Solar power is lighting up the world, and not just on rooftops. Forward-thinking minds are discovering ways to harness the sun’s energy in many exciting ways, from the ground beneath our feet to the shirt off our back. The following innovations are shining beacons in a renewable energy future.
These mirrored dishes, located in the Kalahari desert, could be the most efficient solar system in the world. Photo Credit: Ripasso Energy
1. Strides in solar efficiency
Most solar generators can convert up to 23 percent of sunlight into electricity. However, Swedish company Ripasso Energy claims they can covert 34 percent of the sun’s energy into power with their contraption (see photo above), making it the world’s most efficient solar electricity system. According to The Guardian, independent tests found that a single Ripasso dish can generate 75 to 85 zero-emission megawatt hours of electricity a year, or enough to power 24 typical homes in the UK. To compare, to create the same amount of electricity by burning coal would release roughly 81 metric tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere, the newspaper reported.
2. Battery technology and shared solar untether us from Big Power
Elon Musk really is Tony Stark. The billionaire entrepreneur recently unveiled a revolutionary suite of Tesla batteries that he says could “fundamentally change the way the world uses energy” and get us off dirty fossil fuels. Musk’s sister company SolarCity is now offering Tesla batteries at a price point that’s more than 60 percent less than previous solar power storage products, paving the way for more people to peel themselves off the grid.
For people who don’t have the funds or the right roof for photovoltaic panels, peer-to-peer solar startup Yeloha is offering a genius solution: solar sharing. The company allows customers to “go solar” without owning a single panel by essentially feeding off their neighbors who do (and at a price that’s less than what they’d normally pay to their utility).
3. Portable solar brings light to developing world
For places recovering from disaster or communities lacking access to electricity, solar systems provide an alternative or a complement to traditional power sources such as fossil fuel generators (diesel or gasoline is not only expensive, it emits noxious fumes and can cause fires). For example, after the first of two devastating earthquakes struck Nepal, solar company Gham Power deployed solar power systems to help power lights and mobile charging stations for relief workers and the displaced. And in Haiti, the nonprofit organization Field Ready is trying to use a solar powered 3D-printer to make a whole range of simple, life-saving medical supplies at a fraction of the cost.
4. Solar desalination: solution to drought?
Scientists are solving the planet’s fresh water worries with a little help from the sun. Recently, a team from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Jain Irrigation Systems have come up with a method of turning brackish water into drinking water with a solar-powered machine that can pull salt out of water. It then further disinfects the water with ultraviolet rays. With parts of the planet running perilously low on fresh water, realization of this technology can’t come soon enough.
5. Solar transportation
In the air and on the road, solar technology is going the distance. Currently, the Solar Impulse 2, the first solar airplane able to sustain flight at night with a pilot on board, is making its historic round-the-world trip powered only by the sun.
Over in the Netherlands, SolaRoad, the world’s first “solar road,” has defied expectations and has generated about 3,000 kWh of power, enough to provide a single-person household with electricity for a year. Considering it’s only a 230-feet bike path, the potential for this technology could be big, kind of like photovoltaic technology itself.
Want to see India leading the way? Join the movement >>grnpc.org/solarise
35.5% of Indians live with no electricity. India is crying out for a smart, efficient and locally available energy solution.
Join the #SolaRise movement and help us power the solar revolution in India! >> http://bit.ly/1XUgZkp
An investigation carried out by us has found residues of hazardous chemical pesticides in our tea! READ the report: http://bit.ly/CleanChai
A total of 34 pesticides were found in 46 samples of tea brands produced and consumed in India. More than half of the samples contained pesticides that are ‘unapproved’ for use in tea cultivation.
Launching a lawsuit against the very company that is responsible for a farmer suicide every 30 minutes, 5 million farmers are now suing Monsanto for as much as 6.2 billion euros (around 7.7 billion US dollars). The reason? As with many other cases, such as the ones that led certain farming regions to be known as the ‘suicide belt’, Monsanto has been reportedly taxing the farmers to financial shambles with ridiculous royalty charges.
The findings echo what thousands of farmers have experienced in particularly poor nations, where many of the farmers are unable to stand up to Monsanto. Back in 2008, the Daily Mail covered what is known as the ‘GM Genocide’, which is responsible for taking the lives of over 17,683 Indian farmers in 2009 alone. After finding that their harvests were failing and they started to enter economic turmoil, the farmers began ending their own lives — oftentimes drinking the very same insecticide that Monsanto provided them with.
We stopped the Biotechnology Regulatory Authority of India (BRAI) bill again!
Two months ago thousands of emails from us asked Minister of Science and Technology, Jaipal Reddy to stop the bill. Before that we registered our opposition to genetically modified (GM) food by saying ‘No’ to it in an online poll. Now the bill is being reviewed by the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Science and Technology, Environment and Forests. 
The BRAI bill is a ploy to silence the opposition to GM crops and food in our country.  If cleared, the bill will create an autocratic body that will allow GM crops in our country without checking for safety. It will decide the future of our food and agriculture without even consulting us.
So far we’ve not allowed the BRAI bill to succeed. There is however a strong group of multinational seed corporations, like Monsanto, and politicians who will benefit from this bill and want it to get through. They will use their influence to get this bill cleared in the next Parliament session.
We’ve defeated them for three years and we’ll keep doing that till our food is safe from genetic modification. The fight is still on. Let’s do what we’ve done in the past and save our food from harmful GM technology.
TO: VIKRAM CHANDRA (CEO, NDTV), (//TWITTER.COM/VIKRAMCHANDRA)
We want NDTV to drop Monsanto-Mahyco as partner for it’s new TV series ‘Improving Lives’.
– NDTV in it’s new TV series talks about democracy and improving peoples lives.Then why is it partnering with a corporation like Monsanto known for using unscrupulous means to propagate its trade.
– Monsanto is a controversial corporation hated by people all over the world. Monsanto uses unethical practices and evil money to further its agenda. GMOs are banned in so many countries. There is a lot of resistance to it in India as well.
– Monsanto is known for its agenda to control food and farming as seen in the case of Bt cotton in India. Cotton was once used by Mahatma Gandhi in the fight for India’s independence, now 93% of our cotton is owned by American company Monsanto’s proprietary technology known as Bt cotton.
– NDTV is a reputed news organisation and pioneer in Indian TV news space. It aims to provide accurate news. So why partner with a liar like Monsanto?
NDTV should choose a non-controversial, ethical partner.
Why is this important?
NDTV has partnered with one of the the most unethical corporations and is misleading the people of India into thinking that this series is actually helping the public.
Monsanto has recently got a lot of criticisms from around the world and are trying to clean up their public image, this being one of the tactic.
– 90% of Genetically engineered (GE) seeds are made and owned by Monsanto. Many consumers are against GE food because it has been associated with health risks, loss of biodiversity, increased use of toxic weed killers (herbicides) and other environmental problems.
-Monsanto’s agenda is to turn the world’s agriculture into one big genetic experiment. In most parts of the world (Eg, Europe, Russia, Africa most Latin America and Asian countries) major food companies and retailers are refusing to sell GE foods. There are also many governments who have banned the growing of GE or refusing to import them. In response to the mounting criticism, Monsanto has been making an effort to green up its public image.
However, the real Monsanto is in the business of making money- first and last. Their evident strategy is to make farmers worldwide depend on their patented seeds, herbicides and pesticides. The record, as we demonstrate below, shows that Monsanto does not hesitate to sweep aside everything else…sustainable agriculture, the environment, farmer’s livelihoods and consumer’s interests… if this is required to achieve their goal of market domination.Monsanto guilty as charged for crimes against nature, crimes against the right of farmers to grow, and consumers to eat, GE-free crops and food. NDTV is misleading the nation by partnering with Monsanto on a show that has a message of democracy and sustainability.
Click Here to sign this petition
Did you know that our state governments have a target to generate a certain amount of renewable energy every year? Not very surprisingly, most of states have not met these targets. 
The Renewable Purchase Obligation (RPO) that sets these targets does not do much to enforce them. So our state governments ignore them and we suffer from power shortage. The Ministry of Power can change this obligation into a mandatory law.
You should send an email to the power minister, Jyotiraditya Scindia, asking him for a strong policy that makes your state meet its renewable energy targets.
The fight against power-cuts has already begun. People in Delhi are asking their Chief Minister for a renewable energy policy. Once Jyotiraditya Scindia starts getting our emails, he’ll realise that people in every State want him to make renewable energy available to them.
We pay so much for electricity and yet we have to face frequent power-cuts. Last year half the country had no electricity because certain states withdrew more power than they were supposed to from power grids. You know that the coal that powers these grids destroys forests, livelihoods and wildlife.
We can save ourselves from all this if our states take RE seriously. It’s not impossible. I lived in a forest for a whole month  using solar power. Remote villages in Bihar have electricity through renewable sources. Surely, other states can do the same.
Write to the power minister now to make your state a leader in renewable energy usage.