The ultra-efficient, hidden heat source for Amazon’s new HQ

November 20, 2017 by  
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The “ecodistrict” project required cooperation from the city, architects and a corporate neighbor.

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The ultra-efficient, hidden heat source for Amazon’s new HQ

10 things you need to know from the World Energy Outlook 2017

November 15, 2017 by  
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The landmark IEA report looks at China’s rise as a green leader and much more.

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10 things you need to know from the World Energy Outlook 2017

Savvy city planners will be tomorrow’s climate heroes

November 8, 2017 by  
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Too much of today’s conversation focuses on energy generation rather than urban design, land-use planning and zoning interventions.

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Savvy city planners will be tomorrow’s climate heroes

This Russian cottage is heated for free with Bitcoin mining

November 7, 2017 by  
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In the last month, Bitcoin — the biggest and best-known cryptocurrency — rose in value by 480 percent . The sudden spike spurred more people to invest in the currency, while others dedicate computers to the task of mining bitcoins . Siberian entrepreneurs Ilya Frolov and Dmitry Tolmachyov are engaged in the latter – and they’ve found that they’re able to heat a 20-square-meter with two machines while pocketing $430 per month. Bitcoin transactions require a lot of computer processing power, which in turn produces a substantial amount of heat . Most “miners” just release that heat into the atmosphere — but not Frolov and Tolmachyov. The Russian entrepreneurs built a cottage in the Siberian town of Irkutsk that is heated by two Bitcoin mining machines. Each month, the men make about $430. And, they pay $0 to heat the 20-square-meter abode. In the video above, Quartz details how this is possible. Related: Power-hungry Bitcoin could consume as much energy as Denmark by 2020 Because Bitcoin is relatively new, it is still considered a highly volatile investment . However it has provided gains exceeding those of any other currency in every year but one since 2010, according to The Independent. The process of “mining” Bitcoin determines which transactions are valid, and which should be added to the blockchain — an ever-expanding ledger that holds the transaction history of all Bitcoins in circulation. The blockchain lives in the thousands of machines on the bitcoin network. Mining also ensures the system cannot be gamed, thus, making the cryptocurrency more secure than the US dollar. Every ten minutes, mining computers collect a few hundred pending Bitcoin transactions and turn them into a mathematical puzzle. The first miner to find the solution declares it to others on the network. The other miners then check whether the sender of the funds has the right to spend the money. If enough approval is granted, the block is cryptographically added to the ledger and the miners move onto the next set of transactions. A miner who finds the solution gets 12.5 Bitcoins as a reward, but only after another 99 blocks have been added to the ledger. This gives all miners an incentive to participate in the system and validate transactions. It also provides protection; to double-spend a Bitcoin, digital bank robbers would have to rewrite the blockchain — that would require more than half of the network’s puzzle-solving capacity! Via Quartz , The Economist , The Independent Images via YouTube , Pixabay

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This Russian cottage is heated for free with Bitcoin mining

Solar Vertical City is a self-contained, green-infused tower planted into the ocean floor

October 4, 2017 by  
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Resigned to the fact that rising sea levels are inevitable at this point, architects are starting to create feasible, water-based living solutions. Italian architect Luca Curci has just unveiled a design that envisions a soaring zero-energy tower infused with greenery on each level that will be planted into the sea floor, resulting in what could be the future of self-contained architecture. Curci’s proposed Vertical City tower would consists of 10 overlapping modular layers, reaching a height of 2,460 feet with 180 floors. The facade would be clad with a membrane of photovoltaic glass, which would generate sufficient energy for the entire building and then some. Related: This futuristic vertical factory feeds off a city’s waste to produce energy The tower would have 190,000 square feet of floor surface that would be used for residences, offices, services, retail space, and various facilities. The tower design would be focused on providing a healthy, vibrant environment that connects the residents and workers with nature. For example, the tower would have ample air circulation and natural light on each level thanks to numerous perforated slots throughout the tower’s exterior. Additionally, the design calls for over 66,000 feet of outdoor green space spread throughout the building, including a public open-air garden plaza on the rooftop. The massive tower’s base would be planted firmly into the sea floor. The submerged floors would house the parking and technical areas, as well as various amenities such as spas, mediation centers, a workout center, etc. A handful of luxury hotels rooms would also be completely submerged underwater, offering a unique experience as well as amazing views of marine life. Access to the Vertical City would be possible by water, land or air. The circular base would have external and internal docks as well as multiple naval entries for large and small boats. The tower would be connected to the mainland via a semi-submerged bridge for pedestrians, cars, and an electric-based public transportation system . For air arrivals, the building will be topped with a heliport. + Luca Curci Images via Luca Curci Architects

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Solar Vertical City is a self-contained, green-infused tower planted into the ocean floor

This entire barley field was planted and harvested without humans

October 4, 2017 by  
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Drones and autonomous machinery just seeded, tended, and harvested a crop of barley in the United Kingdom without drivers on tractor seats or farmers working the field. A project of Hands Free Hectare , the barley field explored the idea of autonomous farming . Hands Free Hectare, an effort of Harper Adams University and Precision Decisions , recently celebrated a successful harvest. They set out to be the first project to plant, care for, and harvest crops with solely drones and autonomous machines, funding the project with under £200,000, or around $265,037, which they said was a low budget compared with other autonomous farming vehicle projects. They drew on open source technology and machinery farmers could purchase today. Related: Swinging robot inspired by sloths could help future farmers Mechatronics researcher Martin Abell of Precision Decisions said in a statement, “This project aimed to prove that there’s no technological reason why a field can’t be farmed without humans working the land directly now and we’ve done that. We set out to identify the opportunities for farming and to prove that it’s possible to autonomously farm the land, and that’s been the great success of the project.” The researchers predicted they’d harvest around five metric tons, according to Abell, who said they hadn’t quite reached their target, but their agronomist “predicted 4.5 tonnes and it looks like he’s on the money.” Automation is the future of agriculture, according to researcher Kit Franklin of Harper Adams University, who said in the team’s first press release from late last year, “It’s not about putting people out of jobs ; instead changing the job they do. The tractor driver won’t be physically in the tractor driving up and down a field. Instead, they will be a fleet manager and agricultural analysts, looking after a number of farming robots and meticulously monitoring the development of their crops .” What will happen to the barley? The Hands Free Hectare researchers plan to use it in a beer . They also aim to repeat their experiment with a winter crop. + Hands Free Hectare Via Hands Free Hectare Images via Hands Free Hectare Facebook and Hands Free Hectare Twitter

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This entire barley field was planted and harvested without humans

The world’s biggest offshore wind farm is being built in the UK

September 12, 2017 by  
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Very soon, the UK will be home to the world’s largest wind farm . The UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) announced that DONG Energy  is building a 1,386 megawatt wind farm called Hornsea Project Two. Once completed, the massive project will provide enough energy to power 1.3 million homes. Thanks to record low prices, offshore wind is now cheaper than gas and nuclear energy. This resulted in a  UK-low strike price of £57.50 per MWh, making wind an attractive investment. The Hornsea Project Two will be located 89 kilometers off the Yorkshire coast and slightly north of Hornsea Project One, a 1,200 MW offshore wind farm in the North Sea off the coast of England. The equivalent of 1.3 million UK homes are expected to receive power from the Hornsea Project Two, and up to 2,000 jobs during construction and 130 jobs during the 25-year operation life of the project will be created. “We’re delighted to be awarded a Contract for Difference for Hornsea Project Two, which is another important step towards fulfilling our vision of making offshore wind the most competitive form of electricity generation,” Said Samuel Leupold, the Executive Vice President and CEO of Wind Power at DONG Energy. “We have always promoted size as a key driver for cost. The ideal size of an offshore wind farm is 800-1,500MW, and therefore it is natural that Hornsea Project Two will deliver record-low costs to society. At the same time, the low strike price demonstrates the cost saving potential of developer-built offshore grid connections, which in the UK is included in the project scope.” Related: Revolutionary floors made from waste wood pulp generate clean energy DONG Energy UK’s Managing Director, Matthew Wright, added, “This is a breakthrough moment for offshore wind in the UK and a massive step forward for the industry . Not only will Hornsea Project Two provide low cost, clean energy to the UK, it will also deliver high-quality jobs and another huge boost to the UK supply chain.” The Hornsea Project One will begin operation in 2020, and Project Two in 2022. According to UK Minister for Energy and Industry, Richard Harrington, the UK’s latest investment is evidence that the country has “placed clean growth at the heart of the Industrial Strategy to unlock opportunities across the country while cutting carbon emissions . He said, “The offshore wind sector alone will invest £17.5bn in the UK up to 2021 and thousands of new jobs in British businesses will be created by the projects announced today. This government will continue to seize these opportunities as the world moves towards a low carbon future, and will set out ambitious proposals in the upcoming Clean Growth Plan.” + Dong Energy  Via Clean Technica Images via Dong Energy , Shutterstock

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The world’s biggest offshore wind farm is being built in the UK

5 ways city-focused climate funds drive efficient buildings

September 12, 2017 by  
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It’s a $290 billion opportunity in commercial buildings alone.

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5 ways city-focused climate funds drive efficient buildings

Creating a truly green building may be harder than rocket science

September 11, 2017 by  
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Promised energy savings in buildings don’t deliver. The problem is inept modeling systems that fail to capture how buildings really work.

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Creating a truly green building may be harder than rocket science

11 can’t-miss impact conferences that are just around the corner

September 11, 2017 by  
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Grab your calendar for these networking and thought leadership opportunities.

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11 can’t-miss impact conferences that are just around the corner

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