EcoModo - The Best of TreeHugger

This week on TreeHugger, Nanosolar reaching super solar efficiency, deep sea robots, tapping trees to power gadgets, a solar vest that is, ahem, cool, and more.

Nanosolar has broken radio silence and the news is good. They've simultaneously released information about three things, including possibly hitting grid parity with their solar cells, starting mass production, and we get to view a very cool video showing the inside of their factories.

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Will personal solar power take over our lives? This image from a concept personal solar power device makes us groan at the possibility. Even so, we have to admit that this solar vest is a great idea for Boda Boda operators in Africa. Solar certainly has its place.

Moving on from solar, turns out trees are a source of electricity as well. Could we one day just plug our gadgets into a branch at the park? Your computer could be that much more tree-huggable if you let it calculate and offset its emissions all on its own.

It looks like lithium could be a wildly sought-after material as our need for batteries grows. Check out this video about where lithium is produced and its potential future in the marketplace. The news about lithium also reminds us about the importance of recycling those toxic batteries. But there's good news on that front as well, with perfect gadget recycling as a reachable goal.

And no column is really complete without the mention of robots. Check out the deep sea robot being tested out off the coast of California.

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TreeHugger's EcoModo column appears every Tuesday on Gizmodo.

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