The solar power industry is about to get a big boost in San Francisco. On April 19, the city’s Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to become the first major US metropolitan area requiring that new buildings install solar photovoltaic (PV) panels on their roofs.
California already mandates that new buildings with 10 floors or less designate at least 15% of their rooftop area (pdf, p8) as being ready for solar panel installation. — Quartz
"The city of San Francisco now requires that builders actually install solar panels in these areas (at a minimum) starting in 2017. Larger buildings are exempt for now."Curious about other efforts to make American cities reduce their carbon footprint through harvesting solar energy?...
Renewable energy like solar and wind is booming across the country as the costs of production have come down. But the sun doesn't always shine, and the wind doesn't blow when we need it to. [...]
A company called SolarReserve may have found a solution: It built a large solar plant in the Nevada desert that can store heat from the sun and generate electricity for up to 10 hours even after sundown. — npr.org
Related stories in the Archinect news:Denver selected to host the 2017 Solar DecathlonA river of solar power: a scheme for the Tijuana riverHow this new gigafactory may popularize residential solar power technology
In Tijuana, another architect is devising a plan to turn the Tijuana River channel into a solar farm that could provide power to as many as 30,000 homes.
Rene Peralta, co-founder of the Tijuana firm Generica and director of an architecture master's program at San Diego's Woodbury University, thinks that his city can transform this unwieldy piece of infrastructure into a renewable energy plant and water-cleaning station. — The Los Angeles Times
February 2016 was the hottest month in several thousand years, so it seems like a good idea to start transforming erstwhile urban heat islands into power-generating rivers. Below, Generica's rendering of the proposed redesigned Tijuana river channel:For more on projects that turn seemingly...
Dr. Orr revealed that Denver won the bid to host this biennial event, in which student teams compete to design, build, and operate cost-effective, energy-efficient, and attractive solar-powered houses. [...]
The competition is planned to be staged near a new development close to Denver International Airport. The area around the 61st and Peña Commuter Rail Station is positioned to become a national model for sustainable, transit-oriented, greenfield development [...]. — solardecathlon.gov
Archinect coverage of previous Solar Decathlons:2015 Solar Decathlon winner Stevens Institute of Technology addresses post-Sandy resiliency with the SURE HOUSEStudents endure the final home stretch at the U.S. Solar Decathlon 2015Archinect Field Trip: Solar Decathlon 2013, Basking in Arrays of...
They used computer modeling to design a pair of buildings, one of which works like a gigantic, curved mirror. The glass surface of the northernmost building reflects light down into the shadow cast by its southern partner. And the carefully defined curve of that glass allows the reflected light to follow the shadow throughout the day. — wired.com
Burlington’s switch to renewable energy will reduce greenhouse gas emissions, save $20 million over the next 20 years and keep energy prices stable [...]
The move is only one part of a solution for climate change, according to Taylor Ricketts, professor of Environmental Science at the University of Vermont. “Climate change is the biggest problem we face, maybe the biggest problem we’ve ever faced. But there’s no silver bullet to fix it,” he said. — pbs.org
To capture more energy from the sun, one company is putting solar panels where they've never gone before: in the street.
This week, the Dutch company SolaRoad officially opened the world's first solar roadway in a suburb outside of Amsterdam. The 230-foot (70 meters) stretch of energy-absorbing concrete and glass will be used as a bicycle path for commuters, according to the company. — Live Science
The rainy season coincides with summer in Dakar, which means it’s the power-cut days. The heat goes up, A/Cs kick into gear and the power utility, Senelec, cannot cope. [...]
Enter solar. This potential renewable savior is a latecomer to Dakar because until recently solar power was banned in cities, as it was considered what the French pointedly call “compétition déloyale” – unfair competition.
But under pressure from Dakar’s own citizens, the ban was lifted under the last government [...]. — nextcity.org
How do you transform over 2 million Dutch terraced houses into more spacious, neutral-energy homes while they're still being inhabited? According to a team of TU Delft students, a solution to that is Prêt-à-Loger.Translated to "ready to be lived in," the Prêt-à-Loger...
We typically see photovoltaic panels up on roofs, as they're broad, open surfaces that receive a lot of sunlight. You know what else spends a lot of time in the scorching sun, though? Sidewalks. With that in mind, a team at Washington DC's The George Washington University has created what is claimed to be "the first walkable solar-paneled pathway in the world." — Gizmag
Ikea is to sell solar panels at its British stores for the first time in an attempt to tap growth in the heavily subsidised green energy market.
The world's biggest furniture retailer, best known for cheap basics such as its Billy bookcases and Ektorp sofas, plans to offer solar panel packages at all of its 17 British stores within the next 10 months. — theguardian.com
On Aug. 11, the Illawarra Flame House of Team UOW Australia (University of Wollongong and TAFE Illawarra Institute) won the 2013 Solar Decathlon China. Co-hosted by the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Energy Administration China, the competition challenged university teams to design, build, and operate solar-powered houses that are affordable, energy-efficient, and stylish. Participants included 22 teams from 35 universities, with students of over 35 nationalities in 13 countries. — bustler.net
Hyperloop is a new mode of transport that seeks to change this [transit] paradigm by being both fast and inexpensive for people and goods. Hyperloop is also unique in that it is an open design concept, similar to Linux. Feedback is desired from the community that can help advance the Hyperloop design and bring it from concept to reality. — Tesla Motors
CEO of Tesla Motors, Elon Musk, posted on the Tesla blog his proposal for an alternative to the California High-Speed Rail plan, the Hyperloop. The solar-powered transportation system is proposed to function somewhat like a pneumatic tube, where capsules of up to 28 passengers on air-bearings are...
California will soon be home to the world’s two largest solar towers through an ambitious project known as The Palen Solar Electrical Generating System.
The announcement was made shortly after the US Department of Interior announced the country was to add 1.1 gigawatts to its clean energy capacity. California has also committed to have a third of their power must be derived from renewable sources by the year 2030. — DesignBuild Source
Abu Dhabi, the most oil-rich of the United Arab Emirates, is now home to the world's single-largest concentrated solar power plant.
The 100-megawatt Shams 1 plant cost an estimated $750 million and is expected to provide electricity to 20,000 homes, according to the BBC.
Why, you might ask?
Bloomberg says the less oil Abu Dhabi uses for local consumption, the more it can export. — npr.org
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