There's so little good news about energy, this technology breakthrough is heartening.

Self-Cleaning Anodes Could Facilitate Cost-Effective Coal-Powered F...

 

Maybe in 50 years or so "clean coal" could become a reality, since the CO2 waste stream would facilitate carbon capture.

Tags: fuel cell

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Thanks for the good news! We need something uplifting.

Let's cheer, a breakthrough in electrochemical flow capacitor technology (i.e. battery design) by a team from Drexel.

Making 'Renewable' Viable: New Technology for Grid-Level Electrical...

Another much needed technical breakthrough!

Photovoltaics from Any Semiconductor: Opens Door to More Widespread...

A technology that would enable low-cost, high efficiency solar cells to be made from virtually any semiconductor material has been developed by researchers with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)'s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and the University of California (UC) Berkeley. This technology opens the door to the use of plentiful, relatively inexpensive semiconductors, such as the promising metal oxides, sulfides and phosphides, that have been considered unsuitable for solar cells because it is so difficult to taylor their properties by chemical means.

 


In April, Japanese researchers found hints we might be headed for another Maunder minimum.

Sun may soon have four poles, say researchers

The sun may be entering a period of reduced activity that could result in lower temperatures on Earth, according to Japanese researchers.

Officials of the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan and the Riken research foundation said on April 19 that the activity of sunspots appeared to resemble a 70-year period in the 17th century in which London’s Thames froze over and cherry blossoms bloomed later than usual in Kyoto.

In that era, known as the Maunder Minimum, temperatures are estimated to have been about 2.5 degrees lower than in the second half of the 20th century.

Solar panel made with ion cannon is cheap enough to challenge fossi...

Silicon-based solar panels can be surpassed as a new method allows any semiconductor material to be used. This breakthrough promises to make solar power competitive with fossil fuel, once it's commercialized.

Agulhas Current Is Said to Attenuate the Effect of Melting Ice

While melting Arctic ice and increased freshwater runoff in the North Atlantic have been slowing the thermohaline circulation (also called the Global Conveyor Belt), planetary heating is actually strengthening another section of it. The Agulhas current, flowing westward around the southern tip of Africa into the Atlantic, has been accelerating the past 17 years.

Desalination technology improvement ready to go commercial. Half the cost of current technology.

Siemens R&D project demonstration

In  The End of Global Warming: How to Save the Earth in 2 Easy Steps
an assistant professor of finance Noah Smith says,

Solar power, long believed to be unworkably expensive, has actually been falling in cost at a steady exponential rate of 7 percent per year for the last three decades straight. Because of this "Moore's Law for solar", electricity from solar panels now costs less than twice as much as electricity from coal, and only about three times as much as electricity from gas. Furthermore, technologies now in the pipeline seem to ensure that the cost drop will continue.

Within the decade, solar could be cheaper than coal. Within two decades, cheaper than gas. When that happens, assuming we also have electric cars, it is game over for carbon emissions. [emphasis mine]

Image from Could this solar power breakthrough kill off nuclear power?

However, earlier in the article he hails natural gas from fracking as the first Easy Step to end Global Warming. I get so frustrated by finance and energy guys hailing the lower CO2 of fracked gas as a miracle cure.

Although gas does release carbon, it only releases about half as much as coal for the same amount of electricity.

Meanwhile they totally ignore the greenhouse effect of the methane which fracking releases and the enduring water contamination.

The first five high-power, direct-current Supercharger stations, located along several of California's most traveled routes, are now open. Tesla plans to create a Supercharger corridor cutting across the country, including a stretch between central Ontario and western Quebec, within two years.

Tesla Motors Launches Revolutionary Supercharger Enabling Convenien...

At a Tessla supercharger station in about half an hour you can could add enough charge for 150 miles of driving with the 85kWh Model S pictured below.

The electricity used by the Supercharger comes from a solar carport system provided by SolarCity, which results in almost zero marginal energy cost after installation. Combining these two factors, Tesla is able to provide Model S owners1 free long distance travel indefinitely. Each solar power system is designed to generate more energy from the sun over the course of a year than is consumed by Tesla vehicles using the Supercharger.

 

If you live near enough to any of these stations, and are thinking green, the cars are pricey.

I take it back, this isn't such good news as it first seemed to be. Only the Model S Tesla electric cars can use these stations and even the $50,000 Model S can't. So this is just for people who can afford a $60,000 car.

Tesla announces Supercharger network

Tesla has made its Superchargers proprietary, only usable by its Model S, and of that vehicle, only those equipped with the two highest range battery packs.

This study proves that 3 to 4 year crop rotations, alternating corn and soy with other crops such as oats or alfalfa (photo below) is more profitable than monoculture and reduces water pollution. When animals are integrated into the system, more benefits accrue.

Crop Rotation Generates Profits without Pollution (or, What Agribus...

Over the course of the experiment, average corn yields were 4 percent higher, and average soybean yields 9 percent higher, in the longer rotations compared to the conventional system. Furthermore, the researchers found that the longer rotations were just as profitable as corn-soy alone.

Fertilizer use was higher in the 2-year rotation than in the more complex systems. And this difference increased over the course of the experiment, with the 3- and 4-year rotations requiring even lessof these inputs in the later years, probably due to cumulative improvements in soil quality over time.

The longer rotations reduced herbicide use by a whopping 88 percent compared with the conventional system, with little difference in weediness. Furthermore, the ecotoxicity of the systems (as measured by the freshwater toxicity of the herbicides used) was 200 times less in the longer rotations. Given everything we know about weed resistance and rising herbicide use on U.S. farms (including this new estimate), strategies that help farmers control weeds with less herbicide are critically needed.

Longer rotations substitute labor for other inputs. Some people will no doubt see this as a strike against crop diversification. But with energy costs on the rise and unemployment stuck just under 8 percent, that’s starting to seem like seriously fuzzy logic.

Through a balanced portfolio approach to agricultural sustainability, cropping system performance can be optimized in multiple dimensions, including food and biomass production, profit, energy use, pest management, and environmental impacts.


A new approach to dramatically increase goods transportation efficiency has be proposed.

'Physical Internet': Shared Transportation System Would Increase Pr...

The Physical Internet -- a concept in which goods are handled, stored and transported in a shared network of manufacturers, retailers and the transportation industry -- would benefit the U.S. economy and significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions, according to a new study by engineers at the University of Arkansas and Virginia Tech University. If 25 percent of the U.S. supply chain operated with such an interconnected system, profits for participating firms would increase by $100 billion, carbon dioxide emissions from road-based freight would decrease by at least 33 percent and consumers would pay less for goods.

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