Inhabitat's Week in Green: solar-powered plane, chrome Fisker Karma and the 'blackest' solar cells ever

Each week our friends at Inhabitat recap the week's most interesting green developments and clean tech news for us -- it's the Week in Green.


With the days getting longer and the spring sun creeping into the evening hours this week, we saw a host of impressive solar energy projects that put those rays to work. Kyocera revealed their plan for Japan's largest solar farm and French company Areva announced they will be building the largest solar installation in Asia. On the other side of the globe, New York City was proud to say that it recently tripled its solar power production and a new study showed that the United States pulled ahead of China in the clean energy race this year. We also saw designs for a new solar satellite that could harvest the sun's rays 24/7 and we ogled photos of the


massive array of PV panels topping the zHome complex

in Washington. A team at Natcore blew away the scientific community by creating the "blackest" solar cell ever designed and Panasonic gave us a sneak peek at its shimmering, solar-powered "Photosynthesis" Ecosystem installation, which will light up the night at the Milan Furniture Fair next week.

In green transportation news, Justin Bieber's blindingly shiny chrome Fisker Karma had people talking (and putting on their sunglasses), while the former head of R&D at GM predicted that we'll see driverless cars by 2020. Honda announced that it is teaming up with Zipcar to provide EVs and hybrids to Zipsters and Ferrari confirmed that its future V12 models will have a new hybrid system. Finally, SolarWorld sent us news about their new Elektra solar-powered plane, which can fly twice as far as its predecessor.

Smart design continued to make the world a little better with innovations like this vibrating glove that lets blind people text and Montessori's Intro to Letters app, which teaches kids the alphabet. We also got back into nature (literally) with these see-through bubble tents surrounded by trees, and we reflected upon the mysterious human-shaped mirror sculptures that popped up in a Scottish forest.