Germany Covers Old Pit Mine with World’s Largest Solar Park

September 29, 2011 by  
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A new section added onto a huge solar park in Eastern Germany now makes it the largest solar park in the world, but the more interesting fact about this section is that it was built over an old pit mine that had rendered that land useless for years. The new section added 78 MW to the plant and, amazingly, it was constructed in just three months. Using land that is otherwise undesirable is a great tactic for large solar developers because not only are they turning the remnants of something that once harmed the environment into an energy plant that is far gentler to it, but it also ensures that there isn’t competition for that land for food production or other important uses. The German solar park near Senftenburg now has a capacity of 166 MW. via Treehugger

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Germany Covers Old Pit Mine with World’s Largest Solar Park

2011 Solar Decathlon Underway

September 29, 2011 by  
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It’s autumn, and the annual Solar Decathlon is underway (through October 2nd). After being highlighted on the National Mall for several years, this year, the contestants are instead located in West Potomac Park, near the Roosevelt and Jefferson Memorials in Washington DC, maybe less publicly front-and-center, but no less interesting and engaging than in previous years. The Solar Decathlon teams compete with small, energy efficient model homes that address five key criteria: Affordable, attractive, and easy to live in Maintains comfortable and healthy indoor environmental conditions Supplies energy to household appliances for cooking, cleaning, and entertainment Provides adequate hot water Produces as much or more energy than it consumes This year’s contestants include teams from 20 universities from across the US, as well as international teams from Belgium, Canada, China, and New Zealand. The projects are judged on ten different contests throughout the week. Public voting for the People’s Choice Award runs through Sunday, when the final winner will be announced. Link: Gallery of Houses

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2011 Solar Decathlon Underway

China May Surpass U.S. Per Capita Carbon Emission Levels By 2017

September 28, 2011 by  
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A new report form the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency says that China’s per capita carbon emissions are rising at such a pace that the country could reach, or even surpass, U.S. levels by 2017. The report states that China’s per capita carbon emission were at 2.2 tons in 1990, but have since risen to 6.8 tons.  That amount is about equal with Italy and more than France.  During that same time frame, U.S. per capita emissions have dropped from 19.7 tons to 16.9 tons. China became the world leader in total greenhouse gas emissions back in 2007 and has doubled its emissions since 2003. This breakneck speed of development and increasing carbon emissions has caused environmentalists to say that China should now be considered a developed nation during climate change talks, which would means it would be expected to take on more responsibility in controlling carbon emissions. via Yale e360

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China May Surpass U.S. Per Capita Carbon Emission Levels By 2017

Google Puts Up $75 Million for Residential Solar Installations

September 27, 2011 by  
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Google has set up a $75 million fund that will pay for about 3,000 residential solar installations in California, Colorado and Arizona.  The fund will be overseen by Clean Power Finance who will work with installers to offer financing options to homeowners. The fund will allow homeowners who want to incorporate solar power in their homes, but can’t afford the high upfront costs of a solar power system, to enter into lease agreements or power purchase agreements with the installers. This fund is the second for Google , who also created a $280 million residential solar fund that California-based SolarCity will administer.  That fund will be overseeing installations, lease agreements and power purchase agreements in 11 states and Washington, D.C. The popularity of residential and small scale solar is at a high because of the federal and state tax incentives for homeowners.  Companies who invest in these projects (i.e. Google), get large tax credits as well. via Forbes

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Google Puts Up $75 Million for Residential Solar Installations

Arctic Doomsday Vault Now Has Half Million Samples – Becomes World’s Most Diverse Collection of Saved Seeds

March 11, 2010 by  
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photo: Mari Tefre/Svalbard Global Seed Vault The doomsday Svalbard Global Seed Vault in Norway–begun as protection against any potential future calamity that threatens global food production–just turned two years old and has also just passed the half million mark in terms of seed varieties saved. This makes it the most diverse collection of crop diversity anywhere in the world. …

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Arctic Doomsday Vault Now Has Half Million Samples – Becomes World’s Most Diverse Collection of Saved Seeds

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