Monthly Archives: May 2012
The U.S. Labor Department recently announced the results of its first ever survey on green jobs in the United States. Green jobs accounted for 2.4 percent of total employment in 2010, or approximately 2.3 million jobs. The following graph shows job category growth as measured by LinkedIn. Jobs in renewables and the environment are growing at a rate which is an order of magnitude faster than any other category. This video looks at some case studies of green job growth.
A New York design company, Pensa LLC., has come up with the idea of adding charging points for mobile phones to street furniture, such as bus shelters and signs. The charging points would be pwered by solar PV panels on the roof of the bus shelter or on brackets attached to signposts. The solar PV panels could also be used for lighting. Meanwhile, a Vancouver writer and artist, Douglas Coupland, has unveiled his concept of a "V‑Pole" – a slim, modular utility pole connected to underground wiring. A V-Pole would provide neighborhoods with wi-fi and mobile wireless, LED street lighting, … Continue Reading
A group of European and American car makers has announced the adoption of the J1772 standard developed by the International Society of Automotive Engineers for electric vehicle charging. The single plug system is to be adopted by Ford, General Motors, Chrysler, BMW and the Volkswagen group (including Porsche and Audi). The problem is that Nissan, Mitsubishi, Subaru and Toyota have already adopted a different "standard", called CHAdeMO, which uses two plugs – one for home charging and another for fast charging. The J1772 "standard" peg won't fit into the CHAdeMO hole And, of course, Tesla is completely different again.
French biochemist Pierre Calleja has developed a lighting system that draws CO2 from the atmosphere and uses micro-algae to produce light with oxygen as a byproduct. The inventor claims that one of his street lights will absorb CO2 at the rate of one tonne a year – which is about as much as a typical tree absorbs in its lifetime.
A system of powering hybrid trucks through overhead wires is being tested at Long Beach, Califormia. The basis of the "eHighway", developed by Siemens, is a series of overhead wires that would be installed over at least one lane of a highway, similar to the electrical wires of tram lines. Specially equipped hybrid trucks would connect to these wires via pantographs on their roofs. When connected, the truck runs exclusively on electrical power, switching to diesel when disconnected for passing, swerving, exiting and so on. When the truck brakes, energy can be fed back into the grid for use by … Continue Reading
Nissan is planning four new electric vehicles. A new version of the Leaf is expected to be released at the Paris Motor Show in October. It is expected to be offered with various levels of trim and a lower entry price. An electric van, the e-NV200, is expected by late 2013. It was previewed at the Detroit Motor Show in January. It is being tested as a delivery van by FedEx in London and as a taxi for New York. In 2014, Nissan is planning to release an electric luxury car to rival the Tesla Model S. And, in 2015, … Continue Reading
Scientists at the University of Western Sydney have embarked on a large-scale study of how the natural environment would cope with the atmospheric conditions which are expected if if no significant action is taken to reduce carbon emissions. The centrepiece of the study is six fibreglass and steel ring structures 28 metres high and 25 metres in diameter in native woodland at Richmond, west of Sydney. The structures contain an array of sensors and equipment that will deliver CO2 to the trees within the rings and create an atmosphere where CO2 is at 550 ppm – the level expected within … Continue Reading
At the recent Lightfair Internation in Las Vagas, GE, Phillips and Sylvania all announced LED light bulbs with an output equivalent to a 100-watt incandescent bulb. The Philips and Sylvania bulbs are extensions of current technology but the GE bulb is cooled by "breathing". A diaphragm embedded in the GE bulb vibrates to create a current of air – pulling cool air into the bulb and expelling warm air across metal fins on the outside of the bulb. GE says that its "Energy Smart" bulb will give the equivalent of a 100-watt incandescent light bulb in all directions while consuming … Continue Reading
One of the disadvantages of battery powered planes is that their weight remains the same as they fly whereas liquid fuel aircraft become lighter as they use up their fuel. This realisation led Chip Yates, holder of the world record for the fastest electric motorcycle, to the idea of dropping batteries when their charge was depleted. But having batteries falling out of the sky has obvious drawbacks. So the idea emerged of launching the batteries in small, unmanned guided aircraft and landing them at depots where they could be recharged. An obvious extension of this, is to fly the recharged … Continue Reading
Microsoft is creating a "carbon price and charge back model" that will levy fees on each of its various internal business groups for the emissions they generate. The company expects that this will result in its becoming carbon neutral by its next fiscal year. Each Microsoft business unit will be responsible for the carbon that it generates – creating incentives for greater efficiency, increased purchases of renewable energy and better data collection and reporting. To achieve this, Microsoft will create a new, internal price on carbon. The price will be based on market pricing for renewable energy and carbon offsets … Continue Reading