Google uses wind and solar to offset all of its operational energy use

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In late 2016, Google announced that it expected to offset all of its office and data center electricity use with 100 percent renewable energy in 2017. Today, the company says it achieved that goal. Google has been working on reducing its carbon footp…
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March in Africa: Uber on motorcycles, Spotify’s arrival, and solar panels

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It’s been on the cards for a while, and now it is finally here. Introducing “Uber for motorcycle taxis” in Africa. Yes, Uber has finally introduced a ride-hailing service for motorbike taxis — locally called “boda bodas” — in Uganda. Uber has company, however, in the form of rival Taxify, which has rolled out its own boda boda service in Kampala, with both apps going head-to-head with local alternative SafeBoda. Uber, meanwhile, is appealing the ban on its services in Egypt and has expanded its UberEATS service to a host of new African countries. In other major global company news…

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Or just read more coverage about: Spotify,Uber
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Gunpowder Moon is a chillingly realistic book about the fight to control the Solar System

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On September 12th, 1962, President John F. Kennedy spoke at Rice University in Houston, Texas, about the need for America to land on the Moon “before the decade is out.” The space race was never primarily about exploration or science, but rather capturing the highest ground there was in the chilly nuclear conflict with the Soviet Union. In his new novel, Gunpowder Moon, David Pedreira envisions an inhabited Moon and its role in a larger geopolitical fight for planetary dominance.

The Moon has long captured the attention of science fiction writers, either imagining its inhabitants in the midst of a political experiment — as in Robert Heinlein’s The Moon is a Harsh Mistress or John Kessel’s fantastic The Moon and the Other — or as a sort…

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Don’t Leave the House without This Rugged Solar Charger for Your iPhone (Sponsored)

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It’s frustrating when your iPhone dies on you when you’re nowhere near an outlet.  Maybe you were expecting an important call while out for the day, or perhaps you were on a long hike about to reach the ideal spot for a beautiful photo—and then your phone dies. It’s situations like these that reveal the utility of a portable battery charger.

But a portable charger is just the start. Now, you can carry around multiple full recharges and be eco-friendly with the solar-powered portable battery charger. Anywhere there’s sunlight, you’ll have a self-recharging portable battery. All you have to do is leave it in the sun.

There is even more to this nifty gadget. Here is a full breakdown of what you’ll get when you pick up this solar-powered iPhone charger:

Waterproof

Feel like a long hike in the rain? This solar battery is perfect for any weather. It’s waterproof (just like your iPhone 7), so you can take it anywhere without worry if it gets wet.

Shockproof

Are you a rugged outdoor adventurer? The solar charger is designed to withstand the toughest exposure. Take it out next time you go rock climbing or mountain biking.

Solar-powered

Join the green revolution by powering your iPhone with the sun! Need to recharge? Just place the charger’s solar cell in direct sunlight.

Charge Multiple Devices

The universal charger comes with two USB ports, which means you can charge your iPhone, iPad or e-reader at the same time.

No matter how active you are, this charger will quickly become your iPhone’s constant companion.

The universal portable battery normally costs $ 49.99. Right now, you can pick up this waterproof solar battery charger for only $ 13.99, over 70 percent off.

 

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A new trailer for the next season of The Expanse shows the solar system at the brink of war

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The Syfy channel has released the first full trailer for its upcoming third season of The Expanse, teasing a solar system on the verge of all-out war between Earth, Mars, and the residents of outer planets.

Last month, the channel released a brief teaser that revealed that the show would return in April, and hinted that the crew of the Rosinante will have to come to terms with their various past mistakes as war looms. This new trailer shows off a bit more of what to expect: the crew dealing with the knowledge that one of their own, Belter Naomi Nagata handing over a sample of an alien protomolecule to the leader of the Outer Planets Alliance. That protomolecule substance was used in the show’s first season to kill the entire population…

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Researchers improve spinach-based solar cells by adding blackberry dye

Biohybrid solar cells aren't nearly as efficient as standard silicon panels, but including natural materials in renewable energy could make it more cost-effective. Scientists have refined one design based on the proteins in spinach leaves by adding n…
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Australia Could Double Its Solar Capacity by the End of 2018

The sunny nation of Australia could double its solar capacity by the end of 2018, analysts predict. The solar energy boom has been spurred by solar projects large and small, with multiple industrial projects paired with the appearance of solar panels on buildings all over the country.

The Guardian reports that last month saw the most rooftop solar installations in January to date, and one of the top five months ever, with 69 percent more panels installed compared to the same time last year.

The state of New South Wales is also working on ten new solar farm projects approved in 2017, and one approved since the start of the new year. Meanwhile, 18 industrial projects are under construction in neighboring state Queensland, the highest number in the country. John Grimes, chief executive of Australia’s Smart Energy Council, told The Guardian that the solar farms could be built “within a matter of weeks. […] They’re really quick and simple.”

According to a blog post by James Martin of SolarChoice, an Australian power broker company, 1 in 5 Australian homes has now solar on its roof. South Australia — the country’s top solar state, and fittingly the location of Tesla’s massive backup battery — sees solar in 30 percent of homes. Compare that to the United States; though the solar industry is rapidly growing, the U.S. Energy Information Administration estimates it makes up about one percent of total electricity generation in the nation.

This isn’t just because Australia has more year-round sunshine, though that’s certainly a factor (and a bitter one to acknowledge from within the current Northern Hemisphere winter). Martin explains that electricity prices in Australia are usually high, while solar installations costs in Australia are significantly lower than those in the States. This has driven many a frustrated Aussies to reach for solar panels in the hope of lowering their bills.

Worldwide, however, solar energy capacity is skyrocketing, as is that of other renewables like wind energy. As countries transform their energy systems to prevent worsening climate change, it may be best for all to do as they do Down Under.

The post Australia Could Double Its Solar Capacity by the End of 2018 appeared first on Futurism.

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Buzz Aldrin wants you to buy this $150 solar backpack

Buzz Aldrin: revered engineer, astronaut of our time and now, the face of high fashion backpacks. Bag brand Sprayground has released a new collection, "Mission to Mars", and the campaign sees Aldrin playing the role of a flight coach, modelling the c…
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Best Solar Chargers for your iPhone

What’s the best solar charger for my phone? Wait, there are solar chargers for my phone?!

Our yellow Sun is what gives Superman his powers, so of course it can also keep your phone charged while you’re on the go? It’s almost weird, right? Using nature to keep technology working. What a beautiful melding of the old and the new! If you can’t find an outlet (because you’re camping or whatever) then grab a solar charger and take advantage of the biggest battery Earth has!

Note: Yes, the Sun is powerful. No, the Sun will not charge a solar battery bank/charger as quickly as a wall outlet. You will have to be patient with these.

Anker PowerPort Solar Lite

The Wirecutter’s top choice for best battery bank also belongs at the top of our list. Anker makes excellent charging products and the PowerPort Solar Lite fits in well. This 15W charger is very thin (0.7 inches folded or 0.2 open) and lightweight (12.5 ounces), making it perfect for long treks where lightening your load is imperative.

This solar charger is so efficient that you can charge two devices simultaneously, and it can charge at up to 2.1 amps in direct sunlight, making it about as fast as regular chargers under ideal conditions. Without an actual battery, you don’t have to wait for the PowerPort to charge up — just grab it and hit the trails.

Comes with a 3-foot Micro-USB cable and is priced around $ 50.

See at Amazon

Dizaul

Diuzaul’s solar charger is one of Amazon’s best sellers and 73% of its reviews are 5 stars. Its size makes it ideal for camping or hiking, and it’s waterproof, so if you’re traversing waterfalls, you won’t kill it. The 5000mAh battery is handy just in case you have to hide from a bear in a cave (worst place to hide, by the way) — just don’t expect it to charge quickly. By opting for a smaller solar charger, you do compromise on the size of its solar panels, meaning it’ll take quite a while to charge fully (even in direct sunlight). That being said, if you’re looking for a portable option that can hold on to a charge in battery form, then definitely check it out (it’s only about $ 20).

See at Amazon


Voltaic Systems Amp

Voltaic Systems’ Amp solar charger is a neat little device that features a removable 4000mAh battery, which can be charged by sunlight or via USB. The Amp has two solar panels that are waterproof and covered in a self-healing plastic that can withstand some abuse (kind of like some screen protectors). About 3.5 hours in direct sunlight should fully charge your phone (according to Voltaic Systems), which is pretty quick for most solar chargers, but that is probably under ideal conditions, so you’ll wanna be patient with this one, as with all solar chargers.

Designed for the rugged life, the solar panels and battery are housed in a rugged and lightweight, water- and UV-resistant fabric made from recycled pop bottles.

If you need your solar charger to withstand a bit of the rough and tumble, go with the Amp. You can grab it off Amazon for about $ 99.

See at Amazon

Ayyie

At about the size of a larger phone, the Ayyie solar charger is another awesome option made with portability in mind, and it’s only about $ 20. This charger is perfect for the happy wanderer, being water, shock, and dustproof, and featuring a two-LED flashlight with multiple settings, including S.O.S. Five indicators will show you the status of the internal 10000mAh battery, and once full, you’ll be able to charge most phones at least twice. Again, a smaller unit means smaller solar panels, so it’ll take a long time to fully charge the battery on Sun juice alone.

See at Amazon

Goal Zero Nomad 7

This foldable solar charger is rugged and made for the adventurous. It won’t weigh you down, since it has no internal battery, but it will charge your phone quite quickly, usually within an hour or two — very fast for solar charging.

You can simultaneously charge USB and 12V devices via the three ports, and when you’re finished, it folds up nice and flat for easy portability.

It’s also weather-resistant, making it perfect for camping and any other outdoor activities that might keep you away from a power outlet for a while. Check it out on Amazon starting at $ 80.

See at Amazon

RAVPower 16W solar panel

This foldable solar panel charger from RAVPower features two USB ports, so you can charge a couple devices simultaneously, and RAVPower promises that 21.5 to 23.5% of solar power is transformed into free energy, hopefully meaning a faster charge.

You can fold this charger up and toss it in a backpack or laptop bag, and it’s waterproof, so you can take it with you absolutely anywhere and keep your devices topped up. It even features four hooks. So you can hang it where you need to in order to take in as much sun as possible. Check it out on Amazon for about $ 50.

See at Amazon

Got a favorite?

Do you have a great solar charger for your phone? Let us know which one in the comments below!

Updated January 2018: Updated pricing for each item and added the super compact RAVPower solar panel.

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Tesla will sell its solar power products at 800 Home Depot stores

In an effort to make its solar power products more visible to mainstream customers, Tesla will be setting up a designated retail space inside Home Depot stores across the US to promote and sell its solar panels and Powerwall batteries. The spaces will include 12-by-7-foot displays, and some shops will offer demonstrations of the products, Bloomberg reports.

Tesla will be building its retail spaces at 800 Home Depot locations (the home improvement chain has approximately 2,200 stores nationally), and the company will offer on-site sales representatives to explain the products to customers. The solar roof, which Tesla began taking preorders for last summer, will not yet be part of the mini-shops, but it may be added in the future, sources…

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