Department of Energy funding developing of wireless charging system for electric vehicles

electric vehicles

Look Mom, no wires! Electric vehicles are beginning to gain traction in the U.S. as more charging stations take root throughout the country and bolster the transportation infrastructure. These charging stations have been well received by drivers of electric vehicles, but they do not appear to be good enough for the Department of Energy. The DOE is looking to further bolster the electric transportation infrastructure by funding the development of wireless charging stations. This funding is going through the agency’s Vehicle Technologies Program, which aims to promote advanced technologies that…

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United Kingdom launches Marine Energy Array Demonstrator project to fund development of wave energy

Wave Energy Alternative Power Source

Alternative wave energy project moves forward. The United Kingdom has launched a new funding program for wave energy called the Marine Energy Array Demonstrator (MEAD). The project will fund two initiatives that are focused on developing wave energy systems and technologies that will harness the power of tides. These initiatives will split $31 million in funding and will be tasked with developing systems that will generate at least 7 gigawatts of electricity each year. MEAD receives funding from the Department of Energy and Climate change, which is currently pursuing alternatives…

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Geothermal Energy Association reports on growth seen in the U.S.

Geothermal energy

Geothermal energy being tapped in the United States Geothermal energy is experiencing strong growth in the U.S. according to the Geothermal Energy Association. Geothermal energy has been growing in popularity in the U.S. recently as an alternative to fossil-fuels. The country is focused on an “all-of-the-above” energy plan which has it pursuing various renewable fuels. Geothermal power is common in Japan, where the energy is used to heat homes throughout the country. The association has released a new report showing the growth of the geothermal industry in 2011. According to…

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San Francisco named as North America’s Cleantech Capital by the Cleantech Group

Alternative Energy News San Francisco

San Francisco, California, has claimed the title as “Cleantech Capital” of North America this week. The title is awarded by the Cleantech Group, a market intelligence firm focused on alternative energy and sustainability. San Francisco was chosen because of its exemplary commitment to alternative energies like solar, hydrogen and wind power. Cleantech noted that the city is also quite attractive to renewable energy groups looking to expand and attract investors. The Cleantech Group notes that San Francisco is home to more than 200 alternative energy companies and investment groups. These…

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2011 natural disasters spur renewed enthusiasm for alternative energy

Japan Earthquake

The Munich Reinsurance Company, a reinsurance and ratings firm serving the global insurance industry, has released a new report concerning the economic losses of natural disasters in 2011. The report notes that last year saw more than 820 natural disasters, many of which were man-made. These catastrophes resulted in 27,000 deaths and more than $380 billion in losses around the world. In terms of casualties, 2011 was more lenient than 2010, but was much more damaging to the global economy. The report notes that one of the worst disasters of…

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Bill Gates trumps the importance of clean and accessible energy for developing countries

bill gates

Bill Gates is well known around the world as the founder of Microsoft, the technology company of gargantuan influence. In recent years, Gates has been playing a larger role in the world of philanthropy, using his position as one of the world’s wealthiest men to help developing countries liberate themselves from poverty. Gates has long been a proponent of ending poverty and has been focusing his efforts on helping impoverished countries through the use of alternative energy. Speaking at the Wall Street Journal ECO:nomics forum this week, Gates expressed the…

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Obama administration launches Green Button Initiative to make America more aware of its energy consumption

US Renewable Energy

Last week, the Obama administration launched a new program it is calling the Green Button Initiative. Simply put, the Initiative is a website featuring a large green button. Clicking on the button allows U.S. residents to submit their energy consumption data, which will be converted into an easy to understand format. This data is meant to help people understand how they use energy and suggest ways to help them be more efficient about their consumption. The Green Button Initiative aims to provide consumers with access to their energy data on…

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Energy Information Administration report shows oil imports are at their lowest point since 1999

Renewable Energy Report

A new report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), a branch of the Department of Energy, shows that imports of crude oil have fallen since 2005. Several factors have contributed to the drop in imports over the years, including political tension with the Middle East and a new focus on alternative energy and efficiency. The report indicates that in 2011, oil imports hit the lowest point they have been since 1999. According to the report, oil imports have dropped by 12% since 2005. In recent years – 2009 and…

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New Zealand on track to become an alternative energy powerhouse

New Zealand - Renewable Energy

Alternative energy is on the rise in New Zealand, according to Industrial Info, a market intelligence firm specializing in renewable fuel. The firm has been tracking the progress of alternative energy projects in the country for some time and notes that the country could be on the verge of becoming one of the world’s alternative energy powerhouses. New Zealand has been home to very ambitious sustainability projects, including wind and solar farms as well as hydrogen power installations. This year, the country will see several new energy projects taking root,…

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OriginOil looks to build urban algae farm to treat wastewater and generate heat for homes

Alternative Energy News

Algae are getting more attention from the world of science for its possible uses as a source of alternative energy. These simple organisms are very easy to manage and have shown strong resilience to a variety of environments that would be somewhat hostile to other life forms. As such, Algae have become a popular subject for use as a form of organic power. OriginOil, a company that converts algae into fuel, is looking to show off the uses for the organism in a new pilot project that will be launched…

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MIT study indicates that the U.S. can store a century of carbon dioxide emission in underground aquifers

Massachusetts Institute of Technology - Hydrogen Fuel Research

A team of researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have released a new study that suggests the U.S. can store a massive quantity of its CO2 emissions in underground saline aquifers. Carbon capture and storage is a technological pursuit which attempts to prevent the release of harmful emissions generated by fossil-fuel power plants. This method has been gaining popularity in the realms of alternative energy and environmentalism due to its implications in mitigating or halting the progress of climate change. According to the study, the U.S. has the…

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Tensions with the Middle East spark a bright future for alternative energy

Gas Prices

Alternative energy is getting more attention from the U.S. government now than it ever has in the past. While some believe that this newfound interest in sustainable energy is spurred by belief in climate change, the reality of the matter may be that the country is looking to protect itself in the event of military conflict in the Middle East. Tensions between Iran and Israel are mounting and while neither side has openly attacked the other, threats abound. The U.S. is also in the throes of potential conflict with Iran…

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Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory nanoscience researchers experiment with organic electronics, with successful results

Example of organic electronics

Researchers from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have been working at the Department of Energy’s nanoscience laboratory, the Molecular Foundry. These researchers have been experimenting with molecules and other organic material to determine how they can be used for electronic devices. This week, the team succeeded in providing the first ever experimental determination regarding electric charge transfer from molecule-to-molecule. Researchers believe that this development could be used to improve the performance of electronics. Organic electronics typically refers to the use of carbon-based materials in electrical devices. These can be anything…

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Human behavior, not technology, may be the key to alternative energy

Hydrogen Fuel Transportation

Technology may not be enough to break the world’s dependence on fossil-fuels, according to University of Oregon sociologist Richard York. For decades, the consensus as to why fossil-fuels are necessary has largely been focused on the lack of alternatives and the technology to make these alternatives viable. Now that technology has reached the point where such alternatives as solar, wind, and hydrogen are viable, progress toward breaking away from fossil-fuels is expected to accelerate. In a new report, York posits that this is not the case. York argues that the…

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Mitsubishi unveils innovative new electric vehicle that could be a boon in the wake of a natural disaster

Mitsubishi iMiEV

  Japanese automaker Mitsubishi has unveiled their new electric vehicles, the iMiEV. The vehicle is more than just a battery-powered car; it is a mobile electric generator. The iMiEV is being labeled as a vehicle perfect for helping people cope with life in the wake of a natural disaster. Japan is no stranger to catastrophe. Last year’s major earthquake and tsunami disaster was enough to get Japanese citizens concerned about what resources they have at their disposal. The iMiEV could be something that these people can rely on. The vehicle…

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Geothermal energy to continue slow but steady growth with or without government help

Geothermal Energy - Power Plant

Geothermal energy is a very powerful but often overlooked form of alternative energy. In Japan, geothermal energy is quite common and effective. The popularity of the energy in the Far East has encouraged the U.S. to pursue the energy to some degree. Progress toward developing a working geothermal energy structure has been slow going, however, and the U.S. government seems to be losing interest on the issue. As federal lawmakers debate on whether to end geothermal energy tax credits, a new report from the Energy Information Agency (EIA) suggests that…

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