Norway shoots for 100% electric short-haul flights by 2040

January 18, 2018 by  
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More than 50 percent of new car sales in Norway were electric vehicles in December, according to Electrek . Now the country aims to take the electric revolution to the skies. Norwegian airports public operator Avinor wants all their short-haul flights to be electric in just over 20 years. CEO Dag Falk-Petersen told Agence France Presse (AFP) they’re hoping “to be the first in the world” to switch over to electric air transportation . Every short-haul airliner should be electric by 2040 in Norway, Avinor said this week. Falk-Petersen told AFP, “We think that all flights lasting up to 1.5 hours can be flown by aircraft that are entirely electric.” He said that would include all domestic flights and trips to nearby Scandinavian capitals. Related: Eviation Aircraft unveils all-electric plane with 600-mile range 2.4 percent of Norway’s greenhouse gas emissions come from domestic air transportation – and when international routes are taken into account the figure is over double that. Falk-Petersen told the AFP, “When we will have reached our goal, air travel will no longer be a problem for the climate , it will be a solution.” There are other benefits to electric flight besides lowered carbon emissions – such as reduced operating costs. Falk-Petersen also said electric flight would halve noise levels at least. Avinor will explore intermediary technologies, like hybrid fuel-electric options or biofuels , before making the switch to all-electric. The company recently teamed up with the Norwegian Air Sports Federation to purchase the first electric aircraft in Norway from Pipistrel . The Alpha Electro G2 is a two-seater aircraft with a range of 130 kilometers, or just over 80 miles. Falk-Petersen said in Avinor’s press release on the purchase that lower operating costs could have an impact on ticket prices as well. AFP reported Avinor also aims to start a tender offer to trial a commercial route with a 19-seat electric plane beginning in 2025. Via Agence France Presse and Electrek Images via Avinor ( 1 , 2 )

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Norway shoots for 100% electric short-haul flights by 2040

Former Angry Bird marketing guru proposes 80-mile underwater tunnel to link two cities

January 18, 2018 by  
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Peter Vesterbacka, the former marketing chief for the smash hit mobile game Angry Birds, has embraced a new challenge: the construction of an 80-mile-long tunnel between Helsinki , Finland and Tallinn , Estonia. This tunnel would facilitate a high-speed rail connection between the capital of Finland, an artificial island in the Baltic Sea that Vesterbacka plans on building, and the capital of Estonia. “Digging is just a few billion [euros],” Vesterbacka told Buzzfeed News . “Let’s say $15 billion and then it’s done. It’s pretty big.” Big is perhaps an understatement, not only in the resources required and procedural obstacles but in the potential economic impact of linking these two historic cities into one metropolitan area. Vesterbacka was inspired to revisit the old idea of connecting Helsinki and Tallinn, first proposed in 1871 as a bridge built with the assistance of massive balloons , during a May 2016 conference in Tallinn. “When Finns and Estonians get together, they typically start talking about the need to cooperate more,” he said . “It happened again and then I thought that OK, I will finally build it. Let’s walk the walk.” Vesterbacka then stood up, walked to Marina Kaljurand, then-minister of foreign affairs for Estonia, and told her that he and his friends now planned to build a tunnel . “I looked at him quite skeptically, as an enthusiastic and very naive Finn. But when he introduced his background, he started to sound more believable,” Kaljurand told BuzzFeed News . Related: Finland’s longest bridge will be a beautiful pedestrian and cyclist superhighway Admittedly, Vesterbacka had not entirely thought his plan through. For example, he later learned that the world’s largest traffic tunnel, the 35.5-mile-long Gotthard tunnel in the Swiss Alps, took two decades to finish and only recently opened in 2016. Nonetheless, Vesterbacka remains confident. “Building a tunnel is different than building a game, but not that different,” he said . “It’s about making things happen, bringing the right people together.” To this end, Vesterbacka has enlisted the services of two engineering firms with tunnel-building experience. Seventy percent of the project’s funding would come from undisclosed Chinese sources while the rest would be sourced from bank-run public pension funds. Even as the process of securing permits, funding, and a solid plan are daunting, Vesterbacka sees his initiative as a patriotic endeavor. “It is important for Europe as well. France, Germany, and the UK are totally incapable of doing anything. It is very important for the Nordic countries to step up and show the leadership,” he said . Via BuzzFeed News Images via Depositphotos (1)

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Former Angry Bird marketing guru proposes 80-mile underwater tunnel to link two cities

Google co-founder Larry Page secretly invested over $100M in two flying car startups

June 9, 2016 by  
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The future is here—or, at least it could be getting closer. A little company called Zee.Aero has been working for the past several years to develop a small electric plane that can take off and land vertically. In essence, it’s an honest to goodness flying car. What we didn’t know about the company, which set up shop adjacent to Google’s Mountain View HQ, is that the man backing the operations is none other than Google co-founder Larry Page. Bloomberg Businessweek broke the news , sending the collective tech and transportation worlds into a tizzy of anticipation. Page’s involvement in the flying car startup has been kept under wraps since the company’s founding in 2010. Reporters long suspected Zee.Aero had some sort of ties to Google , but few suspected the truth we learned today. Now, though, it’s become clear that Page—who co-founded Google with Sergey Brin, and is now the CEO of Google’s parent company, Alphabet Inc —is Zee.Aero’s primary source of funding. Page has invested more than $100 million in the company since its creation. But, wait, there’s more. In addition to backing the flying car venture, Page has also been channeling funds into another startup, Kitty Hawk, which is working on a similar project. If this scenario is starting to sound familiar, it’s because it’s not wholly unlike the investments Elon Musk has made, using his personal wealth to back companies who are working on projects like rocketing to Mars or building ultra-uber-high-speed public transit . Like Musk, Page is putting his money where his dreams are, much to the delight of futuristic car buffs everywhere. Related: Terrafugia’s flying car will be a reality by 2018 As for the flying car itself, what is known to the public is largely limited to patent filings (like the image above, from 2012) and the rare sneak peek of a test flight. Zee.Aero is growing fast, with 150 employees and it recently expanded operations moving into a nearby airplane hangar. There, two prototypes take regular test flights, away from the public’s prying eyes. Meanwhile, the much smaller Kitty Hawk continues to grind away on a competing design. Reportedly, employees of the two companies do not interact, protecting each team’s opportunity to innovate without interference. Despite flying car prototypes in construction, and aloft, there is no word on when, if ever, this car of the future will be released to the public. It’s entirely possible that it will never happen, though, because this could just be one of those things billionaires do when they have more money than they know what to do with. + Zee.Aero Via The Verge Images via Wikipedia and USPTO

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Google co-founder Larry Page secretly invested over $100M in two flying car startups

Dwell on Design 2016: Americas largest design event is coming to Los Angeles!

June 9, 2016 by  
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It’s that time of year again – designers, architects, and design enthusiasts will soon be converging at Dwell on Design , America’s largest design event, held this June 24-26 at the Los Angeles Convention center. Curated by the savvy editors at Dwell magazine, the three-day event will celebrate its eleventh year of showcasing the newest and most exciting advances in design. Visitors are invited to explore exhibitions featuring the latest and greatest in design, tour exciting Dwell-approved Los Angeles homes, visit full-scale prefab homes, attend conversations led by world-class speakers, and network with industry experts. Register now to secure your attendance before tickets sell out! The 3-day convention will feature a staggering 250,000 square feet of exhibition space featuring over 350 brands and just outside the center valid-drivers-license-holders will have the opportunity to test-drive the all-new Prius . Those considering home renovations can schedule free consultations with architects, designers, or tile experts. The opportunities to soak up design knowledge abound with three days of continuing education sessions and over forty presentations and demonstrations from industry professionals. Architecture buffs will be pleased to discover that during three days of exclusive home tours , they will not only get to explore stunning residences in Mar Vista/Culver city, East Side/Hills, Santa Monica/Venice, but will be provided with the opportunity to meet the architects as well. Fans of Inhabitat favorite LivingHomes will be excited to learn that the official Show Home of the convention will be a brand new green prefab LivingHome – the CK4.2 . The stunning 1700-square-foot prefab house will be the first two-story home ever constructed inside the Los Angeles Convention Center , and features 3 bedrooms, 2.5 bath, and an abundance of green features that have earned it LEED certification. LivingHomes founder Steve Glenn will be speaking at a panel discussion on June 26th. To get in on more LivingHomes goodness, visitors can sign up for Dwell on Design’s Home Tours and visit the iconic original LivingHome which launched the brand in Venice, CA. (We covered and toured this house back in 2006!) This gorgeous eco home, designed by architect Ray Kappe is still one of Inhabitat’s all-time favorite green homes, and it is definitely worth a visit if you happen to be in LA. The continuing education sessions (CES) will explore a breadth of disciplines- including hot topics like 3D printing and Architecture, Innovation in Prefab, and The Internet of Things. The programs provide Continuing Education Unit (CEU) credits and will be hosted by by AIA, ASID, IIDA, AWA+D, NAHB, IDC, SFC, NKBA, APLD, ASLA, along with other Industry Partners. Related: Dwell on Design 2015: America’s largest design event is coming to Los Angeles! Industry experts are scheduled on all three days to share their insights on topics that include Business of Design, Healthy Architecture, Nice Modernist, and The Smartest Home/Emerging Technologies. This year’s highly anticipated keynote speaker is architect Sou Fujimoto , renowned for his “delicate light structures and permeable enclosures.” Dwell on Design invites visitors to attend Fujimoto’s thought-provoking discussion of his international practice, which includes designing the temporary Serpentine Gallery pavilion in London in 2013, and winning first prize at the International “Reinventer Paris” competition. Inhabitat attended Dwell on Design for the first time in 2006 and many of the designs that fascinated us then, such as this BreezeHouse prefab home , are still making headlines today . Check out the rest of our favorites here . Dwell on Design is reliably always a great show, and we hope to see you there! + Dwell on Design 2015

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Dwell on Design 2016: Americas largest design event is coming to Los Angeles!

New ‘Hobbit’ fossils provide a glimpse into human relative

June 9, 2016 by  
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With the discovery of a tooth here or a bone fragment there, archaeologists piece together the history of humanity – and a recent discovery on the Indonesian island of Flores provides new insight into human evolution . The teeth and mandible belong to a tiny 3-foot-tall hominin species many have nicknamed ‘Hobbits.’ Archaeologists first discovered these Hobbits, or Homo floresiensis , back in 2004 in the Liang Bua cave on western Flores. At that time the fossils created more questions than answers. Did they evolve from Homo erectus , or from other smaller hominins such as Homo habilis or Australopithecus ? They appear to have been small, with small brains, leading some to think they didn’t evolve from Homo erectus at all. Related: Did scientists just discover a new kind of ancient human? In 2014, archaeologists discovered new Hobbit fossils at Mata Menge, about 30 miles east of Liang Bua on Flores in an older layer of rock. This month, the journal Nature published their findings . The six teeth from at least three individuals and one mandible fragment they found reveals the Hobbits likely did evolve from Homo erectus . If that is the case, then the Hobbits’ bodies and brains shrunk. The archaeologists say it would have been an ” evolutionary reversal .” The Hobbits had small brains about the size of a chimpanzee’s, according to Gerrit van den Bergh, lead author on the recently published paper. However, they showed signs of sophistication and walked upright. As one explanation, the archaeologists speculate that since they lived on an island, perhaps they didn’t require large brains. In a video for Nature, Van den Bergh said, “Maybe they didn’t need such a big brain, because a brain is a very expensive organ, and maybe a smaller brain might work as well here in an island setting. But what is clear is that they made stone tools so they were not stupid.” The fossils uncovered date to about 700,000 years ago and were older than the Liang Bua fossils. Via ABC News Images via screenshot

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New ‘Hobbit’ fossils provide a glimpse into human relative

Australian wave energy project sets a new world record with 14,000 operating hours

June 9, 2016 by  
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Surfers at Sydney’s Bondi Beach aren’t the only Australians catching waves. The Perth-based Carnegie Wave Energy Project just set a world record by completing 14,000 cumulative operating hours. Located off Garden Island, Western Australia, the CETO 5 marine energy system has for the past year been generating clean, renewable electricity and potable desalinated water for Australia’s largest naval base, HMAS Stirling, on Garden Island. The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) provided $13.1 million in funding for the $40 million project — the first array of wave power generators to be connected to an electricity grid. “ARENA is proud to help local companies, like [Carnegie Wave Energy Limited], develop new renewable energy solutions that have the potential to change the way the world generates electricity,” said ARENA CEO Ivor Frischknecht. “We do this by providing Australian innovators with the support they need during the critical RD&D period, when patient funding is essential.” The CETO 6 is the next generation of wave energy technology. Each unit has a targeted one megawatt capacity, which is four times the output of the CETO 5 unit. The power is transmitted onshore via subsea cable. The CETO 6 design is the product platform that will be used in commercial CETO projects. Related: The world’s first wave energy microgrid project is coming to Australia Wave energy technology has enormous potential to provide zero emissions electricity to Australians because more than 80 percent of the population of 24 million people reside along the coast. + Carnegie Wave Energy + Australian Renewable Energy Agency Via Climate Action News Images via Carnegie Wave Energy Save

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Australian wave energy project sets a new world record with 14,000 operating hours

Google & NASA Partner to Host Green Flight Challenge With $1.65 Million Prize

August 1, 2011 by  
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From the Elektra One electric airplane to Siemens’ plug-in hybrid aircraft , we’ve been seeing a lot of eco-friendly airplanes lately. While we love any airplane that doesn’t spew massive amounts of carbon emissions, the fact is that most planes are still gas-guzzling beasts, which is why search giant Google has teamed up with NASA to sponsor the NASA Centennial Challenge competition (a.k.a. the Green Flight Challenge ). Google is working with aircraft technology research group CAFE Foundation to find a winning design that shows emission-free flights are not only practical, but entirely possible. The first place team will take home a whopping $1.3 million, the largest ever in civilian aviation. Read the rest of Google & NASA Partner to Host Green Flight Challenge With $1.65 Million Prize Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: biofuel airplanes , cafe foundation , eco airplanes , electric airplanes , Google , google and nasa , google flight challenge , google green flight challenge , green airplanes , green flight , green flight challenge , green transportation , hybrid airplanes , nasa , NASA Centennial Challenge competition , nasa flight challenge , nasa green flight challenge , sustainable transportation

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Google & NASA Partner to Host Green Flight Challenge With $1.65 Million Prize

Shiny Lapin Kulta Solar Kitchen Restaurant is an Experiment in Green Gastronomy

August 1, 2011 by  
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Read the rest of Shiny Lapin Kulta Solar Kitchen Restaurant is an Experiment in Green Gastronomy Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: alternative energy , Antto Melasniem , cleantech , eco design , ecology , gastronomy , green design , green gastronomy , Kalastama , Lapin Kulta Solar Kitchen Restaurant , Martí Quixé , Milan Design Week , Solar Power , sustainable design

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Shiny Lapin Kulta Solar Kitchen Restaurant is an Experiment in Green Gastronomy

EADS all-electric Cri aerobatic airplane makes maiden flight

September 4, 2010 by  
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Eco Factor: Zero-emission electric aircrafts takes to the skies. EADS, the parent company of Airbus, along with Aero Composite Saintonge, unveiled their next-gen electric aircraft, the Cri, at the Paris Green Air Show in June . The aircraft was just a prototype at that stage with no flying experience

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EADS all-electric Cri aerobatic airplane makes maiden flight

10 electric aircrafts making personal air travel greener

April 10, 2010 by  
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The demand for eco-friendly transportation has not only brought some changes in the automobile industry but in the aviation industry as well. With us getting busier with every passing day, the only way to save the precious hours that are wasted in traffic jams on highways is to follow the aerial route. Since aviation is often criticized for polluting the atmosphere, designers are following a greener approach to make your personal air travel clean and emission-free in the near future.

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10 electric aircrafts making personal air travel greener

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