Chelsea Green Publishing

Chelsea Green Blog

Advances in solar electricity

Last month, Bill McKibben reviewed a handful of books in the New York Review of Books, including James Lovelock’s Revenge of Gaia and, somewhat in passing, Travis Bradford’s Solar Revolution: The Economic Transformation of the Global Energy Industry. I’m reminded of this because of an article from yesterday on a “breakthrough” in solar cell technology. McKibben reports that Bradford fairly convincingly predicts significant advances in solar electric technology, as well as significant drops in the cost of pv systems, mostly because of major investments in R&D in Japan and Germany. Well, the prediction might be even better than Bradford expected–this short article says that the National Renewable Energy Lab has verified the claim of Boeing-Spectrolab that it is created a solar cell with over 40% efficiency in converting sunlight to energy. This is up from, it says, most of today’s cells which are only 12%-18% efficient.


The Limits to Growth and Greece: Systemic or Financial Collapse?

Could it be that the ongoing Greek collapse is a symptom of the more general collapse that the Limits to Growth model generates for the first two decades of the 21st century? Author Ugo Bardi (Extracted: How the Quest for Mineral Wealth is Plundering the Planet) examines the correlation between what is unfolding between Greece […] Read More..

Permaculture Q&A: Mulching Options for Your Garden

As Permaculture Month continues, we are making our expert authors available to answer your burning permaculture questions. If you have a question to submit, fill out this form. This week, Lottie from Florida asked if there are other garden mulch options that are as effective as hay. Josh Trought, one of our soil building and garden management […] Read More..

Designing Your Own Solar Cooker & Dehydrator

In today’s world, nearly everything we use, from phones and computers to cars and kitchen appliances, requires energy derived from fossil fuels. Wouldn’t it be nice to offset some of that energy use by harnessing the renewable power of the sun? Josh Trought, founder of D Acres—an educational center in New Hampshire that researches, applies, […] Read More..

Building a Sustainable Community: The D Acres Model

If you were going to create a community-based homestead or farm from scratch, where would you start? What building materials would you use? What crops would you grow and what animals would you raise? How would you develop an organizational structure and connect with your community? And, how would you make sure all of this […] Read More..

A Man Apart: Remembering Bill Coperthwaite’s Radical Life

A Man Apart is the story—part family memoir and part biography—of Peter Forbes and Helen Whybrow’s longtime friendship with Bill Coperthwaite (A Handmade Life), whose unusual, and even radical, life and fierce ideals helped them examine and understand their own. Framed by Coperthwaite’s sudden death and brought alive through the month-long adventure of building with […] Read More..