Environment, Feature Post, Renewable Energy, Science

Molten Salt Reactors: The Future of Green Energy?

molten salt reactor

A molten salt reactor (MSR) is a type of nuclear reactor that uses liquid fuel instead of the solid fuel rods used in conventional nuclear reactors. Using liquid fuel provides many advantages in safety and simplicity of design.

Climate, News, Renewable Energy

Solar sector added jobs 20 times faster than the US average in 2014

solar power installing US

According to a report issued by the  Solar Foundation, jobs in the solar industry were added at a rate 20 times that of the national average. In absolute numbers, 31,000 solar jobs were added in the U.S. between November 2013 and November 2014, bringing the total number of employees to 173,807, 87 percent more than five years ago. Solar catching up The report

Green Living, News, Renewable Energy

Dutch Company Harvests Electricity From Living Plants, Powering Street Lights, Cell Phones and Wi-fi

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Forget potato clocks – this is the real deal. Plant-e, a start-up company in the Netherlands created promising new technology which harvest electricity from plants. So far this month, more than 300 LED lights were illuminated by the Dutch company, in a promising proof-of-concept. They also demonstrated that they could power up cell phones and Wi-Fis. Generating electricity from thin air

Green Living, News, Renewable Energy

First man-made biological leaf might actually be useless

silk_leaf

If the leaf really works as the hype would have us believe, than it’s really a fantastic display of ingenuity. However there’s no paper, no data on tests that might tell us how efficient the leaf is at photosynthesis (if such tests even exist) and no solid scientific grounds that would suggest the leaf would actually work as intended. For the moment, it seems like this artificial leaf in question is more conceptual than it is practical.

Green Living, News, Renewable Energy

Nuclear power wrongfully stigmatized. It’s essential to scrapping fossil fuel, top biologists say

Image: Brian Kong

An open letter authored by more than 65 biologists calls for conservation groups and efforts to take a step back and rethink their agenda concerning nuclear power, heavily criticized in the past few years following the Fukushima incident. With all its risks and shortcomings, the authors argue, nuclear power is still the most cost-effective “green” solution to toppling fossil fuel and

News, Renewable Energy

One in five Australian homes use solar energy

A typical Australian home powered by rooftop solar panels. Image: AdelaideNow

Amazingly, 19 percent of all Australian households have solar panels or solar water heaters installed, according to  the Australian Bureau of Statistic (ABS). The statistic is even more astonishing when you consider only three years ago five percent of the households had rooftop solar panels. A land of sunshine Of the 19 per cent, 14 per cent of these households

Chemistry, News, Renewable Energy

New process turns CO2 into alcohol using enzymes

alcohol to CO2

We’ve previously told you how our ancestors’ adaptation to metabolizing alcohol which first happened some 10 million years ago may have been essential to their survival. There’s more to it though. The same enzyme that metabolizes alcohol, dehydrogenase (ADH4), may be eventually used to transform CO2 into alcohol, which could be later used as a fuel, according to a paper

News, Renewable Energy

Researchers convert sunlight to electricity with record 40% efficiency using commercial solar cells

The 40% efficiency milestone is the latest in a long line of achievements by UNSW solar researchers spanning four decades - Martin Green. Image credits: UNSFW.

Australian solar researchers have converted over 40 percent of solar light’s energy into electricity, the highest efficiency ever reported by any team for this kind of system. The key for the design is a custom filter which captures sunlight that is normally wasted by commercial solar cells on tower. “This is the highest efficiency ever reported for sunlight conversion into electricity,”

Design, Renewable Energy

New Silent Wind Tree Turbines Make Energy Production Beautiful

Wind-tree-urban-537x402

Among the more common arguments against wind turbines you usually have noise and ugliness. Personally, I really don’t find wind turbines ugly and studies have found that generally wind turbines are very quiet but hey – this is the general perception. For these reasons, French engineers have spent three years developing beautiful and quiet urban versions of wind turbines – the results