April 23, 2014 |
Google Inc. is partnering with solar panel maker SunPower Corp. to invest up to $250 million in leasing solar systems to homeowners. The Mountain View technology giant is contributing up to $100 million, and San Jose-based SunPower will invest $150 million, Google said in a blog post . The goal is to make "it easier for thousands of households across the U.S. to go solar. " "Using the fund ... we buy the solar panel systems," Google said. "Then we lease them to homeowners at a cost that's typically lower than their normal electricity bill.
April 19, 2014 |
WASHINGTON - The political attack ad that ran recently in Arizona had some familiar hallmarks of the genre, including a greedy villain who hogged sweets for himself and made children cry. But the bad guy, in this case, wasn't a fat-cat lobbyist or someone's political opponent. He was a solar-energy consumer. Solar, once almost universally regarded as a virtuous, if perhaps over-hyped, energy alternative, has now grown big enough to have enemies. The Koch brothers, anti-tax activist Grover Norquist and some of the nation's largest power companies have backed efforts in recent months to roll back state policies that favor green energy.
April 17, 2014 |
Sifting through observations from more than 100,000 distant stars, astronomers say they have discovered the first definitive Earth-sized planet that orbits in a habitable zone where water could exist in liquid form - a necessary condition for life as we know it. Scientists don't know whether the planet has water or a protective atmosphere. They don't even know its mass. But they said the landmark discovery gives astronomers great hope that a bumper crop of Earth-like planets is waiting to be found much closer to home, including around temperamental stars that until recently were considered inhospitable to life.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 15, 2014 |
INDEPENDENCE, Calif. - One by one, a parade of Owens Valley residents rose at a public hearing Tuesday to assail the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power's plan to meet its renewable energy goals by covering 2 square miles of high desert with 1 million solar panels. "We believe in economic development - but this is not the kind we want," Jane McDonald, who helps run a farmer's market, said at the DWP's first public presentation of the project during an Inyo County Board of Supervisors hearing.
April 11, 2014 |
Los Angeles has outstripped San Diego as the city with the most solar installations in the nation, one report says. By the end of 2013, Angelenos installed a cumulative total of 132 megawatts of solar power, according to a report from the Environment California Research & Policy Center. That is about one-third more than San Diego, which previously held the No. 1 spot. "It's been a long time coming," said Bernadette Del Chiaro, executive director of the California Solar Energy Industries Assn.
April 7, 2014 |
A solar flare flashed on the turbulent surface of the sun last week - and NASA captured the moment in a video. The agency's Solar Dynamics Observatory watched as balletic lines of light swirled and grew to produce the M-class flare. Solar flares get letter grades to categorize their strength. The weakest ones are A-class; then come B, C, M and finally X class. Each letter class is 10 times stronger than the one before it. Numbers attached to each letter put a finer point on each flare's power.