Transforming your residence into a smart house

Tired of living in an analog house? Wish your home would remind you to turn down the heat or know to only do laundry at night when power its cheaper? There’s a new device on the market that just might make your wish come true.

Claim: Renewable fuel standard needs to be modified, not repealed

Congress should minimally modify – and not, as petroleum-related interests have increasingly lobbied for, repeal – the Renewable Fuel Standard, the most comprehensive renewable energy policy in the U.S., according to a new paper from two University of Illinois researchers.

Geodesic dome constructed out of 4,800 plastic bottles and LEDs

I love art that plays tricks on my eyes, making me see something that isn’t there but is. The upcycled ‘Rising Moon’installation created for last month’s Mid-Autumn Festival in Hong Kong is just such a piece of art.

Reducing e-waste with biodegradable polymer

There’s no denying it: most of us depend on electronics in every aspect of our lives. Even if you don’t own that many gadgets, electronics fill the hospitals, police departments, schools, and farms that we count on for valuable services. When these vital electronics die or break, they become part of  the 50 million tons of e-waste generated every year.

The tundra - a dark horse in planet Earth's greenhouse gas budget

Vast areas on the Northern Hemisphere are covered by tundra. Here, dwarf shrubs, sedges, mosses etc. thrive on top of permafrost in areas where only the uppermost soil layer thaws during the short Arctic summer.

Transforming rotting garbage into glass

How much do you know about glass, other than that it’s a pain to clean up when it breaks? Glass is made from a combination of sand, flint, or other silica, thrown together with some fixed alkalies, and in some cases a metallic oxide. Glass is a marvelous substance. It’s the only material that can be recycled indefinitely without losing quality (unlike plastic).

Major jump in renewable energy patents

The world of patents is a bit screwy these days, with trolls warping a system that was designed to encourage innovation by protecting and rewarding innovators. Still, it has to be seen as an encouraging sign for renewable energy that the number of patents issued in the broad field has skyrocketed of late.

'Stadium waves' could explain lull in global warming

One of the most controversial issues emerging from the recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) is the failure of global climate models to predict a hiatus in warming of global surface temperatures since 1998.

New device harnesses sun and sewage to produce hydrogen fuel

A novel device that uses only sunlight and wastewater to produce hydrogen gas could provide a sustainable energy source while improving the efficiency of wastewater treatment.

Report: Rust can power up artificial photosynthesis

Chemists at Boston College have achieved a series of breakthroughs in their efforts to develop an economical means of harnessing artificial photosynthesis by narrowing the voltage gap between the two crucial processes of oxidation and reduction, according to their latest research, published this week in the journal Angewandte Chemie.

This indoor garden is like a painting

Did you know that some research shows just looking at trees improves our health? It’s also been found that just spending time in a natural environment, i.e. in the presence of plants, trees, and animals, can reduce blood pressure and extend our lifespan.

California gets serious about hydrogen stations

California wants fuel cell vehicles to be part of its ambitious plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the state by 80 percent from 1990 levels by 2050. But right now, across the whole state, there are just nine publicly available hydrogen fueling stations. Clearly this is a problem.

Claim: Ethanol not a major factor in reducing gas prices

If you have stopped at a gas station recently, there is a good chance your auto has consumed fuel with ethanol blended into it. Yet the price of gasoline is not substantially affected by the volume of its ethanol content, according to a paper co-authored by an MIT economist.

Kia Motors touts Electric Soul for US roads

Among the ranks of automakers yet to do much with electric vehicles, particularly here in the United States, resides Kia Motors. That looks to be changing soon though, as the Korean automaker announced recently plans to bring its iconic Soul urban passenger vehicle into the EV space sometime next year.

General Motors details electric car strategy for China

China, with one of the world’s largest populations, remains a market highly untapped by foreign automakers looking to sell electrified vehicles. General Motors is one looking to change that, holding a workshop recently in Shanghai where it showcased some aspects of its long term vehicle electrification strategy.

Toyota: Not just hybrids, wants the "ultimate" urban transportation system

Toyota may be singing the praises of hybrids around the world, but it is also tinkering with electric cars as a future low carbon get around town and beyond option. It’s been testing out a concept urban transportation system in its area of Japan called Ha:mo, and now it plans to greatly expand this trial in multiple ways.

Getting serious about the "any-direction" energy converter

Like a lot of garage-hatched, wannabe-groundbreaking energy generating schemes, the WITT device sounds eminently sensible and a little bit ridiculous. It converts motion – motion in any direction – into rotational energy … and it can do it for almost any purpose imaginable?

2014 Lexus RX 450h - a Hybrid with Siri

Being as Lexus is the luxury model for Toyota, who makes the industry leading Prius hybrid, it makes sense multiple upper end hybrids would be available for drivers as well. We’ve already covered 2014 information for the Lexus ES 300h and GS 450h, and now here’s the news for the upcoming 2014 RX 450h SUV.

VW’s X1 concept car hits 62 miles on one liter of gas

I’m attending the Society of Environmental Journalists annual conference in Chattanooga, Tenn., this week. Thursday night, those of us mingling in the conference sponsors’ exhibit hall got quite the treat: Volkswagen (which operates a LEED Platinum plant here in Chattanooga) was on hand to unveil the X1, an uber efficient concept car that’s never been seen in the U.S. before.

Yes, evening solar power is here!

An era of nighttime solar power is dawning in the U.S.