Pacific island nation Tokelau to become first entirely solar powered nation in the world this year

Tokelau is a small island near Samoa, not far from New Zealand; at a first glance, it wouldn’t seem significantly different from other beautiful atolls in that part of the world, but Tokelau has something very special: they are on track to become the first territory entirely powered by solar energy. The Diesel dependent country will rely on solar energy

Get a Sustainable Future Using Renewable Energy Sources

With worldwide energy consumption increasing by 46% in the past 20 years, renewable energy specialists at Stephens Scown solicitors in Devon and Cornwall are highlighting the importance of renewable energy in the region, as energy needs increase. Despite hitting the headlines in recent months and years, renewables still only accounts for 3.7% of energy consumed in the UK – falling well

National Renewable Energy Laboratory: Solar Has The Most Potential Of Any Renewable Energy Source

A recent study of gargantuan proportions estimated that the technical potential of photovoltaic cells and concentrated solar power (CSP) in the United States, at today’s level of research and with today’s possibilities, is enough to generate about 400,000 TWh of energy annually, significantly more than any other renewable energy source. The study The National Energy Laboratory (NREL) routinely estimates the

Aluminum might be the future’s eco-fuel of choice

If you’re reading ZME Science from home, chances are that you’ve got a can of beer or soda in someplace handy, and you’ll probably throw the can away after you finish your drink, hopefully in a designated recycling bin. What if I told you that the aluminum from your soda can could be used to power your car? Before you yell rubbish,

US electricity demand could be 80% supplied by renewable sources by 2050

According to a recently publicized rapport by the  Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), renewable energy sources could account for as much as 80% of the US’s electricity demand by 2050. The rapport signals the various difficulties that need to be overcome to reach this goal, and note that while 80% might be very challenging to reach, a 50% reach

World’s 40th environment day: Denmark and Scotland pave the way

Yesterday marked the 40th Global Environment day, and this year’s theme was ‘Green economy’ – a sector in which, by far, Europe leads the way. When it comes to green energy and reducing the impact industry has on the environment, Denmark and Scotland stand out, by far – just think about Samso, the world’s ‘greenest guinea pig’. Germany is also

“Climate-Change Deniers Have Done Their Job Well”

The big money out there is invested in climate change denial, as major oil companies fight to eliminate climate protection laws or intentionally fund studies which deny climate change; and it’s been a tough few weeks for them. More and more independent studies are highlighting the amount of damage human-caused global warming is caused, and numerous organizations are desperately struggling

Chemical reactions turns CO2 into semiconductor material, and releases energy [!]

In an absolutely remarkable discovery, Professor Yun Hang Hu, along with associates at Michigan Technological University, have discovered a chemical reaction which can turn the alarmingly ever increasing greenhouse gas carbon dioxide into a solid-state semiconductor (Li2CN2), while also releasing energy in the process. You couldn’t ask for something better. CO2 is an extremely pesky compound for researchers, because of its extremely

Eco Energy Lighting Up the Home 2012

When it comes to lighting the home, lumens matter more than wattage. That’s a truth that people are coming to grips with manufactures change the labels on light bulbs to meet new energy-efficiency regulations. Consumers accustomed to equating watts with a certain amount of illumination are beginning to understand that the two are not intrinsically linked. New technologies are driving

New polymer coating technique leads to first-ever completely plastic solar cell and makes way for even thinner electronics

One of the cutting edge technologies currently used today in manufacturing allows for printing materials directly onto a surface to create electrically functioning devices which are very thin and flexible. The best example of such an application are organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs), widely used as displays for most new generation smartphones commercially available now. The process however is very tedious,

Study aims to lay ground for the first ‘green highway’

IBM has teamed up with Zapadoslovenska energetika (ZSE), the biggest electric company in Slovakia, for a feasibility study which aims to prepare Bratislava, the nation’s capitol, for plug-in electric vehicles. With this in mind, the companies will look at the best way to develop a  “green highway” between Bratislava and the neighboring Austrian city of Vienna, which is about 49 miles away. Electric vehicles

Nature inspired solar cells based on tiny fractals might lead to improved efficiency

Trees employ a fractal structure of branches to twigs to spread a wide array of leaves for maximized sunlight collection. Similarly, chemists at University of California, Davis developed a set of microscopic “trees” made out of silver, which the researchers claim might well form the basis for   a new range of highly efficient solar cells in the future. “We expect

How to make photosynthetic solar panels, MIT scientist explains

If you’re reading this post via e-mail or RSS, please visit the post’s page on the website to view the video interview. MIT researchers, guided by Andreas Mershin’s vision of a world fueled by cheap and renewable electricity, have recently published a paper in which they explain how photovoltaic panels made from plants can be considered a highly appealing alternative

Shale gas isn’t a ‘clean bridge fuel’, study finds

There has been a lot of fuss lately about shale gas, which has become increasingly important in the past decade, particularly due to hydraulic fracturing (or fracking), a modern technique used to extract it from the underground. Many have proposed natural shale gas as a supposedly clean bridge fuel, fit to address climate change and also industrial energetic requirements; as

Genetically engineered microbe turns seaweed into biofuel

US-based scientists have successfully managed to engineer a microbe that reacts with seaweed to produce ethanol, and thus making it a new source of biofuel, an alternative to coal and oil. If the research can be applied at an economically feasible scale, it could finally set biofuels usage on an exponentially growth path, as seaweed doesn’t compete with food crops

Most effective, cheapest CO2 sponge developed

In a remarkable feat of engineering, scientists have come a huge step closer to achieving what’s maybe the greatest green energy dream ever. University of Southern California researchers have developed the world’s currently most effective CO2 absorbent material, which could render extraordinary results for the development of large scale batteries or whole CO2 absorbing parks, acting like “artificial trees”. After

Over half of Germany’s renewable energy is owned by citizens and farmers – not utility companies

Germany keeps setting a right example of how renewable energy should be treated by the authorities, as opposed to the US, for example. In Germany, one of the world’s leading countries in this field, 51% of all renewable energy is owned by citizens and farmers, who use it for themselves or even sell it back to the grid. Renewable energy

Solar paint promises to turn any surface into a solar cell

Researchers have successfully managed to create a “solar paint” made out of quantum dots, which exhibits similar properties to multifilm solar cell architectures. The later are sophisticated, expensive and require a lot of time to deploy; the paint can be easily applied to basically any surface, like a house’s roof, and prepare it to easily generate photocurrent.   Quantum dots, simply

Google quits plans to make cheap renewable energy, shuts down Knol, and more

In a move that is disappointing for many, the Internet giant has announced that they have abandoned their ambitious plans to make renewable energy cheaper than coal, thus focusing on fewer and more immediate goals. They also announced they are shutting down other seven projects, including a Wikipedia-like online encyclopedia nicknamed Knol. So far, this is the third ‘spring break’

Tomorrow’s energy will come from space based solar stations, no later than 2016

Space solar stations are not a new idea at all – they have been researched since the 1970; but as years pass, scientists understand more and more the numerous benefits this type of technology could bring – a true revolution in renewable energy. This idea might seem taken out from a scientific novel, but back in 2009 the Californian state