Solar Panel-Like Device Generates Power From Darkness

Dark Energy

A strange new device — think of it as a Bizarro World version of solar panels — is capable of generating electricity from darkness.

The gadget, dubbed a “shadow-effect energy generator,” is a solar cell-like material that generates an electrical current when part of it is in the light and the other part isn’t, Science News reports. While the electric current from the proof-of-concept generators is weak for now, it hints at a future in which clean energy generation becomes far more ubiquitous and commonplace.

Closed Spaces

When only part of the generator is illuminated, electrons flow across a gold coating from light to dark areas. Capturing that flow, according to research published in the journal Energy & Environmental Science, generates power twice as effectively as conventional solar cells blanketed by shade.

“We can harvest energy anywhere on Earth, not just open spaces,” National University of Singapore materials scientist Swee Ching Tan told Science News.

First Steps

While these generators can’t solve the energy crisis yet, Science News suggested that it could be used to power wearables like smart watches, which can’t depend on steady or full sunlight.

“A lot of people think that shadows are useless,” Tan told Science News. “Anything can be useful, even shadows.”

READ MORE: A new device can produce electricity using shadows [Science News]

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Scott W. Tinker vs Energy Poverty

By David Middleton – Re-Blogged From WUWT

New Documentary “Switch On” Combats Energy Poverty

For much of the past two years, Bureau of Economic Geology Director Scott W. Tinker has been traveling the world to film a crucial documentary that illustrates the crisis of energy poverty. Some 2.5 billion people live in some form of energy poverty today. Access to secure energy impacts all other major humanitarian issues, including hunger, shelter, clean water, education, healthcare, human migration, empowerment of women, and more. Those who do not have energy access suffer from energy poverty.

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On The New Gemini Solar Power Plant Near Las Vegas

By Arvid Pasto – Re-Blogged From WUWT

In the May 12th edition of the Reno Gazette-Journal (RGJ), there appeared a description of a newly-approved (by the U.S. Government) solar power facility, near Las Vegas, called Gemini. This would place it not very far from the recently-defunct solar power facility known as Crescent Dunes. The new facility is quite different in operation from Crescent Dunes, relying on huge photovoltaic cells to capture sunlight and turn it into electricity, with backup power batteries to store the electricity for use when the sun isn’t shining. In Crescent Dunes, huge mirrors were focused into a tank of molten salt atop a high tower. The heated salt was pumped down and through a turbine to extract electric power.

The RGJ article (https://www.rgj.com/story/news/2020/05/12/biggest-us-solar-project-approved-nevada-despite-critics/3120319001/ ) describes the proposed and newly-approved facility: “The $1 billion Gemini solar and battery storage project about 30 miles (48 kilometers) northeast of Las Vegas is expected to produce 690 megawatts of electricity — enough to power 260,000 households — and annually offset greenhouse emissions of about 83,000 cars.

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Mexico’s President Is Betting Big Against Renewables

By Irina Slav Re-Blogged From Oilprice.com

It sounds like a news report out of yet another dystopian novel: Mexico is halting grid connection for new solar and wind power projects. In a world rushing to produce clean energy, Mexico has suddenly stood out like a sore thumb. But, as usual, there’s more to the story.

The country’s National Energy Control Center, or Cenace, announced it would suspend grid connections of new solar and wind farms until further notice earlier this week. The motivation behind the decision was the intermittency of solar and wind power generation, which, according to the state-owned power market operator, could compromise Mexico’s energy security in difficult times.

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A Miraculous Turn of Events

By Paul Driessen – Re-Blogged From WUWT

Michael Moore and Driessen agree! Wind, solar and biofuel energy are devastating Planet Earth

Never in my wildest dreams did I envision a day when I’d agree with anything filmmaker Michael Moore said – much less that he would agree with me. But mirabile dictu, his new film, Planet of the Humans, is as devastating an indictment of wind, solar and biofuel energy as anything I have ever written.

The documentary reflects Moore’s willingness to reexamine environmentalist doctrine. It’s soon obvious why more rabid greens tried to have the “dangerous film” banned. Indeed, Films for Action initially caved to the pressure and took Planet off its website, but then put it back up. The film is also on YouTube.

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Rev. Jesse Jackson Bucks Environmentalists, Pushes Natural Gas Pipeline As Black Neighborhoods Struggle With Sky High Energy Prices

By Chris White, The Daily Caller – Re-Blogged From WUWT

Rev. Jesse Jackson is bucking many of the environmentalists who believe natural gas production perpetuates a world in which climate change is disproportionately hurting black communities.

Jackson is prodding local, state and federal officials in Illinois to okay the construction of a $8.2 million, 30-mile natural-gas pipeline built for a community, Axios noted in a report Monday addressing the reverend’s contrarian position.

The Pembroke, Illinois pipeline would shuttle natural gas into an area of the state that suffers from high energy prices, according to Jackson.

The Great Geomagnetic Storm of May 1921

May 12, 2020: 99 years ago this week, people around the world woke up to some unusual headlines.

“Telegraph Service Prostrated, Comet Not to Blame” — declared the Los Angeles Times on May 15, 1921. “Electrical Disturbance is ‘Worst Ever Known’” — reported the Chicago Daily Tribune. “Sunspot credited with Rail Tie-up” — deadpanned the New York Times.

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