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Innovation in renewable-energy technologies is booming PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 12 October 2013 21:31

New study shows that research investments and growing markets have fueled a huge rise in new patents

CAMBRIDGE, MA -- The number of patents issued for renewable-energy technologies has risen sharply over the last decade, according to new research from MIT and the Santa Fe Institute (SFI). The study shows that investments in research and development, as well as in the growth of markets for these products, have helped to spur this dramatic growth in innovation.

Microorganisms found in salt flats could offer new path to green hydrogen fuel PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 20 July 2013 22:07

ARGONNE, Ill. – A protein found in the membranes of ancient microorganisms that live in desert salt flats could offer a new way of using sunlight to generate environmentally friendly hydrogen fuel, according to a new study by researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory.

Breakthrough for solar cell research PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 19 January 2013 16:52

In the latest issue of Science, researchers from Lund University in Sweden have shown how nanowires could pave the way for more efficient and cheaper solar cells.

DOE researchers achieve important genetic breakthroughs to help develop cheaper biofuels PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 25 December 2011 04:16

Innovations in RNA manipulation could lead to advances in many products

Washington D.C. – Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE's) Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI) announced today a major breakthrough in engineering systems of RNA molecules through computer-assisted design, which could lead to important improvements across a range of industries, including the development of cheaper advanced biofuels. Scientists will use these new "RNA machines", to adjust genetic expression in the cells of microorganisms. This will enable scientists to develop new strains of Escherichia coli (E. coli) that are better able to digest switchgrass biomass and convert released sugars to form three types of transportation fuels – gasoline, diesel and jet fuels.

Solar power much cheaper to produce than most analysts realize, study finds PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 08 December 2011 04:34

The public is being kept in the dark about the viability of solar photovoltaic energy, according to a study conducted at Queen’s University.

“Many analysts project a higher cost for solar photovoltaic energy because they don’t consider recent technological advancements and price reductions,” says Joshua Pearce, Adjunct Professor, Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering. “Older models for determining solar photovoltaic energy costs are too conservative.”

A Fifth of Global Energy Could Come from Biomass Without Damaging Food Production PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 26 November 2011 03:36

A new report suggests that up to one fifth of global energy could be provided by biomass (plants) without damaging food production.

The report reviews more than 90 global studies. It has been produced by the Technology and Policy Assessment function of the UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC), which addresses key controversies in the energy field, and aims to provide authoritative and accessible reports that set very high standards for rigour and transparency.

Marines test new energy-efficient weapon in the war on trash PDF Print E-mail
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Wednesday, 16 November 2011 01:31

High-tech disposal system reduces 50 gallons of waste to half a pint of ash

IMAGE: The Micro Auto Gasification System (MAGS) is a solid waste disposal system that enables individual units to efficiently manage their own solid waste stream in an environmentally friendly manner. This...

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ARLINGTON, Va.—In partnership with the Office of Naval Research (ONR), Marines at Camp Smith, Hawaii, are testing a high-tech trash disposal system that can reduce a standard 50-gallon bag of waste to a half-pint jar of harmless ash.

First-of-a-kind tension wood study broadens biofuels research PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 26 October 2011 05:29
OAK RIDGE, Tenn., Oct. 25, 2011 — Taking a cue from Mother Nature, researchers at the Department of Energy's BioEnergy Science Center have undertaken a first-of-its-kind study of a naturally occurring phenomenon in trees to spur the development of more efficient bioenergy crops.
Cheaper Yet Efficient Thin Film Solar Cells Created PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 16 October 2011 22:21
Researchers in Singapore have exploited advanced nanostructure technology to make a highly efficient and yet cheaper silicon solar cell. With this development, the researchers hope that the cost of solar energy can be halved.

Developed jointly by Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and A*STAR Institute of Microelectronics (IME), the new thin-film silicon solar cells are designed to be made from cheaper, low grade silicon. However it is able to generate electricity currents close to that produced by traditional solar cells made from costly, high quality silicon.

Wood waste biomass facility breaks ground PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 16 October 2011 21:09

The Gainesville Renewable Energy Center has broken ground in Florida, following the fundraising of nearly $500 million for the biomass project.

American Renewables, the company behind the development, plans to gather wood waste left over from tree harvesting from forests within a 75 mile radius surrounding the plant.

KAIST announced a novel technology to produce gasoline by a metabolically-engineered microorganism PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 29 September 2013 17:23

A major scientific breakthrough in the development of renewable energy sources and other important chemicals; The research team succeeded in producing 580 mg of gasoline per liter of cultured broth by converting in vivo generated fatty acids.

UGA discovery may allow scientists to make fuel from CO2 in the atmosphere PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 26 March 2013 21:59

Athens, Ga. - Excess carbon dioxide in the Earth's atmosphere created by the widespread burning of fossil fuels is the major driving force of global climate change, and researchers the world over are looking for new ways to generate power that leaves a smaller carbon footprint.

Climate change, biofuels mandate would cause corn price spikes PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 23 April 2012 14:34 LAFAYETTE, Ind. - A study from Purdue and Stanford university researchers predicts that future climate scenarios may cause significantly greater volatility in corn prices, which would be intensified by the federal biofuels mandate.

Solar power development in US Southwest could threaten wildlife PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 09 December 2011 04:57

Environmental impacts of planned installations largely unknown

Government agencies are considering scores of applications to develop utility-scale solar power installations in the desert Southwest of the United States, but too little is known to judge their likely effects on wildlife, according to an article published in the December 2011 issue of BioScience. Although solar power is often seen as a "green" energy technology, available information suggests a worrisome range of possible impacts. These concern wildlife biologists because the region is a hotspot of biodiversity and includes many endangered or protected species, notably Agassiz's desert tortoise. It and another tortoise, Morafka's, dig burrows that shelter many other organisms.

Carbon Mitigation Strategy Uses Wood for Buildings First, Bioenergy Second PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 26 November 2011 04:00

Proposals to remove the carbon dioxide caused by burning fossil fuel from the atmosphere include letting commercially managed forests grow longer between harvests or not cutting them at all.

How BP Blew Its Chance to Spearhead a Solar Innovation PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 16 November 2011 01:44

The company had a head start on technology that allows solar cells to be manufactured more cheaply, but lost out to Chinese competitors. 

BP has had its share of missteps, including the worst oil spill in history. It may have made another sort of mistake in solar energy—failing to capitalize on an important advance that has now been taken up by Chinese solar-panel makers. The advance could help the Chinese companies maintain their overwhelming lead in the solar industry.

E. coli could convert sugar to biodiesel at 'an extraordinary rate,' say Stanford researchers PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 15 November 2011 06:18 studying how biodiesel can be generated using E. coli as a catalyst have determined the bacteria have what it takes to produce high volumes of the fuel. Now they need to figure out how to tweak its cellular controls in order to kick it into high gear.

Technology Funding Makes Climate Protection Cheaper PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 16 October 2011 22:23
To cost-effectively protect the climate, not only an emissions trading scheme but also financial support for new technologies is needed. Economising on targeted funding, for example for renewable energies, makes climate protection more expensive -- as scientists of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) now calculated for the first time, using a complex computer simulation that spans the entire 21st century. Without funding, energy technologies with high cost reduction potentials will hardly stand a chance, since they require a significant initial investment: a case of market failure.
Mobile Electrons Multiplied in Quantum Dot Films PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 16 October 2011 22:16
Researchers of the Opto-electronic Materials section of the TU Delft and Toyota Europe have demonstrated that several mobile electrons can be produced by the absorption of a single light particle in films of coupled quantum dots. These multiple electrons can be harvested in solar cells with increased efficiency.

The researchers published their findings in the October issue of the scientific journal Nano Letters.

A way to increase the efficiency of cheap solar cells is the use of semiconductor nanoparticles, also called quantum dots. In theory, the efficiency of these cells can be increased to 44%.

New Saudi Arabias of Solar Energy: Himalaya Mountains, Andes, Antarctica PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 13 October 2011 18:16
Mention prime geography for generation of solar energy, and people tend to think of hot deserts. But a new study concludes that some of the world's coldest landscapes -- including the Himalaya Mountains, the Andes, and even Antarctica -- could become Saudi Arabias of solar. The research appears in the ACS journal Environmental Science & Technology.
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