Researchers at RMIT University in Melbourne have created a revolutionary new solar paint that can be used to produce endless amounts of clean energy. The innovative paint draws moisture from the air and splits it into oxygen and hydrogen. As a result, hydrogen can be captured as a clean fuel source.
There’s still a very long way to go before fusion reactors become viable (several decades?), but a 70 second blast of high performance plasma at a South Korean research facility could be a small step in the right direction.
Tesla has introduced Solar Roof – a new range of glass roof tiles that have built in solar cells in what could be a major next step in integrating clean and renewable energy generation into buildings and objects.
There are four durable glass tiles to choose from that mimic slate and other colours traditionally used in roofing materials, with a solar cell below the glass.
Luxury cruises are increasingly popular but can come with huge environmental costs around ports and whilst at sea, due to sulfur and other harmful particulates from the heavy fuel oil burnt by most ships. Royal Caribbean is aiming to reduce such emissions from future cruise liners through a combination of liquefied natural gas and fuel cells from the early 2020’s.
Inhabitat highlights plans for what will be the worlds largest offshore wind farm – to be built off the coast of The Netherlands. As well as its impressive scale – powering c. 1 million homes – the project should also result in some of the most cost effective wind energy anywhere.
Engadget highlights a potentially huge leap in the efficiency of solar cells (i.e. the amount of sunlight converted to electricity.)
A team of researchers in Australia has achieved a conversion rate of 34.5% – the previous record was 24%. Some had predicted that a 35% efficiency rate would be decades away: hopefully the approach can be quickly applied in the real-world.
Engadget reports on the development of new solar cell technology that could allow solar panels to generate power from both sunlight and rain, by incorporating a thin layer of graphene. The approach has some way to go before becoming viable but it could encourage wider instalation of solar panels in climates with more variable weather.
Inhabitat features a hybrid solar and biofuel plane that will attempt a trans-Atlantic crossing later this year, which if successful will be the first zero-carbon flight over the Atlantic.
The article states that the plane will be “powered by a combination of solar energy and biofuels produced from microalgae, which was developed specifically for the Eraole. Wing-mounted solar panels will provide 25 percent of the plane’s power, while 55 percent will come from the algae-derived biofuels. For the remaining 20 percent of the time, the plane will simply glide on wind currents.”