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Southface Energy Institute: A Resource For Sustainable Design

Energy efficient building designs and technologies are everywhere these days. In fact, the sheer number of options can seem a little overwhelming for those interested in sustainable construction techniques. But Southface Energy Institute, headquartered in Atlanta, can be a valuable resource for homeowners, commercial or residential builders, or individuals who simply want to learn more about environmentally friendly design.

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REI’s LEED Certified Stores

REI’s newest LEED certified retail stores are evidence that smart business and environmental responsibility sometimes lead down the same path. These new stores enjoy lower operating costs, and customers appreciate the company’s dedication to sustainable building.

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An Energy Producing Home In Disguise

Who says that a home with cutting-edge energy efficiency has to look like an ultra-modern pod? This recently completed Wisconsin home packs so much energy tech that it makes money by selling electricity back to the grid, and it still keeps a low neighborhood profile.

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Kite Gen: The Future Of Wind Power?

Wind power holds great promise as a clean energy source, but current windmill generators aren’t appropriate for all locations.  Italian firm Kite Gen hopes to change that with its innovative new generator designs, which use “kites” to capture strong high-altitude winds.

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A Solar Flower Tower Rises In The Desert

This unusual solar tower was designed by Israeli architect Haim Dotan for AORA Solar. It is set to launch on June 24 in South Israel. The tower has 30 tracking mirrors (heliostats) that reflect sunlight towards the top of a 30-meter high solar tower. The top of the tower has a special solar receiver and a 100kw gas turbine. The …

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World’s First 100% Solar-Powered Stadium

A couple of years ago, we wrote about a 1.3 megawatt solar-powered stadium in Switzerland. A new solar powered stadium has been built in Taiwan for the 2009 World Games in July. Designed by Japanese architect Toyo Ito, the stadium incorporates 8,844 solar panels on the roof. The roof will generate enough energy to power the building’s 3,300 lights and …

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Is This The World’s Most Efficient Windmill?

Sometimes the epitome of efficiency is using whatever tools are available to accomplish the job at hand. No one understands this better than William Kamkwamba, a teenager from rural Malawi whose ingenuity provided his family and neighbors with electricity from a most unlikely source.

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Falcon Wind Turbine: Versatile & Efficient Power Generation

Innovative Windpower AG, a German manufacturer of wind turbines, has developed the Falcon 1.25 MW model to be the most efficient and versatile wind turbine ever created.  It is designed for use in challenging new locations as well as existing wind farms, with substantial advantages over competitors in both its construction process and operation.

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Free Book: Sustainable Energy — Without The Hot Air

I’m very glad to see the publication of a book called Sustainable Energy – Without the Hot Air. Don’t be fooled by the cover — this is book is a lively look at sustainable energy. I liked the way reviewer Cory Doctorow describes the book on Boing Boing: “This is to energy and climate what Freakonomics is to economics: an …

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The Best 12V Solar Battery Chargers

Solar cells really shine at charging your batteries at remote location or on a boat. They are also useful for maintaining a charge on a 12V battery, such as a car battery. The best (and most expensive) solar battery chargers are flexible, thin-film solar cells. These cells can be folded and packed away easily. Sunforce Solar Battery Chargers You can …

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2010 Prius To Use Solar Power

“Prius,” in Latin, means roughly “to go before.” Since its first appearance in 1997, Toyota’s iconic hybrid has lived up to its name, with more than 1.5 million sold world wide. Revamped in 2003 with Toyota’s hybrid synergy drive, the Prius is now entering its third generation with the 2010 model to be available later this year. And, in keeping …

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90,000 Homes To Be Powered By Chicken Manure

The world’s largest biomass power plant running exclusively on chicken manure has opened in the Netherlands. The power plant will deliver renewable electricity to 90,000 households. It has a capacity of 36.5 megawatts, and will generate more than 270 million kWh of electricity per year.

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Sharp Introduces Earthquake-Detecting Solar LED Streetlights

Sharp is introducing a new range of solar-powered LED streetlights. These self-contained lights charge during the day, and switch on automatically when darkness falls. They can operate for 10 years straight without maintenance. They make use of new, high-intensity LED spotlights, which are ideal for public parks. The LEDs illuminate with a directed light and don’t send light into the …

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Biogas: Producing Ultra-Efficient Fuel From Sewage

We could be generating huge amounts of power from sewage. The process is fairly simple — just ferment sewage to produce a fuel called biogas. Biogas is almost entirely methane, and so is natural gas, so the two are essential interchangeable. The potential to produce biogas is almost entirely overlooked by most countries — except Sweden.

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Windows That Double As Solar Panels

MIT researchers have announced that they have created “organic solar concentrators” that could make windows become powerful solar panels in as little as three years. The concentrator is mixture of two or more dyes painted onto a pane of glass or plastic. The dyes absorb light across a range of wavelengths, re-emit it at a different wavelength and transport it …

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The Queen Buys The World’s Largest Wind Turbine: 7.5 Megawatts

Photo of Clipper’s 2.5 Megawatt turbine — the 7.5 megawatt turbine will be much larger. The Queen is investing in the world’s largest wind turbine. It’s a prototype of a new line of wind turbines called “The Britannia” which will be produced by Clipper Windpower, based in California. The turbine tower stands about 328 feet, has a diameter of 492 …

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Solar Canopies For Parking Lots

Renault Solar Rooftop

A start-up company called Envision Solar has begun installing solar canopies in the parking lots of shopping centers. These lots, usually barren, heat-producing landscapes, can now provide shade for customers, while generating up to a half-megawatt of electricity. Envision’s “Solar Groves” incorporate lights that turn on automatically at night, while blocking skyward light pollution.

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$2 Billion Wind Turbine Order Is Largest Ever

Texas oilman T. Boone Pickens has placed an the largest ever order for wind turbines: he ordered 667 wind turbines from GE, each costing $3 million dollars, making the total order $2 billion. Pickens plans to develop the world’s largest wind farm in the panhandle of Texas.

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Korean Village Runs On 100% Solar Power

The Korean village Donggwang gets 100% of its power from the sun. The village is located on the semi-tropical island of Jeju-do. Near the village, Halla Mountain, a volcano and the tallest mountain in South Korea, rises from the island’s center amidst a patchwork of small farms. The village’s forty houses and the school all have large solar panels covering …

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China’s Huge Self-Sustaining Solar LED Wall

It’s called the GreenPix Zero Energy Media Wall, and with 2,292 individual color LEDs, comparable to a 24,000 sq. ft. monitor screen, it’s said to be the largest color LED display in the world. The wall is solar-powered too — photovoltaics are integrated into the wall’s glass curtain, and it harvests power during the day, to illuminate the display at …