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Every year 24,000 people die prematurely because of pollution from coal-fired power plants.

Every year 38,000 heart attacks occur because of pollution from coal-fired power plants.

Every year 12,000 hospital admissions and 550,000 people suffering asthma attacks result from power plant pollution.

Every year, coal-fired power plants release 48 tons of mercury nationwide.

Power plants release over 40% of total U.S. C02 emissions, a primary contributor to global warming...

...and yet the coal industry wants you to believe that building more coal fired power plants in Michigan is a good idea!

...and now utilities want to burn (as biomass) our trees that capture and store harmful carbon dioxide and produce the oxygen we need to live

 

Renewable Energy Solution of the Month

Innovations

The difference between what we do and what we are capable of doing would suffice to solve most of the world’s problems ~Mahatma Gandhi

Baseload Wind Power Without the Blades
Resembling thin cattails, the Windstalks generate electricity when the wind sets them waving. The designers came up with the idea for the planned city Masdar, a 2.3-square-mile, automobile-free area being built outside of Abu Dhabi.

Balcony Power
Industrial designer Jonathan Globerson has one of those ideas that makes you go, "Oh, duh! Why don't we all have one yet?" It's so simple, and yet so smart. His Greenerator design is a personal generator that converts wind and sun to power and can do so from a balcony, without messing with the view.

Google-Backed Startup, Claims Major Breakthrough In Energy Technology
Transphorm, a southern California startup backed by Google Ventures and other investors, claims to have created an energy-saving technology that, when fully implemented, will save "the equivalent of taking the West Coast off the grid."civilization

Best of Clean Energy Technologies
Our purpose is to help the most promising clean energy technologies move forward, and some of these exotic technologies often languish for lack of attention and support. They are not usually yet on the Top 100 list because they are not far enough along or proven well enough.

Anti-Gravity & Zero Point Energy Device Confirmed by Measurements in Morningstar Energy Box
For the first time, the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Space, Propulsion & Energy Sciences (IASSPES) led by NASA scientist, Glen Robertson, will feature a breakthrough announcement by Paul Murad, Morgan Boardman and John Brandenburg from Morningstar Applied Physics, Inc. (Vienna, VA) of measurements on their “Morningstar Energy Box” which have replicated a Russian magnetic energy converter (MEC) invented by Vladimir Vitalievich Roschin (Moscow, RU) and Sergi Mikhailovich Godin (Moscow, RU) and was patented (6,822,361) in 2004. The patent is assigned to Energy & Propulsion Systems LLC (Valencia, CA)

Your Choice Can Power Change
Today, we have an opportunity to change how the world consumes energy, one product at a time. Introducing WindMade™, the first global consumer label identifying products and corporations made with wind energy. WindMade™ is a global initiative dedicated to increasing corporate investments in wind power by informing consumers about a corporation's use of wind energy, and increasing demand for products that embrace this clean and renewable energy source.

Dog Poop Powers Park Lights
Conceptual artist Matthew Mazzotta is using dog feces to power lampposts in a park in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Mazzotta’s Project Park Spark, which was funded through MIT and created in partnership with the City of Cambridge, comprises a special “methane digester” that converts freshly scooped poop into methane. Currently when organic material (including dog waste, food and plant matter) goes into landfill, it releases methane into the atmosphere. Methane is a potent greenhouse gas that is approximately 23 times more harmful than carbon dioxide. When it’s burned in the presence of oxygen, it separates into carbon dioxide and water vapor, so businesses can actually earn carbon credits from burning off excess methane. As a result, the digesters are a good way to collect and use the volatile gas as a fuel.

Cyclone Multifuel Engine
In short, the Cyclone is a 21st century, high efficiency, compact and powerful steam engine. The Cyclone Engine is capable of running on virtually any fuel (or combination of fuels), while emitting far fewer pollutants than traditional gas or diesel powered internal combustion engines. To date, Cyclone has over 1,000 hours of running and testing our engines, and is very close to putting the first of these engine models into small-scale commercial production.

Funneling Solar Energy: Antenna Made of Carbon Nanotubes Could Make Photovoltaic Cells More Efficient
Science Daily (Sep. 13, 2010) — Using carbon nanotubes (hollow tubes of carbon atoms), MIT chemical engineers have found a way to concentrate solar energy 100 times more than a regular photovoltaic cell. Such nanotubes could form antennas that capture and focus light energy, potentially allowing much smaller and more powerful solar arrays.

IBM places big bet on lithium-air batteries
C. Spike Narayan, manager of science and technology at IBM's Almaden Research Center mentioned that his Silicon Valley lab was working on a new battery technology with the potential to extend the range of electric cars to more than 400 miles per charge and make it possible to use the batteries to store electricity generated by solar power plants and wind farms. If lithium air proves feasible and cost-effective, it could ice the ICE (internal combustion engine) and turn intermittent renewable energy sources into 24/7 power plants. The net-zero home could become a reality with solar panels on the roof and a bank of lithium air batteries in the basement to provide power when the sun isn't shining.

Immortal Infinitely Recyclable Plastic
The facts about plastic have become part of the green liturgy. More than 30 million tons of the stuff is dumped into the municipal waste stream each year in the United States. Disposable water bottles have become the Hummer of plastics -- a petroleum-fueled symbol of extravagant waste, a F-You to the planet with some 13 billion of them ending up in landfills, littering landscapes and befouling oceans. There's been no shortage of innovation directed at the dilemma, from the development of biodegradable plant-based plastics to new approaches to recycling and attempts to ban shopping bags and bottles outright. But perhaps the most promising breakthrough emerged this week from a Silicon Valley lab where IBM and Stanford University scientists have been messing with the molecular composition of the polymers that form plastic. The result: a new kind of plastic that can be made endlessly recyclable or biodegradable.

What if Your Bike Was a Station Wagon?
It's the one drawback of running errands on your bike: There's never enough room to stash all the stuff you need to pick up. Sure, you can supplement your basket with a messenger bag. Or you can hitch up a trailer in back. But how about this bike that's pretty much all basket? Camioncyclette by the Swiss designer Christophe Machet claims it can carry loads of up to 150 kilograms in its yellow wire baskets (that's 330 pounds for you metric system haters).

Hybrid Wind-Gas Power Technology
The SmartGen™ system utilizes a ground-based turbo-compressor to compress air and this compressed air is used to drive a turbo air motor directly connected to the wind turbine generator. Compressed air is used because it is safe, non-flammable and efficient when used in combination with the turbo air motor. The turbo air motor is one-tenth the size of the electric generator it is driving. Using the existing wind turbine generator saves considerable money since the generator itself represents a significant cost of the wind turbine, and is already in place and connected to the grid. “If biogas is used then the SmartGen™ system is 100% renewable energy-based (wind and/or biogas). COMPANY WEB SITE

PACE Home Loans Spreading Like Wildfire
Hardly a week goes by before I find myself listing off more cities and counties that have adopted the landmark municipal solar lending program piloted in Berkeley, California in 2008. Now dubbed the more universal moniker, Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE), this revolutionary program allows homeowners to pay for home solar power over the long-term through a voluntary increase on property taxes. Expect a slew of additional cities or counties to adopt PACE programs. The process begins when state governments pass laws allowing municipalities to adopt their own version of PACE. So far, 16 states have passed these laws and 10 more have them in the works. To illustrate how effective PACE incentive programs are, note that Berkeley’s applications were “sold out” in just nine minutes when the program opened.

We Must Invest in Energy Innovation
When it comes to developing new sources of energy, and ways to store that energy, I believe the federal government needs to play a more active role than it does today. Recently, I’ve joined with other concerned business leaders to create the American Energy Innovation Council. Over the next several months, we’ll be offering detailed proposals to invigorate America’s energy innovation. Despite talk about the need for “21st-century” energy sources, federal spending on clean energy research is also relatively small. The U.S. government annually spends less than $3 billion — compared with roughly $30 billion annually on health research and $80 billion on defense research and development.

Energy sector poised for innovation
This country runs on innovation. The American success story -- from Ben Franklin's bifocals to Thomas Edison's light bulb to Henry Ford's assembly line to today's advanced microprocessors -- is all about inventing our future. The companies we ran, Microsoft and DuPont, were successful because they invested deeply in new technologies and new ideas. Currently our country is neglecting a field central to our national prospect and security: energy. Despite talk about the need for "21st-century" energy sources, federal spending on clean energy research -- less than $3 billion -- is also relatively small. Compare that with roughly $30 billion that the U.S. government annually spends on health research and $80 billion on defense research and development. There is vast opportunity in energy. Prices are declining in solar energy and wind, and they could fall further with new technology. There is a critical need for better electricity storage technologies to enable electric vehicles and very-large-scale renewable energy.

GE to Debut Gearless Offshore Wind Turbine
General Electric Co., the world’s second-biggest maker of wind turbines, plans to introduce a 4 megawatt gearless wind turbine for offshore use in 2012. We are reducing costs and improving the performance. Direct drive or gearless turbines reduce the number of moving parts in a unit and increase reliability, helping minimize costly open-sea maintenance.

Ludington Michigan Pumped Storage Facility
From 1969-73, the town of Ludington overflowed with 2,800 engineers, electricians, welders and other workers on the project. Six steel penstocks, about one-fifth of a mile long and each large enough to drive an 18-wheel semitruck through, were designed so a maximum 33 million gallons of water could gush through each minute, using gravity to spin the plant’s turbines. Those turbines, each 433,000 horsepower, turn at 112.5 revolutions per minute. The plant can produce 1,872 megawatts of electricity. The plant can generate power for 1.4 million people. By displacing higher-cost generation, Ludington saves Consumers Energy and Detroit Edison customers millions of dollars a year.

Big Energy Storage in Thin Films
An ultracapacitor is "an electrical energy source that has virtually unlimited lifetime," says Yury Gogotsi, professor of materials science and engineering at Drexel University in Philadelphia, who led the development of the thin-film ultracapacitors. "It will live longer than any electronic device and never needs to be replaced." While batteries store and release energy in the form of chemical reactions, which cause them to degrade over time, ultracapacitors work by transferring surface charges. This means they can charge and discharge rapidly, and because the electrode materials aren't involved in any chemical reactions, they can be cycled hundreds of thousands of times.

MIT researchers harness viruses to spilt water
By using sunlight to make hydrogen from water, the hydrogen can then be stored and used at any time to generate electricity using a fuel cell, or to make liquid fuels (or be used directly) for cars and trucks. Other researchers have made systems that use electricity, which can be provided by solar panels, to split water molecules, but the new biologically based system skips the intermediate steps and uses sunlight to power the reaction directly. The advance is described in a paper published on April 11 in Nature Nanotechnology.

Top 10 Alternative Energy Bets
If you had to direct federal spending for research primarily to one form of alternative energy, what would you choose? We recently polled LiveScience readers on this, and with more than 5,000 responses, here are the Top 10 choices (as of 4/17/09).

A Bottle of Water Could Produce Enough Energy To Power A House | WEBSITE
One of the interesting side effects of last year's stimulus bill was $400 million in funding for ARPA-E, the civilian, energy-focused cousin of DARPA. And in this week's first ever ARPA-E conference, MIT chemist Dan Nocera showed how well he put that stimulus money to use by highlighting his new photosynthetic process. Using a special catalyst, the process splits water into oxygen and hydrogen fuel efficiently enough to power a home using only sunlight and a bottle of water.

Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way we Make Things | BOOK
In Cradle to Cradle, McDonough and Braungart argue that the conflict between industry and the environment is not an indictment of commerce but an outgrowth of purely opportunistic design. The design of products and manufacturing systems growing out of the Industrial Revolution reflected the spirit of the day-and yielded a host of unintended yet tragic consequences. Today, with our growing knowledge of the living earth, design can reflect a new spirit. In fact, the authors write, when designers employ the intelligence of natural systems—the effectiveness of nutrient cycling, the abundance of the sun's energy—they can create products, industrial systems, buildings, even regional plans that allow nature and commerce to fruitfully co-exist. Cradle to Cradle maps the lineaments of McDonough and Braungart's new design paradigm, offering practical steps on how to innovate within today's economic environment. Part social history, part green business primer, part design manual, the book makes plain that the re-invention of human industry is not only within our grasp, it is our best hope for a future of sustaining prosperity.

New Battery Technology Could Lead to Self-Powered Devices
The advancements that are being made in battery technology are pretty mind boggling. We are seeing devices that are drawing power from just about every source that is imaginable, and now there is battery technology from researchers at Imperial College London that may actually have devices that create their own power. From cell phones to cars and everything in between, there may eventually be nothing more needed that to actually use the device.

The Future Of Energy? Bloom Energy Boxes
Feb 22, 2010—Over the past several years, there’s been no shortage of talk about alternative energy, and its potential to change the world. The problem is that most of it is just that — talk. You simply have to watch this. Bloom Energy are producing tiny fuel cell boxes they call “Bloom Boxes.” Two of these can apparently power a U.S. home (and only one for homes in countries that use less power). So how small are they? Look at the picture above, each device isn’t much bigger than a standard brick. Of course, they need to be surrounded by a larger unit that takes in an energy source (such as natural gas). But still, these units look to be about the size of a refrigerator and can easily fit outside of a home, providing it with clean, cheap energy. Founder K.R. Sridhar envisions one in every home — and he thinks he can get the cost below $3,000 for a unit to make that happen. And he’s talking a 5 to 10 year timeframe for this.

Breakthrough in Energy Storage: Isentropic Energy
Isentropic's Pumped Heat Electricity Storage (PHES) system is based on the First Ericcson cycle and uses a heat pump to store electricity in thermal form. The storage system uses two large containers of gravel, one hot (500C) and one cold (-150C). Electrical power is input to the machine which compresses/expands air to 500C on the hot side and -150C on the cold side. The air is passed through the two piles of gravel, where it gives up its heat/cold to the gravel. In order to regenerate the electricity, the cycle is reversed. The temperature difference is used to run the system as a heat engine. The system boasts very high round-trip efficiency -- at 72 to 80 percent

NASA Designs a One-Man Stealth Plane
A super-quiet, hover-capable aircraft design, NASA's experimental one-man Puffin could show just how much electric propulsion can transform our ideas of flight. It looks like nothing less than a flying suit or a jet pack with a cockpit. Tthe Puffin can cruise at 240 kilometers per hour and dash at more than 480 kph. It has no flight ceiling—it is not air-breathing like gas engines are, and thus is not limited by thin air—so it could go up to about 9,150 meters before its energy runs low enough to drive it to descend. At up to 95 percent efficiency, electric motors are far more efficient than internal combustion engines, which only rate some 18 to 23 percent. This means electric aircraft are much quieter than regular planes—at some 150 meters, it is as loud as 50 decibels, or roughly the volume of a conversation, making it roughly 10 times quieter than current low-noise helicopters.

A Land/Air-Capable Motorcycle May Be in the Offing
Samson Motorworks, a small engineering firm in northern California's Sierra Nevada foothills, is building a prototype of its Switchblade Multi Mode Vehicle, or flying motorcycle, and hopes to sell a $60,000 do-it-yourself kit as early as 2011 (engine and avionics are sold separately, for about $25,000 total).

Panasonic Battery to Power a House
Panasonic is going to create one of the hottest batteries available to date. The new lithium-ion storage cell should power up a whole house in 2011 when it could be available to the general public. I don’t know about you but I’d want to plug that battery right into my laptop and see how much life it will be able to offer me. Furnio Otsubo, president of Panasonic said that the new battery should offer sufficient electricity for about one week of use. That’s certainly something I could get used to although I bet the new battery concept is not going to be that affordable.

Copenhagen Wheel
Smart, responsive and elegant, the Copenhagen Wheel is a new emblem for urban mobility. It transforms ordinary bicycles quickly into hybrid e-bikes that also function as mobile sensing units. The Copenhagen Wheel allows you to capture the energy dissipated while cycling and braking and save it for when you need a bit of a boost. It also maps pollution levels, traffic congestion, and road conditions in real-time.

Eco-friendly phone
Through out my research, I found that phone battery as a power source, it is expensive, consuming valuable resources on manufacturing, presenting a disposal problem and harmful to the environment. The concept is using bio battery to replace the traditional battery to create a pollution free environment. Bio battery is an ecologically friendly energy generates electricity from carbohydrates (currently sugar) and utilizes enzymes as the catalyst.

A Wooden Stake for Vampire Energy
A company called embertec looks like the ultimate vampire-energy killer.

The Toilet Than Can Save Our Water and Energy Problems
The world's most abundant waste -- could become the "fuel of the future." Ohio University researcher Geradine Botte has developed a catalyst that can extract hydrogen fuel from urine. While it takes 1.23 volts to split two hydrogen atoms from H2O, it only takes 0.37 volts to strip four hydrogen atoms from a urea molecule. That's twice as much hydrogen for one-third the effort. The Royal Society of Chemistry's journal, Chemical Communications, confirms Botte's discovery: "While water is an increasingly limited essential resource," the journal notes, "there will never be a lack of urine."

The Sail Transport Network
The Sail Transport Network is dedicated to finding answers to the problems of tomorrow by looking back to the way it worked before. Trade, exchange, and travel are the basic triad of intercultural connection. If we can reduce the dependence on oil in these three areas, we will have reduced the majority of oil dependence in the world, while establishing through STN a model for sustainability in the new post-oil, greenhouse-ravaged world.

Rocking Chair Generates Power
I was looking for opportunities to generate energy through activities we naturally do. The final result is a rocking chair that enables the user to experience production and consumption of electricity in a gentle and rewarding way. An abstract process becomes tangible and eventually cultivates natural awareness. Complexity is covered by simplicity. Advanced nano-dynamo technology which is built in to the skids of the chair and more efficient light sources such as the newly developed OLED generation makes it possible to build a rocking chair with a reading lamp running on electricity generated from the rocking motion. During daylight the energy gets stored in a battery pack. The construction of the flat and bendable organic light emitting diodes allows new form factors such as using the traditional shape of a lamp but instead of having a light bulb the lampshade himself turns out to be the light source. To have a drastic reduction of consumption the big challenge will be to make consuming less feel like getting more.

Todays Stirling Engine
The modern Stirling Engine is a clean and efficient engine. This is because the heat driving the pistons is supplied from outside the engine and transferred through heat exchangers to the piston volumes. Thus the creation of pollutants such as NOx can be avoided. The external combustion aspect enables a Stirling Engine to operate equally well on multiple types of fuel, such as natural gas, propane, gasoline, diesel, ethanol85, bio-diesel or even heat from the sun. The extra quiet operation of the Stirling Engine is one of the engines best features. Many Stirling engine configurations are balanced by the nature of their construction, and since the fuel is burned slowly and constantly outside the engine, there are no explosions to muffle. A Stirling cycle is truly reversable (this means that if you heat and cool the heat exchangers of the engine you get power out or if you power the engine you get heating or cooling out), and many engines can be used as a heat pump when driven by a motor or even another Stirling engine. This allows the Stirling engine to be used for refrigeration and even cryo-cooling using absolutely no CFCs. Recent research indicates that Nitrogen (as in the main component of air) may be the refrigerant of choice.

OLED Light Switch Monitors Energy
Called the OEI, or Our Energy Information, this concept gadget by Rocco Avallone is basically a power monitor but with a very low-energy colorful and animated display that makes reading energy use fun, interesting, and understandable. Home power monitors are a rapidly growing market and designs like this that make accessing energy consumption information super easy are going to be a big part of that market. We love how it will display the information in a variety of ways so that any user understands their impact when they turn on the light. It can also receive community information so you can see how your consumption measures up to your neighbors'.

Pulse Glowing Bike
It's hard to say no to a glowing bike, and as we write this in the middle of winter when bike safety is especially important, it's hard not to love this concept bike - the Pulse. The bike is a single-speed concept generated by design firm Teague, and it has some great features added in, including turn signals, brake lights, and the beautifully luminous frame. This seems like the perfect concept for a safe and beautiful bike. We'd love to see this on the market!

London Garden Bike Transit System
The Future City Mobility competition aked designers to dream up ideas for what London's transportation may be like in 2030. Marten Wallgren, a Swede studying at the Royal College of Art, and three fellow designers took the SeymourPowell award for their concept dubbed London Garden, shown here. Incorporating electric buses, taxis, and scooter-bikes, all of which interconnect to make London Garden a car-free zone, the concept also includes a fascinating way to fold and store bikes. It's a tech-y concept we'd love to see more of in practice, and well before that 2030 date.

Filtered Tap on the Go, French Press Style
We’re seeing a huge influx of filtered tap water designs and they all do the same thing; use some sort of carbon material to filer contaminants and that nasty metallic taste. A few stand out like the 321 Water. It’s like any other bottle, holding more than the recommended daily amount of fresh water but instead waiting for your bottle to fill up via a drip system, is goes all French press style on us. Pretty simple to use, fill the BPA free bottle with tap water, insert the filtration press and slowly push down. I don’t see any reason why it wouldn’t work but there are a few quirks. The filtering mechanism seems quite large, in fact it seems to occupy a lot of volume inside the bottle. As “fun” as it might be to press my own water, I’d have to refill it constantly. The other tidbit are filter replacements. How cost effective is this, say compared to a filtration system that fits over your faucet?

LED lighting system for bikes
The MonkeyLectric LED light system, invented by Instructables.com co-founder Dan Goldwater, turns spinning bike wheels into a psychedelic experience. Over at Boing Boing Gadgets, Brownlee has written a magnificent essay on the inherent weirdness of bicycles and the magic of MonkeyLectric lights.

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