Scientists Test Solar Panel that Beams Power to Earth from Space

Scientists Test Solar Panel that Beams Power to Earth from Space

Pentagon scientists have successfully tested a small solar panel that, when launched into space, can collect solar power and beam it to any place on earth. The special panel is called a Photovoltaic Radiofrequency Antenna Module (PRAM) and was launched last May attached to a drone that circles the earth once every 90 minutes. If scaled up, scientists say that these orbital solar panels could work 24/7 and collect more sunlight than those on earth, and provide power to remote areas of the globe and major power grids alike.

Why This Matters: Along with hurricanes, tornadoes, wildfires, and other natural disasters, climate change will also be increasing power outages. This new technology could play a role in reducing power outages and creating a globally connected power grid.

Continue Reading 515 words
One Sunny Thing: Solar Power Eclipses by 2030

One Sunny Thing: Solar Power Eclipses by 2030

According to a new study by the energy analysts at Wood Mackenzie, the cost of solar power is expected to decrease another 15%-25% over the next decade due to developing technologies already in the pipeline, which could make it the lowest-cost power source in the U.S. by 2030.  Solar is poised for both U.S. and […]

Continue Reading 124 words
Wind Power Blows Coal Away in Texas

Wind Power Blows Coal Away in Texas

Wind power has overtaken coal as a proportion of Texas’s power for the first time and promises to continue growing. In 2020, wind power made up almost a quarter of Texas’s total power, compared to just 18% from coal.

Why This Matters: Texas is the nation’s largest producer of both wind energy and fossil fuel energy.

Continue Reading 506 words
One Cool Thing: The Largest Solar Energy Project in the U.S.

One Cool Thing: The Largest Solar Energy Project in the U.S.

Chicago-based Invenergy announced this week that it will construct at a site in northeastern Texas a $1.6 billion project that will provide 1,310-megawatts of solar energy by 2023.  The project is likely to create approximately 600 jobs during the construction, as well as bring in more than $250 million in landowner payments and $200 million in […]

Continue Reading 101 words
Could a Growing Green Economy Turn Texas Blue?

Could a Growing Green Economy Turn Texas Blue?

As Hurricane Laura pounds Texas with winds over a hundred miles an hour, looking ahead to the future of wind power in the state is more than a little ironic. From a climate perspective, the rapid expansion of low-carbon energy resources in Texas couldn’t come soon enough. 

Why This Matters: Texas has dominated the U.S. crude oil and natural gas industry since the early 20th century and remains the leading producer of these fossil fuel resources.

Continue Reading 585 words
CA Braces for More Blackouts as Transition to Solar is Partly to Blame

CA Braces for More Blackouts as Transition to Solar is Partly to Blame

As California’s heatwave continues, fears are rising that rolling blackouts–the likes of which had not been experienced since 2001–will once again be enacted by the state’s grid operator. As the LA Times wrote, On Tuesday afternoon, the California Independent System Operator (CAISO), which runs the electric grid for most of the state, declared a Stage […]

Continue Reading 498 words

Want the planet in your inbox?

Subscribe to the email that top lawmakers, renowned scientists, and thousands of concerned citizens turn to each morning for the latest environmental news and analysis.