Changing the World One Kilowatt at a Time Last fall, Google launched a new initiative to develop renewable energy that is cheaper than coal — and in less than a decade. Google is investing in companies that are working on high-altitude wind power, solar thermal and enhanced geothermal power, as well as beginning its own research and development. Megan Sever
Desert Power: A Solar Renaissance Renewed interest in alternative energy technologies has brought solar power back into the spotlight. But instead of solar cells powered by sunlight, companies are turning to solar thermal technologies — and the world’s deserts may soon bloom with thousands of mirrors harnessing the sun’s heat. Carolyn Gramling
The Wind Over the Waves Offshore wind has the potential to meet much of the world's electrical demand and is beginning to do so in Europe. But plans to utilize this power in the United States have been controversial. Texas is leading the way in the Gulf of Mexico, but the fate of plans in other states remains uncertain. Erin Wayman
BENCHMARKS April 28, 1947: The Kon-Tiki Sets Sail for Polynesia Print Exclusive
OFF THE BEATEN PATH Travertine: A Tie That Binds Two Great Structures Print Exclusive What do the Roman Colosseum and the Getty Museum have in common? They're composed of travertine, a type of limestone used in many buildings around the world. The stone is never more impressive than as the setting for these two monumental structures. David Williams
GEOLOGIC COLUMN A False Report, A Rumor, A Hoax Geologists take safety seriously, planning ahead for almost any scenario. Unfortunately, it’s the human element that can’t be planned for, as tragic events like the shooting at Northern Illinois University show. Lisa A. Rossbacher
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This prototype mirrored dish, which focuses the sun’s energy into a receiver connected to an engine, would be one of thousands within a planned solar power station in California. Photo is courtesy of Stirling Energy Systems.