Safeguarding Biodiversity – The Conference of Parties on Biodiversity, Hyderabad, 2012

Today, the CoP on Biodiversity Convention of 2012 starts in Hyderabad. To last till 19th October 2012, the CoP is going to be one of the largest activities in the world to safeguard and promote bio-diversity. The World at Risk! Life on Earth can be as simple as a fly, or as complex as an ecosystem of coral reefs. The most unique feature of Earth is the existence of life, and the most extraordinary feature of life is its diversity. Tragically, today biodiversity is disappearing at 1,000 times the normal rate due to human civilization. As human population is expected to reach 9 billion by 2050, the biodiversity crisis will only get worse as more people consume more resources. When one species disappears, it imbalances the food chain, which may cause some critters to over populate while others starve – the loss of one can impact many. The major causes of biodiversity decline are Habitat loss and destruction, Global climate change, Invasive alien species, Over-exploitation, Pollution and contamination. Even our …

Tide turns towards undersea energy

Source: Edition.cnn (CNN) – A 30-meter- turbine anchored to the seafloor off the Scottish coast is proving that tidal farms are a turn closer to being a viable renewable energy source. Scottish Power completed preliminary trials of the giant undersea turbine in the fast-flowing coastal waters off the Orkney Islands. It found that the turbine produced one megawatt of electricity, enough to power 500 homes and businesses. “We’re very pleased with the initial results and we’ve operated at full power already,” says Alan Mortimer, head of innovation at Scottish Power Renewables. If the next stage of testing goes according to plan, Mortimer says that work will soon begin on a fleet of the turbines — manufactured by Andritz Hydro Hammerfest — and will be installed at another site in the Sound of Islay off the west coast of Scotland. Although there are examples of similar stand-alone operations in Norway and the UK, the Sound of Islay turbines would be the first large group of its kind anywhere in the world. When …

Cost-effective solar power module could also serve as an eco-friendly furnace

Source: Gizmag Borrowing technology from sophisticated telescope mirrors as well as high-efficiency solar cells used for space exploration, a group of students and researchers at the University of Arizona is putting the final touches on a novel power plant that promises to generate renewable energy twice as efficiently as standard solar panel technology with highly competitive costs and a very small environmental impact. Curved mirrors in solar power plants usually concentrate the sun’s rays along a water pipe, heating the water into steam that is then fed to power-generating turbines. But rather than distributing the power over the area of a water pipe, researchers at the University of Arizona are working on focusing as much as possible of the sun’s captured energy onto a precise point in space. The target is a small glass ball that is only five inches in diameter. The ball contains a specially coated lens that redirects the light to an array of 36 small, high-efficiency solar cells, which were originally developed for space applications, that …

In Brazil, prisoners’ pedal power shaves time off their sentence

Source: springwise Film lovers in the UK have already experienced screenings projected the environmentally friendly way with the pedal-powered Cycle-in Cinema. In Brazil, the Santa Rita do Sapucaí prison has taken a similar approach in its attempts to produce green energy – harnessing the pedal work of its inmates. According to reports, two exercise bikes have been placed in the courtyard of the penitentiary and are hooked up to batteries. Cyclists’ kinetic energy is converted into electricity which charges the battery and a device on the handlebars alerts the rider when it’s time stop. The fully charged batteries are then taken into the city and used to power street lamps – one day’s cycling can provide enough energy to run six light bulbs. On a mass scale, the country’s prisoners could be a source of alternative energy for illuminating a city’s worth of street lights. In order to incentivize use of the bikes, city judge José Henrique Mallmann is waiving a day off the sentence of prisoners for every 16 hours pedalling they …

India’s low-carbon technology market likely to be worth $135 billion by 2020

Source: Economic Times Billions of dollars worth of investment in clean technology and green energy are eyeing India, where the market for low-carbon technology is expected to expand to $135 billion by 2020, according to industry experts, making the country one of the most lucrative destination for companies in the domain. Renewable energy has already lured stars such as Sachin Tendulkar and Aishwarya Rai and large companies such asReliance Power and Lanco, and the flow of venture capital has increased in the sector. In addition, foreign companies involved in solar power and wind energy, as well as global funds that scout for opportunities around the globe are increasingly eyeing India for a slice of the lucrative market. The market is promising as the government strives to tame energy-guzzling factories that spew toxic fumes, and old vehicles that contaminate the air with emissions. Analysts say that the market would expand even faster after the country’s economic growth bounces back from the current global slowdown. “We are really bullish on India in the long run, because the private sector …

Time For Outrage On Behalf of the Planet

Source: Common Dreams It’s Time to Fight the Status Quo by Bill McKibben My solution is: get outraged. Having written the first book about global warming 23 long years ago, I’ve watched the issue unfold across decades, continents, and ideologies. I’ve come to earth summits and conferences of the parties from Rio to Kyoto to Copenhagen, and many places in between. All along, two things have been clear. One, the scientists who warned us about climate change were absolutely correct—their only mistake, common among scientists, was in being too conservative. So far we’ve raised the temperature of the earth about one degree Celsius, and two decades ago it was hard to believe this would be enough to cause huge damage. But it was. We’ve clearly come out of the Holocene and into something else. Forty percent of the summer sea ice in the Arctic is gone; the ocean is 30 percent more acidic. There’s nothing theoretical about any of this any more. Since warm air holds more water vapor than cold, the atmosphere …

NREL Publishes Cradle-to-Grave Assessment of Greenhouse Gases from Energy Sources

Source: CleanTechnica Renewables are widely assumed to generate far fewer greenhouse gas emissions than fossil fuels, but a precise accounting of the differences in energy generation technologies has never been completed — until now. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has developed a new approach to determine the cradle-to-grave emissions profiles of various forms of energy generation. The results are not surprising, but will serve as an important input on long-term energy infrastructure decisions. Continue Reading..

Microsoft Commits to Carbon Neutrality in FY 2013

Source: Environmental Leader Microsoft will charge an internal carbon offset fee starting in fiscal year 2012-2013 in its effort to be carbon neutral beginning July 1, according to the company’s blog. The carbon price will be based on market pricing for renewable energy and carbon offsets, and Microsoft will apply it to operations in more than 100 countries. The pricing is part of the software company’s strategy to achieve net-zero emissions in its data centers, software development labs, offices and employee air travel, outlined in a white paper published this month. Continue Reading..

Get smart: Charge your phone while walking in this shoe

Source: CNET Love walking and texting? Still haven’t done a faceplant on a streetlight? Well, this sneaker from Kenya can power your phone so you’ll never have to look up from that screen again. Inventor Anthony Mutua, 24, has been showing off his recharging sneaker at the first-ever Kenyan Science Technology and Innovation Week, held in Nairobi. It’s another way of using your body’s own energy to fuel electronics. The shoe apparently has a very thin “crystal chip,” perhaps a piezoelectric device, that generates power when the sole bends. It can charge phones via a long cable to a pocket while the user walks, or store power for later charging. Continue Reading..

Airborne windmills produce fifty percent more energy

Source: Springwise The benefits of wind energy have long been harnessed as a useful power source. Now a Californian company aims to increase the energy output of this resource. Rather than situating windmills on the ground, as tradition dictates, Makani Power has created a tethered wind turbine that generates power by flying aloft in large circles, much the way a kite does. The Makani Airborne Wind Turbine flies at between 800 and 1,950 feet above ground level, meaning that it stays well below normal commercial and civilian aviation. At the same time, it flies at an altitude above that of most birds, meaning that any potential harm to flying creatures is minimized, it says. Meanwhile, at these heights the wind is stronger and more consistent than that which terrestrial wind farms encounter, and 90 percent of the material used in conventional wind turbines can be eliminated. Continue Reading..

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