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Beyond Wind and Solar, a New Generation of Clean Energy
Juliet Eilperin, Washington Post
…As policymakers promote alternative energy sources to reduce the United States’ emissions of greenhouse gases and its dependence on foreign oil, entrepreneurs are becoming increasingly inventive about finding novel ways to power the economy.
Beyond solar power and wind, which is America’s most developed renewable-energy sector, a host of companies are exploring a variety of more obscure technologies. Researchers are trying to come up with ways to turn algae into diesel fuel. In landfills, startups are attempting to wring energy out of waste such as leaves, tires and “car fluff” from junked automobiles.
This push for lesser-known renewables — which also includes geothermal, solar thermal and tidal energy — may someday help ease the country’s transition to a society less reliant on carbon-based fuels. But many of these technologies are in their infancy, and it remains to be seen whether they can move to the marketplace and come close to meeting the country’s total energy needs.
(1 September 2007)
The Sunshine Economy
Elizabeth Corcoran and staff, Forbes
Solar power is the ultimate alchemy, using what’s free to create something valuable. Over the next 25 years solar is expected to be the fastest-growing alternative source of electric energy. But it is complex, expensive magic and has burned many entrepreneurs and investors in the past. With clean power in great demand, and fresh capital coming in from governments and capital markets, the solar economy is again humming with new materials, ideas, designs and business plans. Solar now meets only a 0.1% sliver of our electricity needs, but opportunities for growth and invention, as this year’s E-gang members show, are bright.
(16 August 2007)
Nine articles about solar in a special section of Forbes.