Costa Rica has successfully ditched fossil fuels for over two months! 

The Latin American country of Costa Rica has achieved an impressive milestone in green energy production by generating 100 per cent of its energy from renewable resources, with a combination of hydropower and geothermal for 75 days in a row.

Thanks to the favorable rainy conditions in the first months of the year, four of Costa Rica’s hydropower plants — Arenal, Cachí, La Angostura and Pirrís — are generating nearly enough electricity to power the entire country. Using a mix of geothermal, solar, and wind energy sources, the nation of 5 million inhabitants hasn’t needed an ounce of coal or petroleum to keep the lights on since December of 2014.

What an extraordinary effort by a small nation! Way to go!
South Australia to get $1bn solar farm and world's biggest battery
System will include 3.4m solar panels and 1.1m batteries, with operations set to begin by end of 2017

A huge $1bn solar farm and battery project will be built and ready to operate in South Australia’s Riverland region by the end of the year.

The battery storage developer Lyon Group says the system will be the biggest of its kind in the world, boasting 3.4m solar panels and 1.1m batteries.

The company says construction will start in months and the project will be built whatever the outcome of the SA government’s tender for a large battery to store renewable energy.

A Lyon Group partner, David Green, says the system, financed by investors and built on privately owned scrubland in Morgan, will be a “significant stimulus” for South Australia.

“The combination of the solar and the battery will significantly enhance the capacity available in the South Australian market,” he said.

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Las Vegas just became the largest US city to run solely on renewable energy

  • While Vegas’ nonstop nightlife, neon signs and lights might give the impression the  city is a colossal drain on resources, the opposite is true.
  • Las Vegas now runs exclusively on renewable energy.
  • The city officially achieved this milestone last week, when Boulder Solar 1 — a solar power plant on the edge of Boulder City, Nevada — went live.
  • According to the Huffington Post, the plant’s acres of solar panels will provide 100% of the city’s municipal power, excluding commercial and residential buildings.
  • The effort started in 2008 and has saved Las Vegas $5 million a year. Read more

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The Trump administration is ignoring one of the fastest-growing sources of new US jobs: Renewables

  • If Trump really cares about job creation, he might want to rethink his stance on those unsightly wind farms.
  • Renewable energy is becoming a major engine for U.S. employment:
  • In recent years, jobs in solar and wind energy are growing about 12 times faster than the rest of the U.S. economy, according to a new report from the Environmental Defense Fund.  
  • The report also found that these difficult-to-outsource jobs pay about $5,000 more than the national median wage.
  • The jobs are easy to train for, too: Trade groups, like nonprofit Solar Energy International, offer accreditations you can get in less than a week.
  • For an administration that’s ostensibly about jobs, promoting the renewable energy sector seems like it would be a no-brainer.
  • But Trump’s team has reportedly floated the idea of scrapping the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy within the Department of Energy. Read more

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Solarpunk is exactly what we need right now. The immediate future is almost always bleak in mainstream movies and books. If society hasn’t utterly collapsed, the masses are being controlled by some tyrannical government. 

The post-apocalyptic future is infinitely interesting, since there are countless ways to imagine it. Mutants of all kinds, reformed landscapes, the marriage of old and new technology, survivalism–these are fucking fascinating concepts to explore.

But solarpunk offers the same opportunities for imagination in these areas. Androids–humans fused with technology for a myriad of interesting reasons; reformed landscapes–we have a chance to explore what the future could look like if we had direct control over shaping the earth in a way that not only benefits us and our planet, but is also beautiful; the marriage of old and new technology–this is the prime chance to explore the possibilities. “Futuristic” technology exists, but it’s not easily distributed on a mainstream level. Solarpunk offers a chance to imagine what it would be like if we could make these planet-saving technologies widely available, integral pieces of our society. In addition, there are some practices that are simply best when done by human hands and not by a machine. Combining these life-enriching, hands-on simple tools with efficient and seemingly magical new technologies is something I would love to see in my daily life.

Solarpunk is optimistic, innovative, leaves room only for growth and imagination, and directly relates to the problems our planet is going through. By engaging creatively in the solarpunk direction, we can create some real tangible change that could steer us away from the bleak future we all seem to expect. We can live in a green world again, shaped by our imagination and respect for our natural resources, finite and (relatively) infinite.
New solar-powered device can create water out of thin air, even in deserts
A device that can create water out of thin air in even arid environments has been invented that could make Coleridge’s famous line “Water, water, everywhere, Nor any drop to drink” a thing of the past. Using only the power of the sun and a special material with some extraordinary properties, the device is capable of producing 2.8 litres of water in 12 hours. And it can work in conditions where humidity is as low as 20 per cent.
India's double first in climate battle
India opens two world-leading clean energy projects - the world's biggest solar farm and a chemicals plant using CO2 to make baking soda.

Two world-leading clean energy projects have opened in the south Indian state of Tamil Nadu.

An industrial plant is capturing the CO2 emissions from a coal boiler and using the CO2 to make valuable chemicals. It is a world first.

And just 100km away is the world’s biggest solar farm, making power for 150,000 homes on a 10 sq km site.

The industrial plant appears especially significant as it offers a breakthrough by capturing CO2 without subsidy.

Built at a chemical plant in the port city of Tuticorin, it is projected to save 60,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions a year by incorporating them into the chemical recipe for soda ash - otherwise known as baking powder.

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