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technologies – renewables, energy savings, fuel cells

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Effective thermal insulation with wood foam

Insulation materials of tomorrow must be both efficient and environmentally friendly. Fraunhofer scientists are developing insulation foam made from wood that could re- place petrochemical plastics in the long term.

Posted: Mar 4th, 2014

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Smart grid for electric vehicle fleet

Being able to charge up to 30 electric cars at once requires some ingenious energy management. Researchers are incorporating a mix of renewables into the design of a smart grid for Germany's largest charging station.

Posted: Mar 4th, 2014

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LED lamps: less energy, more light

LEDs are durable and save energy. Now researchers have found a way to make LED lamps even more compact while supplying more light than commercially available models. The key to success: transistors made of the semiconductor material gallium nitride.

Posted: Mar 4th, 2014

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Manufacturing a solution to planet-clogging plastics

Researchers at Harvard's Wyss Institute have developed a method to carry out large-scale manufacturing of everyday objects - from cell phones to food containers and toys - using a fully degradable bioplastic isolated from shrimp shells. The objects exhibit many of the same properties as those created with synthetic plastics, but without the environmental threat.

Posted: Mar 3rd, 2014

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NREL examines solar policy pathways for states

The Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has published a report that aligns solar policy and market success with state demographics. By organizing the 48 contiguous states into four peer groups based on shared non-policy characteristics, the NREL research team was able to contextualize the impact of various solar policies on photovoltaic installations.

Posted: Feb 26th, 2014

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Advancing algae's viability as a biofuel

Lab success doesn't always translate to real-world success. A team of Michigan State University scientists, however, has invented a new technology that increases the odds of helping algae-based biofuels cross that gap and come closer to reality.

Posted: Feb 26th, 2014

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Global solar radiation map

A new service is making high-resolution data of direct sunlight publicly available for users such as planners of large solar power systems.

Posted: Feb 26th, 2014

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Climate engineering: Minor potential, major side effects

Researchers at the GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel have studied with computer simulations the long-term global consequences of several 'climate engineering' methods. They show that all the proposed methods would either be unable to significantly reduce global warming if CO2 emissions remain high, or they could not be stopped without causing dangerous climate disruption.

Posted: Feb 25th, 2014

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Now it will become cheaper to make second-generation biofuel for our cars

Producing second-generation biofuel from dead plant tissue is environmentally friendly -- but it is also expensive because the process, as used today, needs expensive enzymes, and large companies dominate this market. Now a Danish/Iraqi collaboration presents a new technique that avoids the expensive enzymes. The production of second generation biofuels thus becomes cheaper, probably attracting many more producers and competition, and this may finally bring the price down.

Posted: Feb 24th, 2014

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Kinetic battery chargers get a boost

New technology to capture the kinetic energy of our everyday movements, such as walking, and to convert it into electrical energy has come a step closer thanks to new research.

Posted: Feb 19th, 2014

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