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Aug 13, 2022

Local renewable energy employment can fully replace US coal jobs nationwide

Posted by in categories: employment, energy, sustainability

Across the United States, local wind and solar jobs can fully replace the coal-plant jobs that will be lost as the nation’s power-generation system moves away from fossil fuels in the coming decades, according to a new University of Michigan study.

As of 2019, -fired directly employed nearly 80,000 workers at more than 250 plants in 43 U.S. states. The new U-M study quantifies—for the first time—the technical feasibility and costs of replacing those coal jobs with local wind and solar employment across the country.

The study, published online Aug. 10 in iScience, concludes that local wind and solar jobs can fill the electricity generation and employment gap, even if it’s required that all the new jobs are located within 50 miles of each retiring coal plant.

Aug 10, 2022

This oddly-shaped Finnish cabin was made with cross-laminated timber to withstand subarctic cold!

Posted by in categories: materials, sustainability

This cabin in the woods is an otherworldly, all-black, geometric structure built to provide cozy refuge even in harsh Finnish winters. It was designed for a California-based CEO who returned home to Finland with her family to be closer to her ancestral land so she could maintain it. The cabin is aptly named Meteorite based on its unique shape and is set in a clearing surrounded by spruce and birch trees. The cabin is made entirely from cross-laminated timber (CLT) which is a sustainable alternative to other construction materials.

Aug 10, 2022

Off-grid desalination system Wave2O is ready to quench the world’s thirst

Posted by in categories: security, sustainability

Water scarcity is a major global crisis that already affects every continent. Around 1.2 billion people, or almost one-fifth of the world’s population, lack access to safe drinking water. Desalination is the answer to long-term water security, but it’s also expensive, energy-intensive, and often inaccessible to isolated regions. This is why sustainable off-grid desalination systems powered by renewable energy are essential.

But thanks to the innovative microbial desalination cell (MDC) technology that follows a green, low-energy process with electro-active bacteria to desalinate and sterilize seawater, desalination is becoming a viable low-cost solution for water resources in many areas of the world and is putting an end to water scarcity even in isolated regions.

Now, researchers from the EU-funded W20 project have developed an off-grid innovative solution – the world’s first wave-driven desalination system – called Wave2O. The new system can be deployed quickly, operate completely off-grid, and supply large quantities of fresh water at a competitive cost. The technology uses the power of the ocean waves, a consistent and inexhaustible renewable energy source.

Aug 10, 2022

An American non-profit organization built the first 3D-printed school in Madagascar

Posted by in categories: education, sustainability

Thinking Huts intends to increase access to education.

Maggie Grout, who was born in a rural mountain village in China, was adopted rather young. “And I think that largely shaped my outlook through the rest of my life — knowing what poverty looks like, and how it impacts the opportunities you’re able to achieve in life. Having that allowed me to see more clearly what my purpose was in life — helping children gain access to education in underprivileged areas in the world,” she tells *IE* in an interview. Huts rely on additive manufacturing technologies to build sustainable schools. Recently, they built the first 3D-printed school in Madagascar.

Aug 10, 2022

Musk Sells $6.9 Billion of Tesla to Avoid Twitter Fire Sale

Posted by in categories: Elon Musk, sustainability, transportation

Aug 10, 2022

Secrets of sustainable distributed-generation strategies

Posted by in categories: energy, policy, sustainability

The sad truth is that our electricity markets currently lack the ability to accept the vast amounts of renewable energy capacity to meet state targets and corporate commitments to procure clean energy. A study by Princeton University found that high-voltage transmission capacity would need to expand by 60% to meet clean energy targets, representing billions of dollars in needed utility upgrades.

However, we can avoid much of this need by siting renewable resources closer to where they are needed – at the distribution level of the grid. In order to do so, we will need to take several key steps to solve major system barriers to expanding renewable energy on the grid. The good news is that with some policy improvements – some major and some minor – renewable energy capacity at the distribution level can meet needs without the long lead time required for larger, utility-scale resources.

Aug 9, 2022

Soap molecule could help make alternative LED tech commercially viable

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, solar power, sustainability

Adding a molecule normally used in detergent to an infrared LED could make devices that are easier to manufacture, require less energy and display richer colours than existing ones.

Solar cells and LEDs made from perovskite, a titanium and calcium crystal, have long held promise as being more efficient and easier to produce than commonly used silicon-based devices, but making them both stable and efficient enough to rival silicon’s commercial success has proved difficult.

What gives humans the advantage over our incoming robot masters? Junaid Mubeen at New Scientist Live this October.

Continue reading “Soap molecule could help make alternative LED tech commercially viable” »

Aug 9, 2022

This lab-grown cooking oil could replace vegetable oil

Posted by in categories: food, sustainability

The challenge: Just 100 years ago, vegetable oils were practically nonexistent in the human diet. Today, they’re a major part of it: 740 million acres — an area that would cover 90% of India — are dedicated to growing soybeans, palm trees, and other oilseed crops.

While these cooking oils can make food extra tasty, oilseed crop production releases greenhouse gasses, contributes to biodiversity loss, and consumes freshwater that could otherwise be used for drinking or to grow other food.

Continue reading “This lab-grown cooking oil could replace vegetable oil” »

Aug 8, 2022

N-type solar cell with aluminum-titanium passivating contact achieves 21.9% efficiency

Posted by in categories: solar power, sustainability

Scientists in Australia have demonstrated a new way to apply a passivating contact layer to silicon cells. They produced an n-type cell with aluminum-titanium passivating contact and 21.9% efficiency, and claimed the technique could open up new possibilities for the use of transition metal oxides in cell passivation.

Aug 8, 2022

This boomerang-shaped urban mobility vehicle fairs well for rough adventures too

Posted by in categories: sustainability, transportation

The vehicles we’ll see on the roads in a decade’s time will be radically different from what we have at present. Design language will change a lot, as hinted by the concepts and prototypes put together by big names and budding automotive designers.

The focus definitely will be on personal mobility in the most sustainable manner possible. Compact vehicles that will trade off the greatest of luxuries for a more sensible method of commuting will be the norm. This boomerang-shaped two-seater vehicle with multiple use-case scenarios is different from what we’ve seen so far. Even in the automotive landscape dominated by some really bizarre vehicle concepts.

Designer: Artem Smirnov

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