Earth911.com published its list of the Top 25 Alternative Energy Moves of 2011, stating that “despite controversies surrounding biofuel and the collapse of several high-profile alternative energy companies, 2011 was a big year for renewables.”
Here are a couple of the top 10 stories AtisSun highlighted this year as well:
Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida was the launch site on August 5th of the new $1.1 billion Juno space mission, an endeavor to further explore the origin and evolution of the planet Jupiter and our universe at large.
#3: Google Goes Green: “Hey California, Solyndra got you down? Google is here to help!”
Google made headlines all year long with its continued investments in solar energy, starting with Rick Needham, Director of Google’s Green Business Operations, announcing in September at the Renewable Energy Finance Forum the company’s $75 million investment with Clean Power Finance. With the creation of this initial fund, Google helped more than 3,000 homeowners install solar arrays and generate clean power.
Rounding out the top ten stories:
#2: California hits 1GW milestone: In November, the state of California reported that it now has over a gigawatt–equal to 1,000 megawatts–of solar installations. This is a major milestone for the state (and the country). These installations are the equivalent of roughly two coal-fired powered plants and will power three-quarters of a million Californian homes.
#4: U.S. Navy embraces biofuel Also in November, the U.S. Navy deployed a destroyer ship that was powered by algae-based biofuel for a 20-hour trip along the Californian coast. A month later, the Navy ordered 450,000 gallons of biofuel–the world’s largest biofuel order to date–in order to provide power for a 2012 strike group demonstration. Ships, destroyers, cruisers, aircraft, submarines and a carrier will all benefit from alternative fuels during that demonstration.
#5: Tallest building in the U.S. goes solar Chicago’s Willis Tower, commonly known by its former title Sears Tower, was outfitted with transparent solar-powered windows in March of 2011. The solar-powered windows are part of test program by Pythagorus Solar and cover the entire south side of the 56th floor of the building.
#6: U.S. airlines launch biofuel flights Hydroprocessed renewable fuels were approved for commercial uses in July, and U.S. Airlines was proudly the first to use biofuel to power a light using 40 percent algae-derived biofuel in November. Alaska Airlines followed with a similar flight two days later.
#7: Tulane scientists power cars with newspaper A Tulane University undergrad, Hailee Rask, assisted by associate professor David Mullin and postdoctoral fellow Harshad Velanker, discovered a bacterial strain that can turn newspaper into a biofuel that can then be used to power cars.
#8: Intel researches solar-powered chip Although it may never find its way to the consumer marketplace, Intel’s developer forum in September hosted a team of researchers who developed a solar cell the size of a postage stamp.
#9: Used cooking oil powers U.K. homes “In November, Merseyside, England teamed up with Veolia Environmental Services and green energy firm Living Fuels to collect used cooking oil, refine it and use it to power the national grid – a move that promised to shrink the region’s footprint and keep sewage systems clean.”
#10: Organic photovoltaic systems developed “Mitsubishi Chemical Corp. unveiled the world’s first organic photovoltaic (OPV) solar model in March. Other than sounding scientific and cool, the promise of a solar system that is cheaper to produce and easier to install is what really makes this move significant. Most PV cells use silicone and glass, while OPV systems use ultra-thin organic compounds for superior flexibility and “nanosize thickness.”
The complete list of top stories in renewable energy news for the can be found here.