The Science of Sustainability

Tag: solar energy

Largest Solar Plant in the World Goes Through Last Test Before Opening

Largest Solar Plant in the World Goes Through Last Test Before Opening

The largest solar plant in the world – in California’s Mojave Desert – goes through its last test before opening, after a debate that pitted renewable energy against a threatened tortoise.

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From High-Rise to Low Impact: A Building That Mimics a Forest

From High-Rise to Low Impact: A Building That Mimics a Forest

In the search for greater efficiency, green builders are looking to nature for answers.

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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.

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We Are the Desert: Tackling California's Water and Electricity Woes

We Are the Desert: Tackling California's Water and Electricity Woes

As we approach the limits of our power and water, we will face some wrenching decisions with geological dimensions.

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Behind the Scenes with the Mythbusters

Behind the Scenes with the Mythbusters

Guest blogger Michael Kadel chronicles our behind-the-scenes visit to our explosive San Francisco neighbors, the Mythbusters.

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Squeezing More Energy from the Sun

Squeezing More Energy from the Sun

The good news is that we can probably meet our energy security and greenhouse emissions goals by increasing the efficiency of buildings, transportation, and agriculture and by using commercially available renewable energy technology. But it won’t be cheap.

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Solar Decathlon 2009

Solar Decathlon 2009

I'm used to seeing some unusual things on the Mall in Washington, DC—our nations backyard—but was quite impressed by the 20 solar powered homes arrayed there last Saturday.

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Blowing up the House for Energy Efficiency

Blowing up the House for Energy Efficiency

How much air is your house leaking? Are you unknowingly slurping in dirty air from your garage and attic? Perhaps a blower door test can help you find out.

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Last Gasps from Phoenix?

Last Gasps from Phoenix?

It seems like only last month that we witnessed the drama of NASA's Phoenix landing on Mars. We were on the edge of our seats in Chabot's planetarium during those "seven minutes of terror" as Phoenix burned a meteoric path through Mars' atmosphere.

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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.

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HERS It Is

HERS It Is

Blower door equipment is used to measure a home's air leaks. A blower door test is part of the evaluation for determining a home's HERS Index. Photo by: D&R International Remember the day when most men knew the horsepower of their muscle cars? Now most of us are concerned about miles per gallon. But what […]

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Living in the Sun's Atmosphere

Living in the Sun's Atmosphere

Illustration of a blast of solar wind impacting Earth's protective magnetic field. Credit: NASABreathe in, exhale. Feel the air in your mouth, windpipe, and lungs. That's a sample of Earth's atmosphere: the thin layer of gases enveloping our planet. Did you know that the Sun also has an atmosphere, and that the Earth is inside […]

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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 […]

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Solar City: The Future of Nanosolar

Solar City: The Future of Nanosolar

Hoping to leave today's silicon solar cells behind, the Palo Alto company Nanosolar is creating paper-thin solar panels harnessing nanotechnology, a product that could revolutionize solar power.

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