A US government agency says it has attained the “holy grail” of energy – the next-generation system of battery storage, that has has been hotly pursued by the likes of Bill Gates and Elon Musk.
Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (Arpa-E) – a branch of the Department of Energy – says it achieved its breakthrough technology in seven years. — The Guardian
The Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (Arpa-E) was founded back in 2009 as part of President Obama's economic recovery plan. So-called "moonshot projects" are often too risky for private investors, but this state-run initiative may have unlocked a new technology that others, from Elon Musk...
With over half of the world's population currently living in cities, and seventy percent of it predicted to be urban by 2050, Nissan and Foster + Partners have undertaken the design problem of creating a refuelling network that, among other things, allows electric cars to recharge wirelessly while...
Masdar City, when it was first conceived a decade ago, was intended to revolutionise thinking about cities and the built environment.
Now the world’s first planned sustainable city – the marquee project of the United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) plan to diversify the economy from fossil fuels - could well be the world’s first green ghost town.
As of this year [...] managers have given up on the original goal of building the world’s first planned zero-carbon city. — theguardian.com
A handful of scientists and policy makers are...grappling with the long-term environmental effect of an economy that runs increasingly on gotta-have-it-now gratification [...]
The environmental cost can include the additional cardboard — 35.4 million tons of containerboard were produced in 2014 in the United States, with e-commerce companies among the fastest-growing users — and the emissions from increasingly personalized freight services. — NY Times
The appetite of western consumers for home furnishings has reached its peak – according to Ikea, the world’s largest furniture retailer.
The Swedish company’s head of sustainability told a Guardian conference that consumption of many familiar goods was at its limit.
“If we look on a global basis, in the west we have probably hit peak stuff. We talk about peak oil. I’d say we’ve hit peak red meat, peak sugar, peak stuff … peak home furnishings,” Steve Howard said [...] — the Guardian
Congratulations are due to Olafur Eliasson who's just been given a Crystal Award for his "exemplary commitment to improving the state of the world".
Ahead of the World Economic Forum, which takes place later this week in Davos, Eliasson was singled out for particular praise major works including The New York City Waterfalls, Ice Watch, The Weather Project, and Riverbed. — phaidon.com
In this rush to urbanize, China also has an enormous opportunity to move toward a “new pattern of urbanization.” Chinese cities could fulfill their potential to be the most energy-efficient human habitat rather than stoking energy consumption. — NextCity.org
It is well established that white roofs can mitigate the urban heat island effect, reflecting the sun's energy back into space and reducing a city's temperature. In a new study of Guangzhou, China, researchers found that during a heat wave, the effect is significantly more pronounced. Reflective roofs, also called cool roofs, save energy by keeping buildings cooler, thus reducing the need for air conditioning. — Science Daily
The last deep-pit coal mine in the U.K. plans to shut its doors here next week, heralding the end of a centuries-old industry that helped fuel the industrial revolution and build the British Empire.
The shutdown [...] represents a victory for advocates of reducing carbon emissions after world leaders gathered in Paris to discuss how to combat global warming, with coal in the cross hairs. It also reflects a glut of energy on world markets, from crude oil to natural gas and coal itself. — wsj.com
"Do you believe in infrastructure?” asks Norman Foster, with challenge in his voice. He does. Infrastructure, he says, is about “investing not to solve the problems of today but to anticipate the issues of future generations”. [...]
“I have no power as an architect, none whatsoever. I can’t even go on to a building site and tell people what to do.” Advocacy, he says, is the only power an architect ever has. — theguardian.com
So Smith invented the world’s first 3D ocean farm. Not only does his model aim to reduce overfishing, but it also attempts to mitigate the effects of climate change. [...]
With scalability in mind, Smith wanted his model to be simple and replicable. To that end, GreenWave supports other fish farmers to get create their own 3D ocean gardens.
“If you were to take a network of our farms totaling the size of Washington state, technically you could feed the world,” Smith said. — marketplace.org
A research team from Oak Ridge National Laboratory's (ORNL) Department of Energy has created a new model for how we can connect the way we power our homes and vehicles. Dubbed AMIE... the platform features special technology that allows a bi-directional flow of energy between a dwelling and a vehicle. In other words, the house can fuel the car and the car can fuel the house. What's more, ORNL used 3D printing technology to build the dwelling and the vehicle... — Gizmag
AMIE, or Additive Manufacturing Integrated Energy, is a hybrid of different futuristic technologies, mashed together into a single platform. First, both the house and the vehicle were 3D printed.The former, a single-room structure, was designed in collaboration with Skidmore, Owings and Merril and...
This is important for Africa, where despite high urbanisation rates the development focus has been primarily rural. Consider Ghana. The country’s urban population has grown from four million in 1984 to more than 14 million today. Fifty one percent of Ghanaians now live in cities. While urbanisation rates vary across Africa, Ghana reflects an overall global trend towards a predominantly urban future.
Ghana demonstrates how cities can be highly productive in Africa. — qz.com
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