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Clean Energy

Environment

New research shows real government subsidies for clean and dirty power

How can you tell when a politician is lying? First check to see if his/her lips are moving. New research has revealed that despite what they would have you believe, the world’s governments subsidize the fossil fuel sector far more than they do renewables and biofuels. Indeed, the assistance delivered to the oil, coal, and other fossil fuel sectors makes a mockery of claims that government is serious about reducing carbon emissions. Hey folks, that’s YOUR MONEY!Read More

Environment

Frog Design and ECOtality team up for smart EV charging solution

Well, it was only a matter of time. Electric vehicle charging stations aren’t even commonplace yet, but already someone has come up with a better-looking one. Frog Design, well-known for developing cool concepts such as an Intel Point-of-Sale kiosk and a range of wearable devices, has teamed up with clean energy company ECOtality to create the Blink EV charging station. There are two versions, one for homes and one for commercial use, and they’re both pretty snazzy.Read More

Energy

World's largest laser takes first steps towards nuclear fusion reaction

The quest to create a controlled fusion reaction is underway at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory’s National Ignition Facility (NIF), with scientists reporting early progress ahead of ignition experiments which are due to start later this year. The ultimate aim of the world's largest laser - which is the size of three football fields - is to develop carbon-free, limitless fusion energy.Read More

Environment

ONR’s microbial fuel cell generates electricity from mud

It is estimated there are approximately five nonillion (that’s 5x10 to the power of 30) bacteria on Earth, and although they generally get a bad rap, there are actually many beneficial bacteria that are vital to life on our planet. As we’ve seen previously, scientists are now looking to harness bacteria to produce electricity through microbial fuel cells. These microbial fuel cells (MFCs) convert chemical energy to electrical energy to offer a clean, efficient and reliable alternative to batteries and other environmentally harmful fuels. Recognizing their potential the Office of Naval Research (ONR) has developed an MFC that could revolutionize naval energy use by converting decomposed marine organisms into electricity.Read More

Environment

Plasma technology offers clean fuel breakthrough

The same process that illuminates big-screen plasma TV’s can now create ultra-clean fuels, according to a scientific report presented earlier this week. According to Prof. Albin Czernichowski from France’s University of Orleans, a device called a GlidArc reactor has successfully been used to create clean fuels from waste materials, utilizing electrically-charged clouds of gas called “plasmas.” One of the fuels is a form of diesel that reportedly releases ten times less air pollution than conventional diesel.Read More

Environment

Haircare ingredients could hold key to reducing CO2 emissions

New York-based scientists believe that materials closely resembling ingredients found in hair-conditioning shampoos and fabric softeners might be used to “scrub” carbon dioxide (CO2) from coal-burning emissions. These aminosilicones show potential as a less expensive and more efficient alternative to current technologies with tests resulting in removal of up more than 90 percent of CO2 from simulated flue gas.Read More

Environment

Sanyo Eneloop bike up close and personal at CES 2010

We met with Sanyo's David Cabanban Sanyo at CES 2010 and he was kind enough to speak to us about the recent Sanyo-Panasonic alliance as well as Sanyo's new solar panel that is translucent, allowing it to capture solar energy not only from on top of the panel, but also from light reflected off the ground. David also took us through the finer points of the eneloop bike we first spied in December 2008 and we jumped aboard for a test ride. The bike features impressive power-assisted technology that amplifies the rider's pedaling, making cycling up hills or at speeds of up to 15mph that much easier. Read More

Environment

New solar storage solution could be the key to home-brewed electricity

Reports of new developments in the area of solar power are an almost daily event here at Gizmag. The main focus of research seems to be on improving the efficiency of solar cells, but others are working at developing an inexpensive method of locally storing the energy generated by solar systems. Because society relies on a continuous energy supply and solar energy is diurnal, storage systems are integral to what some see as an inevitable move towards the era of “personalized solar energy”, in which the focus of electricity production shifts from huge central generating stations to individuals in their own homes and communities.Read More

Automotive

Nissan’s 2010 EV in detail

Nissan has showcased its electric vehicle (EV) platform on a Tiida-based hatchback model. The Nissan EV-11 prototype seats four-five adults, has a top speed of around 87mph (140kmh), a cruising range of 100 miles (160km) between charges and, being a full EV, produces zero local CO2 emissions. The in-house developed electric motor delivers 80kW (107hp) for “high response and powerful acceleration”. Nissan has also plans some clever IT for its EV platform, like remote ON/OFF charging via a cell phone or the Internet, useful mapping features including automatic updates on the nearest charging stations, a global data center providing 24/7 support and a scheme that could even see non-contact charging introduced in carparks. Read More

Science

Converting light into energy with ‘artificial leaf’ one step closer

As an efficient, natural means of capturing solar energy, photosynthesis is hard to beat. But it’s also proving extremely difficult to duplicate. That’s why researchers at Leiden University in the Netherlands are very excited at having built a light-harvesting antenna using the chlorophyll of the alga Spirulina: they’re now halfway towards the artificial leaf.Read More

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