Carbon Absorption: Princeton Research News on Tropical Forests

According to recent research news, tropical forest carbon absorption may hinge on an odd couple. A unique housing arrangement between a specific group of tree species and a carbon-loading bacteria may determine how well tropical forests can absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, according to a Princeton University-based study. The findings suggest that the role of tropical forests in offsetting the atmospheric buildup of carbon from fossil fuels depends on tree diversity, particularly in forests recovering from exploitation. Tropical forests…

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Efficient Combustion Engine

Innovative hybrid diesel engine developed to run on natural gas Researchers at ETH Zurich have developed an internal combustion engine that emits less than half the CO2 compared to a regular engine without compromising performance. This corresponds to fuel consumption of less than 2.4l per 100km. This natural gas-diesel hybrid engine is based on a system of sophisticated control engineering. The global energy markets are changing. New extraction methods are tapping into oilfields and natural gas deposits that have been…

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First Solar Announces Joint Venture with Belectric

Solar industry leaders launch JV to fulfill projects in Europe, North Africa and US First Solar, Inc. and BELECTRIC Holding, GmbH today announced the launch of a Joint Venture (JV) that will realize solar energy projects on three continents. The JV – PV Projects GmbH & Co. KG – is based in Germany and will be tasked with developing selected photovoltaic (PV) power projects independently acquired or developed by either of the two companies in Europe, North Africa, as well…

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First Uses of New Solar Energy Technology: Killing Germs on Medical and Dental Instruments

Prototypes of the devices, which need no electricity or fuel, were the topic of one of the keynote addresses at the opening of the 246th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS), the world’s largest scientific society. The meeting, which features almost 7,000 reports on new advances in science and other topics, continues through Thursday in the Indiana Convention Center and downtown hotels.

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Santa Clara University’s Radiant House

Five miles from home, and you start to worry: Did I leave the bathroom light on? Did I forget to close the patio window? Such uneasiness might result in a hasty U-turn but there’s no need for that, says a group of Santa Clara University students, because peace of mind is only a smartphone away. A team of SCU engineering students is designing a mobile application that – among other tricks – allows a homeowner to remotely shut off lights…

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SolarWorld Breaks Ground on More Than 500 Kilowatts of Solar Carports at Four California Parks

SolarWorld oversees engineering, procurement, construction and permitting SolarWorld, the largest U.S. solar manufacturer for more than 35 years, announced today that it has begun constructing solar carports totaling 537 kilowatts of power-generation capacity at four public parks in Thousand Oaks, Calif. The four carports are expected to generate a total of 17,300,000 kilowatt-hours in renewable energy, saving the Conejo Recreation and Parks District (CRPD), the local government unit that owns and operates the parks, millions of dollars over 25 years.…

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Hydrogen Fuel from Sunlight

Berkeley Lab researchers at Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis make unique semiconductor/catalyst construct  In the search for clean, green sustainable energy sources to meet human needs for generations to come, perhaps no technology matches the ultimate potential of artificial photosynthesis. Bionic leaves that could produce energy-dense fuels from nothing more than sunlight, water and atmosphere-warming carbon dioxide, with no byproducts other than oxygen, represent an ideal alternative to fossil fuels but also pose numerous scientific challenges. A major step toward…

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The Smart Grid Interoperability Panel Accelerates Power Grid Modernization at Inaugural Conference

The Smart Grid Interoperability Panel (SGIP), a member-funded organization that engages Smart Grid stakeholders to accelerate standards harmonization and advance interoperability, today announced it will host its Inaugural Conference, November 5-7, 2013. The conference, to be held at the PGA National Hotel in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, will host power grid stakeholders from around the globe and feature discussions on power grid modernization supporting SGIP’s mission in orchestrating the harmonization of Smart Grid standards.

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Builders and Efficiency Advocates Reach New Homes Energy Code Change Agreement

Today’s announcement by the Leading Builders of America (LBA), Institute for Market Transformation (IMT), Natural Resources Defense Council, and the Britt/Makela Group comes in advance of next week’s (Aug. 26) publication of proposals to be considered by the International Code Council (ICC) in October, when code officials vote on proposed changes to the 2015 edition of the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC).

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Can Solar Energy Help Save Greece?

What happens to renewable energy programs in a country that gets whacked by a full-scale debt crisis, like the one that struck Greece beginning in 2009 — do the programs whither and die in the winds of austerity? And how do people view such programs when many of them can’t afford to heat their houses?

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Making Solar Energy Affordable: The Positive Sides of Copper Doping

In order to make solar energy widely affordable scientists and engineers all over the world are looking for low-cost production technologies. Flexible thin film solar cells have a huge potential in this regard because they require only a minimum amount of materials and can be manufactured in large quantities by roll-to-roll processing. One such technology relies on cadmium telluride (CdTe) to convert sunlight into electricity. With a current market share that is second only to silicon-based solar cells CdTe cells already today are cheapest in terms of production costs.

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