solar energy

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Scientists Puzzled by Huge Sunspot

Magnetic burst deemed 'too complicated for us' to grasp

(Newser) - Scientists scratched their heads this week over a massive sunspot, partly because it posed no threat to human civilization. The burst of solar magnetic activity, one of the biggest on record, whipped up powerful flares but didn't spew coronal mass ejections (CMEs) that can bring down Earth's power... More »

Ex-Solyndra Employees Saw Scads of Wasted Money

Government loan 'made people sloppy'

(Newser) - Cheer up, taxpayers: Solyndra may never pay back its $535 million loan , but it put the money to good use. Like, for example, building a shiny conference room with nifty glass walls that could turn solid gray at the flip of a switch. That’s one of several questionable expenditures... More »

Obama Rushed Solyndra Loan

Congressional investigation says OMB had misgivings

(Newser) - The White House pressed the Office of Budget and Management to speed up its approval of a $535 million loan to now-bankrupt solar panel maker Solyndra, so that Joe Biden could announce it at a September 2009 groundbreaking for the company’s new factory, according to emails that Republican congressional... More »

Benedict May Get Hybrid Popemobile

Mercedes working on turning his ride green

(Newser) - The next popemobile could be green. Mercedes-Benz is studying a hybrid that would replace the current Mercedes used when the pope travels abroad, says the Vatican. However, Pope Benedict's new ride won't be ready until next year at the earliest, not in time for his upcoming trip to... More »

10 Bizarre Ways Google Spends Its Money

What do windmills and bees have to do with Google?

(Newser) - Google has made billions, and there are only so many YouTubes or Androids you can buy—so why not spend some of that hard-earned cash in some decidedly stranger ways? Business Insider rounds up the 10 weirdest:
  • Windmills: Yes ... windmills. Google spent $40 million on them, probably because it likes
... More »

US Military Ditching Fuel for Solar Energy

First portable solar panels arrive in Afghanistan

(Newser) - The US military may be an unlikely poster child for green energy, but with its fuel supply convoys increasingly under attack in Afghanistan, it's working hard to ditch its dependence on fossil fuels—and source its energy from the sun. Last week saw the arrival of portable solar panels and... More »

Put Jimmy Carter's Solar Panels Back on White House

Obama can make an important symbolic gesture

(Newser) - A group of environmentalists has spent the past week carting a relic back to the White House—one of the solar panels Jimmy Carter installed on the roof in 1979. And President Obama should stick it back up there, along with more modern ones, as an important public gesture—and... More »

'Green China' Marks Sputnik of 21st Century

US ignores race for clean energy at its own peril: Friedman

(Newser) - For those who think the past year will be defined by global recession, Tom Friedman says think again. Rather, for the New York Times columnist it is Red China's decision "to become Green China" that will spur a 21st-century technological race for clean energy—in the same way that... More »

Recession Dims Lights on Solar Sales

Banks, government cut funding for industry

(Newser) - After a bright 2008, things are looking gloomy for the solar power industry amid the recession, the Wall Street Journal reports. Banks have cut funds for some projects, and the government of Spain, the second-biggest solar power market, has shrunk subsidies. Solar-cell sales are expected to fall by some 20%,... More »

Biogas-Farting Bugs Can Aid Green Power

(Newser) - Single-celled organisms that absorb electricity and emit methane can help people store energy from green power sources, New Scientist reports. Researchers have found that certain microorganisms, when fed surplus power, mix it with carbon dioxide to create methane, which can be saved and burned any time—perfect for storing power... More »

Green Venture Capitalists Need No Bailout

Far from Wall Street, investors embrace eco-friendly ideas

(Newser) - The canyons of Wall Street have been swept clean of liquidity, but the valleys of northern California are still flush with environmentally and financially green ideas, Jon Gertner writes in the New York Times' Sunday magazine. Despite market madness, venture capitalists have seen little slowdown in their businesses, which are... More »

Solar Roofs Give Stores Moment in Sun

Increasingly, US chains turning to solar power as a way to reduce costs

(Newser) - Some of the largest US retail chains have begun to embrace solar power as a way to reduce energy costs and to wrangle some cred among green-conscious shoppers, reports the New York Times. Kohl’s, Macy’s, Safeway, and Whole Foods are among chains rushing to install test panels on... More »

McCain's Run Jeopardizes Ariz. Solar Plant

Voting absences, political conflict may stall huge Solana plan

(Newser) - A plan to construct the world’s largest solar plant in Arizona could be in jeopardy due in part to voting absences and political reluctance by John McCain, Politico reports. The fate of the nearly 2,000-acre plant hinges on energy tax credits that are due to expire—credits funded... More »

'Go Green,' Pope Urges Youth

Pontiff pleads for the earth as he kicks off visit to Australia

(Newser) - The Pope yesterday called on the world—particularly young people—to combat global warming with "a style of life that eases problems caused to the environment," reports the Sydney Morning Herald. Pope Benedict issued his plea just minutes before touching down in Australia for an official visit. The... More »

Intel Moves into Clean Tech With Solar Cell Spinoff

SpectraWatt joins IBM, HP entries, part of a larger trend in IT industry

(Newser) - Intel made a move into clean technology yesterday, creating a spinoff that will manufacture solar cells and pumping $50 million into it. SpectraWatt’s focus will be on improving solar-cell efficiency and cutting costs per watt, its CEO told CNet. IT companies are increasingly getting into the solar industry. Both... More »

Apple Eyes Solar-Powered Gadgets

iPods and iPhones could soon harness sun's power with new patent

(Newser) - Apple is seeking a different kind of moment in the sun, reports Forbes, as the behemoth has filed a patent that would integrate solar cells with its iPods and iPhones. The technology would boost the amount of area available for cells, paving the way for truly mobile gadgets free totally... More »

Is There a Solar Bubble?

Parallels with now-depressed ethanol stocks sure to scare investors

(Newser) - Stocks in solar-energy outfits are enjoying a sustained rally, but investors should remember the lesson of ethanol, Mark Gongloff writes in the Wall Street Journal. Once-loved ethanol stocks are now widely scorned—mainly because the energy source will never be viable without government subsidies. Still, despite solar’s advantages, shares... More »

Sharp Decline Seen in Future Oil Supplies

Industry may require massive cash infusion to keep up with demand: analyst

(Newser) - The international agency that monitors oil supplies is preparing a very pessimistic forecast of future capacity, the Wall Street Journal reports, one that heightens worries over whether producers will be able to keep pace with exploding demand for oil. The International Energy Agency, whose previous models showed steady—and predictable—... More »

Silicon Could Convert Waste Heat Into Power

New nanowires add to chip tech's bag of tricks

(Newser) - Silicon could turn heat into electricity for cheaper than current technologies based on other materials, reports Technology Review. Researchers made nanowires out of silicon so that it would conduct electricity, but not heat. Normal silicon conducts both very well. The specially-made wires, however, convert heat applied at one end to... More »

Iraq Pumping More Oil Than Before War

Increased security at northern pipeline credited with boost

(Newser) - Thanks largely to increased security, Iraq is now producing more oil than it was before the war began in 2003, according to the International Energy Agency. The output is up to 2.3 million barrels per day from 1.9 million barrels daily at the beginning of the year. Protecting... More »

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