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German Parliment To Use 100% Renewable Power

by Justin Thomas •

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The German Reichstag is expected to become the greenest parliament building in the world, thanks to a decision to rely solely on renewable energy. From late summer the building is due to swap to green power sources such as water, wind and solar energy, replacing the conventional power that it has largely relied upon until now.

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New Record: Wind Powers 40% Of Spain

by Justin Thomas •

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Wind power is breaking new records in Spain, accounting for just over 40 percent of all electricity consumed during a brief period last weekend. As heavy winds lashed Spain on Saturday evening wind parks generated 9,862 megawatts of power which translated to 40.8 percent of total consumption. Between Friday and Sunday wind power accounted for an average of 28 percent …

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OLEDs Printed Like Newspaper: World’s First Demonstration

by Justin Thomas •

OLEDs are thin, organic materials sandwiched between two electrodes, which illuminate when an electrical charge is applied. They’re so thin, that they could be applied to rooms as a type of wall paper to glow at the touch of a finger or when someone enters the room. Like LEDs they produce light very efficiently. But OLEDs also have to potential …

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Fuel Cells Being Used To Power Japanese Homes

by Justin Thomas •

Masanori Naruse jogs every day, collects miniature cars and feeds birds in his backyard, but he’s proudest of the way his home and 2200 others in Japan get electricity and heat water – with power generated by a hydrogen fuel cell. The technology – which draws energy from the chemical reaction when hydrogen combines with oxygen to form water. Developers …

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Solar Balloons Get $21 Million In Funding

by Justin Thomas •

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They look like foil party balloons, but they are actually very efficient solar concentrators. These solar “balloons” were developed by a company called Cool Earth, based in California, and it has just received $21 million dollars in investor funding. The company is now planning to build a 10-megawatt plant of solar balloons in the next couple years. This power plant …

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New World Record Set For Solar Efficiency: 31.25%

by Justin Thomas •

On a perfect New Mexico winter day — with the sky almost 10 percent brighter than usual — Sandia National Laboratories and Stirling Energy Systems (SES) set a new solar-to-grid system conversion efficiency record by achieving a 31.25 percent net efficiency rate. The old 1984 record of 29.4 percent was toppled Jan. 31 on SES’s “Serial #3” solar dish Stirling …

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New Record: World’s Largest Wind Turbine (7+ Megawatts)

by Justin Thomas •

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The world’s largest wind turbine is now the Enercon E-126. This turbine has a rotor diameter of 126 meters (413 feet). The E-126 is a more sophisticated version of the E-112, formerly the world’s largest wind turbine and rated at 6 megawatts. This new turbine is officially rated at 6 megawatts too, but will most likely produce 7+ megawatts (or …

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First U.S City To Be Lit With 100% LEDs: Ann Arbor

by Justin Thomas •

Solar Powered LED Street Light by Sharp

Ann Arbor is on its way to being the first U.S. city to light up its downtown with 100% LED-based streetlights. The city expects to install more than 1,000 LED streetlights beginning next month. The city anticipates a 3.8-year payback on its initial investment.

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The Tallest Wind Turbines In The U.S. Installed In Texas

by Justin Thomas •

The tallest wind turbines in the U.S. have been installed in Texas — the Vestas V90 turbines are 345 feet high, and are rated at 3 megawatts each. They are part of the 63 megawatt Snyder Wind Project, a wind farm that’s just been installed in western Texas.

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3 Megawatts Of Mirrored Solar In Spain

by Justin Thomas •

A company called SolFocus (which was spun out of Xerox Palo Alto Research Center in 2006) has started installation of a 3-megawatt solar power plant in southern Spain. SolFocus makes solar cells that use much less silicon than regular panels because they use lenses and mirrors to concentrate sunlight. The solar concentrators magnify sunlight 500 times, which according to the …