The cool thing about economies of scale, and especially about cutting-edge gadgetry, is that generally the price goes down over time (remember the $500 iPhone?). But that may not be the case for ever-more-popular LED-backlit LCD TVs this year, or for LED light bulbs for that matter. Accompanying the surge of LED use in electronics, a shortage of light emitting diodes could put upward pressure on prices as device makers cut deals to get their hands on the essential little components.
It seems like a perennial story in the Golden State: the temperatures go up, air conditioners across the state kick into high gear and power utilities simply can't keep up. Now, a group of Southern California utilities plans to combat the state's searing summers with ice, building a 53-megawatt distributed energy storage project that will lock away off-peak cooling power for use during the sweltering mid-day peak.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.