Economic Development News & Insight


Five awesome solar projects around the world

Angela Thibert / January 12, 2017

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Five awesome solar projects around the world

Solar energy continues to grow as an area of research for scientists around the world. It is an important renewable energy source and alternative to fossil fuels. Solar energy is both environmentally friendly and great for the economy.

Using solar energy creates thousands of jobs and grows the economy 20 times faster.  It also saves on government spending by making it easier for countries to reach carbon emission targets.

Here is how some countries around the world are experimenting with solar energy:

Solar powered hospital- Bihar, India

The Tripolia Hospital has installed concentrated solar power (CSP) systems that create steam, which is used to sterilize hospital equipment and do laundry. Solar energy is also used to generate electricity for the buildings and outdoor lights.

Tesla solar roof cars- Freemont, California

Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk is working on a solar-powered car roof. Musk tweeted this idea back in November, saying that this will be a feature available in future Tesla cars. The roof would be so powerful that it could act as a defroster for the vehicle’s roof and hood. This new solar powered glass could be available for the Tesla Model 3 in the upcoming year(s), which would be great for winter.

Solar powered road- Normandy, France

France has been the first country in the world to develop a solar powered road and is testing whether more of these roads are worth pursuing. The road is 1km long and made of 2,880 solar panels. It is estimated that there will be enough energy produced from the road to provide street lighting for the small village of Tourouvre-au-Perche. If this project is successful, France will continue to roll out 1000km more of these roads.

Wireless solar power from space?- Tokyo, Japan

Scientists from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) have been the first ones to successfully transmit energy wirelessly. Researchers were able to generate 1.8 kilowatts (enough electricity to power a kettle) from a receiver 55 meters away with “pinpoint accuracy.” If research progresses, this experiment could one day lead to an Earth powered by solar panels in space, a very sustainable source of energy for the future.

Solar energy harvesting trees- Espoo, Finland

Instead of cutting down trees to produce energy, Finland is working on a way to use trees to harvest solar energy. The leaves on the tree are made out of patterned solar panels, and the trunk is made of wood-based bio-materials. These trees would have the ability to store energy from its surroundings and later use it as electricity. Here is a video that explains more about the techniques used

There are many projects around the world that are furthering research on solar energy. They are very large scale, but there is so much you can do at home to get involved. Solar power is one of many ways we can help sustain our planet and continue to grow the economy.



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