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Category Archives: energy and environment

If you find yourself in need of a ride in Hangzhou, China, you can waltz up to a multi-story garage, punch a few buttons, and have a fully charged electric vehicle deposited in front of you.It’s a new car-sharing scheme launched by Kandi Technologiesthat takes the hyper-successful bike-sharing model in China and puts it onto four electrically powered wheels.For a little over $3 an hour, these ultra-compact, Chinese-made EVs can get about 75 miles on a charge and max out at 50 mph, and when the driver is done, they can drop off their rented ride at another Kandi station near their destination.

As simple as a Brita pitcher is to use for filtering water, who has time to wait for gravity to do its work when you’re not at home? With a little downward force on your end, the Grayl cup will purify 16 ounces of water in just 15 seconds, making it better-tasting and safer to drink. It’s basically a french press that cleans your water, instead of turning it into brown sludge.

Using the Grayl is as simple as filling the outer container with water, and then slowly inserting the inner chamber which pushes the water through replaceable filters as it slides down. The $20 everyday filter is good for about three months or 300 uses and removes 99.99 percent of bacteria. But if you’re planning to fill up somewhere a little more risky, a $40 purifier is also available that removes 99.999 percent of bacteria, protozoa, and viruses.

For two months in a row, the top-selling car in Norway has been an electric car. (Yes, the #1 best-selling car of any kind was an electric car in both September and October.) Interestingly, it wasn’t the same car. In September, it was the Tesla Model S that led Norwegian auto sales. In October, it was the Nissan Leaf.

Now, there’s a lot of speculation about why Norway is kicking serious ass in electric car sales. Some people think it’s “this,” some think it’s “that,” etc, etc. But can anyone say what it really is?

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jones_supa writes “An EU citizen uses around 200 plastic bags per year. That’s too much, says the EU. But wasting plastic bags is not just a European problem. Countries around the world are struggling with the issue, and it especially affects growing economies such as Asia. Some Southeast Asian countries don’t even have the proper infrastructure in place to dispose of the bags properly. The problems for the environment are many. Plastic bags usually take several hundred years until they decay, thereby filling landfills, while animals often mistake the plastic for food and choke to death. Additionally they are a major cause of seaborne pollution, which is a serious hazard for marine life. This autumn, EU started ambitious plans which aim to reduce usage 80% by 2017. Some countries have already applied measures to slow plastic bag use: England has added a 5p charge to previously free bags, and in Ireland the government has already imposed a tax of 22 euro cents ($0.29) per plastic bag. The EU Environment Commissioner, Janez Potonik, said, ‘We’re taking action to solve a very serious and highly visible environmental problem.'”

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Surpassing competition after only over three years of research, and entering the roadmap at world class level, a new record efficiency of 44.7% was measured at a concentration of 297 suns. This indicates that 44.7% of the solar spectrum’s energy, from ultraviolet through to the infrared, is converted into electrical energy. This is a major step towards reducing further the costs of solar electricity and continues to pave the way to the 50% efficiency roadmap.

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Environmental awareness has risen exponentially in recent years and many people have grown a strong urge to surround themselves with anything green amidst vast concrete jungles. Vertical gardens, urban farming, and guerrilla gardening are a few phenomena that have only recently entered our daily lives.

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Fifty of the world’s 500 largest publicly traded companies are responsible for nearly three quarters of the group’s greenhouse gas emissions, according to a new report by a group that compiles data on climate change.

The big emitters are not doing enough to reduce emissions, and the top 50 have increased their emissions since 2009, the report says.

U.S. companies in the top 50 include oil majors such as Exxon (XOM), Chevron (CVX) and ConocoPhillips (COP), and other giants such as Wal-Mart (WMT), FedEx (FDX), Dow Chemical (DOW), AT&T (T) and Duke Energy (DUK).

Exxon, Shell (RDS.A, RDS.B), Sasol (SSL), BP and Petrobras (PBR) are the five biggest emitters in the energy sector.

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Brazil’s so-called sub-salt polygon, where many of the new finds have been discovered, may contain as much as 100 billion barrels of oil, according to Rio de Janeiro State University. One find alone, the giant Libra field, has estimated reserves of up to 12 billion barrels of oil, or enough to supply all U.S. oil needs for nearly two years.

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