In a recently released report, the Sierra Club highlights 10 cities across the US that have made commitments to be fully powered by clean energy sources. (Note: their definition of clean energy does not include carbon-based energy or nuclear energy.) Out of the 10 cities described, 4 have already met their 100% clean energy goal.
So how’d they do it?
No two paths to 100% renewable energy are the same, but there are some common factors that have helped these cities make and meet their goals. Here’s our take on the Sierra Club’s 10 case studies. Read the rest of this entry »
The primary requirement for a solar PV system to work is UV light. Direct light works best, but solar modules can still operate with indirect light. Clouds and rain are not opaque barriers through which light cannot get through, meaning sunlight can reflect or partially break through the clouds and reach the rooftop solar energy system. Solar systems are able to operate at night and at other times when the sun is not directly shining on the solar modules because the system harvests and stores unused energy for future use. Read the rest of this entry »
Absolutely! And now more than ever. With the signing of the Paris Climate Agreement, hundreds of countries around the world have committed to reducing their carbon emission output. Solar plays a big role in these reduction goals by swapping sources of carbon-emitting energy like coal and other fossil fuels, which contribute to the warming of the planet, with sources of non-carbon emitting energy. Because solar photovoltaic (PV) systems do not emit carbon pollution, they are a great option for meeting our world’s renewable energy goals. Read the rest of this entry »
Just a few years ago, solar thermophotovoltaics (STPV) was more of a theory than an actuality. The idea behind STPV is that the efficiency of solar modules will improve significantly if certain materials are used to trap the sun’s heat before it reaches the module. Photovoltaics, however, have always had certain limitations, as they can convert only a portion of sunlight into electricity. Since 1961, this limit—known as the Shockley-Quiesser limit, was thought to cap a solar cell’s efficiency around 32 percent. Read the rest of this entry »
On Earth Day, 175 nations—including the United States—signed the Paris Climate Agreement. In this landmark agreement, some of the world’s biggest carbon emitters agreed to limit global warming to at least 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, according to Chemistry World. This is an ambitious goal that will require most of the signing countries to improve and increase their sustainability efforts.
Though the climate agreement has been signed, it now needs to be ratified by each of the member nations. Some forecast that this process could be delayed for some countries, particularly for the U.S. in the midst of the presidential election, but fifteen nations had their ratifications ready immediately after signing according to the United Nations. Read the rest of this entry »