Sep 23, 2014 11:23:41 AM
CHINA'S AIR POLLUTION problem has grown to mythic proportions. Nowadays, almost all Chinese cities of any size are shrouded in a thick, gray haze for days, or even weeks, at a time. Driven by a growing fleet of automobiles and a seemingly insatiable appetite for coal-fired power, air contamination has been climbing for decades. But until recently, most Chinese seemed willing to accept the situation as a worthwhile sacrifice to maintain the country’s torrential economic growth.
That may be changing. If so, the turning point may have been in January of last year, when pollution in Beijing, the capital, reached levels 40 times the World Health Organization’s recommended limit, and visibility plunged to a few hundred feet. Internet commenters quickly dubbed the phenomenon “Airpocalypse.”
Aug 19, 2014 5:17:00 PM
MOST OF THE TIME WHEN we read about Iran in the news these days, at least in the U.S. media, the focus is on the international negotiations over the fate of the country’s nascent nuclear program. Apart from the nuclear issue and references to Iran’s enormous oil and gas reserves, we hear little else about the country’s energy plans. So it may come as a surprise to learn that Iran is stepping up its commitment to renewable energy, particularly wind and solar.
Jul 21, 2014 4:25:24 PM
May 29, 2014 2:47:16 PM
Solar power has been a marginal player in the electric power industry for a long time, but that is finally starting to change. 2013 was a record year for solar, with more than 37 gigawatts (GW) of photovoltaics (PV) installed worldwide, bringing cumulative installed capacity to nearly 137 GW. While solar still provides less than one percent of the world’s electricity, the blistering growth rate is causing many people to sit up and take note. Solar power is steadily, but inexorably, changing the global power sector.
What’s most interesting about solar today is that it is increasingly viable, even without government subsidies. Last summer, in a research note, the global bank UBS stated that “an unsubsidized solar revolution” had begun, and opined that “purely based on economics, we believe almost every family home and every commercial rooftop in Germany, Italy and Spain should be equipped with a solar system by the end of this decade.”