Energy Inventions News ArticlesExcerpts of Key Energy Inventions News Articles in Media
In the world of higher education, summer is usually the off-season. But for some students, this summer was the culmination of years of hard work in a 2,400-mile solar car race from Plano, Texas to Calgary, Alberta. Fifteen teams of students drove photovoltaic-powered cars across the North American Solar Challenge finish line in Calgary Tuesday, led by the University of Michigan Solar Car Team and its vehicle, Continuum. Michigan's victory, which took about 51 hours and 42 minutes on the road, is its fifth NASC championship. The school also won the last NASC, in 2005. Jeff Ferman, the race manager for Michigan, talked about how rewarding it was to enter Calgary and be greeted by 40,000 people."The streets were lined with people," he said. "There were people on overpasses with tripods taking pictures." The Michigan team led almost the entire race from Texas, trailing only on the first day of driving when it had to stop to fix a minor electrical problem. But that 20-minute stop was the only time it had to pull over to make repairs, which team members said was one reason they did so well.
Note: If you do the math, this amazing solar powered car built by college students averaged 46.5 mph over a 2,400 mile course! Why didn't this make news headlines? Try doing a Google search on "Solar Challenge" (the annual solar car race). You will find that almost no major media cover this amazing event at all. The few who have (including this CNN article) usually fail to mention anything about the speeds attained by these cars. Why is the media not giving better coverage to these incredible breakthroughs? For a possible answer, click here.
“Ten years ago I could never have imagined I’d be doing this,” says Greg Pal, 33, a former software executive. “I mean, this is essentially agriculture, right? But ... this is the one hot area everyone wants to get into.” He means bugs. To be more precise: the genetic alteration of bugs – very, very small ones – so that when they feed on agricultural waste such as woodchips or wheat straw, they do something extraordinary. They excrete crude oil. Unbelievably, this is not science fiction. Mr Pal holds up a small beaker of bug excretion that could, theoretically, be poured into the tank of the giant Lexus SUV next to us. Not that Mr Pal is willing to risk it just yet. He gives it a month before the first vehicle is filled up on what he calls “renewable petroleum”. After that, he grins, “it’s a brave new world”. Mr Pal is a senior director of LS9, one of several companies in or near Silicon Valley that have ... embarked ... on an extraordinary race to make $140-a-barrel oil (Ł70) from Saudi Arabia obsolete. “All of us here – everyone in this company and in this industry, are aware of the urgency,” Mr Pal says. What is most remarkable about what they are doing is that instead of trying to reengineer the global economy – as is required, for example, for the use of hydrogen fuel – they are trying to make a product that is interchangeable with oil. The company claims that this “Oil 2.0” will not only be renewable but also carbon negative – meaning that the carbon it emits will be less than that sucked from the atmosphere by the raw materials from which it is made.
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Tired of petrol prices rising daily at the pump? A Japanese company has invented an electric-powered, and environmentally friendly, car that it says runs solely on water. Genepax unveiled the car in the western city of Osaka, saying that a liter (2.1 pints) of any kind of water -- rain, river or sea -- was all you needed to get the engine going for about an hour at a speed of 80 km (50 miles). "The car will continue to run as long as you have a bottle of water to top up from time to time," Genepax CEO Kiyoshi Hirasawa told local broadcaster TV Tokyo. "It does not require you to build up an infrastructure to recharge your batteries, which is usually the case for most electric cars," he added. Once the water is poured into the tank at the back of the car, the a generator breaks it down and uses it to create electrical power, TV Tokyo said. Whether the car makes it into showrooms remains to be seen. Genepax said it had just applied for a patent and is hoping to collaborate with Japanese auto manufacturers in the future. Most big automakers, meanwhile, are working on fuel-cell cars that run on hydrogen and emit -- not consume -- water.
Note: To watch a Reuters video clip on this amazing car, click here.
Texas may be best known for "Big Oil." But the oil that could some day make a dent in the country's use of fossil fuels is small. Microscopic, in fact: algae. Literally and figuratively, this is green fuel. "Algae is the ultimate in renewable energy," Glen Kertz, president and CEO of Valcent Products, told CNN while conducting a tour of his algae greenhouse on the outskirts of El Paso. "We are a giant solar collecting system. We get the bulk of our energy from the sunshine," said Kertz. Algae are among the fastest growing plants in the world, and about 50 percent of their weight is oil. That lipid oil can be used to make biodiesel for cars, trucks, and airplanes. Most people know algae as "pond scum." And until recently, most energy research and development projects used ponds to grow it. But instead of ponds, Valcent uses a closed, vertical system, growing the algae in long rows of moving plastic bags. The patented system is called Vertigro, a joint venture with Canadian alternative energy company Global Green Solutions. The companies have invested about $5 million in the Texas facility. "A pond has a limited amount of surface area for solar absorption," said Kertz. "By going vertical, you can get a lot more surface area to expose cells to the sunlight. It keeps the algae hanging in the sunlight just long enough to pick up the solar energy they need to produce, to go through photosynthesis," he said. Kertz said he can produce about 100,000 gallons of algae oil a year per acre, compared to about 30 gallons per acre from corn; 50 gallons from soybeans. Valcent research scientist Aga Pinowska said there are about 65,000 known algae species, with perhaps hundreds of thousands more still to be identified. A big part of the research at the west Texas facility involves determining what type of algae produces what type of fuel.
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A Florida man may have accidentally invented a machine that could solve the gasoline and energy crisis plaguing the U.S.. [John] Kanzius, 63, invented a machine that emits radio waves in an attempt to kill cancerous cells while leaving normal cells intact. While testing his machine, he noticed that his invention had other unexpected abilities. Filling a test tube with salt water from a canal in his back yard, Kanzius placed the tube and a paper towel in the machine and turned it on. Suddenly, the paper towel ignited. Kanzius performed the experiment without the paper towel and got the same result -- the saltwater was actually burning. [He] said he showed the experiment to a handful of scientists across the country who claim they are baffled at watching salt water ignite. Kanzius said the flame created from his machine reaches a temperature of around 3,000 [°F]. He said a chemist told him that the immense heat created from the machine breaks down the hydrogen-oxygen bond in the water, igniting the hydrogen. "You could take plain salt water out of the sea, put it in containers and produce a violent flame that could heat generators that make electricity, or provide other forms of energy," Kanzius said. He said engineers are currently experimenting with him in Erie, Pa. in an attempt to harness the energy. They've built an engine that, when placed on top of the flame, chugged along for two minutes. Kanzius admits all the excitement surrounding a new possible energy source was a stroke of luck. Someone who witnessed his work on the cancer front asked him if perhaps the machine could be used for desalinization. "This was an experiment to see if I could heat salt water, and instead of heat, I got fire," Kanzius said.
Note: Why aren't millions of dollars being channeled to explore this exciting field further? To watch a video clip of this exciting machine igniting sea water, click here.
We couldn't pass up mention of the winner of last week's Eco-marathon Americas, a fuel-economy challenge sponsored by Shell Oil Co. A team from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo won the $10,000 grand prize by achieving the equivalent of 1,902.7 miles per gallon on regular gasoline in a student-built vehicle. Granted, the students didn't win in someone's mom's Dodge minivan. Their "car" is a one-occupant streamliner built of carbon fiber composite. At a measly 98 pounds, it weighed less than the driver. And that was 98 pounds including the car's 50-cubic-centimeter Honda engine. "The main reason we do this is because it's a way to encourage students to focus on technical innovation for potential future careers," said David Sexton, president of Shell Oil Products. But there is a practical side to the competition, said Cal Poly team manager Tom Heckel, a junior mechanical engineering major. "Any publicity we can get makes people aware that the 20 mpg or so they're averaging in their cars can be improved on — a lot." The event, held April 14 at the California Speedway in Fontana, was the first time that Shell had brought its 25-year-old Eco-marathon competition to the U.S. The event drew 20 university, college and high school teams from around the U.S. and Canada. Rules called for each vehicle to complete seven 1.45-mile laps around the speedway's inner track, averaging at least 15 mph. Fuel consumption was measured after each attempt and adjusted for ambient temperature and other factors in a complex formula that ends up giving an extrapolation of miles per gallon.
Note: Why would the president of Shell Oil Products state the main reason for this competition is about careers and not finding ways to improve gas mileage? The world record is over 10,000 mpg. How is it that the average car gets only 22 mpg when the Ford Model T got 25 mpg almost 100 years ago? For more, click here.
The planet's most pressing environmental problems ... may seem just too big to be solved with today's technology. But don't despair: A lot of bright minds are working on futuristic projects that promise to make the world greener. It's save-the-world stuff like toxic-waste-eating trees, smart electricity grids, oceangoing robots, and floating environmental sensors. This technology may seem far out - but it will probably be here a lot sooner than you think. 1. Try a solar-powered hydrogen fueling station in your garage. It's about the size of a filing cabinet and runs on electricity generated by standard-issue rooftop solar panels. The first version of the home fueling station is expected to produce enough hydrogen to give your runabout a range of some 100 miles without emitting a molecule of planet-warming greenhouse gas. 2. Environmental sensor networks [provide] real-time data on a variety of phenomena that affect the economy and society - climate change, hurricanes, air and water pollution. 3. Toxin-eating trees ... a technology that uses vegetation to absorb hazardous waste from industrial plants and other polluters. 4. Nuclear waste neutralizer ... a chemical technology called Urex+ that extracts reusable uranium and separates out cesium, allowing four times as much waste to be packed into nuclear burial grounds. 5. Autonomous ocean robots. 6. Sonic water purifier ... a sci-fi solution for an age-old problem that leaves 1.1 billion people without access to clean water: 7. Endangered-species tracker. 8. The interactive, renewable smart power grid ... the electricity grid of the future ... will look more like the Internet - distributed, interactive, open-source - than the dumb, one-way network of today.
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Though the 100 mpg car sounds like a myth, it turns out that such vehicles do exist -- only they're built in your neighbor's garage, not a giant production plant. Known as plug-in hybrid-electric vehicles ... they’re basically Priuses or similar hybrids that have been equipped with extra batteries, so that they rarely use their gasoline engines at all. "People are salivating for plug-ins," says Bradley Berman, editor of the site HybridCars.com. A hybrid vehicle today like a Prius has both a gasoline engine and a battery, which is fed by the braking energy produced by the car. It can’t be plugged in. A plug-in hybrid keeps those components, but essentially gets an extra fuel tank, in the form of an added battery bank ... that allows the car to run exclusively off battery power for most driving. Felix Kramer, founder of the California Cars Initiative, a nonprofit group that promotes the use of high-efficiency, low-emission cars, owns the first consumer plug-in in North America. Not surprisingly, he loves it. "Many days I use no gasoline, because I go at neighborhood speeds for under 30 miles, and I’m just all-electric all day," he says. And the mileage? "At highway speeds, you can easily get over 100 mpg." Other plug-in owners offer up similar results. "I used to fill up every 400 miles or so," he says ... "and now I fill up every 800 miles or so." Advocates estimate that it costs less than $1 per gallon to replenish a plug-in hybrid. "Our goal is to have a $3,000 kit," CalCars' Kramer says. (That number, coincidentally, is also what many plug-in evangelists think that the technology would cost for Toyota to add to its hybrids.)
Note: If people are doing this in their garage, why aren't the auto makers already producing them? In fact, a similar vehicle was produced to be marketed in 2002, but then pulled off the market. To find why average car mileage has remained virtually unchanged for 100 years, click here.
One of the more controversial topics involving Nikola Tesla is what became of many of his technical and scientific papers after he died in 1943. Just before his death at the height of World War II, he claimed that he had perfected his so-called "death beam." So it was natural that the FBI and other U.S. Government agencies would be interested in any scientific ideas involving weaponry. The morning after the inventor's death, his nephew Sava Kosanovic hurried to his uncle's room at the Hotel New Yorker. By the time he arrived, Tesla's body had already been removed, and Kosanovic suspected that someone had already gone through his uncle's effects. Technical papers were missing as well as a black notebook he knew Tesla kept — a notebook with several hundred pages, some of which were marked "Government." Just after World War II, there was a renewed interest in beam weapons. Copies of Tesla's papers on particle beam weaponry were sent to Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio. An operation code-named "Project Nick" was heavily funded and placed under the command of Brigadier General L. C. Craigie to test the feasibility of Tesla's concept. Details of the experiments were never published, and the project was apparently discontinued. But something peculiar happened. The copies of Tesla's papers disappeared and nobody knows what happened to them.
Rudolf W. Gunnerman has a tiger by the tail--the Exxon tiger. If the technology that the 66-year-old inventor has spent $6 million and the past seven years developing lives up to his claims, cars and trucks could one day be running on a fraction of the gasoline and diesel fuel they now use. Ditto for buses, planes, trains, and anything else powered by an internal-combustion engine--from lawn mowers to huge electrical generators. Gunnerman claims to have a technology that enables engines to burn a mixture of half fuel, half water. Yes, water. What's more, he says, the mixture gets 40% better mileage from the gasoline it contains and emits significantly less pollution because engines run cooler. In particular, tailpipes emit virtually no nitrogen oxides--the principal source of smog. Caterpillar Inc. is so intrigued that in early July it formed a joint venture with A-55 LP, Gunnerman's tiny, nine-person company in Reno, Nev. A-55 is short for aqueous 55%, the amount of water by weight in the patented fuels. But the key ingredient is 0.5% of a secret emulsifier that enables fuel and water to mix--and stay mixed. Gunnerman financed his work with royalties from other patents, especially those covering the making of pellets for woodstoves.
Note: If the above link fails, click here. Why didn't this exciting development make headline news? For lots more showing very promising results on this most intriguing invention, click here. For exciting reports from reliable sources on highly promising new energy developments and technologies, click here and here.
Is Steorn’s Orbo technology a non-polluting, supercheap source of power? Steorn emerged at the turn of the century and to date it claims to have attracted €23 million in private investment. Put at its simplest, the “Orbo” technology is a non-polluting, almost cost-free source of power. It is not a battery but offers the same function. At the Steorn premises a table displays rows of heavy crimson skull-shaped boxes, known as power cubes. Each, according to the claims, holds numerous small “batteries” which recharge themselves allowing for a permanent supply of energy. Cube units retail at €1,200 and the first orders are due to arrive with buyers this month. However, the cube is not seen by the company as a mass-market product. They are simply a showcase for the technology. The real focus is on the mobile phone that never needs to be recharged. Explaining his own technology, [company founder Sean] McCarthy dismisses previous suggestions they are claiming to have developed a perpetual motion machine (a hypothetical device that works indefinitely without an apparent energy source) as there [are] no moving parts. “Technically it isn’t a battery at all; you’d call it a battery substitute technology. It’s something that replaces the function of the battery. It is really a generator rather than a storage device,” he says.
Note: Steorn placed a full-page ad in The Economist in 2006 calling for scientists to test its new technology. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing new energy technology news articles from reliable major media sources.
Imagine making the 19-hour, 1,800-kilometre drive from Toronto to Halifax in an electric car without having to stop for a recharge. That's theoretically possible with a special kind of battery being demonstrated this week in Montreal. The battery ... consists of panels made mostly of aluminum. The battery can extend the range of an electric car by 1,600 kilometres when used in conjunction with the vehicle's regular lithium-ion battery. "We hope that this will increase the penetration of electric cars with zero emissions," said Aviv Tzidon, CEO of Phinergy, ... adding that it should put an end to "range anxiety." That kind of anxiety about how far an electric car can go before needing a recharge has often been cited as a reason the market for electric cars is still relatively small. The regular battery range of electric cars now on the market is a few hundred kilometres at most — 135 kilometres for the Nissan Leaf and 480 kilometres for the more expensive version of the Tesla Model S. That makes those cars unsuitable for extended road trips, unless high-voltage fast-charging stations, which are still relatively uncommon, are available along the way.
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PSA Peugeot Citroen [has] unveiled a pioneering hybrid vehicle concept combining a conventional engine with compressed nitrogen propulsion which it said would halve the cost of cutting emissions compared with current gasoline-electric hybrids. The French carmaker said the so-called "Hybrid Air" system developed with auto parts supplier Robert Bosch would be lighter than a hybrid running on petrol and battery power. Peugeot, which is cutting more than 10,000 jobs as it struggles to stem losses and expand overseas, said the technology would be launched around 2016, with vehicles priced below 20,000 euros ($26,600). Unlike Toyota's Prius hybrid, which supplements a conventional engine with an electric motor, the new Peugeot will use a separate hydraulic motor driven by nitrogen compressed by energy from braking and deceleration. In city driving conditions, the vehicles can travel on the compressed gas power as much as 80 percent of the time with the 3-cylinder gasoline engine cut. Peugeot said a prototype Hybrid Air subcompact emitted 72 grams of CO2 per km, compared with 104 grams for a Peugeot 208 model with the same combustion engine.
Note: For a video and more on this exciting development, click here. Let's hope this doesn't go the way of Toyota's Eco Spirit in 2002, which strangely never made it to market. For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on exciting new energy and automotive technology developments, click here.
Four teenage African girls have come up with a urine-powered generator ... which they claim generates one hour of electricity from one liter (about a quart) of urine. The pee-powered product made its debut at Maker Faire Africa in Lagos, Nigeria. Urine is put into an electrolytic cell, which separates out the hydrogen. The gas cylinder pushes hydrogen into a cylinder of liquid borax, which is used to remove the moisture from the hydrogen gas. This purified hydrogen gas is pushed into the generator. The girls will probably be famous chemists one day, in any case, but they aren't the first to propose urine (or more solid human and animal waste) as a possible alternative fuel. Last year, in one example, researchers from Ohio University came up with their own technology for extracting hydrogen from urine. Doing so, they say, requires less power than plucking it from water, as hydrogen can be separated more easily from the ammonia and urea chemical compounds present in pee. The four African teens likely are the youngest researchers yet to dabble in pee as power. Skepticism aside, can we all just agree that the foursome should be lauded for their efforts to find alternative power sources on a continent that could really use them?
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Tesla Motors Inc. unveiled a solar-powered charging station ... that it said will make refueling electric vehicles on long trips about as fast as stopping for gas and a bathroom break in a conventional car. CEO Elon Musk said ... that the companyâ€™s roadside Supercharger has been installed at six highway rest stops in California. The free stations are designed to fully charge Teslaâ€™s new Model S sedan in about an hour, and a half-hour-long charge can produce enough energy for a 150-mile trip, he said. The first six, which were developed and deployed in secret, are in Barstow, Hawthorne, Lebec, Coalinga, Gilroy and Folsom. Tesla spokeswoman Christina Ra said they are open only to company employees, but would be available to the public in early October. Musk said his Palo Alto-based company planned to have more stations running throughout California and in parts of Nevada and Oregon by the end of the year, and expected to blanket â€â€almost the entire United Statesâ€™â€™ within two years. Tesla unveiled the Model S, its first mass-market vehicle, in June. The base model costs sells for $49,900 after a federal tax credit. Along with persuading consumers that electric vehicles are practical, the charging stations were developed with an eye toward alleviating doubts about their environmental effects. Musk said the solar-powered stations in California would produce more clean energy than is needed to keep cars running.
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An electric sportscar finished a remarkable road trip [on November 16] on the Panamerican Highway, traveling from near the Arctic Circle in Alaska to the world's southernmost city without a single blast of carbon dioxide emissions. Developed by engineers from Imperial College London, the SRZero sportscar ran on lithium iron phosphate batteries powering two electric motors with a peak output of 400 horsepower during its 16,000-mile (26,000-kilometer) journey. Powering up was a joy at times, the team said — such as in Chena Hot Springs, Alaska, where they started their trip July 3 after charging the batteries using geothermal energy. "The SRZero was literally being charged from energy taken straight out of the earth with absolutely zero CO2 emissions," Alex Schey, a mechanical engineer who organized the trip, wrote in his blog that day. Finding places to plug in along the way became a major challenge as the team passed through 14 countries in 70 days of driving. But every time the driver hit the brakes — and there was plenty of that as the team made its way through the Rocky Mountains, Mexico and Central America and then through South America — the car recovered kinetic energy, extending its capacity to drive as much as six hours and more than 400 kilometers (250 miles) on a single charge. This was no clunky science project — all that horsepower enabled the car to reach 60 mph (96 kph) in just seven seconds and reach top controlled speeds of 124 mph (200 kph), the team said.
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An electric car made of hemp is being developed by a group of Canadian companies in collaboration with [the Alberta provincial government]. The Kestrel will be prototyped and tested later in August by Calgary-based Motive Industries Inc. The compact car, which will hold a driver and up to three passengers, will have a top speed of 90 kilometres per hour and a range of 40 to 160 kilometres before needing to be recharged, depending on the type of battery. The car's body will be made of an impact-resistant composite material produced from mats of hemp, a plant from the cannabis family. The material is being supplied by Alberta Innovates-Technology Futures, a provincial Crown corporation that provides technical services and funding to help commercialize new technologies. The Kestrel is one of five electric vehicles being developed by Project Eve, an automotive industry collaboration founded by Motive and Toronto Electric, an Ontario material handling and electric motor company, to boost the production of electric vehicles and electric vehicle components in Canada. The Kestrel cars will be built with the help of polytechnic schools in Alberta, Quebec and Toronto, and the first 20 cars are scheduled to be delivered next year to EnMax, a Calgary-based energy distribution, supply and service company that is taking part in Project Eve. Automotive pioneer Henry Ford first built a car made of hemp fibre and resin more than half a century ago.
Note: The U.S. continues to have laws against growing hemp. Is it time for change? For more on exciting new automotive technologies, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
The man who drove his 20-year-old Mustang from Napoleon, Ohio, to Las Vegas and back last year on 39 gallons of fuel will open his first manufacturing facility Monday to allow others to get 110 miles per gallon. Doug Pelmear, owner of Horse Power Sales.net Inc. and Hp2G LLC, will hold an open house ... in Wauseon to begin manufacturing his revolutionary engine. The factory ... will be tooled to initially turn out 20 of Mr. Pelmear's custom engines per day with one shift of 25 workers. A Decatur, Ind., specialty car company, Revenge Designs Inc., has contracted with Mr. Pelmear to purchase 2,000 engines for use in a new vehicle it plans to unveil at the end of this year at the Los Angeles International Auto Show. The vehicle is to be called the Revenge Verde Super Car, which will use Mr. Pelmear's 400-horsepower engine and its 500 foot-pounds of torque to travel up to 200 mph and get 110 mpg - though admittedly not at the same time. "The engine is going to be a really great partnership with the car," explained Emily Levault, a spokesman for Revenge Design. "The idea behind this was to give people what they want while putting people back in their jobs." Ms. Levault said the Verde will be introduced as both a left and right-hand drive, so that it can be marketed around the world. Mr. Pelmear has said that he employs more precise tolerances and manufacturing techniques to decrease heat and energy loss and increase the efficiency of the internal combustion engine. He said he has more than quadrupled the industry average engine efficiency of about 8 percent.
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Thane Heins ... has invented a technology that he says will put out more energy than it consumes. His invention, he boldly claims, offers a way to make electric cars that can travel hundreds of kilometres from the energy in a small, inexpensive battery. The Star first profiled Heins and his controversial invention a year ago. In a nutshell, he had figured out a way to eliminate the electromagnetic friction that typically limits the performance of an electrical generator – an effect known as “Back EMF.” Not only that, but he also learned how to redirect that magnetic energy so that, instead of causing resistance, it gave an electrical motor connected to the generator a significant boost. The result, as far as Heins was concerned, violated Lenz’s law or what’s often called the law of diminishing returns. For many, that equates to a perpetual motion machine, an impossible claim in the conventional field of physics. Within no time the story spread globally across the Internet, became chatter on blogs, and triggered a flood of email to this reporter’s inbox – some praising Heins for his determination, others calling the Star irresponsible for giving credibility to his claim. The story, love it or hate it, was the second-most read article on TheStar.com in 2008. Much has happened over the past 12 months. Through his Ottawa-based company Potential Difference Inc., Heins has been in serious talks with a designer of small wind turbines in Montreal, a senior engineer from a large utility in Turkey, and a small manufacturer of electrical equipment in Toronto.
Note: Read how an esteemed MIT professor was baffled by this invention in the original Star article available here. For lots more on promising new energy inventions and technologies from major media sources, click here.
Chances are you've heard of hybrids and biofuels, but what about oil-producing yeast and turbinelike buoys that transform ocean waves into electricity? Those are just a couple of the alternative-energy sources that may power the future according to Fred Krupp, president of the Environmental Defense Fund and coauthor, with Miriam Horn, of the new book Earth: The Sequel (Norton). "Everyone knows the current story of melting glaciers, rising sea levels, worsening hurricanes, dying coral reefs," said Krupp. "'The Sequel' is the story of what happens next." Newsweek's Katie Paul talked with Krupp about ... the next industrial revolution. Newsweek: You seem to be a big fan of solar energy. Why do you think there's so much promise to it? Fred Krupp: We have two chapters on solar energy at the beginning of the book because we think there's tremendous potential there. Every hour, the sun provides the earth with as much energy as all of human civilization uses in an entire year. So, if you could capture just 10 percent of it on a ... 100-mile square piece of land, you could power the entire United States. With solar thermal energy, capturing heat instead of immediately going to electricity, one advantage is that you can store hot water much more cheaply than you can store electricity. There is tremendous potential there, even before advanced batteries are developed, and reason to think solar energy can compete. [Newsweek:] And besides solar? How are they addressing some of the negatives associated with biofuels? [Krupp:] I think we've come to understand that the current generation of biofuels has problems and that we need a whole new generation.
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