background preloader

Renewable Energy

Facebook Twitter

A Colossal Wind Turbine Just Broke World Energy Records. In Brief An off-shore wind turbine 220 meters tall generated nearly 216,000 kWh of energy over a 24-hour period, breaking the world record for a single turbine in that amount of time.With the cost to set up renewable energy systems dropping, a world powered entirely by clean energy is become ever more achievable.

A Colossal Wind Turbine Just Broke World Energy Records

The Solar Industry Now Employs Twice As Many People As Coal. The Rise of Renewables The US’ renewable energy industry is currently thriving.

The Solar Industry Now Employs Twice As Many People As Coal

A survey released by The Solar Foundation shows that the solar industry has nearly tripled employment since they started tracking its growth back in 2010. According to the study, 260,000 people are now employed by the solar industry. The majority of positions are currently in installation, with workers earning an average of $25.96 per hour. The biggest market so far, is residential, which encompasses 41 percent of available jobs; with the commercial and utility-scale markets trailing behind.

The Solar Foundation reports: Solar employs slightly more workers than natural gas, over twice as many as coal, over three times that of wind energy, and almost five times the number employed in nuclear energy. To date, California has the biggest solar capacity in the US, accounting for 34 percent of installations in 2016. Fast Growing Industry. "Miniature" Nuclear Power Plants Could Create a New Age in Energy.

Power on a New Scale In the case of nuclear power plants, one company thinks bigger isn’t always better.

"Miniature" Nuclear Power Plants Could Create a New Age in Energy

NuScale Power has just submitted a design for a ‘miniature’ version of traditional plants. Of course, “miniature” in this case is relative to the sprawling complex that is typical of nuclear power plants. United States Could Be Completely Powered by Renewable Energy by 2050: Study. In Brief A new research paper finds that using wind, solar, and other renewable energy sources could power the United States for a lower cost than fossil fuels.

United States Could Be Completely Powered by Renewable Energy by 2050: Study

The study wasn’t just looking at electricity — it was looking at all energy consumption, including transportation, heating and cooling, and industry. US Energy Use Per $1 Halved Over Last 35 Years Via Improved Energy Efficiency. July 14th, 2015 by James Ayre Improvements in energy efficiency (amongst other things) have led to energy intensity (the measure of energy use per dollar of GDP) being halved over the last 35 years, according to a recent report from the nonprofit American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE).

US Energy Use Per $1 Halved Over Last 35 Years Via Improved Energy Efficiency

To be more specific, energy intensity has fallen from 12.1 thousand Btus per dollar (back in 1980) to 6.1 thousand Btus per dollar (as of 2014), according to the recent analysis. The report from the ACEEE noted that roughly 60% of the cut in energy intensity was the result of improvements to energy efficiency, and roughly 40% was the result of “major structural changes in the economy.” The savings that accompanied the cut coming from energy efficiency have been estimated as standing at $800 billion (around $2,500 per capita). Energy efficiency has the cheapest “levelized cost of electricity” (LCOE) and is simply common sense. The Way Humans Get Electricity Is About to Change Forever.

The renewable-energy boom is here.

The Way Humans Get Electricity Is About to Change Forever

Trillions of dollars will be invested over the next 25 years, driving some of the most profound changes yet in how humans get their electricity. That's according to a new forecast by Bloomberg New Energy Finance that plots out global power markets to 2040. Here are six massive shifts coming soon to power markets near you: 1. Move over, shale. The sun is now the fastest-growing source of U.S. electricity. “The World in 2025″ Predicts Abundant Solar Power and Food, Tailored Drugs, Gene Therapies. In a recently released vision of the future, Thomson Reuters analysts predict solar power will be the dominant form of energy by 2025.

“The World in 2025″ Predicts Abundant Solar Power and Food, Tailored Drugs, Gene Therapies

Further, the report states genomic testing and manipulation will be common and lead to better prevention and treatment of diseases. Cancer treatments will be more targeted and less toxic. The world’s infrastructure will be smart, connected, and responsive to our needs. We’ll no longer grapple with food shortages and price volatility. And scientists will begin experimenting with teleportation of stuff, if not humans. The report is an extrapolation of today’s emerging technologies. A solar future isn't just likely — it's inevitable.

I plan to write a great deal about the short-term prospects for clean energy, both economic and political, but I want to begin life here at Vox with an imaginative exercise, a bit of musing about what energy might look like in the future — not 10 or 20 years from now, but 50, 70, even 100 years ahead.

A solar future isn't just likely — it's inevitable

Obviously, predicting the far future is a mug's game if you take it too seriously. This post is more about storytelling, a way of seeing the present through a different lens, than pure prognostication. But storytelling is important. Solar power passes 1% global threshold - Futurism. Synopsis Solar power now covers more than 1% of global electricity demand.

Solar power passes 1% global threshold - Futurism

In three countries in Europe – Italy, Germany and Greece – solar PV supplies more than 7% of electricity demand. Summary China is currently the fastest growing market, installing 10.6 GW in 2014, followed by Japan with 9.7 GW and the US with just over 6.5 GW. World's Largest Solar Farm Goes Online In California. France decrees new rooftops must be covered in plants or solar panels - Futurism. Synopsis Rooftops on new buildings built in commercial zones in France must either be partially covered in plants or solar panels, under a law approved on Thursday.

France decrees new rooftops must be covered in plants or solar panels - Futurism

Summary Green roofs have an isolating effect, helping reduce the amount of energy needed to heat a building in winter and cool it in summer. They also retain rainwater, thus helping reduce problems with runoff, while favouring biodiversity and giving birds a place to nest in the urban jungle, ecologists say.The law approved by parliament was more limited in scope than initial calls by French environmental activists to make green roofs that cover the entire surface mandatory on all new buildings. The Socialist government convinced activists to limit the scope of the law to commercial buildings.The law was also made less onerous for businesses by requiring only part of the roof to be covered with plants, and giving them the choice of installing solar panels to generate electricity instead.

IBM Solar Collector Magnifies Sun By 2000X and Could Provide Power to the Entire Planet - Futurism. Synopsis. Google Will Tell You if Your Home is a Good Fit for Solar Power. In Brief Google entered the solar power space on Monday with a program called Project Sunroof, which combines data from Google Maps and 3D modeling to figure out how much solar power your roof could generate. According to Google, when you put in your address, it calculates how much sunlight hits your roof through its mapping data, 3D modeling, possible sun positions, as well as historical cloud and temperature patterns. A fully transparent solar cell that could make every window and screen a power source. In Brief Researchers at Michigan State University have created a fully transparent solar concentrator, which could turn any window or sheet of glass into a photovoltaic solar cell.

Researchers at Michigan State University have created a fully transparent solar concentrator, which could turn any window or sheet of glass (like your smartphone’s screen) into a photovoltaic solar cell.Instead of trying to create a transparent photovoltaic cell (which is nigh impossible), they use a transparent luminescent solar concentrator(TLSC). Scientists Create Transparent Solar Concentrator. One of the biggest complaints about solar energy is that the setups aren’t very attractive. A team of material engineers at Michigan State University have developed solar concentrators that are completely transparent, which means they can be used on windows without disturbing the view or even on smartphone screens.

The research was led by Richard Lunt and the paper was featured on the cover of the journal Advanced Optical Materials. Solar concentrators are used to lens sunlight, focusing it on a small area to maximize the amount of light, maximizing the amount of electricity generated. Solar Roads Could Power An Entire Country. A small US-based company called Solar Roadways are developing a solar road surface that, if installed nationwide, has the potential to produce more renewable energy than the entire country uses. In fact, they’ve actually already developed a working prototype that’s been installed in a parking lot, and they’re now crowdsourcing funds in order to tweak the design and move towards production. Solar Roadways, which was started by Scott and Julie Brusaw in 2006, designed and developed hexagonal glass solar panels studded with LED lights that could be installed on a variety of surfaces such as roads, pavements and playgrounds.

These panels would more than pay for themselves and would benefit both businesses and homeowners as the energy generated from driveways and parking lots could be used to power buildings, and any excess can be sold back to the grid. Snow test: the powered row of panels are free of snow/ice. Image credit: Solar Roadways. Scientists Develop Efficient Artificial Leaf That Can Turn Solar Energy into Fuel. The U.S. Now Ranks Second Worldwide in Wind Power - Futurism. Wind Power Generates 140% Of Denmark's Electricity Needs. In Brief Wind power generated 140% of Denmark’s electricity demand last Thursday, which allowed the country to export some of its power to neighboring Norway, Germany, and Sweden. The figures emerged on the website of the Danish transmission systems operator,, which provides a minute-by-minute account of renewable power in the national grid. The site shows that Denmark’s windfarms were not even operating at their full 4.8GW capacity at the time of yesterday’s peaks.According to figures, Denmark generated 116% of the nation’s electricity needs from wind turbines.

By 3am on Friday morning, with the winds still blowing strong, that figure had increased to 140%. Israeli firm developing electricity-generating roads. UK is Testing Roads That Charge Electric Cars While You Drive. New Nanogenerator Harvests Power from Rolling Tires. In Brief. German-made ‘miracle’ machine turns water into gasoline. Researchers Turn Sawdust Into Gasoline - Futurism.

U.S. Navy Reveals They Can TURN SEAWATER INTO JET FUEL. Navy researchers demonstrate flight powered by fuel created from seawater. Flying a radio-controlled replica of the historic WWII P-51 Mustang red-tail aircraft, NRL researchers (l to r) Jeffrey Baldwin, Dennis Hardy, Heather Willauer, and David Drab (crouched), successfully demonstrate a novel liquid hydrocarbon fuel to power the aircraft’s unmodified two-stroke internal combustion engine.

The test provides proof-of-concept for an NRL developed process to extract carbon dioxide and produce hydrogen gas from seawater, subsequently catalytically converting the CO2 and H2 into fuel by a gas-to-liquids process. Water splitter produces clean-burning hydrogen fuel 24/7. This Lamp Needs No Battery. It's Powered by Salt Water. Cover Charge: New Spray-On Battery Could Convert Any Object into an Electricity Storage Device. This Ultra-Fast Charging Aluminum Battery is the Future - Futurism. Tesla Is Devising a Way to Let You Power Your Entire Home. The New Tesla Home Battery Powered By Solar Will Make Off Grid Living Mainstream. One of the brains behind Tesla motors and Paypal, Tesla Motors CEO and entrepreneur Elon Musk has a new invention up his sleeve that will help power homes at low cost, and it will make living off-grid easier than ever.

Hemp nanosheets could be better than graphene for making the ideal supercapacitor. Hemp bast fiber is a low cost graphene like nanomaterial (credit: Wikipedia) As hemp makes a comeback in the U.S. after a decades-long ban on its cultivation, scientists are reporting that fibers from the plant can pack as much energy and power as graphene, long-touted as the model material for supercapacitors, according to David Mitlin, Ph.D. Supercapacitors are energy storage devices that have huge potential to transform the way future electronics are powered.

Unlike today’s rechargeable batteries, which sip up energy over several hours, supercapacitors can charge and discharge within seconds. MIT designs small, modular, efficient fusion power plant.