Two Wind Farms Get New Zealand Closer To 90% Renewable Power

by Justin Phelps •

New Zealand is one big step closer to accomplishing the ambitious goal of generating 90% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2025. The country already produces nearly 80% of its power from clean sources, including hydropower, geothermal, and wind farms. With hydropower approaching its natural limit, New Zealand is investing heavily in two huge new wind farms.

Astrophysicist’s Technique Could Cut Plane Boarding Time In Half

by Justin Phelps •

Fermilab scientist Jason Steffen recently presented a creative and simple solution to a problem that affects hundreds of millions of people per year: inefficient airplane boarding procedures. Typically, airlines board in several zones, from back to front, one zone at a time. Though it may appear logical, this method is full of disorganization. Passengers in a given zone are all …

Google Pulls The Plug With Inductive EV Charging Stations

by Tracy McGill •

Plugless Power, an innovative EV charging station that uses hands-free, wireless inductive charging, has been installed at Google’s headquarters in Mountain View, California. Developed by Evatran, the charging stations are built into parking spaces to automatically charge the electric vehicle while it’s parked. This is the first public trial of the system. Google utilizes a variety of EVs to get …

Can Nuclear Energy Be Green? Thorium And Traveling Wave Reactors Give It A Shot

by Tracy McGill •

The recent events in Japan have sparked renewed debate over the risks of nuclear energy. Nuclear energy advocates defend uranium as a sustainable source of energy that is relatively safe, that is until something goes wrong. Opponents have long maintained the health and environmental risks associated with uranium mining and nuclear waste alongside the threat of nuclear power plant accidents …

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Amazing Dutch Bike Path Embedded With Solar Panels

by Tracy McGill •

What could make bike riding even more efficient? How about a bike path embedded with solar panels to produce clean energy while encouraging people to get on their bikes? The town of Krommenie in the Netherlands, just north of Amsterdam, will be receiving the SolaRoad bike path, scheduled to open in 2012.

New Ford Focus Electric Aims to Blow Nissan Leaf Away

by Tracy McGill •

Since the release of our 2011 electric car review, Ford has unveiled the new 2012 Focus Electric, first at the recent 2011 International Consumer Electronics Show, and currently at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Though showing up a little late to the electric vehicle party, Ford is flaunting the new Focus’ ability to recharge the 23 kwh …

Valero Invests in Producing Car Fuel From Wood Waste

by Tracy McGill •

The cellulosic ethanol movement got a much needed boost yesterday with the announcement that Valero, the nation’s largest independent oil refiner, is investing $50 million into the Mascoma Corporation’s plans to build a commercial sized wood-based biofuel refinery in Kinross, Michigan. Together with subsidiary Frontier Renewable Resources, Mascoma, based in Lebanon N.H., intends to break ground on the facility by …

Minimalist Functional Design

by Justin Thomas •

designing-design-white-kenya-hara

Kenya Hara wrote the book “Designing Design“, which is 472 page tribute to “white” not just as color but as a design concept. It contains chapters by like-minded designers such as Jasper Morrison and Naota Fukasawa. The works of German industrial designer Dieter Rams (Braun), and Apple’s “Snow White” design language are other examples of the “less is more” approach …

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Intelligent Electrical Outlets: Efficient and Safe

by Justin Thomas •

Here’s a short presentation at TED 2010 by inventor John La Grou, where he unveils an invention that would make electrical outlets much smarter. The invention, Safeplug, promises to prevent deadly accidents like house fires — and to conserve energy.

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Southface Energy Institute: A Resource For Sustainable Design

by Benjamin Roman •

Energy efficient building designs and technologies are everywhere these days. In fact, the sheer number of options can seem a little overwhelming for those interested in sustainable construction techniques. But Southface Energy Institute, headquartered in Atlanta, can be a valuable resource for homeowners, commercial or residential builders, or individuals who simply want to learn more about environmentally friendly design.