Environmental Update

By Max Guinn | Innovation, science, people and ideas that inspire care of our planet

National Renewable Energy Laboratory optimistic in face of Trump’s budget cuts

Helen H. Richardson, Denver Post fileThe National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s National Wind Technology Center operates at the base of the foothills …

Renewable Energy

Here's Elon Musk's Plan to Power the U.S. on Solar Energy

"The sun is a giant fusion reactor in the sky."<p>Tesla CEO Elon Musk — whose company makes electric cars and has a new solar roof panel division — …

Elon Musk

Federal Government Wakes Up To Surging Rooftop Solar

Like a rocket on a radar screen, small-scale solar energy has muscled its way into the government’s meticulous portrayal of the energy landscape.<p>For many years, the U.S. Energy Information Administration only released annual estimates of solar installations on homes and businesses, which once added …

Renewable Energy

46 House Republicans join Democrats in backing a US military study on climate-change threats

President Trump has been highly dismissive of the long-term threat of climate change, to the point of recently pulling the U.S. out of the Paris international climate change accord. But not so Defense Secretary James “Mad Dog” Mattis and many other defense experts.<p>During his Senate confirmation …

Climate

First Step Toward Atlantic Drilling Could Decimate Key Species In Ocean Food Chain

A report suggests airgun blasting has a deadly effect on zooplankton -- a critical food source for fish, whales and other marine life.<p>One of the first steps toward offshore drilling development in the Atlantic Ocean could decimate a key species in the marine food chain, a new study finds.<p>Seismic …

Oceans

Lyft to Power 1 Billion Automated Electric Car Rides Per Year by 2025

By Gina Coplon-Newfield<p>If you think the only way to drive electric is to buy electric, then think again. From ride sharing to car sharing, and …

Electric Vehicles

This Solar Cell Can Capture All Wavelengths of Solar Spectrum - ExtremeTech

By on July 12, 2017 at 2:38 pm<p>Traditional solar cells harvest only a narrow sliver of the electromagnetic energy pouring down onto Earth, and that’s …

Clean Energy

Iceberg twice size of Luxembourg breaks off Antarctic ice shelf

Satellite data confirms ‘calving’ of trillion-tonne, 5,800 sq km iceberg from the Larsen C ice shelf, dramatically altering the landscape<p>A giant iceberg twice the size of Luxembourg has broken off an ice shelf on the Antarctic peninsula and is now adrift in the Weddell Sea.<p>Reported to be “hanging …

Climate Change

Renewable energy is becoming so cheap the US will meet Paris commitments even if Trump withdraws

Research analysts at Morgan Stanley believe that renewable energy like solar and wind power are hurtling towards a level of ubiquity where not even politics can hinder them. Renewable energy is simply becoming the cheapest option, fast. Basic economics, the analysts say, suggest that the US will …

Renewable Energy

Solar Power Will Kill Coal Faster Than You Think - Bloomberg

Solar power, once so costly it only made economic sense in spaceships, is becoming cheap enough that it will push coal and even natural-gas plants …

Renewable Energy

Abandoned nuclear power plant given new life as a solar farm

Solar farms can pop up in unlikely places – like the site of an old, unfinished nuclear power plant in Tennessee. The Phipps Bend Nuclear Power Plant …

Energy

'Make new rules' to save the oceans

<b>New rules are urgently needed to protect the open seas, scientists have warned.</b><p>A report to a UN ocean conference in New York points out that more than 60% of the ocean has no rules because it’s outside national jurisdiction.<p>It says the open ocean is at risk from climate change, over-fishing, deep …

Oceans

The vaquita: 5 Facts about the most endangered marine mammal

The vaquita is the world's rarest marine mammal—and is in dire need of our help. Vaquita are often caught and drowned in gillnets used by illegal …

Biological Species

World Leaders Move Forward on Climate Change, Without U.S.

HAMBURG, Germany — World leaders struck a compromise on Saturday to move forward collectively on climate change without the United States, declaring the Paris accord “irreversible” while acknowledging President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the agreement.<p>In a final communiqué at the conclusion …

News (U.S.)

Elon Musk just gave us our first real look at the Tesla Model 3

The Tesla Model 3 is finally here.<p>After months of hype, a bonkers production plan, and multiple prototypes spotted zooming around California, Tesla CEO Elon Musk revealed the first production Model 3.<p>The first Model 3 was slated to be finished to cap off the first week of the month, but the early …

Autos

Solar jobs growing 17 times faster than US economy

President Trump may be focused on saving coal miners, but solar continues to be the hot spot in today's jobs market.<p>Solar employment expanded last year 17 times faster than the total US economy, according to an International Renewable Energy Agency report published on Wednesday that cited data from …

Renewable Energy

Tesla makes good on South Australia promise with world's largest Lithium ion battery

Elon Musk is a man of his word. In March the Tesla CEO tweeted a promise that he would help South Australia solve its energy woes in 100 days with a …

Batteries

A neat skateboard trick: Recycling old plastic bags to make boards

LONDON (Reuters) - Skateboarders are known for high-flying tricks, from jumping off of ramps to shooting down railings, but now one British designer is touting an environmental trick of his own, by using old plastic bags to make boards.<p>Around 1,500 plastic bags, or 1.8 kg worth (roughly 4 lbs), are …

Cool Stuff

2nd pack of gray wolves spotted in Northern California

A female gray wolf, her mate and at least three pups are the second pack of wolves spotted in Northern California since the species went extinct in 1924, state wildlife officials said Wednesday.<p>The gray pups were born this spring in Lassen National Forest to a female wolf of unknown origins. Her …

Wildlife

France to ban all diesel and petrol cars in just over 20 years

New French president Emmanuel Macron aims to make his country carbon neutral by 2050. To work towards that goal, France’s new environment minister …

Green Buildings

Inhabitat - Green Design, Innovation, Architecture, Green Building

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Green Buildings

Jerry Brown to Announce a Climate Summit Meeting in California

Even before President Trump took office, Gov. Jerry Brown of California let it be known he was ready to do battle over climate change, vowing in December that California would launch its own satellite if Mr. Trump cut funding for federal space missions.<p>On Thursday evening, Governor Brown will mount …

Jerry Brown

These Transparent, Solar Power-Generating Windows Are the World's First

Trying to make large buildings energy-neutral, companies are taking advantage of building windows' surface area to harvest solar energy.<p>A tech startup on a mission to make modern commercial and housing estates energy neutral has outfitted the headquarters of a Dutch bank with the world's first …

Clean Energy

Mistbox keeps air conditioners cool to improve efficiency

There is no question that the right business model can make the difference between a good idea that doesn't make it and one that does, and though the …

Clean Energy

Lightyear One solar electric car charges itself and will have a 500-mile range

<b>A Dutch startup is planning to bring a completely solar-powered electric car to market, which could theoretically let some drivers go for months</b> …

Electric Vehicles

Driving a car made from biodegradable materials

A car made from biodegradable natural materials has passed road safety tests in the Netherlands.<p>TU Ecomotive, a student team from Eindhoven University of Technology, unveiled LINA earlier this year.<p>The four-seater's lightweight structure is made from sugar beet and flax which takes 20% of the …

Concept Cars

Artificial algae could help save our oceans

Using mimicry to fight climate change.<p>The Smithsonian Institution calls coralline algae “the unsung architects of coral reefs.” These pink-colored seaweed, with skeletal structures that resemble honeycomb, live in harmony with coral.<p>They strengthen the corals’ foundation by growing over and between …

Oceans

It's Not Easy, But Aspen Moves Toward 100 Percent Renewable Energy

Since President Donald Trump announced his decision to pull out of the Paris Climate Accord, hundreds of U.S. mayors have said they're committed to significantly cutting their cities' carbon emissions. More than 30 cities including, Atlanta and San Diego have declared 100 percent renewable energy …

Renewable Energy

Four Green Technologies Growing Fast Enough To Achieve Zero-Emissions World, IEA Says

Four green technologies are growing fast enough to do their part in a zero-carbon-emissions world by mid-century, an International Energy Agency official said this week in Chicago.<p>But they need a little help from other technologies, said Eric Masenet, the head of IEA’s Energy Demand Technology …

Renewable Energy