Solar recycling – a looming problem with a European solution

The price of solar panels continues to drop – down 86 percent since 2009! That means having solar is more affordable than ever and with solar leasing options growing and now California mandating all new construction must include solar, its use is set to explode.

But as I’ve noted before, every solution presents new problems which must be addressed. Solar panels have been rated for a 25-year lifespan. Although they will continue to function after that – many solar panels installed in the 1980’s still function close to their original levels – ultimately they will lose efficiency and at some point need to be replaced. The looming issue here is what to do with those solar panels?

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Utility company’s bee hives and solar garden produces sweet results

Connexus Energy’s solar garden produces both renewable energy and honey!

As the prices drop for solar panels, solar has gained incredible popularity over the past few years. From home use to huge commercial arrays, solar has become a fixture in the American landscape for green energy.

Utility companies have jumped on the solar bandwagon. Solar is increasingly becoming a part of utility companies portfolio and strategic plan. Minnesota’s largest member-owned electric cooperative, Connexus Energy, has gone one further. It’s created a first-of-its-kind solar garden that not only produces energy but honey as well.

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New York City’s Lowline striding forward to becoming reality

The Lowline - a former trolley area that will be transformed into a unique underground park

The Lowline – a former trolley area that will be transformed into a unique underground park

New York City is famous for many things – Radio City Music Hall, the Statue of Liberty and, for those in the know, the High Line. This last is an above-ground park on the city’s West side that stretches from its original 14th to 20th Streets now extends to 30th Street.

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Ukraine wants to turn Chernobyl into a massive solar farm. It’s money versus Nature and commonsense all over again

Chernobyl pripyat building

A story recently hit the news that Ukraine is seeking investors to turn radiation-riddled Chernobyl into a massive solar farm. If successful, it would produce 1 gigawatt of power from an array in the 1,000 square mile “exclusion zone.”

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100 percent recycled asphalt to be used for bike lanes

Bike path pic

The Netherlands has one-upped the rest of the world yet again. Previously it was with their solar powered bike path, which opened in 2014 in a suburb outside of Amsterdam. In a country where there are admittedly more bikes than people, the government’s commitment to sustainability and innovation is inspiring.

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Floating solar panels to power California water treatment plant

Infratech's floating solar array at a water treatment plant in Jamestown, South Australia

Infratech’s floating solar array at a water treatment plant in Jamestown, South Australia

Solar power is continuing its explosive growth. In the first half of this year, the solar industry has supplied 40% of all new 2015 electric generating capacity. The U.S. solar industry is expected to reach nearly 8,000 MW for the year, and 28,000 MW in total.

The ways solar is being utilized is also expanding. Earlier this year, we wrote about solar successfully being used as floating arrays generating power across one of India’s state’s 85,000 km long canal system. Now a city in Southern California’s Imperial Valley plans to float a solar array across the top of a new water treatment plant that will be used for the town’s drinking water supply and irrigation.

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New report shows that existing climate solutions could cut global emissions by 25%

Lake Mendocino drought conditions 2013Imagine this: What if there were ways that would really and effectively fight climate change? Would government leaders embrace them?

It turns out that there already are 17 solutions out there that would let the world could cut annual greenhouse gas emissions by about 12 gigatonnes [2] in 2030. These are established and proven climate solutions – no new inventions required, and no vast amounts of capital necessary to have them work.

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