Energy

New hopes for getting the lead out of solar
May 5, 2014 10:16 AM - Robin Blackstone, ENN

Solar energy is arguably our most viable low cost energy source. It is forever sustainable and easily captured and converted. But now the technology may have taken yet another leap forward. To date the foundational technology behind photovoltaics was a structure called perovskite, which has been made with lead. Using tin instead of lead perovskite as the harvester of light, a team of Northwestern University researchers has created a new solar cell with "good efficiency". This good efficiency solar cell is low-cost, environmentally friendly and can be easily made using "bench" chemistry -- no fancy equipment or hazardous materials.

Spanish Island Powered by 100 Percent Renewable Energy
May 5, 2014 08:06 AM - Bill DiBenedetto, Triple Pundit

The possibilities of renewable energy are on display as El Hierro, the smallest of Spain’s Canary Islands, is set to become the world’s first land mass to be fully energy self-sufficient, when an 11.5 megawatt wind farm goes online late next month.

Is an Electric Car Right for You?
May 3, 2014 09:52 AM - CLEANTECHIES GUEST AUTHOR, Clean Techies

Operating a car without needing to visit a gas station is intriguing idea to many American drivers. After all, the pumps can be a painful place—gas prices have been on a roller coaster ride the past few years. But in the minds of many American, electric cars are nothing more than glorified golf cars incapable of providing adequate daily driving range or sufficient highway speed. In this new era of electrified transportation, those misconceptions need to be tossed aside. Todays' electric vehicles, like the Nissan Leaf, provide all the creature comforts and capabilities of gasoline internal combustion cars. These EVs comfortably seat four or five passengers, offer quasi-luxury features, and serve up smooth, silent and sporty levels of acceleration. But there are a couple of important issues to consider—such as driving range and refueling times.

"Close the door to landfilling." says the European Commission's Director-General for Environment
May 2, 2014 10:58 AM - Editor, ENN

In a passionate call for change, Karl Falkenberg, European Commission Director-General for Environment calls for a closure of landfilling, as we know it. "Separate collection is very much at the heart of this circular economy - [but] we are coming to realize that separate collection is not enough," said Falkenberg, the at a conference in Brussels on Tuesday (29 April).

Thoughtfully green Mother's Day gifts for your mother and Mother Nature
May 1, 2014 03:11 PM - Editor, ENN

No one is more special that your own mother - especially on Mother's Day. Celebrate your own mother and "Mother Nature" with one of these five great green gift ideas. These options offer a sustainable alternative to the chemical-laden flowers and mass-produced chocolates that dominate the market on Mother's Day. 1. Buy eco-friendly flowers- Although they are a beautiful part of nature, flowers aren't always eco-friendly. Most flowers are grown with a slew of chemicals and pesticides. They also typically come from warmer climates, such as South America, and have to make a long temperature-controlled journey before they reach your door. Opt for a greener option instead. There are several companies that sell eco-friendly flowers that are organically and locally grown. You could also purchase a potted plant from your local nursery. Not only are potted plants greener, they typically last a lot longer than a fresh-cut bouquet.

Oil underpinnings in Virunga National Park
May 1, 2014 11:06 AM - Editor, ENN

Virunga National Park, classified as a World Heritage site sits amongst the Rwenzori Mountains on the eastern portion of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). It spectacular features include its most well known residents, hippos and mountain gorillas. It is believed to have more biological diversity than any other protected area in Africa, no doubt in large part due to its mountain forests, wetlands, savanna grassland, volcanoes and lakes.

France moving away from Nuclear power
April 27, 2014 09:48 AM - ClickGreen Staff, ClickGreen

France may be the world's most nuclear energy dependent country, but times are changing as the country looks to increase the amount of wind—sourced electricity in its power mix. When French President Fran├žois Hollande took the reins of power in 2012 he pledged to reduce the country's nuclear dependency from 75% to 50% by 2025.

Cry for global STEM funding
April 24, 2014 10:50 AM - Oliver Girard, Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) , SciDevNet

In today's global economy, a workforce trained in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) is recognized as a primary driver of growth. Around the world, STEM education initiatives vary in scope, size, type, target populations and funding sources. What’s missing is a unified global mechanism for STEM education. Creating a Global STEM Fund would help support and implement effective and innovative STEM programs in developing countries. The NGO Cosmos Education, the STEM Innovation Camp in South Africa, the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences and the Bunengi STEM Africa are but a few examples of organizations and programs that could benefit.

Are Large Dams Economical?
April 23, 2014 08:51 AM - Editor, The Ecologist

A study of 245 large dams carried out at Oxford University shows that big hydropower is uneconomic. Actual costs are typically double pre-construction estimates - and have not improved over 70 years. Researchers at Oxford University have found that planners and policymakers systematically underestimate the costs and time required to implement large dam projects.

The Atlantic Cup looks to raise awareness on Rhode Island’s increasingly polluted shorelines
April 18, 2014 11:32 AM - Guest Contributor, Jeff Pomeroy

The 2014 Atlantic Cup presented by 11th Hour Racing, now entering its fourth year as the United States premiere class 40 yacht race, continues to lead the way in clean sailing and increasing ecologically awareness in the sailing community. In 2012, the Atlantic Cup became the first carbon-neutral sailing race in the country by offsetting an estimated 23,030 pounds (10.45 metric tons) of CO2 from entering the atmosphere. Last year, in partnership with 11th Hour Racing and Green Mountain Energy Company, the Atlantic Cup was chosen as the first event to meet all the requirements to earn Sailors for the Sea Clean Regatta Platinum Level Status. The Atlantic Cup will once again maintain its commitment to being the most environmentally responsible sailing race in the U.S. by using biodiesel hydro generators, solar panels and fuel cells to limit the use of fuel during competition, recycling waste, and becoming a plastic water bottle free event.

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