Clean Tech News Briefs October 25, 2011

EarthTechling looks at a lot of interesting clean tech news daily as we consider what items to have our staff write about. Here are some green tech news gems we found while researching online you might consider reading more on in today’s Clean Tech News Briefs.

image via Shutterstock

Solar power is saving lives in Nigeria, reports the San Francisco Chronicle. One doctor’s suitcase-sized solar power system provides live-saving electricity in maternity wards in even the most remote of hospitals, many of which lack steady electric power. Larger solar systems for hospitals are under way.

Obama’s administration seems to be choosing better than venture capitalists. Cleantechnica takes a look at the clean energy “winners” and “losers” as chosen by the Department of Energy versus those chosen by venture capitalists. They also look at the politics surrounding clean energy in the US.

Solar power is gaining popularity and accessibility. Associated Press discusses how solar power is becoming more mainstream, now that costs are coming down and solar panels are becoming cheaper. It is estimated that by 2016, solar energy will be the same price as energy from fossil fuels.

A North Dakota monastery’s wind turbines provide payback. The Sisters at the Sacred Heart Monastery tell the Dickinson Press that they have exceeded their estimated pay back of $12,000 over the past 10 years, and are pleased to be part of the shift to wind power in the state.

US automakers are inspired by a solar car. The University of Michigan’s solar car placed third in a race across the Australian Outback and was the first American car to finish the World Solar Challenge. Now, says the Detroit Free Press, the Detroit Three (Ford, GM and Chrysler) are looking into the team’s designs for batteries and solar charging as a possibility for future clean cars.

The tale of Prend and Solyndra. Reuters takes a look at respected green tech investor David Prend and his experiences with Solyndra, as well as some of the other companies he’s invested in. Prend’s dedication to clean energy, however, remains strong.

[Editor’s Note: Today we kick off Clean Tech News Briefs, which is our daily read list of interesting green tech news items being reported by others.]

Laura Caseley is a graduate of SUNY New Paltz and a resident of New York State’s Hudson Valley. She writes for several publications and when she’s not writing, she can usually be found painting in her makeshift studio or enjoying the scenery of her hometown.