To hear proponents talk about Thorium reactors, you would think that Thorium is the energy panacea for which we have been searching. This readily found element can be used to create nuclear reactors that are walk-away safe, with waste that has a much shorter half life and should be easier to dispose of. Current, nuclear reactors need multiple redundant systems and can blow up as we’ve seen with Fukishima. Thorium reactors won’t blow up and don’t need the multiple redundant systems. If they are so great why are we still using Uranium reactors?
Imagine a computer slightly bigger than an Altoids box that only costs $25. These tiny computer has been developed for kids to make it easy for them to learn how to program using Linux. The computer hooks up to a TV and a keyboard, plays Blu-Ray discs, and runs Fedora, Debian and ArchLinux. Hopefully kids will play around with programing like they used to in the 80’s and 90’s.
President Obama’s latest budget holds a welcome nugget for people thinking about purchasing a green tech vehicle like an electric vehicle (EV). Rather than the current $7,500 tax credit currently in place for purchasers of environmentally friendly cars, you would get $10,000 knocked off the price of an electric vehicle when you actually purchase it, not when you file your taxes. This is good news for EV manufacturers as well as consumers.
Safran and Honeywell have designed an electric green taxiing system or EGTS that allows jets to taxi on the ground without having to use their engines. Instead the planes would use electric motors attached to each wheel and run by the plane’s auxiliary power unit. The electrical system should provide better maneuvering control to pilots when docking at a gate and should save four percent of energy costs.
NASA has put out a proposal for a greener fuel source for launching satellites, rockets and eventually space taxis. Space launches add “several kilotons” of carbon dioxide into the air each year. So far it isn’t a large percentage of the CO2 that gets spewed from cars, trains, planes and ships, but over the next several decades that could change. Because more governments and private enterprises are looking at space for new ventures, less harmful fuel is needed.
Bamboo is an excellent sustainable material because it grows quickly, is durable and relatively easy to grow. Because of it’s sustainability, we have seen a flood of different things made out of bamboo like towels, sheets, iPod/iPhone cases, furniture, rugs, etc. Later this year we will be seeing a new Android phone packed into a bamboo shell. No this isn’t a case that fits over the phone, it is the phone itself.
Solar power is growing the fastest in developing countries that don’t have access to electrical grids. Solar panels are still expensive although cheaper than purchasing fossil fuels for generators. MIT scientists have come up with a method of creating your own solar cells using grass clippings that will be extremely cheap to make.
Better Place has one of the more unique ways of dealing with exhausted electric car batteries. While it does offer charging stations which take quite a while to charge your battery, it also offers the option of simply switching it out. A 100 car fleet of electric vehicles will now begin testing the infrastructure which stretches across Israel.
The UK Ministry of Defense is installing radar that is imperious to wind farms. Previously wind farm applications were denied because they were too close to radar towers that were adversely affected by wind turbine blades. The new radar installations don’t have that problem which will allow more wind farms to be built.
Earlier this week Joule Unlimited secured $70 million in funding. The company happens to have algae facilities that turn carbon dioxide and sunlight into biodiesel and ethanol. Meanwhile Bio Architecture Lab was able to get seaweed to create chemicals and biofuels. Both processes use patented organisms to create the biofuel.