The World Environment Day slogan for 2008 is Kick the Habit! Towards a Low Carbon Economy. Recognising that climate change is becoming the defining issue of our era, UNEP is asking countries, companies and communities to focus on greenhouse gas emissions and how to reduce them. The World Environment Day will highlight resources and initiatives that promote low carbon economies and life-styles, such as improved energy efficiency, alternative energy sources, forest conservation and eco-friendly consumption.
There’s a company in Palo Alto, Ausra, working on solar thermal energy – their site has lots of information. There’s a nifty animation of how solar thermal energy works. If you want to know more, there are details here. They also have a timeline of the history of solar power.
I live in the Northwest – I wish someone would come up with a way to produce energy on a small scale from rain.