Clean Tech News Briefs October 26, 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

KPBS reports on the advances in geothermal energy in California. In keeping with its goal to have 33% of its power come from renewable sources by 2020, California continues to expand its geothermal technologies. If California were its own country, it would be the world leader in geothermal energy, with a capacity of 2,500 megawatts.

Small donations help boost community solar power. The Arizona Daily Sun discusses the activities of a company in Flagstaff, AZ, that collects small donations online to provide solar panels for municipal buildings, allowing locals to invest in solar energy without spending too much, and have the opportunity to see returns on those investments while reducing community power costs.

What will happen to renewable energy without federal aid? The New York Times considers the looming expiration of grants for solar and wind projects across the US, and weighs the options of tax credits versus federal funding for renewable energy development.

Apple begins construction on a solar farm in North Carolina. The Charlotte Observer reports on the new solar installation planned for Apple’s Catawba County data center. Though much of this new solar farm is shrouded in mystery, it is known that measures will be taken to prevent soil erosion at the construction site.

A look into some biofuel investment plans. GigaOM has the scoop on plans from Illinois-based Chromatin, a genetic engineering company, and ZeaChem, a Colorado-based biofuel producer. Chromatin’s plan involves genetically modified sorghum as a source of fuel, while ZeaChem is working on commercializing its plants-to-fuel process.

A Namibian solar project, if built, could reach capacity of 1 gigawatt. An American investment company has secured a power purchase agreement with the Namibian government to build a 500 megawatt (so far) PV power plant near the capital city of Windhoek. It would much larger than any of the existing solar projects in the southern hemisphere, and would be the largest in southern Africa, says Renewable Energy World.

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.