Solar-painted steel could electrify buildings - Renewable Energy WorldA Welsh lab is developing photovoltaic coatings for steel, which could lead to buildings with energy-generating walls. Compact fluorescent bulbs may pollute more than incandescents - Environmental Science & TechnologyCalifornians and others in regions where utilities offer a mix of renewable energy might do better by the environment to keep their incandescent lightbulbs rather than switch to mercury-laced CFLs, suggest Yale researchers. Tiny sensors tap tree power to prevent fires - MSNBCMIT researchers harnessed the electrical currents within trees to … Read more
SAN JOSE, Calif.--The West Coast Green 2008 building show kicked off on Thursday, for the first time in this city with one of the nation's most ambitious "greening" plans.
During our sneak peek at some of the 400 exhibits, products that caught our attention included a device that seemed to make water out of thin air, a solar-powered table, home energy automation systems, and better concrete blocks. Check out the video below for more.
Element Four Element Four claims to extract water from the air. Its Watermill appliance is supposed to supply enough water daily to quench the needs of a six-person family. It costs around 35 cents to produce more than 3 gallons of drinking water each day, according to the British Columbia-based company. The Watermill is set to become available next February for around $1,300.
CEO Rick Howard said he'd like to create different versions of the 300-watt Watermill, perhaps powered by the sun or wind. He sees the technology as ideal for household use during emergencies, as well as for people in the developing world. It could even customize flavored water, Howard added.
As air enters the Watermill, humidity condenses on a patented coil, and passes into a reservoir. Water passes through a carbon filter and past a germ-killing UV light. The product could be hooked up to a kitchen faucet.
Carbon is building up in atmosphere faster than predicted - Washingtonpost.comData shows that emissions growth is at the high end of IPCC scenarios. Cleantech urged to embrace "policy wonks" - Business GreenUnlike IT, clean tech industry growth will largely be shaped by policy. Vinod Khosla: Venture capital will survive Wall Street woes - Beet.TVBefore his Technology Review EmTech speech, Khosla says the financial crisis may cause a pause in investment but over the long term, he is optimistic. At Clinton powwow, McCain, Obama echo each other on energy - Environmental Capital - WSJ.com… Read more
Unemployment would plummet along with the reliance on and cost of foreign oil, if the U.S. government invested $100 billion to create 2 million green jobs, according to a report from progressive groups.
The report, released Tuesday and backed by the Center for American Progress, projected that it would take two years to cultivate 2 million new jobs in six areas related to clean technologies.
Positions paying at least $16 per hour would include installing solar panels and wind turbines, expanding mass transit, renovating buildings, developing smart electrical grids, and brewing better biofuels.
The authors compared the cost as … Read more
q&a Commercial buildings consume nearly one fifth of the nation's energy. But that could change dramatically if by 2025 all new office and retail buildings generate as much energy as they use.
That's the goal of the U.S. Department of Energy's Zero-Net Energy Commercial Building Initiative, announced earlier this month. The Energy Department also is partnering with national labs and companies to advance technologies for office and retail buildings to offset their energy use.
The efforts support the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, which calls for spending up to $200 million per year by 2013 to accelerate the development of high-performance green buildings. To start, the Department of Energy is giving $100,000 for green-building prizes to the California Clean Tech Open "start-up in a box" competition.
We chatted about the green-building goals last week by telephone with David Rodgers, deputy assistant secretary for energy efficiency in the Energy Department's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. That office is in transition as Assistant Secretary Andy Karsner, a green-tech advocate appointed by President Bush, is leaving at the end of August.
Q: What are some highlights of the department's net-zero building program? David Rodgers: We've been doing research on competitive technologies, such as solid-state lighting and advanced air conditioning. We've been working at a very advanced level to integrate those technologies into commercial building design and to make sure competitive technologies are working at maximum efficiency.
This program allows us to elevate the level of our work but also include multiple partners at national universities, national laboratories, and companies such as United Technologies or Johnson Controls.… Read more
Urban planners, labor activists, and environmentalists blame Wal-Mart for decimating rural America, exploiting workers, and polluting ecosystems. Some green-business gurus, on the other hand, praise the retail colossus for turning over a new leaf with moves toward sustainability, such as reducing product packaging.
Wal-Mart's latest green turn comes as nine of its Sam's Club stores in Southern California are providing in-store solar power kiosks. Shoppers can look up information about home rooftop installations and get discounts meant to average $500 on solar orders.
A Dutch University will see if chemically tricked-out paving stones can clean the air.
The University of Twente (UT) has devised a concrete capable of converting the nitrogen oxide from car exhaust--the source of smog and acid rain--into a nitrate, another chemical that will wash away in the rain.
When fertilizers are applied heavily, high levels of nitrates can enter the soil or water and be toxic to humans or livestock. Jos Brouwers from the University of Twente said that the nitrate production from its paving stones will be "harmless" and well below Dutch water standards.
The researchers … Read more
Here's a sampling of green-tech news, with quick commentary:
Dutch town tests 'air-purifying' concrete - AFP"Green bricks" that convert harmful air pollutants into harmless nitrates in sunlight will be tested this year. Sounds extremely clever. Five Fuel-Saving Technologies - Car And DriverEverybody seems to want a plug-in hybrid or hydrogen fuel cell, but mass-produced models are a few years away. Check out some near-term technology options for efficiency. Abengoa Rakes in $426 million for 4 Solar Power Plants - Earth2TechSpanish renewable-energy giant will use a range of solar technologies to install 300 megawatts worth … Read more
Dell has claimed it is now officially a carbon-neutral company--five months ahead of its own projected schedule.
The target was apparently met through improved energy efficiency at Dell's own facilities, combined with "green" electricity purchases and investments in wind power in the U.S., China, and India, totaling 645 million kilowatt-hours and creating savings of 400,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide.
Dell has invested $3 billion annually in green energy, and its consumption of green energy has increased almost tenfold to 116 million kWh in four years.
Dane Parker, Dell's global environment, health, and safety … Read more