Solar power solutions have generally been considered to be a reliable source of renewable energy, with a seemingly continuous string of technological advancements being made. While harnessing the sun’s natural power certainly seems like a good idea, a new report suggests it may not be as economical as it seems.
The European Union has published a report stating the economic impact of solar related technologies outweighs the benefits in many cases. Not only is it extremely costly in terms of operation, but also in terms of its economic effect on the climate, resources and pollution among other things.
The report factors in all of these conditions in order to derive an economic cost per megawatt-hour for each of the major power sources. While the study is from 2012, many believe the data is still relevant today despite advancements being made in manufacturing processes and materials.
Based on the analysis, commercial solar power facilities cost far more than other options at $127 per megawatt-hour. Coal and natural gas plants ran just over $64, wind systems were $102 and nuclear power plants cost $115 per megawatt-hour, according to the report.
The reason the cost is so high on solar power options seems to do with the way the materials needed for the process are sourced and manufactured. Not only are the materials used quite expensive, reports suggest much of the solar cell manufacturing is done in China where electricity is extremely carbon-intensive.
In the wake of a number of high-profile cases of abusive and threatening behavior on online social networks like Facebook, Twitter, and others, the British government has proposed a new legislation, which if enacted, would see Internet trolls facing some serious jail time.
“These internet trolls are cowards who are poisoning our national life”, said Justice Secretary Chris Grayling. “No one would permit such venom in person, so there should be no place for it on social media”.
The move comes just days after model Chloe Madeley was subjected to rape threats on Twitter following her mother Judy Finnigan’s controversial remarks about the footballer and convicted rapist Ched Evans, saying that his crime was non-violent as he did not cause any physical harm to the teenager he attacked. Madeley, who defended her mother’s remarks, described the threats as “extremely chilling and cowardly”.
Under the current law, Internet trolls who subject victims to sexually offensive, verbally abusive, or threatening material, can only be prosecuted in magistrates’ courts under the Malicious Communications Act, which carries a maximum jail penalty of six months. The new legislation (dubbed Chloe’s Law) would allow magistrates to refer serious cases to the crown courts, where offenders could face a jail penalty of up to 24 months.
“The current law obviously needs to be reviewed”, said Madeley, adding that physical threats shouldn’t fall under freedom of speech, and rather be seen as online terrorism. Aside from her, the parents of missing girl Madeleine McCann are also among the most recent victims of Internet trolls.
The law change will be introduced as amendments to the Criminal Justice and Courts Bill, which is currently going through Parliament, and is scheduled to be debated in the House of Lords in the coming week.
Razer, known for its gaming peripherals and devices, has joined the elite club of billion-dollar companies. According to a TechCrunch report, the San Diego-based company recently attained a valuation of over $1 billion, thanks to new funding from Intel Capital, the chip giant’s venture-capital arm.
“We’re already one of the billion dollar unicorns in the tech start-up world and now, we’ve got more resources than ever to allow us to focus on designing and developing the best experiences for gamers worldwide”, noted a leaked internal memo which was handed over to TechCrunch by an anonymous source.
The memo also says the company now counts over 10 million people using its software, with over 2 million logged on daily, and details the appointment of three new board members, with one identified as an investor in the company.
Neither Razer nor Intel responded to requests for comment, but TechCrunch says its sources have indirectly confirmed the memo is legitimate.
Following its mantra “For Gamers. By Gamers”, Razer has seen success with its high-end gaming mice and keyboards as well as its Blade gaming laptops and Edge tablets. The company claims to have shipped 11 million connected devices, with 7 million gamers using its products, and is also set to enter the wearables market with its Nabu smartband, due in the coming weeks.
The last round of funding for Razer was in 2011, when the company raised $50 million from IDG and Accel. Just how much money Intel has invested in this latest round is not yet known.