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Is using the internet as carbon heavy as flying?

Is using the internet as carbon heavy as flying? | Sustainable Energy | Scoop.it

For this week’s opening piece on technology I wanted to find out more about communications technology. Phones, computers and the internet have become crucial not just in my own life but also to the spread of the Transition movement, and an essential part of projects like Social Reporting. A book published last year, ‘Greening the Media’, reports that in 2007 emissions from electricity consumed by information technology were 2.5-3% of the total, and comparable with aviation, but this is not something my Transition group have yet discussed, nor something there seems much getting away from. So I spoke to my friend Toby Miller (co-author with Richard Maxwell, of Greening the Media) to find out more.

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Rescooped by Hans De Keulenaer from Hydrogen for a smarter energy mix
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Fuel Cell Powered Vehicle Ferry to be Developed in Scotland

Fuel Cell Powered Vehicle Ferry to be Developed in Scotland | Sustainable Energy | Scoop.it
SHFCA member Caledonian Marine Assets Ltd (CMAL) is working closely with Scotland’s main ferry operator to develop the world’s first car and vehicle ferry powered by hydrogen fuel cells. This revolutionary vessel would produce no exhaust fumes and could run on ‘green’ hydrogen produced using renewable electricity generated overnight from local wind farms or other renewables.
Via Claudine Sauval
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Rescooped by Hans De Keulenaer from Trends in Sustainability
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Technology harvests energy from railroad train vibrations

Engineers have won a national award for an innovative energy harvester that has the potential to save millions of dollars in energy costs for railroads while reducing carbon dioxide emissions.

 

The team's work, "Mechanical Motion Rectifier (MMR) based Railroad Energy Harvester," was awarded "Best Application of Energy Harvesting" at the Energy Harvesting and Storage USA 2012 conference, held in Washington, DC on November 7-8, 2012.
The Stony Brook team, led by Professor Lei Zuo and two graduate students Teng Lin and John Wang from the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Advanced Energy Research and Technology Center, developed a new type of energy harvester that converts the irregular, oscillatory motion of train-induced rail track vibrations into regular, unidirectional motion, in the same way that an electric voltage rectifier converts AC voltage into DC.

 

Professor Zuo estimates that the invention could save more than $10 million in trackside power supply costs for railroads in New York State alone, along with a reduction of 3000 tons per year of CO2 and a half million dollars of electricity savings.


Via Olive Ventures
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BSR Report: Future of Fuels is 'Efficiency'

BSR Report: Future of Fuels is 'Efficiency' | Sustainable Energy | Scoop.it
The Sustainability Impacts of Fuel — the first report in sustainability consulting firm BSR’s Future of Fuels initiative — assesses the total sustainability impacts of commercial transportation fuels: gas/diesel, natural gas, biofuel, hydrogen, electric power (battery-powered vehicles), and efficiency, because the report says the savings available in reducing energy use can provide an important source of additional energy.
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Rescooped by Hans De Keulenaer from E-mobility and renewable energy
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With a Jolt From Tesla, a More Electrifying Utility

Toyota and Tesla team up for launch of electric RAV4 in California.



With the plus-size battery that makes it all possible comes a hefty price: $50,610, before a $7,500 federal credit and a $2,500 California rebate; Toyota expects to announce a lease plan this month. The EV is equipped with about the same level of amenities as the gasoline-powered RAV4 Limited V-6 model, which costs $31,279. (Well, there's no leather upholstery, but the EV borrows more efficient headlamps from Lexus.)

Still, $40,000 buys a Tesla-brewed Toyota that offers generous space for passengers and cargo, and even if you commute alone, there's no need to feel guilty, because there's no tailpipe fouling the atmosphere. Only 2,600 units will be made, with production wrapping up at the end of 2014. The limited run, I believe, will only heighten its appeal, earning Toyota a legion of interested customers begging the company to make more.
Via Sass Peress
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Continental Will Help Make Electric Vehicles Go Mainstream

Continental Will Help Make Electric Vehicles Go Mainstream | Sustainable Energy | Scoop.it
Toyota is buying electric powertrains from Tesla for its RAV4 EV. Three years ago, it was BMW buying powertrains from AC Propulsion. What's wrong with this picture? It's not normal for an established automaker to source major components to unproven start-ups, but those days are over now that traditional auto suppliers have moved into electric territory.

Depending on their commitment to electric mobility, some car manufacturers may chose to do everything by themselves, like Nissan did. Or OEMs can make a joint-venture with a supplier, Smart being a good example, or buy from a well-regarded auto supplier. That's what Renault did for its Kangoo and Fluence Z.E. models, which both use an electric motor supplied by Continental. As a leading auto supplier, Continental, often called Conti for short, is mostly known among drivers for its tires. But to auto companies, Conti builds the turbo on Ford's latest Ecoboost engine, and it's a world-leader in safety technologies (braking and chassis electronics). Some people may also remember that Conti had partnered with A123 Systems with the hope to provide the battery pack for the Chevrolet Volt.
Via Sass Peress
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Rescooped by Hans De Keulenaer from green streets
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Designing Buildings that Evolve with the City

Designing Buildings that Evolve with the City | Sustainable Energy | Scoop.it

Resilient cities need infrastructure that lasts and planning teams that are willing to step up to the plate. Designing structures that can sustain decades of use requires forethought beyond the basic combination of blocks, steel and glass. Just like sidewalks and street corners, city buildings have the power to connect people to one another. Buildings are shelters from unpredictable weather, places where people can have a good time or sit quietly and think. Buildings can also serve as checkpoints or another step in someone’s journey from point A to B.
Developing cities that thrive through the ebb and flow of time are not simply about creating infrastructure that can persist, but about designing buildings that evolve as cities evolve. Sustainable design transforms as cities develop visions for furthering connections among neighborhoods and city sectors. Design features such as energy efficiency, water conservation, and heat reduction that better regulates a building’s temperature are significant elements that replenish a city’s vitality through buildings that are capable of adapting to a city’s needs. Infrastructure that is greater than the sum of its parts also requires infrastructure that functions according to the changing needs of residents...


Via Lauren Moss
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Rescooped by Hans De Keulenaer from Tracking the Future
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Amory Lovins: A 50-year plan for energy

In this intimate talk filmed at TED's offices, energy theorist Amory Lovins lays out the steps we must take to end the world's dependence on oil (before we run out). Some changes are already happening -- like lighter-weight cars and smarter trucks -- but some require a bigger vision.
Via Szabolcs Kósa
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Eco Aviation Reaches New Heights

Eco Aviation Reaches New Heights | Sustainable Energy | Scoop.it

In 2010 NASA launched its N+3 initiative which awarded four major airlines extensive funds to research, design and develop more environmentally friendly aircraft. Lockheed Martin, MIT, GE Aviation and Boeing have been charged with the challenge to create a commercial plane that would expend 75% less emissions and consume 70% less fuel. Not asmall undertaking but significant progress has already been made, especially by Boeing who have a promising hybrid aircraft in development stage.

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Overestimated, maybe, but plug-in vehicles shouldn’t be underestimated

Overestimated, maybe, but plug-in vehicles shouldn’t be underestimated | Sustainable Energy | Scoop.it
Think about it: If plug-in vehicles are such a dud, as some critics contend, why are more models hitting the market each year? Why does the number of charging stations continent-wide continue to grow? Why does innovation around electric vehicles – batteries, charging systems, electrical systems—continue to flourish?
Via Sass Peress
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Is Mass Transit Bad for the Environment?

Is Mass Transit Bad for the Environment? | Sustainable Energy | Scoop.it
It is not clear that moving around large and largely empty vehicles is much of an improvement over moving around smaller ones. In fact, it may be worse. According to the Department of Energy’s Transportation Energy Data Book, in 2010 transporting each passenger one mile by car required 3447 BTUs of energy. Transporting each passenger a mile by bus required 4118 BTUs, surprisingly making bus transit less green by this metric. Rail transit admittedly fares better, at 2520 BTUs per passenger mile, but even this is not the kind of slam-dunk advantage over the auto that transit advocates might hope for.
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Amtrak - Defining Energy Efficiency

Rail travel is more energy efficient, and uses less fuel, than cars or airplanes. According to U.S. Department of Energy data, Amtrak is almost 20 percent more efficient than domestic airline travel and 30 percent more efficient than auto travel on a per-passenger-mile basis.

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Skysails reduce fuel costs on-board by an average of 35%

Skysails reduce fuel costs on-board by an average of 35% | Sustainable Energy | Scoop.it

Benjamin Franklin used a kite to prove that lightning is electricity; The German engineer Stephan Wrage is using a kite to move really big ships. Inspired by two of his hobbies-kite-flying and sailing-Wrage realized that large kites could be used to pull freighters, thereby dramatically reducing fuel costs and producing fewer emissions. His SkySails kits reach more than 3,000 square feet and cost between $600,000 and $4 million, but can quickly pay for themselves-the largest can trim fuel costs by an average of 35 percent. One freighter, the MS Beluga SkySails, recently completed a 14,000-mile transatlantic voyage with a prototype computer-controlled kite, demonstrating potential savings of $2,000 a day in reduced fuel costs. The company looks to equip 35 more ships with kites in the coming year.

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Ford's Investment in Electrification Center of Excellence

Ford's Investment in Electrification Center of Excellence | Sustainable Energy | Scoop.it

Ford now has more than 1,000 engineers working on vehicle electrification – its highest number ever; 60 engineers added in the last year, dozens more to be added in the year ahead.

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Plug-in hybrid sales soar; all-electric cars stay in low gear

Plug-in hybrid sales soar; all-electric cars stay in low gear | Sustainable Energy | Scoop.it
Since a new generation of electric cars went on sale 18 months ago, the results have been far from jolting.
Via Sass Peress
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Aftermarket Leads » Excellence in Energy Efficiency Act promises ...

Aftermarket Leads » Excellence in Energy Efficiency Act promises ... | Sustainable Energy | Scoop.it

Are you a U.S. automaker? Do you want a billion dollars? Have we got a deal for you! Just build 60,000 cars that get 100 miles per gallon and the government will send a truckload of cash to your office doors (or, perhaps, mail a check).

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