24/7 Solar

Torresol Energy in Spain's Andalucia province has overcome one of solar energy's biggest challenges - operating when the sun does not shine.

The huge 20MW concentrated solar power plant has two tanks of molten salt that store heat generated throughout the day.

As they solidify again at night they release energy, which means that, unlike normal plants, Torresol can keep generating electricity long after sunset.

Russel Beard looks at renewable energy, finding a continious supply and one company's answer to an age-old problem.

Secret of Success

The problem with growing award-winning grapes is that bugs appreciate them too. But using pesticides does not just get rid of crop-eating insects; it kills off other wildlife and can damage soil fertility and pollute underground water sources.

That is why at Shafer Vineyards in California's Napa Valley, chemicals have been made a thing of the past. Since the 1980s their grapes have been cultivated using sustainable, pesticide-free farming practices.

With a jungle of crops planted between the vines, biodiversity is encouraged so that predatory bugs like spiders keep the pests under control. The Shafer team is now seeing evidence of a direct link between earth-friendly farming and a better tasting glass of wine.

Car sharing

Since Karl Benz invented the modern automobile in 1885, Germans have always loved their cars. But if recent trends are anything to go by, this looks set to change.

Germans are giving up their cars and starting to share. Germany has the largest number of car-sharers in Europe, and in many cities cars can be picked up easily and dropped off anywhere within city limits.

Each shared car replaces between four and eight that are individually owned, and manufacturers such as BMW are now developing cars solely for the sharing market.

We look at a Berlin-based scheme that hopes to reduce the number of cars on Europe's roads and carbon emissions along with it.

Source: Al Jazeera