Solar power exists everywhere — in highways and even infrastructure. It can withstand extreme conditions, or at least as far as we know. Now, two Chinese companies are testing that theory, setting out to build a solar farm on the remains of Chernobyl.
“It is cheap land, and abundant sunlight constitutes a solid foundation for the project,” says Ostap Semerak, Ukraine’s minister of environment and natural resources.
After years of battling radiation, Chernobyl has apparently become a breeding ground for new possibilities. Golden Concord Holdings and Sinomach will be spearheading the formidable project, which will cover 2,500 hectares.
“There will be remarkable social benefits and economical ones as we try to renovate the once-damaged area with green and renewable energy,” says Shu Hua, chairman of the GLC subsidiary.
As it welcomes hundreds of tourists a year, Chernobyl’s progress is slow but steady. Home to dozens of animal species, the once-toxic ghost town is finally making its comeback.
There is no denying that climate change is a curse — but, in a way, also a blessing. Recurring heat waves have allowed bright minds to find alternative sources of energy, making the most of traffic and laptop batteries. Now, startup SkyCool wants to help homeowners save on electricity bills with an air conditioning system that beams heat into space.
Objects on earth give off heat in the form of an invisible type of light called infrared radiation. Emissions in the mid-infrared range of eight and 13 micrometers slip through the atmosphere and into the cool lower layers of space.
SkyCool invented a material that can take advantage of this natural occurrence. The material… radiates infrared light within the eight to 13 micrometer range. It also reflects 97 percent of sunlight, which prevents sun’s warmth from offsetting the effect.
The material, which is fitted over pipes, can save buildings up to 70% off air conditioning fees. Not only is it a dream cost-wise — it can lower carbon emissions, 10% of which arise from cooling systems worldwide. Word on the street is that SkyCool will be tending to potential customers by next year. Here’s to hoping construction costs are as cool as the actual product.