A new hybrid power plant to be built in Turkey will combine a traditional gas-fired steam turbine with solar thermal power and wind power, according to GE. It’s a step toward integrating renewable sources into the traditional power grid, using steam and mirrors.
Hoping to take advantage of its violent volcanic heritage, Iceland is contemplating building the world’s biggest undersea electric cable, so it can sell geothermal power to other European nations. If it works, it could export enough electricity to power 1.25 million homes.
Using a small tank of water in a Colorado laboratory, Air Force researchers have captured 99 percent of the energy of a model ocean wave, proving it’s possible to use aeronautical principles to harness the power of the oceans.
The researchers used a cycloidal turbine, a lift-based energy converter, to grab the energy of a simulated deep-ocean wave. It can change direction almost instantly, and its structure is similar to that of a Voith Schneider propeller, which is used to power tugboats.
The federal government is investing in a one-of-a-kind power-storage plant in New York that will use a network of flywheels to store energy.
Massachussetts-based Beacon Power says the plant will buffer 20 megawatts of power on the grid, according to CNET. That's a big jump from previous installations, which have provided about a megawatt of power.
A new underwater kite being developed in Sweden could be a low-cost, low-impact method for harnessing ocean energy. Swedish start-up Minesto has obtained $2.5 million to start testing the kite in Northern Ireland next year.
The kite, called Deep Green, is able to capture tidal energy at 10 times the speed of the water in which it operates.
It consists of a 3-foot-long turbine attached to a rudder and a 39-foot wingspan, tethered to the ocean floor with a 330-foot cable, according to CNN.
America may have taken her first steps in what is sure to be a long, incremental, and sometimes painful shift toward a large-scale clean energy future. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar finally approved the Cape Wind project today, allowing for the construction of 130 turbines at Horseshoe Shoal south of Cape Cod.
The project will be the first major offshore wind project backed by the federal government, and if successful it might not be the last. Salazar said today that Cape Wind is only the first of many wind projects that will dot the Atlantic coast, piping carbon-free electricity back to shore for use in public power grids.
The Department of Energy just gave $100,000 to upstart company Solar Roadways, to develop 12-by-12-foot solar panels, dubbed "Solar Roads," that can be embedded into roads, pumping power into the grid. The panels may also feature LED road warnings and built-in heating elements that could prevent roads from freezing.
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.