There is a good, short article posted on-line recently in the Christian Science Monitor entitled, “Arizona’s Solar Aspirations In Peril”. The article suggests that large-scale solar power plants are still far from being competitive with conventional fossil-fired plants, even in a place that sees 325 days of sunshine per year. According to the article, expiration of the federal Investment Tax Credit in 2008 is going to sink a 1 billion dollar solar project slated to elevate Arizona’s prominence as renewable energy hub.
Two researchers from Cornell University have won a $100,000 grant from NASA to continue work to develop an energy-harvesting robotic eel the space agency aims to use to explore oceans on one of the moons of Jupiter.
Is the factory smarter than it used to be? From recent buzzwords, you’d think we’ve entered a new dimension in industrial plants, where robots run all physical functions wirelessly and humans do little more than program ever more capable robotics. Some of that is actually true, but it’s been true for a while.
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