Kiva, a micro-lending company, has expanded their outreach to include Green Loans. Kiva Green Loans are now available to entrepreneurs who are making efficient sources of energy a realistic solution around the world. Business and personal loans are being granted through the company for those contributing to waste and pollution reduction, recycling, and material re-purposing. Money will also be available in instances where people want to purchase organic fertilizer, or invest in solar panels and hybrid cars. Kiva Green Loans has already given out loans to people like Blanca Rosa (Santa Cruz, CA) who is expanding her business venture that converts taxi engines to run only on natural gas.
MIT is continually making headway in the development of solar technologies. The university is currently running tests that make windows solar generators while keeping them completely see-through. The technology is based on standard photovoltaic cells that harness energy, but still allow light to pass through. Past attempts at making solar panels transparent have resulted in an inefficient generation of electricity. MIT is working on a breakthrough chemical format that will create transparency and still maintain high efficiency. This will also keep solar installation costs down for businesses and homes choosing to install transparent solar generating windows.
In another solar power breakthrough, MIT has been researching a way to genetically engineer certain viruses in order to harvest their ability to generate energy. While it may sound far-fetched, the discovery is based on the notion that on the outside of solar cells is a highly conductive tube that can be attached to a genetically engineered virus called M13. The virus grabs onto the tubes and secretes proteins in order to produce electrons. The tubes attached to the virus act as wires that harness the electrons. MIT and its researchers hope to commercialize the discovery as a way of producing solar cells quickly and affordably.