Alternative Energy

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Pilot projects in Alberta and Ontario show hydrogen still a costly and complicated clean-energy source

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Dec-04 Fri 13:45

It seems like a no-brainer to use clean-burning hydrogen to offset the environmental negatives of natural gas for warming homes, but pilot projects to do just that starting next year illustrate nothing is simple about this trendy new energy source.

Rooftop PV vs. rooftop farming

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Nov-30 Mon 11:17

Scientists at the Imperial College of London and the University of Aberdeen have proposed a new way to optimize urban rooftop usage, while also providing a choice between rooftop agriculture and rooftop PV power generation. The advantage of rooftop PV would be to reduce reliance on power from the grid. Rooftop agriculture,…

📄 A First Investigation of Agriculture Sector Perspectives on the Opportunities and Barriers for Agrivoltaics

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Nov-27 Fri 23:27

Agrivoltaic systems are a strategic and innovative approach to combine solar photovoltaic (PV)-based renewable energy generation with agricultural production. Recognizing the fundamental importance of farmer adoption in the successful diffusion of the agrivoltaic innovation, this study investigates agriculture sector experts’ perceptions on the opportunities and barriers to dual land-use systems. Using in-depth, semistructured interviews, this study conducts a first study to identify challenges to farmer adoption of agrivoltaics and address them by responding to societal concerns. Results indicate that participants see potential benefits for themselves in combined solar and agriculture technology. The identified barriers to adoption of agrivoltaics, however, include: (i) desired certainty of long-term land productivity, (ii) market potential, (iii) just compensation and (iv) a need for predesigned system flexibility to accommodate different scales, types of operations, and changing farming practices. The identified concerns in this study can be used to refine the technology to increase adoption among farmers and to translate the potential of agrivoltaics to address the competition for land between solar PV and agriculture into changes in solar siting, farming practice, and land-use decision-making.

A Filipino student invents solar windows made from rotten vegetables

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Nov-20 Fri 08:33

Carvey Maigue of Mapua University has been shortlisted for the James Dyson Award 2020 for his system called AuREUS, a device that transforms rotten fruit and vegetables into clean, renewable electricity. His invention was among 1,800 entries from young inventors and design engineers from 27 countries…

Village Farms' Clean energy subsidiary renews and extends Vancouver landfill gas contract to transition to renewable natural gas model

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Nov-11 Wed 08:45

Village Farms International' wholly-owned subsidiary, Village Farms Clean Energy, has renewed and extended its existing contract with the City of Vancouver under which VFCE receives landfill gas captured by the City of Vancouver at the City's landfill site in Delta, BC (the "COV LFG Contract"). The…

📄 Photovoltaic roof-shade system for food and electricity production in a greenhouse

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Nov-10 Tue 12:26

The use of renewable energy in modern greenhouse management is important to achieve efficient and sustainable food supplies for a world with an increasing population. This study assessed the performance of a blind-type shading regulator that can automatically rotate semi-transparent photovoltaic (PV)…

Energy transition in greenhouses

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Nov-05 Thu 10:10

The Dutch horticultural sector is already circular: more and more energy is renewable, there are many savings, rainwater is collected to be used for production purposes. Less water, less pesticides is good for the environment, but also good for the business. Also in Poland, this trend is visible. But considering the fact that…

Eco-friendly photovoltaic solutions that also work as greenhouse covers

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Oct-28 Wed 07:37

Building integrated photovoltaics is a new way to conceive of photovoltaics that becomes useful in agriculture and consists in the design of innovative solutions to integrate devices that convert solar energy into electricity directly into the building.   Transparent pane The Italian team includes researchers from…

Solar Power Electricity Is Now Cheaper Than Coal

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Oct-27 Tue 09:11

According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), solar energy is now cheaper than coal. The IEA is an autonomous intergovernmental organization working with governments around the world to implement effective energy policies for a “secure and sustainable energy future for all.” In the majority of countries around the world, solar photovoltaic (solar PV) generation is […]

Scientists Built a Fuel Cell Out of Spinach

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Oct-16 Fri 13:20

Leafy Greens

A team of scientists took the same spinach you can buy at the grocery store, added a pinch of salt, and turned it into the catalyst for a clean, efficient fuel cell.

The proof-of-concept fuel cell is the latest development in a long history of scientists trying to exploit spinach’s high density of energy-generating molecules for industrial use, Ars Technica reports.

Belgian researchers test agrivoltaic power generation in pear orchard

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Oct-02 Fri 08:54

A Belgian energy research team -led by the KU Leuven- has developed an agrivoltaic pilot project in Bierbeek. They specifically designed the system for orchard crops. The pilot is of the first outcome of a  technology transfer project funded by the Flemish government and co-funded by 20 unspecified companies.…

Geothermal energy for greenhouse application

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Sep-25 Fri 10:12

Mariska Dreschler with GreenTech did an interview with Marit Brommer, passionate about geothermal energy and the Executive Director of the International Geothermal Association. In the interview, they talked about:  Why is geothermal energy a logical source for greenhouses The sustainability factors of sustainable energies…

Tinted solar panels allow plants to grow efficiently on ‘agrivoltaic’ farms

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Sep-10 Thu 10:25

Tinted solar panels could allow land to be used to grow crops and generate electricity simultaneously, with financial gains, according to researchers in the UK and Italy. The orange solar panels absorb some wavelengths of light, while allowing those that are best for plant growth to pass through. The…

US Approves First Small-Scale Nuclear Reactors

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Sep-09 Wed 11:01

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), the regulatory body that governs nuclear energy, just approved designs for the country’s first scaled-down, low-cost fission reactor.

The small modular reactor (SMR) build by NuScale Power is the first of its kind in the U.S., Scientific American reports, and experts suggest it could revitalize the country’s dormant nuclear energy industry by providing cleaner energy at a more local scale. But there’s a long way to go before any of these reactors can actually be built.

Step One

For now, the NRC approval means that utility companies can apply to construct the NuScale reactors, which are about 65 feet tall and nine feet in diameter. Before they can build them, however, further safety evaluations need to be completed.

“I am sorry to say that what lies ahead is risky and expensive,” M. V. Ramana, a nuclear expert at the University of British Columbia, told SciAm.

Quick Fix

Advocates for SMRs suggest that they could serve as a way to quickly transition away from fossil fuels and cut down on carbon emissions, according to SciAm. As such, NuScale expects to deliver its first reactors in 2027 and have it online by 2029.

But it’s possible that there will be delays down the road, experts told SciAm, as gaps in current safety reports for the smaller, modular nuclear reactors give them pause.

“I don’t think future NuScale applicants will benefit from a design certification that has safety gaps in it,” director of nuclear power safety at the Union of Concerned Scientists told SciAm.

READ MORE: First U.S. Small Nuclear Reactor Design Is Approved

More on nuclear energy: Rolls-Royce Is Building Tiny Nuclear Reactors

The post US Approves First Small-Scale Nuclear Reactors appeared first on Futurism.

SPRHOUT generates solar thermal power for greenhouse farm

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Aug-28 Fri 09:26

The team with Solho (Solar Horticulture) recently went and visited the SPRHOUT (Solar Powered Off-grid Horticultural UniT) in France. Read more about this installation in this article.  The novel control unit and software for safe and autonomous operation was installed successfully, and is now generating solar…

New Zealand’s first food waste-to-bioenergy facility gets underway

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Aug-10 Mon 06:29

New Zealand’s first large-scale food waste-to-bioenergy facility gets underway at Reporoa, in the central North Island. Following the blessing of the land by Ngati Tahu-Ngati Whaoa, construction will begin on the new anaerobic digestion facility which is owned by Ecogas – a joint venture between Pioneer…

Scientists Start Construction of World’s Largest Fusion Reactor

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Jul-28 Tue 09:43

Today, engineers started construction of the world’s largest nuclear fusion project in southern France, The Guardian reports, with operations planned to begin in late 2025.

The project, called ITER, is an international collaborative effort between 35 countries with enormous ambitions: prove the feasibility of fusion energy with a gigantic magnetic device called a “tokamak,” as per the project’s official website.

“Enabling the exclusive use of clean energy will be a miracle for our planet,” ITER director-general Bernard Bigot said during today’s virtual celebration, as quoted by The Guardian.

Fusion power, in theory, works by harnessing the energy released by two lighter atomic nuclei fusing to form a heavier nucleus, and turning it into electricity.

Tapping into the power of photosynthesis for clean energy

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Jul-15 Wed 11:34

In a big step forward toward making BIO-photoelectrochemical cells (BIOcells) a mainstream clean energy source in the future, researchers from the Technion - Israel Institute of Technology and Ruhr-Universität Bochum (RUB) have overcome an efficiency hurdle by successfully combining the power of…