In recent years, the U.S. military has been making small strides toward a greener energy standard – the Navy wants to create a green strike group by 2012, while the Air Force has been testing biofuels in its aircraft. But for troops on the ground relying increasingly on electronic devices, solar is the way forward. With that in mind, DARPA has assembled an industry-academic team of photovoltaic leaders to create the next generation of battle-ready solar cells that achieve 20 percent conversion while standing up to harsh combat conditions.
For environmentalist Jesse Ausubel, going green means land conservation and energy efficiency—and forgetting “boutique” renewables like windmills and biofuels
By John Bradley Posted 06.22.2010 at 11:18 am 43 Comments
It’s 2070. You’re on a train from New York to Boston. If you could see outside, it would be mostly open landscape. Maybe a nuclear plant or two, but otherwise green space—none of the urban sprawl, wind farms, solar arrays or biomass operations we’ve been taught to expect from an ecologically responsible future. But you can’t see outside, because you’re underground, traveling 300 miles an hour on a maglev train alongside superconducting pipes transporting the energy from those nuclear plants.
By Suzanne LeBarrePosted 06.21.2010 at 11:56 am 21 Comments
Physalia is half-boat, half-building, and all green. This mammoth aluminum concept by Belgian architect Vincent Callebaut is meant to travel Europe's rivers, making filthy water drinkable. At the same time, the ship generates more energy than it uses.
Given the way the government is beating up on a certain foreign oil company this morning, it's easy to think perhaps this is the impetus America needs to align government, industry, and popular sentiment toward developing home-grown renewable energy sources. But a look at the charges the Bureau of Land Management levies against solar power projects on public lands tells a different tale. In fact, it seems the more efficient your power plant, the more the BLM wants you to pony up.
In the global race to reduce carbon emissions, these eco-minded communities, from Kansas to the Maldives, lead the pack. Here’s how they’re making their carbon footprints disappear
By Patrick Di JustoPosted 06.17.2010 at 10:18 am 45 Comments
"Carbon neutral" sounds pretty straightforward—simply remove as much carbon dioxide from the atmosphere as you put in. The trouble is, civilization began emitting CO2 when humans burned the first lump of coal about 4,000 years ago.
This concept skyscraper could generate enough energy to power 4,000 homes
By Suzanne LeBarrePosted 06.03.2010 at 11:14 am 11 Comments
At first glance, the plans for the 10MW Tower have all the trappings of pre-crash Dubai: the improbable height, the flashy facade, the swagger of a newbie in a crowded skyline. On closer inspection, however, it's an eco-machine. The A-shaped, 1,969-foot concept skyscraper is designed to turn out as much as 10 times the energy it needs, enough to power up to 4,000 nearby homes.
Jeffrey Martin’s closed-loop plan for recycling heat-trapping carbon emissions into gasoline
By John Bradley Posted 06.02.2010 at 3:25 pm 4 Comments
Into the category of things that sound too good to be true, add Green Freedom. If the scientists behind this federally funded proposal are correct, we’ll be able to continue driving gas-powered cars and flying in gas-powered aircraft indefinitely, in a closed, net-zero-emissions system that won’t contribute to global warming.
Wind turbines of the future will be hulking behemoths, each capable of producing multiple megawatts of power. But before they're installed in wind farms, manufacturers need to be sure they are built to last. To this end, a monstrous 2.5-MW turbine--one of the world's largest--just survived an equally big test.
Algal blooms that feed on nutrient-rich manure and fertilizer runoff can deplete oxygen in the water when they die, creating inhospitable dead zones -- but the same green scum might also serve as a preventive solution upstream. A microbiologist with the U.S. Agricultural Research Service used algae to recover almost 100 percent of nitrogen and phosphorus nutrients from manure, and suggested that the dried-out algae can then act as slow-release fertilizer for farms.
Every time a bus, police car or mini sightseeing cart go by, you hear it: the soft buzz of an electric motor pushing wheels on pavement. Almost every official vehicle for the Expo is electric, whether it's powered by fuel cells, batteries or supercapacitors.