Clean Energy Rules Backed by Leading Tech Companies

People like the idea of clean energy, the ability for us to generate more energy than we use all from renewable sources that don’t damage the environment. France requires that new buildings have solar panels or grass on the roofs, and an Indian airport has decided that solar power is the way they want to go. In a move to help further our advances towards clean energy governments are making more and more pushes, this time, it would seem that the clean power plan in America is getting some backing from rather large companies in the technology industry.The Clean Power Plan is designed to cut carbon pollution 32 percent below 2005’s levels, all by the time we reach 2030. With more and more pressure on reducing our CO2 output, coal-fired plants are under increased pressure to become more efficient (same energy, less CO2,

The Clean Power Plan is designed to cut carbon pollution 32 percent below 2005’s levels, all by the time we reach 2030. With more and more pressure on reducing our CO2 output, coal-fired plants are under increased pressure to become more efficient (same energy, less CO2) while also groups and companies are under more pressure to promote and use renewable energy sources like solar or wind farms.

Considering themselves “major purchasers of electricity”, Amazon, Apple, Google, and Microsoft have come together and formally backed the Clean Power Plan in the United States Court of Appeals where the act is currently on hold.

With both large tech companies and the Obama administration pushing for this act to go through, it is hard to see how anything supporting renewable energy could be seen as negative but some claim the rules are onerous and overreach the abilities of the Environmental Protection Agency.

Toyota Reveal New Concept For Hydrogen Powered Car

We live in a wonderful age, we’ve begun to create technology that merges both the digital and the real world together in augmented reality and even where people can drive a metal car powered by sunlight. The human imagination has created and continues to create an amazing array of technologies, and Toyota have shown off some ideas they might play with in the future.

At the Tokyo Motor show, they revealed images of two design concepts, which are both futuristic and yet one is also classic in a way. First off, have a look at the present, with the S-FR. Looking similar to modern-day cars now, this model could soon be at your door steps.

Next, however, is the parent of design, with clear inspirations from the days of old we were presented with the Kikai.

Looking like a modern take on a classic hot rod the revealed engine leaves little to the car fanatics imagination. Finally, the last design is one from the future and is quite simply titled the FCV Plus.

Not only does the FCV feature a very futuristic look but it is designed to run some rather interesting technology.

For example, it would powered purely by hydrogen and that power would be diverted to four individual electric motors that are housed in each of the wheels. This means that aside from the fuel tank and cells located either at the front or back of the car, all the rest is freed up for the passengers.

Could you see yourself getting into a FCV within the next ten years? What about the S-FR and Kikai, would you like to own any of these vehicles?

Thank you Engadget for the information and images.

Kickstarting the Solar Trend Just Became Easier

Are you a green energy lover that wishes big energy companies would start to move away from the old-fashioned way of producing electricity to a newer and more reliable source? If so, a new Kickstater campaign might be right up your street.

SunPort is a smart device that simply plugs in between your device and wall socket. This almost allows you to harness pure solar energy through your current supplier thanks to Solar Credits which are generated through every megawatt-hour of energy. Providers can purchase these credits that then proves to the local governing body that the power being provided came from solar sources.

SunPort aims to target the supply and demand segment by forcing big companies to purchase more solar credits and then the supplying companies to produce more solar energy. The long term goal would be for the large energy suppliers to ultimately adopt solar as the main energy source over Gas, Coal and Nuclear.

The process is free, however, you will need to buy the device itself and maintain upkeep annually to a small fee and it’s currently only available in America unless you buy an adapter plug for use in your own country.

How ‘green’ is your daily routine? Let us know in the comments.

Indian Airport Paves The Way For a Solar Power Future

The world’s resources are becoming more and more finite in its capacity to provide for an ever-increasing population. Countries which previously had been considered as small and unassuming are now experiencing their version of an industrial revolution. As the planet becomes more hi tech, so the need for electricity becomes greater to the point where it is unsustainable and alternate solutions are in need of implementation.

This is where a pioneer of solar panels arrives with the aim of powering a whole airport using this technology. The airport in question is located in India and is called the Cochin International airport and has become the first airport in the world which completely operates on solar power. The feat is quite impressive considering the implementation of 46,150 solar panels laid across 45 acres near the cargo complex, which in turn generates a staggering 50000 to 60000 thousand units of electricity per day. This is with the aim of being consumed for all its operational functions, which in turn allows the airport to be power neutral.

This project is without a doubt a step in the right direction for the use of renewable energy, I am slightly surprised that India would be the first country in the world to envisage such a project which started way back in 2013, when CIAL ventured into the Solar PV sector by installing a 100 kWp solar PV Plant on the roof top of the Arrival Terminal Block, which turned out to be the first of many additions. Let’s just hope there are not any glitches in the system as passengers really do not like the idea of waiting for the sun to appear before landing.

Thank you cial for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of engadget

LightSail Says Final Goodbye With Selfie

After it was theorized by Carl Sagan, the LightSail was finally brought to life earlier this year with Bill Nye heading up the Solar Sail Project. After a successful launch and a communications blackout, the solar sail has finished its mission.

After 25 days in low-orbit, the Solar Sail has completed its initial set of tests and is preparing for re-entry into the atmosphere. After its primary objective was complete, the deployment of its solar sails, the craft took a selfie and transmitted it down to the control center. The image is shown above, clearly displays the solar sails fully deployed.

The team hoped to get a second picture from the camera located on the other side of the craft, however before this could happen though the craft began transmitting a continuous  stream with no reason behind the actual content of the transmission. At this point, the craft also stopped responding to commands issued to it from the ground.

With the successful deployment of its sails, and the first tests showing a complete success, the SolarSail project is yet another step towards its goal of being a sustainable and realistic mode of transport within the solar system. A mode of transport that’s not only renewable but requires no fuel, making the craft lighter from the very start of its journey.

YouTube and Netflix Marked as a Threat to a Greener Internet

While Netflix and YouTube users sit comfortably in their chairs and watch their favourite TV series and subscribed channels, service providers are constantly struggling to come up with better and greener solutions to power their data centres and keep up with constant demands. However, the lack of real results has been the main concern of Greenpeace recently.

The NGO stated that the growing demand from services such as Netflix, Hulu and YouTube presents a challenge for the companies to rely solely on renewable energy. However, Greenpeace points out that video streaming as a whole proves to be a challenge to get the Internet to go green.

Their report shows that video streaming services total up to more than 60% of the Internet’s traffic, which is likely to reach 76% by the end of 2018. Despite the latter, companies are still searching for ways to power up their services with greener energy from geothermal, solar and hydro solutions.

Greenpeace came up with a ranking for companies that make efforts in supplying their services with clean energy. Apple is said to come up as number one thanks to it investments into solar energy, followed by Google and Facebook for their ambition to rely more on green energy and not traditional sources.

Though an official ranking has not been made for Netflix, Hulu and YouTube, the NGO said that online videos are one of the most power-hungry type of service on the Internet. No doubt this answers the question on who has the biggest energy consumption footprint on the web. However, Google expressed its goal on having its YouTube service reach the 100% mark in renewable energy. Unfortunately, the service only reached a percentage of 35 up until now.

The biggest problem, in my opinion, comes from the actual power providers. Electrical companies rely mostly on traditional power-generating techniques and are slow on switching to renewable energy due to the cost of making that step. Until we see some dedication on going green from the latter, services and other power-demanding businesses are likely to show slow progress in this area as well.

Thank you PCWorld for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of Techbu

Audi has Successfully Made a Renewable Diesel source

In the current race for an oil alternative, focus has moved from making a renewable source to moving to a new source altogether. Audi however, has made a diesel alternative out of water and carbon-dioxide.

So let’s step back a little. Our current oil source is gathered from millions of years of decomposition of animal and dinosaur fossils. This has been a pretty reliable source, but with our boom of using this oil for pretty much our sole source of energy; levels are dwindling. We then moved onto solar powered cars, a good idea in principle; yet not practical due to the price and vulnerability of the solar panels. We’ve seen sources from Hyundai of hydrogen powered cars, again a good idea, but really heavy. Today, we have Electric Vehicles; we like EV’s here at eTeknix, all of the power all the way through the ‘rev’ range.

Audi has made some EV’s, but secretly deep down they have been sourcing a way to produce a renewable source of fuel for current production cars.

Let’s take a look through their current three step method of producing this “e-Diesel”.

Step one: It begins with air collection, gathering carbon dioxide from the air from a partner “Climeworks”. This is then fed through to an Audi conversion reactor and creates carbon monoxide from that process.

Step two: During that process, they are chemically breaking down water into its base elements; water and hydrogen. The hydrogen is then added to the carbon monoxide at high temperatures and under immense pressure; this creates a long-chain hydrocarbon that results in “blue crude”.

Step three: The hydrogen is then added to the carbon monoxide at high temperatures and under immense pressure; this creates a long-chain hydrocarbon that results in “blue crude”. This is then sent off for refinement.

Once refined, the e-Diesel can be used on its own or added to our current diesel fuel stock to bulk it out. This will be produced in approximately 160 litres a day for the foreseeable future.

Audi has given the operations to a German based company, Sunfire. they state that the fuel has an overall efficiency of 70% compared to naturally sourced diesel. Audi and Sunfire are in talks to build a large production plant to boost the output levels; in hope that this will compete with electricity. They plan to sell it within the 1EURO – 1.50EURO per litre.

Apple Aims to Protect the Environment by Buying 36,000 Acres of Forest

We all know that Apple is concerned with the environment from its device recycling program and its components used in their products. But a recent collaboration between the company and The Conservation Fund takes it to a whole new worldwide level.

Apple is also using renewable energy to power their US headquarters and plants, as well as striving to use renewable paper for their packaging and paper. However, a study shows that large chunks of forests, namely 23 million acres, in the US have been lost to private companies in the last 15 years who do not give back as much as they take.

An estimate of 45 million more are said to be lost in the following years if nobody does anything about it. This is why Apple has stepped in and formed a partnership with The Conservation Fund, attempting to stop this lack of respect for nature that feeds egos and fills up pockets.

The partnership seems to be extremely beneficial for both parties, having Apple increasing its green footprint by managing its paper and packing more thoroughly, while The Conservation Fund can then target and conserve more forest lands in the US.

This move not only helps ensure that a lot of endangered species will still have homes in the future, but will also help keep an estimate of 2.8 million jobs in logging towns.

Apple and The Conservation Fund currently help protect over 36,000 acres of forest in the US and hope that they will keep the number rising in the future. How concerned are you with the environment?

Thank you Medium for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of MacWallpapers

Solar-Powered Plane Getting Ready to Fly Around the World

The solar-powered Solar Impulse 2 is about to take off on a journey around the world after years of planning. The aircraft has been designed from the ground up with the latter mission in mind, having over 17,000 solar cells line in its wings which supply a series of electronic motors and charge four on-board lithium batteries.

The aircraft is said to be designed in such a way as to be endlessly powered by solar energy and thanks to its batteries, the plane is said to be able to fly day and night. The trip is going to take around 25 days split into 12 legs, starting and ending in Abu Dhabi.

Swiss aviators Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg are the project’s organisers, who stated that energy efficiency testing is the main objective here. While this project seems to be a step towards testing how renewable energy could help fly planes in the near future, Piccard and Borschberg stated that the project is more of a publicity stunt rather than a technological milestone.

Gathering more information on the plane itself reveals that it boasts only one seat with a built-in toilet, with no heating or oxygen. In terms of food provisions during the flight, “dehydrated and vacuum-packaged” seems to be the key description of what the pilots should expect. No wonder the trip has been broken down into smaller chunks.

Summing it up, the aircraft has a long way to go in order to compete with the more comfy Boeings and Airbuses everyone is accustomed to. However, the project does reveal the potential of renewable energy and its impact in the near future. If the project will come to be a success, industry scepticism regarding future powered solar planes might dissipate and debates regarding its future could reopen.

Thank you Gizmodo for providing us with this information

Tidal Lagoons to Be Used for Power in the UK

With all the hoopla surrounding energy and making it clean and renewable, one oft forgotten source, the sea, is getting its fair chance again thanks to Tidal Lagoon Power. The company is set to build six total structures, with four alone being located in Wales. These plants will harness powerful coastal tides and eventually generate up to eight percent of the total power in the UK.

Backed by energy secretary Ed Davey, the company has already started working on a £1 billion plant in Swansea. Despite it being one of the smallest installations, the lagoon will cover five miles across and two miles of sea. Not only will this lagoon provide power, but a nice destination for locals. As tidal levels rise and fall throughout the day, the large space of water will drive turbines set into the walls of the lagoon.

The £30 billion investment needed to build these lagoons will be met by tax payers, as the UK is keen on backing renewable energy sources. Beyond Swansea, in Wales, Cardiff, Newport, and Colwyn Bay will host the lagoons. Outside of Wales, lagoons will be built in Bridgewater Bay, Somerset, and West Cumbria.

With the high predictability of sea movements, tidal power has a promising future, so long as we have no crazy lunar events. This differs from wind turbines which can stall on calmer days, or solar panels that only achieve maximum output on sunny days. The only resistance so far comes from marine experts, one in particular being fish sucked into the turbines. However, Tidal Lagoon Power feels the opposite, that the lagoons will create artificial reefs, thus benefiting local ecosystems.

When it comes to how much to charge for the electricity, the estimated price for the plant in Cardiff is £90-£95 per MWh, which is on par with what the nuclear station in Hinkley charges, £92.50. With these lagoons lasting for up to 120 years, and having very low risk factors, the UK government just might have struck gold.

Source: Engadget

Tesla Release a Sporty Model 3

Tesla has recently announced they are planning a BMW Series 3 rival named the model 3.

We had heard rumors that their next release would be called the model E, but  Tesla founder and CEO Elon Musk had some issues in the naming process:

“We had the model S for sedan and X for crossover SUV, then a friend asked what we were going to call the third car, so I said we had the model S and X, we might as well have the E.

We were going to call it model E for a while and then Ford sued us saying it wanted to use the Model E – I thought this is crazy, Ford’s trying to kill sex! So we’ll have to think of another name.

The new model is going to be called Model III, we’ll have three bars to represent it and it’ll be S III X!” Auto Express

This new design is will be unveiled in 2016 and set to be market-ready by 2017. We’ve also learned that it’s most likely set to be an all-new design – rather than based on Teslas other models, the Model S and Model X. As for the cars technology, that’s a task for ex-Aston Martin employee Chris Porritt.

As for specific information, the model 3 is rumoured to be 20% smaller than the Model S and is said to retail for $35,000 USD, thanks to cheaper battery technology made possible by Teslas Gigafactory. Musk also mentioned that the model 3 will have a realistic range of 200 miles, which is less than its Model S brother at 306 miles.

Unfortunately, there isn’t much more to say about the Model 3 at this stage, we’re going to have to wait until the time is closer Musk told CNET:

“We don’t have any more details to share at this point. Our focus continues to be on Model S and preparing for the introduction of Model X.”

For some images of the beast in question, check them out here.

Image courtesy of Solar Feeds