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Global Warming

The Cool Earth concentrator design

There is no doubt that mankind stands at a pivotal point in our history in relation to our consumption of global resources and the resultant impact on the planet on which we live. By far the biggest concern is our ever-growing appetite for energy to power the lifestyles we have grown not only accustomed to, but also dependent upon. Solar is one answer with great potential, but economics and the amount of power it can produce in comparison to fossil fuel power stations has held it back so far. Now new approaches like Cool Earth’s collectors are becoming advanced enough to effectively tackle these problems with technology that relies on inexpensive and free materials, is scalable, able to compete economically with fossil fuel power plants and is capable of delivering not just megawatts, but gigawatts of clean power.  Read More

Planning ahead: US electricity generation sources

While the current Wall Street financial crisis has many on edge in regard to the short term future of the economy, Google has displayed some far-sighted corporate leadership in releasing its plan for how to reduce fossil fuel use by 2030. "Clean Energy 2030" is designed to stimulate debate on a range of energy consumption issues and includes proposals to slash vehicle oil consumption and CO2 emissions by 38% and reduce US reliance on fossil fuel-based electricity generation by 88% through a significant boost to solar, wind and geothermal output. Importantly, the report also focusses on the "win-win" potential for this aggressive attack on climate change, citing a figure of $1.0 trillion net savings over the 22-year life of the plan.  Read More

Sheraton’s Wild Horse Pass Resort

The Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort & Spa has launched a new initiative called GeoGreen which is designed to ensure environmental and cultural sustainability whilst maintaining the heritage and well-being of the Gila River Indian Community. Guests will find a restaurant menu featuring local ingredients sourced from Gila River farms, grounds filled with native plants watered by a timed drip system, local businesses being engaged in the process of keeping the resort green and will have the opportunity to be exposed to the culture of the Pima and Maricopa people.  Read More

New research stirs corn-ethanol debate
 Photo: Noel McKeegan

A team of researchers from the University of Washington researched the impact on soil fertility and effects on food supply when fuels based on crops such as corn and soybeans are mixed with fossil fuels. They discovered that the large amounts of energy required to grow corn and then convert it to produce ethanol had a net energy gain that was modest and that corn-based ethanol was the worst offender amongst the alternative energy fuels.  Read More

A London black cab

May 23, 2008 While improvements in engine technology have led to a marked improvement in fuel efficiency and carbon emissions in vehicles running on internal combustion engines in recent years, even greater cuts in emissions need to be made to tackle the global environmental problems associated with them. We’ve seen commercial airlines turning to biofuels, trucks running on liquefied natural gas and buses using ethanol engines. One of the most promising solutions for the humble car of the future could is hydrogen fuel cell systems, with a number of car manufacturers investing heavily in development.  Read More

Tore Skjetne and Viking Venture's  Joar Welde with the snow-like crystals
 Photo: Svein Tø...

April 2, 2008 Traditional water-purification techniques such as filtration or distillation attempt to remove the contaminants from water by fluid flow. Reversing this thinking, a new Scandinavian spin-off company is researching a new method of purification that takes the clean water molecules out of the contaminated matter using carbon dioxide gas.  Read More

Waterfront Toronto - West Don Lands design perspective

March 18, 2008 Waterfront Toronto, a 2,000 acre area of largely publicly owned land, is one of the largest urban developments currently underway in North America. As part of the project, a 3500 square meter District Energy Centre is under development which will consist of an interconnected network of underground pipes which that be extended to every area in each of the waterfront precincts. The plant will initially be powered by natural gas but the design will incorporate the necessary features for easy conversion to more sustainable, alternative fuel sources when they are approved for urban use. This "future-proof" system will make the new waterfront neighborhood a more efficient and sustainable user of energy in years to come.  Read More

Beijing National Aquatic Center

February 6, 2008 Construction work on the Beijing National Aquatic Center began in December 2003 in preparation for the 2008 Olympics and four years later, a stunning piece of architecture has been completed. The “Water Cube” is a rectangular-shaped steel building covered by a membrane of brightly lit blue bubbles which is incredible to look at but it is also important on an environmental level. The Water Cube consists of 100,000 sq m of ETFE, (Ethylene Tetrafluoroethylene) a unique transparent plastic which absorbs solar radiation and reduces thermal loss. This is the first time EFTE has been used in China and it is the world’s largest and most complex EFTE building ever constructed.  Read More

Eco vision: carbon neutral and zero waste community
 Image: Foster + Partners

February 5, 2008 Following on from last year's announcement of plans to create the world’s first world’s first zero carbon, zero waste city as part of the Masdar Initiative, the Abu Dhabi government has committed a US$15 billion to help explore, develop and commercialize clean energy sources.  Read More

Air Launcher JET Alpha nozzle

February 1, 2008 In an era where the need to reduce, reuse and recycle is a the top of the agenda, any innovation that helps in this regard is a welcome one. In providing a solution to the specific problem of recycling aerosol cans, Tokyo-based company CC Medico has developed the Air Launcher JET Alpha nozzle, a new type of aerosol nozzle which is easily removed and separated from the can by hand, which makes recycling the cans much easier.  Read More

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