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!

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Scientists can use the sun to make seawater safe to drink

  • While access to clean drinking water remains an issue in many parts of the world, there’s no shortage of water on the planet: 97% of Earth’s water can be found in our oceans.
  • Turning the ocean’s saltwater into freshwater is generally an elaborate process that requires a lot of energy, but a team of scientists at Rice University’s Center for Nanotechnology Enabled Water Treatment (NEWT) have created a new method using nothing but sunlight.
  • Now, thanks to researchers at Rice University, an off-grid desalination technology is available requiring only solar energy.
  • The federally funded study, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, developed the “nanophotonics-enabled solar membrane distillation” technology, or NESMD. Read more (6/20/17)

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theguardian.com
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.

Continue Reading.

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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theguardian.com
Hundreds of US mayors endorse switch to 100% renewable energy by 2035
Leaders from more than 250 cities unanimously back a resolution to reach clean energy goal at the US Conference of Mayors in Miami Beach
theguardian.com
Indian solar power prices hit record low, undercutting fossil fuels
Plummeting wholesale prices put the country on track to meet renewable energy targets set out in the Paris agreement
By Michael Safi

At a reverse auction in Rajasthan on Tuesday, power companies Phelan Energyand Avaada Power each offered to charge 2.62 rupees per kilowatt-hour (kWh) of electricity generated from solar panels they hope to build at an energy park in the desert state. Last year’s previous record lowest bid was 4.34 rupees per kWh .

Analysts called the 40% price drop “world historic” and said it was driven by cheaper finance and growing investor confidence in India’s pledge to dramatically increase its renewable energy capacity.