Category Archives: Alt Energy

Video: Solar Freakin’ Roadways

Not a good idea from an engineering point of view, but fun! For practical reasons we would be much better off building huge solar arrays across the Sahara desert, not to mention harnessing the tides. Tides are more predictable than wind energy and solar power. Among sources of renewable energy, tidal power has traditionally suffered… Read More »

Video: 13-year-old builds working nuclear fusion reactor

  Not many 13-year-olds would describe themselves as an “amateur nuclear scientist.” That’s precisely what Jamie Edwards calls himself. When most kids his age are off playing video games, Edwards stays late after school to work on a control panel for a nuclear fusion reactor. He just reached his goal of becoming the youngest “fusioneer”… Read More »

Drilling surprise opens door to magma-powered electricity

… Can enormous heat deep in the Earth be harnessed to provide energy for us on the surface? A promising report from a geothermal borehole project that accidentally struck magma–the same fiery, molten rock that spews from volcanoes–suggests it could. The Icelandic Deep Drilling Project, IDDP, has been drilling shafts up to 5km deep in… Read More »

Every Streetlight in NYC to go LED

When many people think of New York City, beyond the crowds their image of the city is the lights. Soon, the lit-up skyline will be much whiter because all 250,000 street lights are being switched to LEDs in the biggest retrofit project in the nation. The switch-over is part of PlaNYC, the city’s climate change… Read More »

“Continuous” nuclear fusion comes one step closer

Researchers at a California lab have got one step closer in achieving self-sustaining nuclear fusion. If successfully harnessed, fusion – the process which powers the sun – could become an unlimited, and crucially, cheap source of energy. In order to become a viable, sustainable form of energy, power plants driven with fusion would need to… Read More »

US set to be top oil, gas producer in 2013: EIA

The United States could push past Russia and Saudi Arabia as the world’s largest single producer of oil and of natural gas this year, a US government agency said Friday. While the US was roughly even with Russia as the top producer in 2012 of the two hydrocarbon fuels combined, it still lagged the longtime… Read More »

New pathway can increase biofuel yields by 50 percent

A new synthetic metabolic pathway developed by chemical engineering researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles, can break down sugars quickly and efficiently. The researchers believe that the rate in which this new pathway allows for the breakdown of glucose could lead to a 50 percent increase in the production of biofuels. The new… Read More »

British IKEA selling solar panels for free energy after 7 years

Swedish flatpack pioneers IKEA are providing eco-friendly British shoppers with their own solar panels. As well as their Billy bookcases, tea light candles and meatballs with lingonberry,IKEA customers can now get add the energy-boosting panels to their shopping trolley. The Skandinavian superstore rolled out the solar panels in their Southampton store yesterday and will sell… Read More »

Studies Suggest Combining Renewables Can Fully Cover Energy Needs by 2030

The permanent closure of San Onofre also marked the 2,000-megawatt milestone for utility-scale solar power in California, doubled from 1,000-megawatts last September. Solar power has expanded rapidly in California as a result of high insolation and community support. As a result of programs such as Governor Schwarzenegger’s Million Solar Roofs initiative and the California Public… Read More »

Germany Breaks Its Own Record For Solar Power Generation

Germany just broke its monthly solar power generation record once again. In July, the grey-skied country logged 5.1 terawatt hours (TWh) of electricity from solar power, slightly better than the 5 TWh of electricity generated by wind turbines it produced in January. As Inhabitat points out, “The accomplishment proves once again that a lack of… Read More »

Artificial photosynthesis to make plants green with envy

Natural photosynthesis – the remarkable ability of plants to transform sunlight into useful energy – powers virtually all life on Earth. But that’s not enough for some people. Caltech chemistry professor Nate Lewis and his colleagues aim to show Mother Nature how it really should be done. Their goal is to produce fuel as energy-dense… Read More »

See-Through Solar Film Gets Big Efficiency Boost

A novel, transparent, two-layer solar film — possessing an impressive efficiency conversion of 7.3% — has been created by researchers at the University of California–Los Angeles. This is about double the transparent solar cell efficiency the researchers had previously achieved. The solar film can be placed on windows, buildings, sunroofs, electronics displays, etc; harvesting energy… Read More »

New material holds big energy hope

A new material that can store large amounts of energy with very little energy loss has been developed by researchers at the Australian National University. The material has practical applications in renewable energy storage, electric cars and defence and space technologies. “Dielectric materials are used to make fundamental electrical components called capacitors, which store energy,”… Read More »

Solar plane sets distance record on US tour

The first manned aircraft that can fly day and night powered only by solar energy set a new distance record Thursday when it landed after the second leg of a cross-country US tour. The Solar Impulse project, founded and led by two Swiss pilots, aims to showcase what can be accomplished without fossil fuels, and… Read More »

Compressing air for renewable energy storage

  Enough Northwest wind energy to power about 85,000 homes each month could be stored in porous rocks deep underground for later use, according to a new, comprehensive study. Researchers at the Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and Bonneville Power Administration identified two unique methods for this energy storage approach and two eastern… Read More »

Microalgae produce more oil faster for energy, food or products

Scientists have described technology that accelerates microalgae’s ability to produce many different types of renewable oils for fuels, chemicals, foods and personal-care products within days using standard industrial fermentation. The presentation was part of the 245th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS) on April 7. Walter Rakitsky, Ph.D, explained that microalgae… Read More »