Resources & Information related to Clean Technology, Recycling, Renewable Energy, Green Buildings and more.

Crowdsourcing and CSP Energy Storage Headline DOE Push to Achieve SunShot Goals

Last week was a busy and eventful one for the solar energy industry as market participants from across the U.S., and around the world, gathered in Anaheim, Calif. for the Department of Energy’s (DOE) “SunShot Grand Challenge Summit 2014.” Among the highlights: The Energy Department launched a $1 million solar “soft costs” innovation crowdsourcing contest and $10 million in R&D funding for six thermochemical energy storage projects.

Department of Energy: 2014 Is the ‘Year of Concentrating Solar Power’

Concentrating solar power is poised on the cusp of a major advance as the goal of integrating grid-scale thermal energy storage appears within reach. Aiming to keep the momentum going, the DOE released a new CSP industry report and announced $10 million in new R&D funding to develop cheaper and more efficient thermal energy storage technology.

Volvo Group Studies an Electric Avenue

“Vehicles capable of being charged directly from the road during operation could become the next pioneering step in the development towards reduced environmental impact,” says Volvo Group’s Niklas Gustavsson.

‘World’s Largest Clean Tech Accelerator’ Gets a Boost from the U.N.

Looking to replicate the success it has had in the U.S., the partnership with the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and Global Environment Facility (GEF) will enable Cleantech Open to scale-up its startup accelerator programs geometrically as it expands across six countries whose economies are in transition.

2013 Postcode Lottery Green Challenge Winner: Ginger Dosier ‘Grows’ Bricks with Bacteria

The brick is the basic building block of architecture, popular because it is modular, has a simple design and is both easy to make and use. In fact, the humble brick is used in over 80 percent of global construction, according to architect-turned-scientist Ginger Krieg Dosier. But this classic building material has a heavy environmental toll, Dosier said in a June 2013 TEDx Talk: It is estimated that annual global brick production releases 800 million tons of carbon pollution each year. Inspired by strong natural structures like seashells since she was a child, Dosier invented a process that uses bacteria to “grow” bricks and releases virtually no carbon emissions.

Southwest’s New Initiative Expands the Airline From Place-Taking to Placemaking

Southwest has undertaken to partner with Project for Public Spaces in a new ”placemaking” program called Heart of the Community. The program works with city planners and community members to create places that are special in a way that will invite people to linger and commune, which will, in turn, raise the value of the community and the quality of life for those who live in it.

24/7 Concentrating Solar Power Plant Gains Approval in Chile

Environmental concerns have hindered construction of utility-scale concentrating solar (aka solar thermal) power plants, but Chile’s environmental ministry has approved Abengoa’s 110-MW Cerro Dominador CSP project. Cerro Dominador will not only be the largest CSP facility in South America, but also the first to supply solar-generated electricity 24 hours a day, seven days a week.