Business & Technology

Wind Power

Google to buy 100.8 megawatts of Oklahoma wind energy

Google’s Oklahoma wind farm will be built this year.Photo: Marcin WicharyIt’s getting a bit hard to keep up with all of Google’s green investments these days — $168 million put into a big solar power plant project one week; $100 million for the world’s largest wind farm the next. But this week’s big money move — the third so far this month — is different. It also involves wind but is a power purchase agreement (known as a PPA in the utility trade) rather than a direct investment in a specific project. The deal with wind developer NextEra Energy Resources …

The iPad of electric cars will be available in 2012 — for as little as $8,000

The Mitsubishi i-MiEV is so button-cute it makes the BMW mini look like the smash-faced cyclops from Jason and the Argonauts, and if you are one of a handful of lucky Americans, you might be able to pick one up at a price that matches its diminutive size. The list of requirements you have to satisfy to get approximately $20,000 worth of rebates on the $27,990 all-electric vehicle is long, but even if you're merely a resident of California, you can still take $12,500 off the top in Federal and state credits. Further rebates are available for residents of the …

150 MPH bus is basically a public transit Batmobile

Hey, life imitates Onion! A physicist in the Netherlands has designed the "Superbus," a sleek 23-seater that can go up to 150 miles per hour. And it's electric! You're not drunk, the video is in Dutch, but we assume he's saying "dude, this thing is fast as BALLS, and look at all the Delorean doors! Seriously, it's like Batman meets Speed meets Back to the Future." Okay, so there's the teeny problem where if you don't live in Europe, a vehicle on the highway going 150 miles per hour is kind of cause for alarm. The inventor is envisioning the …

BP spends restitution money on lawsuits and lobbying

By now, we all know BP has been painfully tightfisted about helping to rebuild the lives and livelihoods ruined in last year's oil spill. They agreed to pay $20 billion in damages but have only squeezed out $6 billion so far. But what do you expect them to do? They need that money to spend on lobbying and litigation! The anniversary of the spill brought two fun announcements from the company about their priorities. First, they've already spent $2 billion this year lobbying the government — including nagging them to end the offshore drilling moratorium, speed up the permitting process, …

Mosaic sells solar panels to people who don’t even have roofs

How many times has this happened to you: You're sitting in your crappy apartment, watching Colbert on stolen wifi, drinking boxed wine and trying to get high on whatever charred resin is left in your roommate's bowl. All of a sudden you're just, like: "Damn, why is it only homeowners with well-sited, south-facing roofs get to power their domiciles with solar power?!" Wonder no more, my friend: Mosaic Solar is here. Like other community sharing projects — agriculture, fish, gardens — Mosaic allows you to own a little piece of a collective, only in this case it's a big solar …

How green is your iPhone?

Carbon emissions? Energy overuse? Sketchy labor relations? There's an app for that, and it's all of them. This infographic from Geekaphone (there's way more, it's huge — click on our excerpt to see the rest) illustrates that the iPhone, like basically any modern convenience, is probably going to kill us all sooner or later. (What up, Skynet?) There's some good news, though. Reductions in packaging for the iPhone 4 have led to a 14 percent reduction in the amount of fuel used for shipping, and the phone itself emits 18 percent less carbon than the earlier model. And while iPhone …

Rupert Murdoch is totally against the global warming he told you not to believe in

It's probably not the first time Rupert Murdoch has been on a list with Charles Manson and Osama bin Laden. Turns out that media mogul/plutocrat Murdoch's company, News Corporation, is deeply and explicitly committed to reducing its carbon footprint, combating global warming, and encouraging its audiences to do the same. You know, except for the 63 million people who get their information from its noisiest product, Fox News. Murdoch's stated position is that climate change is serious, and that the company's energy initiative is a good start but public outreach is critical: "We can set an example, and we can reach …

Biking

The best sperm delivery system ever

Speeding to its destination.Photo: Mikael Colville-AndersenSo the Danes do bicycles better than just about anybody else in the whole wide world. We knew that already, thanks in large part to the efforts of Mikael Colville-Andersen, who blogs at Copenhagen Bicycle Chic and Copenhagenize, documenting his city’s stylish and sensible bicycling populace. The latest entry on Copenhagenize takes bicycle culture to a whole new level. It is a cargo bike custom-designed for a local sperm bank in the shape of … a sperm cell. Colville-Andersen writes: Nordisk Cryobank (European Sperm Bank)is one of Europe’s leading sperm banks and the company was …

The future of green computing is dunking your computer in mineral oil

As seemingly every aspect of our lives moves online, the giant building-size computers that power the web suck up ever more energy. Cooling can eat as much as a third of the energy required to run these "data centers," so fixing their heat problem (modern processors produce a lot of it) isn't just a matter of reducing carbon emissions. Enter Green Revolution Cooling. You might as well just watch the video, above, because it is too weird for words. Their technology — dunking servers in mineral oil in order to cool them — works precisely because mineral oil is not …