solar power

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The island of Ta’u in American Samoa is about to see their energy bill slashed in half.

Apparently, in addition to acquiring SolarCity this week, Tesla decided to power a whole island on their micorgrid of solar energy panels and batteries. Now, the system provides almost 100 percent of the power the power needed for Ta’u’s 600 residents. Hey, Tesla: 


According to The Verge, Tesla’s system boasts some pretty impressive stats, like solar panels that can run without the sun for a full three days on a single charge and can recharge in seven hours. Compared to the 109,500 gallons of diesel required to power the island before, this is a pretty big argument in favor of solar energy. Again, quit showing off, Elon Musk.

Wait, no, continue showing off.

Check out the video above and hope that Elon Musk decides to show off in your town soon.

Google launches project sunroof to help you decide if you should instal solar panels or not.
Via Google
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Google wants to use its extensive data to expand the use of renewable resources.

The giant multi-faceted company launched Project Sunroof Aug. 18, which is a tool letting users put in their address and, through Google Maps, is able to calculate how much a homeowner could save if they installed solar panels.

The maps detail the regular amount of sunshine to the area, compared to the electricity costs. Its meant as a way to help those wondering whether investing in solar power would be the right move.

Here, let Google explain it to you:

As the price of installing solar has gotten less expensive, more homeowners are turning to it as a possible option for decreasing their energy bill. We want to make installing solar panels easy and understandable for anyone.

Project Sunroof puts Google's expansive data in mapping and computing resources to use, helping calculate the best solar plan for you.

When you enter your address, Project Sunroof looks up your home in Google Maps and combines that information with other databases to create your personalized roof analysis.

Don't worry: Project Sunroof doesn't give the address to anybody else unless you ask it to.

It's neat to see Google using its massive, some would say insidiously-invasive, data collection in an environmentally sound way.

Here's a video, because everyone loves videos.

bicycles bike path Netherlands solar power - 8374506240
Via SolaRoad
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The Netherlands is about to make you feel really guilty about driving your car to work this morning.

The world's first solar-powered bike lane is scheduled to open this week in Amsterdam.

The initial 70-meter long path will run between two suburbs of the city, and the power it generates will be fed into the electrical grid, generating "as much electricity as is used by 2-3 average households annually."

SolaRoad, the company who designed it, explains that it will be able to withstand the pressure from everyday use.

It consists of concrete modules of 2.5 by 3.5 meters with a translucent top layer of tempered glass, which is about 1 cm thick. Underneath the glass are crystalline silicon solar cells.