sunThe Bay Area is getting a little more alternative. The Department of Energy has given $25 million to start the Bay Area Photovoltaics Consortium, whose goal is to incite research that will cut the cost of solar energy.

Led by UC Berkeley and Stanford, BAPVC also hopes to raise production volume and enhance solar cells and devices.

In 2010 solar energy was $3.40 per watt, says Ali Javey, professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences here at Berkeley. Their hope is to lower it to $1 with the help of industry, which will provide an extra $1 million per year of support. And in this case, being cheap isn’t a bad thing.

Image Source: broodkast under Creative Commons
DOE awards $25 million to UC Berkeley, Stanford to lower cost of solar power [UC Berkeley NewsCenter]

solarCalling it a “major milestone,” the Obama administration has given the go ahead for the construction of the world’s largest solar power plant. The $6 billion Blythe Solar Power Project will be situated right in California’s Mojave Desert, and will allegedly double U.S. solar output while providing power to more than 300,000 homes.

A great day for our lovely planet, right? Not according to some environmentalists, who claim the project will interfere with the native wildlife. As such, the Department of the Interior has mandated that read more »


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Some graduates decorate their caps to spell out their sororities’ names. Other people, like Roland Saekow, create a green residential lot on theirs.

Complete with grass paper (astroturf probably causes global warming or something), a solar panel, a wind turbine, a small house and a mechanical rising sun, Roland’s hat made  statement. You, too, can have a green cap. What for? Don’t be silly.

Though normally we’d be jerks and point out that you don’t actually have to power your cap in the first place—let alone construct a sustainable way to do so—we won’t do that today. Instead, hats off to Roland, who showed us how graduation gear no longer has to depend on pollutants like petroleum any more. Oil kills!

Green Graduation Cap, solar and wind power [YouTube]
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