Energy

Totally Transparent Solar Cells Could Turn Our Windows Into Solar Panels

Read the full story in Fast Company.

In the future, you’ll be able to charge your phone just by placing it in the sun, and you’ll generate electricity through your windows, not just from the panels on the roof. How? By covering glass in a material that captures energy from the invisible parts of the light spectrum, but still lets in visible light. In other words: translucent solar cells.

Abandoning the Clean Power Plan is the Wrong Move for U.S. Climate Policy

Read the full post from the Brookings Institution.

Editor’s Note: The post is part of a discussion on the EPA’s Clean Power Plan proposal between Philip Wallach, a fellow in Governance Studies at Brookings and the author of the upcoming book, Legality, Legitimacy, and the Responses to the Financial Crisis of 2008 (Brookings Press, 2015), and Bob Sussman, former senior policy counsel to the EPA administrator.

Phil Wallach’s latest post makes clear that no fix to EPA’s Clean Power Plan would address his concerns and that his real objection is to using existing legal authorities to tackle climate change. The Clean Air Act, he argues, is not “an adequate platform for the nation’s climate policy — legally, politically or economically.” What is more, invoking the act is worse than doing nothing because it will only “disappoint“ those who care about climate change and “foreclose better options.” Wallach instead advocates sitting tight and waiting for a “broad and solid coalition” in support of legislation, which he believes would better reflect “democratic decision-making” than administrative measures under the act.

Your Company’s Energy Data Is an Untapped Resource

Read the full post from Harvard Business Review.

Most companies are unprepared for the emerging revolution in predictive energy analytics. In fact, many readers’ eyes will have already glazed over at the preceding sentence, with the natural initial reaction that energy-related data isn’t relevant to their jobs.

But what happens when every single light fixture in all of your company’s facilities becomes a networked mini-computer with an array of sensors? Who at your company will be put in charge of turning buildings operations from a cost center to a revenue center? These examples are not hypothetical capabilities; these are now real options for companies. And yet few corporate managers are asking such questions, much less taking advantage.

Blue and red states going green on energy policy

Read the full story in USA Today.

Politically “red” and “blue” states are increasingly turning green as they push energy efficiency and renewable power to save money and protect the planet, says a report today with prominent bi-partisan support.

 

How 3 biodiesel companies defy the odds in a challenging industry

In this P2 Impact article on GreenBiz, Donna Walden from WSPPN and Kelsey McCutcheon a graduate student at UNR write about three biofuel companies on the west coast and how biodiesel is good for the environment and the economy.

Previous P2 Impact articles are archived on the GreenBiz web site.

Superabsorbing rings could lead to better cameras and solar cells

Read the full story from EnvironmetalResearchWeb.

Rings of excited atoms that harness a quantum effect to absorb light at an enhanced rate could be used in future technologies such as highly sensitive cameras, solar cells and systems for optical power transmission. That is the claim of researchers in Australia, Singapore and the UK, who have done calculations that show that the well-known quantum phenomenon of superradiance could be used to create a new type of optical absorber…

The research is described in Nature Communications and a preprint is available on arXiv.