Energy Sector Giants Turn to Ethereum to Test Blockchain Potential
A new consortium of blockchain startups and major energy companies is devising tangible use cases for blockchain tech in the green power sector.
How Utilities Are Using Blockchain to Modernize the Grid
Welcome to a new era of decentralized power.
World's First Off-Grid ReGen Village Will Be Completely Self-Sufficient Producing Its Own Power and Food
ReGen Villages, a completely self-sufficient village that can power and feed itself, is rising across Europe—and hopefully, one day, around the world. A sustainable development in The Netherlands generates its own energy and food. Photo credit: EFFEKT ReGen Villages Holding, B.V., a visionary rea...
Bracing For Blockchain: Distributed Ledgers Poised To Drive Adoption Of Distributed Generation
The distributed energy revolution is already underway. In 2008, New York City boasted a fleet of backup generators estimated at about 2 gigawatts, or roughly 20% of the annual coincident peak demand. Nearly 15% of homeowners in the United States own a backup generator, according to Generac, a manufacturer of generators [...]
Barsha pump provides irrigation water, but doesn't need fuel
Dutch startup aQysta, a Delft University of Technology spin-off company, manufactures what's known as the Barsha irrigation pump. It can reportedly boost crop yields in developing nations by up to five times, yet requires no fuel or electricity to operate.
Nissan launches its Tesla Powerwall competitor
Carmaker Nissan has announced a rival to Tesla's Powerwall home battery pack called the xStorage. Like other residential batteries, the device is supposed to pull cheap electricity off the grid...
Over the past few decades, the most widely used form of solar energy has come from a material called silicon. The silicon solar cell was discovered in 1953. A few years later, the first commercial solar cells began to pop up. Unfortunately, these first commercial cells were way beyond the means of normal consumers and were also relatively inefficient at producing energy. Over the decades, silicon solar cells have become increasingly more affordable and efficient, with most solar panels averaging around 14 percent to 18 percent efficiency (up from 6 percent back in 1954), and as low as $3 per watt (down from a staggering $300 per watt in 1956). Although solar energy currently only accounts for 0.4% of electricity generated in the U.S., solar energy production is expected to grow significantly over the decade ahead. Domestically, the market is projected to grow 25 percent to 50 percent this year and global projections are at 30 percent. The graph below illustrates how global photovoltaic development and capa...
Electric vehicles will be cheaper than the least expensive car
What it is: Futurist Ramez Naam has analyzed how cheap electric cars can get, and his predictions are exciting: by 2030, electric vehicles with a 200-mile range will be cheaper than the least expensive car sold in the U.S. in 2015. Naam backs up his claim by citing enabling factors like improvement in batteries and production efficiency increases. Why it's important: As the materials and technologies behind renewable energy continue to improve, prices will continue to plummet -- which will only accelerate their adoption. Spotted by Marissa Brassfield Read more here at Next Big Future Sign up for Peter's weekly Tech Blog and Abundance Insights here.
‘Reverse photosynthesis’ promises to be the energy source of the future
What it is: University of Copenhagen researchers have recently announced a breakthrough discovery: reverse photosynthesis. In contrast to photosynthesis (solar rays building plant material), reverse photosynthesis means the energy in solar rays breaks down -- and when combined with natural enzymes called monooxygenases, solar rays can be used to produce biofuels and chemicals for plastics in an incredibly resource-efficient manner. Why it's important: In nature, reverse photosynthesis enables fungi and bacteria to access the nutrients and sugars found in plants. Researcher David Cannella explains the implications for industry: "...by using the Sun, we can produce biofuels and biochemicals for things like plastics -- faster, at lower temperatures and with enhanced energy-efficiency. Some of the reactions, which currently take 24 hours, can be achieved in just 10 minutes by using the Sun." Read more here at the Examiner. Sign up for Peter's weekly Tech Blog and Abundance Insights here.
Accelerating Materials Development for a Clean Energy Future
The White House and the Department of Energy kicked-off a new initiative, the Energy Materials Network, to accelerate innovation around the clean energy manufacturing industry’s most pressing materials challenges. This network has the potential to revolutionize whole industries and is critical for the United States to compete globally in manufacturing in the 21st century.
Elon Musk Powers Up: Inside Tesla's $5 Billion Gigafactory
Elon Musk is venturing headfirst into the battery business. Here's why it might be his boldest bet yet.