Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Renewable Energy

Dutch researchers have developed the EWICON, a bladeless windmill with no moving parts tha...

Wind energy may be one of the more sustainable sources of power available, but the spinning blades of conventional wind turbines require regular maintenance and have attracted criticism from bird lovers. That might explain why we've seen wind turbine prototypes that enclose the blades in a chamber or replace them entirely with a disc-like system. But researchers in the Netherlands set out to eliminate the need for a mechanical component entirely and created the EWICON, a bladeless wind turbine with no moving parts that produces electricity using charged water droplets.  Read More

North Carolina 4th-grade students have raised enough funds on Kickstarter to allow their c...

After looking into the pros and cons of nine methods of electricity production (including coal, geothermal, biomass, and solar), a group of 9 and 10 year-olds from Central Park School for Children in Durham, North Carolina decided that their classroom should be powered using only energy from the sun. They hit Kickstarter at the beginning of this month with a modest funding goal of just US$800 to help finance the installation of a small PV panel array – a target that was smashed in less than a day.  Read More

Offshore wind turbines near Copenhagen (Photo: Tony Moran/Shutterstock)

Not having a section devoted to cures for insomnia, Gizmag tends to pass over press releases about investment agreements. Tuesday's announcement that the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ (BTMU) is to find somewhere in the order of US$ 2 billion for the Cape Wind is extremely interesting, however, as it means the U.S. should finally build its first offshore wind farm, with construction slated to commence before the year's end.  Read More

The Shams 1 concentrated solar power plant covers and area of 2.5 square km (1 sq mile)

Thanks to its low latitude and low percentage of cloudy days, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is an ideal location for capturing solar energy. So it’s no surprise to see the world’s largest operating concentrated solar power (CSP) has launched in the sun-soaked Middle Eastern country. Officially inaugurated this week by UAE President and Ruler of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Shams 1 is a 100 MW CSP that will power 20,000 UAE homes.  Read More

Diagram of the experimental device that sees the osmotic transport of water through a tran...

In November 2009, Norwegian state owned electricity company Statkraft opened the world’s first osmotic power plant prototype, which generates electricity from the difference in the salt concentration between river water and sea water. While osmotic power is a clean, renewable energy source, its commercial use has been limited due to the low generating capacities offered by current technology – the Statkraft plant, for example, has a capacity of about 4 kW. Now researchers have discovered a new way to harness osmotic power that they claim would enable a 1 m2 (10.7 sq. ft.) membrane to have the same 4 kW capacity as the entire Statkraft plant.  Read More

(Image: Viteos)

Swiss energy company Viteos has announced that it is to build three floating solar arrays on Lake Neuchâtel. Viteos will work with tech company and "energy enabler" Nolaris to build the 25-m (82-ft) diameter islands, each with 100 photovoltaic panels.  Read More

Bloomberg analysts say electricity generation from new wind farms is cheaper than new coal...

In 2008, the Garnaut Climate Change Review ranked Australia as the highest per capita emitter of greenhouse gases of any OECD country and amongst the highest in the world. One of the reasons for the country's high carbon footprint is its reliance on coal for electricity generation – 54 percent of it, according to the Australian Coal Association. But a new study by Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) points to a cleaner energy future with the claim that unsubsidized renewable energy is now a cheaper option for electricity generation than new coal- or gas-fired power stations.  Read More

The entire  5.8 hectare development site aims to deliver 1900 residences available for occ...

A major urban redevelopment is taking place in Sydney, Australia, as it attempts to become one of the word’s most liveable green cities within a 20-year time-frame as part of the “Sustainable Sydney 2030” vision. One remarkable inner city project passed a major milestone this month as part of its contribution to the eco plan. The development, named “One Central Park,” had its 110-tonne steel heliostat frame hoisted into place during the early hours of February 1st.  Read More

Blade Dynamics already manufacturers impressive wind turbine blades

The Energy Technologies Institute in the United Kingdom has announced that UK-based wind turbine blade manufacturer Blade Dynamics has been awarded a contract that will see the creation of the world's longest turbine blades, between 80 and 100 meters (262 and 328 feet) in length. Currently, the longest turbine blades are for offshore wind farms, maxing out at 75 meters (246 feet).  Read More

A new study claims that a municipal grid could be powered almost entirely via renewable so...

Although critics of renewable energy may claim that it isn't reliable enough to power a grid, a new study gives proponents of clean power – such as wind and solar – fresh ammunition to respond. A thorough analysis carried out by the University of Delaware and Delaware Technical Community College concluded that renewable energy could reliably power a large electrical grid 99.9 per cent of the time by 2030, at a cost that matches today’s electricity prices.  Read More

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