The continuing quest for advanced biofuels based off of synthetic biology has made an important advance with researchers at the Joint BioENergy Institute (JBEI) — based at the Lawrence Livermore Lab — announcing that they have bio-engineered a combination of two microbes, a yeast and a bacteria, which working together can produce a viable bio-sourced drop-in replacement for D2 diesel fuel.
Reports on new funding by the DOE and the Department of Interior for various advanced hydro projects, including sustainable run of the river hydro and pumped storage as well. The announced $17 million in funding over the next three years is targeted for research and development projects to advance hydropower technology.
Announcement for the upcoming: UNEP FI 2011 Global Roundtable sustainability conference that is occurring on the 19-20 October 2011 at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, in Washington, DC. This is a biennial, high-level conference that typically attracts a select group of 600 plus sustainable finance and responsible investment leaders and thinkers for an intensive, two-day dialogue.
Examines 16 important qualities that green building materials should strive to achieve and that builders need to weigh during the materials selection process of a project. A well planned green building material selection process can help to ensure the best solution for a given project with given goals and constraints peculates up through the decision process.
In discussions on the merits of distributed solar power too little focus has been given to the many important benefits that result from increasing the use of distributed solar power. These benefits accrue to both the utilities and presumably their rate payers as well and to society (and the tax payers) at large. This post summarizes a recent paper “Solar Power Generation in the US: Too expensive, or a bargain?” that attempts to give these benefits a tangible quantified value in order that the debate on the merits of solar power also begin to include this side of the cost / benefit analysis. A side that is all too often glossed over and largely overlooked.
Uses the metaphor of an energy fabric in order to discuss the perspective of viewing our lives, actions and the things in our lives from an energy point of view. The centrality of energy in our lives is explored through this metaphor and the importance for us to begin thinking more closely about our energy habits and how our lives depend on energy is examined. Energy and how we get it and how we use it is going to become a subject of increasing importance as the era of easy energy that has characterized the past century and a half draws to a close.
Describes a new efficiency milestone that has been achieved by quantum dot solar cells, a kind of solar PV that uses the unique properties of quantum dots to capture photons and convert their energy into an electric current. This form of solar PV has languished for some time due to the low efficiencies that have been so far achieved. By finding a way to produce a double layer cell the research team at the University of Toronto has been able to achieve significantly higher overall efficiencies than has previously been possible using quantum dot technology. Quantum dot technology holds the promise of being able to ultimately produce very inexpensive solar cells, if the low efficiency problem can be overcome.
A detailed review of 12 U.S. based synthetic biology, biofuel & biochemical companies that are developing third and fourth generation biofuels, bioindustrial & household chemical, and food additive products; using synthetic biology to produce engineered microorganisms and specialty enzymatic products. Each company is examined in turn, looking at its financials and the uniqueness and strength of its processes and technology as well as at any important partnerships or alliances that have been formed.
Solar power continues along its firmly established downward cost curve and edges ever closer to achieving the historic milestone of grid parity. Today it just got a huge boost that will help it scale out in this country and will go a long way towards tipping the long term balance in favor of solar. In fact as the industry achieves scale it is cutting per unit costs down. This post outlines the announcement of a large DOE initiative to promote rooftop direct grid connected solar power in the US.