Clean Energy Is Down In The Dumps

Keeping current on all the advancements in clean energy could be a full time gig. Technology is changing fast and furious, which is helping to lower prices and boost the industry.

Today's gee whiz moment is brought to you by the Spectral Power Cap, a thin membrane integrated with solar panels that is covering a landfill in Georgia. It provides enough energy for 224 houses. Learn more here. A representative of the landfill operator notes that many of the nation's dumps are in urban areas close to the power grid and provide similar opportunities.

Of course, the greatest potential for fast energy savings is through efficiency (something our nonprofit is heavily involved with), and an upstart company born from University of California, Berkeley, is drawing raves in the lighting industry.

Lighting doesn't have the "wow" appeal of solar, but is important when one considers that buildings gobble up two-thirds of the electricity in this country. Read this UC story for more information.

Solar-Powered Landfills from Energy NOW on Vimeo.

Add in advancements in energy storage and other new technology (including this from NASA), and, well, you get the picture. The arrows being shot at Solyndra and other fallen solar stars are propelled mostly by politics, and the magnitude of the fallout remains to be seen. However, as New Times columnist Paul Krugman notes, Solyndra's demise was linked not to government waste but to its own inability to stay competitive in a fast-moving industry.

Momentum for a clean-energy policy is accelerating. Big Business and the military are already on board. Now, surveys show the public's overwhelming support for clean energy, especially among young people. (Grist has more here.)

There will be some stumbles, but the green movement is under way.

Photo is of a landfill

Video is of the Spectral Power Cap project