Cleantech

Business & Technology

Sales of residential solar in Japan explode like reactor #4

Sales of solar panels for Japanese homes are up 30.7 percent in 2011, despite -- or, let's be real, because of -- the economic hit the country took in the wake of the Fukushima disaster.

Urban Agriculture

Sweden builds 18-story greenhouse

Swedish company Plantagon International is taking the urban greenhouse to the next level, and then the 17 levels beyond that. Their new vertical greenhouse in Linköping, Sweden will be 177 feet high.

Business & Technology

How 1.6 billion people who live on less than a dollar a day afford renewables

If you're not already connected to an electricity grid, renewable energy is a no-brainer, argues Michigan professor of history and ‘scholar of the Muslim world’ Juan Cole.

Business & Technology

NASA is developing green rocket fuel

Hydrazine propellant is super toxic and dangerously unstable, so NASA is going to spend up to $50 million apiece to test alternatives.

Cities

Why buildings haven’t gotten more efficient in 20 years

Everything single part of a building has become significantly more energy efficient over the past 20 years, yet buildings are using the same amount of energy they always have. Why?

Cleantech

Solar panels made out of grass clippings

An MIT scientist has developed a quick and dirty way to harness solar power using “anything green, even grass clippings.” So basically, solar panels made out of yard waste. This technology is way, way, way, way below the efficiency of commercial solar panels: It converts 0.1 percent of solar energy into power. Commercial solar panels clock in around 10 to 15 percent; the most advanced lab models are pushing even higher. But the simplicity of the design makes up for that shortcoming.

Cleantech

‘Smart paint’ warns you when stuff’s about to break, so you can fix it

Someday we’ll fix infrastructure and the environment in the same way that Arizona suburbanites fix their lawns: By slapping on a coat of paint. Science has already made great strides on carbon-eating paint, and the kind of paint that can make windows into solar panels. And now researchers at at Glasgow’s University of Strathclyde have developed paint that can detect underlying structural problems in bridges, mines, and turbines, allowing engineers to head disaster off at the pass.

Business & Technology

Why Apple should pour money into clean energy

Google's success at making real money on its green investments suggests to Marc Gunther of Greenbiz that every tech company with gigantic cash holdings -- i.e. Apple and Microsoft -- should be parking at least some of them in targeted clean energy investments.

Cleantech

Newly discovered fungus eats plastic

A group of Yale students, poking around in the jungles of Ecuador, has unearthed a type of fungus that digests otherwise-unkillable plastics.

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