India unveils the world's largest solar power plant

The country is on schedule to be the world’s third biggest solar market next year. Images have been released showing the sheer size of a new solar power plant in southern India. The facility in Kamuthi, Tamil Nadu, has a capacity of 648 MW and covers an area of 10 sq km. This makes it the largest solar power plant at a single location, taking the title from the Topaz Solar Farm in California, which has a capacity of 550 MW. The solar plant, built in an impressive eight months and funded by the Adani Group, is cleaned every day by a robotic system, charged by its own solar panels. At full capacity, it is estimated to produce enough electricity to power about 150,000 homes. The project is comp

West Antarctic ice shelf breaking up from the inside out

Rift in Pine Island Glacier ice shelf, West Antarctica, photographed from the air during a NASA Operation IceBridge survey flight on Nov. 4, 2016. This rift is the second to form in the center of the ice shelf in the past three years. The first resulted in an iceberg that broke off in 2015. Credit: Credit NASA/Nathan Kurtz. A key glacier in Antarctica is breaking apart from the inside out, suggesting that the ocean is weakening ice on the edges of the continent. The Pine Island Glacier, part of the ice shelf that bounds the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, is one of two glaciers that researchers believe are most likely to undergo rapid retreat, bringing more ice from the interior of the ice shee

PACE Securitizations Top $400M In November

PACE projects are part of the surge of green bonds coming to the market. Property-assessed clean energy is growing at a formidable clip, with large securitizations coming in more regular succession. Ygrene, a leading provider of PACE financing, closed a $145 million private securitization on Tuesday and announced an AAA-rated $184 million public bond. Renew Financial, another PACE provider, closed its third securitization for $115 million earlier this month. PACE programs allow investments in water- and energy-efficiency retrofits and distributed renewable generation to be paid back through property taxes, which lowers the risk for both lenders and owners. PACE programs can potentially open

Study: Benefits of Electric Cars Add Up—in the Billions!

The cumulative benefits, in billions of dollars, of increasing EV use to meet Massachusetts’ goal of cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent from 1990 levels by 2050 and charging the vehicles during off-peak hours. PEV = Plug-in Electric Vehicle and includes both battery-only EVs and plug-in hybrid EVs. (Source: M.J. Bradley & Associates.) A new study released today finds that wider use of electric vehicles will produce billions of dollars in benefits for electric vehicle owners (fuel-cost savings), all utility customers (lower electric bills) and society at large (reduced climate-altering pollution). The study focuses on the potential benefits of greater electric vehicle (EV) use in

Revolutionary new solar windows could generate 50 times more power than conventional photovoltaics

We’ve seen several transparent solar cell concepts on Inhabitat, but perhaps none with such ambitious claims as those made by SolarWindow Technologies. In a webinar today, the Maryland-based startup announced that their revolutionary power generating windows, which they say can generate 50 times more power than conventional solar panels per building, would soon hit the market. Unlike traditional and opaque PV technology, SolarWindow can be readily applied as a coating to any glass window or plastic surface and instantly generate electricity, even in artificial light and shade. The company claims that the SolarWindow technology can produce more power at a lower cost and offers an incredibly f

Energy Department Announces More than 90% Achievement of 2020 SunShot Goal, Sets Sights on 2030 Affo

The Department of Energy's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy today announced a commitment for its SunShot Initiative to cut the cost of solar-generated electricity by 50% between 2020 and 2030. This new target is a reflection of the SunShot Initiative's leadership in helping the industry reach more than 90% of its established 2020 goal in five years. Additionally, the Energy Department announced up to $65 million for three new funding opportunities, subject to congressional appropriations, that will further drive down the cost of solar energy and accelerate widespread deployment. "Both SunShot and the solar industry have made major strides to reduce costs for innovative techno

Tesla merger with SolarCity approved by shareholders

Workers outside the SolarCity facility at RiverBend in Buffalo in December 2015. (Derek Gee/Buffalo News file photo) After five months of intense scrutiny, the $2.1 billion merger between SolarCity and Tesla Motors won approval Thursday from shareholders at both companies. The approval, coming in separate votes by shareholders of each company, is a victory for Elon Musk and his vision to create a renewable energy powerhouse, offering electric vehicles, solar panels and the batteries to store power. "I think your faith will be rewarded," Musk said after announcing the vote during a shareholder meeting Thursday afternoon. "I think there will be some really amazing stuff that comes out" of the

NYSERDA Announces Ulster County is First in New York State to Earn Clean Energy Community Designatio

County is recognized for its commitment to reduce energy consumption, cut costs and drive clean energy in its communities November 15, 2016 The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) today announced that Ulster County is the first county in New York State to be designated a Clean Energy Community, recognizing its leadership in reducing energy use, cutting costs and driving clean energy in its communities. Announced by Governor Cuomo in August, the $16 million Clean Energy Communities initiative supports local government leaders across the State to implement energy efficiency, renewable energy and sustainable development projects in their communities. Clean Energy

Renewable energy to hit 9 percent of U.S. total in 2017

Photovoltaic solar power field at Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, Tennesee U.S. renewable-energy generating capacity is not only growing, but it is beginning to erode coal's share of the electricity-generating mix, according to new data from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). The agency predicts renewable energy—particularly solar power—to continue growing. At the same time, a combination of renewable energy and natural gas are expected to further decrease the amount of coal used to generate electricity. In 2017, renewable energy should account for 9 percent of U.S. electricity-generation capacity, according to the DOE's most recent Short-Term Energy Outlook. That's up from 8 percent this

Oil Industry’s New Threat? The Global Growth of Electric Cars

In Oslo, a driving-school owner charges an electric Nissan Leaf, which is used in the school’s lessons.Credit Thomas Haugersveen for The New York Times OSLO — “The Scream” was screaming, as usual, from the wall of the Edvard Munch museum one recent day. Out in the parking lot, Pal Valsgard wore a milder expression— a trace of impatience — as he gazed at his electric car. He brushed away raindrops. Minutes ticked by as he waited by a green kiosk for the car to take a big gulp of power. Mr. Valsgard was no technophile, just an English teacher trying to get his family to the airport for a jaunt to London, and he was running a little late. Nowadays, in this chic capital city, plugging an electri

SolarCity moving into its giant new RiverBend factory

Miles of plumbing, valves and wires at the SolarCity plant at RiverBend in Buffalo on Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2016. (Robert Kirkham/Buffalo News) SolarCity is moving into its giant new factory in Buffalo. About 20 percent of the equipment that will be used at the plant has been delivered, said Peter Rive, SolarCity's chief technology officer and co-founder, during a conference call with analysts on Tuesday evening. Rive also said SolarCity's potential partnership with consumer electronics giant Panasonic won't affect the type of equipment needed. SolarCity has proposed working with Panasonic to produce the solar cells that will be used in the solar panels made in the new factory at Buffalo's Riv

Obama gives big boost to electric cars with national charging corridor

People in the United States are running out of excuses for not ditching fuel burning cars. CREDIT: Flickr/ khengsiong The All-American road is on it’s way to being greener than ever. The Obama administration announced Thursday the establishment of 48 national electric vehicle charging corridors, covering nearly 25,000 miles, across 35 states and the District of Columbia. This means electric vehicle (EV) drivers in these corridors can expect either an existing or planned charging station within every 50 miles, according to the Obama administration. New roadside signs were also unveiled to help motorists find stations — similar to the way that gas stations signs do now. While EVs have been aro

Broome County Introduces Renewable Energy Loan Program

BROOME COUNTY, N.Y. - Officials say a new energy efficient loan program in Broome County could help local businesses save energy and also create more jobs. On Wednesday, details of the County's new Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) finance program were announced. The program will allow the county to work with the energy efficiency program Energize NY to provide long-term, low-cost PACE funding to local businesses and non-profits. The funding would be for sustainable energy projects such as solar panel installations. County officials said the fixed rate and fixed period loan would cover up to 100 percent of project costs using private dollars -- and would be repaid through annual assess

How a Changing Climate Is Shaping a Leaf Peeper’s Paradise

Fall colors were beginning to show in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, on Oct. 12. Scientists say that the glorious colors are lasting longer because of climate change. Credit Ian Willms for The New York Times IONA, Nova Scotia — A century ago, the flaming fall foliage in Nova Scotia would have long faded by early November. But today, some of the hills are still as nubbly with color as an aunt’s embroidered pillow. Climate change is responsible, scientists say. As the seasonal change creeps later into the year, not only here but all across the northern United States and Canada, the glorious colors will last longer, they predict — a rare instance where global warming is giving us something to look f

SolarCity unveils new solar roofs that would largely be built in Buffalo

SolarCity unveiled a new solar roof that could be customized for individual homes. LOS ANGELES — Elon Musk unveiled his vision for turning Tesla Motors into a solar-electric company - with the SolarCity plant in Buffalo playing a central role. Musk, Tesla's CEO and SolarCity's chairman, unveiled plans Friday night for a solar roof that can be customized for individual homes and combined with higher-capacity Tesla batteries that can store twice as much energy as the current model. Musk has long pushed for better looking rooftop solar systems, and he said the new product – unveiled on four houses on the lot of Universal Studios – shows that it's possible to make rooftop solar so it doesn't loo

Con Ed Says Plan to Install Rooftop Solar Panels Will Aid Poor New Yorkers

From left, Matthew Ketschke, John Zigmont and Kevin Nestfield, all of Consolidated Edison, atop the utility’s expansive warehouse in Queens. Credit Demetrius Freeman for The New York Times More than 10,000 New York City residents are using solar power to reduce their electric bills. But hardly any of those people converting the sun’s rays into savings are poor. The reason so few New Yorkers with low incomes are tapping into the power of the sun is not a lack of interest, but rather a lack of access, community activists say. Simply put, most poor New Yorkers — like many other city residents — do not have a roof of their own on which they could install solar panels, even if they could afford t

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