Tag Archives: green living

Most Anticipated Green Upgrades of 2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There is no arguing that green living is more of a revolution than fad, and in 2015 could be a banner year for solar energy and other green innovations. As younger and more eco-conservative consumers look to spend wisely, green living will become a bigger selling point among buyers. Consumers in their late 20s to mid-30s are old enough to remember the days of cheap fossil fuels from their youth. Even if they were not paying the bills or filling the tank, their early days would shape their need for cheap energy.

For all the relief the recent plunge in oil futures has given, these buyers also have a real understanding of how much of a squeeze the high costs of fossil fuels can put on them. For many, they were likely just starting out on their own in 07’- 08’ when the high cost of energy sent prices at the pump well over $4 per gallon in even the cheapest of areas. These same consumers were likely living in their very first (relatively small) apartment with gas bills hovering north of $200 a month in addition to $100 electric bills. For those with an entry level position and a salary to match, it felt like commuting to work and keeping warm was all they were getting for the money made at work. While they may have a little more money coming in now that they have established themselves in the workplace, that does not mean they want to revisit those insanely high energy bills.  This is where the innovations in solar energy appeal to the green living population. However, it is not only the young consumer interested in green living. The new tech advancements below are exciting all ages who are seeking out cleaner, cheaper, renewable energy solutions.

Perovskite Solar Panels

A new generation of solar panels made from a mineral called perovskite has the potential to convert solar energy into household electricity more cheaply than ever before. Super-thin, custom-colored panels attached to a building’s windows may become a “holy grail” for the green living population. Perovskite panels can both shade windows and at the same time produce electricity. They also can absorb more of the solar spectrum and convert it to usable energy for the home. This means that we will be able to convert energy from more than just direct sunlight.

Building Integrated Photovoltaics

BIPVs are thin-film solar panels built smoothly into building materials like roof shingles, curtain walls, facades, or windows. That is correct, you can spray solar panels onto your windows!  The global overproduction of solar panels means that installation is now taking up an increasingly large percentage of the total cost per watt of solar. BIPVs are an enticing alternative because they cut out many installation costs since they do not require racking and laborers do not necessarily need to be trained in solar installations.

Solar Powered Mobile Gadgets

Not to be forgotten are the countless other little devices in our lives that mean as much to us as the roof over our heads. Step inside your local coffee shop or airport, and you’ll see several patrons scurrying about to find an outlet to plug in their devices that were at full charge only hours ago. On your own, your devices are very insignificant to the power grid. Add up all our collective devices, and we contribute 10 trillion pounds of carbon dioxide.  Solar Focus’s new SolarKindle is a Kindle cover integrated with a thin solar panel. In only one hour of sunlight, the SolarKindle gathers enough charge to run your device for three days. You can read an entire novel on your next vacation without plugging in once. If you are into sharing your music or relaxing by the water with good tunes, Rukus Solar is a portable speaker system that streams music via Bluetooth. Fully charged in 6 hours, it can play music for eight more hours out of the sunlight. Companies are also working on portable charging stations that can charge phones and tablets using solar energy that should be released within a year.

Like nearly every year over the last couple decades, 2015 promises to be a year of numerous technological advances. Some will come and go while others will create some serious staying power thanks to their benefits. Solar power has been gaining traction over the last five years and may be set for it’s biggest year yet. With advances such as those above coupled with the volatility of the fossil fuel market, solar powered energy innovations could be what draws the most acclaim for home solutions and tech toys on the go.

 

About the author:

The writer, Brian Levesque, is a blogger who primarily discusses environmental and technology issues. He is enthusiastic about the growing solar sector and its potential for a better, greener future. For those in the Florida area looking for solar power of their own, he highly recommends Bob Heinmiller Solar Solutions for a solar panel installation. You can learn more about Brian on Google+.