Science & Technology

Longest green flight in the world

Emirates Airline flight # 225 landed at San Francisco International yesterday afternoon having completed a remarkable nonstop trip from Dubai. The journey aboard a Boeing 777 200-LR (for long-range) covered 8,085 miles and was billed as the longest green flight in the world. Emirates spent three months planning this flight to maximize fuel savings and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Before… read more →

Austin gets smart

The city of Austin, TX recently announced a smart grid project. Smart grids, you may recall, are one of the core elements of the Grand Climate Plan. Although the Austin project isn't the first such effort in the country, officials hope that the city will be able to move faster than others, because Austin actually owns the local power provider.… read more →

Cool technology harnesses energy from hot gas

I am well acquainted with hot air. Jokes about my fellow bloggers aside, I've spent much time in small, hot engine rooms while visiting TerraPass projects. Even clean energy generates copious amounts of waste heat. In the future, that lost energy might be put to productive use if efforts to harness low-temperature waste heat are successful. A new "near frictionless"… read more →

Wind turbines get fancy

Solar energy sucks up a lot of research attention, partly because solar energy systems still have so much room for improvement. Wind turbines, on the other hand, have been around for over 1,000 years, and although the modern versions are vastly larger and more efficient than their ancient counterparts, the basic concept hasn't changed much. But the standard blades-on-a-horizontal-axle version… read more →

What makes a building “green”?

Last week I had the pleasure of attending Greenbuild 08, a conference and expo dedicated to (quite obviously) green building. The sheer size of this event forced me to pause. The architecture, construction and design industries -- and everyone who supplies to them -- are certainly committed to reducing their environmental impacts. As well they should be. In North America… read more →

Better living through lasers

This is cool: > A new fiber-optic laser system can measure wind speed and direction up to 1000 meters in front of a wind turbine, giving the massive machines enough precious seconds to proactively adapt to gusts and sudden changes in wind direction. The device...could improve the efficiency of wind turbines and keep them from breaking down. The idea is… read more →

Under pressure to cut fuel use? Try a hydraulic hybrid

Those of you who weren't impressed by the air-powered car might be more excited by the latest pressure-powered vehicle: the hydraulic hybrid truck. Hydraulic hybrids pair a standard internal combustion engine with a series of tanks holding compressed fluid. The tanks capture energy during braking and deliver it back to the wheels during acceleration. A pressurized tank can't hold a… read more →

Surf’s up!

A new tide. A coming wave of clean energy. An ocean of opportunity. Forget the sun and wind -- tidal energy open up an exciting new trove of headline puns for aspiring clean tech writers. The past week has seen an, ahem, boatload of news regarding wave energy. Most excitingly, the world's first commercial wave farm went live off the… read more →

Carbon pricing works! Doesn’t! Does!

In arguing for efficiency mandates, Joe Romm notes the failings of carbon pricing as a solution to climate change: > That means a price of $400 a metric ton of carbon (whether achieved through a tax or a cap & trade system) would increase the price of gasoline a mere $1 a gallon. How much efficiency would that drive? Not… read more →

Tesla takes a hit

Tesla Motors, poster child of the clean car revolution that is always just around the corner, recently removed its CEO, announced a round of layoffs, and pushed the delivery date of its all-electric sedan back to 2011. In one sense, this is sad news. A lot of people (myself included) are caught up in Tesla's story, a kind of david-and-goliath… read more →
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