“Energy conservation is probably not the first thing that comes to mind when you think about freeways jammed with idling vehicles. But in California, which has some of the most congested freeways in the country, that’s about to change. The California Energy Commission (CEC) has approved a pilot program in which piezoelectric crystals will be installed on several freeways. No, these aren’t some kind of new-agey crystals with mystical powers. Piezoelectric crystals, about the size of watch batteries, give off an electrical discharge when they’re mechanically stressed, such as when a vehicle drives over them.
What was then an implausible idea—collecting solar energy in space and sending it to Earth—is now the goal of scientists around the world, marking a new space race that could end reliance on dwindling fossil fuels, fundamentally shift power in the geopolitical conflicts they have sparked, and meet the rising demand for energy from the developing world. Paul Jaffe, a spacecraft engineer and principal investigator at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, D.C., has brought the U.S. closer to that goal with his work on space solar technology, which has drawn international attention—and for good reason: The innovation would have a profound impact on humanity.
The global economy is in a massive transition from a fossil-fuel-based energy system to one using sophisticated renewable energy technologies. For tens of thousands of fossil fuel workers, though, the energy industry outlook is not promising. For coal industry workers, the future looks particularly bleak. However, research I conducted with Edward Louie of Oregon State University offers hope for a better future based on retraining workers. Our study (published in the journal Energy Economics) quantified the costs and benefits of retraining coal workers for employment in the rapidly expanding solar photovoltaic industry—and it explores different ways to pay for this retraining.
From no-waste, no-impact, buy-nothing, no-money to living tiny, there are a multitude of saner and more courageous alternatives to the unthinking, zombie wastefulness of mainstream living. For Canadian couple Wayne Adams and Catherine King, living self-sufficiently meant building their own floating island near Tofino, British Columbia, consisting of twelve interconnected platforms that support their home, greenhouse, lighthouse and a dance studio.
The City of London Corporation has banned the purchase or hire of diesel vehicles for its business. The public authority, which has a fleet of more than 300 vehicles, announced on Friday it will now no longer lease or purchase diesel models when older models need replacing.
For a glimpse of what New York’s just-announced clean energy standard could mean to the state’s economy, look West.
Read the full article on http://www.bloomberg.com “Chile’s solar industry has expanded so quickly that it’s giving electricity away for free.Spot prices reached zero in parts of the country on 113 days through April, a number that’s on track to beat last year’s total of 192 days, according to Chile’s central grid operator. While that may […]
On Wednesday, Sweden ostentatiously inaugurated a test stretch of the world’s first electric road. Equipped with aerial contact lines from Siemens, the road is expected to supply electric hybrid trucks from Scania with renewable electricity in a costly bid to reach carbon neutrality.
A federal plan to offer leases for offshore wind power development near the coastline of Oahu could help Hawaii take a big step toward reaching its goal of generating all its electrical power with renewable energy sources by 2045. Stationing giant turbines in the ocean north and south of the island will be a huge engineering challenge.
The nation’s capital took another step toward nation-leading climate action today, as the District of Columbia Council unanimously approved legislation, B21-650, to expand DC’s renewable energy target to 50 percent by 2032.