Over 100 cities around the globe run mostly on renewable energy

February 27, 2018 by  
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A new report shows that over 100 cities around the world are running on predominantly clean energy . That figure is up from just 40 in 2015, and it shows that more and more cities – from Seattle, Washington to Inje, South Korea – are ditching fossil fuels and turning to renewables than ever before. According to a report from CDP , more than 100 cities across the globe get 70% or more of their energy from wind, solar, hydro and biomass. Some cities are even getting 100% of their energy from renewable sources, like Burlington, Vermont, which became the first US city to move completely to renewables. 58 other cities in the US have joined the growing #WeAreStillIn movement and pledged to transition completely to renewables. Related: Burlington, Vermont Now Runs on 100% Renewable Energy At the same time, electricity demand is decreasing. Thanks to a shift in heavy industry moving outside of the US, more efficient lights and appliances , and more on-site power, people in the US are using less electricity. As a result, for the first time in a century, electricity demand is stagnant – and utilities are beginning to panic. Via Vox and Earther Images via Deposit Photos ( 1 , 2 )

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Over 100 cities around the globe run mostly on renewable energy

MIT’s thermal resonator generates power "out of what seems like nothing"

February 27, 2018 by  
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A brand new power-generating system from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) researchers creates energy “out of what seems like nothing,” according to chemical engineering professor Michael Strano in a statement . Their system, which they’re calling a thermal resonator, harnesses daily swings in ambient temperature , potentially enabling remote sensing systems to operate for years — no batteries or other power sources required. Nine MIT scientists from the chemical engineering department envisioned a new way to transform temperature changes into electric power. Their system doesn’t need two different temperature inputs simultaneously; it simply draws on fluctuations in the temperature of the air. Strano said, “We basically invented this concept out of whole cloth. We’ve built the first thermal resonator. It’s something that can sit on a desk and generate energy out of what seems like nothing. We are surrounded by temperature fluctuations of all different frequencies all of the time. These are an untapped source of energy.” Related: MIT battery that inhales and exhales air can store power for months MIT said the power levels the thermal resonator can generate are modest at this point, but the system’s advantage is that it isn’t affected at all by short-term changes in environmental conditions, and doesn’t require direct sunlight. It could generate energy in oft-unused spaces like underneath solar panels . The researchers say their thermal resonator could even help solar panels be more efficient as it could draw away waste heat . The thermal resonator was tested in ambient air, but MIT said if the researchers tuned the properties of the material used, the system could harvest other temperature cycles, such as those of machinery in industrial facilities or even the on and off cycling of refrigerator motors. The scientists created what MIT described as a “carefully tailored combination of materials” for their work, including metal foam, graphene , and the phase-change material octadecane. MIT said, “A sample of the material made to test the concept showed that, simply in response to a 10-degree-Celsius temperature difference between night and day, the tiny sample of material produced 350 millivolts of potential and 1.2 milliwatts of power — enough to power simple, small environmental sensors or communications systems.” The journal Nature Communications published the work online in February. + MIT News + Nature Communications Images via Melanie Gonick and Justin Raymond

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MIT’s thermal resonator generates power "out of what seems like nothing"

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