The Science of Sustainability

Tag: renewable energy

Nonrenewable and Renewable Energy Resources

Nonrenewable and Renewable Energy Resources

This infographic depicts the two major categories of energy resources: nonrenewable and renewable.

Continue Reading

Stanford Solar Car Races Across Australian Desert

Stanford Solar Car Races Across Australian Desert

Stanford University students design and race a single passenger solar car 1,800 miles across the Australian continent in an international competition that pushes the boundaries of solar-powered technology.

Continue Reading

Wind Energy and Wildlife: Nebraska Strives for Coexistence

Wind Energy and Wildlife: Nebraska Strives for Coexistence

The unique dynamics of developing wind energy in Nebraska may benefit wildlife, habitats, and developers throughout the country.

Continue Reading

China’s ‘Gridlock’ May Slow Conversion to Clean Energy

China’s ‘Gridlock’ May Slow Conversion to Clean Energy

California and China share the challenge of updating their power grids for the new age of clean energy. But China's task would appear to be–um–bigger.

Continue Reading

Solar Powers China's March Toward Sustainability

Solar Powers China's March Toward Sustainability

China has vaulted out front in the solar power game. That's been good for consumers but perplexing to its California competitors.

Continue Reading

Q & A – How Will the Solar Industry Shake Out?

Q & A – How Will the Solar Industry Shake Out?

Plummeting prices, trade war, record growth – it’s been a busy year for the solar industry. Reporter Lauren Sommer talks to a solar analyst about how California is doing in the rapidly changing global market.

Continue Reading

How Green is Biomass Energy?

How Green is Biomass Energy?

When you think of where energy comes from, you might picture a power plant or maybe wind mills. You probably wouldn't think of a pile of 12 tons of almond shells.

Continue Reading

Reporter's Notes: Cow Power Not Cutting It

Reporter's Notes: Cow Power Not Cutting It

A handful of dairies across California are capturing the climate change emissions produced by their cows. But they're running headlong into another environmental problem.

Continue Reading

Reporter's Notes for Energy Storage: The Holy Grail

Reporter's Notes for Energy Storage: The Holy Grail

Energy storage (through batteries) is something we use everyday in our cell phones and computers. So it may be a little surprising that when it comes to the electric grid, storing energy is something that's rarely done.

Continue Reading

Editor's Notes: Race for Renewables

Editor's Notes: Race for Renewables

Where did California go wrong? And as other states try to learn from its lessons, does the Golden State have any hope of reaching its next ambitious target – 33 percent renewable by 2020?

Continue Reading

When the Sun Don't Shine and the Wind Don't Blow

When the Sun Don't Shine and the Wind Don't Blow

In a world energy landscape dominated by coal, gas, oil, and nuclear, renewable energy sources such as wind and solar don't stand a chance if we can't find a way to store energy when the sun doesn't shine and the wind doesn't blow.

Continue Reading

Reporter's Notes: Building an Artificial Leaf

Reporter's Notes: Building an Artificial Leaf

When I began this story, it seemed pretty simple. I'd heard that scientists at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab were working to mimic photosynthesis and create a man-made version of the process that could supply us with renewable energy.

Continue Reading

Those Intermittent Renewables – Part 2

Those Intermittent Renewables – Part 2

"We believe energy storage is the next big thing," says Craig Horne, CEO of EnerVault, a Sunnyvale startup. His company is developing a battery that could help solve a renewable energy problem (check out our previous post): how to keep electricity flowing when we need it, even as more of it comes from sources we can't control. Horne was a panelist at a UC Berkeley-Stanford sponsored CleanTech Conference about energy storage held last week at Berkeley's Lawrence Hall of Science.

Continue Reading

Those Intermittent Renewables – Part 1

Those Intermittent Renewables – Part 1

When it comes to renewable power, California has had one main message: bring on the solar power, bring on the wind turbines! California and the country are heading fast towards a clean energy future. But renewables aren't perfect.

Continue Reading

Reporter's Notes: Smart Grid at Home

Reporter's Notes: Smart Grid at Home

I've never paid much attention to my electric meter. For most of us, it's just that box on the side of the house with a small white disk spinning inside, keeping track of our energy use. But over the next three years, all the meters for PG&E customers will be getting a major upgrade to a new, digital SmartMeter.

Continue Reading

"Leafing" Through the Economic Stimulus Package

"Leafing" Through the Economic Stimulus Package

Highlights from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, signed by President Obama on Tuesday.

Continue Reading

Reporter's Notes: Big Solar on the Ballot

Reporter's Notes: Big Solar on the Ballot

Proposition 7 is one of the green propositions– in more ways than one. The amount of cash that's being spent on this so-called Big Solar initiative is prodigious. It is one of the most expensive measures on the ballot.

Continue Reading

Have sewage, will travel

Have sewage, will travel

Unless our sewage happens to end up in the Bay and in the headlines, most of us probably never give a second thought to where our wastewater is headed each time we run the tap or flush the toilet. To learn more about the travels of sewage, I took a tour of the Las Gallinas […]

Continue Reading

The Right to Sunlight:  Solar vs. Redwood Trees

The Right to Sunlight: Solar vs. Redwood Trees

In Silicon Valley, a battle between neighbors has turned into a different kind of face off: solar energy versus trees. It turns out that growing redwood trees can actually be a crime in California, if they block solar panels… as one couple in Sunnyvale found out the hard way. David Gorn reports on a new […]

Continue Reading

2007 Energy Bill a Mixed Bag

2007 Energy Bill a Mixed Bag

It would be easy to think that the 2007 Energy Bill, signed by President Bush at the end of last year, was all about automotive fuel economy. The legislation that requires fleet-wide average fuel economy for cars and light trucks to reach 35 miles per gallon by 2020 has generated a lot of buzz. On […]

Continue Reading