EarthTechling report: Hybrid solar ferries, powering up Detroit and more
EarthTechling is a Portland-based online consumer publication focused on all things green technology that aims to bring different voices to the cleantech revolution discussion. From clean energy and electric vehicles to green gadgets and green buildings, our passionate team, contributing partners and readers weigh in on the latest green news, services and products.
Here's a roundup of what was popular over at our friends website EarthTechling this week:
1. Renewable Revolution: Don't Worry, It's Coming — Though it might seem like renewable energy is the eternal underdog, it's actually growing rapidly. The solar industry reports over 17,000 solar projects, all at 1 megawatt or larger, either under construction or in the planning phase, and utilities in California have signed on to solar and wind projects that can generate 100 to 1,000 megawatts. So while bankruptcies and other setbacks can seem to spell the end for renewables, the future is looking pretty green.
2. NASA on the Hunt for Spacecraft Solar Arrays — Since the sun's rays are even stronger in space, NASA is looking into developing solar arrays to power electric propulsion systems that could potentially allow space craft to venture farther outside of Earth's orbit. NASA is currently accepting proposals from institutions like MIT and the NREL for space-worthy solar arrays with capacities from 30 to 250 kilowatts.
3. Are Hybrid Solar Ferries the Answer? — An interview with Greg Atkinson from Eco Marine Power on the way solar power can cut down on fossil fuel use in ships, particularly commuter ferries. Eco Marine Power's Tonbo, currently in the works, features a solar panel and top-of-the-line lithium batteries that are projected to cut fossil fuel use by 40%.
4. Abandoned Detroit Begins to Power Up — Putting Detroit's many abandoned buildings to good use, Power House Productions is renovating and retrofitting them to become sources of clean, off-grid power as well as educational and art centers for Detroit residents. By synthesizing clean energy with grassroots community projects, PHP hopes to rejuvenate Detroit and create a new, self-reliant community there.
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