Let It Shine* The solar cell had its birth in 1873, as bars of selenium. When two British scientists, William Grylls Adams and Richard Evans Day, in 1876 exposed the bars to candlelight they discovered something totally new: that light, not heat, could directly generate electricity in certain materials such as selenium. Adams and Day called the current produced this way, “photoelectric.” But try as they may, no one could increase selenium’s low conversion of sunlight into electricity and scientists concluded that to realize the vision of solar cells powering the world would require finding a new photovoltaic material. That came when the collaborative effort of Daryl Chapin, Calvin Fuller and Gerald Pearson at Bell Laboratories developed a photovoltaic device capable of converting enough sunlight directly into electricity to generate useful amounts of power. Their public display at Bell’s press conference on April 25, 1954 of a 21-inch Ferris wheel spinning round and round powered by the first watt of silicon solar cells presented to the world one of the most significant breakthroughs ever recorded in the history of solar energy and of electricity. The New York Times realized the importance of what its reporters saw, stating on its front page that the invention of the Bell silicon solar cell marked “the beginning of a new era, eventually leading to the realization of one of mankind’s most cherished dreams – the harnessing of the almost limitless energy of the sun for the uses of civilization.” US News and World Report speculated that the new solar cell “may provide more power than all the world’s coal, oil and uranium…[its] future is limitless.” At the time of the Bell announcement in 1954, all the solar cells in the world delivered about one watt. Today, more than 100 billion watts of generating capacity of photovoltaics have been installed worldwide. This year not only marks the 60th anniversary of the silicon solar cell but also the beginning of reaching the Holy Grail solar scientists had only previously dreamt of – entering the Era of Grid Parity Era, where solar panels generate power at costs equal to or less than electricity produced by fossil fuels and nuclear. With the phenomenal growth of solar PV in the last several years and its future even brighter, the time is ripe to celebrate the founding of a technology that led Science magazine almost forty years ago to declare, “If there is a dream solar technology, it is photovoltaics — solar cells…a space-age electronic marvel at once the most sophisticated solar technology and the simplest, most environmentally benign source of electricity yet conceived.” * source: john Perlin, Let it Shine.
1st Solar Cell Created 60 Years Ago (VIDEO)
“As we noted a couple weeks ago in a guest post from John Perlin, author of Let It Shine: The 6000-Year Story of Solar Energy, we’re coming up on the 60th birthday of the solar cell.”
2014 off to Amazing Start: 92.1% of New Electricity Capacity From Renewables
“Marking renewable energy project growth is fun and exciting, but more important is to put it into broader perspective. How much is renewable energy growing compared to other sources?”
The next wave of investment and innovation in Kenya will be driven by the need for new energy sources, wealth generation and job creation. Kenya is already demonstrating leadership by pioneering green economy approaches in the energy, urban and natural resources sectors as a vehicle to deliver its national development goals. This report confirms that the country can achieve even greater prosperity and well-being by scaling up its green investments in key sectors, while also factoring the conservation and efficient use of its natural capital into future decisions related to infrastructure, investment in the development of the energy, transport, agriculture and industry sectors,” said UN Under-Secretary-General and UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner.
Winning through the green economy: Kenya could generate USD45B by 2030
“UN Environment Programme, Kenya, Water and Natural Resources, Environment, low emission, resource efficient green economy (RT @MiszensBukulaJ: Lures of a green economy: Kenya could generate USD45B by 2030 - http://t.co/exJ44FyJfg...”
We think America’s greatest contribution to the health of the planet today can be to pioneer an open, vibrant market for clean energy that sparks private capital and technological innovation, creates jobs, and delivers affordable, efficient, clean energy. But we need new rules, new ideas, and new approaches to overcome a century of the carbon-based “business as usual.” In this article Al Gore argues why solar is going to win over fossil fuels. It is not like the game change to the mobile phone.
Al Gore: Solar is Unstoppable
“Originally published on Green Living Ideas. Former Vice President Al Gore delivered a powerful address to a packed house at the Stan Sheriff Center at the University of Hawaii at Manoa this week.”
“The building industry is one of the most polluting and inefficient industries out there,” says Hedwig Heinsman of Dus. “With 3D-printing, there is zero waste, reduced transportation costs, and everything can be melted down and recycled. This could revolutionise how we make our cities.” The implications for sustainable design are large, and the Dutch are showing the way to sustainability in many exciting ways ( see OAT's shoes that actually bloom!)
the world's first 3D-printed house: happening in Amsterdam
“Zero waste, lower transport costs and recyclable materials – is 3D-printing the future of housebuilding?”
I wonder how Einstein would seek to prepare us to read the new IPCC report from scientists around the world. One of his comments gives us the clue. He said: " A human being is a part of the whole, called by us, "Universe," a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest -- a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. Nobody is able to achieve this completely, but the striving for such achievement is in itself a part of the liberation and a foundation for inner security."
New UN Report Shows a World Ill-Prepared for Climate Change: How Might Einstein Prepare Us to Read It?
“In the second in a series of new reports, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said the impacts of climate change are already being felt in every continent and every ocean, and the effects will worsen as greenhouse gases enter...”
Water.org website states that 3.4 million people die each year from water, sanitation, and hygiene-related issues, and about 6000 children die every day for the same reason, hence this issue can be considered one of, if not the, greatest current global crises. Enter the entrepreneurial possibility of life straw. As soon as is transitions from charity to business this simple tool will work its benefits for millions.
Simple Technology To Make History - It Will Save Millions of Lives
“This Simple Technology Is Going To Make History - It Will Save Will Save Millions of Lives ..”
When John Case and Jack Stack first introduced the concept of open-book management more than 30 years ago, the intent was to unleash the entrepreneur in every employee and to spur them—and their organizations—to better performance. But guess what? It was a bit too radical for most organizations. To think and act like owners of a business people need the financial data that top managers and owners have--thus completely open book. So many organizations want to raise their engagement levels, and this is the single most direct and effective way to do it. No mystery here. Treat people like owners, and they will think and act like owners--with motivation, passion for success, and thinking through every cost benefit.
on the power of open-book management: employee engagement happens when you ask people to think and act like owners of the business.
“This talent management white paper explores open-book management and its benefits with employee engagement and sustainability. (Organizational profit-sharing plans can award employees on financial and sustainability metrics.”
To summarize, the facts that are coming out of the IPCC report is well known to all of us – the burning of fossil fuels leads to the release of CO2 to the atmosphere, which in turn leads to global warming and climate change. This affects us all; but more than anyone it affects the most vulnerable. The link between the burning of fossil fuel and climate change is as clear as the link between smoking and cancer.
Climate change – Time to Get on the Right Side of History
“business plays an increasingly important role translating sustainability challenges into opportunities #ipcc @wbcsd http://t.co/EXfoFqaLfE”