All Dutch trains now powered by wind energy

The Guardian reports that all trains running in the Netherlands are now powered by wind energy, as of 1st January 2017 (1 year ahead of schedule). 

Source: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jan/10/dutch-trains-100-percent-wind-powered-ns?CMP=Share_AndroidApp_WordPress

Cryogenic storage for excess renewable energy 

The BBC reports on the trial of cold storage of energy produced by renewable sources. From the article: 

The cryogenic energy facility stores power from renewables or off-peak generation by chilling air into liquid form.

“When the liquid air warms up it expands and can drive a turbine to make electricity.”

Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-37902773

UK to build the world’s largest offshore windfarm

Engadget reports on plans to build the largest offshore wind farm – Hornsea Project 1 and 2 -off the east coast of the UK to generate 1,800 MW and power 1.8m homes.

https://www.engadget.com/2016/08/17/worlds-largest-offshore-windfarm-uk/

Self sufficient neighbourhood under construction near Amsterdam

image

FastCoExist reports on the construction of a self-sufficient ReGen Village in the suburbs of Amsterdam that will generate it’s own power, grow food and manage its waste.

Source: http://www.fastcoexist.com/3060167/this-new-neighborhood-will-grow-its-own-food-power-itself-and-handle-its-own-waste

A new record for solar cell efficiency

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.

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2016/05/18/theres-a-new-world-record-for-solar-cell-efficiency/

Solar cell creates power from sun and rain

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.

http://www.engadget.com/2016/04/11/solar-cell-generates-power-from-raindrops/

Hybrid solar & biofuel plane to cross Atlantic

Solar-plane

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.”

Source: http://inhabitat.com/hybrid-solar-and-biofuel-plane-to-attempt-first-zero-carbon-trans-atlantic-flight/

Solar charging for smartphones

solar charge

Springwise features a prototype smartphone screen that incorporates a transparent photovoltaic layer under the screen that allows the device to recharge via sunlight. The device is a collaboration between Sunpartner Technologies and Kyocera.

Source: http://www.springwise.com/solar-smartphone-screens-recharge-batteries/ and http://sunpartnertechnologies.com/

New solar plant works day and night

Inhabitat reports on a new solar plant in Southern Nevada that can generate energy both during the day and at night. The article states:

“The solar plant uses more than 10,000 mirrored heliostats spread across 1,600 acres to focus sunlight on a 640-foot tall central tower filled with molten salt. That salt is heated by the sunlight to nearly 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit; this stored heat is then used to convert water to steam and drive electricity-producing generators.”

Source: http://inhabitat.com/revolutionary-new-solar-plant-generates-power-all-day-and-all-night/

Kyocera is Building Largest Floating Solar Power Plant – via CleanTechnica

Kyocera-2

CleanTechnica reports that Japanese multinational Kyocera has begun construction on the world’s largest floating solar PV power plant at the Yamakura Dam, which is due for completion in 2018 when it will generate 13.7 MW.

Source: http://cleantechnica.com/2016/01/25/kyocera-begins-construction-worlds-largest-floating-solar-power-plant/