Energy Neutral Architecture That Inspires

What follows is a truly dynamic engineering feat, an entry in the 2014 Solar Decathalon, adding a photovoltaic skin to an old house – in this case a Dutch row house that was built following World War II – that will change the structure to an energy neutral domicile. The skin covers the exterior of the existing house from font to back, one side fitted with glass and photovoltaic panels to harvest solar energy, while the other contains insulation to…

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GE Introduces 2.85-103 Wind Turbine for Japan

Engineered for Higher Turbulence Conditions Experienced in Typhoon Class Wind Speeds and to Fit the Unique Japanese Landscape GE has  announced its 2.85-103 wind turbine for Japan with 2.85-megawatt rated power and 103-meter rotor diameter, generating high power output for constrained areas. The wind turbine is specifically engineered for Japanese environmental conditions and is able to withstand higher turbulence, typhoon class wind speeds and lightning beyond the current IEC standard. “We applaud Japan’s commitment to wind energy and are pleased to introduce…

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Grassroots Methane Capture

Understanding the basics about methane capture can provide us all with a great resource for our energy arsenal. Start with landfills. There is a lot of free energy out there that can be captured and used in places of need. According to the EPA, as of July 2013, there are 621 operational LFG energy projects in the United States and approximately 450 landfills that are good candidates for projects. Current and potential LFG energy projects Companies in the U.S. that…

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CU-Boulder Study: Methane Leaks from Palm Oil Wastewater are Climate Concern

In recent years, palm oil production has come under fire from environmentalists concerned about the deforestation of land in the tropics to make way for new palm plantations. Now there is a new reason to be concerned about palm oil’s environmental impact, according to researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder. An analysis published Feb. 26 in the journal Nature Climate Change shows that the wastewater produced during the processing of palm oil is a significant source of heat-trapping methane in the…

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Team converts sugarcane to a cold-tolerant, oil-producing crop

A multi-institutional team reports that it can increase sugarcane’s geographic range, boost its photosynthetic rate by 30 percent and turn it into an oil-producing crop for biodiesel production. These are only the first steps in a bigger initiative that will turn sugarcane and sorghum – two of the most productive crop plants known – into even more productive, oil-generating plants. The team will present its latest findings Tuesday (Feb. 25) at the U.S. Department of Energy’s ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summit in Washington,…

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IKEA Plugs-in 4 Electric Vehicle Charging Stations at Chicago-Area Store

IKEA today officially plugged-in four Blink® electric vehicle charging stations at one of its Chicago-area stores as part of its partnership with Car Charging Group, Inc., the new owner of the Blink Network and Blink charging stations, and the largest provider of EV charging services with more than 13,750 charging points in 35 states and three countries. To charge an EV at IKEA Bolingbrook, drivers pull into a designated parking spot, tap their Blink InCard (RFID card) to the reader below…

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Solar-induced hybrid fuel cell produces electricity directly from biomass

Although low temperature fuel cells powered by methanol or hydrogen have been well studied, existing low temperature fuel cell technologies cannot directly use biomass as a fuel because of the lack of an effective catalyst system for polymeric materials. Now, researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have developed a new type of low-temperature fuel cell that directly converts biomass to electricity with assistance from a catalyst activated by solar or thermal energy. The hybrid fuel cell can use a…

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Keeping the Carbon Capture and Storage Option

Australia should keep open the option to deploy carbon capture and storage (CCS), in readiness for global calls for deep cuts to greenhouse gas emissions, according to the nation’s leading CCS research organisation. In a submission to the Australian Government’s Energy White Paper, the Cooperative Research Centre for Greenhouse Gas Technologies (CO2CRC) has called for Australia to build on its CCS research skills, demonstration projects and strong knowledge base in the developing technology. “CCS is currently the only technology that…

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Waste from age-old paper industry becomes new source of solid fuel

More options are emerging for developing energy from waste products! “In today’s search for renewable energy sources, researchers are turning to the hi-tech, from solar and hydrogen fuel cells, and the very low-tech. The latest example of a low-tech alternative comes from an age-old industry: paper. A new study, appearing in ACS’ journal Energy & Fuels, reveals a sustainable way to turn the huge amounts of waste from paper production into solid fuel with the added bonus of diverting the sludge…

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Biodiversity in production forests can be improved without large costs

Forest management is based on recommendations that are supposed to maximize economic revenues. However, in 40% of cases a better economic result would be achieved by neglecting some of the recommendations. This would also greatly benefit biodiversity. These results were obtained by a research group lead by Professor Mikko Mönkkönen at the University Jyväskylä. The group studied a production forest landscape encompassing 68 square kilometers of land and more than 30,000 forest stands in Central Finland. The research project aimed…

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Climate Change: Pacific trade winds stall global surface warming — for now

The strongest trade winds have driven more of the heat from global warming into the oceans; but when those winds slow, that heat will rapidly return to the atmosphere causing an abrupt rise in global average temperatures Heat stored in the western Pacific Ocean caused by an unprecedented strengthening of the equatorial trade winds appears to be largely responsible for the hiatus in surface warming observed over the past 13 years. New research published today in the journal Nature Climate…

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New technique makes 'biogasoline' from plant waste

What follows is a new discovery from chemists at University of California, Davis in producing organic waste materials that can be used for transportation fuel to mitigate some of the negative effects of climate change. Bravo! Gasoline-like fuels can be made from cellulosic materials such as farm and forestry waste using a new process invented by chemists at the University of California, Davis. The process could open up new markets for plant-based fuels, beyond existing diesel substitutes. “What’s exciting is…

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How feasible is a carbon tax?

Ask the experts at Portland State University’s Northwest Economic Research Center As signs of climate change become harder to ignore municipalities around the globe and across the country are evaluating ways to put a price on emissions. One of those options, a carbon tax, is growing in prevalence. As states from Washington to Massachusetts consider how a carbon tax might be deployed within their borders, they’re looking to research done by Portland State University’s Northwest Economic Research Center (NERC). NERC…

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79 years of monitoring demonstrates dramatic forest change

Long-term changes to forests affect biodiversity and how future fires burn. A team of scientists led by Research Ecologist Dr. Eric Knapp, from the U.S. Forest Service’s Pacific Southwest Research Station, found dramatic differences in forests today compared to historic conditions prior to logging and fire suppression. The team conducted their research in the Forest Service’s Stanislaus-Tuolumne Experimental Forest on the Stanislaus National Forest in the central Sierra Nevada, remeasuring three large historical plots originally established in 1929 to evaluate…

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Methane hydrates and global warming

Dissolution of hydrates off Svalbard caused by natural processes Methane hydrates are fragile. At the sea floor the ice-like solid fuel composed of water and methane is only stable at high pressure and low temperature. In some areas, for instance in the North Atlantic off the coast of Svalbard, scientists have detected gas flares regularly. The reasons for their occurrence were still unclear but one hypothesis was that global warming might cause the dissolution of gas hydrates. Over the past…

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Environmental fiscal reform would improve the environment and reduce the informal economy

Researchers at the UPV/EHU-University of the Basque Country and the BC3 (Basque Centre for Climate Change) are proposing measures to improve the environment and the efficiency of the tax system: CO2 emissions should be taxed and taxes on labor should be The effect that the introduction of environmental fiscal reform would have on an economic system has been the focus of study since the 1990s. However, studies of this type have until now failed to take the informal economy into…

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Enormous aquifer discovered under Greenland ice sheet

Buried underneath compacted snow and ice in Greenland lies a large liquid water reservoir that has now been mapped by researchers using data from NASA’s Operation IceBridge airborne campaign. A team of glaciologists serendipitously found the aquifer while drilling in southeast Greenland in 2011 to study snow accumulation. Two of their ice cores were dripping water when the scientists lifted them to the surface, despite air temperatures of minus 4 F (minus 20 C). The researchers later used NASA’s Operation…

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Kinangop Wind Farm in Kenya to be Powered by 38 GE Wind Turbines

One of the Largest Wind Power Generation Projects to be Built in Sub-Saharan Africa The Kinangop Wind Farm in Kenya, developed by Aeolus Kenya and constructed by Iberdrola Engineering, will be powered by 38 GE 1.6-megawatt (MW) wind turbines. The Kinangop facility will be one of the largest wind power generation projects to be built to date in sub-Saharan Africa. Following its commissioning, the 61-MW wind farm will generate enough renewable electricity to power the equivalent of 150,000 homes in the…

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