Tony Fadell, who led the team which designed the first eighteen generations of the iPod and the first three iPhones, has come up with the Nest thermostat for air conditioning systems. As you might expect, it looks a lot better and is much easier to use than current thermostats – and it also has some very smart energy-saving software.
The world’s first solar power plant. to supply utility-scale "baseload" power has been launched near Seville in Spain. The 10 megawatt solar thermal Gemasolar plant has the capacity to store energy for up to 15 hours in molten salt batteries, enabling it to provide enough power for about 25,000 households for.24-hours a day.
Japanese authorities are using a blue liquid that hardens into a gel that is then peeled off surfaces, taking microscopic particles of contaminants, including radioactive pollutants, with it to clean up the contamination caused by the Fukushima nuclear disaster. The "blue goo", or DeconGel, was discovered by accident in 2009 at the Hawaiian venture capital and technology incubator firm, Skai Ventures. A researcher spilled a bit of solution from an experiment onto the floor. When it was cleaned up the next morning, the solution came off the floor taking everything foreign with it. Since then, the substance has been been … Continue Reading
In 2007, the IPCC projected a maximum sea level rise of 59 centimetres by 2100. The IPCC acknowledged that this was likely to be an under-estimate because understanding of the processes happening on ice sheets was inadequate to enable reliable estimates to be made. A team of researchers led by Eric Rignot from Nasa’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory has now reported that ice loss from Antarctica and Greenland has accelerated over the last 20 years and the increase in sea levels will, indeed, be significantly higher than the 2007 estimate.
According to the British Columbia news weekly, The Tyee, "the world’s first CO2 Measurement, Monitoring and Verification Initiative" in Saskatchewan, Canada, may have sprung a serious leak. The International Energy Agency and Canada’s Petroleum Technology Research Centre have been studying the Weyburn oilfield which is supposed to be a perfect model for greenhouse gas sequestration. The aging crude oil field, which lies underneath 50,000 acres of flat farmland, has been flooded with salt water and 17 million tonnes of CO2 piped from a North Dakota coal gasification plant.. The International Energy Agency declared that Weyburn could hold up to 55 … Continue Reading
As a result of a 450% increase in its production of solar photovaic cells, Malaysia became the world’s third largest producer in 2009. Malaysia’s output went from 0.16 gigawatts in 2008 to 0.72 gigawatts in 2009. Malaysia’s largest manufacturer is Q-Cells. According to the 2010 Photovoltaic Status Report, the second largest manufacturing country was Taiwan which doubled production from 0.8 to 1.6 gigawatts. Unsurprisingly, the leading producer was China which also almost doubled its output – from 2.4 to 4.4 gigawatts. European production increased by just 0.1 gigawatts to 2.0 gigawatts although European countries were the leading installers of solar … Continue Reading
China has launched the first major offshore wind farm outside of Europe. China’s 102-megawatt Donghai Bridge Wind Farm, which has begun transmitting power to the national grid, is located in the East China Sea, near Shanghai. It is seen as signalling a new direction for Chinese renewable energy projects and the initiation of a national policy focusing increasingly on offshore wind. The $us337 million project is located 8 to 13 kilometres from the coast. It has been erected on soft seabed conditions using a multi-pile foundation structure. During low tide, the turbine foundations are exposed; during high tide, they become … Continue Reading
Paul Hanlon, the science editor of Britain’s Daily Mail has been possibly the UK’s most influential climate sceptic. Following a trip to Greenland he writes: "Yes, global warming is real – and deeply worrying". His article continues "I have long been something of a climate-change sceptic, but my views in recent years have shifted. For me, the most convincing evidence that something worrying is going on lies right here in the Arctic. " "Greenland is silent, almost. There is no wind, no birds, no insects; apart from the scientists around me the world of Man is far away. But there … Continue Reading
The Universities Corporation for Atmospheric Research has released new modelling software which will allow scientists to study climate change in far more detail. The software is available free from the Community Earth Systems Model web site. The Community Earth System Model will be one of the primary climate models used for the next assessment by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change The new model’s advanced capabilities are expected help scientists shed light on some of the critical mysteries of global warming, including: What impact will warming temperatures have on the massive ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica? How will patterns … Continue Reading
The Chinese government has ordered over 2,087 firms in high-polluting and energy-intensive industries to shut down outdated plant by the end of September. Companies that fail to do so risk having bank loans frozen, approvals for new projects and land purchases refused and their electricity cut off. Companies effected produce steel, coal, cement, aluminium, glass and other materials and include plants owned by China’s biggest steel maker, Hebei Iron and Steel Group, and the nation’s biggest aluminium maker, Aluminum Corp of China. The reason for the dramatic action is that China’s average energy consumption per unit of gross domestic product … Continue Reading