Infographic: 14 Alternative Energy Sources

January 2, 2020 by  
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In the last decade, we’ve seen an increase in alternative … The post Infographic: 14 Alternative Energy Sources appeared first on Earth911.com.

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Infographic: 14 Alternative Energy Sources

Infographic: 14 Alternative Energy Sources

January 2, 2020 by  
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In the last decade, we’ve seen an increase in alternative … The post Infographic: 14 Alternative Energy Sources appeared first on Earth911.com.

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Infographic: 14 Alternative Energy Sources

Earth911 Podcast, November 1, 2019: Baru Seeds, A Sustainable Peanut Alternative

November 1, 2019 by  
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Baru seeds are a sustainable superfood from the Brazilian Cerrado, … The post Earth911 Podcast, November 1, 2019: Baru Seeds, A Sustainable Peanut Alternative appeared first on Earth911.com.

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Earth911 Podcast, November 1, 2019: Baru Seeds, A Sustainable Peanut Alternative

Finnish startup makes alternative protein from carbon dioxide

July 12, 2019 by  
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An innovative startup company from Finland has piloted a new alternative protein product made out of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. This meat alternative has the potential to address the environmental evils of both the agriculture industry and climate change. The startup is confident it will be able to get the product on grocery store shelves by 2021. The product, named Solein, will likely be sold first as a liquid protein source via shakes or yogurt. This is different than alternative meat competitors, now including conventional meat giants like Tyson , that primarily sell alternative proteins as nuggets or burgers. Related: Vegan and lab-grown meats predicted to take over meat market in 20 years According to Solar Foods, Solein is “100 times more climate friendly” than all other animal- and plant-based proteins. In fact, the company also claims it is 10 times more efficient than soy production in terms of carbon footprint . How does it work? The company says it mixes water molecules with nutrients like potassium and sodium and then feeds the solution plus carbon to microbes. The microbes consume the nutrients and produce an edible substance that looks like flour and is 50 percent protein . Lab-grown meats are an expanding industry, but Solar Foods captures carbon dioxide from the atmosphere to feed to microbes instead of using sugar like most other companies. “Producing Solein is entirely free from agriculture — it doesn’t require arable land or irrigation and isn’t limited by climate conditions,” a Solar Foods representative told Dezeen . “It can be produced anywhere around the world, even in areas where conventional protein production has never been possible.” The company has big ambitions and believes that if the alternative meat industry is indeed going to overtake the conventional meat industry as predicted, leading corporations like Impossible Meat and Beyond Meat are going to need to experiment with and use innovative sources of protein beyond pea-based products. + Solar Foods Via Futurism Image via Solar Foods

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Finnish startup makes alternative protein from carbon dioxide

What Fuels You?: Choosing an Alternative Car Fuel

March 5, 2018 by  
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Eco-friendly cars are gaining in popularity, but not all efficient … The post What Fuels You?: Choosing an Alternative Car Fuel appeared first on Earth911.com.

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What Fuels You?: Choosing an Alternative Car Fuel

Scientists create eco-friendly, biodegradable microbeads

June 9, 2017 by  
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Microbeads ‘ detriment to the environment is well-documented , yet many companies continue to put the tiny plastic spheres in their products. Scientists at the University of Bath came up with a solution. They created microbeads from cellulose instead, and their alternative is both biodegradable and renewable. One shower can pollute the ocean with 100,000 plastic particles, according to an estimate cited by the University of Bath. These plastic microbeads less than five millimeters in size are way too small to be filtered out by sewage filtration systems, and from sunscreens, toothpastes, or cosmetics end up in the ocean. Fish, birds, and other marine creatures then consume them. Researchers think from there, the microbeads may be entering our food supply . Related: Greenpeace identifies brands that are still polluting oceans with microbeads So a research team at the university developed a way to continuously make biodegradable microbeads. They dissolve cellulose and reform it into beads, by making droplets that are set. They say their process is scalable, and they can draw cellulose from waste products such as those from the paper-making industry. These waste products offer a renewable source of cellulose. Their biodegradable microbeads will stay stable in a body wash, but at sewage treatment facilities can be broken down by organisms. Or the beads will break down in a short period of time if they do make it into the wider environment. Scientist Janet Scott said they’ll biodegrade into harmless sugars. She said in a statement, “Microbeads used in the cosmetics industry are often made of polyethylene or polypropylene, which are cheap and easy to make. However these polymers are derived from oil and they take hundreds of years to break down in the environment…We hope in the future these [microbeads] could be used as a direct replacement for plastic microbeads.” The journal ACS Sustainable Chemistry and Engineering published a study on the research online the end of May. A team led by Scott just received more than £1 million, around $1.2 million, in funding to develop porous beads, microsponges, and capsules from the Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council . Via the University of Bath Images via University of Bath

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Scientists create eco-friendly, biodegradable microbeads

Watts Bar Unit 2 is the first new American nuclear reactor to go online in 20 years

October 21, 2016 by  
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A new nuclear reactor went online in Tennessee recently, making history as the first commercial reactor in America to go online in the 21st century. Watts Bar Unit 2 is part of the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA)’s Watts Bar Nuclear Plant , and cost $4.7 billion. The unit can power 650,000 homes. There hasn’t been a new nuclear reactor brought online in two decades. TVA says Watts Bar Unit 2 was finished “the right way – with safety and quality” taken into deep consideration every step along the way. The company says the unit underwent ” an extensive series of power ascension tests ” as it began to operate. This week they announced the new reactor is officially operational after it functioned properly and generated power for three weeks. TVA CEO Bill Johnson said the energy generated by Watts Bar Unit 2 will be reliable, low-cost, and will protect the area’s natural resources. Related: First new US nuclear power plant in 20 years scheduled to open in Tennessee The company emphasizes the power generated by Watts Bar 2 is clean energy

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Watts Bar Unit 2 is the first new American nuclear reactor to go online in 20 years

California’s BrightSource Energy inks deal for massive new solar farm in China

September 28, 2016 by  
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As part of the country’s ongoing bid to invest in renewable energy, China’s state-run utility this week inked a deal with Oakland-based BrightSource Energy to build a massive new solar mirror farm. The technology, which uses thousands of mirrors to concentrate sunlight and heat water to power a steam turbine, is the same design used in BrightSource’s Ivanpah power plant outside of Las Vegas. The main advantage of thermal solar plants over traditional solar panel arrays is that they’re able to generate far more power that photovoltaic panels. These power plants can be massive, producing hundreds of megawatts of energy – an advantage that makes them competitive with coal-burning plants in a way that many renewable plants aren’t yet. The Ivanpah plant produces a whopping 392 megawatts of electricity, enough to power 140,000 California homes. Another mirror farm under construction in Morroco, slated to the be world’s largest when complete, will generate 580 megawatts and serve 1.1 million people. Related: Ivanpah: The World’s Largest Solar Thermal Plant Just Switched Online for the First Time This deal certainly won’t be the last of its kind for the Chinese government. Right now, BrightSource Energy is committed to a 135-megawatt pilot project in China’s northwest Qinghai province. It’s also going to include energy storage in the form of molten salt tanks, which are able to retain heat and produce power even after the sun has gone down. Another American company, SolarReserve, is also in the process of building a mirror farm in China. Related: Morocco switches on phase one of the world’s largest solar plant If it seems strange that these American companies are focusing on exporting their expertise abroad, it’s because the US has been slow to adopt the technology. Apart from a few high-profile projects like Ivanpah, thermal solar farms haven’t really taken off. That’s due in large part to a drop in costs for traditional solar panels and natural gas. Hopefully, as thermal solar plants gain acceptance in China and the rest of the world, they’ll see a resurgence in the US as well. Via Fortune Images via  BrightSource Energy

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California’s BrightSource Energy inks deal for massive new solar farm in China

Norway’s most stunning hydropower plant is now a tourist destination

September 14, 2016 by  
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Most of Norway’s electricity comes from hydropower, geothermal power and wind, and now the government is aiming to use those very industries to draw in additional tourist traffic. The Øvre Forsland hydroelectric power plant in the forested mountains of Helgeland, a Norwegian province just south of the Arctic Circle, is one of those such destinations. The 30-gigwatt-hour plant, designed by Stein Hamre , complements the surrounding natural environment, rather than standing out as an eyesore. Related: Norway moves up zero emissions target to 2030 “The plant has been designed to reflect the characteristics of the landscape, which is located on the river bed in a clearing at the edge of a spruce forest,” said the architects in a statement. “The main inspiration for the design was the verticality and the irregularity of the spruce trees.” The government hopes that hikers will come to the gorgeous plant and want to learn about hydroelectricity. Who wouldn’t want to visit this idyllic mountain scene? + Stein Hamre Architecture Via The Guardian Images via Bjørn Leirvik

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Norway’s most stunning hydropower plant is now a tourist destination

Villagers in carbon-hungry Thailand tap the sun and dung for clean energy

August 5, 2016 by  
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Thailand is a leader in Southeast Asian energy consumption, second only to Indonesia, with a particular appetite for fossil fuels. But one village nestled in the rural forest , far from the electricity grid, turned to clean energy to keep their community running. Along with using solar panels, the residents have perfected an unconventional way of powering their stoves: cow dung . Pa Deng is an off-the-grid village that saw its first spark of electricity when solar panels were installed ten years ago. They sought help from academics and traded their produce for education on how to maintain and repair the panels, and now one fifth of the village is hooked into the network. Related: Kenyan teenager converts his school’s poop into safe, clean energy Taking things one step further, according to Phys.org , one villager acted on a hunch from a friend that cow dung could be a better energy alternative to burning wood. Bio-gas balloons, fed with the dung and organic waste, create enough methane gas for the resident’s stoves. 100 residents now benefit from the balloons, which means they no longer have to search for kindling in the neighboring forest. Pa Deng serves as an example of what is possible in a land where fossil fuels rule. Not every resident is on board with the clean energy initiatives, however, as some wish to be part of the government-funded grid, while others take what they have learned to other neighboring villages, leaving a cleaner footprint along the way. Via  Phys.org Images via Pexels , Wikimedia

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Villagers in carbon-hungry Thailand tap the sun and dung for clean energy

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