solar energy Archives - State of the Planet

What it Will Take to Decarbonize the Economy

The transition to a renewable resource-based economy will be a massive and complex endeavor and its difficulty should not be underestimated. The transition depends on five key components.

by |December 4, 2017
Hurricane maria's destruction in puerto rico

Puerto Rico Faces a Long Road to a Sustainable Future

Puerto Rico suffered an estimated $94 billion or more in damage, on top of an already sagging economy and $74 billion in debt. The island needs a total reboot. Can it do it sustainably?

by |November 30, 2017

Alumni Startup Brings Pay-as-you-Go Solar Energy to Sierra Leone

In Sierra Leone, only 1 percent of rural citizens have access to electricity. Easy Solar, founded by graduates of Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs, hopes to change that.

by |September 25, 2017

Solar New York

Governor Cuomo has set the goal that in less than a decade and a half, 50% of New York State’s energy will come from renewable resources. To some, that goal seems to be a stretch, but the chatter I’m starting to hear indicates we might even do better.

by |October 3, 2016

Turning Sunlight into Fuel

The world uses little more than one percent of the sun’s energy for our electricity needs. A major obstacle to tapping into its full potential is that it is intermittent. Solar fuels could one day store, transport and use solar energy to produce electricity and replace fossil fuels in vehicles.

by |August 24, 2016

California’s First In The Nation Climate Plan

The goal of the energy transition is to create a renewable energy system that is as effective and reliable as the current fossil fuel-based system. Microgrids provide backup capacity and vastly increase the reliability of power systems for consumers. A second goal of the energy transition is to switch off of fossil fuels and rely on solar, wind and geothermal sources of energy.

by |August 8, 2016

Where is Solar Power Headed?

To have a shot at curbing the worst impacts of climate change, we need to extricate our society from fossil fuels and ramp up our use of renewable energy. Where does solar energy stand today, and where does it need to go in order for us to make the transition to renewable energy?

As a Leading Environmental Organization Closes, Its Leader is Upbeat

Lester Brown, the global environmental leader, turned 81 this year and is closing The Earth Policy Institute, the environmental research organization he founded in 2001. His new book “The Great Transition” asserts that the world is shifting from fossil fuels to solar and wind energy.

by |April 22, 2015