The cost of batteries is one of the major hurdles standing in the way of widespread use of electric cars and household solar batteries. By storing surplus energy, batteries allow households to reduce power bought from the electricity grid. Unfortunately, batteries have so far been prohibitively expensive.
But research published recently in Nature Climate Change Letters shows battery pack costs may in some cases be as low as US$300 per kilowatt-hour today, and could reach US$200 by 2020. This cost development is notably cheaper and faster decreasing than I and many others expected.
Researchers have made a significant breakthrough in the development of synthetic pathways that will enable renewable biosynthesis of the gas propane.
Natural metabolic pathways for the renewable biosynthesis of propane do not exist but scientists at the Manchester Institute of Biotechnology (MIB), Imperial College and University of Turku have developed an alternative microbial biosynthetic pathway to produce renewable propane.
In 2005, environmentalists got what they and former Vice-President Al Gore had lobbied for since the late 1980s; federal subsidies to commercialize biofuels. Mr. Gore later admitted that he was just endorsing biofuels to get corn belt votes
for his presidential run and few academic scientists had publicly disagreed because, well, they voted for him.
The result of the last corporate subsidy effort: Corn and soy growers have been happy, to be sure, but poor people got rising food costs and biofuels remain even more of a net penalty to the environment than regular gasoline.
New research shows bacteria can use tiny magnetic particles to effectively create a 'natural battery.' The bacteria can load electrons onto and discharge electrons from microscopic particles of magnetite. This discovery holds out the potential of using this mechanism to help clean up environmental pollution, and other bioengineering applications.
Researchers from the University of Tübingen, the University of Manchester, and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, USA, incubated the soil and water dwelling purple bacteria Rhodopseudomonas palustris with magnetite and controlled the amount of light the cultures were exposed to.
A day after Playstation announced that their players are finally getting an update
which will allow them to quickly switch from Rest Mode to powered-up, a feature already available on Xbox, the Natural Resources Defense Council announced that Xbox players are killing Gaia
The solar eclipse due to cover much of Europe on March 20 will be the continent’s first for 16 years.
Back in 1999, as people stopped staring at the sun and got back on with their day they caused a power surge which still stands as a UK record – greater than anything after a football match or royal wedding.
Planning permission has been given for what could become the world’s largest offshore wind farm on the Dogger Bank, off England’s east coast.
If fully constructed, the project will have up to 400 turbines with a total generation capacity of 2.4 GW. That’s enough to power 1.9 million households – more than Manchester and Birmingham combined.
The search for alternative energy sources in the age of climate change has overlooked tidal energy: a vast and unexploited worldwide resource.
For three decades now, tidal lagoon schemes have been recommended as an economically and environmentally attractive alternative to tidal barrages. More recently, two proposals for tidal lagoons in Swansea Bay, Wales have emerged and there have been several reports documenting how such a project there could have the potential to harness significant energy resources.
Walmart, Costco and other 'big box stores' or facilities like hospitals could use a fuel cell that runs off the natural gas that already flows in pipelines below city streets and eliminate the electricity 'middle man', which is good for the environment.
Instead of drawing electricity from the power grid, that often ends up being converted from coal, natural gas or nuclear power, facilities could instead go direct and use natural gas-powered solid oxide fuel cells. It would lower their electric costs, increase power reliability and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, according to a cost-benefit analysis.
From light-up shoes to smart watches, wearable electronics are gaining traction among consumers, but these gadgets' versatility is still held back by the stiff, short-lived batteries that are required. These limitations, however, could soon be overcome. In the journal ACS Nano, scientists report the first durable, flexible cloth that harnesses human motion to generate energy.
It can also self-charge batteries or supercapacitors without an external power source and make new commercial and medical applications possible.