The Science of Sustainability

Tag: solar

QUEST TV – Inventing the Future: Bikes, Bugs and Fashionistas

QUEST TV – Inventing the Future: Bikes, Bugs and Fashionistas

Meet innovators building sun-powered velomobiles, transforming flies into fishmeal, and converting husks into fashion. Also, discover a vast network of ocean observatories.

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QUEST TV: America’s Energy Future

QUEST TV: America’s Energy Future

Tour a solar energy farm, investigate fracking, and explore new energy-efficient home designs in this television episode.

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Cementing a More Sustainable Future

Cementing a More Sustainable Future

A team of innovative students at UNC Charlotte develop a game-changing material poised to improve the way we build our cities and our homes.

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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.

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Looming Trade War Shakes Up U.S. Solar Industry

Looming Trade War Shakes Up U.S. Solar Industry

Federal officials have put trade tariffs on Chinese solar panels. American solar companies are split on whether it will be good or bad for the industry.

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Solar FireworX: First X-Class Flare of the Year

Solar FireworX: First X-Class Flare of the Year

The first X-Class solar flare of the year went off yesterday, on March 7th, in spectacular fashion. Fortunately the flare went off where it's supposed to: on the Sun. Had this intense magneto-plasmic explosion gone off on Earth, we'd be toast; one of these releases an amount of energy on the order of 100 billion megatons of TNT.

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The Sun Shows A Flare for the Dramatic

The Sun Shows A Flare for the Dramatic

A solar flare, associated with the big sunspot numbered 1402, erupted on January 23rd, launching a coronal mass ejection–a "cantaloupe" of plasma that makes Earth look like a grape. Rated as an M9-class flare, it packed umph just shy of what's necessary for adult "X-class" flaredom, the most powerful kind.

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Clean Tech Earns Its Stripes

Clean Tech Earns Its Stripes

The largest energy user in the United States is the U.S. Military. Its annual energy bill runs about $15 billion dollars a year, which is why the Department of Defense has developed a keen interest in finding other ways to meet its energy needs, including investing in alternative energy.

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As Renewables Boom, California Struggles to Quit Coal

As Renewables Boom, California Struggles to Quit Coal

California is known for its "green" reputation, so it might be a surprise that residents in Southern California still depend on coal power when they turn on the lights.

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Serving Up Delicious Scoops of Sun Daily

Serving Up Delicious Scoops of Sun Daily

The Solar Dynamics Observatory was launched last year, and since then has been capturing high resolution, multi-wavelength visible and extreme-ultraviolet imagery at very frequent intervals.

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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.

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Solar Heats Up in S.F.

Solar Heats Up in S.F.

The solar industry has descended on the Moscone Center in downtown San Francisco this week. QUEST Senior Radio Editor Andrea Kissack reports from the Intersolar North America Conference and Expo.

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Finding a Home for Big Solar – Part Two

Finding a Home for Big Solar – Part Two

A plan that requires California's utilities to generate one third of their electricity from solar, wind and other types of clean energy by 2020 has been held up by a glacially slow permitting process. The Panoche Valley, south of Hollister, is finding itself in the center of one of those debates.

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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?

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Journey Into The Sun

Journey Into The Sun

Scientists at Stanford University and Lockheed Martin are playing pivotal roles in a nearly billion-dollar NASA mission to explore the sun. A spacecraft launched in early 2010 is obtaining IMAX-like images of the sun every second of the day, generating more data than any NASA mission in history.

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The Sun—Live In Your Own Backyard!

The Sun—Live In Your Own Backyard!

Chabot volunteers are running a live solar observatory for the public.

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Climate Talks in Copenhagen: No Silver Bullet?

Climate Talks in Copenhagen: No Silver Bullet?

Between the aquarium of drowning-delegate sea-level rise protesters, the chicken flock of animal rights protesters, and the cocktail party of fur-coated protest protesters, there will certainly have been a lot to see these past two weeks in Copenhagen during the latest United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

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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.

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Reporter's Notes: Getting Paid to Go Solar

Reporter's Notes: Getting Paid to Go Solar

To go solar or not to go solar? Homeowners looking to save money on their energy bills have a number of factor to consider.

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Are Power Towers the Future of Solar Energy?

Are Power Towers the Future of Solar Energy?

Southern California's Antelope Valley is famous for its desert blooms of California poppies, but has recently become the home of one of the most aesthetically striking new designs in alternative energy.

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