Monday, February 11, 2008

Work on worlds first carbon neutral city begins

Do you want to take a guess where the world's first carbon neutral city is going to be?

UAE. Wasn't to hard to guess, was it? Yes, entrepreneurship seems to be on full gear there, nowadays. First there was the announcement about the world's tallest building (Tower, rather) then the announcement that Haliburton is moving it's headquarters and it's CEO from Houston to Dubai, and now this. But then, if you think about it, this announcement is a little "ironic" in the fact that it is coming from the part of the world with the biggest oil reserves (Abu Dhabi alone has about 100 Billion Barrels of oil reserves).

The city (Masdar, as it is being called) , to be built in Abu Dhabi, is expected to be a zero-carbon, zero-waste, self-contained community to be designed to house about 50,000 people. The first of seven stages of this ambitious project is expected to be completed over the next eight years.

So what does a "carbon neutral" city entail, anyway? Well, in the most literal sense of it, when complete, it should produce not one single extra molecule of carbon dioxide (the thing, that many of us now agree to be the main cause of global warming). In case of the Masdar (coming from "the source" (of the sun), in Arabic) the architects ( foster and partners) hope to achieve this by taking advantage of the extremely hot temperatures (120 degree summers) of the region. Power will come mainly from Solar and buildings will be constructed close to each other, to reduce energy consumption for cooling. Wind tunnels will be used to funnel air through the city and fountains will be constructed to dampen the heat, thus providing kind of a natural air conditioning. CO2 emitting vehicles will be left outside and commuting within the city will be by use of bicycles or on foot. Those are just some of the features that will make this dream come true.

All in all, it seems like a darn good way to use all the oil revenue they get from the rest of the world to build a secure future of leadership and energy independence!

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Indian Govt to fund venture capital for green technology

The Hindu and The Indian Express are reporting that the Prime Minister of India (Manmohan Singh) is talking about possible plans to setup a venture capital fund to promote Green Technologies.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Fuel Cell Powered Phones

Motorola and Canadian Firm Angstrom power are claiming to have produced the first fuel cell powered mobile phone that is more efficient than a regular battery powered phone. The hope is that the fuel cell will last twice as long as an equivalent size Lithium Battery and charge in just 10 mins. And which, in turn, will help with the development of more multimedia intensive devices. The two companies are claiming to have integrated the new cell into a MOTOSLVR L7 :

Monday, January 21, 2008

Stirling Energy - our best bet on going Solar?

Stirling Energy Systems Inc. is taking on a challenge to build "Solar Farms" in California's Mojave Desert and in the Imperial Valley, over the next 7 years. Each solar farm will have about 10,000 dishes, that will apply the Stirling Engine principle to power generation.
The project is expected to cost close to 1 Billion dollars for each of the two planned farms and construction is expected to start in 2009.

So, could this be our best bet on utilizing the greatest powerhouse available to us (Solar Energy right now is the most expensive form of renewable energy sources and currently stands at less than 1% of the total US electricity generation)

Here is a YouTube video about this news article:

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Toyota Does a Honda Ridgeline?

Toyota just took the wraps of it's concept Hybrid Pick-up truck - The A-BAT . It almost looks like a compressed Honda Ridgeline.

Apart from being hybrid, the features I like are the fact that it will feature a "expandable" truck bed that can be increased from 4 feet to 6, by lowering the midgate or a full 8 feet when both the midgate and tailgate are lowered. It will apparently also have solar panels on the dashboard.

People have expressed mixed opinions about the design, but I, for one think it is cool or futuristic. Heck, I'll even go so far as to say, that this is one of my main choices for a pick-up, if I ever decide to get one!