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A fuel cell for home? A miniature power station for home use is based on a solid fuel cell

A fuel cell for home? A miniature power station for home use is based on a solid fuel cell | Investing in Renewable Energy | Scoop.it

It converts chemical energy directly into electrical energy. Still, there hadn’t been a market breakthrough for the fuel cell. The systems were too complex. Now, Fraunhofer and Vaillant have developed a simple device for home use.

To read the full article, click on the title or image.


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Nice progress.

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Earth has entered sixth mass extinction, warn scientists - The Telegraph

Earth has entered sixth mass extinction, warn scientists - The Telegraph | Investing in Renewable Energy | Scoop.it

Humans are responsible for so many species dying out that we are now in a sixth mass extinction, Stanford University has warned...

Earth has entered its sixth mass extinction with animals now dying out at 100 times the normal rate, scientists have warned.
Humans have created a toxic mix of habitat loss, pollution and climate change, which has already led to the loss of at least 77 species of mammals, 140 types of bird since and 34 amphibians since 1500.
They include creatures like the dodo, Steller’s Sea Cow, the Falkland Islands wolf, the quagga, the Formosan clouded leopard, the Atlas bear, the Caspian tiger and the Cape lion.
Scientists at Stanford University in the US claim it is the biggest loss of species since the Cretaceous-Tertiary mass extinction which wiped out the dinosaurs 66 million years ago.
“Without any significant doubt that we are now entering the sixth great mass extinction event," said Professor Paul Ehrlich, at the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment.
“Species are disappearing up to about 100 times faster than the normal rate between mass extinctions, known as the background rate.
“Our calculations very likely underestimate the severity of the extinction crisis. There are examples of species all over the world that are essentially the walking dead.” Click image or title for the full story and pictures.



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Portable, solar-powered ecocapsules mean you can live rent- and electric-bill free, globally

Portable, solar-powered ecocapsules mean you can live rent- and electric-bill free, globally | Investing in Renewable Energy | Scoop.it
The egg-shaped mini home goes on sale for pre-order at the end of the year.

If you’ve just had it with taking the subway, or sitting in an office, or just generally being around other people, you may be in luck. Slovakian firm Nice Architects has built an egg-shaped “Ecocapsule” that runs entirely on solar and wind energy, allowing its dweller(s) to live both literally, and figuratively, off the grid.

The completely self-sustaining portable home contains a 9,744 watt-hour battery, a 750 watt wind turbine, and high-efficiency solar cells that can support you for about a year in pretty much any location in the world, provided there is some sunlight. (It probably wouldn’t work in a cave, for instance, should someone desire to live in one.)

The capsule also includes a rainwater collection and filtration system. Inside, there’s a kitchenette with running water, a flushable toilet, a shower, a bed, and work space. Nice Architects says the capsule, which is about 4.5 meters (14.7 feet) long and 2.4 meters (7.9 feet) wide, can comfortably fit two people. Read more: click image or title.




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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

What a great concept. Put it on wheels, take it to places that were hard to reach before, make it your home, anywhere.

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Tesla’s $3,000 Powerwall Will Let Households Run Entirely On Solar Energy

Tesla’s $3,000 Powerwall Will Let Households Run Entirely On Solar Energy | Investing in Renewable Energy | Scoop.it

You almost certainly associate Tesla with cars — very cool cars — but the company has an even grander vision beyond that. Today, CEO and founder Elon Musk unveiled ‘Tesla Energy’ — a new business arm that is focused on ending our dependence on grid power and switching instead to solar energy.

The first Tesla Energy product is ‘Powerwall Home Battery,’ a stationary battery that can power a household without requiring the grid. The battery is rechargeable lithium-ion — it uses Tesla’s existing battery tech — and can be fixed to a wall, removing much of the existing complexity around using a local power source.

“The issue with existing batteries is that they suck,” Musk said in a press conference announcing Tesla Energy. “They are expensive, unreliable and bad in every way.”

Tesla’s solution, he said, is different.

For one thing, the company’s batteries cost $3,500 for 10kWh and $3,000 for 7kWh —They are open for pre-orders in the U.S. now; the first orders will be dispatched “in late summer.”

Like regular batteries, they can be used together — up to nine can be stacked up together to create a strong and reliable power source. Musk said he believes they can help people in emerging markets or remote locations ‘leapfrog’ the need for existing power systems, in a similar way that mobile phones have become more important than landlines in remote parts of the world. Read more: click on title or image.



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Dave....
I downloaded your business plan template ...It is  great!!! we have a successful delivery service already running today ...This plan is for a new liquor store idea ...my tax consultants say your plan is amazing..Thanks Dave!!!
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Shift Gear Deliveries

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Tesla is bringing new options to the world. Energy storage will transform the way we deal with energy fundamentally. Great for solar energy, electric cars, emerging markets. We need more visionaries like Elon Musk.

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France Decrees new rooftops must be covered in plants or Solar Panels

France Decrees new rooftops must be covered in plants or Solar Panels | Investing in Renewable Energy | Scoop.it

Rooftops on new buildings built in commercial zones in France must either be partially covered in plants or solar panels, under a law approved on Thursday.

Green roofs have an isolating effect, helping reduce the amount of energy needed to heat a building in winter and cool it in summer.



They also retain rainwater, thus helping reduce problems with runoff, while favouring biodiversity and giving birds a place to nest in the urban jungle, ecologists say.

The law approved by parliament was more limited in scope than initial calls by French environmental activists to make green roofs that cover the entire surface mandatory on all new buildings.

The Socialist government convinced activists to limit the scope of the law to commercial buildings.

The law was also made less onerous for businesses by requiring only part of the roof to be covered with plants, and giving them the choice of installing solar panels to generate electricity instead.

Green roofs are popular in Germany and Australia, and Canada’s city of Toronto adopted a by-law in 2009 mandating them in industrial and residential buildings.




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Luca Zuffi's curator insight, March 22, 4:57 AM

A step ahead....

Gary Barclay's curator insight, March 22, 5:46 AM

Brilliant, hope this gets taken up in London too

Chelsea Dobbie's curator insight, March 24, 8:22 PM

The implementation of new laws, such as this, will encourage the use of solar energy.

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Tesla Model S P85D - We couldn't believe our eyes - Can the new Tesla really outrace a snowmobile?

Tesla Model S P85D - We couldn't believe our eyes - Can the new Tesla really outrace a snowmobile? | Investing in Renewable Energy | Scoop.it

http://snip.ly/Ov96

Can the new Tesla really outrace a snowmobile?!

A new version of the Tesla has arrived and it shall ensure that the success continues . Model S has in fact been outfitted with all-wheel drive, and tested in the mountains.

So, what would be more natural than doing a drag race against a snowmobile on a frozen lake (see video above) ?

Raw power

There is a strong couple of vehicles at the starting line. Even the most powerful adjectives become weak when describing the forces of a Tesla Model S P85D. This is the strongest, fastest and most expensive version yet, including all-wheel drive

The two electric motors,  the strongest runs the rear wheels and a smaller motor runs the front wheels, has a total of 700 hp.

0-100 km/h in only 3.4 seconds . That is a number only the baddest sport cars can beat!

The distribution of forces in all-wheel drive is "floating". Tesla says the system responds at lightning speed to differences in grip and constantly distribute force where most advantagous. Read more and see the video here: http://snip.ly/Ov96




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Renewable Energy power does not need to be inferior to existing models. It is a superior product, whether it's a vehicle, a power station, a wind tower or a hydro dam. It's not just about 'clean' energy. There is much more to it.

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World’s first grid-connected wave power station switched on in Australia

World’s first grid-connected wave power station switched on in Australia | Investing in Renewable Energy | Scoop.it

The world’s first grid-connected wave power station has been activated off the coast of Western Australia (WA).

After more than a decade of testing and demonstrations, Australian company Carnegie Wave Energy has switched on a pilot project that has begun feeding wave-generated electricity into a local WA grid.  

 

The world’s first grid-connected wave power station has been activated off the coast of Western Australia (WA).  

After more than a decade of testing and demonstrations, Australian company Carnegie Wave Energy has switched on a pilot project that has begun feeding wave-generated electricity into a local WA grid.   

“This is the first array of wave power generators to be connected to an electricity grid in Australia and worldwide,” said Ivor Frischknecht, CEO of the Australian Renewable Energy Agency, in a statement. The Agency has provided $13 million of the $32 million project.

The company’s technology named CETO after a Greek goddess of the sea converts ocean swell into zero-emission renewable power and zero-emission desalinated freshwater.  

The company says its system is “different from other wave energy devices as it operates under water where it is safer from large storms [and corrosion] and invisible from the shore”.  Read more: click on image or title.



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Via S. Diez de Medina
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Renewable is gaining ground everywhere and in every direction. It's a must or climate change will be out of control beyond repair, hopefully we're not that far yet.

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The company says its system is “different from other wave energy devices as it operates under water where it is safer from large storms [and corrosion] and invisible from the shore”.  The round, submerged buoys are tethered to seabed pump units, which are installed at a depth of between 25 and 50 metres. Waves crashing into the buoys drive the pumps, which push pressurised seawater through a pipeline beneath the ocean floor to an onshore hydroelectric power station. Here, the high-pressure water drives a turbine and generates electricity.

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Study unearths impacts of our growing carbon emissions — and it's not pretty

Study unearths impacts of our growing carbon emissions — and it's not pretty | Investing in Renewable Energy | Scoop.it

http://snip.ly/nsEU

On Mashable, by Andrew Freedman

Scientists have directly confirmed what they have long assumed to be true: Increasing amounts of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, such as carbon dioxide, are trapping heat from escaping back into space and are thereby causing global warming.

The observations of what is known as radiative forcing were made over the course of 11 years between 2000 and 2010 from two locations in North America, in Oklahoma and the North Slope of Alaska. Highly specialized instruments in both locations were used to measure thermal infrared energy fluctuations and analyze the source of such changes.

The study, published Wednesday in the advance online edition of the journal Nature, explores the Earth's energy account balance. It found that over time, the planet is running a surplus of energy at the surface, causing global air and ocean temperatures to increase with a wide variety of mostly negative impacts.

Before this study, scientists already knew that the energy balance was tilted in the direction of a growing surplus, but they lacked precise measurements at the surface. The researchers were also able to trace this energy surplus mainly to manmade emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases through the burning of fossil fuels such as coal and oil, as well as forest fires.

Read more and watch the amazing video from NASA here: http://snip.ly/nsEU



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Watch the amazing video of what NASA recorded by satellite from 2000 to 2010

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Startup promises hassle-free solar ownership for anyone

Startup promises hassle-free solar ownership for anyone | Investing in Renewable Energy | Scoop.it
You won't need space on your roof for a solar array – or a lot of extra cash – to invest in solar energy with CloudSolar.


http://snip.ly/PFyc

Investing in solar could get a whole lot easier, and a whole lot more affordable, once this solar startup launches because it removes several of the barriers to wider adoption of this clean energy source.

Many of us who advocate for getting more solar power on the grid aren't necessarily going solar ourselves right now; and while we all might have reasons of our own for that, several of the most common ones may soon not really be an issue at all anymore if CloudSolar gets enough traction.

The economics of residential solar are getting better and better every day, but there are still a few barriers for many of us. Some of us who might have the money to go solar may either lack the space for rooftop solar panels, or don't have ownership of the roof, such as those who live in multi-unit buildings. And some of us who do have ownership of our roof, and do have the space, don't have the capital or credit to finance a full solar array.

One answer to making solar energy more accessible, and making solar investment easier than ever, might come from CloudSolar's unique model, where anyone can buy into solar for as little as $50 USD. The company aims to "revolutionize the solar industry" by allowing people to have ownership of their own solar panels, and enjoy the financial and environmental benefits from them, while CloudSolar takes care of everything else. Literally everything else.

Read more : http://snip.ly/PFyc



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Great info. Loving your business plan template, makes writing a plan almost fun.


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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Solar is gaining interest everywhere. More options are becoming available all the time. This is a very interesting one.

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Portable energy mill provides both wind and solar power at disaster sites

Portable energy mill provides both wind and solar power at disaster sites | Investing in Renewable Energy | Scoop.it

After large scale disasters such hurricanes or floods, affected areas are often left without power, making it much harder for emergency services to find and help survivors. Delays of minutes or hours can often mean the difference between life and death. We have already seen the Ambulance Drone — an all purpose medical toolkit that can be flown into emergency situations, and now WindStream Technologies has developed the MobileMill — a portable trailer which harvests both solar and wind power, designed for first responders at disaster sites where other power sources have been knocked out. Read more here: http://www.springwise.com/portable-energy-mill-wind-solar-power-disaster-sites/



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Great innovations!

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Why solar costs will fall another 40% in just two years

Why solar costs will fall another 40% in just two years | Investing in Renewable Energy | Scoop.it
Even the world's biggest fossil fuel producers recognise that solar is winning the cost war. In the next two years, solar costs will fall even further - as much as 40 per cent. Here's how.

 

It’s been one of the big themes at the World Energy Future Conference here in Abu Dhabi. Solar, and other technologies such as wind power, are no longer more expensive than traditional fossil fuels in many parts of the world. Indeed, they are cheaper.

 

A day earlier, the International Renewable Energy predicted that solar costs would fall substantially in coming years, underlying its competitiveness with fossil fuels. If government policy makers did not understand this, IRENA said, then they risked making bad decisions about their energy future.

 

While much of the cost reduction over the last 5-10 years has resulted from polysilicon price reductions, future cost reductions will necessarily come from non panel related balance of system costs.

 

Inverter and racking cost are also declining.

Installation costs will fall by one third in the US.

Sales/Customer Acquisition Cost will fall even further.

 

More here: http://reneweconomy.com.au/2015/why-solar-costs-will-fall-another-40-in-just-two-years-21235


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Daniel LaLiberte's curator insight, January 20, 7:11 PM

As renewable energy continues to grow even cheaper, fossil fuel costs are either going to go up because of reduced supply of cheaply exploited resources, or fall due to collapsing demand, or some of both.  Fossil fuels ought to cost enough to pay for the clean up all the CO2 and other pollution that results from burning. But regardless, the encroaching competition from renewable energy will eventually catch up and "clean up".  The question is not whether it will happen but how soon?

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100 Engineers Are Trying to Bring Elon Musk's Hyperloop Dream to Life

100 Engineers Are Trying to Bring Elon Musk's Hyperloop Dream to Life | Investing in Renewable Energy | Scoop.it
Thanks to an ambitious think-tank upstart, the bold billionaire's vision for a Jetson-esque 'fifth mode of transport' is inching closer to reality.

http://snip.ly/iXej

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Musk is not a dreamer. He picks up dreams and turns them into reality.

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This glass sphere might revolutionize solar power on Earth

This glass sphere might revolutionize solar power on Earth | Investing in Renewable Energy | Scoop.it

German architect André Broessel, of Rawlemon, has looked into his crystal ball and seen the future of renewable energy. In this case it’s a spherical sun-tracking solar energy-generating globe — essentially a giant glass marble on a robotic steel frame. But this marble is no toy. It concentrates both sunlight and moonlight up to 10,000 times — making its solar harvesting capabilities 35 percent more efficient than conventional dual-axis photovoltaic designs.

André Broessel was a finalist in the World Technology Network Award 2013 with the globe’s design and afterward produced this latest version, called Betaray, which can concentrate diffuse light such as that from a cloudy day.

André Broessel’s latest invention looks like something out of a superhero movie. The bifrost device depicted in Thor, perhaps, or Eric Selvig’s wormhole machine in The Avengers.

In reality, though, it’s a stand-alone solar energy generator. And if nothing else, it’s much more interesting to look at than your standard photovoltaic solar panel.

But Broessel’s invention may be more than just aesthetically pleasing. According to a recent report in Fast Company, the German architect touts his orb-like system as being 35 percent more efficient than a standard panel, doing even better when combined with a tool for tracking the sun.

“For the last 40 years we have tried to capture this energy with PV panels,” Broessel says in the promotional video on his Indiegogo campaign for his company, Rawlemon“But the earth is moving around the sun, and the fixed panel is losing its efficiency.”

The rotating glass orb, he says, brings in energy from the sun and concentrates it onto a small surface of tiny solar panels. The ball lens is able to concentrate and diffuse light on one small focal point, making it more sustainable (less material used to

create solar cells, most of which are made from crystalline silicon) and more efficient. Additionally, Broessel says poor weather would not impact the device, because of a built-in weather tracking system.

CREDIT: RAWLEMON

“We can squeeze more juice out of the sun,” Broessel says.

In terms of whether the device will actually bring meaningful improvements to the renewable energy sector to reduce the effects of man-made climate change, the outlook seems promising on its face. The amount of energy solar panels can derive from the sun is low compared to the energy that the sun can actually produce — some only convert about 20 percent of their available energy into electrical power — so a device that can better concentrate the sun’s energy would be surely welcome. And, as Stanford University’s associate director on energy and sustainable development Mark Thurber told the Wall Street Journal back in April, “the most intriguing renewable energy technologies are those that have the most room to improve.” In terms of solar, he said at the time, “perhaps concentrating solar power can make significant strides as we learn from the first large installations.”

Broessel’s device is not yet available in the market. He is trying to raise $120,000 on his Indiegogo campaign for further testing, and for patent applications he’s filed in five jurisdictions. You can watch his promotional video below.


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Eric Schmidt’s Farm2050 Collective Will Back Agriculture Tech To Feed Earth’s Growing Population | TechCrunch

Eric Schmidt’s Farm2050 Collective Will Back Agriculture Tech To Feed Earth’s Growing Population  |  TechCrunch | Investing in Renewable Energy | Scoop.it

We’ll need to produce 70% more food by 2050 to sustain a world population expected to grow to 10 billion. Yet agriculture startups struggle to get the funding, manufacturing, and test facilities needed to build tech that could boost food production. To fix that disconnect, Google Chairman Eric Schmidt’s Innovation Endeavors and Flextronics Lab IX today launched Farm2050, a collective that will support AgTech startups with capital, design, manufacturing, and test farms to try out their inventions.

The Farm2050 partnership includes Google, DuPont, Agco, UTC’s Sensitech, and 3D Robotics. Flextronics’ Head of Lab IX Lior Susan tells me “It’s still not sexy to do agriculture. You don’t see IPOs and big acquisitions that pull Sand Hill into the game.” That’s why Farm2050 is necessary to foster an AgTech ecosystem.

Farm2050 is now inviting startups to pitch it ideas to address the global food challenge.

“You see a concentration where 90% of entrepreneurs are focused on 10% of the problems”, Innovation Endeavors’ managing director Dror Berman tells me. Agriculture has been really underserved. You can build a ton of technology companies here that really matter.”

Farming is already a huge market, with net farm income worldwide estimated at $120 billion a year. Yet the support structure hasn’t been there to accelerate technological advancements in agriculture as fast as in other industries. When there are breakthroughs, though, they truly help humanity.

Berman says “100 years ago we saw the Haber-Bosch process enable fertilizer development. 50 years ago we saw the refrigerated truck facilitate the long-distance transport of perishables. And today we’re seeing the emergence of robotics and machine learning applied to agricultural practices.”

Farm2050 is open to any ideas that boost food production. Specifically, though, it will be looking for startups working on how robotics and data science can advance the ways farmers seed, cultivate, and harvest all kinds of food.

The collective format that includes a range of companies, rather than just being a few investors, is designed to let corporations get involved with sparking AgTech innovation beyond just offering money. Berman tells me corporations frequently create incubators or fund startups, when really it’s their tech and expertise that could help most. Farm2050 will harness those resources, such as supply chain expertise, or sensor technologies, to help the companies it backs.

The mission-driven Farm2050 collective is a prime example of social venture capital, where returns are calculated not just in dollars returned, but good done. Susan concludes, “Our children and our grandchildren need to live here. If people who invest in startups can’t help, that kind of sucks.”

If you’ve watched Interstellar, you’ve seen a vivid portrayal of the desperate times a global food shortage could cause. If any entrepreneurs out there are on the fence about whether to get into AgTech, I hope that film and today’s announcement convince them there’s something more important to build than social games and photo apps.

More: Eric Schmidt’s Farm2050 Collective Will Back Agriculture Tech To Feed Earth’s Growing Population | TechCrunch


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An opportunity for ag startups

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Marc Kneepkens's curator insight, November 20, 2014 10:02 AM

Finally some tech giants are addressing some real problems. Here is an opportunity for agricultural ideas and startups.

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Plastic to Oil Fantastic - Our World

Plastic to Oil Fantastic - Our World | Investing in Renewable Energy | Scoop.it
A Japanese company's invention of a machine that converts plastic back into oil shows us how by reducing waste we can lessen our dependence on fossil fuels.

This video brief about the invention of a plastic-to-oil converting machine went viral and exceeded 3.7 million views on YouTube.

This is evidence that concern over “the plastic problem” is certainly not going away, despite encouraging bans on and decreases in the use of plastic shopping bags.

Here on Our World, on the video’s YouTube page and those of re-posters too, as well as on the hot Reddit Science link, the topic has generated much interest and debate amongst commenters.

Many think that this type of recycling is not a solution, but that instead the world should be seriously focused on the first “R” — which is reduce. We should shun single-use plastic (such as your average PET bottle or disposable container) altogether, they argue. The world’s oil resources are diminishing; does technology like this enable our denial of that fact, or is it a hopeful and constructive step in the right direction?

Others are doubtful of the conversion process and have concerns about pollution or toxic residue. But the machine actually uses highly efficient but pretty straightforward pyrolysis: the plastic is fed into the pressurized oxygen-free oven and heated to 427° C (800°F), which liquefies it. The machine then converts the liquefied plastic to gas, which condenses to form a crude oil mixture of gasoline, diesel, kerosene and heavy oil. Blest tells us that, if the proper materials are fed into the machine (i.e., polyethylene, polystyrene and polypropylene — PP, PE,  PS plastics), there is no toxic substance produced and the small amount of inert char residue that may be leftover can be disposed of with regular garbage.

They also explain that while methane, ethane, propane and butane gasses are released in the process, the machine is equipped with an off-gas filter that disintegrates these gases into water and carbon.

Lastly, commentators from around the world are anxious to know if and where they can purchase a machine. Though the company still mainly produces larger, industrial-use machines, Blest Co. will be more than happy to hear from you. Please contact them directly at info@blest.co.jp.

Below is the original article, published on April 14, 2009. Read more: click title or image.




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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Plastic waste is a huge problem. This Japanese man has created an incredible solution by using pyrolysis. Having machines at this small scale is a great step forward as well. Read more and find more information in the original article.

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Solving One of the World's Biggest Problems

Many of the world’s problems stem from water – yes, problems on a truly global scale. There somehow seems to be too much of it, too little of it, or a negative imbalance of it. These issues lead to flooding, drought, famine, and enormous loss of agriculture. Make no mistake: water, and its implications, is a major problem and it’s one that remains an issue.

Too often, people mistakenly believe the big problems in our world are already solved and that the only room left for innovation is incremental. Thankfully, the founding team behind Parjana didn’t fall into this trap. They realized that groundwater is still in fact a major problem and that they would be able to formulate a solution. Their innovation is making an impact already, by tackling a well-travelled problem with a fresh approach – talk about bold thinking in action.

In 1997, Andrew Niemczyk invented the Energy-passive Groundwater Recharge Product. Fast-forward over a decade and Niemczyk patented the technology and partnered with Greg McPartlin to expand and grow, utilizing this brilliant concept – the company is called Parjana. So what does this EGRP do, exactly? This green solution in water management is installed underground. Once it acclimatizes to the soil, the tube system (with five chambers in it and open channels along its edge) helps reduce surface runoff by increasing infiltration of water, much the same way as the natural environment would. This helps with water during rainfall and then provides moisture during dry moments, keeping the ground at equilibrium. Read more: click image or title.





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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Solving the water problem is a big one. Every new idea is valuable. The article also makes a great point that you shouldn't wait with your solutions for the big boys to catch on or to think that there is no chance for you to do it yourself. Have a solution? Put it out. If the need is there and your solution is valuable you have a great chance to make a difference.

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Global investment in renewable energy hit US$270B in 2014, says UN report - Canadian Manufacturing

Global investment in renewable energy hit US$270B in 2014, says UN report - Canadian Manufacturing | Investing in Renewable Energy | Scoop.it

Despite the increase, the report warns that renewables still face some challenges

FRANKFURT and NAIROBI—The annual United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) report on global investments in renewables shows a 17 per cent increase in 2014.

$270 billion was invested in renewables in 2014, and the majority of funds went to solar and wind projects.

The increase follows two years of decline, and was able to overcome the lower price of crude oil in the second half of the year, which was expected to pose a challenge.

The smaller investment figures in 2012 and 2013 were partly attributed to lower prices for renewables, caused by economies of scale. The price for solar and wind technologies continued to decline in 2014, so the money invested resulted in significantly more capacity. The power generating capacity added by renewables last year amounts to 103 gigawatts—equal to the total capacity of the USA’s 158 nuclear plants.

“Renewables made up nearly half of the net power capacity added worldwide” said Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UNEP. “These climate-friendly energy technologies are now an indispensable component of the global energy mix and their importance will only increase as markets mature, technology prices continue to fall and the need to rein in carbon emissions becomes ever more urgent.”

Despite the increase, the report warns that renewables still face some challenges. Among them are structural issues that stem from the variability of solar and wind power generation. In many countries, electricity grids have trouble coping with the 25% variability caused by dependence on sunlight and breeze.

The report was prepared by the Frankfurt School-UNEP Centre, and Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

Udo Steffens, President of the Frankfurt School of Finance and Management, said another challenge for renewables is investor uncertainty of continued government support.
“Southern Europe is still almost a no-go area for investors because of retroactive policy changes, most recently those affecting solar farms in Italy. In the US there is uncertainty over the future of the Production Tax Credit for wind, but costs are now so low that the sector is more insulated than in the past.”

The report concludes that if current trends continue, the electricity market requires major reforms to keep up with the success of renewables. Since 2004, over $2 trillion has been invested in renewables globally.



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Marc Kneepkens's curator insight, April 6, 7:02 PM

The challenges seem to be endless, but innovation and persistence keeps renewable energy growing.

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Earth has exceeded four of the nine limits for hospitable life, scientist claims

Earth has exceeded four of the nine limits for hospitable life, scientist claims | Investing in Renewable Energy | Scoop.it

Humanity has raced past four of the boundaries keeping it hospitable to life, and we're inching close to the remaining five, an Earth resilience strategist has found.

In a paper published in Science in January 2015, Johan Rockström argues that we've already screwed up with regards to climate change, extinction of species, addition of phosphorus and nitrogen to the world's ecosystems and deforestation.

We are well within the boundaries for ocean acidification and freshwater use meanwhile, but cutting it fine with regards to emission of poisonous aerosols and stratospheric ozone depletion.

"The planet has been our best friend by buffering our actions and showing its resilience," Rockström said. "But for the first time ever, we might shift the planet from friend to foe."

This table by Ted shows where we're at according to his scale: click on table to see details and the rest of this article.




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First floating solar plant hopes to change waste energy in Australia

First floating solar plant hopes to change waste energy in Australia | Investing in Renewable Energy | Scoop.it


A floating solar plant is set to be constructed on a wastewater treatment basin in South Australia, in an Australia-first initiative.

The plant, which is expected to be up and running by April, will float on a water treatment facility in Jamestown, according to the ABC. It will be used to generate energy to power the plant and any leftover energy will be transferred to the town of Jamestown.

It looks very similar to a traditional land-based solar plant, besides the fact it is designed to float. The system uses high-density polyethylene pipe for buoyancy and sits on a structural steel pontoon, which the panels slot into.

Infratech Industries is behind the ambitious project that will see efficiency increased by 57% compared to the land-based comparison. Felicia Whiting of Infratech Industries told the ABC the system is perfect for dry climates as the water body keeps the panels cool.

"It prevents water evaporation up to 90 per cent of the surface area covered, and for dry states and dry climates that's a big water saving measure," Whiting said. Read more, click on image or title.




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I am very satisfied with my business plan and financial plan. Your work is outstanding."
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Cool!

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Poetic NASA Visualization Shows How Everything Is Connected

Poetic NASA Visualization Shows How Everything Is Connected | Investing in Renewable Energy | Scoop.it

NASA visualizes the 22,000 tons of life-giving dust that flows between Africa and South America.

On Earth, there couldn't be a bigger difference between the Amazon rainforest and the African Sahara. The latter is a brown streak of wasteland; the former, green and teeming with life. Polar opposites though they may be, the Amazon and the Sahara have a symbiotic relationship: the nutrients of desert dust blow across the Atlantic and feed the rainforest. This process is normally invisible to the eye, but NASA has visualized it in three-dimensions in a beautiful video.

To show how clouds of dust blow across the Atlantic, scientists at the Godard Flight Center tracked dust from the Bodélé Depression in Chad, an ancient lake bed containing rock minerals composed of dead microorganisms. And those dead microorganisms? They're loaded with phosphorous, an essential nutrient for plant growth; the lush Amazon rainforest can't get enough of it. Phosphorous is much rarer in the soils of the Amazon than in the desert, but because winds dump approximately 22,000 tons of phosphorous-rich dust on the Amazon every year, the rainforest's supply is constantly replenished.

The dust visualization was derived from data collected from 2007 through 2013 by NASA's Cloud-Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observation satellite, or CALYPSO. CALYPSO sent out constant pulses of light that refracted off dust particles in the atmosphere, then back to the satellite. Twenty-two thousand tons of dust might sound huge, but it's a drop in the bucket compared with how much dust the winds of the Sahara actually actually pick up: an average of 182 million tons, which is the equivalent of nearly 690,000 semi-trucks filled with dust.

If you needed another reminder of how small the world is, here you go. Everything is connected. Read more about NASA's work tracking atmospheric dust here.

[via Notcot]  Watch this amazing video here: http://www.fastcodesign.com/3042963/infographic-of-the-day/poetic-nasa-visualization-shows-how-everything-is-connected



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Amazing video.

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"Stop Me Before I Kill the Planet": Another Major Oil Producer calls for Carbon Pricing | CaseWorthy

"Stop Me Before I Kill the Planet": Another Major Oil Producer calls for Carbon Pricing | CaseWorthy | Investing in Renewable Energy | Scoop.it

On the heels of Shell, now BP has warned that carbon dioxide emission levels from burning fossil fuels are unsustainable unless the international community unilaterally introduces tougher binding regulations on atmospheric pollution.

 In another astonishing announcement, a second major Oil producer has called for a global carbon  pricing mechanism.
BP follows last week’s speech from Ben Van Beurden, CEO of Shell, which called for policies to curb climate change, including a price on carbon.

Read more: click on the image or title.



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AleksBlumentals's curator insight, February 20, 5:47 AM

The stark warning from the UK’s second-largest oil company came with the publication on Tuesday of its closely-watched long-term outlook for global energy markets, which predicts that CO2 emissions will increase by 1pc per year, or 25pc in total, through to 2035.

 

We are at a moment of historical change – I don’t think it’s too much to compare this to the fall of the Iron Curtain and the Berlin Wall in 1989.  A gigantic, monolithic industry that has for decades presented a united front against action on climate is now realizing the stakes are so high, the science so overwhelming,  the politics so clearly lining up against them, and possibly most important, the growing impact of the Divestment movement asinvestors wake up to their exposure to a “carbon bubble” – that they are lining up and calling for action.

 

 

  
Marc Kneepkens's curator insight, February 20, 7:21 AM

A wake up call! When the oil giants are clearly sending out a warning it is definitely time for governments and corporation to start dealing with the challenge. Apple is setting a great example. Read the article for details.

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Solar Energy Can Now Be Converted Into Liquid Fuel

Solar Energy Can Now Be Converted Into Liquid Fuel | Investing in Renewable Energy | Scoop.it

The potential applications of solar power just got a whole lot wider

Researchers at Harvard have discovered how to convert solar energy into liquid fuel, potentially accelerating our switch to the alternative-energy source, according to an article in this month’s scientific journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

At the moment, solar energy can be converted into hydrogen by using photovoltaic cells. The hydrogen can then be stored in fuel cells for future use. But hydrogen has failed to make headway as an energy source in a world that is infrastructurally set up to handle liquid fuels.

Now, however, scientists have figured out a way of using sunlight to split water into hydrogen and oxygen. They then use a bacterium to convert the hydrogen, plus carbon dioxide, into the liquid fuel isopropanol.

“This is a proof of concept that you can have a way of harvesting solar energy and storing it in the form of a liquid fuel,” said researcher Pamela Silver.

The hope now is that solar energy will find more takers, particularly in the developing world, where the ability to make energy locally will be a boon.

[Science Daily]



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Great info. Loving your business plan template, makes writing a plan almost fun.


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Solar is really making waves lately. The future is bright.

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10 Ways the Next 10 Years Are Going To Be Mind-Blowing | High Existence

10 Ways the Next 10 Years Are Going To Be Mind-Blowing | High Existence | Investing in Renewable Energy | Scoop.it

We are living in an extremely exciting time in terms of science and technology. Things that have always been considered science fiction are becoming normal day-to-day components of our lives. And while we have been seeing invention after breakthrough over and over in the last couple of decades, this next ten years is going to blow everything else out of the water.

The awesome thing about all these scientific discoveries it that they create technology that allows us to make more breakthroughs even faster. Our ability to innovate is increasing exponentially as the years go by. To give you an idea of the magnitude of this reality, here are 10 amazing innovations to different sectors of life. They should give you a pretty good idea of what changes will be made by 2020. Read more: click title or image.


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Check out #6 on 'Energy'. Solar is in for a revolution.

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Marc Kneepkens's curator insight, February 3, 2:03 PM

Wow, take a look, amazing stuff in so many different fields.

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The top 5 climate science and policy developments to watch in 2015

The top 5 climate science and policy developments to watch in 2015 | Investing in Renewable Energy | Scoop.it
2014 was a year in which mammoth climate science assessments seemed to appear once a week, and policymakers made an unprecedented (albeit still sluggish) push toward establishing an effective global climate policy framework.



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Ann Duffy's curator insight, January 1, 2:14 PM

Time for a tipping a point - let's see a global framework come together in 2015!

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Free-Energy Ocean Turbines: The Death Of Fossil Fuels!

Free-Energy Ocean Turbines: The Death Of Fossil Fuels! | Investing in Renewable Energy | Scoop.it

By Steven Bancarz|  We already know that using fossil fuels as a main source of energy is completely outdated and unnecessary.  Several significant pollutants are produced by fossil fuel combustion as well: carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, sulfur oxides, and hydrocarbons.

Oil spills and coal waste are polluting our land and water, killing precious animal life in the process.  Our nation’s fossil fuel dependence means that, to ensure our supply, we may be forced to protect foreign sources of oil. The Persian Gulf War is a perfect example: US troops were sent to the Gulf in part to guard against a possible cutoff of our oil supply.  Could this be a reason for spending so long in the middle east and going into Syria recently?

The fossil fuel industry is poisoning our health, our planet, and even our morality. They are not renewable and will run out in the near future.  We can do better than this.  We have seen examples of free energy devices online, which are often genius but lack a global application.  We have all seen solar panels and wind turbines, which are a great start.  These are certainly good options, but they are contingent on the amount of sunlight and wind speed that is being produced any given day.  There is a third option which is so obvious and could produce more energy in a more sustainable fashion.  Yet for some reason, nobody talks about it. Underwater ocean turbines This is exciting.

The Gulf Stream ocean current alone has the energy density to power most of North America.  Imagine what we could generate if Ocean Utility Turbines were scattered all throughout our major gulfs, lakes, and oceans?  The ocean’s currents have enough usable power to replace all fossil fuel and nuclear energy dependence forever.  We could literally power the world overnight.


This is an underwater ocean turbine.  The turbine is composed of three sets of blades which close when they are moving in the same direction as the flow of water. When the blades close they create an obstacle that the water has to push out of its path of flow. When water pushes on the closed blades it causes the main shaft and generator to rotate which  produces energy in the form of electricity.

When the blades are moving in the opposite direction as the flow of water they open. When the blades open they create minimal drag in the oncoming flow of water. This design creates very high surface area and drag on the power stroke side of the turbine while creating very low surface area and drag on the returning side. This design has proven to be the most efficient for collecting energy from ocean currents.

Just to give you a scope of how effective these things could be, just one turbine with 30 meter blades in a 3 meter per second current will produce 13,500kw per hour or 324,000Kw per day. With an average residential price of $0.08USD per kilowatt hour this turbine would hypothetically generate $25,920 in electricity per 24 hours while powering all of the energy needs of 13,500 average homes with 100% clean, and safe renewable energy.  Americans are currently spending over 100 billion dollars each year in carbon tax money to go towards climate change research.  If even half of that money went to developing and installing under water turbines, we could power the whole world over night.  Here is one of these things in action.  Now imagine this, but with the turbine having a length of 30 meters:

 

Here are a list of just SOME of the benefits of ocean utility turbines:

● Energy output of 13.5 MW/hour
● 100% reliable energy – not dependent upon wind or sun, ocean currents are always flowing.
● Doesn’t add heat to environment
● No emissions
● Water safe materials and paints
● Anti-fouling, anti-corrosive, won’t rust, won’t grow sea-life
● Can’t see it, hear it, or smell it.
● Huge survivability in storms (unlike other free energy devices)
● Can provide energy and clean water to hurricane/tsunami victims.
● Components in the utility-scale turbines are non-corrosive non-toxic metals and high performance composite fiber
● Design of turbine has large acoustic signature so marine animals can echo-locate it, moves slow enough for them to move around it, will not harm marine life
● Less susceptible target for terrorism
● Doesn’t take up high value land – places that need power = high population density, usually can’t support large wind turbines or solar projects because the demand is too high and the available area for those projects is not available in populated areas.


This is literally the free energy device we have been waiting to see.  Here is where it gets exciting.  One thing these turbines have is an abundance of shaft torque. This excess torque can be used to drive high pressure Reverse Osmosis Desalinization Pumps to provide not only limitless energy, but also limitless fresh water. There will come a day when the fresh water may be more valuable than the clean energy. Think of what humanity could accomplish with unlimited fresh water and unlimited clean energy.  Not only would underwater turbine farms power entire cities, the would also be turning ocean saltwater into drinkable water!

A renewable source of free energy that also cleans our water for us.  This is something some big corporations certainly do not want us to start using. Here is a great video summarizing the science and mission of this ingenious free energy device:

 

The group of scientists and researching who have been developing this technology for the last decade have a combined experience of 150 years in underwater engineering.  With several awards already under their belt, the want to take these to the next level and begin to produce and install them to power cities.

Rather then turn to Big Business for help, they are turning to us, the people.  They have recently started an Indiegogo campaign so that people like us who are fed up with Big Oil, the 1%, and what fossil fuels are doing to the planet can help contribute to this revolution in eco-friendly energy.  We all talk about wanting to save the environment, the planet, and the future of us and our children.  We have everything we need to create a world of free energy and clean water right now.  Here is our chance to make it a reality, and win a Tesla P85D car in the process. That’s right.  If you choose to support this revolutionary project, you will not only receive awesome perks and the knowledge that you are contributing to a better world, you will also be entered into a sweepstakes to win a brand new fully loaded 2014 Tesla electric car.  At 700hp, it stands as the fastest sedan in history.  If we all ban together for a cause, we can literally change this planet overnight.

 

If you are interested in checking out the campaign, you can do so by clicking HERE or by clicking on the photo below.

- See more at: http://www.spiritscienceandmetaphysics.com/free-energy-ocean-turbines-this-is-the-death-of-fossil-fuels/#sthash.qkctge78.dpuf


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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Great concept, check it out and be part of it through the crowdfunding campaign.

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Zsolt Tinelly's curator insight, November 30, 2014 12:48 PM

add meg a belátás ...

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Clean, sustainable energy startups will get a boost at summer 2015 accelerator program | AL.com

Clean, sustainable energy startups will get a boost at summer 2015 accelerator program | 						AL.com | Investing in Renewable Energy | Scoop.it

Huntsville's  small but growing clean and sustainable technologies. industry sector has been struggling to get off the ground. But it got a boost Thursday night from Rocket Hatch with the announcement of plans for the Alabama's first accelerator for high growth, clean technology startups in the summer of 2015.

Alabama Center for Sustainable Energy founder and CEO Daniel Tait has teamed with Rocket Hatch, Fortnum Capital and CleanTech Open to hold Alabama's first accelerator for sustainable technology businesses.

Comparing the program to a "bootcamp for entrepreneurs," Tait said the one or two day event will offer an initial cohort of five or more startup businesses the opportunity to examine their assumptions and turn business ideas into action.

The combination of the four entities working together gives clean technology startups the help they need in several critical areas. "We're the energy guys, Rocket Hatch is the local entrepreneurial community, and Fortnum Capital will be the venture capitalists.  And its all patterned after CleanTech Open."

"The Tennessee Valley region has a wealth of human and intellectual capital around clean technology, but the investors, the entrepreneurs and the ideas need a collaborative methodology and network to succeed."

The idea is patterned on the model used by CleanTech Open, the California-based and world's largest accelerator for clean technology startups. "They have a structure already in place to do this, and we want to leverage their experience," Tait explained.

Chris Taylor, Fortnum Capital Managing Partner said the program will give startups access not only to capital but to entrepreneurial expertise. 

"The Tennessee Valley region has a wealth of human and intellectual capital around clean technology, but the investors, the entrepreneurs and the ideas need a collaborative methodology and network to succeed."

Tait's goal is that the summer 2015 Alabama accelerator will serve to funnel companies to CleanTech's larger, national program. "Our goal is to feed southeastern companies into CleanTech and helping them function on their own," he said.

The next step in process is a call for applications, which Tait expects within weeks. "Right now we are seeking entrepreneurs and people with ideas, as well as mentors with experience in clean tech startups," he said.



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More opportunities for Clean Tech ideas and startups

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