France bans fracking – decision is ‘absolute’

France’s ban on hydraulic fracking was completed, with the court upholding a 2011 law which prohibited the practice and cancelled all exploration permits. The decision posted on the court’s website said the ban “conforms to the constitution” and is not “disproportionate,” effectively protecting it from any future legal challenge. In other words, the decision is final (at least for the

UK Breaks Second Renewable Energy Generation Record This Year

A new government report by the UK’s Department of Energy And Climate Change shows that the country has reached record rates in terms of the energy it derives from renewable sources, for the second consecutive quarter: 15.5% of the country’s electricity came from renewables, a jump of 5.8% compared to the last period. About half of that energy came from

World’s Largest Solar Thermal Energy Plant Opens in California

Two years ago, we were telling you about plans for developing the world’s largest solar thermal energy plant in California – a project in which Google invested $168 million. Now, the much anticipated Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System has finally kicked off! The 14 square km facility (3500 acres) which is backed not only by Google, but also by NRG

2013 World Solar Challenge may feature the street cars of tomorrow

The  World Solar Challenge  is a biennial race from Darwin to Adelaide, spanning 3000km of the Australian outback. It attracts teams from around the world, mostly from universities, with 37 teams from 20 countries participating in the 2011 race. What so special about it? All cars need need to be completely solar powered. Innovative and edgy, entries surpass previous models each

It’s time to rethink misguided policies which promote biofuels

To my constant surprise and dislike, people continue to think of biofuels as a clean, renewable alternative for the future. People (and especially policy makers) need to rethink the idea of promoting biofuels to protect the climate, because it simply doesn’t work. EROEI Unless you’re working in the energy department (or perhaps marketing), the odds are you’re not familiar with

Wind Turbines are quieter than a heartbeat, study finds

Among the criticism that wind energy gets, one main idea some people complain about is that wind turbines are noisy; some people have even went as far as to claim that even though most of the created noise is way below the range of human hearing (infrasounds), it can cause health problems, including heart issues and vertigo. Now, a study

World Record Solar Cell With 44.7% Efficiency

The Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE, Soitec, CEA-Leti and the Helmholtz Center Berlin jointly announced today having achieved a new world record for solar cell efficiency: 44.7% That means that 44.7% of all solar energy (from the Ultraviolet to the Infrared) is gathered and transformed into electricity. After going into research just three years ago, they managed to

How we’re wasting all our precious helium. A call for recycling

Most people don’t know this but helium — the familiar inert gas we all use to inflate party balloons — is running out at an astonishing rate.

A phone charger that’s powered by urine

Engineers at Bristol University have developed a microbial fuel cell (MFC) that turns organic matter, in our case urine, into electricity. The fuel cell is equipped on a mobile charger, and its creators envision the device being implemented in various other applications that can recycle urine. Restaurants, bars and various other buildings that employ public toilets might collect the urine in special

China set to quadruple its solar power by 2015

The largest fossil fuel burning country in the world, China, has recently announced plans of extending its solar energy generating capacity to 35 gigawatts by 2015. While it’s far from shadowing the immense amounts of greenhouse gases the country is currently generating (china coal use is expected to increase even further as the country becomes ever more industrialized, extending towards the

German Village produces 3 times more energy than it needs, sets an example for others

It’s no surprise that Germany is just giving lessons in terms of managing renewable energy sources – year after year, the country features more and more cities and now, even villages, which harness most of their energy from renewable sources. Wildpoldsried, a municipality in the district of Oberallgäu in Bavaria has a population of only 2,600, Wildpoldsried produces 321 percent

New method traps CO2, rends clean hydrogen and might de-acidify world’s oceans

Hydrogen fuel has been eyeballed by scientists, as well as governments and energy corporations, for many years now as a potential alternative fuel source because of its incredibly high energy. It’s hard to imagine any other non-carbon fuel source capable of driving rockets or high velocity vehicles, like formula 1 sports cars. Besides it being unstable and difficult to extract,

Liquid air could be used to store renewable energy

Renewable energy sources, like wind and solar, are gaining ground fast against fossil fuels in terms of energy production, but unfortunately not that fast as we’d hoped for. One big obstacle in the way of renewable energy is storage. A refined look at an older idea that dates back from the XIX century seeks to address this issue. Namely, engineers

Nuclear energy saves lives – NASA report concludes

Especially after the Fukushima events, nuclear energy has been painted black by most of the media, with everybody suddenly realizing just how dangerous and not really desirable it is. But a recent report conducted by NASA showed that as a matter of fact, nuclear energy leads to substantially fewer pollution-related deaths and greenhouse gas emissions compared with fossil-fuel sources. Even

Quantum dots with nanowires yield greater solar cell efficiency

For some years now, scientists have been exploring the use of quantum dots as the basis for a novel type of solar cell. The advantages over conventional solar photovoltaic cells are numerous, minus one aspect: efficiency, which is actually the most important one. A new technique developed at MIT labs that uses quantum dots in conjunction with nanowires has lead

Nanowires break solar cell cell theoretical maximum efficiency and usher in a new era of solar power

One of the biggest hurdles the solar energy industry currently faces is efficiently transforming the incoming energy from the sun’s rays. Vast fields of solar panels are a common sight, but truth of the matter is their energy output is quite low, which puts them at a technical and economic disadvantage from other renewable solutions and, most important to consider,

Petroleum expert: Our Current Oil Use is “Suicidal Within 1 Generation” – eye opening video

You often hear discussions about how much oil there is still left in the world’s underground. Listen to oil companies they’ll tell you there’s plenty to go around, absolutely no need to worry; listen to fanatic environmentalists and they’ll tell you that in two decades, we’re pretty much screwed. So why not listen to someone not involved in either parties,

Laying a roadmap for future artificial leafs

MIT researchers have published a detailed analysis of all the factors that could limit the efficiency of such a system, basically laying a roadmap for a research program to improve the efficiency of so-called artificial leafs. An artificial leaf has to produce a storable fuel, such as hydrogen, instead of electricity for immediate use; the fuel could then be used

Carbon negative: removing CO2 altogether from the atmosphere

As climate change and global warming become ever pressing issues on the desks of the world’s governments, so do the much awaited measures become more prevailing, albeit not nearly as thoughtfully as they should be addressed. Today, renewable energy sources like solar and wind have actually ceased to become regarded as “alternative”, since actually more capacity of renewable energy was

In Australia, wind power is already cheaper than Fossil fuels; solar is right behind

Australia seems poised to become one of the global leaders in terms of renewable energy; after a study showed that the country could realistically go 100% renewable energy in just 10 years, now, a different study concluded that wind energy is already cheaper than fossil fuels. The research was led by Bloomberg New Energy Finance, and it showed that electricity