A Test Drive of India’s New Electric Car

The boxy little Mahindra e2o I drove around Bangalore back in January.

Back in January, I got the opportunity to test drive the Mahindra e2o, the first new electric car to be built in India in more than a decade. This wasn’t something I expected. On a visit to the new Mahindra Reva factory [...]

Lessons in Patience from an Eco-Octogenarian

Last month I sat down with K.S. Sivaprasad, an Indian engineer and entrepreneur, to hear about his plans to bring a waste-to-energy factory to India. I learned that this sprightly 80-year-old had been at this effort for quite some time. Forty years, to be exact. [...]

Moving Through India’s Traffic at a Whisper

For Americans, the automobile horn is emergency equipment, deployed to avoid collision or express road rage. For Indians, the horn is more of a conversational tool, used by everyone — and I mean everyone — as they jostle in traffic. The racket is deafening. One wonders if the Indian motorist is some sort of terrestrial bat, navigating with ears instead of eyes. [...]

How India’s Solar Plans Miss the Mark

Today, the New York Times published a story I wrote about the state of the solar industry in India. This is an issues I’ve been keeping a close eye on since arriving in Chennai, India last month. Chennai is the capital of Tamil Nadu, and Tamil Nadu is Exhibit A in what can go wrong when a government takes a hasty and haphazard stab at something as complicated as solar energy. [...]

Brilliant Ideas in Biomimicry

Happy New Year, world, and let’s start things off with a ray of sunshine. My latest “Innovate” column in the January/February issue of Sierra magazine is about how engineers are employing biomimicry to increase the usefulness of solar power. The title: “Solar Designs from Nature.” [...]

Remembering Corwin Hardham

Today I posted an obituary on Forbes of Corwin Hardham, the founder and CEO of Makani Power. I had been following Makani and Corwin with interest for a few years, and was sad to hear of his passing last month. [...]

America’s Other Wind Industry

A windmill at the American Wind Power Center and Museum, another stop on our Texas wind-energy tour. Photo credit: David Ferris

Two weeks ago I decamped to Lubbock, Texas, for the 22nd annual conference of the Society of Environmental Journalists. A highlight of these conferences is fleeing the hotel for field trips to places [...]

Clouds Like You’ve Never Seen Them Before

The New York Times just published a story I wrote about the new science of solar forecasting. To track the clouds, scientists have developed new cameras that provide startling images of the sky. Click on the buttons to enjoy this slideshow.

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Two scientists at the University of California at San Diego, [...]

New Story About Solar Forecasting in the New York Times

Years ago, on a backpacking trip in the Sierra Nevada mountains with my friend Eric, we stopped to rest in a lake basin beneath a giant blue sky. We had been in the backcountry long enough that our minds had unchained from the city, and it seemed obvious to ask Eric to name his favorite force of nature. “Clouds,” he replied, as we gazed up into the sky where a few of them wandered lonely. “Because they’re the one force on Earth that Man can’t control.” I’ve thought about Eric’s answer often, and especially in the last week or so while I reported a story for the New York Times on the new science of solar forecasting. [...]

Oregon Takes Wave Power to the Next Level

Last week found me in Oregon, hanging out with inventors and entrepreneurs who are focused on one goal: Turning the massive waves of the Pacific Ocean into a reliable and clean form of electricity. [...]