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.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers tapped ACCIONA Solar Power, a unit of Spain's Acciona SA, and Clark Energy Group to develop the project, which launched its first phase on Thursday. The project, located at the Army's largest training range in California's Mojave Desert, could grow as large as 1 gigawatt in the future. The facility at Fort Irwin will surpass the 14-MW solar plant at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada as the U.S. Department of Defense's largest solar power plant. The new plant will have both photovoltaic solar panels and mirrors and turbines for concentrated solar power.
A number of auto manufacturers are renewing their push for hydrogen, and now it is looking as though hydrogen cars will make it out of vehicular Death Valley. Last month Daimler, the German government, and several industrial companies announced a plan to build 1,000 hydrogen-fueling stations across Germany. Days later, Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche showed off Mercedes-Benz's latest hydrogen-fueled effort, the F-Cell hatchback. Toyota this summer announced it would put hydrogen fuel-cell cars into production in 2015. Honda, GM, and Hyundai all have hydrogen fuel-cell programs running, and Honda actually has put vehicles -- heavily subsidized by the car maker, to be sure -- in the hands of some real customers, as opposed to its own engineers.
Superconductor Electricity Pipelines have been chosen for The Tres Amigas Project, the nation`s first renewable energy market hub. Superconductor Electricity Pipelines comprise transmission-level direct current (DC) superconductor power cables powered by AMSC high temperature superconductor (HTS) wire and high-powered voltage-source AC/DC power converters. The Tres Amigas Project, which will be announced today in Albuquerque by New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, focuses on uniting America`s three power grids for the first time to enable faster adoption of renewable energy and increase the reliability of the U.S. grid.
The TED 5000 from Energy Inc. is an energy monitor that measures electricity usage in real-time (TED stands for "The Energy Detective"). Today, Google announced that anyone in North America can purchase and install the TED 5000 and see personal home energy data using their free software tool, Google PowerMeter, from anywhere you can access the web including through iGoogle for mobile phones. Combined with Google PowerMeter, the TED 5000 device can help you understand your electricity usage to save energy and money. Energy Inc. is just Google's first device partner and if you are working for a company that manufactures energy monitors, they'd like to hear from you.
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