Energy & Green Tech

Scorching growth for renewables thanks to solar: IEA

Growth in the renewable electricity generation sector has returned to a double-digit pace thanks to a surge in the installation of solar photovoltaic (PV) panels, the International Energy Agency said Friday.

Energy & Green Tech

Scientists develop novel biophotovoltaics system

Researchers from the Institute of Microbiology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences have reported a novel biophotovoltaics (BPV) system based on a synthetic microbial consortium with constrained electron flow. This BPV system ...

Energy & Green Tech

The long road to clean energy

The vital transition to a zero-carbon economy is likely to be a long and rocky road. So-called green energy is booming, but not fast enough to curb climate change, which is accelerating at an alarming pace as oil, gas and ...

Energy & Green Tech

Google green energy buys boost 'carbon-free' portfolio

Google on Thursday announced a record-high boost to its green electricity purchases, saying the deals will spur construction of millions of solar panels and hundreds of wind turbines.

Solar energy

Solar energy is the radiant light and heat from the Sun that has been harnessed by humans since ancient times using a range of ever-evolving technologies. Solar radiation along with secondary solar resources such as wind and wave power, hydroelectricity and biomass account for most of the available renewable energy on Earth. Only a minuscule fraction of the available solar energy is used.

Solar power provides electrical generation by means of heat engines or photovoltaics. Once converted, its uses are limited only by human ingenuity. A partial list of solar applications includes space heating and cooling through solar architecture, potable water via distillation and disinfection, daylighting, hot water, thermal energy for cooking, and high temperature process heat for industrial purposes.

Solar technologies are broadly characterized as either passive solar or active solar depending on the way they capture, convert and distribute sunlight. Active solar techniques include the use of photovoltaic panels and solar thermal collectors (with electrical or mechanical equipment) to convert sunlight into useful outputs. Passive solar techniques include orienting a building to the Sun, selecting materials with favorable thermal mass or light dispersing properties, and designing spaces that naturally circulate air.

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