• Sustainable Aviation On The Horizon

    In 2010 NASA launched its N+3 initiative which awarded four major airlines extensive funds to research, design and develop more environmentally friendly aircraft. Lockheed Martin, MIT, GE Aviation and Boeing have been charged with the challenge to create a commercial plane that would expend 75% less emissions and consume 70% less fuel. Not a small undertaking but significant progress has already been made, especially by Boeing who have a promising hybrid aircraft in development stage. >> Read the Full Article
  • Growth in US Energy Production Outstripping Growth in Consumption

    In a recently released report, the Annual Energy Outlook 2013 (AEO2013), the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) projected the US energy markets through 2040. Their projections only take into account the effects of policies that have already been implemented in law or final regulations. The EIA found that the growth in energy production has outweighed the growth in consumption. This is due to many factors including rising crude oil and natural gas production through advanced technologies, new fuel economy requirements, and the increase in renewable fuels such as solar and wind. The result, EIA predicts, will be lower net CO2 emissions, five percent below the 2005 levels through 2040. >> Read the Full Article
  • DIY Solar Power and The Inevitable Pressure of Innovations

    One of the unmistakable aspects of the traditional v. green energy argument, no matter which jurisdiction you are talking about, is how time and advancement necessarily does funny things to the entire dialogue. Basically, it is not that much of a stretch to compare what is going on with alternative energy technology to what went on with the advent of the automobile over a century ago. On one hand, you have the reality of the moment that there are significant cost and availability gaps in the technology. In other words, the ability to make it available to the everyday consumer at a cost comparable to the standard fossil fuel driven power sources, is always an issue. >> Read the Full Article
  • Decal-like Sticker Will Make Solar Panels More Applicable

    Solar panels have been popping up on everything from rooftops to parking garages and even Christmas lights. However, these stiff and rigid heavy panels often limit their applications. Fortunately, researchers at Stanford University have developed flexible, decal-like solar panels that can be peeled off like stickers and stuck to virtually any surface, from papers to window panes. >> Read the Full Article
  • Fusion Power on Line?

    Fusion power is the power generated by nuclear fusion processes. In fusion reactions two light atomic nuclei fuse together to form a heavier nucleus (in contrast with fission power which breaks these bonds). To date there are no commercial fusion plants. These are expected to be less impactful than a fission plant because of less radioactive waste that can be created. The U.S. Department of Energy's Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) has joined forces with researchers in South Korea to develop a conceptual design for a pioneering fusion facility in that Asian nation. The proposed device, called K-DEMO, could be completed in the 2030s as the final step before construction of a commercial fusion power plant that would produce clean and abundant energy for generating electricity. >> Read the Full Article
  • EPA Finalizes Clean Air Standards for Boilers and Incinerators, Makes Progress in Protecting Public Health

    Today, the U.S. EPA finalized changes to Clean Air Act standards for boilers, incinerators, and cement kilns which are used by industries for everything from power generation, heating, treating waste, and manufacturing. These changes will achieve extensive public health protections by reducing toxic air pollution, while at the same addressing concerns and feedback from industry and labor groups, increasing the rule’s flexibility and dramatically reducing costs. As a result, 99 percent of the approximately 1.5 million boilers in the U.S. are not covered or can meet the new standards by conducting periodic maintenance or regular tune-ups. >> Read the Full Article
  • Which State Leads the the Solar Power Race?

    According to the Solar Energy Industries Association, in the second quarter of 2012, California again led the nation in installed solar capacity, with a total of 217 MW. The state is expected to lead the nation in the solar race again in 2013. According to new research from the California-based NPD Solarbuzz, California is projected to keep its position at number one in 2013, much thanks to its combination of policy initiatives and citizen motivation. >> Read the Full Article
  • From Landfill to Energy: UK Partnership Converts Methane Gas to Electricity

    A new partnership has started providing enough clean, green energy to power 2,000 homes across North Yorkshire after establishing an innovative way to capture and recycle the energy produced by a landfill site. The Walled Garden Partnership was set up by former landfill owners Tony and Gill Eyers 18 months ago to look at investing in machinery and technology to make the most of energy produced by a landfill site. >> Read the Full Article
  • How Can the Performance of Batteries in Electric Cars be Improved?

    I have been driving a Chevy VOLT for a year and a half. I have more than 26,000 miles on it, and have used 100 gallons of gasoline. That works out to more than 250 mpg. Of course, I have been charging the VOLT at home every night, and at the office during the day but my electric bills at both places are not noticeably higher. It would be nice if the electric range were a bit longer, but the gasoline engine on board that charges the batteries guarantees that I can keep driving as long as I need to. What are the limiting factors to increasing the range of the lithium ion batteries? Researchers led by Ohio State University engineers examined used car batteries and discovered that over time lithium accumulates beyond the battery electrodes – in the "current collector," a sheet of copper which facilitates electron transfer between the electrodes and the car's electrical system. This knowledge could aid in improving design and performance of batteries, explained Bharat Bhushan, Ohio Eminent Scholar and the Howard D. Winbigler Professor of Mechanical Engineering. "Our study shows that the copper current collector plays a role in the performance of the battery," he said. >> Read the Full Article
  • State to Get Electric Vehicle Charging Stations

    Rhode Island plans to install at least 30 public electric vehicle (EV) charging stations next year. The state Office of Energy Resources (OER) is directing the project to expand EV use across the state. Building EV charging stations, the OER says, will create jobs, reduce pollution and "accelerate Rhode Island's transition to electrified transportation." The charging stations are also part of a larger push to reduce petroleum consumption. >> Read the Full Article