7 October 2014 - A California scientist and two in Japan won the Nobel Prize in physics on Tuesday for a breakthrough invention that reduces global warming and brings light to areas of the world that are off the electrical grid.
Shuji Nakamura of UC Santa Barbara shares the prize with Isamu Akasaki and Hiroshi Amano for devising a blue light-emitting diode, a long-awaited missing link that in the 1990s paved the way for energy-efficient LED lighting.
Thanks to the work of the three scientists, environmentally friendly lighting is becoming ubiquitous in the developed world and is poised to spread to the 1.5 billion people around the globe without access to electricity, according to the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, which bestows the Nobel Prizes. read more>>>
Industry figures show sales growth of alternatively-fuelled vehicles outpacing diesel and petrol equivalents, although volumes remain small
07 Oct 2014 - Electric cars, hybrids and other alternatively-fuelled vehicles (AFVs) are increasingly grabbing market share from traditional petrol and diesel models, new industry figures reveal.
The latest statistics from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) show 9,955 AFVs were registered in September, a 56 per cent rise on the same time last year. read more>>>
Tidal flooding, driven by sea level rise, will dramatically increase in U.S. East and Gulf Coast communities over the next 30 years.
Today scores of coastal communities are seeing more frequent flooding during high tides. As sea level rises higher over the next 15 to 30 years, tidal flooding is expected to occur more often, cause more disruption, and even render some areas unusable — all within the time frame of a typical home mortgage. read more>>>
7 Oct 2014 - Poorer countries typically get the rough end of global warming: Not only are they more likely to feel the brunt of its impacts — like rising sea levels or increased extreme weather — they also don’t have enough money to face the problem. This split between the rich and poor has become a major source of frustration in the global fight against climate change. Put simply, some poorer countries say they are being asked to give up the rapid, fossil-fuel-powered development the rest of the world enjoyed while simultaneously being hit with the costs of a problem they didn’t create.
During the U.N. climate summit in New York City recently, some world leaders took the opportunity to pledge support for the Green Climate Fund, an international effort to help poor countries mitigate and adapt to climate change. But many wealthy countries — most notably, the United States — haven’t contributed yet. Here’s a rundown of how the Green Climate Fund works, and where the major gaps in funding still exist. read more>>>
8 October 2014 - Cities are already playing a significant role in cutting emissions through the hugely successful covenant of mayors initiative. Now, a new movement is taking root across the EU, which addresses the equally important task of climate-proofing our cities. This month, mayors from all over Europe will come to Brussels to pledge their support for the new EU initiative on adaptation.
Recent extreme weather events have shown that adapting to the unfolding impacts of climate change in Europe is just as important as ongoing efforts to slow it down. As major centres of population and critical infrastructure, Europe's cities are especially vulnerable to extreme weather events.
The recent devastating floods in central and south east Europe demonstrate the dramatic economic and social consequences extreme weather can have on our cities and citizens. Effective action needs to be tailored to specific circumstances, which will vary from region to region. read more>>>
October 2, 2014 - The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is not happy with the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). In fact, NRDC is demanding that ALEC immediately cease misrepresenting NRDC's position on renewable energy on the ALEC website -- calling it an "erroneous reference" -- and stop making other false claims.
ALEC, the force behind dozens of bills introduced into state legislatures to block clean energy development and action on climate change, has been in the news a lot lately as internet technology giants like Google, Facebook, Yahoo and Yelp have unceremoniously cut ties with the organization, in no small part, for denying climate change reality. read more>>>
October 2, 2014 - The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has made available $25 million in funding to advance concentrating solar power (CSP) system technologies' research and development, performance and efficiency, with the ultimate goal of lowering the cost of solar electricity and producing affordable, clean and renewable energy, even at night, by storing the heat generated by the sun.
CSP generates electric power by using mirrors to focus and concentrate the sun's rays on a receiver from which a heat transfer fluid carries the intense thermal energy to a power block to generate electricity. With thermal energy storage, CSP technology can store the sun's heat for use when the sun isn't even shining. read more>>>
Sep. 29, 2014 The sun could be the world’s largest source of electricity by 2050, ahead of fossil fuels, wind, hydro and nuclear, according to a pair of reports issued today by the International Energy Agency (IEA). The two IEA technology roadmaps show how solar photovoltaic (PV) systems could generate up to 16% of the world’s electricity by 2050 while solar thermal electricity (STE) from concentrating solar power (CSP) plants could provide an additional 11%. Combined, these solar technologies could prevent the emission of more than 6 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide per year by 2050 – that is more than all current energy-related CO2 emissions from the United States or almost all of the direct emissions from the transport sector worldwide today.
“The rapid cost decrease of photovoltaic modules and systems in the last few years has opened new perspectives for using solar energy as a major source of electricity in the coming years and decades,” said IEA Executive Director Maria van der Hoeven. read more>>>
Sep. 29, 2014 - The key to creating a material that would be ideal for converting solar energy to heat is tuning the material’s spectrum of absorption just right: It should absorb virtually all wavelengths of light that reach Earth’s surface from the sun — but not much of the rest of the spectrum, since that would increase the energy that is reradiated by the material, and thus lost to the conversion process.
Now researchers at MIT say they have accomplished the development of a material that comes very close to the “ideal” for solar absorption. The material is a two-dimensional metallic dielectric photonic crystal, and has the additional benefits of absorbing sunlight from a wide range of angles and withstanding extremely high temperatures. read more>>>
Sep. 30, 2014 - More than 2,000 cities have banded together in what the UN calls the largest effort by cities so far to curb their greenhouse gas emissions.
The goal of the Compact of Mayors is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 454 million tonnes a year by 2020 — equivalent to the carbon dioxide emissions from 130 coal power plants — through knowledge sharing and transparent and accountable measures.
The compact was launched last week (23 September) at the UN Climate Summit 2014 in New York City, United States. 228 of the cities involved have already disclosed existing strategies and targets. read more>>>
02.10.2014 - The solar expert Conergy intends to build a heart-shaped solar plant in the French overseas territory of New Caledonia. Construction work on the 2-MW PV plant is scheduled to begin within the next few months and is expected to be complete in the first quarter of 2015.
The photovoltaic system is being built on a four acre area on the largest island of New Caledonia, Grand-Terre, and the heart shape of the PV park will be visible from the air. read more>>>
02.10.2014 - In total, renewable energies supplied more electricity during the first nine month of 2014 in Germany than individual conventional energy sources. This is the conclusion reached by an analysis of electricity generation and consumption data that was carried out by Agora Energiewende.
Overall, renewable energy sources contributed 27.7% of all electricity consumed in Germany. This means that they overtook power generated from lignite for the first time, which accounted for 26.3% of the electricity consumed. At 9.5%, wind energy contributed the largest proportion of renewable energy; biomass supplied 8.1% and PV 6.8%. For several hours at a time, solar power covered one-third of German electricity consumption, and at times PV power plants generated far more electricity than was needed: On 6 June, 2014, 24.1 GW were fed into the grid around the midday peak (1 PM). This short-term performance peak is the equivalent of around 20 nuclear power plants. read more>>>