Photosynthesis Fuel Company Gets a Large Investment Green tea: Joule Energy’s SolarConverter turns carbon dioxide and sunlight into ethanol fuel at a pilot plant in Leander, Texas. Joule Unlimited, a startup based in Bedford, Massachusetts, has received $70 million to commercialize technology that uses microörganisms to turn sunlight and carbon dioxide into liquid fuel. The company claims that its genetically engineered bacteria will eventually be able to produce ethanol for as little as $1.23 a gallon or diesel fuel for $1.19 a gallon, less than half the current cost of both fossil fuels and existing biofuels. The new funding comes from undisclosed investors and will allow the company to expand from an existing pilot plant to its first small-scale production facility, in Hobbs, New Mexico. Joule Unlimited has designed a device it calls the SolarConverter, in which thin, clear panels circulate brackish water and a nitrogen-based growth medium bubbling with carbon dioxide.
Free-Energy Devices, zero-point energy, and water as fuel ‘Artificial leaf’ makes fuel from sunlight Researchers led by MIT professor Daniel Nocera have produced something they’re calling an “artificial leaf”: Like living leaves, the device can turn the energy of sunlight directly into a chemical fuel that can be stored and used later as an energy source. The artificial leaf — a silicon solar cell with different catalytic materials bonded onto its two sides — needs no external wires or control circuits to operate. Simply placed in a container of water and exposed to sunlight, it quickly begins to generate streams of bubbles: oxygen bubbles from one side and hydrogen bubbles from the other. If placed in a container that has a barrier to separate the two sides, the two streams of bubbles can be collected and stored, and used later to deliver power: for example, by feeding them into a fuel cell that combines them once again into water while delivering an electric current. The creation of the device is described in a paper published Sept. 30 in the journal Science.
Blackouts In India Highlight Benefits Of Solar Power India recently faced two massive power outages that were the largest in the past decade. The first power grid collapse took place on Monday, affecting seven states in northern India. The power went out at 2:35 a.m. and was brought back six hours later, only to go out again. The first outage was followed by a second, even larger, power grid collapse on Tuesday which affected almost half of the country, hitting northern and eastern India. Being someone of Indian decent, and having visited the country, I know that the country and its people are no strangers to power outages–sometimes they are government mandated to save energy and at other times they are brought on by power grid failures. If the two outages this past week have made one thing clear, it is this: India needs to take energy planning seriously and start reform. Even though India is Asia’s third-largest economy, the country still depends on coal for its energy needs. Photo via ThinkProgress.org
Green Vancouver | City of Vancouver Vancouver is one of the world's most beautiful and liveable cities, diverse in nature, demographics, and potential. For good reason, more than 600,000 people call it home, and even more enjoy and rely on the services our City provides. But a great city doesn't happen by accident. It happens by design. A bright green future Greenest City 2020 is a bold initiative that will address Vancouver's environmental challenges, making us the greenest city in the world by 2020. Healthy City Strategy The City is developing a long-term strategy for healthier people, healthier places, and a healthier planet. Economic development Learn about Vancouver initiatives to promote and strengthen local businesses, and make the city an attractive destination for businesses around the world. Parks, Recreation, and Culture Vancouver has turned its natural beauty into parks, gardens, beaches, and centres that provide ample opportunity for recreational and leisure activities.
We dump 8 million tons of plastic into the ocean each year. Where does it all go? What happens to all our plastic bottles and lids and containers after we toss them out? Every single ocean now has a massive swirling plastic garbage patch The vast majority of plastic trash ends up in landfills, just sitting there and taking thousands of years to degrade. A smaller fraction gets recycled (about 9 percent in the United States). But there's another big chunk that finds its way into the oceans, either from people chucking litter into waterways or from storm-water runoff carrying plastic debris to the coasts. And scientists have long worried that all this plastic could have adverse effects on marine life. Now we can finally quantify this problem: A new study in Science calculates that between 5 and 13 million metric tons of plastic waste made it into the ocean in 2010 alone. Plastic debris in the Mediterranean Sea. And here's another surprise twist: We still don't know where most of that ocean plastic actually ends up. China accounts for one-quarter of plastic ocean waste
Countries Around The Globe Opting For Solar Power Solar power, which converts sunlight into energy, is beneficial for reducing our carbon footprint and has been accepted as a greener alternative for harvesting power. While harvesting solar energy has a carbon footprint of its own, research shows a solar panel’s carbon footprint is at least 20 times smaller than that of coal. As of late, solar energy is slowly transitioning from an alternative energy source to a preferred energy source. For starters, the Australian government recently announced a $1.3 million grant to researchers who specialize in solar power. Resources minister Martin Ferguson said in an e-mailed statement: “From techniques to improve the efficiency of solar cells made from low-cost and readily available organic materials, to investigating ways to optimize hybrid solar-diesel systems in remote areas using smart grids, the Skills Development Program is helping to drive Australian solar innovation.” Villager, and tailoring shop owner, Rekibul Rahman shares:
Solar Power To Be Sold For Less Than Coal Clean Power Published on February 3rd, 2013 | by Nicholas Brown Update: Some sentences and links have been added to this post to provide better context and comparison. Update #2: I’ve published two articles on energy subsidies in response to comments on this post regarding that matter. They are: “Energy Subsidies — Clean Energy Subsidies vs Fossil Subsidies” and “Oil Subsidies & Natural Gas Subsidies — Subsidies For The Big Boys.” According to a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) between El Paso Electric Company and First Solar, electricity will be sold from First Solar’s thin-film solar panels to El Paso Electric Company for 5.8 cents per kWh (a good 4-8 cents cheaper than new coal, which is in the 10-14 cents per kWh range). A First Solar installation of some of its CdTe panels. The name of the power plant is Macho Springs Solar Park. Clearly, even compared to the wholesale price of electricity from the cheapest energy options, this is quite competitive. Follow me on Twitter: @Kompulsa
Solar energy projects for Do It Yourselfers to save money and reduce pollution