Posts Tagged ‘energy’

Environmental News : : Germany Lead the Way

German scientists double the efficiency of solar cells

Researchers in Germany have found a way to combine a conventional solar panel with black silicon. A conventional panel can only harness 50%-70% of UV light. With the addition of black silicon, 100% of the suns energy can be absorbed, including infrared rays. I will not bore you wit the technical side (I was never good at chemistry) but these new solar panels are already in production. Furthermore the equipment used to produce these new panels is in the process of being mass produced. Do you think solar energy is more worth our time than wind energy?

Germany sets new solar record

solar energy, renewable energy, news, Germany, EU, 2020 energy goals, green design, sustainable design, eco-design, Germany, clean tech, alternative energy, solar panels

Seems like Germany have been investigating solar power for quite some time…. Last weekend, 22 gigawatts was fed into the German national grid, per hour. This culminated in providing almost half of the countries energy demands. After Fukushima, Japan as forced to shut down all nuclear power plants, Germany soon followed suit. This meant there was extra money and space to be spent on new energy resources. Like most European countries, Germany are aiming to cut greenhouse emissions by 40% between 1990 and 2020. Amazingly, it looks like they achieve this goal.

So next time someone tells you renewable energy is pointless, drop this knowledge bomb on them. I guess we can’t hate Germany just because of their football team forever…

 Asteroid dust clouds can act as a sunshade

asteroids, university of strathclyde, geoengineering, geoengineering projects, climate change, global warming, space mirrors, dust cloud, asteroid dust,

A research time from Strathclyde has suggested that blowing up asteroids could help save our planet.  Natural dust would be scattered in the atmosphere, thus reflecting sun rays. Like all geo-engineering projects (giant mirrors in space anyone?), this idea comes with a few risks. The dust particles will eventually disperse you to the gravitational pull of our solar system. Also, the collateral damage to earth would be unpredictable. Who knows where the extra debris would fall. The dust cloud would only be able to absorb 1.7% of the sun rays. Whilst this seems a small amount, it would still manage to cool the earth around 2-3 degrees celsius which would make a huge difference.

Whilst this isn’t the best geo-engineering project, it has shown us that we only need to stop a very small amount of solar radiation hitting the earth in order to make a very big difference.

IKEA will use 100% renewable resources by 2020

IKEA, Energy Neutrality, Sustainable energy, wind power, solar power, LED lighting, induction cooking, plant a tree

No, IKEA isn’t a European country involved in the 40% emission cut by 2020, although you wouldn’t be blamed for thinking so. The most inspirational part? IKEA have promised to plant more trees than they use. Since they are also investing in wind and solar energy, IKEA will be creating more energy than it uses. This isn’t just about self-sustainability, this is about helping to power the planet.

The $2 billion dollar investment shouldn’t discourage other companies from taking a similar environmental approach to business. This project is set to save IKEA and its consumers a lot of money.

 

I leave you with

A watch that saves children. No, it’s not by Toms.

Man attempts to cross the Irish Sea….in a giant hamster wheel. 

An alternative, cheap and eco-friendly chair that will make your friends jealous. 

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Environmental News : : Start skateboarding to save coral reefs

Electric skateboard becomes lightest form of electric transport

With 6 miles of battery life, this electric skateboard will save your pushing leg as well as the planet. It’s no secret that the flaw with skateboards is how you can’t ride up hill. This new skateboard changes all of that. It even brakes! Weighing in at just 12lbs, this 20mph ride could completely change your commute. If we’re being honest, it also looks incredibly cool, much more so than fixed gear bikes.

You can even take the motor off and ride it as a regular longboard. Sound appealing? Of course it does, check out Boosted Boards to become the coolest guy in the office.

 

Wind energy alone can power the planet

wind power, wind energy, wind turbines, carnegie institution for science, lawrence livermore national laboratory, airborne wind turbines, high altitude wind energy, ground based wind energy, ocean based wind energy
A study from Carnegie Institution for Science has revealed that, with the help of air born wind turbines, the planet can be powered exclusively by wind power.

Currently the earth needs 18TW of energy to run. By harnessing near-surface winds, we could generate 20 times the needed amount. It turns out that more wind turbine generators are a bad thing. They create a drag effect on the wind turbines that in turn slows down the overall velocity of wind. Thus- building more wind turbines wouldn’t be too effective. By harnessing air in the atmosphere we can overcome this issue and live sustainably for many years.

The CEO of the Carnegie Institution has said that “economic and political factors still play a large role” when deciding how to use wind power.

 

Caribbean coral reefs could soon become extinct

Live coral coverage has dropped to just 8% this year. During the 1970’s, this figure was a steady 50%. The root of all causes (pollution, overfishing, disease and bleaching) can be tracked to the rise in global temperature.

At an international environmental campaign in Korea the situation was listed as “critical” with “time running out”.  Scientists from the World Resources Institute have predicted that by 2050, virtually all coral reefs will be in danger.

So next time you go snorkelling, remember that everything you see is alive. Don’t remove anything from its natural habitat or stir sediment with your Michael Phelps sized flippers. Oh, and don’t buy dried coral from stores!

 

Sea otters can slow global warming

Two researches have found that an increase in sea otters would increase the amount of carbon dioxide being absorbed by kelp. Sea otters feed off sea urchins which in turn feed off kelp. Therefore, if there were a surge of sea otter reproductivity, kelp forests would prosper as there would be less sea urchins. 12 times the amount of carbon dioxide could be absorbed if this happened.

What’s that? You were thinking of adopting a sea otter for your next loved ones birthday? No? Well now there’s no reason not to!

 

Generate electricity with a rocking chair

Otarky, Rocking Chair, Modern Furniture, Renewable Energy, Electric Generator, Electricity, Igor Gitelstain, Israel
It’s called the Otarky and has been designed by a graduate student. Not only does this chair look incredibly stylish, but it will charge your iPad at the same time. Now just imagine what would happen if every homeowner had this chair?

The chrome rockers hide ball bearings which convert kinetic energy into electricity when the chair is rocked from back to forth. It’s a genius invention, allowing anyone to create sustainable energy whilst reading the newspaper. Be sure to check up on the Otarky in a year or so as it is still just a prototype.

I leave you with
Is the iPhone 5 green?
Man-made cabin in Wisconsin, built for musicians. 
Own an electric Batmobile by 2015