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Can cities reduce traffic congestion and emissions with a private transit network?
The best way to describe JPods, a new form of public transit soon to be tested in New Jersey, is “something out of the Jetsons.” At least that’s how one city official described the solar-powered pods, which are a combination of light rail and self-driving car suspended above roads. Imagine something like a ski lift running above our existing streets and you’re getting close to the right mental image.
But there’s one sticking point: The JPods are a private transit system. Will investors be willing to fund a network of pods that compete with light rail, buses, subways, and other current public transit options? And if the capital was there, would municipal governments let this happen?
Read More>

Can cities reduce traffic congestion and emissions with a private transit network?

The best way to describe JPods, a new form of public transit soon to be tested in New Jersey, is “something out of the Jetsons.” At least that’s how one city official described the solar-powered pods, which are a combination of light rail and self-driving car suspended above roads. Imagine something like a ski lift running above our existing streets and you’re getting close to the right mental image.

But there’s one sticking point: The JPods are a private transit system. Will investors be willing to fund a network of pods that compete with light rail, buses, subways, and other current public transit options? And if the capital was there, would municipal governments let this happen?

Read More>

A tiny country with little space to spare looks to its water reservoirs to expand its use of renewable energy.

There isn’t much extra space in Singapore, since the entire country is smaller than New York City and fully developed. So when the government decided to install more solar power to help meet the area’s energy needs, they turned to water instead of land: When finished, the country’s new power plant would be the world’s largest floating solar farm.
Read More>

A tiny country with little space to spare looks to its water reservoirs to expand its use of renewable energy.

There isn’t much extra space in Singapore, since the entire country is smaller than New York City and fully developed. So when the government decided to install more solar power to help meet the area’s energy needs, they turned to water instead of land: When finished, the country’s new power plant would be the world’s largest floating solar farm.

Read More>

If the Solar Wind Downdraft Tower is ever built in the Arizona desert, it truly will be a wonder of the modern world. At 2,250 feet, it would be taller than the new Freedom Tower in New York (1,776 feet), and 1,000 feet higher than the Empire State Building. It would have 120 huge turbines at its base, and enough pumping capacity to keep more than 2.5 billion gallons of water circulating. And it would have colossal power output: the equivalent of wind turbines spread over 100,000 acres, or as big as the Hoover Dam.
Read More>

If the Solar Wind Downdraft Tower is ever built in the Arizona desert, it truly will be a wonder of the modern world. At 2,250 feet, it would be taller than the new Freedom Tower in New York (1,776 feet), and 1,000 feet higher than the Empire State Building. It would have 120 huge turbines at its base, and enough pumping capacity to keep more than 2.5 billion gallons of water circulating. And it would have colossal power output: the equivalent of wind turbines spread over 100,000 acres, or as big as the Hoover Dam.

Read More>

Solar Power Is Now As Cheap As Grid Electricity In These European Countries 
Choosing solar power no longer has to be a sacrifice for the sake of the environment. In Germany, Italy, and Spain, installing your own solar panels can now actually save money.
A report released by European renewable energy consulting firm Eclareon shows that solar energy has reached “grid parity.” In other words, over the full lifetime of the equipment, the total cost of owning and operating rooftop solar panels is about the same as buying electricity from the grid.
Read More>

Solar Power Is Now As Cheap As Grid Electricity In These European Countries

Choosing solar power no longer has to be a sacrifice for the sake of the environment. In Germany, Italy, and Spain, installing your own solar panels can now actually save money.

report released by European renewable energy consulting firm Eclareon shows that solar energy has reached “grid parity.” In other words, over the full lifetime of the equipment, the total cost of owning and operating rooftop solar panels is about the same as buying electricity from the grid.

Read More>

Daily Fast Feed Roundup
Happy Monday Tumblr! Here’s a quick rundown of what you need to know today: 
In honor of the Tour de France, Google’s new Your Tour feature lets you experience the race. 
Dozens of Morsi supporters were killed this morning in Cairo when the army opened fire on protestors. 
From our NSA secret surveillance tracker: The NSA rejects all Freedom Of Information Act requests from U.S. citizens.
A little guy named Connor was the first baby born using a new embryo screening method that may drastically reduce the cost of IVF.
Anti-government surveillance cyber activists have cloned and hacked Jay-Z’s promotional Android app to spread their message.
Communications giant America Movil just gave music ID/discovery app Shazam $40 million to boost its TV integration. 
Researchers in the Netherlands have developed a smog-busting pavement that reduces air pollution by almost half.
An aircraft powered entirely by solar energy has completed its first cross-country flight.
The truth is out there: Google is celebrating the anniversary of Roswell’s extraterrestrial events with a doodle.
Can’t go an hour with out checking your cell phone, email, Facebook, etc? Maybe you need to go to this digital detox camp.
Have a great week!
—M. Cecelia Bittner and Jessica Hullinger

Daily Fast Feed Roundup

Happy Monday Tumblr! Here’s a quick rundown of what you need to know today: 

Have a great week!

M. Cecelia Bittner and Jessica Hullinger

A very hot solution to solar power when the sun goes down!

Molten salt (such as the kind that can be found near Mount Doom), is simply a good  conductor of heat. A new power plant will use nearly 20,000  heliostats—basically very focused mirrors—aimed at a focal point in a  tower, which will heat up salt to a steamy 1,050 degrees Fahrenheit.  Pump that salt near some water and you get enough steam to run a  turbine. Hold that salt at that high temperature and then put it near  water later and (BAM!) you get power when the sun isn’t out!
Continued…

Molten Salt and Rocket Science To Make Solar Energy Work At Night

A very hot solution to solar power when the sun goes down!

Molten salt (such as the kind that can be found near Mount Doom), is simply a good conductor of heat. A new power plant will use nearly 20,000 heliostats—basically very focused mirrors—aimed at a focal point in a tower, which will heat up salt to a steamy 1,050 degrees Fahrenheit. Pump that salt near some water and you get enough steam to run a turbine. Hold that salt at that high temperature and then put it near water later and (BAM!) you get power when the sun isn’t out!

Continued…

Molten Salt and Rocket Science To Make Solar Energy Work At Night

Will applying the lessons learned making computer chips to solar panels result in really cheap solar power for the masses? Here’s hoping this new partnership with Intel and MiaSole gets the job done.

Solar startups often have impressively big ideas about how they’re  going to scale up the next revolutionary technology, but few get the job  done. Hence, our lack of solar power. Intel thinks it can help.
Intel just took on its first consulting job with MiaSole, a Silicon Valley solar startup that manufactures copper indium gallium selenide (CIGS) thin film solar modules, which are less efficient than  silicon but also cheaper to produce—meaning they could potentially have  widespread appeal to people who worry about the cost of installing  solar. Up until now, companies like Miasole have found it difficult to  scale up because the CIGS manufacturing process is much more complicated  than the silicon-module manufacturing process.

Will applying the lessons learned making computer chips to solar panels result in really cheap solar power for the masses? Here’s hoping this new partnership with Intel and MiaSole gets the job done.

Solar startups often have impressively big ideas about how they’re going to scale up the next revolutionary technology, but few get the job done. Hence, our lack of solar power. Intel thinks it can help.

Intel just took on its first consulting job with MiaSole, a Silicon Valley solar startup that manufactures copper indium gallium selenide (CIGS) thin film solar modules, which are less efficient than silicon but also cheaper to produce—meaning they could potentially have widespread appeal to people who worry about the cost of installing solar. Up until now, companies like Miasole have found it difficult to scale up because the CIGS manufacturing process is much more complicated than the silicon-module manufacturing process.


It’s a horrible paradox that bad things are generally cheaper: Like Big  Macs. Or H&M. Top of this list, of course, is coal power, which is  really quite horrible for the planet but is also deliciously cheap to  produce. We are, if nothing else, a bottom-line driven society. Besides  the rarefied few of us who are willing to drop more money on organic  food and clean power just because it’s the right thing to do, most  people—out of necessity—are going to gravitate toward the cheapest and  easiest option. Coal power is so cheap, it’s what the power company  supplies without you asking. Sign me up! But now, according to new predictions from Bloomberg New Energy Finance, solar power is going to be the wallet-friendly option as soon as 2013.

Continue reading to find out what happens when solar power is as cheap as coal.

It’s a horrible paradox that bad things are generally cheaper: Like Big Macs. Or H&M. Top of this list, of course, is coal power, which is really quite horrible for the planet but is also deliciously cheap to produce. We are, if nothing else, a bottom-line driven society. Besides the rarefied few of us who are willing to drop more money on organic food and clean power just because it’s the right thing to do, most people—out of necessity—are going to gravitate toward the cheapest and easiest option. Coal power is so cheap, it’s what the power company supplies without you asking. Sign me up! But now, according to new predictions from Bloomberg New Energy Finance, solar power is going to be the wallet-friendly option as soon as 2013.

Continue reading to find out what happens when solar power is as cheap as coal.