Cleantech

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 …

Like the desert mouse, PepsiCo’s factory to survive on the water in the food it consumes

Some animals don't drink water — and now some factories might not, either. The potatoes that PepsiCo turns into Walker's Crisps — those sinisterly addictive potato chips that people in the UK can't seem to get …

Boeing to build recyclable 787’s with 100% renewable energy

The 10 acre roof of the new Boeing 787 airplane factory in North Charleston, South Carolina will be covered with enough thin-film solar panels to provide a fifth of the plant's power. The rest will …

Visiting a house in Germany that generates more energy than it uses

During my trip to Germany last week, one of my hosts from the Böll Foundation and I took a morning commuter train up to Borgsdorf, north of Berlin, to visit an experimental passivhaus built by …

Google antes up $100 million (more) for advanced wind farm

Google's latest investment in wind power is much more than just the latest chapter in the company's support for renewable energy. It's part of a larger strategy that could see the search giant turn into …

Energy Policy

Germans pay extra for clean energy — is it worth it?

Germany has become a world leader in renewable power thanks in part to its Renewable Energy Act (EEG), which came into force in 2000. It established a feed-in tariff program that guarantees producers of carbon-free power an …

What if the $152 billion to clean up Fukushima were spent on geothermal instead?

Here's a crazy idea: why not use the enormous geothermal resource under Japan — which is after all sitting on a "ring" made of "fire" — as a source of nearly always-on baseload power? I …

Physics breakthrough could mean solar panels made of nothing but glass

Exploiting an effect previously thought too small to be worth anyone's time, a bunch of researchers at the University of Michigan have figured out how to exploit the magnetic properties of light in a way …

CFLs are not a significant source of mercury, says EPA

If you've heard that CFLs are lousy with mercury, you've heard wrong. In the past 10 years, "reductions in the most used types of fluorescent lighting have decreased [mercury] content over the last decade by …

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