Electrofuels Bacteria Eat Electrons, Poop Gasoline

Electrofuels Bacteria Eat Electrons, Poop Gasoline

A new method of producing liquid fuels for transportation uses microbes that feed on carbon dioxide and electricity to produce a “drop-in” gasoline substitute. As part of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) Electrofuels program, researchers have developed a method for using these microorganisms to create transportation fuels that could be over 10 times more efficient than the prevailing methods of biofuel production. “Electrofuels bypass photosynthesis altogether by utilizing microorganisms that are self-reliant and don’t need solar energy to grow or produce biofuels. These microorganisms can directly use energy from electricity and chemical compounds like hydrogen… read more

New Solar Technology Goes Beyond The Panel

New Solar Technology Goes Beyond The Panel

Solar energy gadgets are all the rage, but a new solar product is in the house. Or on the house, or the car – and possibly on fabrics, among other things. One company based in France is setting the solar bar a bit higher. Sunpartner Group, an award winning, sustainably minded business is looking into a way to integrate solar power in everyday items and structures. Their innovative brainchild called Wysips®, which stands for ‘what you see is photovoltaic surface’- is a solar technology in development that is certain to weave its way into future designs. Extensive research on how… read more

New Solar Cell Design Generates and Stores Energy

LA Launches Largest Rooftop Solar Tariff Program in U.S.

Solar PV panels are great at generating clean, renewable electricity from the sun’s rays, but one major drawback for them is that without an additional system to store that energy and release it on demand, they are only as useful as the reliability of the grid they are connected to. But a breakthrough at the University of Wisconsin may begin to change the way we design and implement solar panels, with a new solar cell design that can not only generate electricity, but can also store it for later use. The new technology is an offshoot of a project working… read more

Smartphone Cases That Do More Than Cover

Smartphone Cases That Do More Than Cover

The days of phone cases that just protect your phone may be over. In the past couple of years solar gadgets have been gaining in popularity for their smart, functional designs. They are also becoming more advanced. Many companies are offering solar powered chargers for smartphones and other gear, but some are going beyond basic chargers and are incorporating them into the actual case of the phone. Resiliently made solar panels integrated in a sturdy case can eliminate the problem of battery drain, which is a notorious problem with many smartphones. The SLXtreme from Snow Lizard Products is a durable… read more

Small Buildings Present Energy Efficiency Opportunities

Small Buildings Present Energy Efficiency Opportunities

While some developers and builders focus on putting up new energy-efficient buildings, there’s a lot to be said for using an existing asset, such as an older building, and retrofitting it for energy efficiency. About 30 billion dollars worth each year, to be precise. According to a new study, taking advantage of energy efficiency opportunities in small commercial buildings could yield $30 billion in savings each year, which would not only reduce their environmental footprint, but would also help to strengthen the bottom line for those businesses. Small buildings (structures under 50,000 square feet) make up some 95% of all… read more

Mining Jobs Left Behind

Thermal Solar Plant in Mojave Desert

Check out this awesome slideshow of the world’s largest thermal solar plant under construction in the Mojave desert. When completed, the mind-blowing 300,000 mirrors will put out over 377MW of energy from the sun. It’s a massive undertaking, and one that will only set the bar higher and higher for thermal solar energy plants. In related news, solar plant workers officially eclipsed the amount of miners in the United States. While the numbers fluctuate (80 solar jobs in Alaska compared to 43,000 in California), the total amount of people employed in the solar field is a whopping 119,000+. Right now,… read more

Take Action on Global Wind Day: June 15th

Take Action on Global Wind Day: June 15th

How much do you know about wind energy? If you’re like many of us, not very much. But on June 15th, you can discover the power and possibilities of wind power, because it’s Global Wind Day. Wind power is a viable option in many locations around the world, and yet it’s somewhat mysterious to the general population. After all, we’ve heard that wind turbines can kill birds and bats, that they are noisy and inefficient, and that they aren’t really a solution to global power issues. But are any of those statements true, or is it just anti-wind rhetoric? Global… read more

Bill Gates On The Future Of Energy

Bill Gates

Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft and one of the engineers of our modern world, has a lot to say about the future. An area he’s particularly interested in is energy. Here’s a discussion he had with the Wall Street Journal at the 2012 ECO:nomics Conference. Some of the important topics discussed include climate change, alternative fuel, nuclear energy, and energy usage.

Recharging Non-Rechargeable Batteries

Recharging Non-Rechargeable Batteries

Batteries are one thing that a lot of us depend on. Many people don’t know that a potential charge or two can be left behind in alkaline batteries that were thought to have run their course. There are products available to help extract that last bit of power, and you can also make your own battery reviver at home with a few supplies to extend their lifespan and also prolong their trip to the recycler for as long as possible. The Battery Wizard for alkaline batteries is one example of a product on the market to bring back non-rechargeables another… read more

World Bank Energy Roadmap Focuses on Energy Poverty

World Bank Energy Roadmap Focuses on Energy Poverty

According to a recent report led by the World Bank, 1.2 billion people worldwide lack access to electricity, and 2.8 billion people are still dependent on using wood (or other biomass) for cooking and heating. That’s a staggering statistic, considering how simple, cheap, and accessible energy is in the developed world. But just as lack of wealth, assets, and opportunity keep people in poverty, lack of a viable and affordable energy source keeps people in ‘energy poverty’. “We cannot end extreme poverty without tackling energy poverty. The low access rate in these countries is both a cause and result of… read more