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feed me a stray cat

Are flesh-eating robots the future of green tech?

Sure, you can get power from the sun and the wind and other things you could paint on the wall of a child's bedroom -- if you don't mind being a hippy. But aren't there any forms of alternative energy that are more, you know, metal? Enter James Auger and Jimmy Loizeau, British designers who have developed appliances that run on bugs and vermin: The appliances are powered by microbial fuel cells, which take in organic matter (flies, mice) and convert it into electrical energy. Auger says the gadgets aren't really intended for mass production, and that's probably for the …


Blowing coal away

Wind power now competitive with coal in some regions

Photo: Vlasta JuricekMore good news on the renewable energy front Monday: The cost of onshore wind power has dropped to record lows, and in some regions is competitive with electricity generated by coal-fired plants, according to a survey by Bloomberg New Energy Finance, a market research firm. "The latest edition of our Wind Turbine Price Index shows wind continuing to become a competitive source of large-scale power," Michael Liebreich, Bloomberg New Energy Finance's chief executive, said in a statement. "For the past few years, wind turbine costs went up due to rising demand around the world and the increasing price …