Due to Sweden’s innovative waste-to-energy program and highly efficient recycling habits, the Scandinavian nation faces an interesting dilemma. They have run out of trash. Sweden’s waste management and recycling programs are second to none as only four percent of the nation’s waste ends up in landfills. By contrast, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, over half of the waste produced by U.S. households ends up in landfills. Because the Swedish manage waste so effectively and then use what remains to partly power their country, they are now living an environmentalist’s dream; a shortage of garbage.
This week the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge was lit in the greatest LED art display ever. I was dazzled, but a little side-note in the news story caught my attention. The Bay Bridge opened in 1936, after construction began in 1933. The grandness of this bridge was quickly eclipsed, however, when the more picturesque Golden Gate Bridge opened in 1937. Its construction too had begun in 1933.
I had to look at those construction dates once more. This was the depth of the Great Depression. Today, in our own economic doldrums, it is hard to conceive of such projects.
Do you know someone in your area who, in their own way, is an outstanding contribution to the environment and the planet? Do you know a group or organisation which, working locally, is committed to making a difference and to creating a sustainable future?
Now, you have an opportunity to have that person or organisation recognised and acknowledged in a real way and in the process, highlight the difference that small actions and real commitment can make to the earth, amid the major threat facing it from climate change and environmental damage.
Read more http://www.saveourplanetawards.com/
A novel fabrication technique developed by a University of Connecticut engineering professor could provide the breakthrough technology scientists have been looking for to vastly improve the efficiency of today’s solar energy systems.
For years, scientists have studied the potential benefits of a new branch of solar energy technology that relies on nanosized antenna arrays theoretically capable of harvesting more than 70 percent of the sun’s electromagnetic radiation and simultaneously converting it into usable electric power.
But while nanosized antennas that also serve as rectifiers have shown promise in theory, scientists have lacked the technology required to construct and test them. The fabrication process is immensely challenging. The nano-antennas – known as “rectennas” because of their ability to both absorb and rectify solar energy from alternating current to direct current – must be capable of operating at the speed of visible light and be built in such a way that their core pair of electrodes is a mere 1 or 2 nanometers apart, a distance of approximately one millionth of a millimeter, or 30,000 times smaller than the diameter of human hair.
Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2013-02-patented-fabrication-technique-key-solar.html#jCp