It’s always sunny in California. This is probably the biggest reason why the state is the first to get 5% of its power from the sun! According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, California is now the forerunner in solar energy by producing a whopping 9.9 million megawatt hours of energy in 2014. Also, let’s not forget the fact that the report takes into account only “utility-scale” energy production. This means by including the amount of energy generated by the solar panels installed privately by residents, California will have generated much more than the aforementioned figures!
The sun has tons of uses humankind still hasn’t made the best use of, and this solar oven set up in Parkent, Uzbekistan, is one of the many solar applications that’s receiving attention from around the globe. Constructed to resemble an Aztec temple, this solar furnace is capable of producing temperatures hot enough to heat metal. The curved surface of the furnace’s mirrors measure 175 feet up and across. These direct a beam with a four foot diameter.
While installing a solar panel at home and using the sun’s juice to power up your television might sound like a great idea, the task of setting up a system like this isn’t always as simple. Often, people interested in solar energy are faced with hurdles like angled roofs and improperly structured terraces that are a hostile environment for solar panels. To make things easier, a Boston-based startup called CloudSolar has come up with a solution!
Like every good thing that comes to an end, bicycles too have a lifespan, post which, they’re meant to be scrapped. However, there’s a greener and more environment friendly way to put to rest your old bicycle. Guatemalan NGO Maya Pedal has come up with an innovative way to turn old bicycles into useful contraptions. The NGO transforms old retired bicycles into pedal-powered machines. These include functional water pumps, blenders and tile makers too!
In an effort to increase its energy-efficiency quotient, France has just passed a law that requires every new building constructed in a commercial area to either sport solar panels or a green roof! A move like this will help the nation boost its solar energy production, while decreasing its complete reliance on polluting energy sources. France has been left behind in green energy generation and this law will also help change skylines and make the country environment friendly!
There are countless benefits of riding a bicycle instead of driving around in a gas-guzzling four-wheeler. More importantly, these green contraptions are a great way to get around without polluting your immediate environment, while helping you stay fit. To top it all, electric bicycles like the Leaos, make sure you can travel farther, on foot-power! These handmade bicycles from Italy are the brainchild of Armin Oberhollenzer, and are built in collaboration with Italian industrial designer Francesco Sommacal.
Well, it seems like the aviation industry is in for a green overhaul after all! Currently, NASA is busy spending its time at the drawing boards, working on a concept that could very well bring electric propulsion to the world of airplanes. The agency is testing an electric plane concept that uses Leading Edge Asynchronous Propeller Technology (LEAPTech). The technology is designed in partnership with Empirical Systems Aerospace (ESAero) and Joby Aviation. What sets this one apart from the rest of the electric concept planes we’ve come across before is the 18 independently-operated electric motors that power the LEAPTech wings.
The world needs its greenery, but given the fact that the human race simply can’t keep the axes away from trees, creative technology studio Chaotic Moon along with design firm Gensler has come up with futuristic ‘trees’ that will help increase the aesthetic value of open urban spaces, particularly heavily-concretized areas that don’t accommodate real trees easily. Called The Orchad, this 30-foot-tall interactive tree responds to visitors through light and sound. Currently installed in the technologically advanced city of Austin, 30 of these trees are anchored by a steel pole that works as a ‘trunk’.
There’s an ocean full of opportunities out there, literally, and the Carnegie Perth Wave Energy Project in Perth is looking to make the best use of it all! Just off the coast of Perth in Western Australia, CETO technologies will generate energy from the swell and convert it into usable electricity. At the same time, the project will also generate desalinated water, fit for human use. Three submerged 240-kilowatt buoys will be hooked onto the seabed with hydraulic water pumps. As the system bobs up and down with the waves, pressurized water is pushed through power turbines, generating electricity.
If you’ve been thinking that farming is something that requires large open landscapes and is pretty impossible in an urban setting, here’s a game-changer. Boston-based agriculture startup Freight Farms is currently working on a concept that could help grow fruits and vegetables organically in urban areas! With the Leafy Green Machine (LGM), Freight Farms is retrofitting shipping containers with fully functional hydroponic farms that come packed with indoor growing technology, while using 90% less water than traditional farming.