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Batteries could make power grid unnecessary in some countries

One and a half billion citizens of planet Earth aren't connected to the power grid, and if Aquion Energy has its way, they will remain so forever. But not because they will be turned into Soylent Green! If that's what you were thinking.

Aquion specializes in making large batteries, cheaply. They don’t look like much -- they live in a former TV factory outside Pittsburgh, and you'll probably never buy any of their products. To the world's poor, however, they're working on something that could make a profound difference to their quality of life, reports Kevin Bullis at Technology Review.

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Philadelphia Eagles build a green stadium

The Philadelphia Eagles' helmets are already green, and by next year their stadium will match. The team is partnering with power company NRG to build one of the greenest sports arenas in the country.

Read more: Renewable Energy

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Why climate change is irrelevant to clean energy

Maggie Koerth-Baker, science editor at BoingBoing, has written a book, and the introduction is available free online now. Here’s the basic idea: In America at least, if we want to get anything done on clean energy, we have to divorce it from conversations about climate change.

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Myhrvold: 50 simple things won’t fix the climate — but a few complex things might

Nathan Myhrvold. (Photo by Red Maxwell.)

Yesterday, I wrote about a new peer-reviewed paper from inventor Nathan Myhrvold and climate scientist Ken Caldeira. It found that, if there is to be any hope of staying in the zone of climate safety (or at least semi-safety), the transition to carbon-free energy must begin immediately and cannot include any merely "low carbon" sources like natural gas.

I sent Myhrvold a few follow-up questions. Here are his responses, lightly edited.

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A battery large enough to power the U.S. would be the size of 2,200 Walmart SuperCenters

The U.S. uses about 500 gigawatts of power at any moment. Is it possible to cover that whole demand with emissions-free power sources? Well, nuclear, which has virtually no greenhouse gas emissions, could account for about 20 percent; the rest would have to be renewables. And renewables are intermittent, so they'd have to be backed up by about 80 gigawatts worth of batteries, says Davide Castelvecchi at Scientific American.

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LEGO buys $500 million worth of wind turbines

The world's third-largest toy manufacturer is going to be putting "made with wind power" labels on all those boxes of LEGOs, and not just because they bought their power from utilities with wind turbines. Kirkbi A/S, the family holding company that owns LEGO, will be buying actual wind turbines representing fully a third of an offshore wind farm, reports Reuters.

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The best of the U.S. Army’s ‘Going Green’ Pinterest

For those of you who are out of touch with what the young people and Mormons are all about these days, Pinterest is this really big, Facebook-but-for-images type thing, and it's kind of wild that the Army is on it, because it's mostly pictures of cats, clothes, and cupcakes. They even have a collection of images for their "green" efforts, from which we plucked a few of our favorites.

Source: flickr.com via U.S. on Pinterest

MODOC, Ill. -- Visiting Patriot, an 11-pound female Bald Eagle and World Bird Sanctuary bird expert Sara Oliver. The meeting took place Feb. 4, 2012 at Eagle Trek 2012 at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Kaskaskia Lock & Dam.

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GOP to Navy: Use more oil, demand more money

An energy-efficient Navy? Tanks, but no tanks.

What is the Republican take on global military strategy? A recent hearing offers a glimpse -- a hilarious, horrifying glimpse.

On Feb. 16, the House Armed Services Readiness Subcommittee held a hearing on the U.S. Navy's budget request for fiscal year 2013. I confess I did not have the fortitude to watch the entire two-and-a-half-hour affair, but CQ wrote up a summary that covers some of the lowlights.

The GOP's main objection, expressed by chairman J. Randy Forbes (R-Va.), is that the Navy is accepting budget cuts in the wake of Iraq and Afghanistan winding down. Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus should be out in public, contradicting his commander in chief and objecting to the cuts, the Republicans believe.

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Congress toys with the future of wind energy

It's time to stop playing around and get serious about funding wind energy.

Cross-posted from Climate Progress.

With every passing day, Congress outdoes its own abysmal environmental record.

Even as federal policymakers consider a transportation bill that would open up sensitive areas for offshore drilling, encourage use of dirty oil shale, force a decision on the Keystone XL tar-sands pipeline, and derail public investments in public transportation, they couldn’t even compromise on a simple short-term tax credit for wind energy.

Wind businesses were calling an extension of the credit an “emergency” due to looming mass layoffs in the industry. But as history has proven time and time again, if it’s clean and renewable, it doesn’t force any urgency in Congress.

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Adorable video will make you feel bad for power plants

This video of collapsing power plant cooling towers is supposed to make you want to celebrate the victory of renewable energy over large power companies that run on fossil fuels. And it does! Sort of. But the cooling towers are so adorable that you feel kind of bad for rooting against them. Couldn't they have put some cute moustaches on the turbines, too?