Top 10 Solar States of 2012.

Top 10 Solar States in 2012From the Solar Energy Industry Association


New Jersey is a solar star with 1GW of installed solar. And Texas? Texas is the state with the most potential. [SEIA]


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Lessons Learned From Eco-Cities In China.

Tianjin Eco-City Tianjin Eco-City - Solar panels in front of building.Wouldn’t it be great if we could have a do-over? China has been looking to redo by re-thinking their future cities and developing eco-cities like Tianjin Eco-city. When it’s complete some time after 2020, Tianjin Eco-city will be home to 350,000 residents where 90% of in-city travel can be accomplished by foot, bike or public transportation. Green buildings will be the norm and renewable power will supply 15% of the eco-city’s electricity needs. What’s the motivation? From the NY Times:

“Today, facing challenges like runaway urbanization, soaring energy consumption and environmental degradation, China is hoping to establish a different set of paragons. With its cities expected to swell by another 350 million residents in the next 25 years, according to World Bank estimates, the government is scurrying to find sustainable urban solutions. To that end, it hopes to have 100 model cities, 200 model counties, 1,000 model districts and 10,000 model towns by 2015.”

One interesting fact about the Tianjin Eco-city project is that when construction started in 2008, EV charging stations where never included in the plans. Maybe a good lesson that can be learned from China’s experience is to build future eco-cities that are simple and flexible. They didn’t plan for electric vehicles and now, just like every non eco-city, they have to update their infrastructure to account for them.

Check out the NYT article for more information on the goals and challenges of building an eco-city. [NY Times]

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$1300 iRock Electricity Generating Rocking Chair: Nothing Better Than Making Grandma Charge Your iDevice.

iRock Rocking Chair iPad RechargerThe iRock developed by Micasa Lab is a rocking chair that uses its own rocking motion to generate renewable power. Rocking in the iRock for 60 minutes will charge an iPad 3 up to 35%. The iRock has built-in speakers so you can rock out as you rock out and it’s expected to sell for $1300. In other words, it’ll sell for $1250 more than I’d want to spend on a rocking chair. [Core77]

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