Low-Tech Magazine UP114

solar.lowtechmagazine.com is a solar-powered, self-hosted website, designed to reduce the energy use associated with accessing of Low-tech Magazine content. Low-tech Magazine questions the belief in technological progress, and highlights the potential of past knowledge and technologies for designing a sustainable society.
To reduce energy use, they opted for a back to basics web design, using a static site instead of a database driven content management system. They further apply default typefaces, dithered images, off-line reading options, and other tricks to lower energy use far below that of the average website. In addition, the low resource requirements and open design help to keep the blog accessible for visitors with older computers and/or less reliable Internet connections.

Because it uses so little energy, this website can be run on a mini-computer with the processing power of a mobile phone. It needs 1 to 2.5 watts of power, which is supplied by a small, off-grid solar PV system on the balcony of the author’s home. Typical for off-the-grid renewable power systems, energy storage is limited. This means that the website will go off-line during longer periods of cloudy weather.

Created by Kris De Decker, Marie Otsuka and Roel Roscam Abbing.