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Environment

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Ted Craver, Edison International chairman and CE...

In March this year Gizmag reported on Southern California Edison’s (SCE) plan to create the State’s largest single solar photovoltaic installation. The company has now announced that the first of its major commercial rooftop solar installations is complete, and powering homes in Southern California.  Read More

The Agucadoura wave farm

The world’s first commercial wave farm in Portugal is now operational. Three 750kW Pelamis Wave Energy Converters (PWEC) have been installed in the first stage of a project which, when complete, will provide enough clean energy to meet the needs of 15,000 households.  Read More

Making waves work: the Searaser hydro-power system

Our second ingenious example of bringing new approaches to hydro-power generation for the week, SEARASER works on the conventional principle of using water pressure to drive turbines but achieves this in a unique way. The system consists of a tethered wave energy converter which uses the rolling motion of waves to pump water to higher ground on-shore from where it can then be stored and used to create electricity on demand.  Read More

An array of VIVACE
 Illustration credit: Omar Jamil

Hydro-power systems are by far the most widely used form of renewable energy on the planet, but despite their eco-friendly appeal the implementation of large scale facilities - particularly where dam building is involved - has some serious environmental and economic drawbacks. One solution to this impasse that is growing in support is to use leaner, less destructive systems to better harness current flow and provide energy at a local level. This is the thinking behind VIVACE, a machine developed at the University of Michigan which applies the same principles fish use to swim efficiently in order to generate power from currents much slower than those required to drive designs based on turbines and water mills.  Read More

The rotors can be raised above the waterline for maintenance

The giant 1.2MW SeaGen tidal energy system is on track to begin full operation in January following the replacement of two rotor blades on the second of its two turbines. The second turbine is now running under "test mode" while the first has been generating power into the local grid, at varying levels up to its maximum of 600kW, since the summer.  Read More

Fusion Canvas/Leather Solar Messenger Bag

Every owner of a personal electronic device knows the frustration of running out of battery power when out and about. Solar bags offer a great solution and a growing number of shapes and sizes (even golf bags) are hitting the market. The new Fusion Messenger Bags by Eclipse Solar Gear further adds to the options.  Read More

Bioethanol from Olive Stones

Have you every wondered what happens to all of the stones removed from the olives that end up on our shelves and in delis? The answer could now be that they are turned into bioethanol and used as an alternative to petrol or diesel.  Read More

Human Pump concept by Gunwook Nam

According to research from the Pacific Institute, more than five million people die each year from water-related disease, primarily due to inadequate access to clean water which, if it is available, often requires trekking over long distances to reach it. Gunwook Nam from South Korea has proposed a solution that harnesses people power - literally. The Human Pump concept uses a boardwalk structure fitted with springs that captures and stores kinetic energy from foot-traffic and uses it to pump underground water to the surface.  Read More

Mini sensor to improve detection of greenhouse gases

Governments could be able to more easily and cheaply monitor greenhouse gas emissions thanks to a miniature gas sensor being developed by a new European consortium, led by VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland. The sensor would also have applications for consumers by improving air conditioning in buildings.  Read More

The project will utilize Vergnet turbines
 Photo: www.vergnet.fr

With its nation in need of additional energy resources, the Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation (EEEPC) has announced it will build Africa's largest wind farm - a 120MW facility to be based in Ashegoba in the country’s north.  Read More

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