Algae biofuels promise greater productivity, and can be grown on nonarable land, and with mostly non-potable water. However, as with any new technology—especially in the biofuels space— many questions about its technical potential and sustainability remain.
Interview with Federico Brucciani, independent solar PV expert and author of the report "The Italian PV market". Brucciani is very optimistic about market growth in his country. He says that grid-parity will be reached in all market segments within the next 6 to 8 years. He adds that the market is becoming more sustainable than in Spain and that a new and appealing FiT program can be expected as a follow up to the current program, which has met with so much success.
With Presidential direction and Congressional support, NASA's wellspring of talent could help foster the creation of solar power satellites - spacecraft that circle the Earth and beam the energy they generate down to the ground for distribution as electricity.
Third-generation thin-film solar devices are beginning to emerge in the marketplace after approximately 20 years of research and development, due to the insight of leading material developers such as Konarka and Plextronics in the organic photovoltaics (OPV) domain, and Dyesol, EPFL, G24i, Mitsubishi and Peccell on the dye-sensitized cells (DSC) front. Both DSC and OPV technologies lag far behind on the efficiency curve when compared to conventional solar (i.e., >20 percent efficiency), so they will likely succeed in markets where their low cost, substrate flexibility, and ability to perform in dim or variable lighting conditions provide them with a significant competitive advantage.
Warren Buffett, the closely watched investor and mega-billionaire, expects that 20 years from now, all cars will run on electricity. At least, that's what he told Rice University business students at his Omaha headquarters this month when asked for his thoughts on peak oil and replacements for "carbon fuels," the Houston Chronicle reports. Such a rapid transition to electric vehicles could work out well for BYD, the China-based developer of electric vehicles and lithium-ion batteries in which Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway investment firm holds a 10 percent stake. If nothing else, aggressive statements from Buffett, one of the world's highest-profile investors, could help build momentum for the EV market and BYD's growth.
From designer Haneum Lee comes a concept that would power street lights from the energy generated by the trash collected from its base . The lamppost composts the trash and uses the methane byproduct as a fuel to power the lamps. I'm not sure how much trash is needed to power a full side street lamp or if today mostly plastic and paper garbage are well suited for composting but its a novel idea.
Energy management could end up being the killer app for the slow-moving home automation market. Here’s the latest: iControl, a 5-year-old start-up backed by some of the biggest names in venture capital and networking announced this morning that it has launched an energy management product for utilities, broadband service providers and security firms. Out of the gate the company expects its customers to provide consumers a smart thermostat and a gateway for around $70. They expect broadband service providers to offer the energy management service to their customers for free, potentially bundled with a security system, and energy will act as a differentiator or value-add service, instead of a major revenue driver.
Briz Solar Powered Window Blinds designed by Nari Kim and Phullip Lim uses water as a cooling agent. There are two pipes beneath the blinds which help to circulate water which gets evaporated as dry mist. It is this mist which cools the breeze which enters the window. So you get natural air and the sunlight streaming through the blinds is collected and used to power the cooling system.
With its BB1 concept, Peugeot has created a totally new solution to the current and future needs of urban mobility. The BB1 concept is the first ever full electric vehicle that can seat up to four adults in a space of just 2.5m. This compact vehicle is a fusion between car and scooter, whilst offering passengers a safer, more comfortable and weatherproof environment. Other advantages of this ground-breaking concept are that it has zero emissions, is easy to park and has a range of 75 miles, making it a perfect choice for city center transport.
Comprehensive clean renewable energy and climate policies would create jobs, increase consumers’ income and strengthen the economy, according to a study conducted by three universities in the USA. The study estimates that as many as 1.9 million new jobs could be created across the United States within renewable energy, annual household income could increase by US$1,175 per year, and Gross Domestic Product could increase US$111 billion by 2020. The economic assessment was conducted using EAGLE, a forecasting model that projects the long term economic impacts of climate legislation on the economy. The model details economic interactions within and between each of the 50 states, and compares the impacts of combining a limit on carbon pollution with complementary efficiency and renewable energy policies.
Developer, ReVolt Technology Ltd is ready to bring to market new zinc-air batteries that can store three times the energy of lithium-ion batteries, by volume, while costing only half as much. The first plan to sell small "button cell" batteries for hearing aids starting next year and to incorporate its technology into ever larger batteries, introducing cell-phone and electric bicycle batteries in the next few years. It is also starting to develop large-format batteries for electric vehicles. The MIT site Technology Review has more info about the tecnology and some of the hurdles zinc-air storage needs to overcome.
Toshiba just launched the first Dynario fuel-cell for portable consumer electronics. That's right, the long promised and highly anticipated direct methanol fuel-cell (DMFC) with dedicated fuel cartridge for on-the-go refueling will go on sale October 29th in Japan for ¥29,800 (about $328) plus another ¥3,150 (about $34) for a set of five, 50ml fuel cartridges. Dynario's hybrid structure uses a lithium-ion battery to store enough electricity to charge two typical cellphones. That works out to be about $1 per recharge.
The roof of a 458,000-square-foot industrial building in Chino, Calif. is now providing as much as one million watts of solar power to Southern California`s Inland Empire. This is the second installation in Southern California Edison`s (SCE`s) plan to place advanced solar panels on hundreds of otherwise unused commercial rooftops across Southern California. During the next five years, SCE will install, own and operate 250 megawatts of solar generating capacity. The utility also will conduct competitive solicitations offering long-term power contracts to independent solar power providers who will install an additional 250 megawatts, bringing to 500 megawatts the total generating capacity of the project - the largest photovoltaic program ever undertaken.
Tests of New Energy's Technology for Generating Electricity from Moving Cars Produce 25-Fold Increase in Energy Capture. New Energy's MotionPower technology is designed to be installed in locations where vehicles are required to reduce their speed, thus ensuring that the system only makes use of vehicle energy that would be required to slow down and does not rob vehicles of energy they would otherwise use to accelerate. The MotionPower system generates valuable electricity by creatively capturing and converting the vehicles' excess kinetic rolling energy. Every day, millions of vehicles slow or come to a stop at toll plazas, rest areas, traffic calming areas, drive-thrus, and countless other roadway points. New Energy's MotionPower devices make use of the energy wasted by these millions of cars, trucks, and heavy vehicles when they slow down or come to a full stop.
The Solar Decathlon , an international competition hosted by the US Department of Energy (DOE) , is showcasing solar-powered home designs created by students from around the world. Students selected to participate were given two years to design and build the prototype solar homes, which must be carbon neutral and completely powered by the sun. The projects, many costing hundreds of thousands of dollars, were on display at the National Mall in Washington through Sunday (Oct. 18) and Team Germany took top honors. The 800-square-feet homes must be completely powered by the sun. They are meant to be prototype zero-energy, zero-carbon homes.
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