Triboelectric technology promises more fuel efficient cars

July 17, 2015 Cars could become up to 10% more fuel efficient if a new technique for generating electricity from the motion of tyres on a road surface can be commercially exploited. A team of University of Wisconsin-Madison engineers has developed a “nano-generator” that uses an embedded electrode in a tyre to recover energy from the friction between the road surface and … [Read more...]

Recycled magnet materials could be attractive to turbine manufacturers

July 17, 2015 Wind turbine generator manufacturers could profit from a new method for recovering rare earth magnetic material from manufacturing waste. The process, developed by scientists at the US-based Critical Materials Institute, re-uses samarium-cobalt waste “swarf” – material produced from the grinding and cutting processes used in the manufacture of magnets. Using … [Read more...]

Gates stakes $2bn in energy tech

July 6, 2015 The world’s richest man, former Microsoft CEO Bill Gates, has announced he is to double his personal investment in low-carbon and renewable energy technology to $2 billion. Even by the standards of someone as wealthy as old Bill, that’s a chunk of change. It shows just how serious he is when it comes to clean energy technology development. In a recent … [Read more...]

Google reveals urban energy plan

July 6, 2015 Google has revealed plans to transform urban living by incubating breakthrough technologies. Aimed at addressing city-living issues such as transport, housing and energy supply, its new company Sidewalk Labs will lead the initiative to “develop technology at the intersection of the physical and digital worlds.” Headed by Dan Doctoroff – former CEO of … [Read more...]

Carbon standstill: renewables role flagged

July 6, 2015 Despite rising energy use, for the first time in four decades global carbon emissions associated with energy consumption remained stable in 2014, according to a new report. The Renewables 2015 Global Status Report from REN21, a policy-making network, attributes the falling carbon intensity to increased penetration of renewable energy and to improvements in … [Read more...]

White House plan spurs clean tech investor surge

July 1, 2015 More than US$4 billion of private investment into clean tech research and development has been committed on the back of a US White House plan to boost support in this area. Recent commitments by institutional investors such as Goldman Sachs have far exceeded the government’s initial goal of stimulating $2 billion of investment under its Clean Energy … [Read more...]

UCLA shines light on low cost solar

June 25, 2015 A materials breakthrough by scientists at UCLA in California could boost the intrinsic energy storage capabilities of solar power. The discovery could also prompt a radical change in the design concept for cheap solar panels, with plastic used instead of silicon. This alternative to currently dominant silicon wafer technologies offers another … [Read more...]

Swedish trial set to drive massive electric car growth

June 19, 2015 A major new trial of wireless charging technology for electric vehicles is underway which could soon lead to the emergence of industry-wide standards – a key precursor to widespread adoption of the cars. Experts believe the trial – the first of its kind in Europe – will allow important questions relating to the technology and its patterns of use to be … [Read more...]

Rare earth discovery could reduce light bulb costs

June 17, 2015 Low-energy light bulbs and fluorescent lamps could become cheaper thanks to a new technique for recycling rare earth elements. Rare earth elements are widely used in clean energy technologies such as low energy lighting, but are difficult and costly to source, and are in limited supply. Now researchers from the Department of Chemical Engineering at … [Read more...]

New low-cost biomass replacement for industrial chemicals

June 16, 2015 A Finnish company claims to have found a new, significantly lower cost way to use biomass materials as a direct replacement for crude oil-based industrial chemicals. Demand has grown rapidly in recent years for chemicals generated from renewable sources for ethical and climate change reasons, in particular, chemicals commonly used in the production of … [Read more...]

Biofuels producers explore alternate markets

June 15, 2015 Low oil prices will leave many biofuels producers unscathed, according to a new report by the US consultancy Lux Research. Evaluating 25 alternative fuel producers, Lux concludes that renewable diesel producers Neste Oil and Diamond Green Diesel, gasification specialist Red Rock Biofuels, and Edeniq, which makes cellulosic ethanol, are among 13 alternative … [Read more...]

Floating solar powers ahead in Japan

June 12, 2015 Completion of several large-scale demonstration projects for floating solar power plants in Japan marks a significant advance towards commercialisation of the technology. The projects have a combined capacity of more than 5 MW and are among the largest examples of floating solar technology to have been built to date. Built in Hyogo Prefecture by … [Read more...]

Tipping point edges closer for conventional utility companies

June 6, 2015 Headline grabbing news recently from Tesla, the high profile electric vehicle (EV) manufacturer backed by PayPal founder and Space X CEO Elon Musk. From its slick electrically-powered sports cars Tesla has now entered the domestic energy storage sector. The new venture, Powerwall, is a home battery system that charges using electricity generated from solar … [Read more...]