aren’t usually installed because they’re good-looking. But the Swiss design firm Drzach and Suchy thinks that solar power can be beautiful–literally. The pair have created

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TAILPIPE POWER: Nanotube Thermocells Harvest Energy From Car Exhaust

TAILPIPE POWER: Nanotube Thermocells Harvest Energy From Car Exhaust

Harvesting wasted energy from unexpected places is one of our favorite topics at Inhabitat, however one of the last places we’d look for a “clean” energy source is the tailpipe of a car.

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Texas Breaks U.S. Wind Power Generation Record

Texas Breaks U.S. Wind Power Generation Record

Good news on the alternative energy front: Texas managed to break the U.S. wind energy generation record last Friday morning when it produced 6,272 MW of power--19% of the total electricity mix. The

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Pea Power: Researchers Discover a Hidden Energy Source Inside Peas

Pea Power: Researchers Discover a Hidden Energy Source Inside Peas

Peas are tasty, sure, but they might also play an important role in our energy future. Researchers from Tel Aviv University's Department of Biochemistry have discovered that tiny crystals found in peas

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Hexicon’s Floating Wind Platform Keeps Wind Power Afloat

Hexicon’s Floating Wind Platform Keeps Wind Power Afloat

They've solved all of these problems with their adaptable, floating offshore wind and wave generation platform. The renewable energy plant of the future. The platform is designed to deal with extreme

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Sweden Aims for 2000 New Wind Turbines, 50% Renewable Energy by 2020

Sweden Aims for 2000 New Wind Turbines, 50% Renewable Energy by 2020

John McConnico for The New York Times Maud Olofsson, Sweden's Enterprise and Energy Minister, announced recently the addition of 2,000 wind turbines to the country's alternative energy regimen. The

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Brightsource Energy Gets $1.4 Billion Loan for Massive Solar Thermal Complex

Brightsource Energy Gets $1.4 Billion Loan for Massive Solar Thermal Complex

Solar power got a big boost this week with news that the U.S. government is guaranteeing $1.37 billion in loans to BrightSource Energy for the construction of three solar thermal plants in the Mojave

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California Adopts Bill Letting Homeowners Sell Excess Solar Energy

California Adopts Bill Letting Homeowners Sell Excess Solar Energy

Attention all Californians! Do you generate more power from your solar panels than you can use? Well, under a new bill adopted on Thursday, you can sell that excess electricity (and offset the cost of

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Next-Generation Nanofiber Bulbs on the Horizon

Next-Generation Nanofiber Bulbs on the Horizon

Want to ditch your inefficient incandescent bulbs for some energy-saving compact fluorescent (CFL) ones? Be prepared to deal with toxic chemicals inside the bulbs.  Now there's another option: nanofiber

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IllumiCharger Adds Solar USB Charging to Any Wall

IllumiCharger Adds Solar USB Charging to Any Wall

Solar power doesn't get more plug-and-play than the IllumiCharger, a wall-mounted charger that soaks up ambient light within your home to provide grid-free energy for any USB gadget. Designed by

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World’s Smallest Solar-Powered Sensor Could Run Forever

World’s Smallest Solar-Powered Sensor Could Run Forever

It's easy enough to find a solar-powered charger for iPods, cell phones, and other gadgets, but this ultra-tiny solar-powered sensor system is smaller than anything else on the market -- 1,000 times

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2010 Greener Gadgets Competition Designs Unveiled!

2010 Greener Gadgets Competition Designs Unveiled!

Heads up gadget geeks!Want to catch a glimpse into the future of green technology? Then check out the freshly unveiled finalists in the Greener Gadgets Design Competition! These 18 designs offer smart

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Energy Generating Soccer Ball Brings Clean Power to Off-Grid Areas

Energy Generating Soccer Ball Brings Clean Power to Off-Grid Areas

When the sun goes down many developing countries rely upon dangerous kerosene lamps, which emit hazardous fumes and generate 190 million metric tons of CO2 each year. Seeking an eco-friendly alternative

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Scientists Develop Flexible Energy-Harvesting Rubber Sheets

Scientists Develop Flexible Energy-Harvesting Rubber Sheets

Piezoelectric energy is nothing new, but researchers at Princeton University have developed a new type of electricity-harvesting rubber sheet that has the potential to change the way we power electronic

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The ICARE Project: A Trip Around the World in a Solar and Wind-Powered Car

The ICARE Project: A Trip Around the World in a Solar and Wind-Powered Car

Forget biodiesel, hybrids, and electric vehicles--Swiss engineer Mark Muller has designed a car capable of taking a 40,000 km (24,855 mile) trip around the world using only wind and solar power. The car,

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Britain Unveils Plans for 1,300 Square Miles of Wind Turbines

Britain Unveils Plans for 1,300 Square Miles of Wind Turbines

Take 100 billion pounds, a plan to create 60,000 jobs, and the urgent need to end an addition to fossil fuels, and what do you get? The first steps in Britain's plan to develop its offshore wind farm

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Solar Compressed Air System Solves the Energy Storage Conundrum

Solar Compressed Air System Solves the Energy Storage Conundrum

Energy storage is one of the greatest milestones facing the renewable energy industry. You can't control the winds or the sun's rays, so intermittency is a problem and you can't flood the grid when you

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EnviroMission Plans Massive Solar Updraft Towers for Arizona

EnviroMission Plans Massive Solar Updraft Towers for Arizona

Australia-based EnviroMission Ltd recently announced plans to build two solar updraft towers that span hundreds of acres in La Paz County, Arizona. Solar updraft technology sounds promising enough:

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Tobacco: The Next Big Biofuel?

Tobacco: The Next Big Biofuel?

We've seen biofuels made from some pretty strange substances -- tuberculosis bacteria, watermelons, and chocolate, to name a few -- but a new effort to gather biofuel from tobacco leaves might win the

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TOP 5 GREEN ENERGY STORIES OF 2009

TOP 5 GREEN ENERGY STORIES OF 2009

As the world energy crisis mounts and the threat of catastrophic climate change looms near, the need for clean and green energy sources has never been greater. Fortunately, the future is bright and 2009

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How Solyndra’s Solar Tubes Rocked Clean Power in 2009

How Solyndra’s Solar Tubes Rocked Clean Power in 2009

SOLYNDRA - a report from Earth2Tech There are hundreds of solar companies developing new materials, new business models, new installation techniques and new manufacturing processes in an effort to

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NASA Launches Solar-Powered Asteroid-Detecting Telescope

NASA Launches Solar-Powered Asteroid-Detecting Telescope

This morning NASA launched the WISE (Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer), a solar-powered infrared telescope that will scan the skies for earth-threatening asteroids and comets. We love covering all

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Solar-Powered Plane Makes Runway Debut

Solar-Powered Plane Makes Runway Debut

Biofuels are often touted as the next big thing in airplane fuel technology, but solar power shouldn't be discounted -- as was recently proven by the team behind the Solar Impulse. The solar-powered plane

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