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.
indoor marijuana weed cannibisThe yearly greenhouse-gas pollution of the $40 billion per year marijuana industry is responsible for about 3% of all electricity use or 8% of household use. Indoor growers use high-intensity lights that are 500 times more powerful that a standard reading lamp. They also use several other high energy industrial practices. The closest comparison for these massive, industrial-style grow facilities are data centers, which consume about two percent of the nation’s electric power.
To shift the global economy from fossil fuels to renewable energy will require the construction of wind, solar, nuclear, and other installations on a vast scale, significantly altering the face of the planet. Can these new forms of energy approach the scale needed to meet the world’s energy demands?
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has announced $104.7 million in funding for seven new research and testing facilities located in DOE national laboratories. The announced projects will support the development and improvement of clean energy and efficiency technologies that are in the US strategic national interest. The new funding is supporting research in techniques to reduce the cost to manufacture carbon fiber on a large scale; finding ways to improve efficiency and lower costs for car batteries; and for developing net-zero energy building technologies.
Green roofs, green walls, green parking lots, shade trees, the greening of urban spaces in general, the restoration of urban waterways, wetlands and the re-greening of brownfield areas; can all be thought of as different techniques to nurture a green living skin over regions of urban development. While there are many important differences between each of these separate techniques as well as their underlying technologies they all share a common overarching goal of bringing an analog of the natural living green skin that characterizes the natural landscape back into our urban areas. They all promote the restoration and re-integration of these heavily populated areas back into the surrounding natural environment.
The White House announced that the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science will invest $777 million in Energy Frontier Research Centers (EFRCs) over the next five years. In a national effort to accelerate scientific advances in critical areas of the new energy economy the United States Department of Energy (DOE) will establish 46 new multi-million dollar Energy Frontier Research Centers (or EFRCs) across the nation.