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Monthly Archives: February 2009

UK Government to Favour Open Source

Written by , on February 27, 2009

The UK Government has adopted the radical policy of using open-source, in preference to commercial, software. Under the new policy, agencies will be required not only to consider open source solutions and make the choice soley on the basis of value-for-money, but will give peference to open source solutions where there is no cost difference […]  Read more »

China Unveils Another Plug-in Hybrid Car

Written by , on February 26, 2009

The Chery Automobile Co., China’s largest maker of own-brand cars, has unveiled its first plug-in hybrid. Chery claims that its S18 can travel 150 kilometres using just its batteries – compared with 64 kilometres claimed for General Motors’ Chevy Volt, due to go on sale next year. The S18 can be fully charged in as […]  Read more »

How California Does It

Written by , on February 24, 2009

California’s per capita electricity use has remained constant since the 1970s – despite ever-larger homes, more electric gadgets and almost doubling of the State’s economy. In the rest of the United States, per capita consumption has increased by 50%. On average, Californians emit 20% less greenhouse gases than people in such "green" countries as Germany […]  Read more »

Printing Solar Cells (It’s Just Like Printing Money)

Written by , on February 24, 2009

The CSIRO’s Future Manufacturing Flagship is developing flexible, large area, cost-effective printable plastic solar cells. The research is based on the polymer technology which the CSIRO developed for printing plastic banknates and which is now used in 21 countries as well as Australia. The initial printing trials are being conducted at Securency International, a banknote […]  Read more »

Google Searching for Answers

Written by , on February 23, 2009

Google has launched a number of initiatives related to climate change and renewable energy. In the lead-up to the Climate Change Convention (officially called the 15th Conference of Parties or COP15) in Copenhagen in December, Google and the Danish Government have launched a YouTube COP15 channel. On the channel, you can submit your thoughts and […]  Read more »

Compact Fluros and Mercury

Written by , on February 11, 2009

Compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs do contain mercury, which is a harmful substance – but does that mean that they worse than incandescent light bulbs? According to the US Environmental Protection Agency:, CFLs contain an average of about 4 milligrams of mercury sealed within the glass – that’s less than one percent of the mercury […]  Read more »

Ford’s Electric Focus

Written by , on February 8, 2009

While rivals such as General Motors have scored major publicity coups with planned electric vehicles like the Chevrolet Volt, Ford has been quietly pursuing a pure battery-powered electric vehicle in tandem with plug-in hybrids. Ford has now announced plans to bring an electric car to market in 2011. Ford’s car will be based on the […]  Read more »

Using Solar Heat for Cooling

Written by , on February 4, 2009

Scientists at the CSIRO’s solar cooling research project have developed a method of using solar thermal collectors, such as are used in solar hot water systems, to generate cooling for building air-conditioning. Dr Stephen White, the project leader, says that “The solar cooling technology we are developing directly uses the natural heat from the sun […]  Read more »

Increasing Wind

Written by , on February 4, 2009

The world’s wind power generating capacity grew by 28.8%, or 27,000 megawatts, in 2008. This is easily the largest growth ever recorded and almost matches the total generating capacity of all of the coal-fired power stations in Australia. The biggest growth was in the United States, where 8,358 megawatts of new wind generating capacity was […]  Read more »

“Inflatable” Windows

Written by , on February 4, 2009

Michael Palin, a student designer at the University of Western Sydney, has been shortlisted for an Australian Design Award for a neat and attractive way of adding double glazing in a rental property. The “inflatable window” is actually a clear polycarbonate sheet which has the same look and feel as glass. The clear sheet is […]  Read more »